February arrives, postseason excitement nears-Southern edition

  • Mail this page!
  • Delicious
  • -1

South Portland senior Eva Mazur dribbles past a Maine Girls’ Academy defender during the Red Riots’ 62-40 win last week. South Portland remained undefeated at press time.

South Portland’s Connor Buckley plays defense during the Red Riots’ 66-62 overtime home loss to Edward Little Tuesday.

Cape Elizabeth’s Jaya McClure runs to victory in the junior 200 at last week’s league meet. The Capers were third as a team.

(Ed. Note: For the complete South Portland-Bonny Eagle and South Portland-Edward Little boys’ basketball, South Portland-Maine Girls’ Academy girls’ basketball and Cape Elizabeth-Cheverus boys’ hockey game stories, with photos, see theforecaster.net) 

It has gone by in a flash and with February upon us, the winter sports season is beginning to wind down.

That, of course, means that the best is yet to come, as the end of the regular schedule will produce many compelling matchups and the postseason promises to be memorable as well.

Here’s a glimpse at where things stand on the brink of a new month and what’s in store:

Boys’ basketball

South Portland’s boys’ basketball team bounced back from its loss at Thornton Academy by winning three games last week: 67-28 over visiting Noble, 59-53 at Falmouth and 67-43 at Bonny Eagle. In the win over the Knights, Noah Malone scored 22 points and Liam Coyne added 10. Against the Yachtsmen, Connor Buckley led the way with 21 points, Malone added 13 and Coyne was lost to a foot injury and will be out indefinitely. In the win over the Scots, Malone had a game-high 26 points and Buckley added 11.

“I just try to go out and play and crash the boards as much as I can,” Malone said. “If I get my shot going, it makes it easier.”

Tuesday, the Red Riots fell to 11-4 and remained second behind Scarborough in the Class AA South Heal Points standings after 66-62 overtime home loss to Edward Little. South Portland was up by 18 points midway through the third period and despite 31 points from Malone, couldn’t hold on.

“It was a playoff-caliber game, win or lose,” South Portland coach Kevin Millington said. “We need more games like that.”

South Portland welcomes Gorham Friday, plays host to Portland Tuesday, then closes at Cheverus Thursday of next week.

Scarborough extended its win streak to five with recent victories at home over Kennebunk (66-61) and at Lewiston (71-55). In the win over the Rams, Nick Fiorillo went off for 38 points. Against the Blue Devils, Paul Kirk had 16 points, Fiorillo and Brian Austin each added 11 and Reece Lagerquist and Morgan Pratt wound up with 10 apiece. The Red Storm (13-3 and first in Class AA South) went to Windham Thursday and close the regular season Tuesday at home versus Thornton Academy. 

In Class B South, Cape Elizabeth’s skid hit four games last Wednesday with a 71-55 setback at Yarmouth (Finn Bowe had 27 points in defeat), but the Capers bounced back last weekend with home victories over Sacopee Valley (82-24) and Freeport (63-37). Tanner Carpenter had 15 points, Bowe and Robel Hagos added 13 apiece and Andrew Lockwood pitched in 10 against the Hawks. In the win over the Falcons, Bowe had 21 points, Liam Jacobson added 14 and Andrew Hartel finished with 11. Cape Elizabeth fell to 9-6 and second behind Yarmouth in the region after a 68-53 setback at defending Class A champion Greely Tuesday. Bowe had 12 points and Hartel added 11. The Capers host defending Class B South champion Wells Friday, go to Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday, then close at home against Poland Thursday of next week.

Greater Portland Christian School fell to 0-10 and 12th in Class D South (where only eight teams make the playoffs) after recent losses to visiting Seacoast Christian (46-33) and host Forest Hills (81-33). The Lions were at Buckfield Thursday, visit Rangeley Saturday, host Highview Christian Monday and close at Temple Academy Wednesday of next week.

Girls’ basketball

On the girls’ side, South Portland extended its season-opening win streak to 14 after beating host Maine Girls’ Academy (62-40), visiting Falmouth (67-20), and host Noble in a makeup game (70-34). Against the Lions, the Red Riots got 16 points from Maggie Whitmore and an all-around strong effort from Eva Mazur, who played for then-McAuley as a freshman and sophomore.

