PORTLAND — Fryeburg Academy made free throws when it counted and made the most of the final minutes of each quarter to take out Gray-New Gloucester, 66-55, in a Class A South boys basketball quarterfinal at the Portland Expo on Saturday.

The fourth quarter began with a flurry of baskets, as the two teams combined for 16 points in the first 100 seconds of the period.

Gray-NG’s Jay Hawkes scored a three-point play with a basket and the ensuing free throw. On the next possession, Hawkes made a 3-pointer to pull the Patriots within single digits at 50-42.

After a bucket by No. 5 Fryeburg (11-9), Hawkes made a tough layup after a drive through a couple defenders. The two teams traded 3-pointers to make it 55-47 with 6:20 left in the game.

No. 4 Gray-New Gloucester (11-8) went on a 6-0 run with around two minutes to play to cut the Fryeburg lead to 61-55. At that point, Fryeburg brought back in big man William Hallam, who hit a layup and was fouled. The Raiders grabbed the offensive rebound and Liam Quinn was fouled, hitting one free throw. Quinn missed the second, but Fryeburg’s Gunnar Saunders grabbed the rebound again and hit two more free throws with less than 30 seconds left to put the Raiders ahead 66-55.

“We gave ourselves a chance,” Gray-New Gloucester coach Ryan Deschenes said. “With these guys in that locker room, the effort is always there. They’re always working their tails off; they’re always trying to execute and work together, and it was on full display tonight. Even though we were down by that much, we knew we could do it because of the character effort of this team. They did a great job.”


While the beginning of the fourth was a positive one for the Patriots, the ends of the first two quarters cost Gray-New Gloucester early on Saturday night.

In the first quarter, Fryeburg’s Geri Daiu hit a 3-pointer to give his team an 11-6 lead with two minutes left in the period. On the next possession, Daiu hit a shot from in close to put the Raiders ahead 13-6. Gray-NG’s Michael Ryan answered quickly with a shot on the other end to make it 13-8 with 1:30 left but in the final minute, the Patriots missed three layups, leaving points on the table heading into the second quarter.

Gray-New Gloucester did come roaring back into the game to start the second, as the Patriots went on a 9-4 run to open the quarter.

However, Hallam scored six points in the final 75 seconds, including a layup at the halftime buzzer that put the Raiders on top 28-20. Hallam finished the first half with 12 points.

“He played incredible tonight,” Fryeburg coach Dan Thomas said. “We wanted to get him out there at the end and he had a big and-one for us, and he played incredible tonight. 

“He’s been a constant force for us all year. If he misses a shot, he’s going to stay constant and tonight he played as big as he is tonight, which is about 6-foot-9.”


Gray-New Gloucester shot just 29% from the field in the first half as well as 4 for 9 at the free throw line.

Deschenes thought the Patriots’ press would help push the pace to a tempo that’s to their advantage. Gray-New Gloucester used a similar press on Feb. 5, when down 14 in the fourth, the Patriots came back and forced overtime before falling to the Raiders 60-54. Gray-NG got opportunities Saturday night, but the shots didn’t always fall.

“We beat them at their place on a bigger court and we thought that might be an advantage for us here,” Deschenes said. “At our place, fouling was a problem. We had a lot of success in the 1-2-2 and that helped us force overtime. We had a lot of success tonight with it, but they definitely scored a lot on it. We were hoping the big court and the pace would work in our favor, and it had our moments, but we are 3-point shooting team and they didn’t go in enough tonight.”

Fryeburg came out firing in the third quarter, opening on an 11-3 run. With 6:45 to play in the third, Hallam scored at the basket to make it 33-20. He then converted a layup to make it 35-20 and was fouled. The shot missed and went towards the sideline before Fryeburg’s Jordan Zerner saved it and passed it right back to Hallam, who sank another layup to put the Raiders ahead 37-20. The Patriots had no answer for the big man all game.

“The 6-foot-9 guy, it’s nice to have,” Deschenes said. “We tried to have the tempo be high, but credit to Fryeburg, their guards could handle that pace. They are deep enough that they can have three guys come in and still play really good defense.” 

With 30 seconds left in the third, Gray-NG’s Nate Hebert hit a 3-pointer to make it 49-36 but Hallam got fouled and hit a free throw with 0.6 seconds left to give Fryeburg a 50-36 lead heading into the fourth.


Hallam finished the game with 21 points. Hawkes led the Patriots with 19, including 10 in the fourth quarter.

Hawkes was the workhouse in the final quarter for the Patriots, with the offense going through him almost every possession. 

“Jay has been fantastic all year,” Deschenes said. “He made second-team all-conference, but it should have been first with how he defends. It’s not too often when you see a two-way player that defends the best player, handles the ball, scores the ball and he did all that tonight. No. 20 is a good defender and he made it difficult for him to get the ball, but we ran some actions to get him down hill and it helped him score.”

Thomas thinks Fryeburg has yet to peak. 

“I think we are playing some of our best basketball all year,” Thomas said. “I think we can still improve. We are all healthy and I think the only team that can beat us is us.”

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