A flash-in-the-pan the Fairview girls basketball team is not. With eight seniors and two sophomores that started as freshmen, the Knights are battle ready for this time of year.
Looking to follow up on last year's run to the Class 5A Great 8, Fairview started their 2016 playoff run at home with some pizzazz in a 61-41 runaway win over Eaglecrest, a well-rounded win that set up a Friday second round contest at Brighton.
The foundation of the win was cemented with defense as Eaglecrest made nine first quarter turnovers and finished with 19, but throughout the contest the host Knights also worked some brilliant feeds inside to cutting players that one might see at a lot higher level of play.
"It's so much fun to play on this team because everyone is looking to make that extra pass, and we're all so selfless," said sophomore guard Denali Pinto, who finished up with 14 points thanks to several putbacks and open layups. "Usually it ends up if you make one good pass you'll get the ball back to get the open shot.
"Brighton's first on Friday. They won their league and they're going to want to take it to us. We're going to have to come out as strong as we did (Tuesday)."
Pinto was one of the early pace-pushers for Fairview (15-9) on this night, while Grace O'Neill also had some strong finishes on her way to 21 points and seven rebounds.
Though stats weren't immediately available, it's safe to say the Knights had a good amount more assists than turnovers after committing just 10 ballhandling miscues.
The passing stood out in the third quarter, in particular. Whether is was Pinto, Ashley Panem, Sarah Gordon or O'Neill the difficult passes were being completed even in the half-court set.
They extended a 31-13 halftime lead to 43-13, and that allowed for the non-starters to get a good amount of playing time together, as well.
Gordon finished with 11 points and Panem had 10. Though she didn't score, senior Logan Tidstrom's glass game was monumental as she hauled down seven boards.
"I think they are feeling pretty good about themselves at this point, and we just hope that continues," said coach Rod Beauchamp. "I thought Grace and Logan were great on the boards, and we moved the ball around really well. Early on, we did a good job in transition.
"We felt we could get them into a quick game and press them."
Eaglecrest (7-17) shot just 16-for-46 for the game including 5-for-20 in the first half. Raquel Turner led the Raptors with seven points.
Fairview 61, Eaglecrest 41
At Fairview HS
Ruckard 2 0-1 5, Tuilaepa 3 0-0 6, Turner 2 2-4 7, Je. Stoner 2 0-0 6, Jo. Stoner 1 0-0 3, Myles 0 0-0 0, O'Brien 1 0-0 2, Emecheta 3 1-1 7, Hooks 0 0-0 0, Wilson 2 1-2 5. Totals 16 4-8 41.
Kuosman 0 0-1 0, Sobolik 0 1-2 1, Safi 0 0-0 0, Pinto 6 1-1 14, K. O'Neill 0 0-0 0, Gordon 5 0-0 11, Koenigsberg 0 0-0 0, Raguveer 1 0-0 2, Panem 4 1-1 10, Tidstrom 0 0-0 0, G. O'Neill 8 5-7 21, Webster 0 2-2 2. Totals 24 10-14 61.
Score by quarters:Eaglecrest 4 9 9 19 — 41
Fairview 15 16 20 10 — 61
3-point field goals — Eaglecrest (5): Je. Stoner 2, Ruckard, Jo. Stoner, Turner; Fairview (3): Pinto, Gordon, Panem.