BOULDER — So much for a showdown between two of the top scorers in the area.
Katie Kuosman made sure the highlight of Saturday night came on the defensive end in the cross-town girls basketball duel between Boulder and Fairview.
The FHS senior guard hounded rival Boulder’s Lena Jaycox all game, holding Class 5A’s leading scorer to eight points, 14 below her average.
The tough Fairview D added up to a tough night all around for BHS and a 42-31 victory for the Knights at the Coors Events Center.
“Jaycox is a tough matchup for anybody, but I think we did as good of a job as we could have,” said FHS coach Andre Goldberg, whose team held Monarch to 39 points one night earlier. “(Kuosman) is one of the toughest defenders I’ve ever been around. She’ll run through a wall and do what it takes to get stops defensively.”
Fairview’s own leading scorer, junior Sarah Kaufman, was held to 10 points, five below her average. But the Knights enjoyed a balanced effort offensively, getting 12 points from sophomore Annika Lai and eight from Georgina Ryder.
And the pace of the game was squarely in Fairview’s favor. Boulder entered averaging 61.4 points per game, while Fairview was averaging only 46.5 but also allowing only 42.5. The Panthers’ 31 points marked their lowest output of the season as they shot just 11 for 54 from the field.
Jaycox’s only real open look of the game came on a 3-pointer that gave Boulder an early 5-2 lead. But she didn’t score again in the first half.
“I think it really is a team effort,” Kuosman said of being able to stick to Jaycox so tight. “I know my teammates have my back when she drives.”
Fairview (7-5, 3-2 Front Range League) led 31-26 entering the fourth quarter after an 8-2 spurt by Boulder (7-5, 2-3) to end the third. But the Knights held Boulder scoreless for the first 4:30 of the fourth. A 3 by Kuosman and a take to the bucket by Kaufman gave Fairview a 36-26 edge and all but sealed the victory.
Jaycox’s eight points led Boulder, while Mariah Alexander and Vivi Gregorich came off the bench to score seven and six, respectively.
“They just wouldn’t leave me,” Jaycox said. “(Kuosman) was always in my jersey, not letting me go. It was hard to get open.”
Down six at halftime, Boulder cut the deficit to 20-18 early in the third. But the Panthers never got that close again as Fairview answered with a 9-0 run.
“This was so far from being our game,” BHS coach Ron Burgin said of the low-scoring affair. “Probably a lot had to do with Fairview playing good defense the whole way.”
The win carried plenty of weight beyond the rivalry.
At 3-2 in conference play, Fairview pulled into a six-way tie for third place in the log-jammed Front Range League, while Boulder sits in ninth, albeit with 11 games to play.
The back-to-back wins over Monarch and Boulder have the Knights riding high heading into a key matchup with Fossil Ridge on Tuesday.
“It was a really good atmosphere, and we came out strong with a lot of energy and carried over from last night,” Lai said.
Boulder, meanwhile, finds itself in a mini funk after a 2-1 start to the league play. The Panthers were held to 53 points in a loss to No. 9 Horizon on Friday night.
“We don’t look anything like we did early in the season or even early January,” Burgin said. “We’ve got to figure out what the problem is and fix it.”
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FAIRVIEW 42, BOULDER 31
At Coors Events Center
BOULDER (7-5, 2-3)
Gregorich 2 2-2 6, Burns 1 0-0 2, Aschbacher 0 1-2 1, Gates 0 0-0 0, Van Bussum 2 0-0 4, Dawson 0 0-0 0, Alexander 3 1-1 7, Jaycox 2 3-4 8, Szarmach 1 1-2 3. Totals 11 8-11 31.
FAIRVIEW (7-5, 3-2)
Kuosman 1 3-4 6, Lai 5 2-3 12, Breakell 0 0-2 0, Wolf 0 0-0 0, McCambridge 2 0-0 4, McKee 0 0-2 0, Davenport 1 0-0 2, Ryder 3 2-4 8, Kaufman 3 3-4 10. Totals 15 10-19 42.
Score by quarters:
Boulder 7 7 12 5 — 31
Fairview 13 7 11 11 — 42
3-point field goals — Boulder (1): Jaycox; Fairview (2): Kuosman, Kaufman. Total fouls — Boulder 14, Fairview 10. Fouled out — None. Technicals — None.