February arrives, postseason looms – Southern edition

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February, the month of non-stop tournament action and hardware galore, is upon us.

Girls’ hockey’s regular season ends this weekend (please see story), which is when the swimming and wrestling postseasons begins. Basketball,boys’ hockey, skiing and track’s postseasons aren’t far behind.

Here’s a glimpse at where things stand as Punxsutawney Phil takes centerstage.

Boys’ basketball

South Portland’s always-exciting boys’ basketball team ran into a speed bump Friday night when it hosted undefeated, top ranked, defending Class A champion Cheverus.

The Red Riots hung tough for a quarter, but the Stags began to pull away and held a 30-16 lead at halftime after South Portland failed to score a field goal in the second stanza.

“I thought the second quarter was the difference in the game,” said Red Riots coach Phil Conley. “We missed our shots. We only had four points.”

The closest South Portland got in the second half was 53-42 and the Red Riots wound up losing, 63-46, despite 13 points from senior Vukasin Vignjevic, who was held nearly six points below his average. Senior Matt Russell added 10 points, seven rebounds and a block.

“What I take out of this game is that Cheverus is No. 1 in our league and undefeated for a reason,” Conley said. “Going in, everyone thought they’d be the number one team, but my guys in that locker room never, ever gave up. They played as hard as they could.

“This is a minor speed bump. We still have work to do. With the character I have in the locker room, they’ll come ready to practice and go from there. We have no games off the rest of the way. We’ll prepare ourselves for the tournament. There’s never an easy game in the tournament. Hopefully this stretch of games will prepare us for when we get to the tournament.”

South Portland (10-3 and fourth behind Cheverus, Bonny Eagle and Thornton Academy in the latest Western Class A Heal Points standings), was supposed to go to Bonny Eagle Tuesday, but that game was postponed (no makeup date had been announced at press time). After hosting Deering Thursday, the Red Riots welcome Westbrook Saturday and Portland Tuesday before closing the regular season at Cheverus Feb. 11.

Scarborough, which won six of its first seven games this winter, then dropped six of its next seven, was 7-7 and clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot at press time. The Red Storm fell, 64-34, at Bonny Eagle last Friday (senior Zach Bean had 15 points in defeat). Scarborough was home against Portland Thursday, hosts Kennebunk Friday and Thornton Academy Tuesday, then closes the regular year at Kennebunk Feb. 11.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth responded to its loss to Greely last week with a 43-34 home win over Waynflete (Cam Brown, Joey Doane and Chris Robicheaw all had 12 points) and a 57-46 triumph at Gray-New Gloucester (Theo Bowe came back from a two-game absence due to illness to lead the team with 26 points) to improve to 11-3 (third to the Rangers and Mountain Valley in the Heals).  The Capers hosted Wells Thursday, visit York Friday and Yarmouth Tuesday, then close at home versus defending Class B champion Falmouth Feb. 11.

In Western D, Greater Portland Christian School dropped to 2-12 (14th in the Heals) after recent losses to visiting Cavalry Christian (75-33) and host Islesboro (79-20). The Lions did down visiting Pine Tree Academy last week, 44-35 (Ben Hammond had 18 points and Ryan Murray added 13). GPCS hosts Elan Saturday and closes next week with two games versus Acadia Christian.

Girls’ basketball

On the girls’ side, Cape Elizabeth is closing in on ending a pair of 15-year droughts, as the Capers seek their first winning season and trip to the quarterfinals since 1996. Cape Elizabeth was 7-6 and seventh in the latest Western B Heals at press time. Friday, the Capers lost to visiting Gray-New Gloucester, 46-22. After going to Wells for a makeup game Thursday, Cape Elizabeth hosts York Friday, goes to Waynflete Monday and hosts Yarmouth (Feb. 9) and Falmouth (Feb. 11) to wrap up the regular season.

In Western A, South Portland was in the seventh spot at 9-5 after Friday’s 52-41 loss at Cheverus. Sophomore Danica Gleason had 14 points and senior Abby Hasson added 11. The Red Riots’ home game versus Bonny Eagle Tuesday was postponed (to a yet-to-be-determined date). South Portland visits Westbrook Friday and Portland Tuesday, then closes at home against Cheverus Feb. 11

Scarborough, the defending Class A champion, fell to 3-10 Friday after a 55-48 home loss to Bonny Eagle. Junior Mo Hannan and sophomore Taylor LeBorgne both scored 12 points. Junior Brittany Bona added 11. The Red Storm are 10th in Western A, one spot away from playoff consideration. After going to Portland Thursday and visiting Kennebunk Friday, Scarborough hosts Noble Friday, visits Thornton Academy Tuesday and closes at home versus Kennebunk Feb. 11.

In Western D, GPCS has won three straight to improve to 9-4, good for seventh in the region. The Lions were a 46-24 home winner over Pine Tree last Wednesday (Suzanne Gonzalez led the way with 21 points), downed visiting Calvary Christian, 50-32 (Liz Garland had a game-high 28 points), Saturday and won at Islesboro, 42-27, Monday. GPCS was at Hebron Thursday and faces Acadia Christian twice next week.

