LOUISVILLE — Being labeled the finest unranked team in the state isn’t necessarily the designation the Fairview boys basketball team is seeking. But if the Knights keep playing this way, they won’t have to worry about it for long.

The Knights clobbered Monarch 73-42 Tuesday night in a Class 5A Front Range League game, parlaying a dominant first quarter to a wire-to-wire victory on the Coyotes’ home floor.

“We just came out hard,” Knights senior Shane O’Neill said. “We talked about it before the game that we wanted to do that, and we put them away pretty early.”

Fairview (9-1, 3-0) essentially is ranked No. 11, as they are the first team in the “receiving votes” section. The Knights, though, haven’t lost since the opener against ThunderRidge, now ranked No. 3, and are making a strong case to be included.

“I think it puts a chip on our shoulder to know that people don’t give us the respect to put us in the Top 10,” O’Neill said. “But at the end of the day, we want to be there at the end of March, not right now. We’re just going to keep working.”

All 13 Fairview players contributed to the scoring tally in coach Frank Lee’s balanced attack. Senior Holden Killeen scored 11 of his 13 in the first quarter, when the Knights darted to a quick 12-point advantage.

“We’re a really balanced team and we pride ourselves on playing a defense-first game,” Killeen said. “That gets everything going for us.”

By contrast, Monarch never got going.

The Coyotes (4-6, 1-2) got 14 points from Nathan Brooks and 12 from junior Alex Krason, but never dug out of their early hole.

The Coyotes believed they had made strides since the pre-break portion of the schedule, but this one wasn’t much unlike their 50-26 loss to Fairview in December.

“I think against a team like Fairview, that’s really athletic and really spreads the court, we just have to do a better job of finding our guys on defense,” Brooks said. “I think what happened a lot is, we lost some of the shooters, and they were able to heat up a little bit.”

Fairview seemed to have a key scorer in all four quarters, and it was a different player each time.

After Killeen dominated the first, O’Neill scored six in the second in rapid-fire fashion (an inside basket followed by two breakaways). Brent Wrapp scored the Knights’ first seven of the third quarter and reserve Gabe Tierney had six in the fourth as Fairview put the finishing touches on the lopsided win.

Of note, Knights forward Jacob Lorentzen played for the first time since having his appendix removed Dec. 23. He contributed four points.

It was all smiles for the Knights, who just might ascend into the rankings when they are released Thursday.

“We just worry about ourselves, but we definitely see it and it’s definitely something that motivates us,” Killeen said.

Fairview 73, Monarch 42

At Monarch HS

FAIRVIEW (9-1, 3-0)

Wrapp 4 1-5 9, Killeen 5 2-2 13, Lorentzen 2 0-0 4, O’Neill 4 0-0 8, Crespi 2 2-2 6, McQueeney 1 2-2 4, Pykkonen 1 0-0 3, Arehart 1 0-0 2, Tierney 3 2-2 8, Busatta 2 0-0 4, Pronk 4 1-1 9, Farone-Collins 0 1-2 1, Thompson 1 0-0 2. Totals 30 11-16 73.

MONARCH (4-6, 1-2)

Moon 0 0-0 0, Brooks 5 4-8 14, Billingsley 2 0-0 4, Krason 4 1-3 12, Beauchamp 0 3-6 3, Yen 0 0-0 0, Sorenson 2 0-1 4, Niessink 1 0-0 3, Rawley 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 8-18 42.

Score by quarters:

Fairview 19 19 15 20 — 73

Home 7 12 8 15 — 42


3-point field goals — Fairview (2): Killeen, Pykkonen; Monarch (4): Krason 3, Niessink. Total fouls — Fairview 22, Monarch 14. Fouled out — None. Technical fouls — None.