Showdown season arrives Rivals do battle on hardwood, ice, track, slopes and in pool
By Michael Hoffer
The first full week of 2009 winter sports action continued to provide ample thrills for fans of Falmouth, Freeport, Greely, NYA and Yarmouth.
There have been highlights galore whether the sport was basketball, hockey, track, swimming or skiing.
SUBHEAD-Boys' basketball: Falmouth suffers first loss
While Greely was edging rival Cape Elizabeth and Yarmouth senior Johnny Murphy was reaching a career milestone (please see accompanying stories, page ?), Falmouth's boys' basketball team finally proved to be mortal last week. After improving to 9-0 with a 59-35 home victory over York last Tuesday (thanks to 21 points from junior Stefano Mancini and 19 from senior Jack Wyman), the Yachtsmen were bested Friday, 60-51 at Lake Region. Falmouth trailed by 29 points at halftime before rallying to make it respectable. Mancini finished with 21.
The Yachtsmen (first in the latest Western Class B Heal Points standings) hosted Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday (too late for this edition) and have a showdown at Yarmouth Friday. Assistant coach Jamie Hilton has the daunting task of leading the team in that game as Dave Halligan will be in St. Louis for the All-American soccer awards banquet. Two years ago, in a similar scenario and at the same location, Hilton led Falmouth to a one-point victory over the Clippers.
Freeport suffered home losses to Yarmouth (52-29) and Greely (42-29) last week. Against the Clippers, the Falcons were paced by 11 points from senior Jon Klages. Against the Rangers, Freeport led 14-13 at the break, but couldn't hold on. Klages again was the leading scorer with 14 points.
The Falcons fell to 1-9 Monday with a 47-43 overtime setback at St. Dom's. Freeport got 17 points from Klages and 13 from senior Cody Bartlett, but it wasn't quite enough. The Falcons (13th in the Western B Heals) hosted Fryeburg Tuesday (too late for this edition) and play at North Yarmouth Academy Thursday.
In Western C, NYA lost a pair of home games over the weekend to fall to 3-5. Friday, the Panthers dropped a 56-34 decision to Old Orchard Beach. Saturday, they lost 58-49 to Hyde. Against the Phoenix, senior Andrew Gendron had 22 points. Sophomore Andrew Esancy added 15.
NYA (21st in the Heals) visited Sacopee Tuesday and plays host to Freeport Thursday. Monday, the Panthers go to Fryeburg.
SUBHEAD-Girls' basketball: Greely rolls on
On the girls' side, Greely has moved up to the No. 2 spot (behind York) in the Western B Heals. The Rangers made a major statement last Thursday with a 53-49 win at three-time defending regional champion Lake Region. In that one, junior Megan Grondin led the way with 18 points. Friday, Greely beat visiting Freeport 58-31 behind a 14-point performance from Grondin and 14 points from junior Abby Young. Monday, the Rangers improved to 9-1 with a 61-40 win at Cape Elizabeth. Young erupted for 20 points in the victory.
Greely was at Traip Tuesday (too late for this edition), welcomes Western C contender Waynflete Friday and plays host to Lake Region Monday.
Back-to-back losses dropped Falmouth to 5-5 on the year. Last Tuesday, the Yachtsmen fell 48-33 at undefeated York despite 10 points from senior Haley Jordan. Saturday, Falmouth lost 52-47 at home to nemesis Lake Region. Jordan had 13 points and senior Andie Doyle added 11. The Yachtsmen (12th in the Heals) went to Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday (too late for this edition) and host Yarmouth Saturday.
The Clippers dominated visiting Freeport 46-19 last Thursday, then lost 53-38 at Cape Elizabeth Friday. In the win, Yarmouth got 13 points from senior Michelle Moylan and kept the Falcons in single-digits until early in the fourth period. Freshman Morgan Cahill had 14 points in the loss at Cape Elizabeth.
Yarmouth (4-6 and ninth in the Heals) hosted Poland Tuesday, then visits Falmouth Saturday.
After falling at Yarmouth, Freeport lost 58-31 at home to Greely Friday. Junior Rachel Foster had 12 points in defeat. Monday, the Falcons fell to 1-9 on the year with a 47-42 home defeat to St. Dom's. Foster had 15 points and junior Lucy Whitacre added 13 against the Saints. Freeport (14th in the Heals) went to Fryeburg Tuesday and hosts North Yarmouth Academy Friday.
In Western C, NYA won 48-22 at Hebron last Tuesday, but fell 37-29 at Old Orchard Beach Friday. In the victory, senior Kate Merrill had 11 points. Against the Seagulls, senior Hillary Keach scored 11 points and Merrill added nine.
The Panthers (3-5 and 17th in the Heals) were home with Sacopee Wednesday (too late for this edition) and visit Freeport Friday.
SUBHEAD-Boys' hockey: Falmouth falls again
On the ice, the Greely boys completed a regular season sweep of rival York Monday (please see story, page ?).
Elsewhere, Falmouth dropped a 3-1 home decision to two-time defending Class A state champion Biddeford Saturday to fall to 3-3 on the year. It was the Yachtsmen's second successive setback. Falmouth did get a goal from junior Dan Hanley and 17 saves from sophomore goalie Jay Hurdmann.
The Yachtsmen (sixth in the latest Western Class A Heals) were at Kennebunk Wednesday (too late for this edition), host Thornton Academy Saturday and visit Biddeford Monday.
