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Boys basketball: Fairview pulls out thriller over Boulder

Jan. 30—BOULDER — Late, double-digit comebacks are hard for any team to manufacture, especially in a raucous environment.

Fairview boys basketball didn't seem to take that to heart too much in its 51-50, heart-pounding win on Tuesday night at Boulder High School, which was sealed with a controversial no-call under Boulder's basket in the final seconds.

The Knights trailed by 10 points at the start of the fourth quarter.

Over the final eight minutes, in a gym as electric as a lightning strike, junior shooting guard Spencer Brown pushed his team to victory as he netted eight points down the stretch. His final free throw attempts, however, fell short with 31.9 seconds remaining as the Knights clung to a one-point lead.

They were lucky Boulder couldn't get numerous shots to fall in the final seconds, even as BHS senior center Kyle Blauch got smacked around near the basket. Much like the rest of the fast, physical game, the officials let it slide.

"That's the game that we look forward to every year," Brown said. "We started locking them up, and they couldn't score. We played the best defense we have ever played."

The "home crowd" meant nothing to Boulder during a game that saw students from both schools tally well into the hundreds.

Brown blew up for the Knights all night, netting 21 points in all, as senior Owen Foster — who surpassed the 1,000-point career mark against Poudre on Jan. 17 — contributed another 10 and junior Bekkem Kritza rounded out Fairview's top scoring effort with 11 points.

Despite the loss, Blauch shone once again for the Panthers. He needed just one field goal to push his own career total to 1,000 points. Naturally, Boulder's big man reached the milestone with the first basket of the game before finishing his night with 16 points.

"It's been something I've been working for since I was a freshman," Blauch said. "Getting that is just something that was a huge accomplishment for me."

Junior guard Cole Morrow and senior point guard George Schmid backed him up with 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Boulder jetted out to a quick lead thanks to contributions from five different cats, holding a 16-6 edge by the time the first frame ended. Fairview closed that gap to just four points, at 28-24, by halftime as both squads rained 3s like a Category 5 hurricane.

They continued to trade blows in the second half, eventually leading to the 10-point, 43-33 Boulder advantage by the end of the third quarter. Not even that was a safe bet.

Fairview improved to 9-7 (5-3 Class 6A Front Range League) and will next host Monarch on Friday. Boulder (6-10, 1-7) will look to rebound against Broomfield on the same night.

"This was the first game in a while where we really took it to heart and we played our hardest," Blauch said. "It came up short by one point, but we just got to keep working like that and play like that every game and we'll be good."