FA boys’ basketball loses to Gray-New Gloucester

By Wayne E. Rivet
Staff Writer

FRYEBURG — Size isn’t everything.

Adam Jensen played bigger than his 6-foot-4 frame Tuesday night. The senior showed his experience, his explosiveness to the basket, and an ability to make big shots at key moments.

Jensen scored a game-high 26 points and hauled down 8 rebounds — many at the offensive end — to lead Gray-New Gloucester to a 58-54 basketball victory over Fryeburg Academy at Wadsworth Arena.

Ryan Cavallaro chipped in 15 points and Josh Farynaz added 11 points.

Throughout the night, Fryeburg flirted with overtaking the Patriots, but Jensen, Aaron Boulos (6 rebounds) and Heath Martell crashed the boards, giving GNG second shot chances, which they cashed in.

“Many times, we were stuck under the basket. You’re not going to get too many rebounds that way,” FA Coach Sedge Saunders said. “When you can’t contain someone — Jensen beat us off the dribble all night — you’re out of position. That opens the lane for offensive rebounds, and they had a bunch of those tonight.”

Coach Saunders also felt his players weren’t “strong enough” when it came to securing the ball off missed shots.

“We’re going to be spending some time in the weight room over the break to get stronger. At times, people pull the ball right out of our hands,” Coach Saunders said. “We can’t be giving teams extra shots because we can’t secure the ball. We do a tug-of-war drill where guys try to rip the ball away from their teammates. Tonight, we lost the tug-of-war.”

FA senior center Colby Locke kept the Raiders close early in the fourth by connecting on two wing jumpshots and a nothing-but-net hoop from the baseline. Locke picked up his fourth personal with 7:02 left in the game, but FA Coach Sedge Saunders rolled the dice and kept him in the contest.

“I thought about taking him out for about a second. I felt that if we were going to stay in this game, I needed to leave him out there. He’s a senior and has played enough ball to know he has to play smart out there,” Coach Saunders said. “I thought he stayed aggressive, yet was able to avoid picking up that fifth foul. Great job by Colby.”

Point guard Bright Amoako sank a corner 3-pointer to cut the GNG lead to two, but Farynaz answered with his own trey and Jensen slashed past two defenders for a hoop and added a free throw to push the margin to five points with 4:36 left. Fryeburg looked to answer as Djordje Obradovic connected on a 3-pointer, but Jensen’s offensive rebound and putback gave the Patriots an 8-point lead.

Fryeburg refused to quit as Obradovic made a nifty reverse lay-up with 1:47 left to move the Raiders within three. FA had a chance to creep closer, but Amoako drove the lane and was unable to find a teammate, resulting in a wild shot off the glass. Another turnover enabled the Patriots to close out the game.

“Bright is going to be a good player. He makes things happen. He hasn’t played a lot of organized basketball, so he is a little behind the eight ball right now,” Coach Saunders said. “He’s learning quickly. When you have four games in seven days, that doesn’t leave a lot of time for coaching. Our depth is much better than I thought it was going to be.”

Fryeburg started slow, going nearly six minutes without a field goal after taking a 3-2 lead. Down 15-10, the Raiders managed to tighten the game by taking the ball strong to the hoop and converting 10-of-11 foul shots, to trail just 24-22 at intermission.

After a quiet first half (2 points), Locke made his presence felt inside the lane, scoring 8 of his team-high 18 points. He became more aggressive, including a series of three tips which eventually dropped for 2 points. Two nice drives and dishes from Amoako to Locke gave the Raiders a 34-31 lead with 2:30 left in the third.

Gray-NG, however, recaptured the momentum by out scoring the Raiders 12-4 over the final two minutes, including treys by Jensen and Cavallaro.

For the Raiders, Locke had 18 points and 13 rebounds. Amoako finished with 13 points, Obradovic 12 points and 4 rebounds, freshman Walker Mallory played well off the bench with 6 points, while Kevin Knowles had 4 points and Bobby Ramsay 1.

Stat Line

Turnovers: FA 14, GNG 9.

Free Throws: FA 20-24, GNG 9-19.

Rebounding: FA 25, GNG 28.

Last week recaps

Falling behind by 17 on the road is never a good sign.

Fryeburg did manage to regroup with an 18-16 run in the second quarter against Yarmouth, but never did quite get back into the contest.

The Clippers put the game away with a 27-10 third quarter in an 84-46 rout. Colby Locke was high scorer for the Raiders with 13 points while Mike Costa added 12, including three 3-pointers. Other scorers were: Amoako 8, Obradovic 3, Knowles 2, Mallory 2, Bobby Ramsay 2, Rowland 2 and Saunders 2.

• Against Cape Elizabeth Saturday night, the Raiders held their own early — down 13-12 and 24-18 — but Theo Bowe erupted in the second half, scoring a game-high 27 points in a 55-41 victory at Wadsworth Arena.

Locke led the Raiders (1-3) with 13 points. Obradovic chipped in 10 points, Amoako 7, Ramsay 5, Costa 3 and Saunders 3.

Up next: During the holiday break, Fryeburg will host a round-robin with Sacopee Valley and Telstar on Thursday, Dec. 30 at 12, 1:30 and 3 p.m. When the Raiders return to regular season action, they will travel to Poland on Tuesday, Jan. 4 for a 6:30 p.m. game.

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