Dramatic wins highlight return to action for South area teams

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

Boys’ basketball

While South Portland was suffering its first defeat Tuesday night, Scarborough was once again having its heart broken by its nemesis, Biddeford.

The Red Storm, who lost home games late last week to defending state champion Thornton Academy (51-38) and this year’s undefeated powerhouse Cheverus (59-44, after trailing 43-8 at halftime), went to Biddeford and hoped to beat a Tigers squad that had knocked them out of the playoffs in three of the past four seasons, including 2008-09.

Scarborough scratched and clawed the whole way and pulled even on a dramatic late 3-pointer from senior Conor Sullivan, but in overtime, Biddeford held on to win 66-64, dropping the Red Storm to 4-6 on the year (and ninth in the latest Western Class A Heal Points standings). Sullivan had 26 points in defeat. Scarborough goes to Sanford Friday and hosts Windham Monday.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth bounced back from its lone loss with a pair of road victories, 76-19 at Freeport (behind 22 points from senior Andrew Dickey) and 66-52 at York (thanks to 20 from senior Conor Moloney, 17 from Dickey and 13 from junior Theo Bowe). The Capers (third behind Mountain Valley and Falmouth in Western B) played at Waynflete Thursday and host Lake Region Saturday.

Girls’ basketball

On the girls’ side, South Portland has been giving its fans their money’s worth. The Red Riots lost 47-31 at McAuley last Thursday, then battled host Thornton Academy into overtime Saturday before falling 56-55 (despite 19 points from junior Danielle DiBiase and 14 from junior Abby Hasson). Tuesday night, South Portland went to OT again, at Portland, but this time held on for a 58-56 triumph (senior Danielle McCusker had 20 points, DiBiase added 16 and senior Tayla Genesio scored the winning hoop). The Red Riots (6-6 and eighth in Western A) host Kennebunk Friday night.

Scarborough continues to be the standard-bearer in Western A. After rolling to a 58-38 triumph at Thornton Academy last Thursday (behind 13 points from senior Brittany Ross, 11 from senior Christy Manning and 10 each from seniors Jenn Colpitts and Ellie Morin), the Red Storm went to Cheverus Saturday and improved to 10-0 with a 56-40 victory.

Scarborough trailed just once, then used its experience to force 13 turnovers which led to several easy baskets and a 16-5 lead after one period. The Red Storm cruised from there behind 16 points from senior Sarah Moody and 13 off the bench from Morin.

“Everything’s started to click,” Moody said. “Things are flowing better for us. We just have to play our game and play to our level and not down to the level of competition.”

“(Cheverus) is an up and coming program who will be very good in the future, but we have a lot of experience and experience will take care of youth a lot of times,” added Scarborough coach Jim Seavey. “I knew they’d be a little rattled. We have targets on our backs and I knew they wanted to come at us, but our senior leadership was poised and played under control. No titles were handed out today, but we’ll take it. We had five tests: McAuley, Biddeford, South Portland, Thornton and Cheverus and we passed all five with flying colors.”

The Red Storm (first in the Western A Heals) host Sanford Friday night and go to Windham Monday.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth is now 6-4 after beating Freeport (46-33) and losing to undefeated York (38-27). Against the Falcons, senior Morgan Pillsbury went off for 19 points. In the loss, senior Gabe Donahue had nine points. The Capers (currently 10th in the Heals) were home with Western C contender Waynflete Thursday and go Lake Region Saturday.

Boys’ hockey

On the ice, the South Portland boys’ hockey team has come to life, winning three straight in the new year. The Red Riots have enjoyed victories over Noble (3-1), Bonny Eagle (6-0) and Massabesic (5-0) behind a balanced scoring attack and solid goalkeeping from sophomore Dominic Desjardins. South Portland (4-3 and sixth in the Western A Heals) was at Deering Thursday and hosts Cheverus Saturday.

Scarborough lost 5-2 to visiting Biddeford last Wednesday, then tied host Falmouth 4-4 Saturday night in a memorable affair. The Red Storm trailed 2-0 early, but got a pair of goals from senior Trevor Hoxsie to draw even. Senior Andrew Nigro’s goal gave Scarborough the lead. The Yachtsmen rallied to tie, but with 2:42 to go, senior Nate Tolman scored a controversial goal to put the Red Storm on top. The lead only lasted 1 minute, 26 seconds, however, when Falmouth answered once more to force the 4-4 draw.

“We came out of the first period down, 2-0, and credit to the kids, they took some pride and came back in the second period,” Scarborough coach Norm Gagne said. “In the third period we took the lead and they came back again. It was a battle of two good teams.”

The Red Storm improved to 4-3-1 Monday after a 5-4 overtime triumph at Brunswick. Scarborough (fifth in Western A) goes to Greely Saturday and visits Lewiston Monday.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth lost 3-2 at Kennebunk and 2-1 at home to Leavitt last week, then bounced back Monday with a much-needed 6-3 home win over Gardiner (junior Vinny Dell’Aquila had a hat trick and senior Zach Labbe added a pair of goals). The Capers (3-4 and fifth in the latest Heals) hosted Western A power Thornton Academy Wednesday, go to Winslow Saturday and welcome Westbrook Monday.

Girls’ hockey

On the girls’ hockey, Scarborough continues to impress. The Red Storm rolled 10-4 at Portland Monday night to improve to 7-4 on the year. Senior Jordan Finley and sophomore Abby Rutt both had hat tricks. Scarborough (third behind Cheverus and Falmouth in the West Region Heals) was at the undefeated Stags Thursday, host Gorham Saturday and play at Cape Elizabeth Monday.

The Capers are 4-6-1 and sixth in the West after a 9-3 home loss to York Saturday. This Saturday, Cape Elizabeth goes to Winslow. Monday, the Capers host Scarborough.

Indoor track

On the track, Cape Elizabeth’s girls downed Fryeburg, Gray-New Gloucester, Lake Region, Traip and Wells in a meet last week. The boys came in sixth. Friday night, the Capers will compete against Falmouth, Fryeburg, Lake Region, NYA, Poland and York.

In the SMAA, Scarborough’s boys ended Deering’s 10-year league win streak last weekend, downing the Rams and Bonny Eagle. The Red Storm girls defeated the same teams. Saturday, Scarborough competes against Cheverus and Thornton Academy.

South Portland’s boys defeated Thornton Academy and Westbrook last weekend, while the Red Riots girls were second. Saturday, South Portland competes against Noble and Windham.

Swimming

In the pool, Scarborough easily defeated Westbrook last weekend, with the boys cruising 107-63 and the girls winning 104-36. The Red Storm are at Massabesic Friday.

South Portland’s boys lost 101-63 and the girls fell 101-64 to Cheverus last weekend. Friday, the Red Riots host Kennebunk.

Cape Elizabeth swept Class B power Falmouth last week. The boys rolled 102-50. In a battle of defending state champs, the girls beat the Yachtsmen 103-83.

Keith Wehmeyer contributed to this story

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

Cape Elizabeth’s Anna Darling hits the finish line to come in second in the senior 200 at last weekend’s league meet. The Capers came in first as a team.

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