City winter sports teams off to strong starts

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Deering’s Mandy Mastropasqua drives on a Gorham defender during last week’s 49-35 Gorham victory.

Cheverus’ Sophia Pompeo chases after the puck during last week’s 2-0 win at Scarborough.

As 2018 is about to give way to 2019, the early returns from the winter sports season are very promising for local squads.

Here’s an overview:

Boys’ basketball

Deering’s boys’ basketball team has stolen headlines in the early going. The Rams started with home victories over South Portland (53-40) and Sanford (62-57) and at Lewiston (80-57) and Gorham (61-57) to start 4-0 for the first time in three years. In the win over the Red Riots, Max Morrione had 14 points, Ben Onek added 13 points and 11 rebounds and Darryl Germain finished with 11 points and six assists. Against the Spartans, Onek had 21 points and 13 rebounds, Michael Randall added 12 points and Germain finished with 11. In the win over the Blue Devils, Onek led the way with 26 points and Morrione added 13. Against Gorham, Onek again was the top scorer with 20 points. Loki Anda added 11 points and Germain contributed 10.

“To get a win over a real quality team like Gorham is key,” Deering coach Todd Wing said. “We knew Gorham would be one of the top teams in AA South. Now we can say goodbye to them, move forward and collect the Heal Points.”

Deering faces its biggest test yet when it visits rival Portland Thursday (see theforecaster.net for game story). The Rams have lost 13 consecutive meetings against the Bulldogs.

Speaking of Portland, it won its first four games, 80-48 at Noble, 59-46 over visiting Windham, 56-53 (in overtime) at Oxford Hills and 69-41 at Massabesic before falling from the unbeaten ranks Friday, 64-58, at Bangor. In the opener, Trey Ballew had 19 points and 15 boards, Stillman Mahan added 15 points, Pedro Fonseca finished with 12 points, six assists and five rebounds and Richard Greenwood contributed 11 points. In the win over the Eagles, Jeremiah Alado led the way with 21 points. Simon Chadbourne added 14 and Fonseca finished with 10. Against the Vikings, a late Bellew 3 forced OT and he led his team with 15 points, while Chadbourne added 11. Bellew’s 21 points was tops in the win over the Mustangs. In the loss, Alado scored 15 points ad Chadbourne added 14, but the Bulldogs couldn’t hold a 15-point halftime lead.

Portland hosts Deering Thursday.

Cheverus is off to a strong 4-2 start. After downing host Windham, 58-48, in their opener, the Stags lost at home to South Portland (63-45) and defending Class AA champion Edward Little (61-56), then they bounced back to beat visiting Sanford (61-59) and Bonny Eagle (61-49) and host Lewiston (77-42). In the win over the Eagles, Matt Duchaine had 21 points and Nick Galli added 16. Galli scored 16 more points and Nolan Sanborn finished with 11 in the loss to the Red Riots. Against the Red Eddies, Galli and Pat Foster both contributed 13 points, while Sanborn finished with 12. In the win over the Spartans, Galli had 24 points, Duchaine finished with 15, Sanborn had 10 and Akera Oryem’s late layup was the difference. Against the Scots, Galli scored 18 points, Owen Burke added 13, Sanborn finished with 12 and Oryem had 11. In the win over the Blue Devils, Galli scored 18 points while Sanborn and Dylan Morrison each added 13.

Cheverus will play at undefeated Bangor Friday.

In Class C South, Waynflete handled visiting Wells, the defending Class B South champion, 64-52, in its first game. Alex Saade and Finn Scott both had 12 points, while Diraige Dahia added 11 and Solomon Levy finished with 10.

“Games like this will make us ready for the tournament,” Scott said.

“It’s a big starting block for us,” said Dahia. “We’ll take good things out of this game and build on that.”

“We grind people down with our depth because we have versatile players,” Flyers coach Rich Henry added.

