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Collision course for FHS boys team

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After rallying to defeat Roosevelt, Frederick’s boys look to cement their spot in the playoffs with a strong Tri Valley finish versus Skyline

By Steve Smith

FREDERICK — It was a pretty good daily double that Frederick High School pulled Thursday night against Roosevelt.
    The Warriors rallied in the fourth quarter for a 74-69 win against the Roughriders. FHS has the inside track for a second-place finish in the class 4A Tri Valley Conference. Both schools have one game left in the regular season, but the Warriors have the tie-breaker, thanks to the win. Frederick played Skyline Tuesday, after press time. (We'll update Wednesday morning).
The Warriors set a school record for wins (16) in the process.

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    No wonder the student section stormed the floor after the final buzzer, and no wonder there was a considerable amount of yelling inside the FHS locker room.
    “We’re playing more as a team,” said Christian Martinez, who scored 16 points, half in the fourth quarter. “We have a lot of seniors on the team. We realize this is it. We’re bringing everything we can and going out with a bang.”
“That was a team win,” said Joe Wise, who came off the bench to score nine points.  “We were starting to get steals. We were starting to get hot. As a team, we came back. We weren’t down in the locker room at halftime. We just sparked up and went.”
    Starting play, Frederick was a game behind the Roughriders in the conference standings.
    “We knew this was crucial for conference seeding,” Martinez said. “It brought us closer to our goal. We have a lot of goals, and we want to achieve those goals. We had a slump that set us back a little bit. We finally figured out our roles as players and what we need to do as a team to get wins.”
    “We’ve been working a lot at shooting in practice, and you can see that in our games,” Wise said. “We’re passing the ball around real well. We’re hitting our shots. That’s what it comes down to. Our defense has been the same. We buckle down on defense.”
    Not only was there some importance to the outcome of the game, it was Senior Night for the players.
    “We talked about how important it was for our seniors,” FHS coach Larry Frank said “We usually don’t play too well in these type of games. It’s an emotional night. Kids have put a lot of time in the program. I reminded them it’s 10 minutes on senior night, then it’s game time. They did a good job to stay focused.”
    Jayden McGraw added 12, Austin Rivera had 10, and Lucas Adams tossed in nine for the Warriors.
    “In the first half, they were hitting a lot of shots,” Martinez said. “”We knew they wouldn’t be hot the whole game. We knew we had to get up and down the court. We knew we had to get (Michael) Mitchell in foul trouble, which he was most of the game. We got them out of control. And we got a lot of turnovers, which gave us a lot of momentum.”
    “We wore them down a little bit,” Frank said. “We got some of their key players in foul trouble. We changed our defense a little bit and created some turnovers. That’s a good basketball team. We’re fortunate to get out of there with a win.”
    The state 4A pairings are due out Sunday. We’ll tweet the pairings at twitter.com/sportsland late in the afternoon, and we’ll update www.cvfarmerandminer.com Sunday night.