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Postseason fun begins for Portland schools

Sports

Postseason fun begins for Portland schools

One weekend of postseason action is in the books and things are about to really ramp up.

Wrestling held its regionals Saturday, swimming's first of two Southwesterns meets was contested Friday and Saturday and the girls' hockey and indoor track regular seasons have come to a close. Basketball has a week to go.

Here's a look at what's occurred and what's to come:

Boys' basketball

Cheverus' boys' basketball team got a bit of a scare Saturday in its third game in three days, but is still unbeaten and atop the Western Class A Heal Points standings at 16-0. After rolling past visiting Marshwood (57-40) and Gorham (80-37), the Stags only held a 25-23 halftime lead at Sanford, but eventually had enough to survive, 56-47, for their 20th successive win. Junior Louie DiStasio had 21 points versus the Hawks. He had 17 and senior Peter Gwilym added 16 against the Rams. At Sanford, DiStasio and sophomore Matt Cimino both had 11 points. Cheverus went to Deering Tuesday and closes against visiting South Portland Friday night.

Deering began the week 10-6 and fifth in Western A. Last week, the Rams suffered back-to-back losses at South Portland (86-64) and Windham (86-82, in OT), but bounced back Saturday to down visiting Marshwood (80-56). Junior Jon Amabile had 13 points against the Red Riots and erupted for 35 against the Eagles. In the victory, Amabile had 25 points, six rebounds and five steals, while senior Jackon Frey added 13 points, five rebounds and two assists and sophomore Labson Abwoch had 12 points and four boards. Deering hosted Cheverus Tuesday and closes at resurgent Portland Thursday.

Speaking of the Bulldogs, they've won three in a row to improve to 9-7 and soar to the seventh spot. Thursday, Portland was a 58-42 victor at Scarborough (junior Mike Herrick went off for 28 points). Friday, the Bulldogs downed visiting Sanford, 56-42, as Herrick had 17 points, senior Matt McInnis 12 and sophomore Nate Smart 11. Saturday, Portland won in overtime for the second time this year, 60-55, over visiting Biddeford, as Herrick had 23 points, junior Pete Donato 15 and sophomore Nick Volger 10. Portland was at South Portland Tuesday and closes at home versus Deering Thursday.

In Western C, Waynflete appears postseason-bound and the Flyers are trying to avoid a preliminary round game to go directly to Augusta. Waynflete improved to 9-5 last Tuesday after surviving host A.R. Gould, 64-61, in overtime. Senior Joe Veroneau had 17 points, junior Alex Hadiaris added 16 and sophomore Max Belleau finished with 11. The Flyers (sixth in the region) hosted Valley Tuesday and welcomes Gould Academy Friday.

Girls' basketball

On the girls' side, as Deering and McAuley were falling from the unbeaten ranks (please see story), Cheverus found itself at the crossroads last weekend. The Stags won, 53-48, at Marshwood Thursday (junior Morgan Cahill had 16 points), but lost, 46-39, at Gorham Friday (despite 19 points from Cahill), then found themselves down, 31-26, to visiting Sanford at halftime Saturday. Cheverus rallied to lead 39-37 after three, but was down 47-44 with just over three minutes to go. A putback by sophomore Kylie Libby cut the deficit to one. Then, with 53.7 seconds remaining, Cahill took a pass from junior Alexandra Palazzi-Leahy and scored to put her team ahead to stay. After a Redskins' turnover, Palazzi-Leahy made two foul shots with 1.2 seconds left to give the Stags the 50-47 win. Cahill led the way again with 17 points, while Palazzi-Leahy added 14.

"It was a big win," said Cheverus coach Richie Ashley. "The girls answered the bell. I told them at halftime it was up to them. We had to play the way we can play and 'believe in we.' Morgan made a big-time move. People were hanging on her. She hit a big shot. Alexandra hit a big 3 and made the foul shots at the end. She's been very unselfish, a great leader. She went from averaging almost 20 points a game to around 10. Most people would complain, but she cares more about the name on the front of the uniform than the back."

The Stags (13-3 and fourth in the latest Western Class A Heal Points standings) went to McAuley Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for the game story) and close at South Portland Friday.

