Drama, surprise abound as playoffs heat up

  • Mail this page!
  • Delicious
  • 0

(For the complete South Portland-Scarborough boys’ lacrosse and Cape Elizabeth-Falmouth girls’ lacrosse game stories, with photos and box scores, see theforecaster.net)

The tennis playoffs are coming to a close, just as the baseball, softball and boys’ and girls’ lacrosse postseasons begin.

Local teams are in the thick of the hunt in each of those sports and between now and June 20, thrills will be plentiful.

Here’s a glimpse:


If the month is June, then Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ tennis team must be closing in on more hardware. The Capers, the two-time defending Class B champions, ranked second in Western B, blanked No. 7 Greely (5-0) in the quarterfinals and squeaked past third-ranked Fryeburg Academy (3-2) in the semifinals to improve to 11-3 and set up a regional final showdown vs. top-ranked Morse (13-1). That match was played Thursday at Bates College in Lewiston. The winner advanced to face either Ellsworth (14-0) or Camden Hills (13-1) in Saturday’s Class B state match at Lewiston High School.

Scarborough and South Portland weren’t as fortunate.

The Red Storm, ranked sixth in Western A, blanked No. 11 Kennebunk in the preliminary round (5-0), then lost, 5-0, to defending champion Falmouth in the quarterfinals to finish 9-5.

The Red Riots, seeded eighth in Western A, lost, 4-1, to No. 9 Gorham in the preliminary round and wound up 7-6.

Scarborough’s girls also reached the regional final. The fourth-ranked Red Storm defeated No. 5 Thornton Academy (4-1) in the quarterfinals, then upset top-ranked Windham (4-1) to improve to 13-1 and earn a showdown with No. 2 Falmouth (14-0), which won Class A a year ago and entered the match on a mind-boggling 123-match win streak. The teams didn’t play in the regular season . If Scarborough sprung an epic upset, it would meet either Lewiston (14-0) or Brunswick (13-1) in the state match Saturday.

South Portland, the No. 11 seed in Western A, lost, 5-0, to sixth-ranked Gorham in the preliminary round and wound up 4-9.

Cape Elizabeth, seeded third in Western B, was upset by No. 6 Yarmouth, 3-2, in its quarterfinal and ended the year 9-4.


Cape Elizabeth’s baseball team won just four games in 2014 and failed to make the playoffs. 

What a difference a year makes.

Last Wednesday, the Capers won at defending Class B champion Greely, 3-0, behind Marshall Peterson’s four-hitter and a two-run single from Matt Riggle, finished the regular season 11-5 and shot all the way to the top of the Western B Heal Points standings. Cape Elizabeth opened what it hopes to be a long playoff run Thursday when it welcomed No. 9 Lake Region (6-11) in the quarterfinals. On May 18, the Capers beat the visiting Lakers, 8-2. Cape Elizabeth beat Lake Region in both prior playoff encounters, with the most recent a 2-0 victory in the 2009 quarterfinals.

If the Capers advanced, they’ll host No. 4 Wells (10-6) or No. 5 Lincoln Academy (7-9) in Saturday’s semifinals. Cape Elizabeth split with the Warriors this year, falling, 9-4, at Wells May 22 and beating the visiting Warriors, 6-1, a week later. The teams’ lone previous playoff meeting saw the Capers win, 4-2, in the 1987 quarterfinals. Cape Elizabeth and Lincoln Academy don’t play in the regular season. The Capers are 3-0 all-time against the Eagles in the postseason. The most recent meeting came in the 2008 regional final and resulted in a 9-2 Cape Elizabeth triumph.

In Western A, South Portland lost its finale at Gorham last Wednesday, 1-0, in eight innings, producing just one hit, as it dropped to 12-4 and the No. 3 seed in the Heals. The Red Riots, who scored just seven runs in their final five games, hosted No. 11 Biddeford (7-10) in the quarterfinals Thursday. The Tigers beat visiting South Portland, 4-3, May 26. Biddeford won three of the previous five playoff encounters, including a 9-2 decision in the 2012 preliminary round, the most recent meeting.

