Sunday, January 26, 2014

JSMS basketball teams have an up and down week - By Jim Beers

What a week for the JSMS basketball teams, as the A and B girls and boys teams endured a 10-game combined schedule. The B teams got the week started on Monday, by traveling to Durham. The B girls have been hampered with injuries this season, and have had to call on some A players to fill the roster. In a tight game from the start, the Lady B Roadrunners got some timely offense to hold a 16-11 lead late in the fourth, said girls B coach Lynne Latham-Estey. Durham drained a 3-pointer to pull within two, but the defense of Sophie Sangster, Tabby Newquist and Eliza Martin closed the door in the final minute. Leading the balanced offensive charge were Torii Schmader, Carlee Richmond and Kaitlyn Geddicks with four points apiece. Maegan Vierra and Grace Schmader each had a bucket in Raymond's win, 16-14. 

In a back and forth affair, Raymond's B boys jumped out to an early 8-7 lead after the first quarter, said B boys coach John Dionne. Both teams put the brakes on in the second quarter, as the defensive intensity picked up for each side, and the Roadrunners held a 10-9 halftime advantage. Durham came out in the third quarter with some offensive punch and outscored Raymond 12-6 to take control, and eventually the game, 28-22. "One of the most enjoyable games I've ever coached, the boys fought hard but came up just short," Dionne said. Andrew Wing led the offense with eight points, Blake Colby chipped in with six, while Cooper Gaudet, Stearns Wallingford, Devon Griffeth and Colby Dionne all had two points apiece. 
Sticking with the B teams, they closed the week on Friday, by hosting Oak Hill at JSMS. Still battling injuries, the girls B team ran into a fast-paced offense by Oak Hill. Paced by a sharpshooter, Oak Hill jumped out to a comfortable lead, and never looked back, winning 33-16, said B coach Latham-Estey. Raymond's strong defense and numerous rebounds prevented many more baskets. Sophie Gardner and Carlie Steele led the offense with four points apiece. Payton Hutchinson, Hannah Stogsdill and Maegan Vierra all got into the score column as well. Eliza Martin, Riley Gardner and Grace Schmader demonstrated great presence on the hardwood for Raymond, now 2-3 on the season. "I’m very proud of the girls with their continued great effort and great sportsmanship in victory or defeat. They represent their town and school very well," said Latham-Estey.

In Friday's nightcap, the B boys faced a tough Oak Hill team. Oak Hill raced to a 12-4 lead to start the second quarter. In the second, Raymond's Andrew Wing caught fire with seven points, and Colby Dionne added a bucket to pull the Roadrunners within seven at halftime, 20-13, said coach Dionne. Coming out with a defensive plan, the Roadrunners held Oak Hill’s high scorer scoreless in the third. Catching fire once again, Raymond's Wing poured in seven more in the fourth quarter. He was helped by Cooper Gaudet, who added two big buckets. Jon Lawlor and Colby Dionne each added two points apiece, but Raymond came up just short, losing 35-34 in a wild game. Andrew Wing led all scorers with 18 points. Cooper Gaudet and Colby Dionne each poured in six, while Stearns Wallingford and Jon Lawlor both had two points. The B boys slip to 1-4. 

The JSMS A teams played three games during this past week.

Starting on Tuesday, they traveled to Durham to take on the Tigers. The A boys got things going, and the pace was fast from the opening tip. Both teams displayed hot shooting and were up and down the court so fast, the crowd's heads were turning like watching a tennis match. Durham held a 10-8 first quarter lead, but it was a sign of things to come. Both teams kept up the trading of baskets till halftime, with the Tigers leading 19-16. More offense in the third quarter, as it was shaping up to be a thriller. To start the fourth, Durham was still ahead, 27-24. Turning it up a notch, Raymond came out in the fourth and dropped 15 points to take a lead 38-35 with time winding down. Durham's C. Stewart-Staples, who had 12 points in the first three quarters, nailed a 3- pointer with 11 seconds to go, throwing the home crowd into a frenzy. Raymond could not answer in the final seconds, and fans from both sides were treated to free basketball---overtime. Andrew Wing hit a jumper to give the Roadrunners the lead 40-38 with 55 seconds to go in overtime. Durham had a chance to tie from the charity stripe, but managed only one free throw. With a playoff atmosphere-type crowd, Raymond held on to win 40-39. Wing led all scorers with 17 points. Jake Conley added six, while Jack Bisson, Alex Wilkins and Kyle Sullivan all had four points apiece. Credit Derek Foss with a huge 3-pointer in the fourth quarter for the Roadrunners. 

Following that, the Raymond A girls faced a tough Lady Durham team and fell behind in the second quarter, after having an 8-5 first quarter lead. Durham's speed and height took control the rest of the way as Raymond struggled to get into any offensive flow. The Lady Roadrunner scrappy, never-give-up defense prevented Durham from scoring a lot more, but eventually fell 33-13. Carlie Steele and Hannah Stogsdill paced the offense, while Sophie Sangster, Grace Schmader and Tabby Newquist grabbed several rebounds and made it tough on Durham's star players. 

Wednesday arrived and the A teams found themselves at home, hosting St. Dom's. The A girls went first and set the tone early on the Lady Saints, leading 8-5 after one. Carlie Steele paced the Lady Roadrunner offense, as the defense was led by Hannah Stogsdill, Sophie Sangster and Grace Schmader. St. Dom's made a charge in the fourth, but baskets by Steele and Sophie Gardner sealed the deal for Raymond, winning 19-13. Coach John Powers spoke highly of his team. "This team works tremendously hard and I’m very proud of each and every one of them." 

The Raymond A boys hit the floor with St. Dom's and raced out to a 8-4 lead at the end of the first quarter. In the second, St. Dom's literally caught fire and exploded for 17 points, while Raymond managed only two, and were down at the half 22-10. St. Dom's kept up the offensive pace with 15 more in the third, and held a 37-21 advantage, but Raymond scored 11 of their own. Not giving up, the Roadrunners started a comeback by scoring 12 fourth quarter points to St. Dom’s five, but fell just short, losing 42-33. Alex Wilkins led Raymond with seven points, while Jake Conley added six. Andrew Wing scored five and Derek Foss hit three free throws for the Roadrunners. 

In Thursday's action, the A teams travelled to Old Orchard Beach. With the third game in a row in as many days, combined with a long bus ride, the A boys came out not up to par. Add to that a very slippery surface in which to play, and the boys had their work cut out for them. Down 21-14 at the half, Raymond was by no means out of the game. Managing only four third quarter points, the Roadrunners fell behind 28-18 to start the fourth. As the conditions dictated the game, neither team could hit any shots and Raymond lost 29-20. Alex Wilkins again led Raymond with seven points. Derek Foss added six, while Jake Conley chipped in with four. The A boys dip to 3-5 on the season. 
The Lady A Roadrunners took the very same slippery court conditions, but made the most of it. In a wild game with dozens of tie ups and players constantly on the floor, the score was 8-8 for much of the second half. The Lady Seagulls sank a 3-pointer with five minutes to go in the fourth, but Raymond's Torii Schmader answered with a three of her own with 3:30 remaining to tie the game at 11. Back and forth, both teams were very physical in wanting the ball down the stretch. With 45 seconds to play, OOB got a loose ball bucket to go ahead by two, and later added a free throw to win 14-11. The Raymond A girls fall to .500 on the season, at 4-4. "Our girls never quit despite the conditions and how loosely the game was called, especially in the fourth quarter," added Powers. 

The B teams get back in action January 23rd, away at Durham. The A teams hit the hardwood January 28th, home versus Durham.

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