"We have to go over the House of Horrors at McAuley, but it's a good preparation for the tournament," Ashley said. "South Portland will be tough over there. We have to come ready to play."

Portland entered the week 4-11 and 14th in the standings after a 50-43 home victory over Scarborough Thursday and a 56-43 loss at Sanford. In the victory, senior Nicolette Kapothanasis continued her strong season with 18 points. She had 16 in the loss to the Redskins. The Bulldogs hosted South Portland Tuesday and close the season at Deering Wednesday.

In Western C, Waynflete is closing in on a high seed for the upcoming tournament. Yet again. The Flyers improved to 13-3 Friday with a 56-32 home victory over Hyde. Sophomore standout Martha Veroneau had 19 points and 12 steals. Senior Lydia Stegemann added 12 points. Waynflete (third in the region) hosted Western B contender Cape Elizabeth Monday night and was at Wells in the regular season finale Tuesday.

Boys' hockey

Deering's hockey team continued its resurgence last week. The Rams extended their win streak to four by downing visiting Massabesic/Old Orchard Beach (3-2, in overtime), Lake Region (9-3) and Windham (4-1) to improve to 6-7 (11th in the Western A Heals). Senior Connor Petropoulos had the winner in the overtime game. Freshman Griffin Py had a hat trick versus Lake Region. Py added two goals versus Windham. Deering was at Cony Monday, hosts Gorham Thursday and goes to Bonny Eagle Saturday.

Cheverus is 9-4 and up to third in the Western A Heals after losing, 8-3, at Noble and beating visiting South Portland, 3-2, last week. Sophomore Cameron McLain scored twice in the victory. The Stags are home against Marshwood Thursday and Falmouth Saturday.

Portland entered the week 5-9 and clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot in the region. Thursday, the Bulldogs lost, 8-1, at home to Thornton Academy. Junior Ryan Jurgelevich had the lone goal. Portland goes to South Portland Thursday and visits Noble next Wednesday.

Girls' hockey

Cheverus, the defending state champion, is the lone city girls' hockey team that is playoff-bound. The Stags wound up 11-6-1 after beating visiting Gorham (3-1) and losing to visiting Winslow (2-1) last weekend. Freshman Katie Roy scored twice against the Rams and junior Sarah LaQuerre had the lone goal in the loss.  Cheverus finished third in the West region and will likely go to second-ranked York in the semifinals this weekend (game time hadn't been announced at press time). Last year in the semis, the Stags beat the Wildcats, 7-1. This year, Cheverus won 2-0 at York and tied the visiting Wildcats, 1-1. If victorious, the Stags will play in the regional final against either Scarborough or Biddeford on Feb. 16. The state final is Feb. 19 in Lewiston.

Portland wound up 5-11-2 and sixth in the West (where just four teams qualified for the postseason), lost 4-2 at Cape Elizabeth and 2-0 to visiting York last week to finish up. Sophomore Drew Barry scored twice against the Capers, while junior goalie Elizabeth Rickett made 42 saves. Rickett had 37 saves versus the Wildcats.

Waynflete's co-op team with Cape Elizabeth finished the year 5-13 (seventh in the West) after beating Portland (4-2) and losing to Biddeford (3-2). Lucy Crane and Roz Gray-Bauer each had a goal and an assist in the victory.

Track

City teams joined South Portland for the regular season indoor track finale at the Portland Expo Saturday.

Deering won the boys' meet with 107 points. Cheverus (47) came in third and Portland (42.5) placed fourth. The Rams got wins from Jared Bell in the junior shot put (42 feet, 2.5 inches), Bryan White in the senior shot put (45-6.5), Ricardo Delgado in the junior 45 hurdles (6.1 seconds), Carleton Allen in the senior 45 hurdles (6 seconds), Renaldo Lowry in the senior 40 (4.7) and the senior 200 (24.6) and James Ociti in the junior 400 (57 seconds). The Stags got a victory from Jimmy Campbell in the junior 40 (5 seconds) and Jackson McMann in the junior 200 (26.2). Portland's Imadhi Zagon won the high jump (5-10), Abde Ahmed took the senior 400 (55.6) and the Bulldogs' open relay was first in 1:40.0.

