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Girls basketball: Boulder edges past Fairview in electric environment

Jan. 30—BOULDER — On any given night, free throws and rebounding can make the biggest difference in deciding a basketball game, especially as the electricity of a large crowd energizes the athletes.

The energy in Boulder High School's gym on Tuesday night could have powered a small city through the winter, as the Boulder girls basketball team surged in the final minutes to defeat crosstown rival Fairview, 40-34.

Boulder freshman guard Remi Kingdom drained four free throws down the stretch to put the Knights just out of reach, as FHS' own free-throw misses through the second half also hindered the visitors' chances at a win.

Kingdom had been preparing for her moment all season long. It just so happened to come in front of a sold-out crowd.

"That's the one fundamental thing in the game, and it can win you games like what just happened," Kingdom said. "It felt great. That's the one thing I practice every day, and it feels really great that my work paid off."

Kingdom and junior guard Megan Matthews led Boulder with 13 points apiece, but it was Fairview senior forward Remy Tolar who led the field with 16 points. She, too, drew from the crowd that favored neither Boulder nor Fairview.

"It's incredible. It's really charged. It's super exciting. Both sides had really good energy and I got to give it to them," Tolar said. "Boulder kept getting a bunch of offensive boards and getting put-backs which kept them, for sure, in the lead. We did as well."

The Panthers took the early advantage thanks to the sharp shooting of Matthews, who accounted for seven of Boulder's first 10 points, as the Knights slowly inched their way forward at the foul line.

Once Lila Nuttle and Tolar got going in the second quarter, however, Boulder had a hard time putting out their flame. By halftime, the Knights led 19-18, and the game was anyone's to win.

That trend continued through the second half, even as Fairview's hot streak at the line iced over. Tough defense near the post kept the score low as good look after good look bounced off the glass or rim.

The Knights made up for the difference with offensive boards and second-chance points. Free throws ended up deciding the game.

Boulder — namely Kingdom — made the free shots when they mattered most.

The Panthers improved to 7-10 (2-6 Front Range League) and will head home to take on Broomfield next on Friday. Fairview (5-10, 1-5) will look to bounce back against Monarch on the same night.