Raider sports report

GIRLS' BASKETBALL

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

FRYEBURG — Making the playoffs is now a goal well within Fryeburg Academy’s reach.

The Lady Raiders took care of business, beating York and Cape Elizabeth, virtually locking up a home prelim playoff game.

Skye Dole scored a game-high 15 points to lead the Raiders to a thrilling 48–45 win over York Tuesday night at Wadsworth Arena.

FA led early 15–14 and were tied with the Wildcats 24–24 at the half. Fryeburg went up one entering the final quarter, and notched their 10th win behind Lexi L’Heureux-Carland, who netted six of her eight points down the stretch and McKenna Gerchman, who scored all five of her points in the decisive final quarter.

Julia Quinn tossed in 10 points for the Raiders (10–7), currently ranked eighth with one game left, at Sacopee Valley tonight, Feb. 6 at 6:30 p.m.. Other FA scorers were Sarah Welch 4 and Mackenzie Buzzell 6.

At Cape Elizabeth, the Raiders got solid offensive balance to upend the Capers, 59–38.

“What a good win for the girls. Cape is a good team that is very well-coached. Going into the game we knew they posed a unique match up situation for us. We haven’t played a team all year that plays with five perimeter players that all shoot three-pointers,” FA Coach Sean Watson said. “The girls worked very hard in practice on defending five perimeter players that can all shoot the ball. Cape’s first seven players are all good shooters and they have had a balanced scoring attack all year.”

Cape was in a situation where they needed three straight wins to have a legitimate shot of making the post season.

“We were aware that we would need to match their intensity and that they would treat this as a playoff game,” Coach Watson said.

The Raiders started quickly, scoring 16 first quarter points (Mackenzie Buzzell 5 points, Alexis L’Heureux-Carland 4 points, Sarah Welch 2 points, Julia Quinn 2 points, Skye Dole 2 points, Nicole Bennett 1 point).

“We did a nice job defensively limiting Cape to 8 points,” Coach Watson said.

Cape’s Kate Miklavic sank a buzzer-beater three-pointer from just over half court to give Cape an 11–10 edge for the second quarter to cut the deficit to seven, 26–19. (Scoring in the second quarter for Fryeburg, Julia Quinn 4, Alexis L'Heureux-Carland 4, Skye Dole 2)

FA extended their lead to 43–33 in the third period. (Skye Dole 6, McKenna Gerchman 5, Mackenzie Buzzell 3, Julia Quinn 2, Alexis L’Heureux-Carland 1).

The Raiders were able to close the deal in the fourth quarter, outscoring Cape 16–5, with three of Cape’s points coming from the foul line. (Julia Quinn 5, Mackenzie Buzzell 3, Katherine Parker 2, Sarah Welch 2, Skye Dole 2, McKenna Gerchman 2).

“The girls shot the ball very well. We scored in transition when it was there. We were very patient and extremely unselfish on offense. We were 24-of-39 from the floor. That’s nearly 62% from the floor. Anytime you can shoot above 60% from the floor you expect to win,” Coach Watson said.

Skye Dole, once again was the best rebounder on the court with 12 rebounds. Scorers were: Julia Quinn 13 points, Skye Dole 12 points, Mackenzie Buzzell 11 points, Alexis L’Heureux-Carland 9 points, McKenna Gerchman 7 points, Sarah Welch 4 points, Katherine Parker 2 points and Nicole Bennett 1 point.

“This was a real good win for the girls. It has been a great nine-game stretch. We’ve won seven of our last nine. In the two losses, one was an overtime loss at Poland and the other was the five-point loss at Greely,” Coach Watson said. “Win or lose, we just want to keep playing the game well. For the past nine games, our focus had been on effort and attitude and we’re not going to concern ourselves with anything else.”

He added, “If we could win out versus York and Sacopee, we have a very real shot of moving into the seventh spot and hosting a prelim game. With a few things falling right, we have a mathematical chance of moving all the way up to sixth and thereby avoiding a prelim game altogether. Regardless of all the scenarios, we want to give our best effort this week and play and practice with our best and most supportive attitudes.”

