BOULDER — After watching rival Boulder race out to a 28-18 halftime lead behind 16 points from guard Lena Jaycox on Friday night, the Fairview girls basketball team went into the locker room knowing it could play better.
Did the Knights believe they could blank the Panthers for the next 11-plus minutes of play?
“I don’t think I’ve ever experienced that before,” Fairview junior guard Sarah Kaufman said. “I’m just really happy for our team to be able to pull together the second half.”
Needing a win over a quality opponent after some recent struggles, the Knights dominated the Panthers in the second half on their way to a 48-39 triumph at the Coors Events Center.
Up 10 at half, Boulder (12-9, 7-7 Front Range League) didn’t score again until Jacque Szarmach drained a 3-pointer with 4:40 to play in the fourth quarter. That shot gave the Panthers a 31-29 lead, but the tone had clearly been set.
Katie Kuosman answered with a pair of layups, and Kate Davenport gave the Knights the lead for good, 35-34, with a 4-footer that sparked a 9-0 run with 2:04 to go.
“It wasn’t a whole lot of x’s and o’s adjustments,” Fairview coach Andre Goldberg said of his halftime strategy. “It was a whole lot of heart, getting the loose balls.”
And shutting down Jaycox.
The Knights held the state’s second-leading scorer to just eight points in a 42-31 win over the Panthers last month. But Jaycox came out firing Friday, draining three of her four 3-pointers in the second quarter.
After her last of the frame with 2:21 to go before halftime, though, she didn’t score again until a five-point burst in the final minute that got Boulder to within 42-39 before the Knights shut the door with free throws.
Kaufman, who led FHS with 15 points, said the Knights worked hard to help on Jaycox on Boulder’s high on-ball screens in the second half to prevent her from getting open looks.
But Boulder coach Ron Burgin also saw his team lose confidence too easily in the second half. Boulder made just three field goals after halftime, and turned the ball over 11 times against the Knights’ pressure.
“We came out and missed the first two shots of the half and decided we couldn’t shoot anymore,” Burgin said. “These kids have to learn to continue to believe in themselves when things start to go bad.”
Indeed, despite going scoreless in the third quarter, Boulder still led 28-25 entering the fourth after holding the Knights to seven points. But FHS erupted for 23 in the fourth.
Sophomore Annika Lai scored 12 points, including six in the fourth quarter for Fairview, while Kuosman scored all eight of her points in the final frame.
Jaycox’s 21 points led Boulder. But no other Panther scored more than Sarah Burns’ seven. Courtney Van Bussum hauled in 15 rebounds for BHS.
With the two teams entering the evening knotted with Monarch for sixth-place in the 12-team Front Range League, the Knights were happy to pull ahead of BHS.
Fairview finishes with road games at Legacy and Monarch next week, while Boulder plays at Mountain Range and hosts Horizon.
“This is a huge game for us, Kaufman said. “Not only is Boulder our rival. It’s just a good win.”
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Fairview 48, Boulder 39
At Coors Events Center
FAIRVIEW (12-9, 8-6)
Kuosman 2 4-6 8, Lai 3 6-7 12, Breakell 0 0-0 0, McKee 0 0-2 0, Davenport 2 3-6 7, Ryder 3 0-1 6, Kaufman 5 3-4 15. Totals 15 16-26 48.
BOULDER (12-9, 7-7)
Gregorich 1 0-0 3, Burns 3 0-0 7, Aschbacher 0 0-0 0, Gates 0 0-0 0, Van Bussum 0 0-1 0, Dawson 0 0-0 0, Alexander 1 0-0 2, Jaycox 7 3-3 21, Reeves 0 0-0 0, Szarmach 2 1-2 6. Totals 14 4-6 39.
Score by quarters:
Fairview 10 8 7 23 — 48
Boulder 15 13 0 11 — 39
3-point field goals — Fairview (2): Kaufman; Boulder (7): Jaycox 4, Gregorich, Burns, Szarmach. Total fouls — Fairview 12, Boulder 23. Fouled out — Szarmach. Technicals — None.