p-sportsrecap-012109 Winter season hits stretch run Local teams jockeying for playoffs
By Michael Hoffer
With the postseason drawing ever closer, local winter sports teams know time and wins are of the essence.
The news continues to be largely encouraging across the board.
SUBHEAD-Girls' basketball: Deering makes it a perfect 13
While Western C contender Waynflete stumbled at Greely over the weekend (please see story, page 11), Deering's girls' basketball team continues to make it look easy. The defending Class A state champion Rams beat visiting Bonny Eagle (60-21), host McAuley (47-23) and visiting Kennebunk (74-21) in recent action to improve to 13-0.
Against the Scots, junior Claire Ramonas and sophomore Aarika Viola both had 13 points. In the Battle of Stevens Avenue, sophomore Kayla Burchill led the way with 14. Saturday, against the York County Rams, Burchill dominated with 21 points.
Deering (first in the latest Western A Heals) is off until Friday when it hosts Portland. Tuesday, the Rams go to Massabesic.
Speaking of the Bulldogs, they won two in a row last week, downing visiting Marshwood 56-53 (behind 13 points from senior Nyachuol Biliew) and Sanford 45-32 (as junior Mariah Callender had 15 points). Saturday, however, Portland fell 63-42 at Windham despite 12 points from senior Alisa Sweet.
The Bulldogs improved to 6-7 Monday with a 56-52 double-overtime victory against visiting Gorham. Sophomore Nyabang Diang had 19 points and Sweet added 18.
Portland (11th in the Western A Heals) follows its trip to Deering Friday with a home showdown with South Portland Monday.
Streaky Cheverus is now seventh in the standings. The Stags, who followed a five-game win streak with a six-game losing skid, have now won two straight and evened their record at 7-7 with recent victories over visiting Windham (32-30) and host Gorham (36-32).
Against the Eagles, freshman sensation Alexandra Palazzi-Leahy scored 15 points and had a huge second half to help Cheverus hold on for the win. Against the Rams, senior Jamie Lowery led the team with 11 points.
The Stags are idle until Friday night when they play at red-hot Scarborough. Tuesday, they host Westbrook.
McAuley beat host Gorham 60-36 last Tuesday (behind 17 points from sophomore Nicolette Kapothanasis and 14 from sophomore Rebecca Knight) for its second win in a row. The Lions then lost to Deering Thursday (despite nine from Kapothanasis) and fell 75-39 at Scarborough Saturday. Knight had 14 in a losing effort. Monday, the Lions evened their record at 6-6 with a 53-46 home win over Westbrook. Knight erupted for 27 points.
McAuley (10th in the Heals) goes to South Portland Friday and hosts Bonny Eagle Saturday.
SUBHEAD-Boys' basketball: Waynflete drops a pair
While the other city teams were doing battle in recent days (please see stories, page 11), the Waynflete Flyers were looking to put together some momentum for a run at the playoffs.
Coming off their second win of the season, the Flyers hosted Western B power Greely Friday and stayed closer than many expected, losing 59-45. Junior John Malia continued his stellar play, scoring more than half of Waynflete's points (28). Monday, Waynflete played host to Traip and fell to 2-9 with a 70-40 setback. Malia again led the team with 18 points.
The Flyers (15th in the latest Western Class C Heal Points standings) were at Hyde Tuesday (too late for this edition), go to Western B contender Yarmouth Friday and visit Old Orchard Beach Saturday.
SUBHEAD-Girls' hockey: Cheverus on a roll
A year after reaching the state final, the Cheverus girls' hockey team is thinking championship. The Stags made a major statement last Wednesday with a decisive 8-2 home win over defending state champion Scarborough.
Back on Jan. 3, Cheverus beat the host Red Storm 2-1, but the rematch was a vastly different story. Junior Emily Sawchuck scored the first of her two goals just 17 seconds in for a 1-0 lead. After Scarborough drew even, the Stags went up 2-1 late in the first and scored three times in both the second and third periods to roll. Junior Alyssa Audet led scoring with two goals and two assists. Sawchuck complemented her pair with one assist, with sophomore Grace Fitzpatrick and juniors Caitlin Pleau, Sage Witham, and Maggie Grindatti scored one goal apiece.
"When you go up against a team like Scarborough, it's a big game, you need to come out with intensity," said Cheverus coach J.P. Lavoie. "So far, in tough games, we haven't come out. We've been due for this."
Saturday, Cheverus enjoyed a 7-1 victory at Cape Elizabeth. Audet scored three times. Monday, the Stags improved to 11-1 with a 7-0 win at Portland. Audet had two goals to lead the way.
