One letdown too many
That is what it seems to have come down to with the Freeport High School boys basketball team this season. One eight-minute stretch does in the Falcons.
On Tuesday against Fryeburg Academy, it was a 20-7 third quarter deficit that turned a 29-28 halftime lead into a 48-36 Fryeburg advantage as the Falcons fell to 2-13 with a 62-49 loss.
The one glaring statistic in this one was Freeport’s inability to get on the glass, with the Raiders holding a dominating 55-22 rebounding edge, including 34 offensive caroms leading to second, third and even fourth chances.
“At any level in basketball, you can’t expect to be successful when you give an opponent 30 or more extra chances, and that is what it came down to,” said Freeport coach Matt Cook, whose team will look to rebound on Friday at home against Traip Academy. “They outrebounded us, and that was about it.”
Fryeburg all-purpose guard Bright Amoako pulled down 23 rebounds, including 12 on the offensive glass, and paced the Raiders with 19 points.
“We were driving well and were rebounding well in the first half, but we let down in the second half,” said Freeport forward Josh Weirich, who led the Falcons with 14 points, 10 rebounds and four steals. “ I felt like were getting position, but they were just outworking us.”
Little went right for Freeport in the third quarter as the Raiders took over in the paint. Amoako had seven points, 13 rebounds and three steals in the frame, while 6- foot- 6 center Djorje Obradovich scored six of his 17 points, including the goahead putback 30 seconds into the second half, and grabbed six caroms.
Foul- plagued Mitch Loeman, who scored all seven of his points in the second half, got the Falcons to 35-34, but Fryeburg took over, outscoring the Falcons 13-2 for a 48-36 lead through 24 minutes.
Loeman’s 3- pointer with 3:40 remaining had Freeport down by seven, 54-47, but Walter Mallory drained a pair of free throws and Lionel Rutabayiro scored six points down the stretch to complete the Raiders’ win.
“They made adjustments at halftime, including keeping us from getting the ball to the inside post,” said Cook.
Freeport began the game slowly, turning the ball over on its first four possessions and falling behind 5-0. A 5-0 run tied the game, with Chandler Birmingham hitting the first of three 3-pointers on his way to 11 first-half points for the hosts.
Down 12-11 after a quarter, Freeport reeled off a 7-2 run, as Birmingham ( trey), Spencer Bernier ( two free throws) and Weirich ( putback) scored for an 18- 14 lead. The teams went back and forth the rest of the half, with the Falcons grabbing a 29-28 halftime edge.
“When we didn’t turn the ball over and executed we had some things happening, with Chandler hitting some outside shots and Josh getting looks from the inside post,” said Freeport coach Matt Cook.
“We settled down and began hitting 3s and hitting shots,” said Weirich. Last year, we stayed in a lot of ball games, and again this year, we are in these games.”
Mallory joined Amoako and Obradovich in double figures with 13 points. Fryeburg shot 35 percent ( 23 of 65) from the floor and made 13 of 29 free throws. Obradovich pulled down 13 rebounds, with Tyler Saunders dishing out three assists and picking up four steals.
Birmingham had 13 points and Connor Dietrich six for Freeport, which made all five of its free throws and shot 37 percent ( 20 of 53) from the field. Loeman had six rebounds and four assists.
Fryeburg 62, Freeport 49
At Freeport High School
Fryeburg — Jonathan Burk 0-2-2, Tyler Saunders 0-0-0, Bright Amoako 7-5-19, Mike Costa 1-0-3, Djorje Obradovich 7-3-17, Walter Mallory 4-3-13, Zach Sargent 1-0-2, Lionel Rutabayiro 3-0-6.
Freeport — Chandler Birmingham 5-0-13, Landon Easler 1-1-3, Spencer Bernier 0-2-2, Josh Weirich 7-0-14, Mitch Loeman 2-2-6, Connor Dietrich 3-0-6, Jose Rosquete 2-0-4, Matt Shultheis 0-0-0, Ramsey Dodge 0-0-0, Abrin Berkemeyer 0-0-0.
Totals — 20-5-49.
3-point field goals — (Fry) Costa, Mallory 2; (Free) Birmingham 3, Loeman.
Records — Fryeburg Academy 4-10, Freeport 2-13.
Next for the Falcons — Friday at home against Traip Academy, 7 p.m.