February, championship time arrive-Northern edition

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(For the complete Greely-Cape Elizabeth boys’ basketball, Freeport-Wells girls’ basketball and Greely-Scarborough girls’ hockey game stories, with photos, see theforecaster.net)

The month of February means champions will be crowned in abundance.

Forecaster Country features potential champions in every winter sport, meaning the next few weeks will be memorable.

Here’s a glimpse:

Boys’ basketball

Falmouth and Greely’s boys’ basketball teams are jockeying for the top seed for the Class A South playoffs.

The Yachtsmen soared into the top spot after wins last week at York (74-45) and at home over rival Yarmouth (53-42). Thomas Coyne had 28 points, Sam Skop 11 and Sean Walsh 10 in the win at the Wildcats. Against the Clippers, Coyne had 21 points, Colin Coyne added 11 and Matt Wuhlbrecht had 10. Falmouth’s top seed destiny was in its hands as it went to No. 3 Cape Elizabeth, the defending Class B state champion, Tuesday, then closes at home versus second-ranked Greely Thursday (see theforecaster.net for game story).

Greely dropped its second game in a row last Tuesday, 45-38, at Cape Elizabeth, as longtime Capers coach Jim Ray earned his 300th career victory with the program at the Rangers’ expense. Greely led much of the first half, but was done in by a two-point third quarter. The Rangers got a game-high 13 points from Matt McDevitt, who also had 12 rebounds for a double-double. 

“It was a tale of two halves,” Greely coach Travis Seaver said. “Give Cape credit. They took away things we were trying to do. Honestly, I thought our defense wasn’t that bad. We just couldn’t put the ball in the hoop. We had great looks, but our shots didn’t fall. They played better defense than we did offense.”

Friday, the Rangers bounced back and improved to 13-3 with a 60-49 home win over Westbrook, behind 18 points from Jordan Bagshaw, 13 from Caleb Normandeau and 11 from Ryan Twitchell. Greely was home with Kennebunk Tuesday and closes at Falmouth Thursday. 

In Class B South, Yarmouth was 12-4 and third behind Lake Region and Maranacook after a 63-51 home win over Gray-New Gloucester and a 53-42 loss at Falmouth. In the win, Musseit M’Bareck had 17 points, Aleksander Medenica added 14 and Bailey Darling finished with 12. Against the Yachtsmen, Medenica had 21 points. The Clippers had a showdown at Lake Region Tuesday and close at Wells Thursday.

Freeport was 2-14 and 12th in Class B South (only nine teams make the playoffs) after falling at Poland (50-34) and Wells (53-34). Against the Knights, Jack Davenport had 14 points. Ethan Sclar had a team-high eight points against the Warriors. The Falcons looked to snap an 11-game skid at Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday, then close at home versus Lake Region Thursday.

In Class C South, North Yarmouth Academy was 4-12 and 13th at the start of the week, but only 12 teams make the playoffs, meaning the Panthers needed to finish strong. Last week, NYA lost at home to Richmond (53-44) and at Sacopee Valley (66-57), then beat visiting Sacopee Valley (57-46). Against the Bobcats, Jake Malcom had a team-high 21 points and Haven Cutko added 18. In the first game against the Hawks, Cutko went off for 30 points. In the victory, Malcom had 21 points, Cutko 13 and Chandler Waldron 12. NYA was at Rangeley Tuesday and closes at home Thursday versus Seacoast Christian. 

Girls’ basketball 

There was plenty of excitement last week on the girls’ side as well.

Defending Class B champion Greely, now in Class A South, is peaking entering February, just as it did a year ago. Last week, the Rangers handled visiting Cape Elizabeth (46-31) and won at Westbrook (57-37) and Monday, they downed host Kennebunk (45-19) to improve to 14-3 and second behind York in the Heal Points standings. Against the Capers, Anna DeWolfe had 17 points. DeWolfe then had almost half of her team’s points (28) in the win over the Blue Blazes. Isabel Porter had a team-high 13 in the win at the Rams. Greely closes at Falmouth Thursday as it hopes to finish in the No. 2 spot.

Falmouth entered the season’s final week needing to win out to have any hopes of qualifying. Last week, the Yachtsmen fell to 5-11 and 11th in Class A South (where nine teams make the playoffs) after a 50-36 home loss to York and a 48-25 setback at Yarmouth. Abby Ryan had a team-high 13 points against the Wildcats and led the way with a dozen versus the Clippers. Falmouth hoped to snap a five-game skid when it hosted Cape Elizabeth Tuesday. The Yachtsmen close at home versus Greely Thursday.

