In times when it’s difficult to find unanimity on much of anything, the Frederick High School boys basketball team agrees on this.
Improved defense will be a key to the Golden Eagles’ …
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Improved defense will be a key to the Golden Eagles’ chances when postseason play begins in February.
The Golden Eagles had no trouble scoring points against Fort Morgan Jan. 26. The final was 88-52, Frederick’s 16th straight win of the season. But coach Jeff Conway was happier with the defensive effort, one that forced 20 Mustangs’ mistakes and a resulting 22 points for FHS.
“Tonight was pretty good. The other night (Jan. 24) at Mountain View, we only gave up 39 points,” he said. “That’s what we’ve been focusing on. We know that coming down the stretch, it’s going to come down to defensive stops once we get in the playoffs. Good defense turns into good offense.”
“We don’t play good enough defense,” said team captain Harry Singh. “We know there are better teams in our league. We have to play defense.”
Matias Aldana led the Golden Eagles with 22 points, including four, 3-pointers. Luke Justice scored 17, and JJ Strojnic contributed 11. Wesley Carnes led Fort Morgan with 17 points, including three from long range. Nathan Gerken added six.
“We worked as a team,” Aldana said. “We’re trying to focus on our defense. We just need to get better at it. When we get further down the road, we’re going to face better teams.”
Fort Morgan was playing its third game in as many nights.
“We knew they were tired,” Singh said. “We had to push them.”
“We had 20-some assists,” Justice said. “We have so much chemistry We hang out off the court. On the court, we’re trying to share. We’re trying to win ballgames.
Frederick spent part of the offseason playing in Green Mountain High School’s spring league and against class 6A powerhouses Rangeview, Rock Canyon and Valor Christian high schools.
“I thought we were going to click this year,” Justice said. “Over the summer, we played well. The job is not finished.”
Frederick advanced to the state semifinals last year for the first time since 1956.
“Conway told me when I came off the court that we were going to be back,” Justice said. “it really stuck with me. Last year was an experience. We are read going to win it this year.”
“It helped us not be nervous,” Singh said.
“We’re just working as a team,” Aldana said. “We don’t underestimate anybody. We come in, and we play our hardest every game.”
“They know they can score at will,” Conway said. “But we have to start locking teams down and focusing more on defense. They are doing a good job.”
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