Lakers beat Raiders 53-28

By Wayne E. Rivet
Staff Writer

Watching Lake Region and Greely battle it out, Dan Leland knew he had to try “something different” when his Raiders girls’ basketball team met their arch rival.

“That game was like watching a college game. The pace was incredible. They both shot the ball extremely well. Lake Region ran some offensive sets, which we hadn’t seen before. And, the defense was amazing,” the FA coach said. “To compete, we had to throw some things at them that they may not be expecting. We don’t match up well with them (Lake Region). They’re quick up front, and our best guard has to play their best forward.”

The plan was to tightly guard LR point Sydney Hancock, and always account for center Tianna-Jo Carter.

“That’s didn’t work out well,” Coach Leland said. “We’ve struggled with our perimeter defense our last three games. We tried to force them to look to other players to score.”

Hancock scored a game-high 12 points, 10 in the opening quarter as the Lakers (15-2) built a lead they would never give up en route to a 53-28 victory over the Raiders (5-12) Tuesday night at Nutting Gym. Carter added 8 points, 6 of which came at the end of the second quarter as the Lakers took a commanding 29-12 lead into halftime.

Forcing six turnovers in the second quarter, the Lakers went on a 15-5 run with contributions coming from five different players. Keeping the defensive pressure on high, the Lakers forced eight turnovers in the third quarter, which led to several fastbreak chances. Abby Craffey drained a 3-pointer from the corner and later picked a Raider’s pocket for a lay-up to give LR a 36-12 lead. Fryeburg went seven-plus minutes without scoring before Brenna Gerchman scored off an offensive rebound. Meanwhile, the Lakers got strong play from their bench as Shannon VanLoan was rewarded for her tenacity inside with a put-back shot in the final minute to push the Laker advantage to 42-16.

FA won the fourth quarter, 12-11 behind Maddy Smith’s six points. LR reserve Savannah Devoe had 4 points, while guard Kasey Huntress put a punctuation mark on the victory by swishing a 3-pointer from the left wing.

Although the Raiders lost big, Coach Leland was proud of his club’s effort.

“Our goal was to play hard, and play hard for the full 32 minutes. We’ve played some close games all year. We won six of eight quarters against Gray, but lost. We lost to Wells twice, beat them six of eight quarters. We need to play a full game to be competitive in this league. I liked our effort tonight,” Coach Leland said. “There is no team in this league that you can simply walk in and beat. Teams at the lower end are playing tough now. I get tired hearing we’re young. That team (Lake Region) is pretty darn young, and they’ve won 15 games. It comes down to commitment — are you willing to put in the time and effort to work on your game. Look at the success at Fryeburg in softball. It happens because the kids are well coached and players work real hard. Our goal is to be in the playoffs. It is unacceptable not to be there.”

For the Lakers, Craffey finished with 8 points, Rachel Wandishin connected for 6 points, Kelsey Winslow 4, DeVoe 4, Hannah Cutting (the team’s lone senior) closed out her final game at LRHS with 4 points, Huntress 3, Kate Cutting 2 and VanLoan had 2.

For the Raiders, freshman Skye Dole had 7 points, Gerchman added 7, Smith 6, Kendra Fox 4, Katie Heggie 2 and Maggie McConkey had 2 points.

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