BOULDER — As Broomfield head boys basketball coach Terrence Dunn likes to say, senior guard Sam Foster is usually the guy the Eagles turn to when they need a big play.
That could mean keeping the Eagles afloat when things aren't going well or hitting a big shot to clinch a close victory, or even just to not turn the ball over when they have a solid lead. In the third-place game of the Fairview Festival tournament on Friday, Foster was called upon to do a mix of all of those things against host Fairview.
Despite some tired legs from playing four games since Saturday and falling behind early in the first quarter, Foster held things together long enough for the Eagles (2-2) to claim third place with a 61-56 victory.
"We were able to grind and power through our tiredness and we came together after that first quarter," Foster said. "I knew after that first quarter that I'm a senior and I needed to step up. I needed to come out and be a leader and I feel like I tried to do that tonight."
The Knights' much-improved guard play was on display early on in Friday's game, consistently forcing turnovers on defense and fast- break points at the other end. The Knights (1-3) built a seven-point lead by the end of the first quarter but it evaporated quickly in the second. Three lead changes later, Foster hit a 3-pointer to give Broomfield a 28-25 halftime lead.
Opening the fourth quarter with a six-point lead, the Eagles pushed that lead to double digits with two minutes left. Led by senior Tanner Garner, who hit eight of his 10 free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter, the Eagles rode that lead to their second win of the season.
"Tanner is a prime-time player," Dunn said. "He wants the ball in his hands and for him to go 8-for-10 down the stretch was huge."
The Knights, who went 9-15 last season, felt like they should have performed better in Friday's loss. But if early signs are any indication of how they will perform after the break, there is reason to believe they could be better than they were a year ago.
"We want to stay aggressive and put pressure on teams," Knights head coach Patrick Burke said. "That's the style of play that Fairview has always been, at least since coach (Frank) Lee was here. We had a D-I center last year so of course we didn't want to take him out of the game by running too much. But our guys have worked really, really hard to get better and we're excited about this year's group. Tonight wasn't great but we're only going to get better."
Broomfield will host Highlands Ranch (0-3) on Thursday. Fairview will host Legend (2-1) on Friday.
Broomfield 61, Fairview 56
At Fairview H.S.
Berry 1 0-2 2, Foster 5 0-0 14, Croell 4 3-6 12, Georgiton 3 2-3 8, Keeler 0 0-0 0, Garner 0 8-10 8, Wolff 3 0-0 6, Martinez 5 1-3 11. Totals 21 14-24 61.
Twist 1 0-2 2, Carson 5 6-6 16, Khadem 0 0-0 0, Grad 2 1-2 5, Pykkonen 1 0-0 2, Fano 0 0-0 0, Lee 3 2-2 9, Dolan 3 0-0 9, Monette 3 1-2 8, Heisner 1 3-5 5, D'Souza 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 13-19 56.
Score by quarters:Broomfield 10 18 12 21 — 61
Fairview 17 8 9 22 — 56
3-point field goals — Broomfield (5): Foster 4, Croell; Fairview (5): Dolan 3, Lee, Monette. Total fouls — Broomfield 19, Fairview 26. Fouled out — Grad, Dolan.