Track

The penultimate week of the indoor track season produced more triumph Friday at USM and Saturday at the Portland Expo.

Cape Elizabeth joined Freeport, Fryeburg, Hebron, Lake Region, Poland, Traip and York and both the boys and girls were second to the Wildcats. The boys’ team got a win from Deven Roberts in the high jump (5 feet, 4 inches). Girls’ winners included Karyn Barrett in the senior shot put (28-11.75), Sarah Flaherty in the junior high jump (5 feet), Ally Boyington in the senior high jump (4-4),  Rachel Nichols in the mile (5 minutes, 27.44 seconds) and the junior relay team (2:02.11).

The Capers close the regular season Saturday versus Gray-New Gloucester, Poland, Traip, Wells and York.

Scarborough’s boys and girls both defeated Noble and Portland Saturday.

The boys got victories from Alec James in the junior 400 (59.1), Merrick Madden in the junior 45 hurdles (6.2), Eric Woodbury in the junior shot put (36-5.75), Scott Merrill in the senior 400 (55.6), Alex Pok in the 300 (37.6), Jake Alofs in the 600 (1:29.5), Scott Morris in the two-mile (10:25.3), Zach Brown in the senior 800 (2:20.9), Orin James in the senior 45 hurdles (6.4), Will Lynch in the senior shot put (42-4.5) and the senior (2:18.0) and open (1:41.1) relay teams.

The girls got wins from Nicole Kirk in the senior 200 (29.0), Andrea Tolman in the senior 400 (1:07.9), Emily Tolman in the senior 800 (2:26.4), Emelia Scheemaker in the senior 45 hurdles (6.9), high  and the 300 (42.0), Maggie Smith in the 600 (1:41.3), Morgan Rodway in the junior 40 (5.5) and junior 200 (29.2), Karli-An Gilbert in the junior 800 (2:42.6), Cailley Ladue in the junior 45 hurdles (7.8) and the junior (1:58.2), senior (1:56.8) relays.

South Portland’s boys defeated Bonny Eagle and Gorham, while the girls were second to the Scots.

The boys’ team got wins from Ryan Tuttle in the high jump (5-1) and junior 400 (1:00.3), Anthony Tran in the junior 40 (5.1), Adrian Reid in the senior 40 (4.8) and the 300 (37.1),  Daniel Medici in the senior 200 (26.2) and the 840 relay team (1:42.0).

The girls got victories from Maria Letourneau in the junior 400 (1:13.2), Ericka Lightner in the junior 45 hurdles (7.0), Erin Bogdanovich in the junior shot put (24-8) and the 1,640 relay (4:25.0).

In the regular season finale Saturday, Scarborough battles Gorham, Westbrook and Windham, while South Portland takes on Cheverus, Deering, McAuley and Portland.

Swimming

Cape Elizabeth’s swim team swept Falmouth Friday. The boys won, 106-67. The girls were triumphant, 113-72. The Capers were home with defending Class B champion Greely Thursday.

Scarborough swept Deering Saturday as the boys won, 111-68 and the girls, 102-79.

“We won without 10 of our swimmers due to family events and work,” said Red Storm first-year coach Eric French. “We swam well and we now have 16 boys and seven girls going to states.”

South Portland hosts Westbrook Friday.

Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough and South Portland will compete in the north division Southwesterns Feb. 11 and 12.

Skiing

Cape Elizabeth’s Nordic ski team took part at the Sassi Memorial Saturday at Black Mountain. The girls placed eighth with 126 points. Yarmouth won with 24. Individually, Lexi Weatherbie came in 25th (20:12.2). The boys were 21st with 402 points (Yarmouth won with 50). Matt Barksdale came in 63rd (17:56.2).

Scarborough’s Alpine team joined Cheverus, Gorham, Kennebunk, Marshwood and Windham for a slalom meet Friday. The Red Storm girls placed second to Kennebunk. Individually, Abigail Mills (seventh with a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 50.55 seconds) led the way. The boys came in third to Windham and Marshwood. Alex Colville (third, 1:38.99) was the top finisher.

Cape Elizabeth met Falmouth, Greely and Yarmouth in a giant slalom meet Monday where the boys came in third. Sam Barber was the individual winner (1:03.49).

Wrestling

Scarborough will take part at the Western A regional wrestling championship meet Saturday at Noble High School.

The Class A state championship meet is Saturday, Feb. 12 in Augusta.

Cheering

Scarborough’s cheering team finished fifth at Saturday’s Western A regionals in Augusta with 136.4 points (Marshwood was first with 160.2) and qualified for the state meet Feb. 12 in Bangor.

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


South Portland’s Chad MacWhinnie cruises to victory in the 500 freestyle at last week’s meet against NYA, Waynflete and Yarmouth.

Sidebar Elements


South Portland senior Matt Russell goes up for two during the Red Riots’ 63-46 home loss to Cheverus last Friday night.

Cape Elizabeth’s Emma Inhorn (front) and Ellen Best compete in the mile during last weekend’s meet at USM. Inhorn placed fifth, Best sixth.

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