BRIGHTON — The seed number before their names indicated Friday's win for the Fairview girls basketball team over Brighton was an upset.
The Knights left no question, though, who was the more talented and well-rounded team on the floor in a 66-39 road win at the Brighton High gym.
The truer measure of skill may come Tuesday when the No. 5-seeded Knights travel to No. 1 Grandview for a Sweet 16 matchup in Class 5A, but Fairview will be entering the game about as confident as one can be.
"I think the past two games we've played have been some of our strongest of the season, and our teamwork has been awesome," said senior Grace O'Neill, who took some hard hits on her way to 19 points and nine rebounds in the win over the No. 4 seeded Bulldogs. "This is the time of year when you need to be at your best, and I think that's what we're doing right now."
After beating Eaglecrest by 20 points on Tuesday, the Knights upped their production again with a strong effort on the offensive boards as well as finishing layups while taking advantage of many of the 22 turnovers Brighton committed.
Brighton, winners of the East Metro League with a 16-7 overall record, struggled to shoot the ball most of the night. Fairview (16-9) challenged well inside, with Ashley Panem, Denali Pinto and a bevy of others working to tie up a lot of plays even underneath the basket.
The Knights increased their lead slowly over a three-quarter span until blowing up for 22 points in the fourth frame — hitting 8 of 10 field goals against a disheartened opponent.
It was more of a tough variety of basketball as compared to their first round win, but impressive nonetheless. It was as close as 40-29 in the third quarter, but solid end-to-end play from all 12 players who saw the court in the final frame helped in the win. Fairview had just 12 turnovers.
"I think we've done a pretty good job on the boards, and Grace is as tough as anyone out there when she wants to be," said coach Rod Beauchamp. "She was able to get to the hole. We were making the extra pass and being patient in the second half, and that helped us pull away. When girls came off the bench, they took the opportunity to finish, as well."
"We're working with (our whole bench) and it's awesome to see," O'Neill said. "We knew we could play better in the second half, and we put it away."
Pinto finished with 15 points and four rebounds; Panem had nine points and eight rebounds; and Sarah Gordon and Tati Sobolik added seven points apiece.
Fairview 66, Brighton 39
At Brighton HS
Kuosman 0 0-1 0, Sobolik 2 2-2 7, Safi 1 0-0 2, Pinto 7 1-1 15, K. O'Neill 1 0-0 2, Gordon 3 1-2 7, Koenigsberg 0 0-0 0, Raguveer 0 0-0 0, Panem 4 0-0 9, Tidstrom 2 0-1 5, G. O'Neill 8 3-7 19, Webster 0 0-0 0. Totals 28 7 14-66.
Baker 2 0-0 5, Janzen 0 0-0 0, Reyes 3 0-0 6, Lewis 1 4-6 7, Slorf 1 0-0 3, Grein 0 0-0 0, Dominguez 2 0-1 4, Weis 3 1-2 10, Hagedorn 0 0-0 0, Potestio 2 0-0 4. Totals 14 5-9 39.
Score by quarters:Fairview 18 8 18 22 — 66
3-point field goals — Fairview (3): Sobolik, Panem, Tidstrom; Brighton (6): Weis 3, Baker, Lewis, Slorf.