BOULDER -- Something about the Horizon Hawks has given the Fairview boys basketball team fits in the first halves of two games this year.

The second halves have been a different story.

After a sluggish start against Horizon's 2-3 zone defense, the Knights pulled away with a dominant second half for a 64-42 Front Range League victory on Friday night at home.

The win moved the first-place Knights (16-3, 11-1) one step closer to their second Front Range League title in a row. But it by no means came easily.

One month after being tied with Horizon (8-11, 4-8) at halftime before winning by 13, the Knights led just 19-15 at the half on Friday.

"It's going to be more and more pressure for us to start off strong for when we get to the playoffs," FHS guard Gabe Tierney said. "We'll work on that."

Tierney was one major reason for the Knights' turnaround in the second half. He scored all 18 of his points after the intermission, including 12 in the third quarter. He scored eight in a row for FHS at one point in the third quarter before back-to-back 3-pointers by Trevor McQueeney pushed the Knights' lead to 39-25.

Tierney went back to work to start the fourth quarter, scoring the Knights' first six points of the frame to make it 49-32 and essentially put the game out of reach.

"I thought he had a phenomenal second half," FHS coach Frank Lee said. "He's been playing really well lately and continued that tonight."

FHS point guard Brent Wrapp sat on the bench the entire second quarter with two fouls as the Knights struggled to find a flow offensively and hit just 5 of 22 first-half field goal attempts.

The Knights snapped out of the funk with defense and transition offense in the second half, not to mention better movement against the zone.

Jake Ralphs scored 11 points to lead Horizon, but a scrappy, undersized Horizon squad couldn't take advantage of Fairview's early struggles.

One reason was 6-foot-7 Austin Sparks' presence in the lane. The FHS big man altered several shots and piled up 18 rebounds -- 12 in the first half -- to go with his 20 points.

As a team, Fairview outrebounded Horizon 38-24.

"It's tough," Sparks said. "They're a quick team. They can shoot. That was one of my jobs tonight was to make sure they didn't get second shots."

McQueeney added nine points for FHS, all of which came in the third quarter.

Fairview plays Mountain Range and rival Boulder next week before finishing with Legacy and second-place Monarch.

"They're all important so we talked tonight about playoff mentality," Lee said. " ... We have to pick it up another level."

Follow Josh on Twitter: @JoshLindenstein

Fairview 64, Horizon 42

At Fairview HS

HORIZON (8-11, 4-8)

Skinner 3 1-2 7, Ja. Ralphs 3 4-5 11, Jo. Ralphs 0 2-2 2, Sumey 0 0-0 0, Gravage 0 0-2 0, Rivas 3 0-0 6, Harshman 2 4-5 8, Erdmann 1 2-2 4, David 0 0-0 0, Reffel 2 0-0 4. Totals 14 13-18 42.

FAIRVIEW (16-3, 11-1)

Wrapp 2 1-1 5, Tierney 7 3-3 18, McQueeney 3 0-0 9, Lane 0 0-0 0, Martin 0 0-0 0, Pilkington 0 1-2 1, Schneider 0 0-0 0, Hopkins 1 0-0 3, Balter 1 0-0 2, Twist 0 0-0 0, Waters 0 0-0 0, Mackenzie 1 2-2 4, Sparks 4 12-12 20, Rachubinski 1 0-0 2. Totals 20 19-20 64.

Score by quarters:

Horizon 8 7 15 12 -- 42

Fairview 6 13 24 21 -- 64

3-point field goals -- Horizon (1): Ja. Ralphs; Fairview (5): McQueeney 3, Tierney, Hopkins. Total fouls -- Horizon 20, Fairview 16. Fouled out -- Erdmann. Technicals -- None.