FREDERICK — The Frederick boys basketball team felt pretty good about how it had played leading up to Thursday's home game against Windsor.
In their previous game, the Warriors scored 90 points in a win over Berthoud on Tuesday night. Davis Richard scored 31 points and Joe Cartelli scored 30 — and the pair combined to shoot 57 percent (12 for 18) from 3-point range while the Warriors shot 58 percent from the field as a team in the win.
It felt like a watershed moment in the season, and potentially the turnaround the program is currently in the midst of.
Cartelli stayed hot, following up Tuesday's performance with 28 points on Thursday, and the Warriors played well.
Windsor just played better.
When a victory would have jumped the Warriors into fourth place in the Tri-Valley League, they fell behind early and couldn't catch the Wizards on the way to a 71-59 loss.
"I was really proud of our kids," Frederick head coach Enoch Miller said. "Windsor is a team I think can make a run in the 5A playoffs. Their coach told me tonight that this was the first time they've had everybody for different reasons, injuries, whatever. For us to go toe-to-toe with them, and not go away until the last couple of minutes, I was really proud of our kids."
Battling several injuries including a broken wrist that ended sophomore Izayah Elize's season two weeks ago, Miller said their lack of depth caught up to the Warriors and they tired down the stretch. Over the past several weeks, Miller added, the Warriors have had to adjust their pace of play and slow the game down to account for their thin roster, which made fighting to overcome an early deficit more difficult.
Despite trailing 23-15 after the first quarter and 35-23 with three minutes left in the first half, the Warriors (9-9, 5-6) went on a 9-0 run to close out the second quarter behind by just three points. Cartelli hit a 3-pointer as time ran out before halftime and the Warriors were down 35-32 to start the third quarter.
Frederick tied the game at 37-37 less than two minutes into the third quarter and cut the Windsor (9-9, 6-5) lead to just one point two different times in the second half. But each time the home team reeled the visiting squad in, the Wizards responded with a crucial basket to remain in the lead.
The Warriors won just one game last season and Windsor won this winter's first meeting between these two teams rather convincingly — 75-55 — at Windsor on Jan. 8. Now that Frederick's young roster has matured to the point where it's now led by a trio of juniors in Cartelli, Jacob Green and Davis Richard, Miller said the team is becoming capable of mounting near comebacks like the several they put together against the Wizards on Thursday.
Having Cartelli absolutely scorching hot doesn't hurt either.
"He's just on fire right now," Miller said. "I don't know what's different. He's playing with a lot of confidence and he's just making that transition where he fully looks like he more than belongs now. These guys have been touching the varsity level for a while now but now they're getting towards the end of their junior year and they're supposed to be playing more like seniors out there.
"He (Cartelli) looks like an upperclassman now so, yeah, I just think he's hot. He's on a hot streak."
With five games left in the regular season and a great shot at making the playoffs, the Warriors will travel to face Skyline on Saturday.
Windsor 71, Frederick 59
At Frederick H.S.
WINDSOR (9-9, 6-5)
Schumacher 1 0-0 2, Green 3 1-2 10, Rasmuson 5 1-4 12, Seyboldt 5 2-4 15, Greene 1 0-0 3, McGinnis 4 0-0 9, Easton 0 0-0 0, Garcia 0 0-0 0, M. Scoggin 5 4-4 14, Hageman 3 0-0 0, A. Scoggin 0 0-0 0, Hemeyer 0 0-0 0, Peck 0 0-2 0, Kennis 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 8-14 71.
FREDERICK (9-9, 4-6)
Cartelli 10 3-3 28, Sturn 2 2-2 6, Richard 1 2-2 5, Zimmerman 1 0-0 3, Buffington 0 0-0 0, Green 3 4-8 10, Marinoff 3 0-0 7, Dufour 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 11-15 59.
Score by quarters:Windsor 23 12 18 18 — 71
3-point field goals — Windsor (9): P. Greene 3, Seyboldt 3, Rasmuson, K. Greene, McGinnis; Frederick (7): Cartelli 5, Richard, Zimmerman. Total fouls — Windsor 16, Frederick 15.