LOVELAND — Three was the magic number on Friday night at Mountain View High School.
Frederick boys basketball, which is just on the outside looking in of CHSAANow.com’s Class 4A top-10 rankings at No. 11, went for broke from beyond the 3-point line during the first quarter against the Mountain Lions. That early effort gave them a significant, early boost en route to a 66-55 victory.
“We use it to our advantage,” senior shooting guard Bryce Conover said. “We’re not one of the bigger teams in our conference so a lot of shots in practice are from the 3-point line. It’s kind of what we have to do. It’s a blessing and a curse because when it’s on, it’s on and nobody can really stop us, but there have been games where our 3-point ball, we rely on it but we’re not really getting a lot out of it.”
Conover led his boys with 16 points as junior shooting guard Luke Justice added 13, junior guard Jacob Lovins contributed 12 and junior power forward Matias Aldana rounded out the double-digit scoring efforts with 11 of his own.
Prior to Friday’s matchup, the Warriors had made 77 out of 261 3-point attempts. Justice alone had made 28 out of 79 tries and Conover had gone 18-for-48. Very few teams this year have been able to defend against that kind of offensive production as Frederick improved to 9-3 with the win.
They made 13 at Mountain View.
If the Warriors keep it up, they may just find their way into the top 10 sooner rather than later, especially if they continue to play the kind of unselfish basketball that they displayed against the Mountain Lions.
“It’s definitely going to get harder,” head coach Jeff Conway said. “We have some tough teams coming up, the tournament’s coming up and we’re going to play some tough teams. We’ve got to keep working, keep grinding.”
The Warriors opened the game shooting red-hot from long range as they scored 18 of their first 19 points from beyond the arc. They didn’t get their first 2-point bucket — a layup from Justice — until about 30 seconds were left in the first quarter.
That early boost gave way to a comfortable 40-21 lead at the half, but the Mountain Lions started to fight back harder in the third frame. Despite many chances given to them through fouls, as both teams went to the line a total of 12 times in the last 10 minutes, the Mountain Lions just couldn’t get enough of an edge on Frederick to make a difference.
The Warriors increased their winning streak to four games and will look to keep that continuous success alive when they host Fort Morgan next Wednesday.
“It was amazing, the way they were shooting the first half. It was so nice to come out, set that tempo and get a good jump on them,” Conway said. “We needed it. Give them all the credit, they fought back hard, so it took the whole time to finally finish them off.”