Southern winter sports teams hit homestretch
It's hard to believe, but the 2009-10 winter sports regular season is winding down.
With only a handful of weeks remaining, here's a glimpse at where the locals stand.
Cape Elizabeth's two-time defending Western Class B boys' basketball team will take an 11-1 mark and the No. 3 spot in the Heal Points standings into a showdown at Greely Friday night. Last week, the Capers enjoyed a 63-39 victory at Waynflete and a 70-53 home triumph over Lake Region to stretch their win streak to four. Against the Flyers, junior Theo Bowe had 11 points. Bowe finished with 17, while junior Cam Brown added 14 in the win over the Lakers.
Cape Elizabeth follows its trip to Greely with a home game against Gray-New Gloucester Saturday. Tuesday, the Capers go to Wells.
In Western A, South Portland bounced back from its first loss last week with a narrow escape, 55-53, at Kennebunk Friday. Senior Greg Reinhold scored 13 points and classmate Connor Hasson added 11. The Red Riots (11-1) and third behind Cheverus and Westbrook in the Heals, have a huge test at the undefeated, powerhouse Stags Friday, then host Bonny Eagle Tuesday.
Scarborough improved to 5-6 Friday with a 49-42 win at Sanford. Junior Zack Bean had 20 points to lead the way. The Red Storm (ninth in the Heals) were supposed to host Windham Monday, then Tuesday, but snow postponed both contests. Friday, Scarborough will be home against Bonny Eagle. Saturday, it will try again at home with Windham at 7 p.m. Next Tuesday, the Red Storm visit Kennebunk.
On the girls' side, Scarborough is still perfect at 11-0 following Friday night's 57-30 home waltz over Sanford. In that one, the Red Storm were paced by senior Christy Manning's 14 points and 10 from classmate Brittany Ross. Scarborough (first in the Western A Heals) had its game at Windham postponed by snow both Monday and Tuesday. Friday, the Red Storm visit Bonny Eagle. Saturday, they go to Windham at 5 p.m. Tuesday, they host Kennebunk.
Speaking of Kennebunk, South Portland downed the Rams, 50-30, at home Friday to improve to 7-6.
"We're becoming more consistent," said coach Mike Giordano. "We're as good as we're going to be. We have some huge games coming off. If we win, that will get us in the playoffs."
The Red Riots (eighth in Western A) host Cheverus in a contest critical for playoff seeding Friday night. Tuesday, South Portland is at Bonny Eagle.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth is still right in the thick of the postseason hunt. Last week, the Capers fell 48-44 (in overtime) at home to Western C contender Waynflete, then sprung a 38-34 surprise at Lake Region to improve to 7-5 (good for sixth in the standings). Senior Morgan Pillsbury had 22 points in the loss. Pillsbury then had 17 at the Lakers.
Cape Elizabeth has a chance to move up even further when it hosts Greely Friday. Saturday, the Capers go to Gray-New Gloucester. Tuesday, they're home against Wells.
On the ice, while Scarborough was battling Greely to a tie (please see story), South Portland has been climbing up the standings.
The Red Riots have captured five straight, including a 6-4 win at Deering and a 4-3 home triumph over Cheverus last week. Against the Rams, South Portland was down 4-2 after two periods and had to kill a 5-on-3 penalty and did so before scoring four times. Junior Zach Horton's second goal of the contest put the team ahead to stay and the Red Riots held on for a confidence-building victory.
"We came out flat tonight and went down two right away and had to scrap to get back," said coach Joe Robinson. "I told the guys they had to move. In the third period, we turned it on. That was probably our best period all season.
"I'd say we're starting to put it together. We're still a pretty young team. It's hard work and discipline. We took our lumps early with losses to TA and Biddeford. This is a big stretch for us."
In the win over the Stags, South Portland rallied from an early 2-0 deficit and earned the win on a late power play goal from junior Robert Hannigan.
The Red Riots (6-3 and fourth in Western A) hosted Portland Thursday and go to Kennebunk next Wednesday.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth is still looking to put it all together. Last week, the Capers fell 7-0 at home to Thornton Academy, then lost 2-0 at Winslow to fall to 3-6. Monday's home game with Westbrook was postponed. Cape Elizabeth (sixth in the Heals) plays host to Scarborough Saturday.
The Scarborough girls' team gave undefeated power Cheverus a scare last week before falling, 2-1. The Red Storm held the potent Stags scoreless until the third period, got a goal from sophomore Abby Rutt and 17 saves from freshman Shannon Hicks. Scarborough bounced back Saturday with a 9-2 home win over Gorham (Rutt and junior Spencer Shoebottom both scored twice) to improve to 8-5 (good for third in the West Region Heals). The Red Storm were supposed to play at Cape Elizabeth Monday, but that game was postponed by weather. Saturday, Scarborough will host Biddeford.
Cape Elizabeth is 4-7-2 and sixth in the Heals after a 5-5 tie at Winslow Saturday. Senior standout Sasha Timpson scored all five goals to help the Capers rally. After going to York Saturday, Cape Elizabeth visits Deering Monday.
Turning to track, the big story last weekend came from Cape Elizabeth's Jon Bass set a new school and league record in the pole vault with a leap of 13 feet, 4 1/2 inches. The Capers were fourth as a team. Cape Elizabeth's girls finished second.
At the Expo, Scarborough's boys defeated Cheverus and Thornton Academy, while the girls were second behind the Golden Trojans. South Portland's boys and girls defeated Noble and Windham.
Scarborough's swim teams are still perfect on the season. The Red Storm swept a meet against Massabesic last weekend.
"I think it's clear that we're going to make a run at both the boys' and girls' championship meets this year," said coach Sean Flaherty. "We're truly firing on all cylinders right now."
Cape Elizabeth is coming off an impressive sweep of Cheverus, with the boys cruising 115-63 and the girls holding off the Stags, 103-80.
South Portland beat Kennebunk in a girls' meet Friday, 113-72. The boys lost a close decision to the Rams, 97-88.
In Nordic skiing, Cape Elizabeth took part in a multi-team freestyle meet last Thursday and both squads came in second. The Capers then went to the Maranacook Wave race Saturday. The boys came in seventh, while the girls placed ninth. Bobby Yokabaskas had the fourth-best boys' time (14 minutes, 4.1 seconds).
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com