FREDERICK — The tone for Friday’s Tri Valley Conference game between Frederick and Skyline high schools may have been set in the first 3 ½ minutes of play.
The Warriors tried eight shots to the Falcons’ one, and the Falcons committed most of their seven, first-quarter turnovers by then.
Yet neither team scored, and the Falcons wound up leading most of the way en route to a 62-51 win. That loss, coupled with a loss to Roosevelt earlier in the week, was enough to leave FHS coach Larry Frank scratching his head.
“You look at the last three or four games. We’ve struggled. Honestly, the last third of the season, we’ve struggled shooting the ball,” Frank said. “Doesn’t matter if it’s from the field or the free-throw line. We started the game with one of their shots to our eight, and the score is zero-zero. It’s the third game in a row we’ve fallen behind. We have to readjust our game plan.”
Despite the slow start and the uphill effort to get back in the game, the Warriors were within three points with 5 ½ minutes to go. The Falcons had answers. Zach Anthony scored six of his 13 points within the span of two minutes. The Falcons, who made one of six free throws in the third and early in the fourth quarters, made 16 of their 23 charity tosses in the last three minutes to pull away.
Alex Therrien led Frederick with 12 points, including a trio of 3-point baskets. Christian Martinez was next with nine, and Lucas Adams tossed in eight. Guard Dustin Mandrell led the Falcons with 19 points. Luciano Cuesada had 17. Colton Dabney pulled down 14 rebounds. Anthony had 10.
“We couldn’t stop their inside guys,” Frank said. “We threw some different presses at them to get back in the game. But we couldn’t get a stop, and they came down for an uncontested shot. We’re playing like an inexperienced team, which we aren’t.”
Frederick was thinking big things for this season.
“We’ve talked about handling stress, handling situations,” Frank said. “The expectations were high. They had a lot of stress put on them because of what we did in the summer. That’s summer basketball. We kept reminding them of that. But when you have outside forces saying how good you are and not knowing what high school basketball is all about, it’s taken its toll unfortunately.”
Frederick hosts Mead at 6:30 p.m., Friday.
“We need to relax and play the game of basketball,” Frank said. “Some of them are putting too much pressure on themselves for whatever reason. We’ve talked about it. If we don’t right the ship, it could be a long rest of the season. Hopefully, we’ll start pushing each other a little bit.”
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