THORNTON — After honoring their 1993 girls state championship basketball team on Friday night, the Horizon Hawks took the floor against Fairview with a little bit of that gleam in their own eyes.
Not only did they play up to their potential in a 61-40 win over FHS that dropped the Knights to 8-5 overall and 2-1 in the Front Range League, but Fairview suffered a rare off night shooting team-wide in what was billed as a marquee matchup at HHS.
The Knights hadn't been in a competitive game since before Christmas — winning their past three contests by 52, 49 and 44 points — and when it came to facing off against the No. 5 ranked team in this week's CHSAANow.com poll, it was hard to find that competitive edge from the outset.
Horizon's starting five accounted for all but two points on the evening, and Fairview had eight turnovers in the first quarter which set a tone that favored the hosts, who are now 12-1 and have not lost to an in-state opponent.
"It really felt like there was a lid on the rim tonight, and I felt like first half we may have been a little impatient at times but were still getting some pretty good looks," Fairview head coach Rod Beauchamp said after watching his team shoot 20.6 percent from the floor. "Second half, we really got some good looks. We just struggled to put the ball in, they score some transition buckets off our misses ... I think if we hit some more shots, they're not able to get out like that and it's a closer game."
The Knights have not been in too many situations in which both Ashley Panem and Denali Pinto could not find their range, and for Fairview the question became whether or not another girl on the team could spark them.
That became evident in the beginning stages of the third quarter with the Knights' supporting cast taking more shots when they weren't contested and being a little more aggressive in the post, but the rims remained unkind to the visitors and gave Horizon plenty of opportunities to transition the other way.
Fairview trailed 28-13 at the half thanks in part to several Horizon fast breaks, but the Knights would get no closer than 28-17 in the very early third quarter. After having just two turnovers in the second quarter, Fairview once again limited their opportunity to rally with six turnovers in the third frame.
Izzy Allen contributed a team-most 18 points for Horizon, utilizing her athleticism for several shifty drives and filthy finishes throughout the game. Then there was Sam Deem, who was tough with her drive from the top of the lane to finish with 13 points. Caleese Ramirez also had 13, Alyssa Jimenez had 11 and the new Division I commit Arielle Wisne (Indiana) had four points and 12 rebounds.
Pinto led FHS with 13 points, and Panem added 11 — but they combined to hit just eight of 33 field goal attempts. The rest of the team went 5-for-30. Faith Anderson scored nine points and was present inside with 14 rebounds.
"I thought Kate (Lampert) did a good job of looking to shoot and attack the rim a little bit better ... and I thought Faith did a good job of that, too," Beauchamp said of the second half. "Their bigs are tough to go against. I also don't know if there's anyone around as athletic as (Allen)."
Horizon 61, Fairview 40
At Horizon HS
FAIRVIEW (8-5, 2-1)
Richmond 0 0-0 0, Collins 0 0-0 0, Pinto 4 5-9 13, Munson 1 1-2 3, Valdez 0 0-0 0, Konstanopolous 0 0-0 0, Panem 4 2-2 11, Lampert 1 1-2 3, Anderson 3 3-4 9. Totals 13 12-19 40.
HORIZON (12-1, 3-0)
Oliver 0 0-2 0, Fields 0 0-0 0, Castillo 0 0-0 0, Ramirez 6 0-0 13, Jimenez 5 0-0 11, Delgado 0 0-0 0, Waufle 0 0-0 0, Deem 6 1-1 13, Allen 8 2-3 18, Wisne 1 2-2 4, Carlson 1 0-0 2. Totals 27 5-8 61.
Score by quarters:Fairview851116—40
3-point field goals — Fairview (2): Pinto, Panem; Horizon (2): Ramirez, Jimenez.