Strong starts the theme for North area teams; So far, so good on hardcourt, ice and in pool
The 2009-10 winter sports season has only just begun, but it has left a lot of smiles in its wake thus far.
The biggest local boys' basketball showdown of the early season came Tuesday in Cumberland where the always-dangerous Greely Rangers played host to preseason favorite Falmouth.
The Yachtsmen entered the game looking invincible. Falmouth crushed Gray-New Gloucester (66-34), Freeport (63-30) and Waynflete (77-35) in its first three outings. Senior standout Stefano Mancini had 23 points versus the Patriots and 22 against the Falcons.
At Waynflete, Falmouth shot to a 19-2 lead and never looked back. The Yachtsmen were up 26-11 after one quarter and 50-24 at halftime. Mancini led all scorers with 17 points. Senior Sam Horning had 16, senior Ryan Rogers contributed 13, senior John Roberts finished with 11 and senior Jahrel Registe added nine.
“We had four guys in double-figures and Registe had nine, that's what we're looking for,” said Falmouth coach Dave Halligan. “Stefano's carried us some games and tonight we got it to other people. We're still a work in progress. I'm happy where we are right now, but we'll find out where we need to be next week. We have three good ones.”
After playing at Greely, the Yachtsmen are home with Lake Region Thursday and Yarmouth Saturday, then visit Poland Tuesday of next week in their 2009 finale.
As for Greely, it drubbed visiting Traip 78-46 in its opener (senior Trevor Tierney had 18 points), held off visiting Yarmouth's furious rally for a 57-49 triumph (behind 17 from junior Sam Johnston and 16 from Tierney), then improved to 3-0 Friday with a 63-46 win at Poland (Tierney led the way with 24 points).
The Rangers followed their Falmouth showdown with a home game versus Freeport Thursday and a trip to Cape Elizabeth Saturday. The latter contest is a rematch of last year's playoff heartbreaker.
Yarmouth is still a contender, even after losing top scorer Johnny Murphy to graduation. The Clippers beat visiting Poland 53-37 (senior Evan Henry scored 14 points and junior Mike McCormack had 13), lost at Greely (junior Luke Pierce had 19), then bounced back with a 57-30 victory at Fryeburg Friday (as Pierce went off for 20).
Yarmouth hosted Wells Tuesday, welcomes two-time defending regional champion Cape Elizabeth Thursday. Saturday, the Clippers go to Falmouth. Tuesday, they close 2009 with a visit from York.
Freeport is 1-2 under new coach Nick Jewett. After opening with a 41-38 home triumph over Fryeburg (behind 15 points from senior Jackson Dodge), the Falcons fell 63-30 at Falmouth (senior Tom Dorsey had a team-high 13) and 67-29 to visiting York (Dodge had a dozen).
Freeport hoped to even its record Tuesday at Gray-New Gloucester. The Falcons are at Greely Thursday, welcome Wells Saturday and Lake Region next Tuesday.
In Western C, North Yarmouth Academy is 1-3. After losing 39-22 to Waynflete (junior Andrew Esancy had a team-high 10 points) and 82-35 at Traip (Esancy had 15), the Panthers got in the win column Friday with a 41-20 triumph at Gould (Esancy led the way with 15 points and senior Toey LeBlanc added 10). NYA then lost 55-22 at Lake Region (junior Elijah Leavitt led the team with six points).
The Panthers are home with Hyde Thursday and Sacopee Saturday, then close 2009 at Old Orchard Beach on Tuesday of next week.
On the girls' side, Greely looks like the real deal. The Rangers have cruised to three easy wins: 62-34 at Traip (behind 18 from senior Megan Grondin), 57-28 over visiting Yarmouth (Grondin had 12 points and senior Abby Young added 11) and 69-15 over visiting Poland (the Rangers led 39-5 at the half and got 18 from Young).