Waynflete then defeated visiting Traip Academy (77-38) and edged host Cape Elizabeth (53-52) before losing at Yarmouth Saturday (50-47) to start 3-1. Against the Rangers, Askar Houssein led the way with 17 points. Dahia and Dominick Campbell each finished with 14 and Levy added 12. In the win over the Capers, Saade had 13 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer late, and Scott added a dozen.

“This says we’re on our way to being battle-tested, but by no means are we finished and we’re ready to keep working and remember this feeling,” Saade said.

“I’m very proud of the kids battling back,” Henry said. “It was a composure game. We showed some composure.”

In the loss, Campbell had 11 points, while Saade and Scott added nine apiece.

The Flyers host St. Dom’s Friday.

Girls’ basketball

On the girls’ side, Portland has been very competitive in a 3-2 start. The Bulldogs opened with a 48-29 home win over Thornton Academy and after losses at Windham (55-46) and at home to Oxford Hills (40-38), Portland downed host Massabesic (39-33), then edged visiting Bangor in an overtime thriller, 54-52. In the opener, Amanda Kabantu had 14 points and eight rebounds and Kiera Eubanks added 10 points and eight boards. Against the Eagles, Kabantu led the way with 17 points. In the loss to the Vikings, Kabantu and Elizabeth Yugu had nine points apiece. In the win over the Mustangs, Yugu led the way with 10 points. Against the Rams, Kabantu had 18 points, including the decisive free throws in OT, and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Yugu had 13 points and Eubanks finished with 10.

The Bulldogs host Deering Thursday night.

Deering started with a 60-57 loss at Sanford, downed visiting Lewiston, 42-35, then fell to 1-2 with a 49-35 home loss to defending Class AA South champion Gorham. Against the Spartans, Delaney Haines scored 24 points and Mandy Mastropasqua added 17. In the victory, Haines led the way with 18 points. In the loss to Gorham, Haines had 13 points.

“The effort was there,” Deering coach Mike Murphy said. “We had a really down-to-the-buzzer game with them last year, so the start of the contest was a little disappointing. We showed some spunk in the second quarter and made it a contest.”

The Rams are back in action Thursday at Portland.

Cheverus was 1-5 at press time. The Stags began with losses to visiting Windham (38-36), visiting South Portland (58-42) and at defending Class AA champion Edward Little (65-37). After a 52-46 win at Sanford, Cheverus fell at Bonny Eagle (41-35) and at home to Lewiston (44-38). In the opener, Meg Kelly led the way with 10 points. Against the Red Riots, Kelly had a team-high dozen points. In the loss to the Red Eddies, Lauren Jordan paced the Stags with seven points. In the victory, Jordan scored 18 points and Maeve Kelly had 12. Jordan scored 19 points against the Scots. In the loss to the Blue Devils, Jordan scored 13 points.

Cheverus plays host to Bangor Friday.

In Class C South, Waynflete started 0-4 with losses at Wells (48-22) and Traip Academy (44-32) and at home to Cape Elizabeth (53-28) and Yarmouth (46-38). Against the Warriors, Emi Boedeker had nine points. In the loss to the Rangers, Margaret Ojut scored 12 points. Ojut had a team-high 10 points against the Capers. In the loss to the Clippers, Boedeker had 12 points and 12 rebounds, Ojut added 10 points and 10 boards and Kilee Sherry contributed eight points, but a late rally fell short.

“The girls play with a ton of enthusiasm and a lot of energy and we’ll keep getting better and better,” said Waynflete first-year coach Jim Marshall.

The Flyers are back in action Friday at St. Dom’s.

Hockey

Reigning South Region champion Cheverus/Kennebunk is atop the girls’ hockey Heal Points at press time at 7-1. After losing for the first time, 3-2, to visiting Lewiston, Cheverus/Kennebunk earned a key 2-0 win at Scarborough last Wednesday. That game was scoreless until late when Abby Lamontagne scored and Sophia Pompeo added an empty net goal.

