Hot shooting Lakers pull away from Raiders

SARAH HANCOCK  of Lake Region directed a crisp passing game which resulted in her team knocking down nine 3-pointers in LRHS' victory over Fryeburg Academy. (Rivet Photo) LAKE REGION (58) Sarah Hancock 1-0-2, Sierra Hancock 2-0-5, Kristen Huntress 5-2-15, Lauren Jakobs 4-2-11, Devin Langadas 1-0-2, Melody Millett 0-2-2, Allison Morse 1-0-2, Chandler True 3-0-8, Spencer True 2-1-7, Meghan VanLoan 2-0-4, Kaylyn Jordan, Alizah Thayer-Broussard. 3-Pointers: Huntress (3), C. True (2), S. True (2), Jakobs, Si. Hancock Free Throws: 7-of-11 Turnovers: 13 Rebounds: 23, VanLoan 7, Jakobs 3, Morse 3, Huntress 3, Millett 2, Si. Hancock 2, S. True 1, Sa. Hancock 1, Langadas 1. FRYEBURG ACADEMY (36) Julia Quinn 4-0-8, Nicole Bennett 4-3-11, Mackenzie Buzzell 2-2-6, Sage Boivin 0-2-2, Makayla Cooper 1-0-3, Lexi L’Heureux-Carland 2-2-6, McKenna Gerchman, Katherine Parker, Bridget Bailey, Kaylin Delaney, Alexandria Fraize, Rhianna Willard. 3-Pointers: Cooper Free Throws: 9-of-23 Turnovers: 13 Rebounds: 22, Bennett 6, L’Heureux-Carland 5, Boivin 4, Buzzell 3, Bailey 3, Gerchman 1.

SARAH HANCOCK of Lake Region directed a crisp passing game which resulted in her team knocking down nine 3-pointers in LRHS' victory over Fryeburg Academy. (Rivet Photo)
LAKE REGION (58)
Sarah Hancock 1-0-2, Sierra Hancock 2-0-5, Kristen Huntress 5-2-15, Lauren Jakobs 4-2-11, Devin Langadas 1-0-2, Melody Millett 0-2-2, Allison Morse 1-0-2, Chandler True 3-0-8, Spencer True 2-1-7, Meghan VanLoan 2-0-4, Kaylyn Jordan, Alizah Thayer-Broussard.
3-Pointers: Huntress (3), C. True (2), S. True (2), Jakobs, Si. Hancock
Free Throws: 7-of-11
Turnovers: 13
Rebounds: 23, VanLoan 7, Jakobs 3, Morse 3, Huntress 3, Millett 2, Si. Hancock 2, S. True 1, Sa. Hancock 1, Langadas 1.
FRYEBURG ACADEMY (36)
Julia Quinn 4-0-8, Nicole Bennett 4-3-11, Mackenzie Buzzell 2-2-6, Sage Boivin 0-2-2, Makayla Cooper 1-0-3, Lexi L’Heureux-Carland 2-2-6, McKenna Gerchman, Katherine Parker, Bridget Bailey, Kaylin Delaney, Alexandria Fraize, Rhianna Willard.
3-Pointers: Cooper
Free Throws: 9-of-23
Turnovers: 13
Rebounds: 22, Bennett 6, L’Heureux-Carland 5, Boivin 4, Buzzell 3, Bailey 3, Gerchman 1.

