Fryeburg Academy's Kaylee Emery goes to the basket against rival Lake Region during he regular season. (JULIAN ZHU PHOTO)

By James Anderson

The Raiders girls basketball season ended in the first round of the Maine High School Basketball Tournament.

Kaylee Emery was not scheduled to play in the tournament game.

Kaylee was brave in the way she participated in basketball this season. After sitting out her junior year of softball and her senior year of field hockey Kaylee led the team to the basketball state tournament playing the season after having an ACL knee injury and surgery. She first injured her knee a year ago.

Her decision not to play in this year’s tournament is related to her desire to participate in a full softball season this spring. Kaylee has had quite an experience playing sports at Fryeburg Academy. Her teammates speak very highly of her character, leadership, and playing ability. Fans have been treated to her skill, heart and determination. Kaylee obviously loves her school, her community and playing sports.

In field hockey she became one of the state’s top goal scorers early in her career, and spent her senior season as a bench coach, helping out the team in any way she could, just as she had done in her junior softball season.

Her attempt to be out on the floor was a very heroic effort. Observers could see that she lacked her usual explosion off her right side and that her lateral movement was restricted. Nonetheless, she played on.

Kaylee is a natural scorer, who has an unique ability to send the basketball through the ring. She was able to drive hard to the cup from the left wing yet explode to the cylinder with a gentle kiss off the backboard. She was an opportunistic rebounder, who managed to score on put-back baskets, despite frequent height disadvantages. She developed a deadly mid-range jumper, and although she was not a serious threat from three-point range, she could hit a three-pointer when necessary.

She was such a natural scorer, that when her injury took away her explosion to the rim she made the adjustment only professionals realize, which was to go to a high backboard arching kiss, where the ball would glance off the backboard above the square and redirect through the ring.

Upon seeing this adjustment on Kaylee’s part it was clear that she is one of the great natural scorers we have ever seen here in Fryeburg. Congratulations to Kaylee for a great career, and to the team and their coaches for a very enjoyable successful season.

We look forward to seeing Kaylee this spring on the diamond.

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