Raiders keep playoff hopes alive, beat Lakers 54-45

PAYING THE PRICE — Lake Region's Quinn Piland (#21) draws an offensive charge foul against Fryeburg Academy's Jon Burk during Monday's game at the Academy. (Rivet Photo)
Bright Amoako 2-1-5, Jonathan Burk 2-0-4, Jaquan Causer 7-0-14, Ryan Gullikson 1-0-2, Nicholiss L’Heureux-Carland 0-0-0, Alex Lazic 2-0-4, Walker Mallory 5-6-18, Tyler Saunders 3-0-7.
3-Pointers: Mallory (2), Saunders.
Free Throws: 7-of-12
Turnovers: 13
Rebounds (26): Amoako 12, Causer 5.
Ben Chaine 2-6-10, Adam Falk 1-1-3, Cody Gibbons 0-2-2, Nick Hall 0-0-0, Mike Mageles 0-0-0, Nate Smith 1-3-5, Quinn Piland 2-3-7, Mike Triglione 5-5-15, Mark Williams 0-2-2.
3-Pointers: Triglione.
Free Throws: 22-of-25
Turnovers: 17
Rebounds (21): Chaine 5, Triglione 4, Hall 4.
Raiders 8 15 16 15 54
Lakers 6 14 7 18 45

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

FRYEBURG — Sedge Saunders knows every game, every possible tourney index point is important for his Fryeburg Academy boys’ basketball team the rest of the season.

He only has to look back to last year when the Raiders barely missed out on the playoffs.

Clinging to the final playoff spot, the Raiders had added incentive when they took the floor against rival Lake Region Monday.

Junior guard Walker Mallory sank big jump shots for a game-high 18 points and Bright Amoako hauled down 12 rebounds to lead the Raiders (5-8) to a 54-45 win over the Lakers (4-9) at Wadsworth Arena.

Neither team found a rhythm early as the Lakers committed six turnovers and managed just one field goal by Quinn Piland. Up 8-6, the Raiders rode a strong quarter by Amoako and Jaquan Causer to take a 23-20 lead into the break.

Lake Region stayed close by shooting the ball well at the foul line, going 9-for-12 in the second quarter. For the game, the Lakers were an impressive 22-of-25, while the Raiders went to the line 12 times, making seven shots.

Using good ball movement, the Raiders’ perimeter game heated up in the third quarter as Tyler Saunders connected on a trey and a jumper and Mallory added 7 points, including a 3-pointer with 1:58 left to push the FA lead to 12.

Fryeburg out scored the Lakers 16-7 in the quarter.

“The turning point for us was better execution in the second half. We rushed some shots in the first half and we didn’t establish our inside game,” FA Coach Sedge Saunders said. “We made it a priority at the half to get the ball inside early and often to start the third quarter. We also did a good job of getting to Lake Region’s shooters, but unfortunately that was negated by some silly fouls, which allowed Lake Region to get some easy ones from the charity stripe.”

Coach Saunders wanted his Raiders to speed up the game, but the “Lakers did a good job of dictating the tempo,” he said.

“For whatever reason, we didn’t play with our usual energy on the defensive end. Part of that was Lake Region’s ability to handle the ball and I thought they made pretty good decisions against our pressure,” Coach Saunders said. “We also wanted to control the boards, but according to our stats it was relatively even and we will have to address this during the week.”

Up 39-27 entering the fourth quarter, the Raiders maintained a double-digit lead until 1:24 left when Ben Chaine canned two foul shots to make it 50-41.

“I thought we got nice contributions from everybody. Bright struggled shooting the ball, but he did a nice job running the team especially in the second half,” Coach Saunders said. “Walker Mallory continues to shoot the ball well and I think his overall game has improved a lot since the beginning of the season.”

Tyler Saunders has been a steady performer, the coach said, giving the Raiders another deep shooting threat. Causer, a 6-foot-1 forward, has been the “X-factor” for the Raiders this year.

“Once again, he finished strong inside — got some key rebounds and is a very heady player,” Coach Saunders added. “Jonathan Burk is also playing better and he has some strong moves in the second half that helped get our inside game going. Alex Lazic was a spark off the bench. He had some big hustle plays for us especially in the second half.”

Freshmen Nicholis L’Heureux-Carland and Ryan Gullikson also played well off the bench, the coach said.

“We feel good about how we’re playing, but we think we can play even better and that will be our goal down the stretch,” Coach Saunders said.

For the Lakers, Monday was another tough loss to swallow.