If the Red Riots advanced to Saturday’s semifinals, they would either go to No. 2 Marshwood (13-3) or host No. 7 Bonny Eagle (11-5) or No. 10 Windham (8-8). South Portland lost at the Hawks, 11-1 in five innings May 12 and fell at home to the Scots, 3-1 May 23. The Red Riots beat the visiting Eagles, 9-3, May 14. Marshwood ended South Portland’s season last year with a marathon 3-1 11 inning win in the semifinals. The Red Riots have no playoff history with Bonny Eagle or Windham.

Scarborough hoped to garner the last playoff spot in Western A, but lost its finale, 1-0, at Thornton Academy last Wednesday to finish 7-9 and 14th (only 12 teams qualified). Sam Warren only allowed two hits against the Golden Trojans, but was the hard-luck loser.

Looking ahead, the Western B Final is Tuesday at 3 p.m. at St. Joseph’s College in Standish. The Western A Final is Wednesday at 3 p.m., at St. Joe’s. The Class A state game is Saturday, June 20 in Augusta. The Class B state final is the same day at St. Joe’s.


Scarborough’s softball team entered the playoffs as the heavy favorite by virtue of its emphatic 16-0 regular season, which was capped with a 12-0 five inning home win over Portland. Sophia Burnham threw a two-hitter and the Red Storm led, 11-0, after one inning. Scarborough earned the top seed for the Western A tournament and hosted No. 8 Windham (10-7) in Thursday’s quarterfinals. The Red Storm won, 11-4, at the Eagles May 22. Windham beat Scarborough in the 1993 and 1995 semifinals, when both teams were in Class B. The most recent playoff meeting came in the 2007 Western A quarterfinals (a 2-0 Red Storm triumph).

If, as expected, Scarborough advanced, it will host either No. 4 Biddeford (13-3) or No. 12 Massabesic (7-10) in Saturday’s semifinals. The Red Storm beat the host Mustangs, 16-3 in six innings, May 11 and won at Biddeford, 9-1, May 30. Scarborough has never played Massabesic in the postseason and is 2-3 all-time against the Tigers, although the Red Storm took the most recent encounter, 5-0, in the 2012 quarterfinals.

South Portland closed the regular season with an 8-3 win at Bonny Eagle to wind up fifth in Western A, but the Red Riots were upset by No. 12 Massabesic (3-1) in Tuesday’s preliminary round to finish the year 11-6. 

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth finished the regular year at .500 after a 9-5 loss at Greely (despite four hits and three RBI from Megan Nicholson). The Capers earned the No. 9 spot in the region and went to eighth-ranked Poland for a preliminary round slugfest Tuesday. Tess Haller homered and drove in four runs and Cape Elizabeth scored six times in the seventh inning, but it wasn’t enough as it lost, 15-10, and saw its season end at 8-9.

Looking ahead, the Western A Final is Wednesday at 7 p.m., at St. Joe’s. The Class A state game is Saturday, June 20 in Augusta. 

Boys’ lacrosse

South Portland’s boys’ lacrosse team, the defending Class A champion, goes into the playoffs as the No. 1 team in our poll and likes its chances of repeating. The Red Riots finished the regular season with an emphatic 14-4 home win over Scarborough last Wednesday, just South Portland’s second-ever victory over the Red Storm. Kam Andrews and Andrew Whipple both had four goals and goalie T-Moe Hellier made eight saves.

“We decided we needed to come out big and we wanted to really beat them,” Andrews said. “We really started to move the ball well and finished.”

“It feels great,” Whipple said. “We knew coming in that it would be one of our biggest games and that there was a lot on the line.'”

“The kids were ready to play,” added Red Riots coach Tom Fiorini. “We’re not a yelling, jumping team. We just come out and do our job. We play smart lacrosse and stay focused. Six-on-six, with this group of kids, I’ll play with anybody.”

South Portland finished 11-1 for the second year in a row and will again be the top seed in Western Class A. The Red Riots will face either No. 4 Westbrook (9-3) or No. 5 Gorham (9-3) in Saturday’s semifinals. South Portland beat the visiting Blue Blazes, 17-5, May 6. The teams have no playoff history. The Red Riots didn’t play the Rams this year. They beat them in each of the past two semifinals: 12-6 in 2013 and 16-3 a year ago.

