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- The Forecaster
(Ed. Note: For the complete South Portland-Falmouth boys’ basketball and Cape Elizabeth-NYA and South Portland-Edward Little girls’ basketball game stories, see theforecaster.net)
The final games of the winter sports regular season are upon us and with the girls’ hockey playoffs beginning next week, that means the calendar is about to flip to February and it’s time to start thinking about championships.
Here’s a glimpse at what happened last week and a look at what’s upcoming:
South Portland’s boys’ basketball team was 9-6 and second behind Thornton Academy in the Class AA South Heal Points standings following a 58-48 home win over Falmouth, a 54-47 victory at Noble and a 46-45 setback at defending state champion Edward Little. Against the Yachtsmen, the Red Riots came to life in the second half and prevailed behind 15 points from Geremi Baez, 12 from Pamba Pamba and a strong defensive effort from Tyree Bijokta.
“I think we just picked it up defensively and we started finding our man much easier and I think we just locked in much more,” said Bijokta. “The second half, we just wanted it more.”
“(Falmouth’s) really tough when you’re playing five-on-five and they dictate the pace, but we made some shots in the second half,” said South Portland coach Kevin Millington. “I thought the game would be in the 30s. (Falmouth’s) awesome defensively and we’re really good defensively and we both had a hard time scoring.”
In the win over the Knights, Hunter Owen scored 14 points and Gerik Bialorucki added 11. In the setback, which came on a buzzer-beater, Pamba led the way with 18 points.
“To come up here in their gym and to compete like that, it’s hard not to be really proud, but we’re South Portland, so we don’t collect moral victories,” Millington said.
The Red Riots were at Gorham Thursday, travel to Portland Tuesday of next week, then close at home versus Cheverus next Thursday.
Defending Class AA South champion Scarborough extended its win streak to five games, improved to 9-7 and was fifth in the Heals at press time after downing host Kennebunk (67-60) and visiting Lewiston (69-56). Brian Austin erupted for 38 points while Nick Fiorillo added 14 in the win over the Rams. Against the Blue Devils, Fiorillo led the way with 23 points while Austin added 20. The Red Storm are home with Windham Friday, then close at Thornton Academy Saturday.
Cape Elizabeth returned to action Tuesday and fell to 8-7 after a 61-54 home loss to two-time defending Class A state champion Greely. Andrew Hartel had 21 points and 13 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough. The Capers (fourth in Class B South) go to Wells for a regional final rematch Friday, host Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday and close next Thursday at Poland.
In Class D South, Greater Portland Christian School was 0-9 after losing at home to Seacoast Christian (57-20) and at Pine Tree Academy (65-33). The Lions closed with a makeup game at Rangeley. The Lions were ninth in the region at press time, but only eight teams qualify for the playoffs.
On the girls’ side, South Portland and Scarborough continue to vie for the top seed in Class AA South.
The Red Riots extended their win streak to a dozen games following wins over visiting Deering (58-17), at Falmouth (63-18), at home over Noble (72-27) and at home over defending Class AA champion Edward Little (46-38). Against the Rams, Maggie Whitmore had 20 points and Olivia Cloutier added a dozen. In the win over the Yachtsmen, Whitmore led the way with 19 points, Bela Cloutier added 14 and Jena Leckie finished with 12. Against the Red Eddies, Whitmore had 20 points and Cloutier added three clutch second half 3-pointers to help South Portland open it up.
“That was the biggest team win we’ve had all season,” Whitmore said. “The biggest thing we had to do was keep our composure. We knew if we stuck together, we’d dig it out. We had to dig deep, but it’s a good win.”
“We don’t want anyone to beat us on our home court,” Cloutier said. “Edward Little beat us by one last year and we had a chip on our shoulder from that.”
“We haven’t had a game like this in awhile,” added Red Riots coach Lynne Hasson. ‘They’re really aggressive, really quick, they drive the ball well, they’re a really good team.”
South Portland (14-1 and second in the Class AA South Heals) hosts defending regional champion Gorham Friday (see theforecaster.net for game story), plays at Portland Tuesday and closes at home next Thursday versus Cheverus.
Scarborough, meanwhile, also has a 12-game win streak and improved to 15-1 and first in the region after defeating visiting Kennebunk (40-35) and Lewiston (44-26). Julia Freeman had 14 points and Bella Dickinson added 12 in the win over the Rams. Against the Blue Devils, Freeman nearly outscored the opposition, finishing with 23 points. After hosting Portland Friday, the Red Storm close at home versus Thornton Academy Tuesday.