Coach J.P. Yorkey felt the Lakers were battling the Raiders until senior Mike Triglione picked up his third foul with just two minutes gone in the second quarter and the Lakers up 11-8.

“We were able to keep it close without him, but with him, I felt as though we could have pulled ahead before halftime,” Coach Yorkey said.

The game seemed to swing to the Raiders’ favor in the third quarter, Coach Yorkey felt, when Mallory and Saunders got clean looks at the basket and each hit a trey.

“We played good defense for the most part, holding them to 20 points in the first half.  A little bit of a defensive breakdown in the third on a couple of key possessions,” Coach Yorkey said. “Offensively, we didn’t execute well enough.  But, we did shoot 22-of-25 from the free throw line, which is our best game of the year in this area.”

STRONG INSIDE MOVE — Lake Region forward Cody Gibbons takes the ball strong to the basket against Poland Saturday night. In a back-and-forth game, the Knights connected on some big outside shots in the fourth quarter to pull away for a 53-48 victory at Nutting Gymnasium. (Rivet Photo)

In other action:

Lakers clip Falcons. Mike Mageles was in the zone, connecting for six 3-pointers to lead the Lakers to a 67-59 victory over Freeport last week.

Mageles finished with a team-high 23 points.

The Lakers jumped out to a 13-7 first quarter lead, but saw Freeport rally to trail 51-48 entering the final quarter. The Lakers out scored the Falcons 16-11 to notch the win.

Quinn Piland tossed in 14 points for the Lakers, while Cody Gibbons added 11. Other scorers were: Mark Williams 6, Mike Triglione 6, Sam Smith 3, Jack Lesure 2 and Ben Chaine had 2 points.

Raiders blow out Hawks. Walker Mallory scored a game-high 20 points and Bright Amoako netted 19 as Fryeburg Academy hammered Sacopee Valley 75-28.

The Raiders struck quickly, taking a 20-9 lead after one and a 42-15 lead at the break. The Hawks were out scored 18-7 and 15-6 in the second half.

Ryan Gullikson tossed in 12 points while Jon Burk had 8, Jaquan Causer 8, Tyler Saunders 7 and Nicholis L’Heureux-Carland sank a foul shot.

Knights rally past Lakers. CJ Martin had the hot hand with the game in the balance, knocking down several key jumpshots in the fourth quarter to rally Poland to a 53-48 victory over the Lakers Saturday.

Martin led all scorers with 21 points, including three 3-pointers. Alan Young also had a big game, scoring 14 points. Josh Gary had 7 points and 7 rebounds.

Mike Mageles drained three more 3-pointers en route to a 13-point night to lead the Lakers. Other scorers were: Sam Smith 8, Quinn Piland 7, Ben Chaine 5, Cody Gibbons 5, Mike Triglione 5 and Mark Williams 5. Gibbons had 10 rebounds.

The Lakers erased a 9-4 deficit in the first quarter as Mageles rattled home a 3-pointer, Quinn Piland converted an offensive rebound and Mike Triglione sank a pull-up  jumper in the lane.

After a Mageles trey, the Lakers ran into a little foul trouble as three consecutive trips resulted in offensive foul calls. Poland cashed in and went on a 10-2 run to take a 20-16 lead. A Triglione 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds pulled the Lakers to within one at the break.

Martin scored 7 points to start the third quarter to give the Knights a 29-25 lead, but the Lakers regained the lead 32-31 as Mageles scored on a soft floater down the lane, Sam Smith dropped a 3-pointer from the left corner and sank a baseline jumper to end the quarter.

Quinn Piland, who was active inside all night (12 rebounds), gave the Lakers a 35-33 lead, which would be their last one of the night.

Momentum shifted permanently to Poland when the Lakers were whistled for a foul with 5:40 left in the game. One player took exception to the call against a teammate, and was whistled for a technical. Martin canned both shots, and Young scored on a baby hook shot to put the Knights up 39-35.

Derek Michaud and Martin put the game on ice with 3-point daggers with 3 minutes left.

The Lakers made one last ditch run as Poland as Mike Triglione created a turnover and Mike Mageles scored a quick lay-up. LR had a chance to tie when Piland came up with a steal, but three shot attempts failed to drop. Young beat the LR defense on a long pass, and Martin coolly dropped two foul shots (Poland was 10-of-15, while the Lakers were a paltry 5-of-13) with 12.5 seconds left to seal the victory. LR guard Mark Williams made things interesting with a 3-pointer from the corner with 3 seconds left, but it was too little too late.



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