“It was so sentimental in the beginning,” Mazur said. “I still can remember running out here as a freshman. Then the game started and I focused on winning.”

“Our focus coming in was defense,” said Maggie Whitmore. “They have a really good defense, so we had to match their intensity.” 

“It might be our best team effort in a couple years, certainly in 12 games,” added Red Riots coach Lynne Hasson. “It was a total, complete game for us, which we’ve been waiting for. There was a lot of hype around it and a great atmosphere.”

In the win over the Yachtsmen, Meghan Graff outscored the opposition and led all scorers with 22 points. Whitmore had 17 points and Graff added 14 against the Knights. Tuesday, however, the Red Riots fell to 14-1 after dropping a 45-44 decision at Edward Little (Whitmore had a team-high 13 points).

“Credit to them for how well they played,” Hasson said. “They’re a good team We’ll re-evaluate and see exactly what happened.”

South Portland (first in the Class AA South Heals) looks to avenge last year’s agonizing playoff ouster when it goes to two-time defending Class AA champion Gorham Saturday (see theforecaster.net for game story). The Red Riots then welcome Portland in their home finale Tuesday and finish the regular season at Cheverus Thursday of next week.

Scarborough extended its win streak to 10 after downing host Kennebunk (53-30) and visiting Lewiston (58-49) to improve to 12-3 and third behind South Portland and Bonny Eagle in Class AA South. Against the Rams, Sophie Glidden had 15 points, Bella Dickinson 13 and Julia Freeman 11. In the win over the Blue Devils, Madison Blanche led the way with 19 points, while Glidden added 16. The Red Storm visit Portland Friday (see theforecaster.net for game story), go to Thornton Academy Tuesday, then close at home versus Maine Girls’ Academy Thursday of next week.

In Class B South, Cape Elizabeth is battling Yarmouth for the ninth and final playoff spot. The Capers were 6-9 at press time after a 46-27 victory at Sacopee and losses at Freeport (59-40) and at home to Greely (71-28). In the win, Isabel Berman had 13 points. Against the Falcons, Erin O’Rourke had a team-high 13 points, while Berman added 11. In the loss to the Rangers, O’Rourke led the way with 19 points. Cape Elizabeth goes to Wells Friday, welcomes defending Class B champion Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday, then closes at Poland Thursday of next week.

Boys’ hockey

Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ hockey team enjoyed an 8-1 home win over York last Thursday (Sean Agrodnia and Phil Tarling both scored twice), then fell to 10-2-1 with a 5-1 home loss to Cheverus Saturday. Gus Frankwicz had a goal against the Stags, but a 3-0 deficit after one period proved fatal.

“We had a slow start, which was disappointing,” said Capers coach Matt Buotte. “We can play with (Cheverus), but we didn’t play with them for eight minutes. We dug an early grave.”

Cape Elizabeth (second behind Greely in the Class B South Heals) was at South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport Thursday and visits Yarmouth Saturday.

In Class A South, the South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport co-op squad was 8-5 and fourth in Class A South after rolling at Marshwood (12-1) and holding off visiting Portland/Deering (3-2). Bradley McMains scored twice in the first victory. Against Portland/Deering, Caleb Rowland had the winner in the final minute. South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport hosted Cape Elizabeth Thursday and goes to Thornton Academy Saturday.

Scarborough fell to 2-10 and ninth in Class A South (where only six teams make the playoffs) after a 2-1 home loss to Edward Little and former coach Norm Gagne Saturday. The Red Storm hosted Biddeford Wednesday and welcome Marshwood Friday.

Girls’ hockey

On the girls’ side, the Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland co-op team was 9-7 and third in the South at press time after home losses to Scarborough (3-0) and Cheverus/Kennebunk (9-0) and a 3-1 win at Biddeford. Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/SP hosted Falmouth Wednesday and closes at Yarmouth/Freeport Saturday.

Scarborough was fourth in the region at 7-8-1 following a 4-0 loss at Lewiston and an 8-1 home victory over Edward Little/Leavitt. Lucy Bogdanovich and Lauren Topchik both scored twice in the win. The Red Storm hosted York Wednesday and close the regular season at home versus top-ranked Cheverus/Kennebunk Friday.

The girls’ hockey playoffs begin next Wednesday with the quarterfinals on the home ice of the higher seeds.

