FA basketball: Raider boys now 3-0; girls still searching for their first

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JON BURK looks to block a Freeport player's shot during first half action last Friday night. (Rivet Photos)

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

FRYEBURG — Sedge Saunders and his Raiders are in a strange place right now.

They are 3-0.

They are playing an aggressive style of basketball that is resulting in good scoring balance and gritty defensive pressure.

And, they are coming together as a team.

Coach Saunders, however, is worried about one little thing.

“Having this type of success early is great, but I hope we keep our edge and stay hungry,” said Coach Saunders after watching his Raiders cruise past Freeport 57–39 last Friday night at Wadsworth Arena.

“Overconfidence shouldn’t be an issue because I know we can play better — we can focus more and execute better,” he added. “We can be a real good team if we play with attitude and determination every time out.”

Fryeburg wasted little time proving to the Falcons (0-3) that they are eager to make a playoff run this season. FA forced 11 Freeport turnovers in the first quarter and jumped out to an 11-0 lead with 4:10 left as Ryan Gullikson (15 points) and Alex Blake each tossed in four points, and Nicholis L’Heureux-Carland converted an old-fashioned three-point play.

Freeport finally broke the FA run with 3:16 left when Matt Schultheis connected on a three-point shot.

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WINSTON RICHARDS takes the ball strong to the hoop for a score against the Falcons.

Fryeburg led 15–7 after one as Alex Lazic (eight points) dropped a short hook shot at the buzzer.

Schultheis knocked down another trey against the Raider zone to close the gap to 15–10, but Fryeburg was able to again speed up the game and rattled off 10 straight points with Jaquan Causer scoring four of his eight points.

Fryeburg went up 25–10, but were unable to open up more daylight as Freeport rallied behind the outside shooting of Jack Davenport (game high 16 points) to trail 27–17 at the break. FA managed just a Winston Richards inside hoop over the final 2:55 of the quarter.

“I think part of our problem in the first half was that we would make one pass and shoot. It may not have been a bad shot, but if we had made an extra pass or two, we may have had a better shot,” Coach Saunders said. “We didn’t stay in a zone long because it really didn’t prove too effective.”

Instead, the Raiders reverted back to their pressure defense, which sparked a more up-tempo pace in the second half.

“The tempo was more to our liking in the second half,” Coach Saunders said. “And, we took them out of their tempo.”

Gullikson was the trigger. His ability to push the ball resulted in several transition baskets, while he also displayed both a good midrange shot and the ability to knock down the long ball, scoring nine in the 22-9 run as the Raiders opened up a 49–26 advantage.

With a big lead, Fryeburg continually worked the lane throughout the fourth quarter. They could have played the Falcons even, but were just two-of-six from the foul line as Freeport held a 13–8 scoring edge.

For the Raiders, Ignacio Calleja tossed in seven points, L’Heureux-Carland five, Richards four, and Henry Santara two.

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RYAN GULLIKSON (right) sparked the Raiders over Freeport with his gritty defense and solid shooting.

Stat line: Fryeburg had a huge rebounding advantage, 40 to 20. Top Raider rebounders were Blake (eight) and Lazic (nine)…Freeport had 23 turnovers to the Raiders’ 16…Free throws, Freeport 9-of-15, Fryeburg 7-of-15.

Next: Fryeburg hosts Poland on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. The Raiders will then take part in the Gray-NG Holiday Tournament on Friday, Dec. 27.
Raider girls still searching for first win

FREEPORT — Again, a scoring drought and the injury bug proved to be Fryeburg Academy’s downfall as the Raiders find themselves 0-3 to start the hoop season.

At Freeport last Friday, the Raiders fell behind 14-4 and then lost senior Sarah Welch to an injury.

“Sarah’s role was to deny Nina Davenport the ball,” FA Coach Sean Watson said.

Freeport’s talented senior center torched the Raiders for 26 points and 10 rebounds as the Falcons (1-2) pulled out a 42-37 victory.

Fryeburg has been hurt by the injury bug, seeing varsity players Kristen Chipman, Makayla Frost, Sage Boivin and Nicole Bennett, and now Welch, restricted to spectator roles.

Davenport scored 22 in the first half as the Falcons enjoyed a 29-21 advantage.

“We switched up and played zone,” Coach Watson said.

The adjustment worked as the Falcons managed just nine points in the third and four in the final quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Raiders made a run. Guard Julia Quinn (6 points) made a layup, was fouled and made the free throw to pull the Raiders within one, 38-37. The Falcons connected an open jumper at the other end to make it 40-37. FA missed a shot and then fouled. Davenport hit both free throws to make it 42-37.

Fryeburg got the ball to the front court, called timeout and drew up an inbounds play.

“We were down five so we were looking for a three, but would settle for a two if that was the open shot,” Coach Watson said. “We missed a three, got an offensive rebound and never got off a second shot.”

Sophomore Lexi L’Heureux-Carland paced the Raider attack with 12 points, while senior Sydney Charles chipped in 11 points. Other scorers were: Skye Dole 6 and Mackenzie Buzzell 2 points.

“It certainly has been a frustrating start to the season. We were blown out by Lake Region. Next we gave up a 13-point third quarter lead to Gray-New Gloucester to lose by five. Against Freeport, we were down early, fought tooth and nail to get back to one, but couldn’t get over the hump,” Coach Watson said. “I hope we are done finding different ways to lose. It’s about time we found some ways to win. I’m confident we will. The girls are disappointed. Hopefully they have the resolve and will demonstrate their mettle as the season moves ahead. Losses are losses. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We need to pull together, be supportive teammates, pick each other up rather than point fingers.”

Fryeburg hopes to right the ship tonight when they host Kennebunk at 6 p.m. (the game was postponed Tuesday due to the impending snowstorm).

“Right now, we are an 0-3 basketball team. It is that simple. Things will be a better for us if, after Kennebunk, we are a 1-3 team,” Coach Watson.

Next: The Raiders host Poland at 7 p.m. on Saturday before the holiday break.

 

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