Part of the Raiders’ success has been players buying into the team philosophy.

“We have continued to get great production from all members of our team. We’re a very balanced offensive team right now. We need to keep the offensive balance. We have also done a good job of running when it is there and really looking for mismatches in our offensive sets. The post players have done a fine job of reading the defense and scoring when it's there and finding the open person when they are being doubled,” Coach Watson said. “Our perimeter players have been great at getting the ball inside when we have an advantage in the paint. They have also attacked the basket with the dribble when they have been closely guarded. They have also realized that their shooting percentage is much improved when they can catch and shoot off of a pass from the inside out. They've knocked down some big shots at crucial spots in games. We have been much more efficient on the offensive end.”

For all the good things the Raiders have done on offense, Coach Watson believes FA’s bread and butter is on the defensive end.

“For us to have success the rest of the way, it is going to have to happen on the defensive end,” he said. “Playing good defense isn’t flashy. It isn’t fun. It’s hard work and it doesn’t get your name in the paper very often, but it has been fundamental to our recent success and it will determine the outcome of rest of our season.”

BOYS' BASKETBALL

FRYEBURG — It was a tough week for the Fryeburg Academy boys’ basketball team.

The Raiders boys lost two games they had great opportunities to win — dropping a 50–45 decision against Cape Elizabeth and a 50–49 defeat to York, running their losing skid to six games (of their 10 defeats this season, six have been by five points or less).

“I thought we had a good chance to knock Greely off, especially since we had played Falmouth to the wire and had been playing better overall. We did what we wanted to do with Greely in the first half…getting out in transition and pressuring them into some turnovers and rushed shots,” Coach Sedge Saunders said. “We were in a good rhythm and they were not. It was a tale of two halves because we couldn’t get anything going offensive after halftime and we allowed McDevitt to get going in the paint and we put them on the line countless times. We did not play well in the second half…too many unforced errors and an inability to convert in transition.”

Cape Elizabeth was even more of a disappointment because Coach Saunders felt the only way the Raiders would get back into the game, being down 10 at the half, would be if they turned the ball over, didn't rebound well, and put them on the line…and that’s exactly what happened.

“We knew they would switch up their defense, but I was shocked at how we struggled to take care of the ball. In a back and forth game such as this, it’s going to come down to the little things and unfortunately we struggled with these type of scenarios,” Coach Saunders said. “It’s a shame because the boys have been playing pretty good ball and are certainly playing better now than the beginning of the year. We just need to be mentally tougher during crunch time. I think with the tough losses we've had, it was in the back of their minds during the Cape game, which caused us to play not to lose down the stretch.”

Fryeburg led 30–20 at the half, but saw the Capers take charge over the final 16 minutes with runs of 16–11 and 14-4.

“We’ve also got to stop fouling so much because our opponents have gone to the line an average of 18 more times than us in the last three games,” he said. “Cape scored all their points in the fourth quarter from the free throw line. This is something we’ve got to clean up as we head to the tourney.”

Even the coach said he needs to make some adjustments.

“I have to do a better job getting this team prepared for late game situations and calming them down in the second half. There’s a fine line between continuing to play aggressively but also managing the clock and taking care of the ball. We will finish strong and we’ll be ready for whatever comes our way,” he said.

Raiders: Alex Blake 13, Jonathan Burk 7, Jaquan Causer 6, Ryan Gullikson 10, Nicholas L’Heureux-Carland 3, Henry Santana 1, Ignacio Calleja 5.

Against York Tuesday, the Raiders rallied with a 23-10 fourth quarter run. Ryan Gullikson scored a game-high 20 points, while Alex Blake added 13, Ignacio Calleja 7, Jon Burk 6, Winston Richards 2 and Nicholas L’Heureux-Carland 1.

The Raiders close out the regular season tonight at home against Sacopee Valley at 6:30 p.m.

 

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