BOULDER -- If the Broomfield girls basketball regains its championship form this season, no one will be able to accuse the Eagles of taking the easy route.
Broomfield, ranked first in the Denver Post coaches poll in Class 4A, knocked off another top-notch 5A foe on Saturday night, downing Denver East 58-54 in the Fairview Festival championship game at Fairview High School.
Callie Kaiser scored 12 of her game-high 18 points in the fourth quarter, including four free throws in the final 18 seconds, to help keep the Eagles perfect at 6-0.
The victory over East (5-2), which was just outside the 5A top-10 in the rankings, came just two nights after the Eagles beat 5A fourth-ranked Palmer.
"Definitely big wins for us," Kaiser said. "The team played great and it was good to win those two games and see how we match up with those teams."
Broomfield had already beaten 5A defending state champion Legacy this season entering the Fairview Festival.
The big tests keep coming for the Eagles, too. They play at 5A No. 2 Arapahoe on Tuesday, then at 3A No. 4 Holy Family on Friday. Their first game back after the holiday break is at 5A power ThunderRidge.
And, oh yeah, the Eagles have played only two home games and won't play another until Jan. 11.
"You've got to go out and get competition," said Broomfield coach Mike Croell, whose team was ousted in the state quarterfinals last year after winning the previous five state titles. "You don't want to stand pat."
Entering Saturday, Broomfield had beaten East at the Fairview Festival twice in the last three years, including the 2009-10 season when both went on to win their respective state titles. But this year's victory was never a sure thing until the final moments.
Down 54-51, Broomfield was called for a foul, giving East the ball out of bounds with 18 seconds left. But East coach Dwight Berry was called for a technical after the play.
The call essentially squashed any chance the Angels had at tying the game, and it befuddled Berry, who said he'd simply turned around to say something to his bench.
"But that's part of the game," Berry said.
"I give credit to Broomfield," had said earlier. "They're a good team. We're going to learn from this game and move forward."
After the technical, Kaiser stepped to the line and hit one of two free throws to make it 55-51. On the ensuing offensive possession, she was fouled again and again hit one of two free throws.
East kept it close with a 3-pointer with 5 seconds left. But Kaiser was fouled on the inbound pass and put the game away by hitting her final two from the line.
The 5-foot-8 sophomore had earlier drained back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the game at 49 midway through the fourth quarter.
"It was very exciting," Kaiser said.
East, riddled by foul trouble, was led by forward Francesca Sally, who had 18 points and nine rebounds despite sitting much of the game due to fouls.
Stacie Hull added 12 points and six rebounds for Broomfield, and Katie Croell, Mike's daughter, had eight points as eight different Eagles scored.
"We've been a bit of a second half team this year," said Mike Croell, whose team trailed 17-8 after the first quarter before taking a lead into halftime. "What's really encouraging is we haven't put together a complete game, both halves, yet," and are still unbeaten.
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BROOMFIELD 58, DENVER EAST 54
At Fairview HS
Kaiser 5 6-8 18, Wilber 2 0-2 6, Croell 4 0-0 8, Stovall 0 2-2 2, Lehrer 1 0-0 2, Chase 2 0-4 5, Rohrbaught 2 0-0 5, Albrecht 0 0-2 0, Hull 5 2-4 12. Totals 21 10-22 58.
DENVER EAST (5-2)
Taylor 1 0-3 2, Cox 0 0-0 0, Johnson 0 0-0 0, Jones 1 0-0 3, Roper 1 2-2 5, Calhoun 3 0-0 9, Peevy 1 0-0 2, Sally 8 2-2 18, Vigil 10 1-2 11, Finley-Pond 2 0-0 4. Totals 27 5-9 54.
Score by quarters:
Broomfield 8 16 14 20 -- 58
Denver East 17 6 17 14 -- 54
3-point field goals -- Broomfield (6): Kaiser 2, Wilber 2, Chase, Rohrbaugh; Denver East (5): Calhoun 3, Roper, Jones. Total fouls -- Broomfield 16, Denver East 19. Fouled out -- Lehrer, Vigil. Technicals -- Denver East bench.