LeBrun buries three straight 3-pointers to spark Raiders’ win over Lakers

GAME CHANGING 3s — Fryeburg senior Joe LeBrun knocked down three straight 3-pointers to turn the tide against Lake Region and push the Raiders to their eighth win. (Rivet Photos)

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

Joe LeBrun was feeling it.

And, his teammates were smart enough to keep going to the hot hand.

A senior forward, LeBrun broke a 13-13 tie midway through the second quarter by swishing three straight 3-pointers and turning the tide as Fryeburg Academy dealt rival Lake Region a serious blow to their playoff hopes with a 44-33 victory Tuesday night at Nutting Gym.

Those 3s were LeBrun’s only points of the night, but they put the Raiders ahead to stay in the Senior Night clash.

“Joe, when he’s on balance and in rhythm, has one of the best shots in the league. He can present match-up problems because he’s usually being guarded by our opponent’s 5-man,” Raider Coach Sedge Saunders said. “Yes, those threes gave us a nice cushion, which proved to be too much for Lake Region to overcome.”

As expected, the action throughout was highly contested with a lot at stake, not just rivalry pride. LR entered the game with a miniscule lead over Lisbon for the final playoff spot. The Greyhounds have one game left, against Oak Hill, a team they beat 56-52 a few weeks ago. LR, meanwhile, closes against Yarmouth, a team they lost to by 22.

“Our approach at practice to get ready was not any different. I told them that this is what we have been getting ready for rival game playoff atmosphere and Senior Night. Use the energy,” Laker Coach John Mayo said. “We needed to rebound well, which we had been struggling with, which I thought we did a good job at tonight. We needed to limit dribble penetration and know who shooters are. We also needed to share the ball on offense and limit our turnovers. When we moved the ball and did not try to force it, we got good looks.”

Fryeburg hoped to move out of the eighth slot, and punch a ticket to the Expo for the Class A quarterfinals. A win did just that as the Raiders inched ahead of the Dragons 65.8025 to 63.1481 with a game to play. FA has undefeated, top-ranked Greely at home tonight, 6:30 p.m. while Brunswick travels to Mt. Ararat, which the Dragons defeated 70-57.

FA's Tucker Buzzell with a strong drive to the rim.

Although the Raiders lead 8-7 after one, FA faced some foul trouble as forward Tucker Buzzell was whistled for his second offensive charge, the last one erasing a hoop. Guard Oscar Saunders also had a bucket nullified by a charge call as the Lakers held their ground in the paint.

“We talked about avoiding the charge — attacking the basket more under control, but give Lake credit, they did a nice job of stepping up to the penetration,” Coach Saunders said. “Adam Canfield gave us some good minutes off the bench. Tucker hasn’t been in foul trouble all year, but tonight was frustrating for him. I thought Adam really came through, which was great to see because he’s a great kid and a great teammate.”

With the Lakers going cold from the field in the second, the Raiders made their move with LeBrun getting hot at the right time, Saunders continuing to show confidence driving to the rim (sinking a pair of foul shots), and reserves Caleb Bowles and Nathan Knapp scoring key buckets — a right corner trey by Bowles and a pull-up jumper in the lane by Knapp.

“Those 3-shots were a big momentum shift. I thought we had a good pace to the game until that stretch. The first one was off a screen and roll that we had to help on which they have run in the past. He set a good screen. One was in transition and one we did not get out on him quick enough,” Coach Mayo said.

FA lead 26-17 at the half.

Not much to say about the third quarter as the teams combined for six points.

“There was not much flow to the game, especially in the third quarter. We hoped to get the lead to double digits, but had three empty possessions coming out of the half,” Coach Saunders said.

LR was a dismal 1-of-14 from the field.

LR's Mark Mayo eyes the basket.

The fourth was fun, at least from a fan’s perspective. LR scratched back as Tristen Chaine hit a clutch jumper in the lane and Tyler Breton converted two foul shots to cut the deficit to 31-27.

Just when momentum may have shifted, FA senior guard Ryan Hewes righted the U.S.S. Raider by dropping a 3-point corner bomb on the Lakers with 4:12 left.

“Ryan’s three was huge for us. He is a good shooter, but has been pressing a bit lately. That three should loosen him up and it gave us just enough breathing room to close the game,” Coach Saunders said.

FA closed out the Lakers by going 10-of-15 from the foul line.

“I thought we defended well enough to win. We had some breakdowns, where we helped from the wrong spot on dribble penetration that allowed them to hit a couple of 3s,” Coach Mayo said. “(Down the stretch) we did try to force it. We again went away from moving the ball from side-to-side against the defense and tried to force the action (resulting in turnovers). We want to go inside, but not force it.”

Now, LR’s playoff chances hang in the balance. They will certainly be rooting for the Raiders — that is Oak Hill — and trying to figure out a way to upset Yarmouth.

LR senior guard Tristen Chaine pulls the trigger from the baseline over FA defender Joe LeBrun.

“The difference in the first game at Yarmouth was we allowed them way to many offensive rebounds, which turned into second shots, which turned into points. Because of it, they had quite a few more shots than us,” Coach Mayo said. “If we limit them to one shot a possession and on the offensive end share the ball to get good looks and limit our turnovers, we can play with anyone.”

Stat lines

LR scoring: Chaine 7, True Meyers 7, Ethan Chadwick 7, Mark Mayo 6, Breton 4, Robbie Crockett 2.

FA scoring: Scott Parker 9, LeBrun 9, Saunders 7, Hewes 7, Knapp 6, Bowles 3, Buzzell 3.

UPDATE: Fryeburg had a short stay in the Number 7 slot after the Lake Region win as Brunswick reclaimed the automatic berth to the Portland Expo with a 68-38 thumping of Mt. Ararat. Fryeburg lost to Greely in the regular season finale, 53-34. The Raiders will host Marshwood in the Class A South prelim game, with the winner advancing to the Expo against top-ranked Greely (18-0).

Lake Region, meanwhile, lost to Yarmouth Thursday night 52-34 opening the door for Lisbon to claim the final playoff berth as the Greyhounds beat Oak Hill 62-44. The Lakers finished 10th at 7-11.

FA forward Joe LeBrun contests a pull-up shot by Lake Region's Tyler Breton.

Near block by FA's Tucker Buzzell as Laker guard Tristen Chaine fires a shot.

FA's Oscar Saunders for a one-handed flip shot in the lane.

Please follow and like us: