Gullikson nets 24 to lead Raiders past Lakers in OT

RYAN GULLIKSON is trapped temporarily by Lake Region defenders Nick Hall and Tyler Walker (right) during Frida's season opener. The Raiders prevailed in overtime. (Rivet Photo) LAKE REGION (47) Marcus DeVoe 2-5-10, Alex Langadas 1-0-2, Jack Lesure 1-2-4, Quinn Piland 4-1-9, Nate Smith 6-7-19, Nick Wandishin 1-1-3, Nick Hall, Brandon Palmer, Tyler Walker. 3-Pointers: DeVoe Free Throws: 16-of-25 Turnovers: 21 Rebounds: 27, Piland 5, Smith 5, Langadas 5, Lesure 4, Wandishin 3, Hall 3, DeVoe 2. FRYEBURG ACADEMY (51) Jonathan Burk 3-4-10, Winston Richards 3-0-6, Ben Southwick 2-2-6, Ryan Gullikson 7-10-24, Cody Gullikson 0-3-3, Brandon Ludwig 1-0-2, Ben Darling, Nicholis L’Heureux-Carland, Henry Santana. 3-Pointers: None Free Throws: 19-of-33 Turnovers: 23 Rebounds: 30, Burk 10, Richards 6, Santana 6, Gullikson 4, L’Heureux-Carland 3, C. Gullikson 1.

RYAN GULLIKSON is trapped temporarily by Lake Region defenders Nick Hall and Tyler Walker (right) during Frida's season opener. The Raiders prevailed in overtime. (Rivet Photo)
LAKE REGION (47)
Marcus DeVoe 2-5-10, Alex Langadas 1-0-2, Jack Lesure 1-2-4, Quinn Piland 4-1-9, Nate Smith 6-7-19, Nick Wandishin 1-1-3, Nick Hall, Brandon Palmer, Tyler Walker.
3-Pointers: DeVoe
Free Throws: 16-of-25
Turnovers: 21
Rebounds: 27, Piland 5, Smith 5, Langadas 5, Lesure 4, Wandishin 3, Hall 3, DeVoe 2.
FRYEBURG ACADEMY (51)
Jonathan Burk 3-4-10, Winston Richards 3-0-6, Ben Southwick 2-2-6, Ryan Gullikson 7-10-24, Cody Gullikson 0-3-3, Brandon Ludwig 1-0-2, Ben Darling, Nicholis L’Heureux-Carland, Henry Santana.
3-Pointers: None
Free Throws: 19-of-33
Turnovers: 23
Rebounds: 30, Burk 10, Richards 6, Santana 6, Gullikson 4, L’Heureux-Carland 3, C. Gullikson 1.

