BOULDER — While they have remained among the CHSAANow.com poll's top 10 teams throughout the first half of the season, the Fairview girls basketball players saw one of their season goals take a hit on Friday night.
Hosting Front Range League opponent Horizon, the sixth-ranked Knights fell 64-57 for their first conference loss of the season. With Horizon sitting at No. 4 in the rankings, Friday's game was one the Knights sorely needed to win in order to jump into the driver's seat for a league title.
"We were originally looking to win league but that's going to be a lot tougher now," Knights senior Grace O'Neill said. "You never know, though. I think we're playing good team basketball. We're finding the shots we need to be finding and we're supporting each other. We just need to give it our best from now until the end of the season."
The Knights (11-3, 2-1 Front Range) gave it their best on Friday, leading 12-9 after the first quarter of play. But while the Knights succeeded in keeping Horizon (10-2, 2-0 Front Range) out of the paint and away from the basket, and improved on the rebounding woes that doomed them in a loss against Regis Jesuit last weekend, the Hawks repeatedly undid their good work with jump shots, including six 3-pointers.
Five of those 3-pointers came in the second quarter, during which the Hawks outscored the Knights 24-16 to take a six-point halftime lead. O'Neill hit a 3-pointer cut the lead to four points with 3:45 left in the game but the Knights couldn't reel the Hawks in any closer.
"I think we came out pretty strong, pretty excited, and we were running in then early on so that was good," O'Neill said. "But it just seemed like they were making all their shots. That killed us. We were crashing the boards and doing a good job in rebounds but their shots just kept falling. Especially at the end, we kept on almost getting the stop but they would get off a shot and make it.
"It didn't all come together for us at the end but I guess that happens sometimes in basketball. You win some and you lose some."
O'Neill, who is averaging 17.9 points per game this season, led the Knights with 25 points on Friday. Junior point guard Ashley Panem scored 14 for the Knights, who will have another big Front Range League game against rival Monarch (7-5, 1-1 Front Range) on the road Tuesday.
"That's a big game so we'll need two really good practices on Saturday and Monday to prepare for that," O'Neill said.
Horizon 64, Fairview 57
At Fairview H.S.
HORIZON (10-2, 2-0)
Mortenson 1 0-0 2, Fields 0 0-0 0, K. Jimenez 3 2-4 11, A. Jimenez 4 0-0 9, Deem 6 1-3 14, Allen 5 5-6 15, Wisne 4 2-4 10, Carlson 0 0-0 0, Arellano 1 0-0 3. Totals 24 10-17 64.
FAIRVIEW (11-3, 2-1)
Rios 1 0-0 3, Anderson 0 0-0 0, Haddad 1 0-0 2, Pinto 2 3-4 7, Munson 2 0-0 4, O'Neill 8 7-9 25, Panem 5 4-5 14, Lampert 1 0-0 2, Webster 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 14-18 57.
Score by quarters:Horizon 9 24 21 10 — 64
Fairview 11 16 18 12 — 57
3-point field goals — Horizon (6): K. Jimenez 3, Deem, Arellano, A. Jimenez; Fairview (3): O'Neill 2, Rios. Total fouls — Horizon 15, Fairview 18.