FREDERICK — The phrase “MAKE THEM BELIEVE” rolled across the back of the Frederick boys basketball team’s warm-up shirts Thursday night.
The Golden Eagles eventually shed them en route to dismantling another team inside a league they torment.
Again, Frederick was on fast-forward while its Longs Peak League opponent was stuck in honey. Dishing no-look passes and alley-oops, it was on hyper-speed in a 76-51 win over Roosevelt, which moved it to 18-0 on the season. The scoreboard read 78 points afterward — probably because it was just that hard to keep up.
Either way, it was another landslide victory for a team that won its 25th straight game inside its league and has been pummeling everyone in its way for the better part of two months.
It just hasn’t been good enough to be seen as the class of 5A.
“We look at (the CHSAA coaches poll) every week,” said senior Luke Justice, whose team is currently ranked third in the classification. “We send it in our group chat. Our coaches, and everybody knows, we kind of feel disrespected. I don’t think we’ve done anything wrong. We’re 18-0. I feel like we’re the No. 1 team in the state and I feel like we’re going to prove it when it gets to playoff time.”
With another win, the host Golden Eagles (18-0, 13-0 LPL), a returning state semifinalist, remained one of only two undefeated teams across the big classifications (6A, 5A, 4A).
Mesa Ridge, the other sitting at 19-0, is No. 1 in 5A. A two-loss Air Academy squad is No. 2 — likely a product of the Kadets’ strength of schedule and league.
Per the poll’s 5A top 10, Frederick has just one win inside it. The Golden Eagles beat No. 4 Mead, 76-70, in their season opener on Nov. 29.
They also have a win over 4A No. 7 Severance.
“That’s our motto, ‘Make them believe”, and we’re just going to keep believing in it,” Frederick coach Jeff Conway said. “Sometimes it gives us a chip on our shoulder. But we’re fine with wherever they put us and we’re going to go after it wherever we are.”
Against the Roughriders (4-14, 4-9), who they’d previously beaten by 33 last month, Matias Aldana finished with 17 points, Justice 14 and Jacob Lovins 11.
The landslide win, at times, was pure theatre.
Justice, who is listed at 6-foot-1, soared high above the hoop for a one-handed slam in the opening minutes.
Harry Singh drove to the rim a while later, drawing the defense in, only to throw a no-look pass to JJ Strojinc for an open 3.
They tried to finish an alley-oop throughout the game, but just missed. They know they must work hard to keep focus.
“It’s really hard to keep focusing, but we know that if we want to be higher in the rankings and want home-court advantage throughout the playoffs we have to kill the teams we play,” Singh said.
Frederick’s average margin of victory is now 25.2 points this year. It has won by at least 20 points 13 times and by more than 30 in eight games.
The Golden Eagles are at Riverdale Ridge Saturday. They beat the Ravens 86-61 on Jan. 10.