Boys basketball: Turner takes over late as Boulder upsets Fairview

  • Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Boulder's Adam Sessions goes up for a layup past Fairview's Mark Dolan during their rivalry basketball game Thursday night at the CU Events Center. The Panthers won their 11th game in the past 13 this season, beating the Knights 64-54. Visit for more photos.

  • Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Fairview's Greysen Carter goes up for a layup after a fast break during Thursday's game against Boulder at the CU Events Center.

  • Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Boulder's Pete Boyle, far right, celebrates the final few seconds of his team's win against Fairview on Thursday.



BOULDER — Boulder coach Riley Grabau briefly struggled to find the words to describe his emotions at the CU Events Center. Behind him, his players could still be heard reverberating in their locker room following its upset win over Fairview on Thursday night.

“This is going to give me tears but I’m proud of those dudes in there,” the first-year coach and Boulder’s former star player said. “It’s us against the world.”

1-9 to mighty fine.

Tyler Turner scored eight of his career-high 23 points in the final 3:51 as the Panthers pulled off a hefty upset in the Front Range League with a 64-54 win over their crosstown foe.

Turner, a junior, said he didn’t get caught up in the “MVP!” chants that reigned down upon him in the final minutes as he hit 5 of 6 free throws and took a crucial charge.

“He just got locked in,” sophomore Alex Rucker said.

Added a straight-faced Turner: “It’s just a normal game, just another game.”

Yeah, sure. Uh-huh.

Fairview (18-5, 11-1) came into the night ranked seventh in 5A RPI after clinching the league title earlier in the week. Boulder (12-11, 10-2) was 33rd.

On the big stage, the opposing student sections packed in across the court from each other as game play peered above on the university’s glitzy scoreboard.

Cutaway highlights added to the buzz as replays featured animated on-court and fan reactions. The big screen panned over a rocking student section from Boulder in the final minutes, setting up the last breath of drama.

Fairview called a timeout with just over five minutes remaining following a 9-0 spurt that put the Panthers ahead 50-41. The Knights came back with consecutive baskets from Jalen Page and Aidan Atkinson to pull within four before Turner’s 3 made it 53-46 with 3:51 to go.

Turner then kept his team in front from the line and Rucker put an exclamation point on the win with two open layups in the final 25 seconds. The Panthers now head into the postseason winners of 11 of their last 13.

“Doesn’t matter who we play,” Turner said. “Just give us a team and we’ll play them.”

The eventual Boulder celebration started with a somewhat choppy, cold-shooting opening half, as both teams shot more free throws than field goals.

The Knights led 25-22 despite only hitting seven shots while going 10-of-16 from the free throw line. And Boulder sank just six shots and went 7-of-8 from the line.

Atkinson scored eight points in the second quarter alone and finished with 12 to break his previous season-high of six. With a playful chorus of “Stick to Football” reigning down from the Boulder side, the Northwestern quarterback commit had a couple lay-ins and forced his way to the line three times in the quarter.

Going the other way, Turner helped Boulder keep pace with nine points before the break. The Panthers then took the lead in the opening minutes of the third and never trailed again.

“We will learn from it and see where we can be better,” Fairview coach Patrick Burke said.

Both teams now await their postseason seed. Brackets will be presented on Sunday.

Brent W. New: and @brentwnew


Boulder 64, Fairview 54

At CU Events Center

FAIRVIEW (18-5, 11-1)

Blackburn 2 1-4 6, Monette 0 0-0 0, Atkinson 3 6-8 12, J. Page 5 2-3 13, O’Neill 3 4-6 11, Gordon 0 0-0 0, Edwards 0 0-0 0, Dolan 1 4-5 6, G. Page 0 0-0 0, Carter 1 2-4 4, Williams 0 0-0 0, Pinto 0 0-0 0, Gann 0 2-2 2. Team 15 21-32 54.

BOULDER (12-11, 10-2)

Sessions 1 0-1 2, Bartsch 0 0-0 0, R. Turner 0 0-0 0, Starry 0 0-0 0, Schmid 4 0-0 12, Tanner 3 2-2 8, Blessing 0 0-0 0, T. Turner 5 11-13 23, Arthur 0 0-0 0, Davison 0 0-0 0, Boyle 1 0-0 2, Rucker 7 2-4 17. Team 21 15-20 64.

Score by quarters:

Fairview                 11 14 16 13  — 54

Boulder                   10 12 21 21  — 64

3-point field goals — Fairview (3): Blackburn, J. Page, O’Neill; Boulder (7): Schmid 4, T. Turner 2, Rucker. Total fouls — Fairvew 21, Boulder 23. Fouled out — Blackburn, Sessions. Technical fouls — No technical fouls.