BOULDER — Like the gathering winter storm outside, the conditions were perfect inside Fairview’s vaunted Dungeon for a potential letdown on Thursday.
Just two days earlier, the Knights posted a resounding 23-point win against Fossil Ridge, a victory that gave the Knights sole possession of first place in the Front Range League. Add to the mix that Fairview was hosting a youthful Legacy squad that entered Thursday’s league contest saddled by a seven-game losing streak, and looking past the visiting Lightning could have been an easy trap.
But the Knights clearly recalled the tough battle the Lightning gave them in a win at Legacy one month ago, and so Fairview unleashed the sort of intensity and focus expected out of the No. 7-ranked team in Class 5A.
Fairview pounced on Legacy early, using a dominant run in the first quarter to establish a quick cushion and riding a balanced offensive attack for a 66-46 victory. Fairview (18-1, 12-0 Front Range League) has won 18 consecutive games since a season-opening loss against ThunderRidge.
“We thought we’ve grown a little bit from the last game (against Legacy),” Fairview coach Frank Lee said. “We studied what they like to do, and I thought we handled that fairly well defensively. There were a couple breakdowns, but we held them to 13 in the first half.
“It was interesting. After Tuesday night our kids were pretty excited, but they were real sore on Wednesday. They battled through it at practice pretty well and came back. They’re a real fun group and they’re excited to compete.”
Legacy (3-14, 3-9) came within a late 3-point shot of tying Fairview during the earlier meeting, which the Knights ultimately won 58-53. Thursday, however, was a completely different story.
Fairview used a 10-0 run in the first quarter to take control and was never threatened after adding the first nine points of the second quarter. The Knights led 37-13 at halftime and extended their lead to 32 points early in the fourth quarter.
The Knights were hot early, going 17-for-24 from the field during the first half.
“Last time, they came out and played us pretty good,” Fairview senior Shane O’Neill said. “But I think also with the fact that there’s a league championship on the line right now, we just have to win out and it’s ours. I think we know that and we have to come out every night to get it done.”
O’Neill led a dynamic Fairview attack with 17 points, although 11 different players scored points for the Knights. Seniors Holden Killeen and Jacob Lorentzen — the latter of whom missed the previous game against Legacy after undergoing an emergency appendectomy two days before Christmas — added nine points apiece for Fairview.
Sophomore Alec McLain finished with a team-leading 11 points for the Lightning.
“We worked pretty hard for that win (on Tuesday) and you don’t want to give it up on something like this,” said Killeen, who made all four of his shots. “I think we share the ball really well and play as a team. Defense spurs our offense, and we have a good point guard who throws the ball around to all of us, so that’s good.”
Pat Rooney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fairview 66, Legacy 46
At Fairview HS
LEGACY (3-14, 3-9)
Riddick 2 0-0 4, Zhang 0 0-0 0, Medina 2 0-2 4, McLain 5 0-0 11, McCall 2 1-3 7, Mengist 1 0-0 3, Chiddix 0 0-0 0, Royer 1 0-0 2, Salazar 2 0-0 4, Baum 2 2-2 6, Hebel 1 3-4 5. Totals 18 6-11 46.
FAIRVIEW (18-1, 12-0)
Wrapp 3 0-0 6, Killeen 4 0-0 9, Lorentzen 4 0-0 9, O’Neill 7 2-2 17, Crespi 1 0-2 2, Pronk 2 0-0 4, Pykkonen 2 0-0 4, Farone-Collins 1 0-0 2, Arehart 3 1-2 8, Thompson 0 0-0 0, Busatta 1 1-2 3, Tierney 1 0-0 2. Totals 29 4-8 66.
Score by quarters:
Legacy 6 7 15 18 — 46
Fairview 18 19 17 12 — 66
3-point field goals — Legacy (4): McCall 2, McLain, Mengist; Fairview (4): Lorentzen, O’Neill, Arehart, Killeen. Total fouls — Legacy 10, Fairview 11. Fouled out — None. Technical fouls — Pronk.