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                Frederick girls basketball coach Jake Hansen started the new season with a goal in mind .. run faster than last year.

                Things seemed to be in order after the first game of the Warriors’ Classic at Centaurus School Dec. 7. Frederick’s Warriors ran past Mountain Range 80-34.

                “We’re trying to play a lot faster than in years past,” he said. “We worked a ton on shooting this offseason, and it’s already paid off.”

                “We’re shooting the ball much better. That always helps,” Hansen added. “We spent the majority of our time in practice working on our defense. We want to play a strong man-to-man, put a lot of pressure on the ball, force everyone to their off-hand. We want to simplify our man-to-man defense.”

                Frederick’s roster includes seniors Hannah Zink, Ali Davis, Jadyn Glasgow and Emily Hoffmann. It also includes freshmen Kaylee Garder and Zoe Wittler, plus sophomores Peyton Pack, Josie Stanton and Lily Hansen.

                “We have a good mix of juniors. We’ve got a freshman who’s getting a lot of playing time,” Jake Hansen said. “Our juniors now are in their third year starting, so they have a lot of experience.”

                The coach said guard play was a strength this season.

                “We’ve got six strong guards, to take nothing away from our post,” Jake Hansen said. “The posts work harder than anyone else I’ve seen so far. Our posts have shut down our opponents in the first two games. Our shooting is not where I want it to be yet. We have our ups and downs with it. It seems like we get in a run, and it’s contagious with everyone on the team.”

                The combination of tough, pressing defense and fast-break chances from that defense allowed Frederick to take control of proceedings early against the Mustangs.

                The length of the roster allows for more in-practice competition.

                “We’ve got No. 1 through 14 and 15 compete with each other in practice every single day,” the coach said. “There’s not much of a drop-off, which is great. We’re pushing each other every day, far more than we did last year. We’ve got girls pushing to get varsity time. There are going to be a few girls who will be left out, but they are working as hard as everyone else. The girls see that everyone is competing for playing time. It’s a nice problem to have.”

                FHS closes out the preholiday part of the schedule with a road game at Skyline Thursday, Dec. 16. Tip time is 5:30 p.m.

                “When we do our stuff and not worry about everyone else, we’re going to be tough to beat,” Jake Hansen said.