Raider girls still searching for ‘O’

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

LOOKING OVER THE DEFENSE — Fryeburg Academy’s Sydney Charles brings the ball over halfcourt during last week’s game against Cape Elizabeth. (Rivet Photo)

FRYEBURG — Sometimes, it’s tough to erase a bad memory.

Still “shook up” after scoring just 10 points two days earlier at Falmouth, Fryeburg Academy players had to wonder if they were headed toward another dreadful night last Thursday at Wadsworth Arena.

Cape Elizabeth jumped out to a 10-0 lead halfway through the opening quarter as the Raiders committed 12 turnovers. As the final minute ticked off the clock, senior guard Maggie McConkey prevented a shutout with a one-handed flip shot.

Despite their shortcomings on the offensive end, the Raiders were scrappy and refused to quit. The effort paid off as Fryeburg nearly pulled off the comeback before falling to the Capers 26-21.

With 3:26 left, McConkey made two foul shots to pull the Raiders to 22-21. But, McConkey (6 points, 9 rebounds) missed a jumper in the lane with two minutes to go and the Raiders went scoreless down the stretch.

Sophomore center Skye Dole was high scorer for the Raiders with 8 points. She added 9 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.

“Obviously, you can’t spot a team 10 points, especially when we’re having trouble scoring,” FA Coach Dan Leland said. “After our last game, we had some opportunities. We executed, but just didn’t finish.”

Defensively, Coach Leland felt his club played well, allowing the Capers just 16 points over the final 16 minutes of the game.

“We ran some things that we haven’t done except in practice. We took their best player out of the game to keep it close,” Coach Leland said. “We had some foul trouble, which certainly made a difference in our pressure. We had to back off when Maggie picked up her fourth foul (with 2:22 left in the third quarter).”

Cape hardly put on an offensive showcase, going nearly eight minutes after Emma O’Rourke drained a 3-pointer to make it 10-0 before Kisa Tabery broke the scoring drought with a free throw at the 4:20 mark of the second quarter.

Meanwhile, the Raiders slowly chipped away at the deficit as McConkey and Kendra Fox each scored on offensive rebounds and Dole connected on a jumper from the wing to make it 10-8.

FA trailed 15-10 at the half after Brenna Gerchman connected on a pair of foul shots in the closing seconds.

With Cape scoring just one point over the first six minutes of the third quarter, Fryeburg tied the game at 16-16 as Dole drained two jump shots and Fox made a nice cut to the hoop, converting a pass from Dole into an easy lay-up.

Mel Vangel and Maddy Riker each scored lay-ups in the final two minutes to give Cape a 20-17 lead headed into the final quarter.

Neither team shot well in the fourth, combining for just 10 points as Cape escaped with its second victory. Fryeburg fell to 0-3.

“You hate to talk about moral victories when you are a couple of weeks into the season and we’re already behind the eight ball. The good thing is we play them again. We made some progress after our last game,” Coach Leland said. “Offensively, we lack in skill players. We’re a good defensive team, but we struggle on the offensive end, especially when teams take away our two scorers — Maggie and Sky. It was good for us to be in a competitive game tonight. I think we’ll feel good about playing them next time.”

Despite the 0-3 start, the Raiders continue to work and play hard — two components which Leland believes will result in rewards sometime down the line.

“This group never gives up. York had us by 12 or 15 points, but we kept cutting it back to 8 points. Even at Falmouth when the game was getting out of hand, we didn’t stop playing. I’m proud of the kids,” he said. “If they keep working hard, something good will happen eventually. It’s a tough start. It’s a tough schedule. We’ll have opportunities, but we need to stay positive. We’re a work in progress.”

For the Raiders, Fox scored 5 points and had 4 rebounds.

For Cape, O’Rourke and Vangel each had 6 points, Marla Dell’Aquilaa 5, Kayla Raftice 3, Tabery 3, Riker 2 and Kate Miklavic 1.

Turnovers: FA 26, Cape 19

Free Throws: FA 5-7, Cape 6-23

In other action

Greely 39, Raiders 29: With three minutes left Saturday night, Fryeburg had a shot at upsetting Greely.

Down just six points, the Raiders just couldn’t come up with another hoop to put more pressure on the Rangers as Greely escaped with a victory.

“We are progressing. Things are starting to come together,” Coach Leland said. “We are looking forward to the games this week. I hope we can turn the corner.”

Greely led 14-10 after one quarter, 28-17 at the half and 32-24 entering the final eight minutes.

Senior guard Maggie McConkey had her best offensive showing of the season, scoring 12 points to go along with 7 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists. Center Skye Dole chipped in 7 points and 10 rebounds.

Other FA scorers were: Sarah Welch 6 points, 2 rebounds; Sydney Charles 2 points, 2 rebounds, 3 steals; Kendra Fox 2 points, 2 steals.

Raiders 44, Poland 43: Maggie McConkey sank 1-of-2 foul shots with seven seconds left and then stole the ball at halfcourt to lead the Raiders (1-4) to their first win of the season Tuesday night at Wadsworth Arena.

Poland drops to 0-5.

McConkey scored a season high 16 points. Other FA scorers were: Sydney Charles 6, Emily Wilson 6, Kendra Fox 5, Maddy Smith 4, Sarah Welch 3, Skye Dole 3 and Brenna Gerchman had 1 point.

Up next: The Raiders host Yarmouth tonight, Dec. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at Wadsworth Arena.

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