FREDERICK — Ryan Yancey couldn’t shake off the fact that Skyview’s boys basketball team had claimed wins against some of Frederick’s biggest rivals earlier this season.
So, when the junior and his teammates took to the FHS court Wednesday night in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs, the Warriors had to be aware the 11th-seeded Wolverines were capable of an upset.
A fast start for the home team did the trick, as did limiting turnovers on a night when a lot of shots weren’t falling. The sixth-seeded Warriors doubled up Skyview in the first quarter and managed to keep them at arm’s length the rest of the way, moving on to the second round with a 46-31 home victory.
With a school record-setting 18th win, Frederick moved on to play Denver West on Friday night at Sand Creek High School.
“Things always change in a season, but we definitely took them seriously,” said Yancey, who was one of three players in double figures with 12 points. “We had to come out hard.”
“Skyview, they had heart and determination and we were lucky to come out with the win,” said a jubilant Frederick coach Larry Frank. “We focus on not giving teams extra possessions by turnovers and giving up offensive rebounds, and we did a good job of that tonight.
“But it’s our first playoff win in my history here, and it’s good to get that monkey off the back.”
Frederick shot just 35 percent from the floor for the game, but the aggressive defense they employed made that fact matter very little. The 31 points allowed represented a season-low. The Wolverines had 16 turnovers, two more than the amount of field goals they converted.
The Wolverines didn’t have one of their key players, as 6-foot-5 post Olufisayo Awolaja was injured early in January. He was a big reason why Skyview had beaten both Windsor and Mead, two of Frederick’s foes in the Tri-Valley League, back in December.
Without him, Skyview leaned on quick guard play, led by Corey Wilson. Frederick was able to focus on eliminating the penetration the entire game, and Skyview couldn’t come up with an alternate plan.
“We blitzed the high ball screen, and that really kept them from being able to drive,” Yancey said. “Turnovers are a big part of our game. We force almost 20 turnovers every game, and we run that half-court trap to try and get a lot of steals.”
Frederick had to work outside-in to start the game, hoisting up 13 3-point shots in the first half. But Austin Rivera and Alex Therrien (13 points) made four of them in the first quarter, sending FHS to a 16-8 lead after 8 minutes. Just 11 points were scored between the teams in the second frame, but Frederick opened up a big lead in the third with some transition baskets off five Skyview turnovers.
Six different players scored in the fourth quarter for Frederick.
“We had a good defensive effort,” Frank said. “Offensively, we could have made a few more shots. It was a good team win, a good win for the school and for the basketball program.”
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Frederick 46, Skyview 31
At Frederick H.S.
Wilson 7 0-4 14, Urbina 1 0-1 2, Venuto 1 0-0 2, Ortiz 4 0-0 10, Bing 1 0-0 3. Totals 14 0-5 31.
Mikail Lowney 1 0-0 2, Ryan Yancey 4 4-5 12, Michael Broz 1 0-0 2, Austin Rivera 4 0-0 10, Alex Therrien 5 1-1 13, Lane Hiser 1 0-0 3, Dylan Dufour 1 0-0 2, Kyle Kolanowski 0 2-2 2, Andy Parker 0 0-2 0. Totals 17 7-10 46.
Score by quarters:
Skyview 8 5 5 13 — 31
Frederick 16 6 10 14 — 46
3-point field goals — Skyview (3): Ortiz 2, Bing: Frederick (5): Rivera 2, Therrien 2, Hiser. Total fouls — Skyview 14, Frederick 8.