Combining the big stage of the Coors Events Center with a battle against their biggest rivals helped the Boulder girls basketball put together the sort of hot-shooting start that has been glaringly absent during a lengthy losing streak.
Sustaining that energy, however, proved impossible against Fairview.
Shaking off their rivals’ early inclinations at putting together an upset bid, the Knights outscored Boulder 32-5 over the second and third quarters to cruise to a 53-25 Front Range League victory.
The win was the third in four games for Fairview (9-7, 3-2) on the heels of a five-game losing streak the Knights snapped early last week against Loveland. It was the 10th consecutive loss for Boulder, which remains winless in league play (2-15, 0-6).
“We knew Boulder would bring their A-game. They always do,” Fairview coach Rod Beauchamp said. “They always give us fits. I think in the second quarter we were able to get them a little bit with the full-court press. That created some turnovers and we were able to hold them scoreless for the quarter. That was the big momentum swing right there.”
A layup from Boulder’s Bijou MacDonald at the first quarter buzzer put the game into a 10-10 tie going into the second, but the Knights quickly put things out of reach. Five different Fairview players scored during the second frame, with six points from senior Annika Lai leading the way.
Fairview outscored Boulder 16-0 in the second quarter and, after Panthers senior Anna Boylan opened the second half with a pair of free throws, the Knights reeled off an 11-0 run to quell any thoughts of a Boulder comeback.
“It’s always a really exciting game and it’s always fun to play in this venue,” Lai said. “It was a great way to end the last time I’ll get to play on this court. They came out with a lot of intensity, just like we expected. Going into the second quarter, we realized we had to step up our defense. Once we started doing that we were able to take control.”
Lai finished with a game-high 19 points, while five other Knights players contributed at least five points. Fairview did encounter one potential setback when freshman guard Ashley Panem, the Knights’ second-leading scorer, suffered a dislocated left elbow after falling awkwardly with 3 minutes, 8 seconds remaining in the first half. Beauchamp said Panem would be re-evaluated in the coming days.
Boulder received a team-leading eight points from Boylan, who kept the Panthers in the game early with three quick baskets. Scoring remains an issue for the Panthers, who have averaged just 22.2 points a game during their 10-game losing streak.
“There is no time when my team doesn’t work hard,” Boulder coach Sara Klippert said. “Their effort and their hustle and their energy is there. Unfortunately in the second quarter our shots stopped falling, so therefore we lost a little faith and energy. We’re getting close. We can see a bright future.”
Follow Pat on Twitter: twitter.com/prooney07
Fairview 53, Boulder 25
At Coors Events Center
FAIRVIEW (9-7, 3-2)
Denali Pinto 3 1-2 8, Grace O’Neill 3 0-0 7, Ashley Panem 0 0-0 0, Logan Tidstrom 1 0-0 2, Annika Lai 6 7-8 19, Sruthi Raguveer 1 0-0 2, Tati Sobolik 2 1-2 5, Hailee Baughn 2 0-0 5, Laura Hutchinson 2 0-0 5. Totals 20 9-12 53.
BOULDER (2-15, 0-6)
Anna Boylan 3 2-2 8, Carlota Lopez 0 0-0 0, Izzie Burridge 1 1-2 3, Grace Garza 3 1-1 7, Marlee Burridge 2 0-0 5, Maya Burgin 0 0-0 0, Bijou MacDonald 1 0-1 2, Claire Boyle 0 0-0 0, Sydney Arthur 0 0-0 0, Kiara Goodman 0 0-1 0. Totals 10 4-7 25.
Score by quarters:
Fairview 10 16 16 11 — 53
Boulder 10 0 5 10 — 25
3-point field goals — Fairview (4): Baughn, Hutchinson, O’Neill, Pinto; Boulder (1): M. Burridge. Total fouls — Fairview 14; Boulder 13.