FREDERICK — Playing within eight points of No. 5 Holy Family in their second game back from the winter break on Friday felt like a watershed moment in the youthful Frederick boys basketball team's season.
Little did they know, the perfect storm awaited the Warriors in their following game to halt their momentum on Saturday afternoon.
Still exhausted less than 24 hours after an emotional battle with Holy Family, and playing their third game in four days against an unexpectedly white-hot Pueblo Centennial team, a tidal wave of disadvantages hit the Warriors all at once. They lost 89-52 and left their home gym still in search of their second win on the season.
"We played our best game of the season last night against Holy Family and the only problem is that it was 18 hours before we tipped off tonight," Frederick head coach Enoch Miller said. "We had a lot of guys who played deep into that game and played a ton of minutes, and it was emotional. I'm proud of our guys for trying to push through another game tonight but we just had nothing left in the tank."
Miller and the Warriors (1-9) expected to be tired. They didn't, however, expect the two-win Bulldogs (3-10) to make the long drive up north and shoot the lights out at Frederick High School.
Winners of their final two games in 2017, the Bulldogs got several players back from injury before the winter break. They also added junior shooting guard Antonio Rodriguez, a transfer student who scored 12 points in his first game with the Bulldogs on Dec. 23. On Saturday afternoon, Rodriguez caught fire from long range and stunned the Warriors with a game-high 33 points. He hit four of the Bulldogs' nine 3-pointers against the Warriors, a team that typically likes to play zone defense and hadn't planned for a player to repeatedly shoot from well behind the 3-point line.
"We knew he was a transfer and that he was pretty good," Miller said. "We had no idea he was that kind of shooter. He hit four NBA threes."
The Bulldogs hit seven 3-pointers in the first half and led 43-30 at the midway break. A particular problem in the second half, Warriors turnovers that led to open layups at the other end also contributed to the Bulldogs shooting over 50 percent from the floor and dealing the Warriors their fifth straight loss.
"This is the first game we've been healthy and with everybody on the floor," Bulldogs head coach Ryen Romero said. "This was only the second game Antonio was able to play and he was pretty much on fire for us. Some of the shots he was taking maybe weren't the best shots but he was really feeling it and they were still going in."
Senior forward Nathan Rawson led the Warriors with 13 points. The Warriors will return to Tri-Valley League play when they host Mead (6-4) on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Pueblo Centennial 89, Frederick 52
At Frederick H.S.
PUEBLO CENTENNIAL (3-10)
Villedo 2 0-0 6, Montoya 6 0-2 12, Leach 1 0-0 2, Solano 0 0-0 0, Lange 5 0-1 12, Valdez 1 1-2 3, Chavez 3 0-0 6, Vigil 1 0-0 3, Rodriguez 11 7-8 33, Bennett 6 0-0 12, Porter 0 0-0 0. Totals 26 8-13 89.
Formby 0 0-0 0, Lords 1 2-4 5, Cartelli 2 0-0 4, Elize 2 0-0 6, Roe 1 0-0 2, Richard 1 2-4 5, Zimmerman 0 0-0 0, Buffington 1 1-2 3, Robinson 0 0-0 0, Rawson 5 3-4 13, Green 2 4-8 9, Fish 2 1-2 5. Totals 17 13-24 52.
Score by quarters:Pueblo Centennial 17262818—89
3-point field goals — Pueblo Centennial (9): Rodriguez 4,Villedo 2, Lange 2, Vigil; Frederick (5): Elize 2, Lords, Richard, Green. Total fouls — Pueblo Centennial 15, Frederick 16. Technical fouls — Rodriguez.