Indoor track

The last SMAA indoor track regular season meets were held last week. Scarborough’s boys and girls defeated Falmouth, Windham and Westbrook.

The boys’ team got wins from Tommy Stratis in the junior 200 (24.01 seconds) and junior triple jump (37 feet, 7.25 inches), Salvator DeBenedetto in the junior long jump (18-2.5), Ben Hatch in the senior 55 (6.77), Anthony Clavette in the senior high jump (6-0), Nathan Mars in the senior shot put (44-6.75), Tristram Coffin the open 600 (1 minutes, 24.80 seconds), Connor Coffin in the open mile (4:46.96), Drew Gardner in the open pole vault (13-0) and its senior 4×200 relay team (1:37.30).

Girls’ first-place finishers included Ryanne Cox in the junior 800 (2:34.74), Madison Marinko in the junior 55 hurdles (8.85) and junior long jump (14-3.5), Molly Murnane in the senior 55 (7.49) and senior 400 (1:02.82), Bethany Sholl in the senior 800 (2:33.62), Kendell Shevenell in the open 600 (1:47.25), Anna Gardner in the open pole vault (9-6) and the senior 4×200 (1:49.65) and open 4×800 (11:32.42) relay teams.

South Portland joined Cheverus, Deering, Maine Girls’ Academy and Portland in its finale. The Red Riots girls were first, while the boys were second behind the Rams.

The girls got wins from Anna Folley in the junior 800 (2:30.55), Iman Adem in the junior 55 hurdles (9.89), Rebekah Hunnewell-Dunphe in the junior shot put (32-8.75),  and their junior 4×200 (1:58.94), open 4×400 (5:19.54) and open 4×800 (14:29.18) relay teams.

Boys’ first-place performers included Andrew Lewis in the junior 55 hurdles (8.77), Nathaniel Ellington in the junior shot put (44-3) and Joseph Emery in the senior triple jump (35-10.5).

Next up for Scarborough and South Portland is the SMAA championship meet Saturday, Feb. 10.

Cape Elizabeth took part in a six-team league meet. Greely’s boys and girls were first, while the Capers boys and girls each finished third.

The girls got wins from Jaya McClure in the junior 200 (28.62), Darcy Cochran in the senior 200 (27.52) and senior 55 hurdles (9.07), Kristen Penley in the open long jump (15-6.25) and their senior 4×200 (1:54.50) relay team.

Boys’ first-place finishers included Tyler Rodenberger in the junior 55 hurdles (9.99), Max Patterson in the junior high jump (5-2), Matthew Concannon in the senior 200 (24.11), Luc Houle in the senior shot put (42-9.75) and the junior 4×200 relay team (1:51.08).

The Capers close the regular season Friday against Freeport, Fryeburg Academy, Gray-New Gloucester, Lake Region, Lisbon/St. Dom’s and Yarmouth.

Swimming

In the pool, Cape Elizabeth’s boys beat Westbrook, 80-49, while the girls had 132 points to beat Westbrook (51) and Gorham (2).

Scarborough swept Portland, as the boys prevailed, 91-76, and the girls won, 122-46.

South Portland’s boys tied Kennebunk, 88-88, and the girls lost to the Rams, 109-75.

The regular season comes to a close this week, as Scarborough hosted Cheverus Thursday and Cape Elizabeth welcomes St. Dom’s and South Portland travels to Thornton Academy Friday.

Skiing

On the slopes, Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ Alpine ski team won a six-team giant slalom meet Monday. Ian Geikie was second individually with a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 3.85 seconds. The Capers girls were fifth and were led by Adeline McGrath (eighth, 1:10.49). 

Wrestling

The wrestling regular season is in its final week.

Scarborough took a 6-6 mark into a home meet Wednesday against Deering, Sanford and Windham. Last week, the Red Storm beat Deering (64-10), lost to Massabesic (47-26), lost to Biddeford (38-27) and beat Portland/South Portland (42-39). Scarborough closes the regular season at Bonny Eagle Saturday.

Last week, the Portland/South Portland co-op team beat Sanford (39-38), then fell to 8-7 after a 66-15 loss to Biddeford, a 42-39 loss to Scarborough and a 54-21 loss to Marshwood. Portland/SP was at Cheverus Wednesday, then closes at Kennebunk Saturday.

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

-1
Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.