AURORA — The Fairview girls basketball team arrived Saturday at Regis Jesuit High School in the wake of history being made.
In the Regis Jesuit gym less than 24 hours earlier, Raiders sophomore Fran Belibi stole a pass and threw down a stylish one-handed dunk during a 78-23 win over Grand Junction. The play, which is believed to mark the first time a girl has dunked in a Colorado high school basketball game, headlined the SportsCenter top plays on ESPN and was the talk of Colorado hoops all of Friday night and still on Saturday when the Knights came to town.
Riding the still-palpable energy from Belibi's historic moment, the Raiders trounced the visiting Knights, who had won their last six games and risen to seventh in the CHSAANow.com rankings, 69-52.
"They still had a lot of energy and I think my girls were also kind of looking at that and might have been a little intimidated by it," Fairview coach Rob Beauchamp said. "They're a solid team and they were rolling, and we're probably a little overrated. We were cold from the outside and we couldn't get anything going against their zone while they were getting out and getting a lot of easy baskets in transition."
The Raiders (5-3) took control early, outscoring the Knights 21-5 in the first quarter. It was the Knights' (10-2, 1-0 Front Range) lowest-scoring quarter this season apart from a two-point fourth during a blowout victory against Poudre on Friday. Even the Knights' trio of talented scorers - Grace O'Neill (17 ppg), Ashley Panem (16.8 ppg) and Denali Pinto (14.5 ppg) - couldn't get going in the first quarter, shooting a combined 1 for 10 from the floor.
Saturday's one-sided result was a drastic departure from last year's matchup between the two teams on the same floor that was tied going into the fourth quarter before the Raiders gained a slight edge in the final minutes to win. This time around the Raiders, who dominated the glass at both ends from start to finish, were up 43-19 at halftime and led by as many as 26 in the third quarter.
She may not have dunked, but Belibi (19.1 ppg) led all scorers with 23 points.
Helped by Belibi getting into second-half foul trouble, the Knights cut the lead to 14 in the fourth quarter. Despite scoring a combined 16 points in the first half, O'Neil and Pinto led the Knights with 16 points apiece and Panem finished with 15.
"They dominated us on the boards and got a lot of second shots, which was a big part of it," Beauchamp said. "In the second half, we battled a little bit better but unfortunately we had already dug ourselves too big of a hole."
The Knights will return to their Front Range League schedule on Tuesday when they play at Mountain Range (4-7) at 7 p.m.
Regis Jesuit 69, Fairview 52
At Regis Jesuit H.S.
FAIRVIEW (10-2, 1-0)
Rios 0 0-0 0, Haddad 1 0-0 2, Pinto 3 7-8 16, Munson 1 0-0 3, O'Neill 5 6-7 16, Prostko 0 0-0 0, Panem 5 3-4 15, Lampert 0 0-2 0, Webster 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 16-19 52.
REGIS JESUIT (5-3)
Belibi 9 5-9 23, Ayers 2 0-0 4, Weigand 0 3-4 3, Gaines 3 1-2 7, Salita 0 0-0 0, Chaney 1 0-0 2, Moore 3 3-5 9, Wrede 4 1-2 11, Cahill 4 2-2 10. Totals 26 15-24 69.
Score by quarters:Fairview 5 14 21 12 — 52
Regis Jesuit 21 22 15 11 — 69
3-point field goals — Fairview (6): Pinto 3, Panem 2, Munson; Regis Jesuit (2): Wrede 2. Total fouls — Fairview 16, Regis Jesuit 20.