In Class B South, Freeport and Yarmouth both are closing in on playoff berths.

The Falcons were 9-7 and sixth in the Heals at the start of the week after a 45-40 home win over Poland and a 35-32 home setback to Wells. In the win, Regan Lynch led the way with 15 points.

Against the Warriors, Freeport shot to a 19-11 lead after one period, forcing seven Warriors turnovers and getting six points from Jessie Driscoll. Freeport still led, 23-13, with 5:37 to go before halftime, but they wouldn’t score again and Wells closed within seven, 23-16, at the break.

The Falcons’ woes continued in the third period, as they scored only five points, but the Warriors weren’t able to make up much of the deficit and Freeport took a 28-22 lead to the fourth period. There, Wells completed the rally and tied the score, 28-28, but the Falcons had one final surge, as a jumper from Megan Cormier, who did a little of everything in the game, and a putback from Kayla Belanger made it 32-28.

But just when Freeport was on the verge of victory, the Warriors saved their best for last, scoring the game’s final seven points to steal it. The Falcons mustered just nine points in the game’s final 21 minutes, 37 seconds and were paced by eight points from Taylor Rinaldi.

“We played well enough to be in that game and it was anybody’s game,” lamented Freeport coach Mike Hart. “It’s a heartbreaker. The kids are heartbroken after that one. They battled hard, but unfortunately, we came out on the wrong side of the scoreboard.”

The Falcons were at Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday and close at home versus Lake Region Thursday. Freeport last made the playoffs three years ago.

“We have to figure out ways to settle ourselves down,” Hart said. “We’re a young team but we have to grow up a little bit.”

Yarmouth lost a home to Gray-New Gloucester (42-32) and beat visiting Falmouth (48-25) last week to even its record at 8-8. Against the Patriots, the Clippers never led, but hung tough throughout. Cory Langenbach had a team-high 10 points. In the victory, Alison Clark and Johanna Hattan both had 10 points. Yarmouth (seventh in Class B South) went to Lake Region Tuesday and close at home against Wells Thursday. The Clippers have a chance to post a winning record for the first time since going 20-2 and reaching the Class B state final in 2004-05. Yarmouth last made the playoffs four years ago.

In Class C South, NYA fell to 1-15 and 19th (only 14 teams make the playoffs) after losses to visiting Richmond (60-28), at Sacopee Valley (40-24) and at home to Sacopee Valley (48-32). Sydney Plummer had 12 points and Maggie Larson added 11 against the Bobcats. In the first loss to the Hawks, Larson had 16 points. Larson had 13 points and Plummer added a dozen in the second loss to Sacopee Valley. The Panthers hoped to snap a 10-game skid at Rangeley Tuesday. They close at home against Seacoast Christian Thursday. 

Unified basketball

Yarmouth’s Unified basketball team evened its record at 1-1 Friday with a dramatic 39-34 overtime win over visiting Deering/Portland, which was playing its first varsity game. The Clippers go to Westbrook Thursday and visit Brunswick Monday.

Greely lost at home to Westbrook in its opener, 38-28. The Rangers hoped to get in the win column Tuesday when Brunswick paid a visit. 

Boys’ hockey

Yarmouth’s boys’ hockey is back on top in Class B South.

The Clippers took an 11-2 record and a four-game win streak into Tuesday’s game at Falmouth. Yarmouth is home with Brunswick Saturday and hosts Portland/Deering Tuesday of next week.

Greely fell to 3-10 and ninth after Saturday’s 3-2 home loss to Messalonskee. Quinn Malloy and Jack Saffian scored in defeat. The Rangers were home with Gorham Wednesday and go to Leavitt Saturday. 

In Class A South, Falmouth improved to 10-3 and second behind defending state champion Scarborough in the standings after Saturday’s 5-1 win at Thornton Academy. The Yachtsmen hosted Yarmouth Tuesday, went to Biddeford Wednesday and play at Portland/Deering Saturday and at Lewiston Monday.

The South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport co-op team was 4-8-1 and 10th in Class A South entering Thursday’s home game vs. Mt. Ararat/Morse/Lisbon. Last week’s lone game resulted in a 3-2 win at Marshwood. Lake Region pays a visit Saturday.

NYA’s prep team was atop the Holt Conference standings at press time with a 5-2 league record. 

Girls’ hockey

The girls’ hockey playoffs are underway.

Greely capped a transcendent 18-0 regular season with an 8-3 home win over Scarborough last Wednesday on Senior Night behind five goals from Courtney Sullivan.