“We had to keep it together and be patient,” Lamontagne said. “We knew it would be a tough game and it was a big sheet of ice we had to adjust to.”

“I think we’re learning to play a different style,” said Cheverus/Kennebunk coach Scott Rousseau. “We’ve hit some roadblocks, but there are a lot of ways to win hockey games. We’re finding new ways to win.”

Cheverus/Kennebunk battles Portland/Deering in the City Cup Saturday evening.

Portland/Deering fell to 2-5 after losses last week at Lewiston (9-3) and at home to Scarborough (7-4). Caroline Lerch scored twice against the Blue Devils and finished with a hat trick against the Red Storm. 

Portland/Deering goes to Biddeford/Thornton Academy Thursday, then hosts Cheverus/Kennebunk Saturday.

On the boys’ side, Cheverus started 1-3, losing at home to St. Dom’s (6-2), beating visiting Lake Region (6-3) and falling at home to two-time defending Class A champion Lewiston (10-1) and reigning regional champion Biddeford (5-0). 

The Stags are back in action Saturday at Portland/Deering in the City Cup.

Portland/Deering lost its opener, 3-0, at Edward Little, then beat host South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete (6-2) and Marshwood (7-1) to improve to 2-1.

Portland/Deering is home with Cheverus Saturday.

The South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete co-op team was 3-2 at press time after beating Lake Region (6-1) and York (10-5), losing to Portland/Deering (6-2) and Massabesic (4-1) before downing Thornton Academy, 5-4, in overtime.

South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete hosts Falmouth Saturday.

Indoor track

Deering’s boys’ indoor track team won an eight-team season-opening meet. Cheverus placed seventh.

In the girls’ meet, won by Bonny Eagle, Cheverus was third and Deering seventh.

Portland took part in an eight-team meet where the boys placed fourth and the girls were sixth.

Saturday brought the second weekend of the season.

Deering’s boys defeated Westbrook, Windham, Kennebunk and Massabesic, while the girls were second behind the Eagles.

Cheverus’ boys and girls each came in fifth in a six-team meet (Falmouth was first on the boys’ side, while Noble won the girls’ competition).

Portland’s boys took part in a five-team meet and came in third (Scarborough was first). The Bulldogs girls also placed third.

Swimming

The six-time defending Class A Cheverus boys’ swim team opened with wins over Waynflete (108-39) and Yarmouth (106-51). 

Cheverus’ girls beat Waynflete (111-52) and Yarmouth (115-54) to start the year.

The Stags welcome Windham Friday.

Portland’s boys downed Deering, 119-41, in the season opener. Deering’s girls defeated Portland, 96-68.

Deering’s girls then beat Scarborough, 89-81, while the boys lost to the Red Storm, 101-61.

The Rams are home with Kennebunk Friday.

Portland’s second meet saw its boys beat Massabesic, 116-40, and the girls lose to the Mustangs, 101-68.

The Bulldogs welcome Gorham Friday.

Waynflete’s boys lost to Cheverus, 108-39, while the girls dropped a 111-52 decision to the Stags in the opener. The Flyers got closer to victory in their second match, versus Westbrook. The boys lost to the Blue Blazes, 81-71, while the girls fell, 116-47.

Waynflete goes to Greely Friday.

Wrestling

Portland’s wrestling team won the City Cup Saturday, with Cheverus coming in second. The Bulldogs beat the Stags, 33-30, as well as Scarborough (40-18), Westbrook (48-30), Deering (54-30) and Windham (34-24). Portland is 7-3 on the season.

Cheverus was able to down Westbrook (51-24), Scarborough (57-18), Deering (60-24) and Windham (48-24) and is 8-4 on the year.

Deering fell to 0-4 on the year with its losses to Cheverus and Portland.

Press Herald staff writer Kevin Thomas contributed to this story.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.