Dramatic wins highlight return to action for Portland teams

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The first week of 2010 high school sports action was full of memorable moments.

Boys’ basketball

On the hardwood, the Cheverus boys continue to lead the way. The Stags are now 9-0 after wins last week over Thornton Academy (80-46), Bonny Eagle (69-49) and Scarborough (59-44).

Against the Golden Trojans, Cheverus avenged last year’s heartbreaking playoff loss thanks to eight points and 10 steals from senior standout Indiana Faithfull.

“We all came to play tonight,” said Faithfull. “We started out with a lot of energy and it was just a good team effort. It’s a great win, but it’s not the big one. We definitely have a lot of room to get better but the intensity and effort is there.”

Senior Kyle Randall had a game-high 11 points, three other Stags posted double digits and 12 scored at least one point. Junior Alex Furness hit a pair of 3-pointers on his way to 10 points, and junior forwards Griffin Brady and Peter Gwilym each added 10.

“We did everything well and played unselfish basketball,” said Cheverus coach Bob Brown. “I’m certainly pleased with the effort. I like the fact that we are all on the same page. You’ll never see one of our guys taking any time off and that’s the mark of a good team.”

Against the Scots, sophomore Louie DiStasio had 17 points and Furness added 14.

Versus the Red Storm, the Stags raced to a 43-8 halftime lead and held on behind 20 points from Faithfull.

Cheverus (first in the latest Western Class A Heal Points standings) was at Deering Tuesday (see Web site for game story), goes to Portland Friday and hosts Biddeford Monday.

Deering is now 7-2 (and fifth in the standings) after going 2-1 last week. The Rams sandwiched easy home wins over Kennebunk (56-22, thanks to 15 points from sophomore Jon Amabile) and Massabesic (47-34, behind 17 points from senior Eddie Tirabassi and 13 from junior Dennis Ross) around an agonizing 62-58 home loss to South Portland.

Against the Red Riots, Deering raced to a 17-4 lead, but went ice cold in the fourth quarter and couldn’t contend with South Portland’s inside scoring acumen, losing despite 22 points from Amabile.

“We got outmuscled tonight,” said Rams coach Dan LeGage. “(South Portland) has a senior team. They executed and played physical. We got caught fouling. They shot 34 free throws and we shot 11. We didn’t get to the line. We settled for jump shots and took quick shots. We got away from what we did in the first quarter. We shared the ball and were unselfish, but we stopped sharing the ball and they outexecuted and outrebounded us. We lost momentum.”

Deering hosted Cheverus Tuesday, welcomes Noble Friday and goes to Westbrook Tuesday of next week.

“Our biggest thing to work on right now is consistency,” LeGage said. “We’ll stick with the unselfish play motto. The guys realize now we won’t beat anyone if we foul.”

Portland continues to struggle to hit its stride. Last Monday, the Bulldogs trailed visiting Massabesic 15-6 after one period, but embarked on a 23-0 run which carried into the third quarter en route to a 42-35 triumph. Portland was paced by 15 points from senior Wally Stover. The Bulldogs played without four team members, most notably senior Koang Thok, who sat out due to an offcourt incident.

The next night, Portland went to Windham and fell 51-41 despite 12 points from Thok. On Friday, the Bulldogs narrowly avoided disaster when newcomer Lenny Cummings made a layup with time about to expire to give his team a 40-39 home victory over winless Kennebunk. Stover led the way with 19 points.

Portland (5-4 and ninth in Western A) returned to action Tuesday at South Portland. The Bulldogs host Cheverus Friday and go to Bonny Eagle Tuesday of next week.

In Western C, Waynflete is 2-5 and 17th in the Heals after falling 64-40 at Traip and 55-40 at home to Old Orchard Beach in recent action. Senior John Malia had 16 points in the loss to the Seagulls. The Flyers were at Sacopee Tuesday, host two-time defending Western B champion Cape Elizabeth Thursday and Traip Saturday, then go to Gould on Monday.

Girls’ basketball

On the girls’ side, while Cheverus came up short against undefeated Scarborough (please see story), Deering appears to have righted its ship.

The two-time defending Class A state champs triumphed 58-15 at Kennebunk and 55-38 at Massabesic last week to extend their win streak to six and improve to 7-2 on the year. Against the Rams, junior Kayla Burchill had 17 points. Against the Mustangs, senior Maria Salamone led the way with 14. Deering (second to Scarborough in the latest Western A Heals) hosted Cheverus Tuesday, goes to Noble Thursday and visits Westbrook Monday.

McAuley is getting healthy and the wins are coming. Last week, the Lions enjoyed a 40-28 victory at Bonny Eagle, then dominated visiting South Portland 47-31 to improve to 6-2 (good for third in the standings). Against the Scots, junior standout Rebecca Knight, back from injury, led the way with 16 points. Against the Red Riots, sophomore inside presence Alexa Coulombe scored 17 points and added 13 rebounds and five blocks.

“The key for this team is our defense,” said Coulombe. “When we all come out and give 110 percent it has a way of sparking our offense.”

