Shawn Palmer and the Rangeview boys basketball team cut down the nets on its home floor after its Class 5A Great 8 win over Rock Canyon, but the Raiders’ run ended with a Final Four loss to visiting George Washington on March 18, 2021. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

AURORA | The game that ended the Rangeview boys basketball team’s incredible winning streak couldn’t have been much more painful.

After 61 consecutive victories — dating all the way back to the 2018 calendar year — the Raiders needed just one more Thursday night on their home floor against George Washington in order to get a chance to play for this season’s Class 5A state championship.

But the seventh-seeded Patriots became the team that finally stopped the streak, coming up with the game-changing plays in crunch time that helped them knock off coach Shawn Palmer’s Rangeview team 70-58. The Raiders finished the season 16-1.

“The guys just really wanted to play one more game,” Shawn Palmer told the Sentinel. “That was their goal throughout the whole year to get to the state championship game, butwe came up one quarter short. We put ourselves in pretty good position, but they are disappointed like every senior that doesn’t get to play any more. We thanked them for what they meant to the program.”

Senior Damajio Merritt paced Rangeview with 13 points, while fellow seniors Cade Palmer and Josh Wyatt finished with 10 points apiece and junior Elijah Thomas had nine.

The Raiders led at the end of each of the first three quarters (18-17, 35-27 and 48-43) and as late as 1:30 remaining in regulation, but watched the Patriots score the last 13 points of the game.

Instead, George Washington will be one of only two teams that get one more game to play when it heads to the World Arena in Colorado Springs Saturday for an 8 p.m. 5A state title contest against No. 4 ThunderRidge, which upset No. 1 Cherry Creek in overtime.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports

(7) GEORGE WASHINGTON 70, (3) RANGEVIEW 58

Score by quarters:

Geo. Washington  17  10  16  27 — 70

Rangeview           17  18  13  10 — 58

GEORGE WASHINGTON (70)

Eddie McPhee 7 6-7 20, Trey Edmonds 4 2-5 10, Jarmell Johnson 6 2-4 14, Kendale Johnson 4 10-10 19, Darrian Hammons 0 0-0 0, Cheick Kouyate 1 0-0 3, Garret Brown 2 0-0 4, Kijuan Thompson 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 20-25 70.

RANGEVIEW (58)

Damajio Merritt 5 1-2 13, Cade Palmer 4 0-1 10, Devin Philio 2 2-2 6, Elijah Thomas 2 5-6 9, Josh Wyatt 4 0-0 10, Ismael Dembele 2 2-2 8, Hanif Muhammad 1 0-0 2, Jayden Foster 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 10-13 58.

3-point field goals — George Washington (2): Kendale Johnson, Cheick Kouyate. Rangeview (8): Ismael Dembele 2, Damajio Merritt 2, Cade Palmer 2, Josh Wyatt 2. Total fouls — George Washington 11, Rangeview 16. Fouled out — None. Technical fouls — None.