BOULDER — The rally from the hosts made the victory all the more sweet for Sam Fredricksmeyer and the Monarch boys basketball team.
The senior guard was well aware of the history Monarch has had against Fairview on the FHS court at the Dungeon, and to buck that trend with a 50-47 championship-clinching win at the Fairview Festival was something he could hardly put into words.
“I think this was the first time we have ever beat Fairview at Fairview in Monarch’s 16-something years, so that’s just cool to be a part of,” Fredricksmeyer said. “It’s something we wanted to do at the beginning of the season. We were due to hit some shots.
“We already have the next one circled on our calendars.”
The Coyotes and Knights battled to the bitter end late Friday, and the finish was a hair more bitter for Fairview, as Johnny Feauto’s 3-point attempt in the waning seconds — more of a heave — fell short after MHS’ Shawn Kirkman had nailed two free throws with 9 seconds left in the contest.
The fourth quarter in its entirety was a classic duel, one that saw Fairview rally from 10 points down to tie the game at 45-45 late. The crowds from both schools had their say in the decibel level at crucial points in the game, all-in-all creating a fantastic finish to a stacked tournament.
“What a fun environment for kids to play in,” said Monarch coach Ken Niven, whose team improved to 6-1 overall. “I thought both teams just played so incredibly well, because both teams were so patient. There weren’t a lot of possessions.
“We were scrapping to score, just like they were.”
It was Feauto and Chris Arehart who led Fairview (3-3) back from being down 36-26 after three quarters of play. Arehart scored 10 of his game-high 21 points in the frame, and Feauto hit a couple of acrobatic jumpers as part of a six-point stretch.
All throughout the contest, though, Monarch drew blood from the arc and shifted momentum in its direction with a 3-pointer. The Coyotes hit nine of them for the game, and Mac Rowan’s 3-pointer with 2:51 left gave Monarch a 48-45 lead that ended up being the difference.
Feauto hit a had-to-see-it shot with a foul at the 2:45 mark to make it 48-47, but a free throw miss began a stretch where Fairview had some looks but could not get a shot to fall.
“Sometimes you have to give the other team credit, and (Monarch) executed a lot of plays tonight,” Fairview coach Frank Lee said. “We kept fighting throughout. We failed to execute a play at the end of the first half and it turned a one-point game into a four-point game.
“We didn’t get the win, but we’re hoping to build off this and get better. It was a one- or two-possession game.”
Lee said they had a designed play for the final 9 seconds but someone ran out of position, forcing Feauto into a quick-look 3-point attempt without getting a chance to set himself up.
It was quite the opposite for Monarch, who had early energy from two Kylor Johnson 3-pointers and another three 3s between the second and third quarters from Steve Hoban.
“We just stayed with it, and we were patient with our offense to get good shots,” Hoban said. “We were in a rhythm out there.”
Fredricksmeyer was tough to defend, too, finishing with 13 points including three drives to the hoop that resulted in traditional 3-point opportunities in the second half (he converted two of the free throws).
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Monarch 50, Fairview 47
At Fairview HS
Shawn Kirkman 2 2-2 6, Sam Fredricksmeyer 5 3-4 13, Eric Lawson 1 0-0 3, Mac Rowan 2 0-0 9, Steve Hoban 3 0-1 9, Kylor Johnson 2 0-0 6, Ryan Webb 3 0-1 7. Totals 18 5-8 50.
Kamran Shahbaz 3 3-4 11, Johnny Feauto 4 0-2 8, Kailish Graham-Bell 1 0-0 2, Chris Arehart 7 2-2 21, Evan Grainger 2 1-2 5. Totals 17 6-10 47.
Score by quarters:
Monarch 14 7 15 14 — 50
Fairview 8 9 9 21 — 47
3-point field goals — Monarch (9): Rowan 3, Johnson 3, Hoban 2, Webb; Fairview (7): Arehart 5, Shahbaz 2. Total fouls — Monarch 15, Fairview 13. Fouled out — Fredricksmeyer.