BOULDER -- After an up-and-down start to the season, the Fairview boys basketball came into its home tournament aiming to build some confidence. The Knights certainly did that and more in Monday night's opening round of the Fairview Festival.
Behind a pressure defense and 31 field goals, Fairview came up with its biggest win of the season. They sent Class 4A Niwot packing behind a 76-47 rout, but it was not the margin of victory that had the Knights flying sky high.
Instead, as Frank Lee points out, it was Fairview staying in the winner's side of the brackets in its second tournament of the year.
"It's something we didn't do last week (in the Ralston Valley Tournament)," the Fairview coach said.
Fairview (3-2) faces Liberty (3-1) at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the second round of the tournament. And while the lanky team has the potential to cause trouble from Lee's point of view, the coach is pleased with the head of steam his team built against Niwot (2-2).
The Knights controlled most of the contest Monday, going out to an early lead. But it was the third period where the team did the most damage to the Cougars. Fairview outscored its opponent 24-9, with seven different Knights scoring points.
"We kept bringing it coming out of halftime," Fairview junior Gabe Tierney said. "We started pressuring the ball a lot more. Then we went to the run, where our point guard could pass it up where we could finish it."
Tierney was one of the beneficiaries of the Knights' fast-paced attack, finishing the night with a game-high 18 points. He was one of two Fairview players to break into double digits with point guard Brent Wrapp finishing with 14 points.
Tierney was pleased with his night, but put it all back on his team.
"They just found me on the run," he said.
Niwot drew the game within reason at times. The Cougars came back from a 12-point deficit in the second period, cutting it down to five at one point. And the team had a solid showing out of Jordan Keeler before the senior fouled out in the fourth. Keeler finished the night with 16 points and a perfect 6-for-6 showing from the free-throw line.
The Knights early losses this season were by no means a huge blow to the team. As Lee points out, he and his players understand the basketball season is long. But the coach also was aiming for his team to regain some rhythm before the holiday break with a solid run through its home tournament.
"We like to find ourselves in the championship game after Wednesday," Lee said. "But as we've found out earlier this season, there are no guarantees."
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Fairview 76, Niwot 47
At Fairview HS
Hart 0 2-4 2, Keeler 5 6-6 116, Lee 3 2-4 8, Merriman 3 0-1 7, Kolakowski 0 5-6 5, Bounds 1 0-0 2, Colwell 2 0-0 5. Total 14 15-21 47.
Wrapp 4 5-8 14, Tierney 7 4-4 18, McQueeney 2 0-1 4, Lane 2 0-0 4, Martin 4 0-0 8, Schneider 2 0-0 4, Hopkins 2 0-0 6, Twist 1 0-0 2, Waters 2 0-0 4, Mackenzie 4 0-0 8, Rachubinski 1 0-0 2, Balter 0 2-4 2.. Totals 31 11-19 76..
Score by quarters:
Niwot 6 14 9 18 -- 47Fairview 14 20 24 18 -- 76
3-point field goals -- Niwot (2): Merriman, Colwell; Fairview (3): Wrapp, Hopkins 2. Total fouls -- Niwot 16, Fairview 20. Fouled out -- Keeler. Technical fouls -- none.