BROOMFIELD — Last week's Front Range League loss to Horizon may have stubbed the collective toes of the Fairview girls basketball team in terms of their title hopes this season.
But if the past two games are any indication, the Knights are primed to put themselves in a position to take advantage of any stumble the Hawks might make down the stretch.
To rebound against rivals Monarch and Broomfield proved a lot to head coach Rod Beauchamp and his players. On Thursday at the Broomfield gym, they were able to complete a sweep of teams notorious for giving them fits, as Ashley Panem's 21 points and some other timely shooting helped sculpt a 63-51 FHS win.
Grace O'Neill added 15 points, Denali Pinto had 14 and Sydney Rios had a pair of key 3-pointers in the third quarter to help move Fairview to 3-1 in league and put their loss to Horizon behind them.
"We'll take two wins against some big rivals, and I really think Broomfield is much improved from earlier this season," said Beauchamp, whose team hit eight 3-pointers to improve to 13-3 overall. "To get one on their home court can be really good for us. We hit a few shots when they made some runs, just getting buckets when we needed to."
"We try and focus on not just eight minutes at a time, but even play by play pretty much, and I know tonight we had some times where we were thinking a little more as individuals," said Panem, who scored five points in each of the first three quarters to continue what has been an impressive season. "I know that we have the team chemistry ... and that's our thing and how we eventually end up winning these games."
After beating the Eagles (6-9, 2-2) by 27 points earlier in the season at the Fairview Festival, the Knights had to play a little more in tune for full four quarters this time around.
Broomfield sophomore Steph Peterson and freshman Jessica Hoffman combined early on to keep the Eagles afloat against Fairview's "Big 3" — Hoffman came off the bench in the second quarter to score seven of her 10 points in the frame — and Fairview held just a 32-25 lead at the break.
It was just 38-31 with about 4 minutes, 20 seconds to go after an Abby Croell putback for Broomfield, but Panem answered on the other end with a 3-pointer and that started an 11-2 run that was aided by Rios on the perimeter.
The Eagles contested a lot of shots in the beginning of the fourth quarter down just 12 and were able to cut the lead back to as little as seven (51-44 with 4:54 left), but a Pinto 3-pointer from the corner got Fairview's first points of the frame and they were able to match the Eagles the rest of the way.
"I think a lot of teams are focusing on the big three or whatever, but we have girls who know their roles and Sydney was there for hers tonight," Panem said.
"I think we're playing well but they know they can still play better," Beauchamp said. "(The players) realize we're still giving up too many rebounds and the defense is still giving up too many points. But they are getting the wins and feel good about themselves that way."
Peterson, who finished with 12 points, has stepped up in a big way for Broomfield — a team which seems to be getting some chemistry. Thursday marked her fifth straight double-digit scoring game, a streak that began with a 25-point game against Mountain Range.
Croell also had 15 points for Broomfield — 11 coming after halftime.
Fairview 63, Broomfield 51
At Broomfield HS
FAIRVIEW (13-3, 3-1)
Rios 2 0-0 6, Haddad 1 0-0 2, Pinto 5 2-8 14, Munson 0 0-0 0, O'Neill 6 2-2 15, Prostko 0 1-2 1, Panem 7 4-5 21, Lampert 1 0-0 2, Webster 0 2-2 2. Totals 22 11-19 63.
BROOMFIELD (6-9, 2-2)
Croell 7 1-4 15, Peterson 6 0-0 12, Steinhauer 0 0-0 0, Kort 1 0-0 2, Hoffman 4 0-0 10, Casasanta 3 0-0 6, Pennington 1 0-0 2, Burgesser 0 0-0 0, Gilmore 1 2-4 4. Totals 23 3-8 51.
Score by quarters:Fairview 18 14 19 12 — 63
Broomfield 14 11 14 12 — 51
3-point field goals — Fariview (8): Panem 3, Pinto 2, Rios 2, O'Neill; Broomfield (2): Hoffman 2.