In Western B, Yarmouth battled host Portland to a 2-2 tie Saturday. The Clippers led 2-1 after one period on goals from freshman Marshall Brunelle and sophomore Joey King, but the Bulldogs got the equalizer in the second. Despite 32 shots on goal, Yarmouth couldn't score again and had to settle for the deadlock.
The Clippers (2-3-1 and sixth in the Western B Heals) visit South Portland Thursday, host Bonny Eagle Saturday and welcome Greely Monday.
SUBHEAD-Girls' hockey: Greely stays hot
On the girls' side, Greely is now an impressive 7-2-2 after tying host Winslow 2-2 and winning 6-0 at Winthrop/Maranacook in recent action. In the deadlock, the Rangers rallied behind junior Sarah Robinson's third period goal. Sophomore Casey Benner also scored. In the victory, sophomore Michaela Finnegan led a balanced attack with a pair of goals. Junior Melanie Howland and freshmen Ceci Hodgkins and Katie Perry all had two assists. Senior Sara McKersie stopped 10 shots in goal.
Greely (second in the East Region Heals) hosts Winthrop/Maranacook Thursday, goes to Leavitt Saturday and plays at Yarmouth Monday.
Falmouth is 5-3-2 after falling 5-3 to visiting St. Dom's and tying host York 3-3. The Yachtsmen (fifth in the West Region) play host to Deering Thursday, visit Gorham Saturday and host Leavitt Monday.
Yarmouth improved to 4-6-1 Monday with a 5-1 victory at Winthrop/Maranacook. Junior Hannah Schuchert scored twice. The Clippers (sixth in the East Region) were at St. Dom's Wednesday (too late for this edition), host Scarborough Saturday and welcome Greely Monday.
The indoor track season continued over the weekend.
In boys' action, Yarmouth scored 142 points to edge Greely by two. Freeport was sixth with 38 points in a six-team meet. Clippers' sophomore Asa Arden was named junior division MVP after winning the 200 (26.40 seconds) and the high jump (5 feet, 1 inch). He was also runner-up to classmate Nate Pingitore in the 55 (Arden's 7.51 seconds were .30 behind Pingitore).
Falmouth scored 207 points to win its meet. NYA (60 points) was fifth out of six squads participating. Yachtsmen freshman Jimmy Polewaczyk was named junior division MVP after capturing the 55 (7.5) and coming in second to sophomore teammate Will Wegener in the 200 (26.05). Wegener finished with a time of 24.79.
On the girls' side, Greely easily won its meet with 267 points. Freeport (55) was fourth. Yarmouth (28) finished fifth. Rangers' junior Hannah Werneth was chosen senior division MVP after winning the shot put (37 feet, 7 1 /4 inches).
Falmouth (198 1/2 points) was first in the other meet. NYA (82 1/2) came in third. Yachtsmen freshman Rosemary Nurse won junior division MVP honors after placing first in the 55 hurdles (10.55) and high jump (4-8).
This Friday, Freeport and Yarmouth compete with Cape Elizabeth, Gray-New Gloucester, Poland, Traip and York at 3:30 p.m. Falmouth and Greely (along with Fryeburg, Lake Region, NYA and Wells) do battle for the first time at 6:30 p.m.
In the pool, Greely battled Cape Elizabeth in a showdown of state title aspirants Friday. The Rangers lost the boys' meet by four points (93-89). The girls fell 107-76. Falmouth swept its meet with Yarmouth. The boys eked out a 73-70 win. The girls were victorious 101-56.
Looking ahead, NYA is home with Falmouth Thursday. Greely hosts St. Dom's Friday. Yarmouth's girls swim at McAuley Friday.
Local divers had solid showings at a recent meet in Falmouth.
Falmouth's Nicola Mancini racked up a total of 334.65 points in easily finishing first in the girls' 11-dive. NYA's Sarah Kaminow (255.35) came in third, Falmouth's Evelyn Perry (251.10) placed fourth, Falmouth's Kathryn Goffin (198.15) was sixth and Falmouth's Brianna Esposito (168.60) finished seventh.
Falmouth's Jamie Ford had 159.75 points to finish fifth in the boys' 11-dive.
Local Alpine ski teams hit the slopes Monday with Greely and Yarmouth enjoying great success.
Greely's boys scored 24 points to beat Lake Region, Cape Elizabeth and Gray-New Gloucester. Junior Luke Booth was the fastest Ranger, finishing second in 1 minute, 3.55 seconds.
The Greely girls had 19 points in their win over the same teams. Junior Kelsey Ouellette was top individual, also coming in second in 1:08.92.
Yarmouth's boys had 15 points to edge Falmouth (21). Freeport (83 points) came in third and Fryeburg Academy also competed. Yachtsmen senior Chris Moody was tops individually, finishing in 1:18.18. Senior Lee Woodside (second, 1:35.78), senior Sanders Wommack (third, 1:36.26), junior Adam Sampson (fourth, 1:37.19) and junior Matt Gross (sixth, 1:42.60) paced the Clippers' victory. Junior Christo Milholland (12th, 1:47.87) was the fastest Falcon.
In the girls' race, Yarmouth had 13 points to down Fryeburg (32), Falmouth (42) and Freeport (79). Senior Lauren Stackhouse (1:35.26) and junior Natalie Aiken (1:44.89) finished 1-2 for the Clippers. Freshman Claudia Lockwood (fourth, 1:52.95) and sophomore Becca Bell (sixth, 1:53.16) also scored. For the Yachtsmen, sophomore Elizabeth Carew (seventh, 1:56.72) was the fastest finisher. Senior Monika Krahn led the Falcons with a 13th-place showing (1:58.79).
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com