Chris Arehart left plenty of memories out on the Fairview High basketball court on Tuesday night — many of them over the past few years highlights of which he himself was the main subject.
Playing in his final home game against Fossil Ridge, the Class 5A state runners-up from a year ago, was certainly a challenge the FHS senior was ready to accept to close out that part of his career. But the depth of the SaberCats is still something few in the Front Range League have been able to handle, and the Knights couldn’t match up inside in a 62-45 win for the visitors.
Six-foot-seven senior post Ryan Quaid’s string of 14 points for his team between the latter part of the third quarter and into the fourth was something to behold, but the SaberCats moved well all night long otherwise, and a 19-point fourth quarter helped Fossil Ridge improve to 10-1 in league play.
Arehart will likely always remember his last home game being a loss to a tough team, but he shot 7 of 10 from the floor to finish with 16 points, making plenty of shots he has patented over the years.
“I’ve been watching Fairview basketball since second grade, and it was a lot of fun to play through the program,” Arehart said. “This season, I mean, we’ve put together a lot of good games but we’ve struggled to put together a complete game. It’s been two minutes that get away from us and we can’t recover. I think we competed really hard tonight.”
Fossil’s consistency helped it overcome a hot start from the host Knights, who dropped to 9-13 on the season and 4-7 in the FRL. The SaberCats shot better than 50 percent in each of the second, third and fourth quarters and finished the game off by hitting 8 of 11 shots in the fourth frame.
Quaid did much of the damage on his way to 26 points. The West Texas A&M-bound player was given the opportunity to excel with some mostly solid dump-in passes — though Kailash Graham-Bell did a good job of fighting in front for a couple turnovers — and Quaid finished all but his first and last field goal attempt in the second half.
He started his long scoring string with an emphatic dunk at the 4 minute, 20 second mark of the third to make it 35-27, and made his next five shots thereafter. He showed range with a 3-pointer at the 2:29 mark of the third, but most of the time just used pure power to get the job done.
“He’s such a strong, dynamic player,” said coach Frank Lee, whose team will finish the regular season Thursday at Rocky Mountain. “Some teams that have had success against him have made him work to get his points, but those other guys are so good off the ball, whenever we did help on him they found the open man. There are a couple poisons out there. I thought (Graham-Bell) did a pretty good job on him, but he’s a physical player.”
Fairview remained in the game through Quaid’s in-the-zone sequence, with Arehart hitting a 3-pointer 1:24 into the fourth quarter to keep it a nine-point game. But Fossil Ridge’s extra-pass approach led to good things, as Andrew Semadeni (13 total points) got open underneath a couple of times and Zacc Drovdal scored five of his eight in the final stanza as well.
“Their consistent play just broke us down as the game went on and as the lead extended,” said Arehart. “They’re very effective with making the extra pass and hitting that open guy out on the perimeter.”
Fairview was also outrebounded 25-16. Trevor Simmons was the high man for FHS with five boards, while Quaid had seven and Semadeni six.
“I think we played well enough at times to where we can end well on Thursday, and that’s what we’ll try to do,” Lee said. “Rebounding is a team effort, and our effort wasn’t where it needs to be if we’re going to compete. They attacked the glass really well.”
Kamran Shahbaz was the other player in double figures for the game, finishing with 12.
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Fossil Ridge 62, Fairview 45
At Fairview HS
FOSSIL RIDGE (16-6, 10-1)
Cole Schilling 0 2-2 2, Collin Schultz 1 0-0 2, Braxton Bartolette 2 0-0 4, Brady Menefee 2 0-0 4, Zacc Drovdal 3 0-0 8, Andrew Semadeni 6 0-0 13, Jackson Everhart 1 0-0 3, Josh Grove 0 0-0 0, Dakota Coombes 0 0-0 0, Jacob Orphan 0 0-0 0, Colby Ripsam 0 0-0 0, Garrett Schmidt 0 0-0 0, Ryan Quaid 12 1-1 26. Totals 27 3-3 62.
FAIRVIEW (9-13, 4-7)
Kamran Shahbaz 4 2-2 12, Mitco Patrov 1 2-2 4, Connor Brennan 0 0-0 0, Kailash Graham-Bell 2 0-1 4, Chris Arehart 7 0-0 16, Chris Weatherly 1 0-0 3, Evan Grainger 0 0-0 0, Trevor Simmons 2 0-1 4, Cole Heisner 1 0-0 2, Sam Grad 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 4-6 45.
Score by quarters:
Fossil Ridge 11 18 14 19 — 62
Fairview 14 9 10 12 — 45
3-point field goals — Fossil Ridge (5): Drovdal 2, Semadeni, Everhart, Quaid; Fairview (5): Shahbaz 2, Arehart 2, Weatherly. Total fouls — Fossil Ridge 13, Fairview 10.