Greely hosted Falmouth Tuesday, goes to Freeport Thursday, welcomes Cape Elizabeth Saturday and plays host to Fryeburg in the 2009 finale next Tuesday.
Speaking of the Yachtsmen, they won their first three outings, but it wasn't easy. Falmouth held off visiting Gray-New Gloucester 43-42 in the opener (behind senior Annelise Keeler's 12 points), won 54-43 at Freeport (behind 14 from freshman Kylie Libby and a dozen from junior Jess DiPhilippo), then rallied to beat visiting Western C power Waynflete, 47-44 (as DiPhilippo and sophomore Jenna Serunian both scored 12 points).
The Yachtsmen played at Greely Tuesday, go to rival Lake Region Thursday, host Yarmouth Saturday and Poland Tuesday.
The Clippers are a pleasant surprise so far, boasting a 2-1 mark. Yarmouth opened with a 48-23 win at Poland (as sophomore Morgan Cahill went off for 19 points). After a 57-28 setback at Greely (junior Devin Simsarian led the team with 14), the Clippers rallied past visiting Fryeburg 32-30 (behind Cahill's 18).
Yarmouth was at Wells Tuesday, hosts Cape Elizabeth Thursday, goes to Falmouth Saturday and visits defending regional champion York next Tuesday.
Freeport is seeking its first victory of the winter. The Falcons fell 44-34 at Fryeburg (despite senior Rachel Foster's 14 points), 54-43 to visiting Falmouth (Foster had 20) and 56-24 at York (freshman Leigh Wyman finished with 10).
Freeport hoped to break through Tuesday when it hosted Gray-New Gloucester. The Falcons are home against Greely Thursday and Wells Saturday, then close 2009 at Lake Region Tuesday.
In Western C, NYA is also looking for a first win. After falling 53-26 at Waynflete in the opener (junior Blair Haggett led the Panthers with 14 points), it absorbed a 48-28 home loss to Traip (Haggett and sophomore Morgan Scully both had seven), then fell 46-20 at home to Lake Region (despite eight points from junior Eliza Gendron).
NYA goes to Hyde Thursday, hosts Sacopee Saturday and is home against Old Orchard Beach Tuesday.
The girls' hockey season rolls on.
Falmouth improved to 3-1-1 Monday with a 6-0 home victory over Brunswick. Freshman Jayde Bazinet scored twice. The Yachtsmen visit Cape Elizabeth Saturday and go to St. Dom's Wednesday of next week.
Greely is 2-5 on the year. The Rangers beat Yarmouth 9-1 in the opener, then lost to Cheverus (7-0), St. Dom's (4-2), Leavitt (2-0) amd Falmouth (6-1) before bouncing back Thursday with a 5-1 home victory over Brunswick, behind a pair of goals from Michaela Finnegan. Saturday, Greely fell 3-0 at Leavitt. Emma Seymour made 15 saves. The Rangers host Scarborough Saturday, defending state champion Lewiston Monday and go to Winslow Wednesday of next week.
Yarmouth got its first win of the season Monday, 4-1 over visiting Deering. Junior Suzanne Driscoll scored three times. The Clippers (1-4) host St. Dom's Saturday and Gorham Monday.
NYA is 0-2 in early action, with losses to Governor's Academy and the Tilton School. The Panthers are at the Southfield Tournament this weekend.
In the pool, Class B powers Falmouth and Greely met Saturday in an early-season showdown. The Rangers rolled in the boys' meet, 130-33 and made a statement in the girls' competition, winning 104-66.
“In the boys' meet, (Falmouth) couldn't match our numbers and experience,” said Rangers coach Rob Hale. “Our team is twice their size and much older. It was our first meet of the year and the guys were eager to race.
“The girls' meet score was a little misleading. The battle for the top places was tight, but we were able to win more of the touchouts. We also go deeper on the bench than they do.”
Scores for NYA and Yarmouth's early meets weren't available.
Indoor track and skiing begin in earnest after the first of the year.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com