“We’re a really close team and we wanted to win for the seniors,” Sullivan said. “Coach had a really good pregame speech. We were extremely fired up to play Scarborough. We were excited.”

“I think the girls deserved to win, playing with the intensity they did, but I think it was closer than the score showed,” Greely coach Nate Guerin said. “(Being undefeated wasn’t) something we thought about. We didn’t expect it. We never really talked about it until we got to tonight. Our biggest goal was to be undefeated at home. I want to win in this building. I don’t know how it happened, but we’re fortunate.”

The Rangers are the top seed in the North Region and will host either No. 4 EL/Leavitt or No. 5 Yarmouth/Freeport/GNG in the quarterfinals Friday or Saturday. This winter, Greely  swept EL/Leavitt, 5-2 and 3-1, and beat Yarmouth/Freeport/GNG, 5-1 and 6-2.

The Rangers won two of three previous playoff meetings against EL/Leavitt and have no prior playoff history with Yarmouth/Freeport/GNG.

Yarmouth/Freeport/GNG finished 8-10 after a 4-2 win at defending state champion Lewiston and a 4-1 home victory over Winslow. Katie Clemmer, Jenny Holmquist, Kelsey Meyer and Colleen Sullivan scored against the Blue Devils. Homquist had two goals and Meyer and Keeley Arnold scored one apiece against the Black Raiders.

Yarmouth/Freeport/GNG went to EL/Leavitt (8-7-3) for a quarterfinal round tilt Wednesday. Yarmouth/Freeport/GNG lost both regular season meetings, 5-2 and 10-1. EL/Leavitt won last year’s playoff meeting, 6-1, in the semifinals.

Falmouth finished 14-2-2 and second behind Scarborough in the South Region. The Yachtsmen closed by blanking visiting York, 4-0, and dominating visiting Cheverus, 11-1. Against the Wildcats, Camden Carrier scored twice. Sarah Hutcheon and Martina St. Angelo both had two goals against the Stags.

Falmouth will host either No. 3 Cheverus (11-7) or No. 6 Biddeford (6-12) Friday or Saturday in the semifinals. The Yachtsmen twice beat the Stags this winter, also prevailing, 5-2, at home. The teams have played once prior in the playoffs, a 4-0 Cheverus win in the 2010 regional final. Falmouth twice beat the Tigers, 4-0 in Biddeford and 6-1 at home. The teams split two prior playoff meetings, with Biddeford taking the 2009 West Region semifinal (4-1) and the Yachtsmen prevailing two years ago in the quarterfinals, 5-0.

The regional finals are Wednesday of next week in Lewiston and the state final is Saturday, Feb. 13 in Lewiston.

Indoor track

The final Western Maine Conference regular season indoor track meet was held last weekend.

Greely’s girls beat seven other teams. The Rangers got multiple wins from Lizzie Brown in the junior shot put (31 feet, 7 inches) and junior high jump (4-8) and Katherine Leggat-Barr in the open mile (5 minutes, 11.84 seconds) and the open two-mile (11:40). Addy Traficonte took the junior 55 hurdles (10.32 seconds). Jocelyn Mitiguy was first in the senior 55 hurdles (9.20). Greely also won the junior 4×200 relay (2:03.88). Falmouth was second. The Yachtsmen got wins from Lydia Farmer in the open long jump (16-5.75), Chelsea Zhao in the open pole vault (8-0), Malaika Pasch in the open 800 (2:23.12), Emma England in the senior 200 (27.95) and its senior 4×200 relay team (1:54.56). Freeport finished fourth and got wins from Maddie Squibb in the senior 400 (1:03.51) and their open 3,200 relay team (10:29.15). Yarmouth placed sixth. The Clippers were led by Emma Egan, who set a new conference record in the senior high jump (5-6) and also won the senior 55 (7.75).

In the boys’ meet, won by York, Falmouth was second. Matt Polewaczyk took the senior 55 in 6.86 and the senior 200 in 23.38. Jack O’Donoghue was first in the senior high jump (5-0). Aaron Thomas took the open pole vault (13-0). Tony St. Angelo won the open long jump (19-6.5). The Yachtsmen’s senior 4×200 relay team had the top time (1:33.90). Greely placed third. Nicholas Brown finished first in the junior high jump (5-2). Duncan Lary won the junior shot put (36-3). The Rangers also won the open 3,200 relay (8:32.83). Freeport was fourth. James Knighton won the junior 400 (59.89) and Henry Jaques took the open mile (4:37.13). Yarmouth came in sixth and got wins from Luke Laverdiere in the open 800 (2:02.89) and the open two-mile (10:03.95).

