FRYEBURG — The Fryeburg Academy girls’ basketball team saw its two-game win streak snapped by rivals Lake Region last week as the Lakers swept a home-and-home series to earn bragging rights and pick up the Heel points. The Raiders rebound nicely sweeping a home-and-home series from Poland, winning 58-38 at the Knights’ castle Jan. 19 and rolled 67-33 at home three days later.
The Lakers (8-2) defeated the host Raiders (4-8) by a single point, 43-42, in a nip-and-tuck battle in the Wadsworth Arena on Jan. 10. In the rematch, Jan. 14, in Naples, Maine, Lake Region used interior play and outscored the girls from Fryeburg 31-9 over the second and third quarters en route to a 61-39 victory.
In the first encounter, FA hung with Lake Region despite a rather large height disadvantage. The Lakers have two players who are 6’1”. One other forward who is 6’ and two girls who are 5’11”. Lake Region Coach John Mayo used his height advantage by having his girls pass the ball with two hands over their heads to their teammates high above where Fryeburg could reach. On passes inside the Lakers’ “bigs” caught the ball facing the basket for short easy bank shots. The Raider defense had to scramble to catch up.
The Raiders got into early foul trouble while finding themselves behind on the scoreboard. Fryeburg played catch-up throughout with the ball handling and scoring of Sydney Shaw, and Mina Milosevic. As always Celia Hernandez was working hard on defense and rebounding against the Lakers. If there is a loose ball on the floor you can see Hernandez’s eyes light up as she looks to gain possession. Her hustle and determination are an inspiration for her teammates.
Although the Lakers started to pull away at the end of the third quarter and early in the fourth, the undersized Raiders fought back to within a single point with the ball. With 1 second left, trailing 43-42 and the crowd on its feet, the Raiders threw up a prayer that would have won the game, but it was inches short of its mark as the horn sounded.
As fate would have it Milosevic was under the basket, and she caught the desperation heave at the buzzer. She banked in the errant shot however the buzzer had sounded.
Shaw was injured in the game and did not play most of the second half.
As Coach Kristen Stacy walked by me on her way out while holding her index finger and thumb a quarter of an inch apart, she whispered, “This close, we were this close.” And they were. It just doesn’t seem fair sometimes, but we chalk it up to a learning experience, and that is why high school sports are of such importance in a child’s life.
In the rematch, the Raiders took the lead in the first quarter, but Melissa Mayo scored 13 of her 16 points in the middle two quarters as the Lakers took charge of the scoreboard. Ava Smith was the game’s high scorer with 17 points.
Jilyan Bryne was the high scorer for Fryeburg with 10 points, while Milosevic added nine; Hernandez, eight; Shaw, six; and Alysa Grawe, Gwen McDougall and Eden True each had two points.
The Raiders bounced back well last week at Poland’s expense. After winning 58-38 at the Knights’ lair, Fryeburg gave Raider Nation plenty to cheer about in a rare Saturday matinee.
After an even first quarter, Coach Stacy must have noticed that the Knights (0-11) were not getting back on missed shots. The Coach instructed the Raiders to slip Shaw down the court while rebounder Milosevic fired a touchdown pass for an easy dribble, drive lay-up.
After two field goals by Shaw, the Poland coach used a time-out to make adjustments, but after the timeout, the Knights found and tried to cover Shaw, but this time she drove to the basket and was fouled on the attempted shot. The talented junior to the line and made both free throws.
The Raiders were more than the Knights could handle on offense as Milosevic moved to open spots on offense and with some pinpoint passing by the hometown team, she found herself open for scoring opportunities. Byrne, Ana Marie also pitched in with a couple of nice baskets and passes for her teammates to score as well. Reserve point guard Karla Pintor Gali was very much in the flow of both offense and defense with Alyssa Grawe out due to illness.
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