LONGMONT -- The Frederick and Mead boys basketball teams have played plenty of down-to-the-wire games this season, so it was no surprise when they produced another nail-biter on Tuesday night.
In a contest that featured 15 lead changes, Frederick senior Ryan Miller scored off a feed from Lucas Adams with 16 seconds left to give the Warriors a 54-53 Tri-Valley League victory at Mead.
It was the fifth game decided by six or fewer points for Frederick this season, including Saturday's one-point loss at Windsor. And Mead has played four games decided by four or fewer points.
"That was a good high school basketball game," said Mead coach Darin Reese, whose team was looking for its third straight win over an area opponent after beating Skyline and Silver Creek. "We battled back and forth. It really came down to them making one more play than we did."
Mead grabbed a 53-52 lead with 1:22 left when Taylor Desch set up Ryan Lozinski for a basket, which gave the senior 27 points on the night. And after empty possessions on both ends, Adams penetrated the Mead defense and hit Miller -- who had found an open spot in the lane -- for the winning basket.
It certainly wasn't the first time Adams has set up Miller with a nice feed.
"We've been playing together for a long time and we've just developed that connection over the years," Miller said.
The Mavericks had a shot to win it, but Cody Beaver misfired on the baseline from 18 feet, leaving Frederick with the road victory.
"We just want to make sure we don't let another one slip away," Miller said, referencing Saturday's game in which Windsor hit a shot with two seconds left to hand Frederick a one-point loss. "The most crucial time is those last few seconds, and you hate to see it come down to that but it is what it is, and you've got to buckle down and play hard defense."
Tuesday's result left the teams with identical records of 6-4 overall and 1-1 in league play as Mead saw its three-game win streak snapped.
Frederick trailed 34-29 in the third quarter, but scored 11 unanswered points to go up by six. However, Mead's 1-2 punch of Lozinski and Aaron Cheung (12 points overall) helped the Mavericks battle back and force yet another game to be settled in the final minute.
"We wanted to make someone else beat us" besides Lozinski and Cheung, Frederick coach Larry Frank said. "They had an open look (at the end) and lucky for us the shot didn't fall."
Miller finished with 15 points to lead FHS, while Austin Rivera added 11 off the bench -- all in the second half.
Besides scoring more than half of Mead's points, Lozinski grabbed 11 rebounds.
"That's a good quality ball club," Frank said of Mead. "They're going to win some games. They work hard and the Lozinski kid is a tough matchup for anybody."
Frederick will host Northridge on Friday at 6:30 p.m., while Mead will be at Berthoud that night.
Frederick 54, Mead 53
At Mead HS
FREDERICK (6-4, 1-1)
Adams 3 0-2 7, McGraw 1 0-1 2, Therrien 3 0-0 7, Martinez 4 0-0 8, Miller 6 3-6 15, Burgess 2 0-0 4, Rivera 4 2-2 11, Wise 0 0-0 0, Gomez 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 5-11 54.
MEAD (6-4, 1-1)
Cheung 5 0-0 12, Desch 1 1-2 3, Lozinski 13 1-2 27, Lamb 2 1-2 6, Nelson 0 0-0 0, Perez 1 0-1 2, Beaver 1 0-0 3. Totals 23 3-7 53.
Score by quarters:
Frederick 14 11 19 10 -- 54
Mead 17 12 8 16 -- 53
3-point field goals -- Frederick (3): Adams, Rivera, Therrien; Mead (4): Cheung 2, Lamb, Beaver. Total fouls -- Frederick 13, Mead 12. Fouled out -- none. Technical fouls -- none.