David R. Jennings
Fairview’s Erik Pronk is swarmed by the Horizon defense during the Knights’ stunning loss on Thursday night.

Just two nights ago, the Fairview boys basketball team was, as head coach Frank Lee put it, dead to rights against Mountain Range as Front Range League play opened up. Somehow, the Knights managed to rally from a 14-point deficit to post one of the team’s more impressive victories.

Hard to imagine that just two days later, the coin flipped on the Knights. At the Dungeon. And with a 14-point lead to begin the fourth quarter.

But in a game where emotions continued to build with wild calls, rabid fans in the stands, and a 2-0 FRL mark on the line — Horizon managed to gain composure as the pressure mounted on the host’s side, and the Hawks ran out of the Fairview gym with a 95-92 victory in overtime.

Mathew Ramos hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to tie the game at 79-79 after the Hawks were down 77-71 with less than 1 minute to play — part of a 37-point effort for the junior guard — and Horizon outscored Fairview 16-13 in the extra session to knock the Knights for a loop.

Hopefully, senior Miles MacKenzie said, it will be just a temporary blackout.

“We just have to forget about it. Pitcher gives up a grand slam, he still has to make the next pitch, and we’ve got a game next Tuesday and three games next week,” said MacKenzie, who had 16 points but was also one of four players to foul out of the game. “We can’t dwell on this, and we’ve got these guys for another try. I can’t wait to see them again.”

It’s not going to be easy to put to bed the fourth quarter, as Fairview (7-2, 1-1) marched to what appeared to be a comfortable 62-48 advantage behind Gabe Tierney’s hot hand. Even with 3:55 to go, Fairview held a 68-58 advantage. That’s when things went haywire.

MacKenzie was called for a technical for slapping the backboard on a block attempt, giving two points and two free throws to Horizon (6-2, 2-0). The Hawks cut it to 68-64 before yet another rim violation — this time on the Hawks’ Michael Skinner for hanging on the rim on a block attempt — gave MacKenzie a basket and two Matt Twist free throws. Up 72-64 with 2:48 left, the Knights could breathe easy again.

Yet, thanks to Ramos, it was far from over. The Hawks used their fouls to make Fairview win the game at the line, and collectively the Knights missed enough of their free throws to put the score at 77-73 with 13 seconds left. Ramos hit a 3-pointer with 8.2 seconds left to make it 77-76, Chris Arehart sank two free throws to make it 79-76, and Horizon called a timeout.

Fairview stacked the defense high knowing Ramos was going to get another look, but with four previous fouls called against them on 3-point attempts for Horizon, MacKenzie said the only thing they could do was get in front of the speedy guard.

That they did, but Ramos weaved his way to the top of the key and nailed the jumper, dropping jaws in unison all over the gym.

“They had gotten three or four 3-point shots where they missed but got the foul, so we just had to stay in front,” MacKenzie said. “He shot it right over our guy. Is just kind of felt like, ‘What can we do?'”

Ramos went on to post nine points in overtime, and Horizon never let Fairview get back in front.

“There’s not a good excuse for losing a lead like we did at the end and hopefully we’ll learn from it and get better,” said Lee, whose team was missing Sam Martin (football recruiting trip). “There are things we have to look at. They made some plays that resulted in victory and we made some plays that resulted in defeat. There was a lot of heightened emotion out there, and a lot of fouls called. Then you get into depth issues and stuff like that.

“When you have a lead like that, there’s just no excuse for not finishing it off.”

The contest saw 58 fouls, 85 free throws and three technicals. Tierney led the Knights with 25 points, while Eric Pronk added 16. Skinner had 19 points before fouling out for Horizon.

“It was very crazy, for sure,” said Horizon coach Chad Wilson. “We have a really talented team and we needed something like this to believe. We just kept fighting and fighting, and it was really exciting.”

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At Fairview HS

HORIZON (6-2, 2-0)

Skinner 7 3-5 19, Roberts 1 1-8 3, Ralphs 3 6-8 14, Moore 6 1-3 13, Ramos 10 13-15 37, Arellano 1 0-0 2, Schaeffer 2 2-2 6. Totals 30 27-41 95.

FAIRVIEW (7-2, 1-1)

Twist 2 4-5 8, Tierney 10 4-7 25, Swenson 0 1-2 1, McClellan 3 0-0 7, Arehart 1 4-4 7, Feauto 3 4-6 10, Pronk 5 6-12 16, MacKenzie 6 3-4 16, Hoskins 0 2-4 2. Totals 30 28-44 92.

Score by quarters:

Horizon 12 20 16 31 16 — 95

Fairview 25 15 22 17 13 — 92

3-point field goals — Horizon (8): Ramos 4, Skinner 2, Ralphs 2; Fairview (4): Tierney, McClellan, Arehart, MacKenzie. Total fouls — Horizon 29, Fairview 29. Fouled out — Skinner, Schaeffer, Twist, MacKenzie. Technical fouls — Skinner, Horizon bench, MacKenzie.