BOULDER — Ken Niven's final season as the head coach of the Monarch boys basketball team won't be an unmemorable one.

On Wednesday night in the consolation semifinals of the Fairview Festival basketball tournament, Niven's Coyotes defeated Sierra 49-38. While Niven announced prior to the season that 2015-16 would be his final campaign at the helm, Wednesday's victory ensured that he would leave the Coyotes having hit a career benchmark that few coaches even manage to approach.

Niven has now won 500 games in his remarkable coaching career.

"It's just a lot of guys that I've been blessed to have coached," Niven said. "Working with the guys makes me a better man. It just comes from coaching 30 years of great players. When I think about that accomplishment, I just think about all the guys who have played for me and coached for me over the years and the impact they've had on my life."

Monarch won Wednesday night's game with a strong defensive effort that held Sierra (1-3) to 15 points in the first half. Despite beginning the season missing six of their 10 primary players, the Coyotes have gotten off to a 3-3 start in Niven's final season.

"We played very well defensively," Niven said. "We're struggling offensively but we're putting the pieces together."


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In the championship bracket, Broomfield fell in the semifinals 50-45 to Aurora Central. The Eagles (2-1) trailed the Trojans 23-18 at halftime. Though they came back and led for a time in the second half, the Broomfield could not hold the lead. Sam Foster led the Eagles with 17 points.

Opposite the Eagles and Trojans in the championship bracket, the Fairview Knights fell 56-51 in the semifinals to Denver South.

Fairview (2-3) took the lead on back-to-back 3-pointers with 4:30 left in the game. Denver South (4-2), however, retook the lead at 50-49 with 1:18 left and went 6-for-10 at the free-throw line to finish out the game while the Knights turned the ball over five times in the final minute.

"They slowed us down a little bit with their zone but we started to attack it better (in the fourth quarter)," Fairview head coach Patrick Burke said. "We gave ourselves and chance to win but we have to do a better job of taking care of the ball. Other than that, we fought and the kids played hard, we just couldn't hold onto it."

In the other consolation semifinal on Wednesday, Niwot (1-3) lost 64-42 to Greeley West (4-2).

Fairview will play Broomfield for third place at 6:30 p.m. on Friday. Also on Friday, Monarch will play Greeley West for fifth at 5 p.m. and Niwot will take on Sierra in the seventh-place game at 3:30 p.m.

Brad Cochi: cochib@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BradCochi

Denver South 56, Fairview 51

At Fairview H.S.

DENVE SOUTH (4-2)

Jendrusch 3 9-12 16, Nelson 1 0-0 3, Sentimore 0 0-0 0, Bile 2 3-7 7, Dean 2 0-0 6, Kennedy 4 5-7 14, Cargile 2 1-3 6, Haynes 0 1-2 1. Totals 14 19-31 56.

FAIRVIEW (2-3)

Heisner 0 0-2 0, Carson 4 1-2 13, Khadem 2 0-3 4, Weatherly 6 0-0 16, Grad 1 0-1 2, Mooz 0 0-0 0, Ryder 6 2-3 14, Tyse 0 0-0 0, Kaufman 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 3-11 51.

Score by quarters:

Denver South (4-2) 6 19 12 19 — 56 Fairview (2-3) 16 6 13 14 — 51

3-point field goals — Denver South(6): Dean 2, Jendrusch, Nelson, Kennedy, Cargile; Fairview(8): Weatherly 4, Carson 4. Total fouls — Fairview 24. Fouled out — Grad, Khadem.

Aurora Central 50, Broomfield 45

At Fairivew H.S.

AURORA CENTRAL (5-1)

Lad. Thomas 9 2-5 20, Koromah 3 2-3 8, Lar. Thomas 1 0-1 3, Ankomah 0 0-0 0, Jackson 1 0-0 2, Coleman 6 4-6 16, Porter 0 1-2 1, Burleson 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 9-17 50.

BROOMFIELD (2-1)

Croell 1 1-2 3, Briggs 0 2-2 2, Foster 6 3-5 17, Wristen 0 0-0 0, Rynearson 3 0-0 7, Lehnerz 3 0-0 7, Burgesser 3 0-0 7, Georgiton 1 0-0 2, Garner 0 0-0 0, Martinez 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 6-9 45.

Score by quarters:

Aurora Central (5-1) 10 13 9 18 — 50 Broomfield (2-1) 8 10 16 11 — 45

3-point field goals — Aurora Cenral(1): Lar. Thomas; Broomfield(5): Foster 2, Burgesser, Lehnerz. Total fouls — Aurora Central 14, Broomfield 20. Fouled out — Lehnerz.

Consolation semifinals

Monarch 49, Sierra 38

At Fairview H.S.

SIERRA (1-3)

Deedon 0 0-2 0, Mackey 0 0-0 0, Wingo 0 2-2 2, Reed 1 0-2 2, Tuck 1 0-0 2, X. Brown 0 0-0 0, Lambert 1 0-0 2, J. Brown 1 1-4 3, Williams 1 0-0 2, Jennings 5 7-9 18, Savage 3 0-0 6, . Totals 13 10-19 38.

MONARCH (3-3)

Chavez 2 0-0 4, Behrens 0 0-0 0, Rowan 3 4-5 12, Duffy 3 6-6 12, Hoban 1 0-0 2, Trinh 1 3-4 5, Jones 3 3-4 9, Chandler 0 0-0 0, Pauluch 1 0-0 3, Grigsby 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 16-19 49.

Score by quarters:

Sierra (1-3) 6 9 10 13 — 38 Monarch (3-3) 10 10 12 17 — 49

3-point field goals — Sierra(1): Jennings; Monarch(3): Rowan 2, Pauluch. Total fouls — Sierra 22, Monarch 17. Fouled out — Tuck, Chavez.

Greeley West 64, Niwot 42

At Fairview H.S.

GREELEY WEST (4-2)

Sepeda 2 0-1 5, Thompson 9 0-1 20, DelaCroix 3 6-8 17, S. Clark 0 0-0 0, Lopez 0 0-0 0, Marion 2 2-3 6, Gillingham 7 0-1 14, J. Clark 0 0-0 0, B. Clark 0 0-0 0, Goree 1 0-0 2. Totals 24 8-14 64.

NIWOT (1-3)

Kolakowski 0 0-0 0, J. Sims 1 0-0 3, Ho 0 0-0 0, Bounds 3 0-0 6, Oliver 2 0-0 4, Radatz 0 0-0 0, Kannegieter 6 0-0 17, Barber 2 0-0 5, Agado 1 0-0 2, Ramirez 0 0-0 0, Vigil 2 0-0 5, Ryan 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 0-0 42.

Score by quarters:

Greeley West (4-2) 16 8 19 21 — 64 Niwot (1-3) 14 13 9 6 — 42

3-point field goals — Greeley West(6): DelaCroix 3, Thompson 2, Sepeda; Niwot(8): Kannegieter 5, Vigil, Barber, Sims. Total fouls — Greeley West 8, Niwot 16.