North recap: Playoff spots still up for grabs; Local teams in the hunt in several sports
The end of the regular season in baseball, softball, lacrosse and tennis is rapidly approaching and there are several Forecaster Country teams jockeying for positioning.
Here's a look at where things stand as the month of May nears its end:
Girls' lacrosse: NYA-Yarmouth showdown, Part I
As has been the case each of the past five seasons, the North Yarmouth Academy and Yarmouth High girls' lacrosse teams are on a collision course for the regional title.
Bragging rights and Heal Points galore were on the line when the rivals met at Yarmouth Wednesday night (too late for print, see Web site for game story).
The Panthers (tops in the Eastern Class B Heal Points standings and third in the latest coaches' poll) entered the game unbeaten, but they have been vulnerable. Last Thursday, NYA (thanks to three goals from sophomore Lilly Wellenbach) eked out an 8-7 win at Cheverus, a team the Clippers beat by eight, 14-6, Friday night at home. Senior Lanier Bolmer had five goals, sophomore Danielle Torres scored four times and senior Tess Beem added three goals. The day before, Yarmouth won 20-8 at Greely behind five scores from junior Nalini Robbins.
"We've really clicked as a team," said Bolmer. "We're a really young team, but we all kind of click and it's been great."
The Panthers took an 8-0 record to Yarmouth, while the Clippers (second in Eastern B and fourth in the coaches' poll) were 8-1.
"I think our confidence is going to stay high," said Bolmer.
NYA goes to undefeated defending Class B champion Waynflete Friday, in a rematch of last year's state game. Yarmouth hosts the Flyers Monday night.
The Panthers wrap up their regular season schedule next week with home games versus York (Monday) and Falmouth (Wednesday). The Clippers end at York next Wednesday.
Falmouth lost 14-9 at Scarborough and 15-4 at Kennebunk last week, then improved to 4-5 Saturday with a 15-4 home win over Deering. The Yachtsmen put it away with eight unanswered second half goals. Senior Haley Jordan and sophomore Laura Fay both scored four times. Falmouth (third in Western B and ninth in the coaches' poll) hosted Cape Elizabeth Tuesday (too late for print), welcomes Greely in a playoff rematch Friday, then closes the regular season at NYA Wednesday of next week.
Greely is in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in the MPA-sanctioned era. The Rangers fell to 1-7 after losses to NYA (14-7) and Yarmouth (20-8) last week. Greely (10th in the latest coaches' poll, but more importantly just sixth in the Western B Heals, only the top five qualify) was at York Tuesday (too late for print), visits Falmouth Friday, hosts Massabesic Monday and welcomes Marshwood Wednesday of next week.
Freeport is now 4-5 after losing 13-12 to visiting Bonny Eagle Thursday. Junior Shelby Colvin and freshman Jess Hench both scored four times defeat. The Falcons (fourth in Eastern B) hosted Fryeburg Tuesday (too late for print), visit Sanford Friday and play at Wells Monday.
Boys' lacrosse: Yarmouth's still perfect
On the boys' side, while Falmouth becomes more and more of a force (please see story, page 13), one local team still has no peer.
Yarmouth built on its inspirational home win over Portland with a 13-1 home victory over Thornton Academy (behind three goals from senior Rob Highland) and a 17-0 win at Gorham (thanks to four goals from senior Evan Henry) to improve to 9-0. The Clippers (first in the Eastern B Heals and tops in the coaches' poll) figured to get a stern test at Falmouth Wednesday (too late for print, please see Web site for game story). Yarmouth then hosts Deering Saturday and closes the regular season at home Monday versus North Yarmouth Academy.
The Panthers fell 12-4 at Falmouth last Wednesday (please see story, page 13). Friday, NYA got back in the win column with a 14-9 home win over Deering in a game which saw the Panthers down at the half. Junior Gus Wellin scored seven times. NYA (fourth in Eastern B and seventh in the coaches' poll) was home with Greely Tuesday (too late for print), hosts Portland Friday, then goes to Yarmouth Monday.
Greely has played much better of late. The Rangers had won four straight before losing 14-6 at Cape Elizabeth Friday. Teddy Russell had three goals. Greely (4-4 and third in Western B) went to NYA Tuesday, hosts Falmouth in a playoff rematch Friday night, visits Marshwood Monday and plays at St. Dom's in the regular season finale next Wednesday.
Freeport improved to 2-7 last Wednesday after an 11-3 home victory over Deering. Seniors Alex Thompson and Greg Townsend both scored three times in the win. The Falcons (eighth in Eastern B) played host to Bonny Eagle Wednesday (too late for print) visit Gorham Saturday and close the year Monday at home versus Noble.
Baseball: Falmouth springs the upset
Falmouth won its second game in a row and third in four outings Monday, 8-7, over visiting Yarmouth, sweeping the season series from the Clippers. Junior Nolan Tapley capped a two-run rally in the bottom of the seventh with a game-winning RBI single. The Yachtsmen were coming off a 9-2 victory at Freeport Friday. Falmouth (6-6 and 14th in the latest Western B Heals) hosted Cape Elizabeth Wednesday (too late for print), welcomes Sacopee Friday, then closes the regular season at Old Orchard Beach Monday and York Wednesday.
Yarmouth's loss at Falmouth continued its one-step-forward, one-step-back routine. The Clippers snapped a two-game losing streak with wins last week over Gray-New Gloucester (12-4) and Fryeburg (3-1), but dropped to 7-6 Monday. Yarmouth (fifth in Western B) was at York Wednesday (too late for print), visits Greely Friday and hosts Old Orchard Beach in the regular season finale next Wednesday.
