BOULDER -- Faced with a defense as pesky as its own on Tuesday night, the Fairview girls basketball team looked rattled and out of sync offensively for the better part of the first three quarters.
That all changed in the fourth quarter.
The Knights, who average only 46 points per game anyway, piled up 21 over the final 6 minutes, 4 seconds to rally for a 52-48 home triumph over Fossil Ridge.
The Knights (8-5, 4-2 Front Range League) make their living on the defensive end of the court. But an undersized Fossil Ridge squad turned the tables on FHS early with a mix of defenses and unrelenting ball pressure that FHS guard Sarah Kaufman said her squad had yet to face this season.
"It was kind of tough coming into it," Kaufman said. "I'm really proud of my team fighting through the adversity. It's a big win."
The victory marked Fairview's third straight, with the streak coming at a nice time for the Knights. They go on the road for three of their next four games.
"They just kept fighting, and I think that's the kind of team we have," FHS coach Andre Goldberg said. "(Fossil Ridge is) a very good basketball team, and we feel fortunate to get out of here with a win tonight."
Kaufman, the Knights' leading scorer, and senior center Georgina Ryder were held to a combined 10 points over the first three quarters before coming alive in the fourth. Kaufman scored 10 of her game-high 16 in the frame, while Ryder added six of her 10.
After a 10-0 Fossil Ridge run had given the SaberCats (9-4, 3-3) a 37-31 edge early in the fourth quarter, the Knights went to work.
Kaufman's second 3-pointer of the quarter tied the game at 41, and a 6-footer by Ryder made it 45-all with 2:48 to play. From there the Knights came up with three defensive stops in a row on their way to a 51-45 lead.
Kaufman's bucket from the short corner gave the Knights the lead for good, 47-45, with 1:52 to play, and Katie Kuosman sealed it with a free throw with 10 seconds left after Fossil Ridge's Savannah Smith had made it 51-48 with a late 3-pointer.
"I think that's mostly due to us working the ball around a lot more, and screening off that," Kaufman said of her big fourth quarter. "I was able to find open spots better."
Kuosman added 13 points and helped keep the Knights in the game early as they trailed by as many as 10 in the second quarter.
Smith and older sister Gabby scored 10 apiece to lead Fossil Ridge, which suffered its second close loss in a row to end a three-game road swing.
Fairview resumes play with a Friday game at Loveland.
Fairview 52, Fossil Ridge 48
At Fairview HS
FOSSIL RIDGE (8-4, 3-3)
Ko. Willer 2 3-4 7, S. Smith 4 0-1 10, Cutler 2 1-2 5, G. Smith 5 0-1 10, Murphy 2 0-2 4, Ramras 2 2-4 6, Roeling 3 0-0 6, Ke. Willer 0 0-0 0. Hayes 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 6-14 48.
FAIRVIEW (8-5, 4-2)
Kuosman 3 5-6 13, Lai 3 1-1 7, Breakell 0 0-0 0, Wolf 0 0-0 0, McCambridge 2 0-0 4, Davenport 1 0-0 2, Ryder 3 4-4 10, Kaufman 5 4-6 16. Totals 17 14-17 52.
Score by quarters:
Fossil Ridge 10 9 14 15 -- 48
Fairview 6 14 11 21 -- 52
3-point field goals -- Fossil Ridge (2): S. Smith; Fairview (4): Kuosman 2, Kaufman 2. Total fouls -- Fossil Ridge 15, Fairview 17. Fouled out -- Davenport. Technicals -- Fossil Ridge bench.