By Wayne E. Rivet
Staff Writer
FRYEBURG — At least on opening night, Lake Region’s crisp passing game and long-range bombers got the best of Fryeburg Academy’s big front line.
Four different players knocked down three-point shots to spark a 21-4 second quarter charge as the Lakers rolled to a 58-36 victory over the Raiders at Wadsworth Arena Friday night.
Sophomore Kristen Huntress sank three treys en route to a game-high 15 points to lead the Lakers.
“I couldn’t have been more happy with the unselfish play. I thought we did a great job all night of getting into the paint, making Fryeburg’s defense collapse and then finding the open shooters,” Laker Coach Paul True said. “We certainly have kids on the perimeter that can knock down shots. It was one of those nights that once a couple of shots started to fall, confidence permeated through the rest of the group.”
Lake Region ran their offense with precision, moving the ball quickly and finding wide-open players along the perimeter, who promptly knocked down shots — nine 3-pointers on the night. Lake Region shot 49% from the field.
“The execution of what we were trying to do and the trust and unselfish play by the entire team was outstanding,” Coach True said. “Defensively, our kids did a pretty good job taking them out of some of the things we felt they wanted to do.”
Fryeburg’s obvious advantage was their inside game with 5-foot-10 forwards Nicole Bennett and Lexi L’Heureux-Carland. Bennett got the Raiders off to a good start, scoring the team’s first four points. A Mackenzie Buzzell layup off a Laker turnover gave Fryeburg a 6-2 lead.
But, the Raiders took a hit when L’Heureux-Carland was saddled with her third foul with 1:22 left in the quarter. Lake Region promptly attacked the paint area as Huntress converted two foul shots, freshman Lauren Jakobs sank a baseline jumper and later converted an offensive rebound for a 12-9 lead.
Fryeburg’s biggest nemesis a year ago was hitting the wall offensively during critical points of the game. It happened again Friday.
With Lake Region picking up steam, the Raiders went 0-for-8 from the field and made just 4-of-11 foul shots in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, the Lakers were finding their shooting stroke behind the three-point arc. A 13-9 Laker lead expanded to 33-13 at the half keyed by three-pointers from Chandler True, CeCe Hancock, Spencer True and Jakobs, whose shot with a second left was a dagger.
“We got into foul trouble. We need to adapt if the officials are going to call hand checks. I don’t know if that would have made a real difference in the final outcome,” FA Coach Sean Watson said. “Scoring droughts again — four points in the second quarter — hurt — that was the big problem. And, our full court press needs to get better, although they are probably one of the toughest teams to try to do that against.”
Watson felt his defense was in position to make plays, but technique broke down and the Raiders picked up some senseless fouls.
“What hurt was when we had them in trouble on the press, we committed fouls that let them out of jail. They were really quick. We tried to force them to the sidelines, but got too close, bumped them and were called for fouls. We tried to go through people to get rebounds,” he said.
At halftime, Watson reiterated that the Raiders needed to work the ball inside the lane more, especially since several players’ shots were falling short of the mark in the first half.
“We talked about having a significant size advantage and needed to capitalize on those mismatches. The problem, which we addressed at halftime, was that a team like Lake Region is quick and can shoot from the outside. If you don’t use your size advantage on the offensive end and keep it close, now you are at a disadvantage trying to play the perimeter game against those quick kids. If you get down nine or 10 points, they can draw you out and wear you down,” Watson said. “It was a disappointing effort. They do such a nice job getting the ball deep into the paint and then kicking it back out to someone who is wide open. When our perimeter players can’t stop that penetration, I don’t care how good we rotate, you can’t rotate 19 feet from the paint out to defend the shot.”
The halftime break didn’t cool off the Lakers. Huntress recorded three 3-pointers, including back-to-back scores to close out the quarter after Fryeburg had scored 10 straight points, six by L’Heureux-Carland. Even rookies, like freshman Chandler True, looked comfortable in the LR offense. She drilled her second trey, this one from straight away after the Lakers made a drive to the hoop and three subsequent passes before True fired up a wide open look.
The Raiders did out score the Lakers 9-7 in the fourth as Makayla Cooper sank a three-pointer with two minutes to go — FA’s lone trey of the contest.
Both coaches reminded players that the basketball season is a long one, and they shouldn’t put too much stock in the opening night outcome.
“I felt going in we had a realistic chance of winning. Win or lose, one game is not going to make a season for us. We lost that one, but we have 17 to go,” Coach Watson said. “I got the feeling in the locker room that they are resilient and will get right back after it. I have never had an issue with the kids I have had about responding well. I was upset, feeling we had lost focus at times. I think seeing ‘Lake Region’ on the front of the shirts means a little extra to the kids and it gets the best of them. We talked all week that this was opponent one, game one. You can focus on the wrong things, which is the issue — a lack of concentration.”
With a tough game against Gray-New Gloucester up next (the Patriots beat Greely on the Rangers’ home floor in the opener), Watson emphasized to his team that they need to learn from their mistakes immediately, turn the page and be ready for the next challenge.
“Since I have been here, we have started slow and that is on me. But, we need to find a way not to dig ourselves holes the first part of the season and then have to dig ourselves out,” Coach Watson said.
Meanwhile, Coach True felt Friday’s game was just how the Lakers need to approach every contest this season — give full effort, be ready to adjust their style of play based on the opponent, and shoot the ball well.
“The theme this year — every game — will be the tempo will be dictated by how things are unfolding. We can go into a lot of different directions with our personnel. I wasn’t sure what to expect with two kids on the floor that I hadn’t seen perform at a high level for over a week (due to injury). I thought our kids did a good job changing up our defenses,” Coach True said. “While our younger players did have very good moments (Friday), I attribute that to the leadership of our older kids on the floor, who are really making our newcomers feel comfortable and are big parts of this team.”
True was somewhat surprised by Friday’s final outcome, but isn’t reading too much into the victory.
“The score was totally not indicative of the talent Fryeburg has. They are unbelievably athletic. It was one of those nights where our kids shot the ball extremely well. Once that happened, the score snowballed. In high school sports, there is the potential of that happening,” he said. “We need to stop giving up second opportunities and stop fouling, picking up careless fouls in the backcourt. We had kids in potential foul trouble that we need to be on the floor.”
Next: The Lakers host York on Friday and Wells on Tuesday. Both games are at 7 p.m.
Fryeburg Academy hosts Freeport on Friday at 6:30 p.m. and travels to Kennebunk on Monday for a 6 p.m. contest.

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