Winter teams off to strong starts Good news on the hardwood, ice and mat
Even with the Mother Nature-triggered delay last week, the winter sports season is off to a promising start in the city of Portland.
The story has been largely positive in basketball, hockey and wrestling.
While Portland's boys' basketball team was going over the .500 mark Monday night (please see story, page ?), Cheverus has picked right up where it left off. The defending Class A state champion Stags are 3-0 in the early going and have yet to be tested.
After opening with an easy 86-28 home win over Noble (Cheverus led 56-11 at the half), the Stags downed host Bonny Eagle 56-38 and rolled past visiting Kennebunk 77-38 Saturday afternoon to improve to 3-0. In the win at the Scots, senior standout Mick DiStasio went off for 23 points. Saturday, Cheverus was paced by 27 from DiStasio and 12 from junior Kyle Randall. The Stags looked to go 4-0 Tuesday (too late for this edition) when they went to Windham. Friday night brings a showdown at Portland.
Deering is also 3-0. The young and talented Rams enjoyed a 53-25 triumph at Sanford to start the year, then defeated visiting Gorham 53-32 before eking out a 53-50 overtime triumph at Windham Saturday. Against Gorham, senior Ronald Abwoch had 17 points. The win over the Eagles was palpitating. Deering got a huge gift at the end of regulation when a Windham player missed two free throws with the game tied, forcing overtime. That set the stage for junior Ian Nono to play the hero. Nono scored all six of his team's points as the Rams held on for the win. Nono finished with 23 points. Abwoch added 17. Deering was at unbeaten Scarborough Tuesday (too late for this edition). Friday, the Rams host Westbrook.
Waynflete got its season off to a dreamlike start when senior Hassan Jeylani's 3-point buzzer-beater allowed the Flyers to edge visiting St. Dom's 44-43 in overtime. Waynflete fell to 1-1 last Tuesday, however, after a 41-33 home loss to Old Orchard Beach. The Flyers got nine points from Jeylani, but couldn't score in the final period. Waynflete's game at Sacopee Friday was postponed to Saturday due to the weather. The Flyers made the trip Saturday, but during the junior varsity contest, the power went out, forcing the contest to be postponed to a date yet to be announced. Waynflete goes to North Yarmouth Academy Thursday and hosts Western B power Falmouth Saturday.
On the girls' side, defending Class A champion Deering has lived up to billing in the early going under new coach Mike Murphy.
The Rams struggled in their opener for a half, but erupted in the third period en route to a 46-26 win over visiting Sanford. Deering then went to Windham and beat the improved Eagles 44-33 behind 22 points from senior Diana Manduca. Saturday, the Rams made it three in a row with their easiest victory to date, 80-33 over visiting Gorham. Manduca again led the way with 18 points. Junior Claire Ramonas (11) and sophomore Aarika Viola (10) also scored in double figures. Deering is idle until a Friday night showdown at Scarborough. Tuesday, the Rams host another top contender, Biddeford.
McAuley has played just once at press time, but got its season off to a good start with a 37-32 win at Kennebunk last Tuesday. Sophomore standouts Nicolette Kapothanasis and Rebecca Knight both had 10 points. The Lions were scheduled to host Cheverus Friday, but that game was postponed due to the weather. It will be made up Jan. 10. McAuley goes to Portland Wednesday, hosts Massabesic Friday and plays at defending regional runner-up Noble Tuesday of next week.
Speaking of the Bulldogs, they're 2-1 in the early going. After opening with a 58-46 win at Thornton Academy, Portland lost 58-43 to visiting Noble last Tuesday despite 19 points from senior Nyachuol Biliew. Friday's game at Bonny Eagle was postponed to Monday where the Bulldogs enjoyed a ?-? win behind ?. Portland hosts McAuley Wednesday night and visits Kennebunk Friday and Westbrook Monday.
Cheverus is 1-1 to date. The Stags lost 36-31 at Noble to start the year, then bounced back last Tuesday with a 66-46 home win over Bonny Eagle. Seniors Kristy Baum (20 points) and Jamie Lowery (17) led the way. After the game at McAuley was postponed, Cheverus was idle until Tuesday when it hosted Kennebunk (too late for this edition). The Stags don't play again until next Tuesday when they go to South Portland.
In Western C, the Waynflete Flyers have dazzled in their initial action. After opening with a 65-30 victory at St. Dom's, the Flyers enjoyed a 61-25 win at Old Orchard Beach last Tuesday. Senior Annie Cutler, who missed last season, shared high-scoring honors with junior Morgan Woodhouse. Both had 16 points. Senior Mariam Qazi added 14. Waynflete was supposed to play at Sacopee last weekend, but the game was postponed. After playing NYA in their home opener Thursday, the Flyers get a big test at Western B contender Falmouth Saturday.
On the ice, Cheverus and Portland's boys' teams have enjoyed wins to date.
The Stags, who lost 4-2 to South Portland in their opener, crushed host Deering 8-1 Saturday afternoon. Freshman Tyler Bishop and junior Matt Rague both scored twice. It was the Rams' second straight loss. Deering fell 11-2 to Portland in its first game.
Cheverus hopes to make it two in a row when it goes to Cape Elizabeth Thursday. Saturday, the Stags are at Gorham.
The Rams look to get in the win column Wednesday at Bonny Eagle. Saturday, Deering plays host to Noble.
Portland tumbled to the .500 mark Saturday with a hard-fought 5-4 loss at South Portland. The Bulldogs led 2-0 after one period, but couldn't hang on. Monday, Portland dropped to 1-2 after a ?-? loss at Kennebunk. Thursday, the Bulldogs play host to Biddeford. Monday, Portland is at Thornton Academy.
In girls' action, Cheverus continues to dominate. The Stags beat host St. Dom's 2-1 Saturday to improve to 5-0 (outscoring the opposition 27-2). Third period goals from junior Alyssa Audet and freshman Sarah LaQuerre proved to be the difference. Cheverus hosted Portland Tuesday (too late for this edition) and visits Lewiston Saturday.
Deering's wrestling team has impressed so far. The Rams finished seventh at the season-opening Westbrook Tourney and has won its first four meets. Deering enjoyed wins over Marshwood (54-21), Portland (63-12), Scarborough (48-22) and Kennebunk (43-28). The Rams are at Sanford (with Noble) Wednesday.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com