FA boys look to upset Wildcats Saturday night

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

FRYEBURG — Sedge Saunders knows his Raiders are capable of knocking off high-level teams.

In the FA win column are the names Cape Elizabeth, Wells and Yarmouth.

Now, the Raiders need to add York Saturday night . Or, it’s season over.

Fryeburg Academy (7-11) heads to the Class A South quarterfinals at the Portland Expo at 8:30 p.m. against the second-seeded Wildcats (15-3). The Wildcats defeated the Raiders twice during the regular season, 61-50 and 60-37. The Raiders played the Cats tough in the first quarter, but York made its move with a 13-7 and 15-7 run in the second period.

So, what will the Raiders need to do to upset the Cats?

“We’ve got to control the pace of the game and take care of the ball. York is an explosive team with athletes who can shoot the three and make plays in the open court,” Coach Saunders said. “They also have good depth, but if we force contested shots and keep them off the boards, it works in our favor.”

In the first game, York’s Teagan Hynes knocked down five 3-pointers and William MacDonald had two treys.

FA countered with a huge shooting night by Nate Knapp, who scored a game-high 17 points, which featured five 3-pointers.

“We are going back to the basics this week focusing on being fundamentally sound. We also are putting in a few things that put our guys in situations that will hopefully play to our strengths,” Coach Saunders added.

Coach also hopes to have a guest speaker talk to his club, while doing some activities “to keep it fun.”

While it has been somewhat of a rollercoaster season for the Raiders, Coach Saunders is pleased that his club returns to the playoffs.

“Yes, very proud of this group. They faced some adversity this year and responded like champions. We were shorthanded at times. We lost a starter before the season started, but these guys never made excuses. They won some big games this year — Cape, Yarmouth and Wells — I don’t think we’ve ever beaten all those teams in the same season. What I like most about this team is that these are really good kids. They represent the school with class and they have a mutual respect for each other. The seniors have given the school so much. I don’t know if the people around here really understand the sacrifices they’ve made for our school. All are three-sport athletes who do well in the classroom. These are the guys we should be holding up as an example for our younger kids. I will miss coaching them. We’ve been through a lot together.”

• In the regular season finale, the Raiders saw Greely (15-3) bolt out to a 23-6 lead and fell to the Rangers 56-41 in Cumberland.

Nathan Knapp paced the FA attack with 12 points, including a pair of treys. Tucker Buzzell chipped in 11 points. Other scorers: Ethan Bain 9, Eli Mahan 5, Kyle Littlefield 2 and Calvin Southwick 2.

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