BROOMFIELD — The Fairview boys basketball team came out of Legacy with a win Tuesday night, but one that came at the cost of the team’s nerves.
The Knights won 58-53, getting everything from their beleaguered Front Range League foe and more. But the scrappy conference opener for both teams was not completely unexpected, at least not for Frank Lee. The Fairview coach and his team have run afoul of what appeared to be an easy win against Legacy in the past, only to get punched in the mouth.
“Last year, it was nearly the same scenario, we were 7-0 and they hadn’t won a game,” Lee said. “They knocked the crud out of us in that game and beat us by 15 points.”
Fairview (7-1, 1-0) got big showings out of two of its seniors to knock off Legacy (0-5, 0-1) for its seventh straight win of the season.
Holden Killeen heated up early, collecting 10 of his 14 points in the opening half. And Shane O’Neill found his shot late in the game, with the guard finishing with a game-high 19 points — 14 coming in the final 16 minutes of play.
O’Neill really found his groove in the fourth, keeping Legacy at bay by hitting 3 of 4 attempts from the field. But his final eight points were not enough in and of itself to bury the Lightning.
Legacy missteps finally did the Lightning in with the team turning the ball over twice — once on a technical foul — with around 20 seconds to play in a two-possession game.
Fairview built a four-point margin off a layup by Killeen, after Legacy was called for traveling. Then the Knights took control of the game with 17 seconds left after O’Neill cashed in on Legacy’s technical foul. The senior hit a pair of free throws, on the heels of the Lightning putting six players on the court.
“We just didn’t have any communication on the floor on who was subbing in and out,” said guard Marcus Riddick, who led all Legacy shooters with 15 points. “That pretty much just gave the game away.”
The finish was a punch in the gut for the Lightning, considering the early tailspin of which the team pulled itself out of. Going on a nearly 3-minute scoring drought in the first, the Lightning went down by as many as 14 points in the period.
“From that point, we battled and took every possession seriously,” Legacy coach Gunnar Johnson said. “It got us back in the game, we just didn’t have enough to finish it off.”
Fairview was hobbled offensively entering the game with its leading scorer out until around Jan. 7. Jake Lorentzen was sidelined soon after he helped the Knights win the KSA Holiday Tournament in Orlando, Fla., undergoing emergency surgery for appendicitis. He is expected to return to action next week.
Fairview 58, Legacy 53
At Legacy HS
FAIRVIEW (7-1, 1-0)
Wrapp 3 0-0 6, Killeen 6 1-2 14, Pykkonen 1 0-0 2, Arehart 2 1-3 5, O’Neill 7 3-4 18, Crespi 3 0-0 7, Pronk 1 0-0 2, Farone-Collins 1 1-3 3. Totals 24 6-12 58.
LEGACY (0-5, 0-1)
Riddick 6 2-3 15, Zhung 1 3-4 5, Mengist 1 4-4 6, McLain 5 2-2 13, McCall 0 1-2 1, Chiddix 3 2-2 9, Royer 2 0-2 4. Total 18 14-19.
Score by quarters:
Fairview 19 10 12 17 — 58
Legacy 12 9 12 20 — 53
3-point field goals — Fairview (4): Killeen, O’Neill 2, Crespi; Legacy (3): Riddick, McLain, Chiddix. Total fouls — Fairview 19, Legacy 16. Fouled out — none.