Grace O'Neill was a starter in Fairview's season-opening game against Montbello on Tuesday, but she wound up sitting on the bench for just about as many minutes as she played.
That might not always be the case, but it did allow the Knights senior to catch a good glimpse of what kind of depth her FHS team possesses this year.
She had to love what she saw after a 73-13 blowout win over the Warriors.
"Last year we had nine players and this year there are 12, and everyone can play. I think you saw that tonight," O'Neill said after scoring 13 points and watching as all 12 players had a field goal in the game. "Every single person contributed to not only points but effort and everything else. I feel like the depth on this team is really great.
"I have a lot of confidence and I think there is not a person on the team who thinks there's someone else who shouldn't be where they are. We have a great opportunity this year."
Despite having three returning starters — and two others that started part-time — it feels like the Knights are a brand new team. Not having a 17-point a game scorer can do that to a squad.
But as Tuesday indicated, the Knights are going to have a bench that can pick up the defensive tenacity and shooting ability that the starters carry. And, they are confident.
"The girls that come in can get it done, defensively and offensively," said Fairview head coach Rod Beauchamp, whose team made the Class 5A quarterfinals last year. "Games like this, it is pretty contagious. You hope that they can carry that same confidence when the games are a bit tighter. But we're going to give all the girls every opportunity to play ... again, there are a lot of girls that can easily jump into the starting lineup."
All 12 players had entered the game by the time the first couple of minutes of the second quarter had ticked off the clock, as FHS built a 27-7 lead at the end of the first frame thanks to pressure defense.
Transition play was a key against the Warriors, but so too was making that extra pass. It helped lead to uncontested shots and allowed for Lailah Safi (10 points), Kelsey Webster (six points) and everyone else who came off the bench to find the hoop.
Tati Sobolik also had six points, and each player scored at least four in the win.
"We have to work on playing as a team," O'Neill said. "We need to be selfless ... and we know we have each other's backs."
Fairview's next game is Wednesday at home against Green Mountain.
Fairview 73, Montbello 13
At Fairview HS
Kali Copeland 0 0-0 0, Adara Ryan 2 0-0 5, Monica Watson 2 0-0 5, Jayna Jones 0 0-0 0, Tanaisia Eugene 1 1-4 3, Lily Nwaneto 0 0-0 0, Olivia House 0 0-0 0. Totals 5 1-4 13.
Annie Kuosman 1 1-2 4, Tati Sobolik 3 0-0 6, Lailah Safi 4 0-0 10, Denali Pinto 2 0-0 4, Kate O'Neill 2 0-0 4, Sarah Gordon 2 0-0 5, Meadbh Koenigsberg 1 2-2 4, Sruthi Raguveer 2 0-0 4, Ashley Panem 2 4-5 9, Logan Tidstrom 2 0-0 4, Grace O'Neill 6 1-1 13, Kelsey Webster 2 2-2 6. Totals 29 10-14 73.
Score by quarters:Montbello 7 1 3 2 — 13
3-point field goals — Montbello (2): Ryan, Watson; Fairview (5): Safi 2, Kuosman, Gordon, Panem.