Boys basketball: Fairview leaves no doubt on league title claim with win

  • Brad Cochi/

    Fairview's Henry Blackburn fights off a Fossil Ridge defender to get a layup opportunity during the first half of their Front Range League game played Tuesday night at Fairview. The Knights took a decisive halftime lead and ended up winning 65-45 to clinch the FRL title.

  • Brad Cochi/

    Fairview's Nate Gann looks to make a play between a pair of Fossil Ridge defenders on Tuesday night at Fairview.



BOULDER — The Fairview boys basketball team won the Front Range League championship last season with a young roster, and in doing so set lofty expectations for itself heading into the 2018-19 campaign.

This winter, the expectation was that the Knights should defend their conference title and the Fairview boys didn’t shy away from that standard.

On Tuesday night, the Knights (18-4, 11-0) won 65-45 at home over the Fossil Ridge Sabercats (13-9, 7-4) to mathematically clinch their second straight league title. Having checked off a major season goal of theirs and with only a rivalry game with Boulder (11-11, 9-2) left in the regular season, winning their eighth straight game has positioned the Knights well to keep rolling along when the Class 5A postseason begins next week.

“It feels great,” Knights junior Jalen Page said. “This year, we’re way more experienced and more of a veteran team. We have a lot of guys who have been in this situation before and it’s great to win it another year. Based on the regular season, we’ve put ourselves in a great position for the playoffs. I’m really excited and I want the tournament to start tomorrow. We’re so excited to get it going and we can’t wait to play in the playoffs again.”

Currently ranked eighth in 5A by the latest poll, Fairview has not lost a Front Range League game since the Knights fell to Poudre, 63-62 in overtime, on Jan. 5, 2018. The Knights entered Tuesday’s game sitting sixth in the 5A RPI standings and beating Fossil Ridge guaranteed them a bye through next Wednesday’s opening round of the state tournament, something they didn’t have last February.

Tuesday’s game was tight early but the Knights pulled ahead in the second quarter to lead 31-16 at halftime. Knights senior Mark Dolan (17.7 ppg) hit a trio of 3-pointers and scored a game-high 19 points, which pushed his career total to 937 and landed him within striking distance of the 1,000-point plateau.

With Dolan catching fire and scoring 17 of his 19 points in the second half, the Knights led by as many as 25 after halftime and held on to win easily in the fourth quarter.

“This was a great win,” Page said. “They’re a really tough team and we’re glad we were able to fight through it and get the win.”

Page (14.1 ppg) scored all 10 of his points in the first half and blocked three shots. Senior Connor Monette also hit three 3-pointers and scored a career-high 13 points.

The Knights will take on rival Boulder at the CU Events Center on Thursday. Fairview has won the last two games in the rivalry series and leads 11-9 since 2006.

Brad Cochi: or


Fairview 65, Fossil Ridge 45

At Fairview H.S.

FOSSIL RIDGE (13-9, 7-4)

Yoder 3 0-1 7, Croft 0 2-4 2, O. Cornmesser 2 0-1 5, D. Cornmesser 4 0-1 9, Ellis 2 0-0 6, Kawcak 1 1-2 3, Smith 2 0-4 4, Cover 2 0-0 5, Crane 0 0-0 0, Collins 0 0-0 0, Dishman 2 0-0 4, Mishak 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 3-13 45.

FAIRVIEW (18-4, 11-0)

Blackburn 3 0-0 7, Monette 5 0-0 13, Atkinson 0 0-0 0, Page 4 0-0 10, O’Neill 1 2-2 4, Gordon 0 3-4 3, Dolan 8 0-0 19, Carter 2 2-4 7, Williams 0 0-0 0, Gann 1 0-0 2. Totals 24 7-10 65.

Score by quarters:

Fossil Ridge            9 7 10 19  — 45

Fairview                 14 17 17 17  — 65

3-point field goals — Fossil Ridge (6): Ellis 2, Yoder, O. Cornmesser, Cover; Fairview (9): Dolan 3, Monette 3, Page 2, Blackburn. Total fouls — Fossil Ridge 13, Fairview 15.