Hoop tourney preview: Raiders vs. Leavitt

raiderlogo#3 FRYEBURG ACADEMY (15-3) vs. #6 LEAVITT (9-9)

Class A South Quarterfinal

Monday, Feb. 15, 2 p.m.

Portland Expo

Previous meetings

• GM 2, 12/11/15, FA 42-38

FA: Julia Quinn, 18 points

LVT: Rebecca Fogg, 14 points

• GM 7, 1/2/16, FA 50-28

FA: Lexi L’Heureux-Carland 16 points, Julia Quinn 16 points

LVT: Rebecca Fogg, 7 points

Raiders

Points For: 817, 45.4 ppg

Points Against: 622, 34.6 ppg

Longest win streak: 6

Road record: 7-2

Last 5 games: 4-1

Last game: The Raiders defeated Cape Elizabeth 40-27 behind Lexi L’Heureux-Carland’s 17 points. The Raiders broke the game open in the second half with runs of 10-4 and 16-9. Other scorers were: Julia Quinn 8, Sage Boivin 4, McKenna Gerchman 3, Katherine Parker 2, Mackenzie Buzzell 2, Kaylin Delaney 2 and Nicole Bennett 2.

Hornets

Points For: 795, 44.2 ppg

Points Against: 849, 47.2 ppg

Longest win streak: 2

Road record: 3-6

Last 5 games: 3-2

Last game: The Hornets fell to Oxford Hills 50-25.

Coach’s Corner

The News posed the following questions to Fryeburg Academy Head Coach Sean Watson:

A couple of keys to playoff success?

Coach Watson: We need to continue to play well defensively in the backcourt and in the halfcourt. We need to be able to put pressure on the ball without fouling. When we have five players doing that we can be difficult to play against. We need to run our offense and recognize when we have an advantage and when one of our players has a hot hand. We need to do what we have done well. We need to play to our collective and individual strengths.

Two areas your team has improved the most?

Coach Watson: I think we have continued to improve in all facets of the game. I think we were mentally tough to start the season but I think we have really improved in that part of the game. Our kids have been resilient and have not been rattled, even in our closest games. I believe we are better offensively — both from a team standpoint and an individual standpoint. The players have put in a lot of time on their offensive skills with Coaches Coreen Eccleston and Coach Chris Dutton throughout the season. That is a testament to the players’ work ethic and their coachability but also to Coach Eccleston and Coach Dutton.

What are you most proud of regarding your team?

Coach Watson: After 12 weeks, to the best of my knowledge, the players have been continuing to put the team first, second and third. That is not an easy thing to do. It is not easy to sacrifice personal goals and personal gain for the collective good of the team. Regardless of what happens down the road, that is what I will remember. That’s what I hope will make them proud.

Secondly, the players have all tried to be tougher and faster and smarter every day. I think they have done a great job with that also. We’ve been trying to play fast. We’ve been trying to play smart. For as long as I have known these kids, they have always been tough. So, I am extremely happy with their attempt to continue to get tougher, faster and smarter.

What are the challenges of playing a team for the third time? You know them, they know you.

Coach Watson: I would think playing a team for the third time might take a little mystery out of the match-up. I would guess that both teams are not apt to change a whole lot of what they do. Both teams are good enough to make the tournament. Both teams have had success with their formula of how they like to do things.

It is different. Usually you would see a conference team for the third time in a tournament. In that case, you would have seen them twice during the regular season and have had the chance to see how they did against other conference opponents. We would also probably have a history of what the coach liked to do in past years. With the new cross conference schedule (now playing a team like Leavitt) that is not the case. We will just try to break down the video the best we can and try to prepare like we would for any other opponent.

We know they are a good team. We feel we are a good team. We want to give them our best shot. We want to focus on playing well and not focus on the scoreboard. We want to play each individual offensive and defensive possession with a purpose.

We hope to be prepared for just about anything they throw at us. This season, we’ve seen just about every defense there is. We’ve seen pressure in the full court and with halfcourt traps. We’ve seen man-to-man and zone. We’ve seen box and ones and other combination defenses. We’ve got a lot of experience and we hope that plays a factor.

Class A South Bracket

Quarterfinals

At the Portland Expo

Monday, Feb. 15

#1 York (18-0) vs. #8 Westbrook (9-9) or #9 Cape Elizabeth (7-11), 8:30 p.m.

#2 Greely (15-3) vs. #7 Marshwood (10-8), 3:30 p.m.

#3 Fryeburg (15-3) vs. #6 Leavitt (9-9), 2 p.m.

#4 Brunswick (11-7) vs. #5 Morse (10-8), 7 p.m.

Semifinals

At Cross Insurance Arena, Portland

Wednesday, Feb. 17

Greely-Marshwood winner vs. Fryeburg-Leavitt winner, 2 p.m.

York-Westbrook-Cape winner vs. Brunswick-Morse winner, 3:30 p.m.

Finals

At Cross Insurance Arena, Portland

Saturday, Feb. 20, 7 p.m.

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