Greely's baseball team lost two out of three earlier this month, won three in a row, then was upset at home Monday. After last Tuesday's 8-7 win at Yarmouth, the Rangers were 14-3 (five inning) home winners over Freeport and 13-9 victors at Poland. Monday, Greely fell to 11-3 after losing 4-3 to visiting St. Dom's. The top-ranked Rangers host Yarmouth Friday, then go to defending regional champion Cape Elizabeth to wrap up the regular season next Wednesday.
Freeport dropped to 2-11 with losses last week to Greely (14-3, in five innings) and Falmouth (9-2). The Falcons (16th in the standings) hosted Gray-New Gloucester Wednesday (too late for print), go to Traip Monday and close the year next Wednesday at home versus Lake Region.
In Western C, NYA fell to 8-4 Friday after an 11-1 home loss to Traip. The Panthers (eighth in the Heals) went to Waynflete Wednesday (too late for print), visit Traip Friday, Poland Monday and Gray-New Gloucester in the finale next Wednesday.
Softball: Greely turns it on
On the girls' side of the diamond, Greely has had its ups-and-downs, but has now won four straight after downing host Yarmouth 9-1 last Tuesday, visiting Freeport 2-1 last Wednesday, host Poland 8-1 Friday and visiting St. Dom's 9-5 Monday to improve to 8-6 (good for eighth in the Western B Heals). The Rangers are home with Yarmouth Friday and go to Cape Elizabeth to close the regular season next Wednesday.
Falmouth was peaking at the right time, but took a step back Monday. A 5-0 home loss to York May 13 left the Yachtsmen 2-5, but they then won four straight. Last week, Falmouth enjoyed a come-from-behind 5-4 (eight inning) home win over Wells and a 3-2 victory at Freeport. Monday, however, they fell to 6-6 after a 6-3 loss to visiting Yarmouth. The Yachtsmen (ninth in Western B), seeking their first winning season since 2005, hosted Cape Elizabeth Wednesday (too late for print) and Sacopee Friday, then close the year at Old Orchard Beach Monday and York Wednesday.
Yarmouth snapped a five-game skid with Monday's win and is now 3-9. After playing at York Wednesday (too late for print), the Clippers (15th in the Heals) visit Greely Friday and Sacopee Monday, then host Old Orchard Beach next Wednesday.
Freeport dropped a pair of one-run games last week, 2-1 to Greely and 3-2 to Falmouth, to fall to 3-9 on the year. After hosting Gray-New Gloucester Wednesday (too late for print), the Falcons (14th in Western B) visit Traip Monday and host Lake Region next Wednesday.
Tennis: Singles tourney set to resume
On the hardcourts, the state singles tournament will continue Friday, Saturday and Monday at Bates College in Lewiston. Three Falmouth girls will be seeded in the top eight. Annie Criscione is fifth, Hallsey Leighton is sixth and Analise Kump is ranked eighth. On the boys' side, Greely's Thomas Dillman is the No. 6 seed and Yarmouth's Mike Hickey is ranked eighth.
The three Yachtsmen girls will be hard pressed to match the accomplishments of Falmouth's doubles players. Last weekend, for the second year in a row, the Yachtsmen produced both championship teams and history repeated itself when top-ranked Andie Doyle and Melissa Keroack defeated Amanda Gallagher and Emma Wilberg, 6-2, 6-2, to take top honors. NYA's Hilary Keach and Emily Mitchell reached the final of the consolation round before falling to a tandem from St. Dom's in a three-set thriller, 0-6, 6-2, 6-10.
In boys' action, both Falmouth's Jack Coster and Ben Moody (7-10 losers to eventual champions Nate Niles and Eric Ordway of Waynflete) and Yarmouth's Ted Roche and Eli Pitegoff (7-10 losers to Graham Nichols and Michael Takach of Cape Elizabeth) reached the semifinals.
In team play, the Falmouth girls still have no peer. The Yachtsmen took a 10-0 mark into their final two matches, at Cape Elizabeth and home versus York (both played too late for print). The Falmouth boys were 9-2 at the start of the week and hoped to avenge an earlier loss when they hosted Cape Elizabeth Tuesday (too late for print).
Yarmouth's boys are hitting their stride at the right time. The Clippers enjoyed a 3-2 home win over Cape Elizabeth, then won 5-0 at NYA to improve to 9-2. With the final Heal Points in flux, Yarmouth played a pivotal match at Greely Wednesday (too late for print). The Clippers girls (6-5) hosted Greely in their finale Tuesday (also too late for print).
Speaking of the Rangers, their boys had won three straight and were 7-4 prior to their Yarmouth match. Greely's girls won two of three last week to improve to 3-8 and hoped to solidify a trip to the playoffs when they went to Yarmouth.
Freeport's girls are enjoying their finest season in five years. The Falcons had won five of six prior to a 4-1 loss to Cape Elizabeth Friday. Freeport took a 5-5 record into this week's matches at Old Orchard Beach and home with NYA (too late for print). The Falcons boys were were 1-10 prior to playing at NYA Wednesday (also too late for print).
Speaking of the Panthers, the girls' team is in great shape in its quest to win another Class C title. NYA edged visiting rival Waynflete, 3-2, then improved to 9-1 Friday with a 5-0 win at Yarmouth. The Panthers hosted York Tuesday and played at Freeport Wednesday (both matches were too late for print). NYA's boys took a 1-9 mark into season-closing matches at York and at home versus Freeport.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com