Lakers’ press zips Fryeburg girls, 59-38


STEAL ATTEMPT — Fryeburg Academy's Sydney Charles (left) attempts to knock the ball away from Lake Region guard Sarah Hancock during first half play Monday at Nutting Gym. Hancock triggered a fastbreak and the Lakers opened up a 17-4 first quarter lead and never looked back. (Rivet Photo)
CeCe Hancock 1-1-3, Tiana-Jo Carter 4-2-10, Miranda Chadbourne 1-1-3, Savannah Devoe 0-1-1, Lucy Fowler 1-0-3, Kayleigh Lepage 1-0-3, Sarah Hancock 4-2-14, Sydney Hancock 2-6-12, Meghan VanLoan 2-2-6, Kelsey Winslow 2-0-4. 3-Pointers: Sa. Hancock 2, Sy. Hancock 2, Fowler, Lepage. Turnovers: 16. FT 13-21.
Ellen Bacchiocchi 0-2-2, Sydney Charles 0-1-1, Kristen Chipman 1-0-2, Skye Dole 5-4-14, Kendra Fox 3-0-6, Mckayla Frost 1-0-2, McKenna Gerchman 0-2-2, Lexi L’Heureux-Carland 0-6-6, Sarah Welch 1-1-3. Turnovers: 31. FT 16-25.

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

Sarah Hancock felt if there was one aspect of Lake Region’s game that needed to improve prior to the playoffs was how the team starts a game.

“We need to get off to better starts,” the LR sophomore guard said after Friday’s big win over Greely. “We seem to be a third quarter team.”

On Monday, the Lakers wasted little time setting the tone against rival Fryeburg Academy.

A swarming defense forced 10 Raider turnovers and the Fryeburg offense managed just one field goal over the first eight minutes.

Meanwhile, the Laker offense was clicking on each level. LR scored in transition, three players knocked down 3-point shots, and before the Raiders knew it, the game was getting out of hand, 17-4.

Fryeburg (3-14) simply didn’t have an answer on how to break the press as Lake Region rolled to a 59-38 victory Monday night in Naples.

Hancock netted 14 points, while senior sSydney Hancock added 12. Junior center Tiana-Jo Carter turned in another dominant effort, scoring 10 points while blocking 10 shots and hauling down 21 rebounds.

The Raiders entered the game shorthanded at the guard spot as freshman Julia Quinn was sidelined due to a head injury suffered in a “nasty fall” during practice last week.

“While Kendra Fox has stepped up all season with ball handling responsibilities, point guard is not her natural position. Against Lake Region, you can never have enough ball handlers,” FA Coach Sean Watson said. “Being down our starting point guard certainly didn’t help, but injuries are part of the game and that’s why we have other players. One player didn’t decide the outcome of the game.”

Lake Region’s constant pressure from end to end was the difference maker as the Raiders turned the ball over 31 times.

“Paul (True)’s girls do a great job of anticipating the next pass or the next two passes. They get in passing lanes. Teams that get in the passing lanes are usually susceptible to back cuts and Lake Region recovers quickly. If they don’t, Carter erases a lot of those scoring chances,” Coach Watson said. “They also move really well laterally and they do a very nice job of staying in their defensive stances.”

The top-ranked Lakers (15-2) exploded with a 12-2 run to open the game, led by the Hancock clan. Sarah connected on a 3-pointer from the wing and later added a lay-up off a steal.

Sister CeCe scored off a quick burst along the baseline, and Sydney swished a 3-pointer from the corner. Senior Kayleigh Lepage also knocked down a 3-pointer from the right corner after the Lakers moved the ball crisply from one side of the court to the other.

Fryeburg successfully slowed down Greely’s interior game last week by using a zone defense. Unlike the Rangers, the Lakers had little trouble scoring, putting up 16 points. Again, good ball movement found open looks or seams to take the ball strong to the basket. LR was 8-of-12 from the foul line, while Carter scored 6 points off misses.

FA developed some foul trouble as freshman Lexi L’Heureux-Carland, who was active on the boards, picked up her third foul with 4:40 left in the half and had to go to the bench.

“We put in a zone specifically for Greely a few games ago. I was pleased with how the girls played against Greely and we made a decision to use it Monday with some changes. We kept our lower players tight in the zone to double the post and that meant our top players would have to defend the perimeter all the way to the corner,” Coach Watson said. “This was a huge gamble with the Lakers’ shooters, but with a team as good as Lake Region, we were forced to pick our poison. Any long range misses generally mean long rebounds and we hoped that would negate some of Carter’s strengths. We also hoped that some early misses from the perimeter might keep us in it and get in the heads of their perimeter players. They did miss a few early, but then got untracked.”

Against the Laker defense, FA continued to struggle in the second quarter, managing just two hoops and four foul shots. Turnovers were again a problem as FA recorded 9 miscues.

Up 33-12 at the half, the Lakers started the  third a bit slow, but pushed the lead to 42-18 after Sarah and Sydney hit back-to-back 3 pointers.

After a Kelsey Winslow baseline jumper to make it 48-24, Coach True went to his bench for the final five minutes of play. Junior Lucy Fowler made good on her chance to play, sinking a 3-pointer from the right wing, while sophomore center Meghan VanLoan netted two short-range jump shots and was 2-for-2 from the foul line.

Fryeburg was a perfect 10-for-10 from the foul stripe in the fourth, and out scored the Lakers 18-13.

“Lake Region is a better basketball team than us and they outplayed us but, as I told our players, we were neither out worked nor were we out hustled,” Coach Watson said.

Up next: The Lakers host Gray-New Gloucester in the regular season finale at 7 p.m. tonight (Feb. 7, change made due to impending storm on Friday/boys play at 5:30 p.m.). The Raiders travel to Poland tonight, Feb. 7, for a 6:30 p.m. game.




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