FRYEBURG — The Fryeburg Academy boys’ basketball team (4-5) has reached the midpoint of the regular season in the middle of the playoff hunt. With five games in the next 12 days, all against opponents worth considerable Heal points, Coach Sedge Saunders is hoping his squad returns to full health and plays at the top of its game.
Last week the Raiders split two games, defeating Poland (2-7) by 47-36 on Tuesday before being blown out by undefeated York (9-0) by 86-36 on Thursday.
The week was off to an inauspicious start when the visiting Knights jumped to a 10-0 lead at Wadsworth Arena, taking advantage of several Raider turnovers to convert easy baskets. A time-out and the insertion of 6"8" freshman center Will Hallam got things turned around. Hallam scored Fryeburg's first 10 points and the Raider defensive intensity ratcheted up as the Raiders fought back to take a 23-20 lead at halftime.
When Fryebrug stretched its lead to double digits in the fourth quarter, Saunders lauded, "We did a good job ofcontrolling tempo and managing the clock."
Hallam finished the game with an impressive stat line of 13 points,12 rebounds and three blocked shots, while Arnel Maloji chipped in 10 points and five assists in the win.
Top-ranked York showed why it is the team to beat in Western Maine Class B, using a full-court press to score
the first 16 points on Thursday. With "six guys who can shoot threes, good size and quickness," according to Saunders, the Raiders never got into the game.
Will Hallam was again the Raiders leading scorer with 12 points.
The return of guard Ethan Bain from injury should bolster the Raiders ball-handling and press-breaking, while adding another offensive threat to the lineup.
At Lake Region (4-5) Tuesday, the Raiders will face a fired-up opponent looking to avenge the Raiders 59-51 overtime win of Jan. 2. On Friday, the Raiders travel to Yarmouth (5-5) with hopes to reverse a 33-29 loss to the Yachtsmen on Dec. 28.