BOULDER — Having to endure some tough losses before winter break, the Fairview girls basketball team wanted nothing more than to leave Friday with a win in the Front Range league opener versus the Loveland Indians.
Offense was hard to come by for both teams, but enough scoring from senior captains Izzy Munson and Kate Lampert saw the Knights prevail 38-35 to snap their five-game losing skid.
"It felt really nice to snap that streak and come back from break strong," Munson said. "I think we're ready to come out as strong (Saturday) against Castle View."
The two teams went nearly half of the first quarter trading missed shots and turnovers until Munson got out for a layup off a steal. She added a second layup and an assist to Adaya Richmond for a score to start an early scoring run. Another free throw from Munson and two shots in the paint from Lampert saw the run extend to 11-0 before the Indians scored in the final minute of the quarter.
"We practice a lot on defense and emphasize it a lot," Fairview coach Randy Earl said. "That was the big thing that got us going early. Most of our early points were fast break points off of steals. That's what we've got to rely on until we get better offensively."
In the second quarter, it was Fairview that struggled to score. Shot after shot bounced off the rim, whether it came inside or from the perimeter. More than 10 shots were taken by the Knights, but they did not score. Loveland also prevented the Knights from getting to the free throw line.
Even without scoring a single point in the second, the Knights still took an 11-8 lead into the half, thanks to their defensive effort.
"Regardless of our shots not falling, our defense was encouraging each other," Munson said. "We realized that while our shots were not falling, it was still important to keep up that defensive intensity. Defense wins games, and we all realize that."
The Knights would finally find some life on offense in the third quarter from Munson and Lampert. For Munson, she got back to getting out in transition off of steals for easy looks at the rim and also settled for floaters near the top of the key. Lampert made her presence felt inside on the block. Their production led to double-digit scoring for the team in the third and fourth quarters.
Small runs from Loveland in the second half prevented the Knights from putting the game away. Munson had the chance to put the game out of reach at the free throw line but missed both shots, and the Indians got a quick layup from Lexi Eberhardt. On the in-bound pass under their hoop, it was Munson who got free with the ball and drew the final foul in the final 30 seconds for more free throws.
This time, the senior stepped up and made both shots to get the lead back to three points. She would hit two more free throws to secure the victory.
"I felt satisfaction," Munson said. "That was terrible (to miss). I think I realized there were 30 seconds left and it was a one-point game. I realized I had to make those. I felt so satisfied making those last ones."
Closing the game with the win was a good sign for the Knights after blowing late leads to Chatfield and Overland in their last two games. Still, the team feels it will need to be better down the stretch as the season continues.
"We did sort of OK but not as good as we could of at the end," Earl said. "We needed to take our time and run some offense a little more. We did OK, but not as great as we should have done."
Fairview will make a quick turnaround and host the Castle View Sabercats (3-7) in nonconference play on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Fairview 38, Loveland 35
At Fairview High School
LOVELAND (6-3, 0-1)
Lexi Eberhardt 4 6-8 15, Kajsa Borrman 4 2-6 10, Clara Gilcrest 2 1-2 5, Makenna Swayze 1 1-4 3, Avery Buhler 1 0-2 2.
FAIRVIEW (3-5, 1-0)
Izzy Munson 6 5-9 17, Kate Lampert 6 0-4 12, Adaya Richmond 3 1-3 8, Kailey Page 0 1-2 1.
Score by quarters:Loveland 4 4 15 12 — 35
3-point field goals — Loveland(1): Eberhardt; Fairview(1): Richmond. Total fouls — Loveland 11, Fairview 15.