Scarborough saw its five-game win streak end at South Portland despite a pair of goals from Sam Neugebauer.

“Lacrosse is a game of runs and offensively, they’re dynamic,” Red Storm coach Joe Hezlep said, of the Red Riots. “You give them too many chances and they’ll finish.”

Scarborough finished 8-4 and third in Western A and hosted No. 6 Biddeford (5-7) in Wednesday’s quarterfinals. The Red Storm won the regular season meeting, 14-3, May 30. Team teams had no playoff history.

If Scarborough, as expected, advanced, it will likely go to No. 2 Thornton Academy (9-3) for the semifinals Saturday. The Red Storm won, 4-3, in Saco April 29. Scarborough beat the Golden Trojans in three of four previous playoff meetings, but last year, Thornton Academy ended the Red Storm’s four-year reign as state champion with a 13-4 win in the semifinals.

Two-time defending Class B champion Cape Elizabeth is ranked first in Western B after a 10-2 regular season. The Capers closed with an 11-9 home loss to rival Falmouth, but are still the favorites to go all the way. Cape Elizabeth will host either No. 4 Greely (8-4) or fifth-ranked Kennebunk (6-6) in the semifinals Saturday. The Capers won at the Rams, 16-8, May 1 and dominated the visiting Rangers, 13-1, May 19. Cape Elizabeth is 8-0 all-time against Greely in the playoffs, including last year’s 19-1 waltz in the semifinals. The Capers are 5-2 all-time against Kennebunk in the postseason, but the teams haven’t met since an 8-5 Rams’ triumph in the 2007 regional final.

The regional finals will be contested Wednesday of next week on the fields of the higher remaining seeds. The Class A and B state finals are both Saturday, June 20 on the brand new turf at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

Girls’ lacrosse 

Scarborough’s girls’ lacrosse team closed the regular season on a four-game win streak and its 8-4 record earned it the No. 4 seed in Western A. The Red Storm hosted No. 5 Gorham (7-5) in Wednesday’s quarterfinals. Scarborough rolled at the Rams, 13-2, back on May 12. The teams had met just once previously in the playoffs, but it was a doozy, a 15-14 overtime win for the Red Storm in the 2010 Western A Final.

If Scarborough advanced, it would have a showdown at top-ranked, defending Class A champion Massabesic (10-2) in the semifinals Saturday. The Red Storm won, 10-9, in overtime, at the Mustangs May 21. The teams have met twice previously in the playoffs, but not since a 9-8 Massabesic victory in the 2007 regional final. Scarborough ousted the Mustangs, 15-14, in the 2006 semifinals.

South Portland capped a terrific campaign with a 21-3 home romp over Noble last Wednesday. Kayla Brown and Aimee LaPlante both had three goals as the Red Riots finished 8-4 and sixth in Western A. South Portland went to third-ranked Thornton Academy (9-3) for the quarterfinals Wednesday (see theforecaster.net for game story). The teams didn’t play this year. The Golden Trojans beat the Red Riots in the 2010 quarterfinals (8-4) and 2011 quarterfinals (13-12, in overtime).

If South Portland sprung an upset, it would visit No. 2 Marshwood (9-3) for the semifinals Saturday. The Hawks won, 11-7, at South Portland back on May 4. The teams have no playoff history.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth finished 7-5 after a 9-6 home loss to Falmouth last Wednesday. Lindsay Stewart scored twice in defeat. The Capers earned the No. 5 seed and had to travel to rival Waynflete for the semifinals Wednesday (see theforecaster.net for game story). The Flyers won, 10-4, at Cape Elizabeth May 18. Waynflete has won eight of nine all-time playoff meetings between the schools, but last June, Cape Elizabeth snapped a 24-game losing streak in the series by stunning the host Flyers, 9-8, in the semifinals.

The regional finals will be contested Wednesday of next week on the fields of the higher remaining seeds. The Class A and B state finals are both Saturday, June 20 on the brand new turf at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Sidebar Elements

South Portland senior Trent Lloyd-Rees takes the ball from prone Scarborough sophomore Sam Neugebauer during the Red Riots’ 14-4 regular season-ending home win over the Red Storm last week.

Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.