Lakers avoid meltdown, hold off Gray-New Gloucester

NICK WANDISHIN (right) of Lake Region attempts to block a shot against Gray-New Gloucester. (Rivet Photo)   LAKERS (64) Marcus DeVoe 4-0-9, Nick Hall 3-1-7, Alex Langadas 2-4-8, Jackson Lesure 4-1-11, Brandon Palmer 2-0-5, Quinn Piland 1-0-2, Nate Smith 3-7-14, Nick Wandishin 3-2-8, Tyler Walker. 3-Pointers: DeVoe, Lesure 2, Palmer, Smith Turnovers: 18 FG: 23-of-55, 42% FT: 15-of-21, 71% Rebounds: 33, Lesure 9, Hall 4, Wandishin 4, Palmer 6, Smith 3, DeVoe 5, Langadas 2. GRAY-NG (59) Zack Haskell 4-3-11, Andreas Kariotis 5-0-12, James Magno 4-2-10, Tyler St. Pierre 10-4-26, Kyle Keenan, David Chaniatte, Andrew Ellingson, John Villanueva. 3-Pointers: Kariotis 2, St. Pierre 2 Turnovers: 22 FG: 22-of-42, 52% FT: 9-of-18, 50% Rebounds: 26

NICK WANDISHIN (right) of Lake Region attempts to block a shot against Gray-New Gloucester. (Rivet Photo)
LAKERS (64)
Marcus DeVoe 4-0-9, Nick Hall 3-1-7, Alex Langadas 2-4-8, Jackson Lesure 4-1-11, Brandon Palmer 2-0-5, Quinn Piland 1-0-2, Nate Smith 3-7-14, Nick Wandishin 3-2-8, Tyler Walker.
3-Pointers: DeVoe, Lesure 2, Palmer, Smith
Turnovers: 18
FG: 23-of-55, 42%
FT: 15-of-21, 71%
Rebounds: 33, Lesure 9, Hall 4, Wandishin 4, Palmer 6, Smith 3, DeVoe 5, Langadas 2.
GRAY-NG (59)
Zack Haskell 4-3-11, Andreas Kariotis 5-0-12, James Magno 4-2-10, Tyler St. Pierre 10-4-26, Kyle Keenan, David Chaniatte, Andrew Ellingson, John Villanueva.
3-Pointers: Kariotis 2, St. Pierre 2
Turnovers: 22
FG: 22-of-42, 52%
FT: 9-of-18, 50%
Rebounds: 26

By Wayne E. Rivet
Staff Writer
It was one they nearly gave away.
The Lake Region boys basketball team played a lights-out second quarter, shooting at a nearly 70% clip from the floor en route to a 27-8 barrage against Gray-New Gloucester.
As hot as the Lakers were in the second, they went into a deep freeze in the third quarter. Shooting a dismal 5-of-18 from the floor, committing six turnovers and failing to reach the foul line even once, the Lakers opened the door to an incredible Patriot comeback.
Gray-NG nearly erased a 22-point deficit, closing to within one point with two minutes left in the game before Nathan Smith came to the Lakers’ rescue.
Smith scored seven of his team’s final eight points, including 3-of-4 from the foul line, as the Lakers escaped with a 64-59 victory over Gray-NG last Tuesday night at Theodore Nutting Gymnasium.
The victory moved the Lakers (3-2) up to fifth in the current Class B West Heal Ratings, while the Patriots (3-2) dropped to seventh.
QUOTE?
The Patriots were sharp early, opening up an 11-4 lead midway through the quarter before the Lakers found their groove. Jackson Lesure and Smith each netted 3-pointers to turn the tide as the Lakers closed the period with a 12-0 run with reserve Brandon Palmer coming down with two offensive rebounds leading to a score.
After the Patriots scored to make it 16-13 to start the second quarter, the Lakers thoroughly dominated G-NG at both ends of the court.
The LR defense forced eight turnovers.
Gray-NG was just 2-of-8 from the field.
The Patriots went 6 minutes, 35 seconds between scoring field goals.
Meanwhile, the Laker offense was cranking. Seven different players scored in the uptempo attack, including reserve forward Alex Langadas, who scored all eight of his points to close out the half.
The blitz was fueled by high energy, extra passes to end up with better shots (led by point guard Jackson Lesure) and strong takes to the hoop.
Halftime was just what Gray-NG needed. They rebounded from the second period shellacking with renewed shooting confidence injected by the hot hand of Tyler St. Pierre, who scored 15 points including three 3-pointers to spark a big time comeback.
Lake Region started okay with Marcus DeVoe connecting on a trey from the corner and Lesure setting up Nick Hall and Quinn Piland for easy scores in the lane.
With 4:46 left in the period, the Lakers were comfortably up 50-26.
Then, the roof fell in. The Patriots first rattled off nine straight points before DeVoe halted the momentum by converting a steal into a layup.
But, the Patriots continue to chip, chip, chip away at the deficit. Inside Laker shots rolled off the rim, and Gray answered with a trey or quick drive to the hoop.
When the dust settled, the Patriots trailed just 54-46 entering the final period.
Laker fans had to feel they were witnessing one of the biggest collapses in recent memory as the Patriots continued their assault by scoring the first six points of the fourth quarter as St. Pierre converted a turnover into a fast-break hoop and netted two foul shots to make it, LR 54, GNG 52 with 4:32 left in the game.
Back-up guard Tyler Walker made a nice dish inside to Nick Wandishin, who gave the Lakers big minutes and rebounds with Piland saddled with foul trouble, for a much-needed basket.
Gray-NG had a chance to take a lead, but went 1-of-4 from the foul line. The Patriots did inch ever so close, 58-57, but couldn’t quite reach the summit after the long climb from a 22-point hole.
In search of a “go-to-guy” down the stretch, Nate Smith stepped up to the challenge for the Lakers. After snagging an errant pass, Smith drove to the hoop and scored.
The Patriots then turned the ball over, and fouled Lesure (11 points, 9 rebounds and two blocked shots), who made 1-of-2 free throws with 46.3 seconds.
LR had a chance to put the game away with another Patriot turnover, but they gave the ball right back to GNG and St. Pierre scored off the miscue to make it 61-59 with 33.3 seconds left.
Smith was clutch at the line, sealing the victory with a 3-for-4 effort.
Up next: The Lakers host Poland Saturday, Jan. 3 at 7 p.m. with the varsity girls playing at 5:30 p.m. JV play at 3:30 p.m. Then, the Lakers host Fryeburg Academy on Tuesday, Jan. 5 at 5:30 p.m. with the varsity girls at 7 p.m.

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