The Stags (?t in the latest West Region Heals) host St. Dom's Saturday and go to Lewiston Monday, play at York Tuesday and have a rematch of last year's Tier II state final at Biddeford Wednesday.
Portland fell to 1-12 with the Cheverus loss. The Bulldogs (?t in the West) are at Deering Wednesday and host the Rams Friday.
Deering took a 1-10 mark into Monday's game at Winslow. The Rams (?t in the West) go to York Saturday after their two games versus Portland.
SUBHEAD-Boys' hockey: Deering still seeking first win
They keep inching closer, but the Deering boys' hockey team is still without that elusive first victory. The Rams lost 4-3 in overtime to visiting Mt. Ararat Thursday and fell 7-6 to visiting Edward Little Saturday. Against the Eagles, junior Ben Rodick scored twice, including the goal that sent the game to overtime. Against the Red Eddies, Deering scored three times in the third to tie the score, but lost in the waning moments. Junior Travis Wade had a pair of goals. Senior Pat Verville had the tally that made it 6-6.
The Rams (0-8 and ?t in the Western A Heals) hope to get off the schneid Thursday when they host Yarmouth. Monday brings a trip to Massabesic.
Cheverus is 2-5-1 after losing 2-1 in overtime at Brunswick Thursday and tying visiting York 1-1 Saturday. Against the Dragons, sophomore Matt Cartmell had the Stags goal, but they couldn't strike again. Against the defending Western B champion Wildcats, Cartmell set up freshman Harry Ridge for the tying goal.
Cheverus (?t in the Western A Heals) has two tough road tests upcoming. Friday, the Stags are at St. Dom's. Saturday, they visit Falmouth. Tuesday, Cheverus plays at Gorham.
Portland improved to 4-1-1 in its last six outings with a 6-3 victory at Gray-New Gloucester/Poland Saturday and a 6-3 home win over Brunswick Monday. Senior Sam Guimond had a hat trick against the Patriotic Knights. Senior Brian Watson scored twice against the Dragons.
Portland (?t in Western A) is idle until Monday when it hosts Bonny Eagle.
The indoor track season continued Saturday at the Portland Expo where several athletes took part in a protest of the Maine Principals' Association's proposed changes, which includes a forced withdrawal from New England competition.
Deering's boys continued their strong season with another victory. The Rams had 93 points to beat Gorham (60) and Biddeford (36). Cheverus had 56 1/2 points and was second to Scarborough (77) while beating Thornton Academy by a point. Portland (34 points) was third behind Bonny Eagle (102) and Westbrook (52).
On the girls' side, Deering was also victorious, scoring 93 points to beat Biddeford (58) and Gorham (49). McAuley (59 points) and Portland (48) were second and third respectively behind Bonny Eagle (149) and finished ahead of Westbrook (35). Cheverus (27 points) placed a distant third to Scarborough (99) and Thornton Academy (67).
This Saturday, Cheverus competes with Biddeford and Westbrook at 8:15 a.m., Deering and McAuley run, jump and throw with Thornton Academy and Windham at 10:55 a.m., and Portland battles Noble and Scarborough at 12:15 p.m. The Portland boys meet Noble and Scarborough at 1:45 p.m., Deering does battle with Thornton Academy and Windham at 3:05 p.m., and Cheverus faces Biddeford and Westbrook at 4:20 p.m.
In the pool, McAuley edged Windham 105-103 and downed Yarmouth 105-88 Saturday. Portland dropped a meet against Westbrook and Kennebunk. The boys lost 137-79 to the Blue Blazes and 108-79 to the Rams. The girls fell 64-43 to Westbrook and 158-43 to Kennebunk.
Results for Cheverus' meet with Cape Elizabeth and Deering's versus Bonny Eagle weren't available.
Cheverus is at Bonny Eagle Friday and hosts Portland Saturday. McAuley and Portland swim at Westbrook Friday. Deering goes to Windham Saturday.
Waynflete's girls took part in the Maranacook Wave Nordic ski race Saturday. The Flyers had 309 points to place 18th out of 22 teams. Senior Ellie Cole was the top individual, finishing the 5-kilometer course in 60th in 20 minutes, 50.3 seconds.
City rivals Deering and Portland met on the mat last Wednesday at Portland. The Rams enjoyed a 58-12 victory.
Saturday, Deering defeated Biddeford 58-21 and lost 60-16 to Bonny Eagle. Portland lost 65-11 to visiting Westbrook.
Staff writer Sarah Trent contributed to this story. Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com