By Wayne E. Rivet
Staff Writer
FRYEBURG — Sedge Saunders hopes Friday’s season opener is an omen of things to come this basketball season.
After losing a lead in the final minute of regulation, Fryeburg Academy went to their closer, guard Ryan Gullikson, who delivered with a fall-away floater with 35.8 seconds remaining to tie the game at 41-41. Gullikson also prevented Lake Region from creating any last second heroics by stealing a cross-court pass to force overtime.
Fryeburg outscored the Lakers 10-6 in the extra frame to pull out a 51-47 victory at Wadsworth Arena on opening night.
“One thing we’re going to take away from this game is knowing we can beat a quality opponent, but even more importantly, we will have gained confidence from closing out the game in overtime,” FA Coach Sedge Saunders said. “We lost a lot of close games last year and hopefully this will get that monkey off our backs.”
Gullikson carried the Raiders, scoring a game-high 24 points, including going 5-of-6 from the foul line in overtime.
Neither team shot well early in the game as the Lakers enjoyed a 7-2 start, but saw the Raiders close to within one at the end of the quarter. The Lakers struggled all night against Fryeburg’s zone defense, going 5-for-23 in the first half as the backcourt was stymied by foul trouble, inexperience and poor decision-making.
“Fortunately for us, (Jack) Lesure never got in any kind of rhythm. We wanted to slow him down and get the ball out of his hands, but I think foul trouble for him was what really kept him in check,” Coach Saunders said of the LR junior point guard, who finished the night with just four points.
While many outside shots clanked off the rim or backboard, Gullikson enjoyed the greatest success by being able to get to the rim. He had back-to-back 3-point plays and scored 12 points to lead a 20-11 Raider charge in the second quarter. Lake Region trailed 26-18 at the half as Nate Smith, who had a team-high 19 points, sank two foul shots.
“The second quarter was huge for us. We got into a great offensive rhythm. We got some easy hoops in transition and got some offense from our defense,” Coach Saunders said. “Ryan Gullikson made some huge plays that quarter. Gullikson and (Jon) Burk — 10 points and 10 rebounds — have a lot of varsity experience and that was on full display. They carried us through some of those rough patches and took the team on their backs when it really mattered.”
After watching game tape, Laker Coach J.P. Yorkey felt his team was a little tight on opening night.
“We weren’t as aggressive offensively as we need to be. I think our guys were a bit nervous. I could see it when I watched the video,” Coach Yorkey said. “Both teams played good defense but also both teams missed some easy shots.”
Part of the Laker struggles, Yorkey felt, was due to Fryeburg’s defense.
“Give Fryeburg credit.  Burk and (Nicholis) L’Heureux-Carland close out pretty good coming out on the wing and they are tall and long,” Coach Yorkey added. “We had some guys open on their cuts, but it was hard to see them.  (Henry) Santana does a nice job closing off baseline, while Gullikson and (Ben) Southwick are very active up top.”
Coach Yorkey knows his club can be much better, especially on the offensive end.
“We had a preseason game where we had only one turnover for the whole game. Being more aggressive and confident on offense will help with this,” he said. “
Because the outside game was off, the Lakers made a point to take the ball strong to the basket to start the second half. While the Lakers managed to get to the foul line, they connected on just three-of-eight chances.
Junior Marcus DeVoe drained a three-pointer with 2:12 left in the third quarter to close the gap to 33-30. FA had a chance to extend their lead in the last minute, but went one-for-four at the line.
Looking for a spark down the stretch, the Lakers got one from an expected source — forward Nate Smith. Smith scored six straight points including a one-hander down the lane, and senior Quinn Piland added a bucket to give the Lakers a 40-39 lead with 2:52 left in regulation.
Fryeburg’s sparks came from two unexpected sources. First, center Winston Richards made a strong baseline move past a LR defender to score, and forward Henry Santana stood tall in the lane and took a charge by LR’s Lesure — his fifth personal — with 25.9 seconds left. The stop forced overtime.
“Winston had a nice game for us. Our inside play was the difference. We got a lot of shots in the paint and got to the line 30 times — both are definite keys to success,” Coach Saunders said.
A big swing in the game occurred with just 47 seconds off the clock in overtime. With the Lakers up 43-41 off a Smith baseline jumper, LR was whistled for a technical foul when a player apparently made a comment to a game official after committing his fifth foul. FA took advantage as Burk sank one-of-two foul shots, Gullikson made both free throws and the Raiders scored on a Richards’ baseline drive to take a 46-43 lead.
Lake Region would not recover.
DeVoe sank a pair of foul shots to trim the Raider lead to one, but Southwick scored on an inside hoop.
The Lakers closed to within 48-47 on a smooth baseline drive by Smith, but Fryeburg sealed the victory as Gullikson made three-of-four foul shots in the last 12.2 seconds and intercepted an errant Laker pass.
“We won a tough game and the good news is we can get a lot better. Our defensive rotation needs work and we are going to have to get more people involved offensively,” Coach Saunders said. “We also have to understand that the Western Maine Conference is brutal. Every opponent is capable of beating us if we don’t bring our ‘A’ game. We have to find ways to play to our potential every time we take the court.”
Meanwhile, the Lakers will look to rebound against Cape Elizabeth.
“We did battle back and made plays. We were certainly disappointed with the outcome. In this type of situation, the kids need you (coach) to pick them back up and that was the theme. We knew Fryeburg was a good team, as we played them three times last season and twice this summer. It was an exciting season-opening, overtime rivalry game,” Coach Yorkey said. “It is one game, and it is a long season. That was the message.”
Next: The Lakers travel to York Friday for a 7 p.m. game against the Wildcats, and go to Wells on Tuesday for a 7 p.m. game against the Warriors.
The Raiders head to Freeport Friday for a 6:30 game against the Falcons. FA hosts Kennebunk on Monday at 6 p.m.

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