By James Anderson
FRYEBURG — Fryeburg Academy girls’ basketball team lost to York 67-29 at the Wadsworth last Thursday night to a Wildcat team that scored 82 points in action earlier this season.
Fryeburg played spirited ball in the first quarter inspiring this reporter, and although York led at halftime 39-12, the Raiders impressed the faithful at the Wadsworth Arena. In the stands, you could hear words like high ankle sprain, ACL knee reconstruction surgery, face mask, as well as a number of lower leg injuries. It was inspiring to watch the players play through their injuries and challenge this more than impressive foe.
The loss dropped the Raiders to 1-8, while York improved to 6-3 with the win.
In the first quarter, Kaylee Emery, playing while recovering from offseason knee surgery, received a pass on the left-wing of the Raider offense from point guard Merys Carty. After going through her rocker series made one final shot fake, used a quick first step to drive past her defender to the basket with her left hand and laid the ball off the backboard and in. The knowledgeable Wadsworth fans rose to their feet in cheer and applause.
Carty used her ball-handling skills to sink a floater in the lane off the dribble penetration and score on a baseline jumper while Karyin Johnson sunk a three-pointer.
Kaylee Emery ended up with eight points on the night, Carty had seven, and Sierra Lyman working on the offensive backboards pitched in with eight points.
It was fun to watch Johnson shut down York’s set offense with her defensive pressure on its point guard. You could see the York point guard’s realization that she was overmatched in her eyes, as well as her desire to give up the ball quickly.
Maybe the most impressive performance of the night was turned in by Camden Jones on the defensive boards. Jones has great rebound instincts and despite a height disadvantage, she outrebounds taller girls with awareness, effort and an understanding of how the ball will carom off the rim when shot from various angles and various speeds. It is great fun to watch. Jones will tell you she just wants to do whatever she can to help.
Along with basketball coaches Coreen Eccleston and Sarah Campney, Jones has heard the team-first mantra from softball coaches Fred Apt and Chris Dutton, and field hockey coaches Deneane Frost and Jen Bartlett. Jones finished with 10 rebounds on the night.
Because of fatigue Coach Eccleston had to rest her guards and York turned up their fast-break game now able to control the middle of the floor. The Wildcats ran off turnovers, too. Fryeburg seemed at one point to fall in love with the crosscourt pass which was easily stolen and turned into fastbreak points. The Wildcats went in at halftime with a 27-point lead.
When the final horn sounded the Wadsworth faithful filed out proud of the way their beloved Raiders competed with a great deal of heart and class.
Fryeburg is scheduled to travel to Naples, Maine, on Tuesday (5:30 p.m.) to play rival Lake Region.