NYA’s boys and girls were both seventh in an eight-team meet. Xander Bartone won the boys’ senior 200 (23.85). Henry Quesada took the boys’ senior 400 (53.85). 

The WMC championship meet will be held Friday at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham.

The Class B state meet is Saturday, Feb. 13 at Bates College in Lewiston. The Class A state meet will be held at USM, Monday, Feb. 15.

Swimming

The swimming regular season wrapped up Friday.

Falmouth and Greely squared off with the Yachtsmen boys winning, 49-42, and the Falmouth girls prevailing as well, 48-45. 

The Southwesterns will be held this weekend in Cape Elizabeth. The boys swim Friday and the girls Saturday.

Skiing

Local Nordic ski teams took part in last weeekend’s Sassi Memorial classical race at Black Mountain.

Yarmouth’s girls came in first among 24 teams. The Clippers were led by Lucy Alexander, who came in third in 17 minutes, 46.6 seconds. Sophia Laukli (fourth, 17:53.3), Grace Cowles (fifth, 17:56.9) and Hannah Corey (seventh, 18:23) also scored. Maine Coast Waldorf School, led by individual champion Fiona Ahearne (17:16.3), placed third. Freeport was eighth and was paced by individual runner-up Lily Johnston (17:19.5). Falmouth finished 12th and was led by Gabby Farrell (14th, 19:10.2). Greely placed 22nd and was paced by Isabella Perry (45th, 21:45.0).

In the boys’ meet, Freeport was second to Mt. Blue in a 21-team field. The Falcons’ top finisher was Bennett Hight (fifth, 15:43.6). Falmouth came in fourth and was led by Adam Meyer (11th, 16:21.3). Yarmouth placed fifth and was paced by John Lane (fourth, 14:59.0). Maine Coast Waldorf was 11th and was led by Dylan Wu (34th, 17:37.9). Greely finished 21st and was paced by Evan Goettel (81st, 19:52.3).

Greely and Yarmouth’s Alpine teams took part in a five-team WMC/SMAA giant slalom meet last week at Shawnee Peak.

In the boys’ competition, the Clippers were first and the Rangers came in third. Greely’s Kelsey Otley was first individually with a two-run combined time of a 1 minute, 6.71 seconds. Lauren Bartlett (sixth, 1:10.31) was Yarmouth’s top finisher.

On the girls’ side, the Rangers came in first with the Clippers tying Kennebunk for second. Individually, Greely’s Axel Lindsay was first (1:04.78) and Yarmouth’s Jack Diggins came in second (1:04.92).

Monday, Greely’s girls were first and the boys second to Cape Elizabeth in a five-team slalom meet at Shawnee Peak. In the girls’ race, Nettie Cunningham was first individually in 47.04 seconds. The Rangers boys were paced by Lindsay (third, 49.11).

Falmouth, Freeport and Yarmouth joined Gray-New Gloucester for a giant slalom meet Monday.

The Yachtsmen boys were first, while the Clippers placed second and the Falcons third. Falmouth’s Thomas Lesniak was the top individual with a two-run combined time of 1:01.49. Yarmouth was paced by Griffin Primeau (fifth, 1:06.31). Freeport’s Griffin Agnese came in ninth (1:08.42).

In the girls’ competition, Falmouth was first, Yarmouth second and Freeport third. The Yachtsmen were led by runner-up Krysia Lesniak (1:01.83). The Clippers featured individual winner Greta Elder (1:01.83). The Falcons’ top finisher was Kaia Williams (13th, 1:12.57). 

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

Sidebar Elements


Greely’s Caleb Normandeau drives to the basket during last week’s 45-36 loss at Cape Elizabeth. 

Freeport’s Kayla Belanger drives to the basket during last week’s 35-32 home loss to Wells.

Greely’s Courtney Sullivan, left, is congratulated by teammate Bridget Roberts after one of her five goals in last week’s regular season-ending, 8-3 win over Scarborough.

Yarmouth’s Emma Egan sets a new conference record in the senior high jump, clearing the bar at 5 feet, 6 inches.

The top three girls’ finishers at Saturday’s Sassi Memorial Nordic race in Rumford came from Forecaster Country. Fiona Ahearne, right, of Maine Coast Waldorf School, came in first. Freeport’s Lily Johnston, middle, was runner-up. Yarmouth’s Lucy Alexander, left, placed third.

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