In Class B South, Cape Elizabeth was 7-8 and seventh in the standings (nine teams make the playoffs) after a 50-45 loss at North Yarmouth Academy and a 48-19 home victory over Sacopee Valley. In the setback, Isabel Berman had 16 points.
“The girls worked hard, but unfortunately, we didn’t take care of the ball and I think that was the difference,” said Capers coach Chris Casterella. “Shooters are going to shoot and their shooters made some big shots down the stretch.”
In the victory, Brooke Harvey led the way with 13 points. Cape Elizabeth, which is seeking its first playoff berth in three years, hosts Wells Friday, plays at Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday, then closes at home versus Poland next Thursday.
Scarborough’s girls’ hockey team was still alive for the top seed in the South Region at press time. The Red Storm improved to 13-3-1 last week by downing visiting Greely/Gray-New Gloucester, the defending state champion (4-2) and visiting Biddeford/Thornton Academy (5-0). Scarborough (second in the Heals) closed at defending regional champion and current top seed Cheverus/Kennebunk Thursday (see theforecaster.net for game story).
The Cape/Waynflete/SP co-op team was 8-7 and fourth in the South after a 7-0 home win over Winslow in a makeup game and a 5-4 victory at Portland/Deering last week. After visiting Falmouth Wednesday, the squad finishes at undefeated Lewiston Saturday.
The girls’ hockey playoffs begin with the quarterfinals Wednesday of next week on the home ice of the higher seeds.
On the boys’ side, Scarborough was second to Biddeford in the Class A South Heals at 5-4-1 following Saturday’s 3-2 loss at the Tigers. After going to the South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete co-op team Saturday (see theforecaster.net for game story), the Red Storm visit Thornton Academy Tuesday.
South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete fell to 4-6 and seventh in Class A South after its 4-1 home loss to Cheverus Saturday. After playing at Windham/Westbrook Wednesday, the squad is home with Scarborough Saturday and visits two-time defending Class A champion Lewiston Wednesday of next week.
In Class B South, Cape Elizabeth stretched its win streak to five games and improved to 9-3 and second behind defending regional champion Greely in the Heals after recent victories over visiting Cony (8-3), host Maranacook (8-1) and host York (5-2). Matt Laughlin, Jonas Moon and Phil Tarling all scored twice against the Rams. In the win over the Black Bears, Moon and Gavin Simopolous both had two goals. Simopolous had a hat trick in the win over the Wildcats. The Capers go to Gorham Saturday and host Portland/Deering Thursday of next week.
Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ and girls’ track teams were each fourth at a six-team league indoor track meet last weekend.
Scarborough and South Portland are back in action Saturday in their final regular season meet at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham.
The Southwestern Maine Activities Association and Western Maine Conference championship meets are the following weekend.
In the pool, Cape Elizabeth’s defending Class B champion girls’ swim team beat Greely, 126-59. The Capers girls also defeated the Rangers, 111-51.
Scarborough’s boys downed Thornton Academy, 125-21. The Red Storm girls dropped a close 88-82 decision to the Golden Trojans.
South Portland was swept by Cheverus, as the Red Riots lost to the defending Class A champion boys’ squad, 100-69, and the girls were defeated by the Stags, 95-75.
Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ Alpine ski team came in first and the girls were second in a seven-team WMC slalom meet Monday at Shawnee Peak.
On the Nordic side, Cape Elizabeth’s girls came in ninth and the boys were 11th at an 11-team skate race last week at Pineland Farms.
Scarborough’s wrestling team was 2-14 after beating Deering (42-36) and Kennebunk (42-34) and losing to Massabesic (45-24), Cheverus (39-28) and Marshwood (41-24) last week.
The wrestling regular season ends Saturday.
Sun Journal staff writer Wil Kramlich contributed to this story.
Cape Elizabeth’s Isabel Berman protects the ball from a North Yarmouth Academy defender during last week’s 50-45 loss.
South Portland’s Jena Leckie reaches for a loose ball during the Red Riots’ 46-38 home win over defending state champion Edward Little Tuesday.
Cape Elizabeth’s Ricky Perruzzi runs the mile during last weekend’s league meet. Perruzzi came in fourth.