“Having Knight back opens things up for a lot of other players,” added McAuley coach Wil Smith. “Her leadership seems to relax the other girls. She makes us a different team. Just having her on the floor brings that confidence. That’s huge for us.”

The Lions looked to keep the good times rolling Monday night when they hosted Biddeford, a regional finalist last year (see Web site for game story). Thursday, McAuley visits Portland, Saturday it goes to Sanford and Monday it plays at Kennebunk.

Speaking of Portland, the Bulldogs improved to 2-6 Saturday with a 54-42 win at Kennebunk. Portland (16th in Western A) hosted South Portland in a playoff rematch Tuesday, welcomes McAuley Thursday and hosts Bonny Eagle next Tuesday.

In Western C, Waynflete won a pair of games last week to improve to 5-2 and seventh in the region. The Flyers enjoyed a 45-31 triumph at Traip (behind 17 points from senior Morgan Woodhouse and 16 from freshman Martha Veroneau) and a 51-33 victory at Old Orchard Beach (as Woodhouse had 21 points and junior Lydia Stegeman and freshman Catherine Veroneau both scored a dozen). Waynflete was at Sacopee Tuesday, goes to Cape Elizabeth Thursday and hosts Traip Saturday.

Boys’ hockey

On the ice, the Portland boys enjoyed a huge confidence boost Saturday when they bounced back from a 4-2 loss at Brunswick with a 5-4 overtime victory over rival Cheverus (senior Scott Briggs’ fourth goal was the winner). The Bulldogs (3-5 and seventh in the latest Western A Heals) are idle until Saturday when they host Bonny Eagle. Monday, Portland welcomes Lake Region.

The loss dropped the Stags to 4-3. Cheverus (ninth in Western A) looks to bounce back Thursday when it hosts Windham. Saturday, the Stags visit South Portland.

Deering 3-1-2 and fourth in the standings. The Rams hosted Hall-Dale Monday in their first countable game since Dec. 23. Thursday, Deering is home with South Portland. Monday, the Rams go to Gray-New Gloucester.

Girls’ hockey

On the girls’ side, Cheverus remains the top story. Last week, the Stags improved to 12-0 with easy wins over Deering (8-0, thanks to three goals from senior Grace Fitzpatrick and a pair from junior Emily Sawchuck) and Portland (8-1, as Fitzpatrick and freshman Katie Roy both scored twice). Cheverus (first in the West Region Heals) is home with Scarborough Thursday and goes to York Friday.

The loss to Cheverus dropped Portland to 5-3-1. The Bulldogs previously downed host Brunswick 2-1 on two goals from sophomore Raechel Allen. Portland (seventh in the West) was home with Scarborough Monday, hosts York Wednesday, goes to Leavitt Friday and welcomes Deering Monday of next week.

The Rams are 1-9-2 and eighth in the region after the 8-0 loss to Cheverus and a 8-5 home setback to Biddeford. In the latter contest, senior Tiffany Leadbetter and junior Jen Lynch both scored twice. Deering goes to Bonny Eagle Wednesday and visits Portland Monday.


The indoor track season is now in full swing and the biggest news came last weekend when Deering’s long conference win streak came to an end. The Rams were second to Scarborough in a meet which included Bonny Eagle. They had downed Noble and Westbrook in their first outing. Cheverus’ boys have finished second in both of their meets to date, against Bonny Eagle and Windham the first time out and Gorham and Noble Saturday. Portland was third against both Gorham and Thornton Academy and Biddeford and Windham.

On the girls’ side, Cheverus was third in its meet against Bonny Eagle and Windham, then turned around and defeated Gorham, McAuley (which was third) and Noble Saturday. Deering defeated Noble and Westbrook in its first meet. Saturday, Deering was second to Scarborough and beat Noble. Portland was third in its first meet against Gorham and Thornton Academy and also came in third Saturday against Biddeford and Windham.


In the pool, Cheverus’ boys edged Greely 50-44. The Stags then downed South Portland 101-63 while the girls defeated the Red Riots, 101-64. Deering’s boys were 112-71 losers to Greely. The Rams girls defeated McAuley 94-75.

Deering diving standout Brian McRae won the boys’ championship at last weekend’s Falmouth Division Invitational, producing a score of 341.85. Cheverus’ Mark Beaham (191.20) came in seventh. Portland’s Max Dismore (148.45) placed ninth. In the girls’ competition, Cheverus’ Maria Cianchette (221.85 points) came in seventh. Teammate Erin Bucci (213.45) placed 10th. Portland’s Samantha Dow finished 11th (170.70).


Deering’s wrestling team lost 64-18 to Dirigo and 61-15 to Fryeburg in Saturday action. The Rams are at Windham Wednesday and go to Kennebunk Saturday.

Cheverus and Portland took part in the Redskin Invitational Saturday. The Bulldogs had 25 points and were 15th out of 20 scoring teams. The Stags had 5 points and tied for 18th.

Eric Carson contributed to this story

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net


Deering junior Jamie Ross rejected South Portland senior Ryan Curit’s bid.

Sidebar Elements

Deering senior Eddie Tirabassi soared for a dunk during a first quarter surge against South Portland last week. The Rams couldn’t hold on, however, and fell 62-58.

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