In the girls' meet, Deering was also first, with 149 points. Portland (57) placed third, McAuley (50) fourth and Cheverus (49) fifth. The Rams got victories from Veronica Mitchell in the senior 45 hurdles (6.8) and the 600 (1 minute, 41.5 seconds), Delaney Loring in the 300 (42.6), Whitney Adell in the junior 200 (29.8), Edie Pallozzi in the junior 800 (2:27.0) and their senior (1:56.8) and open (4:29.4) relay teams. The Bulldogs produced event winners Mary Nyembo in the senior 40 (5.4) and senior 200 (29.6) and Kalli Daggett in the senior 800 (2:34.8). The Stags got victories from Katie Shapiro in the senior shot put (29-9), Caroline Summa in the high jump (5-2) and the senior 400 (1:06.1) and Kiera Murray in the two-mile (12:26.9). The Lions had three runners-up, Jaime LaCasse in the senior shot put (27-11.75), Taxiarhia Arabatzis in the two-mile (13:03.2) and Autumn Becker in the senior 45 hurdles (7.2).

The Southwestern championships are Saturday at the Expo. The girls start at 8 a.m. The boys at 3:30 p.m.

Swimming

Portland and Waynflete's first-year swm teams took part in the south division Southwesterns last weekend in Cape Elizabeth.

In the boys' competition Friday, won by Windham with 270.5 points, Portland (153) came in fourth and Waynflete (23) 10th. The Bulldogs were paced by their 200 free relay team (Liam McNeill, Will Dykes, David Bliss and Peter Tomascak) which came in first in 1 minute, 40.88 seconds. Individually, Bliss was third in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.7).

The Flyers' points came from Luke Jeton, who was third in the 100 fly (59.48) and fourth in the 100 breaststroke (58.93).

Saturday, the first-year Waynflete girls almost took the title, winding up second behind Sanford (193-190). Portland (90) came in seventh. The Flyers got wins from Ellen Silk in the 200 freestyle (2:02.76), Colby Harvey in the 200 individual medley (2:16.85) and the 100 breaststroke (1:11.62) and Amelia Deady in the 50 free (26.2) and the fly (1:02.12).

The Bulldogs were paced by Leanne Reichert, who was runner-up in the 50 free (26.92). The team's 200 free relay team (Mary Badger, Megan Hudson, Kelly Flanagan and Reichert) was third (1:55.26).

Cheverus, Deering and McAuley vie in the north division Southwesterns Friday and Saturday in Westbrook. Last Friday, Cheverus swept Deering in a dual meet, with the boys winning, 114-67, and the girls triumphing, 109-67.

Skiing

Cheverus' Alpine ski team took part in a giant slalom meet Friday at Shawnee Peak. The Stags had 108 points to finish fourth behind Marshwood, Scarborough, Windham and Kennebunk, while beating Gorham and the girls also were fourth with 79 points, defeating Marshwood, while losing to Kennebunk, Scarborough and Gorham. Individually, Will Lenk was the top boy (placing 14th after a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 15.72 seconds). Catie Walsh led the girls by coming in eighth (1:18.44).

The Western Maine Conference Nordic championships are Wednesday (skate) and Saturday (classic) in Fryeburg. The conference Alpine championships are Friday.

Wrestling

At Saturday's Western Class A wrestling regionals at Noble High School, where the hosts won with 243 points, Deering (40) placed seventh, Portland (27) eighth and Cheverus (23) ninth.

Individually, Cheverus' Iain Whitis was the champion at 112-pounds, downing Marshwood's Tyler Davidson, 10-6, in the final. Deering's Connor Darling lost a 16-8 major decision to Noble's Micah Lewis in the final of the 189-pound division. Portland's Evan Michalski made it to the consolation final at 135, but lost to Marshwood's Nicholas James, 4-0. Deering's Jacob Farrell lost in the consolation final at 171, a 10-2 major decision to Kennebunk's Evan Fecko.

The state championship meet is Saturday in Augusta.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net and followed at twitter.com/foresports