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Boys basketball: Mead tops Frederick in battle of Tri-Valley contenders

Mead's John Brady (left) and Aaron Cheung box out Frederick's Alex Terrien during the Mavericks' key Tri-Valley League win.
Matthew Jonas / Longmont Times-Call
Mead’s John Brady (left) and Aaron Cheung box out Frederick’s Alex Terrien during the Mavericks’ key Tri-Valley League win.

LONGMONT — It has taken everything the Mead boys basketball team has to take free control of the Tri-Valley League lead. The Mavericks weren’t going to give it up easily at home against Frederick on Friday night.

Had the Warriors won, the two conference rivals would have been locked in a tie for first place in the Tri-Valley. But with sophomore James Maher providing the spark they needed off the bench, the Mavericks defeated the Warriors 51-40 to maintain their precarious conference lead.

“We’ve been playing solid and we knew we needed this win to stay on top of the conference,” Maher said. “Frederick is a good team so it feels good to come off the bench and hit open shots. There are a lot of good teams in our conference and we know we can get beat any night so we just try to win each one and we did a good job of that.”

A reserve guard, Maher led the balanced Mavericks, who led 22-19 at halftime, with 11 points. His greatest contribution to the win wasn’t his energy off the bench. It was a key stretch in the third quarter.

Immediately after Frederick came out hot in the third quarter and took a 27-26 lead, Mavericks wing John Brady started a 7-0 run that ended in a Maher transition 3-pointer. Mead led the rest of the way.

“You could definitely say we’re a momentum team and we have 10 guys that can knock down and open 3-pointer or pull-up jump shot,” Maher said. “So when we get open shots, we start hitting them, we get leads and we get momentum. That’s what helps us win.”

As a team, the Mavericks hit six 3-pointers. Senior guard Aaron Cheung, who scored 10 points, and senior wing Cody Beaver each hit two. Maher picked a good night to have one of his best games of the season.

In the Mavericks’ first meeting against Frederick this season, Warriors senior Alex Therrien and Mavericks junior Blake Goodwin combined for 34 points. On Friday, Therrien couldn’t find his shooting stroke and scored nine points, and Goodwin finished with six points despite igniting the crowd early with a dunk.

Head coach Darin Reese said the Mavericks got a little extra out of everyone on the roster to pick up the win.

“We have a long way to go but it was a good sign of maturity for us to handle the basketball late, hold them to one shot and make free throws,” Reese said. “Defensively for us, it was key to contest out on the perimeter. They have multiple shooters who can get hot. That was our number one thing.”

A streaky shooting team, Frederick hit just three 3-pointers on Friday night. Junior guard Austin Rivera led the Warriors with 11 points before fouling out with 2 minutes left in the game and junior Ryan Yancey scored nine points.

The hard part isn’t over for either team with Windsor (9-6, 5-1) still lurking in second place behind a deceptive 9-6 overall record.

Having dropped back-to-back games against Windsor and Mead, Warriors head coach Larry Frank said his squad will have to get back to what allowed them to win their six prior games. Friday night, he said, they were outworked and fell short while trying to match Mead shot-for-shot from beyond the arc instead of attacking the basket.

“We just made our own lives a little tougher tonight,” Frank said. “In order to reach our goal of winning a conference championship now we’re going to need some help. We’ll need to play better than tonight. Then we’ll need a little help.”

The Mavericks will host non-conference Pueblo South (14-2, 4-0), ranked third in the latest Denver AP media poll, on Saturday. Mead plays at Berthoud (4-12, 0-8 Tri-Valley) on Tuesday.

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Mead 51, Frederick 40

At Mead H.S.

FREDERICK (11-5, 5-3)

Lowney 0 0-0 0, Yancey 3 1-3 9, Broz 2 0-0 5, Rivera 5 1-2 11, Doud 1 0-0 2, Therrien 3 1-2 9, Dufour 2 0-0 4. Totals 16 3-7 40.

MEAD (10-6, 7-1)

Ward 1 0-0 3, Cheung 3 4-8 10, Maher 3 3-4 11, Kowalski 0 0-0 0, Nelson 0 4-4 4, Korell 2 0-0 5, Beaver 2 0-0 6, Brady 3 0-2 6, Jankins 0 0-0 0, Goodwin 3 0-0 6. Totals 17 11-18 51.

Score by quarters:

Frederick 8 11 10 11 — 40

Mead 9 13 11 18 — 51

3-point field goals — Frederick (3): Yancey 2, Broz; Mead (6): Cheung 2, Beaver 2, Ward, Korell. Total fouls — Frederick 18, Mead 14. Fouled out — Rivera.




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