Boys basketball: Frederick can’t find shooting touch against Pueblo South

FREDERICK — Less than 24 hours after posting a huge win in league play, the Frederick boys basketball team couldn’t regain its scoring touch against one of the state’s top Class 4A teams.

Enduring a slow start before battling through a frustrating shooting performance, the Warriors dropped a 56-44 decision at home against Pueblo South.

Although Frederick was able to take a brief lead after surrendering the first 11 points of the game, the Warriors were unable to over come a 3-point effort that saw them make just 3 of 20 attempts through the first three quarters.

“We just didn’t bring out the intensity that we usually do in the first quarter,” Frederick head coach Larry Frank said. “Our first quarter kind of hurt us, but I’m not too disappointed in how we played. We could have easily folded at the end of the third quarter and it would’ve been a 30-point game, but we fought back. We hung with the (No. 3) team in the state, and if we just would’ve made some outside shots it would’ve been a totally different ball game.”

Pueblo South, ranked No. 3 in the state’s latest AP media poll, has won 18 consecutive games after opening the season with losses against Sand Creek and Standley Lake.

The Colts raced to an 11-0 lead but Frederick managed to battle back, trimming the Pueblo South lead to five points at the end of the first quarter and even taking a brief lead on consecutive 3-pointers from Austin Rivera midway through the second.

Yet the shooting touch that helped propel the Warriors to a key win against Erie Friday night was largely absent the rest of the way. Frederick’s top two scorers, Rivera and Alex Therrien, finished with 11 points apiece, but the duo combined to go 4 for 19 from 3-point range, and Therrien did most of his scoring damage by going 8 for 9 at the free throw line.

Frederick junior Ryan Yancey, whose season-best 23 points played an integral role in the win against Erie, was held scoreless by the Colts.

“The start that we had was just not our game,” Rivera said. “You just can’t do that and expect to come all the way back. Recently we’ve been camping around the 3-point line and not really getting to the free throw line as much as we want to. We seem too comfortable outside and we really haven’t been aggressive inside.”

Pueblo South (18-2) scored the first five points of the second half and added a 9-0 run later in the third quarter to build an 18-point advantage going into the fourth. Frederick (13-6) scored 10 consecutive points early in the fourth to get within 11, but the Warriors couldn’t get the deficit into single digits.

Four players reached double figures for the visiting Colts, led by 13 from senior guard Brian Pratt. With just two weeks remaining in the regular season, Frederick resumes Tri-Valley League play with a home date against Berthoud on Tuesday.

“Being the (No. 3) team in the state, losing by 12 to these guys really tells us a lot, especially when we were shooting so badly,” Rivera said. “If we were shooting how we know we can, it would have been different. That’s the biggest thing we can take out of this.”

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Pueblo South 56, Frederick 44

At Frederick H.S.

PUEBLO SOUTH (18-2)

Brian Pratt 5 0-2 13, Maleek Johnson 3 3-4 11, Trey Parker 5 2-3 12, Jared Baros 3 4-4 10, Isaiah Pannuzio 0 2-2 2, Bryson Smith 1 0-0 2, Mak Kovac 0 0-0 0, Devin Valdez 1 2-4 4, Curtis Linan 0 2-2 2, Cody Kraus 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 15-21 56.

FREDERICK (13-6)

Mikail Lowney 3 0-0 6, Ryan Yancey 0 0-0 0, Michael Broz 3 0-0 6, Austin Rivera 4 0-1 11, Alex Therrien 1 8-9 11, Dylan Dufour 0 0-0 0, Jake Doud 5 0-1 10, Kyle Kolanowski 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 8-11 44.

Score by quarters:

Pueblo South 13 12 21 10 — 56

Frederick 8 10 10 16  — 44

3-point field goals — Pueblo South (4): Johnson 2, Pratt 2; Frederick (4): Rivera 3, Therrien. Total fouls — Pueblo South 17, Frederick 19.