Feb. 26—GRAY — Gray-New Gloucester used its speed to power to a victory over Fryeburg Academy on Tuesday. When the teams matched up again Thursday night, it was Fryeburg’s size that was the difference in a 54-45 revenge victory on the road.
“We shot better (tonight), that’s one of the big differences,” Fryeburg boys basketball coach Sedge Saunders said. “And two nights ago, they came out like gangbusters.”
In Tuesday’s season-opener for the Patriots, they jumped out to 17-13 lead after one quarter on their way to a 50-43 victory. Points were harder to come by Thursday night when the matchup moved from Fryeburg to Gray. The Raiders led 10-7 after one quarter and got ahead by as much as 14-7 in the second period.
“We had some good looks, but credit them, they were physical,” Gray-NG coach Ryan Deschenes said. “It seemed like we thought we had an open look and they were there on the catch in their zone. Their half-court defense had us frustrated.”
The Raiders got their 6-foot-9 sophomore center William Hallam going at the end of the first quarter. He earned two foul shots on a turnaround attempt with 0.8 seconds left, making one of them, then carried that over into the second quarter, when he scored six of his team-high 13 points.
“We want to play our 6-9 guy, it’s just a tough matchup (against 6-foot guards),” Saunders said. “So we played a little more zone tonight. I thought that obviously helped keep him in the game.”
The Patriots were able to tie the game 14-14 as their lone senior, Wyatt Kenney, came alive in the second quarter, scoring 10 of his game-high 21 points.
A couple of juniors gave Gray-New Gloucester its first leads of the game. Joshua Michaud’s 3-pointer with 35 seconds left before halftime made it 23-22. Hallam countered with a strong drive to the hoop to give the lead back to the Raiders, but Jay Hawkes finished off the half by going coast to coast and converting a layup at the buzzer to give the Patriots a 25-24 halftime lead.
A Hawkes hoop-and-harm in the first minute stretched the lead to 27-24 (he missed the free throw), but Kyle Littlefield made a long 2-pointer and Armel Maloji made a layup to put Fryeburg ahead for good.
“A good team like Gray is going to make runs, and you just got to make sure they don’t get a huge run going. And you got to counter by making some plays and executing, and just staying focused,” Saunders said. “We never really let it get out of hand, as far as their runs. We were able to counter it, and that made a huge difference. It just makes you feel like, ‘OK, we’re in control. We’re still OK.”
The Raiders stretched out their lead, and Hallam capped off the third quarter with a two-handed dunk to make it 39-31.
Bobby Hallam then took the reins of the Raiders’ scoring in the fourth by getting behind the Patriots’ press and trap defenses. The junior scored seven of his 12 in the final frame.
“We saw some opportunities to trap and our rotations were off on the backside,” Deschenes said. “Because they’re big, they’re able to see over us.”
“That was huge,” Saunders said. “We talked about it yesterday that we have to make them pay for pressing us. We didn’t handle it well the other night; tonight we handled it better. And we obviously finished. So that makes a big difference, when you can make them pay for pressing us.”
Hawkes was the only other Patriot besides Kenney to score in double-figures, finishing with 10. Michaud added seven.
Maloji joined the Hallams in double-figures for Fryeburg, with 10 points of his own.