Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
BOULDER — Mark Dolan did not hesitate to state some of the big goals he and his teammates have for the Fairview Knights boys basketball team this season.
“We’re going to try to get to the state championship,” Dolan said. “I think we all feel we can do that. We just have to keep believing.”
The next step towards those lofty goals is taking care of business in the Front Range League again this season. Fairview had little trouble remaining unbeaten in conference play Friday night with an 82-39 win over the Mountain Range Mustangs.
A veteran roster and deep bench has given the Knights the tools needed to play a fast style of basketball, pushing the pace on offense and scrambling with traps and getting in the passing lanes on defense to force turnovers. Both sides of the ball flourished Friday, following a 7-2 run to start for the Mustangs.
“When we get up and pressure the ball like we did (tonight), we’re pretty good,” Fairview coach Patrick Burke said. “The guys control that. It’s all on them. The energy on the bench tonight was amazing.”
Jalen Page got the Knights back on track with his work in the paint early, going 4-of-4 inside to help the team take the first lead of the game. Other players started to contribute and the floor began to open up on the offensive end with shot after shot falling. Fairview finished the quarter on a 21-0 run to take an early 23-7 lead into the second.
The quality ball movement was a theme all night long as Fairview used long outlet passes to beat the defense for layups at the rim. When the offense was playing in the half court, the Knights swung the ball well, freeing up open shots and driving lanes to attack.
“We always talk about not having the ball stick,” Dolan said. “When we have a bunch of passes, it helps us get great shots.”
Burke also sees a lineup that can see all five players on the court compete on the block or from the perimeter on offense, giving his team matchups to work with as well.
“We can do some different things with some different guys,” Burke said. “We have guys that can play all five spots on the floor. It gives us a lot of options. When they share (the ball) like they did tonight, a lot of guys are going to do well for us.”
The Knights had 11 players score and four reach double figures, led by Dolan with 18. Page had 14 in the first half alone, Greysen Carter finished with 12 and Nate Gann was the top scorer off the bench with 10.
Playing fast also attributed to turnovers on the defensive end. Traps just past the halfcourt made for tough passes for the Mustangs to make, and the other players’ ability to read the passes and step in the lane for steals was prevalent in the win.
“We’ve been working on getting up and trying to keep players in front of us,” Dolan said. “When we trap, we usually get some steals. It was good for us.”
On the court, it’s pedal to the medal for the Knights to win. But for Burke, he is taking a step back, looking at a more methodical approach for his team to reach their full potential and be in a position to make a run in March.
“We’re taking it one game at a time and focusing on what’s in front of us, but they know what they’re capable of,” Burke said.
The Knights jump out of conference on Saturday when they travel to face the Pueblo East (7-5) at 4 p.m. Conference play resumes next week with a road game against Horizon on Tuesday before hosting the Monarch Friday night.
Fairview 82, Mountain Range 39
At Fairview High School
MOUNTAIN RANGE (4-9, 1-2)
Connor Jones 5 0-0 13, Logan Dexter 3 4-5 11, Jaliek Baker 2 1-3 5Jacob Dexter 2 0-0 4, JT Millar 1 0-0 2, Clay Crosley 1 0-2 2, Isaiah Jones 0 2-4 2.
FAIRVIEW (10-3, 3-0)
Mark Dolan 7 2-2 18, Jalen Page 6 1-1 14, Greysen Carter 6 0-0 12, Nate Gann 5 0-0 10, Mark O’Neill 2 2-2 7, TJ Williams 3 0-0 7, Vincent Gordon 2 0-0 4, Connor Monette 1 0-0 3, Ashton Nichols 1 1-1 3, Roane Edwards 1 0-0 2, Brody Pinto 1 0-0 2.
Score by quarters:
Mountain Range (4-9, 1-2) 7 8 14 10 — 39
3-point field goals — Mountain Range(4): Jones 3, Dexter; Fairview(6): Dolan 2, Williams, O’Neill, Page, Monette. Total fouls — Mountain Range 6, Fairview 13.