February nears, all eyes on postseason-Southern edition

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South Portland senior Ruay Bol blocks a shot during the Red Riots’ 68-58 win at Thornton Academy last Friday.

Cape Elizabeth’s Jaya McClure takes part in the open long jump at a league meet last weekend. McClure was third in that event and the Capers finished sixth out of seven scoring teams.

(Ed. Note: For the full South Portland-Thornton Academy and South Portland-Cheverus boys’ basketball game stories, with photos, see theforecaster.net)

The first postseason event is a little over a week away and every game takes on additional importance by the day.

As January dwindles, here’s a look at what occurred last week and what’s to come:

Boys’ basketball

South Portland’s defending Class AA South champion boys’ basketball team earned its biggest win of the season Friday when it went to Thornton Academy and came away with a 68-58 victory in a playoff rematch. 

The Red Riots quickly seized control, trailing only once, before going on a 16-2 run to close the first quarter to go ahead, 16-5, thanks to seven points from Ruay Bol. Thornton Academy hit its stride in the second period and got as close as one, but the Red Riots closed on a 7-0 run to take a 29-21 lead to halftime.

After the hosts drew within seven points in the third quarter, a 10-2 surge, punctuated by a layup from energizer bunny Riley Hasson, gave the Red Riots a 43-28 lead and they took a 47-34 advantage to the fourth. There, Thornton Academy drew within six in the final minute, but South Portland refused to buckle and hit free throws down the stretch to prevail, 68-58.

Bol had 15 points, Ansel Stilley 14, Noah Malone 12 and Hasson 11 in the victory.

“We were agitated by hearing about how good TA is this year,” Hasson said. “We felt snubbed. It was nice to come in here and even when they made runs, step up and get a big win. It’s fun to play in big games. That’s what we play for, big games like this.” 

“We had to spread the floor, move the ball and make good decisions,” Stilley said. “We were aware they were undefeated and we wanted to give them their first loss. We wanted to stay aggressive and rebound well.”

“We haven’t been in a situation where we had (to protect) the ball with a lead,” South Portland coach Kevin Millington said. “Doing that for the first time was hard. It was fun to play a close game. In the big scheme of things, it’s a great win and I don’t want to downplay it, but it’s not as important as the game we’ll hopefully play at the Civic Center.”

The Red Riots then fell to 9-3 Monday after a 60-55 home loss to Cheverus. South Portland trailed almost the whole way and despite 23 points from Bol, couldn’t quite catch up.

“We didn’t play our best game for sure, but they beat us,” Millington said. “It wasn’t a letdown. There are a lot of good teams in the league. We have to bring our ‘A game’ every night. We wanted the pace to be more up and down, but they did a good job being deliberate. They played good defense. They made plays when they had to.”

The Red Riots (first in the Class AA South Heal Points standings at press time) hosted defending Class A champion Falmouth in a makeup game Wednesday, welcome Massabesic Friday and play host to Windham Tuesday of next week.

Scarborough improved to 2-11 with a 59-54 win at Noble Friday. Morgan Pratt had 14 points and Nick Fiorillo added 11. The Red Storm (seventh in Class AA South) have a return engagement with Noble this Friday (at home), then play at Gorham Wednesday.

Cape Elizabeth improved to 9-3 Friday with a 57-47 home win over Kennebunk. Marshall Peterson led the way with 22 points. The Capers (third in Class A South) went to Freeport for a makeup game Wednesday, host Class B South powerhouse Yarmouth Friday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and welcome undefeated Greely Tuesday.

Greater Portland Christian School was 1-11 and 11th in Class D South after recent losses at Temple Academy (52-34) and at home to Rangeley (39-32). The Lions went to A.R. Gould Thursday, visit Pine Tree Academy Saturday and play host to Highview Christian Tuesday.

Girls’ basketball

Scarborough’s girls’ team was second to defending state champion in the Class AA South Heal Points standings at press time after beating visiting Noble, 64-18, last Friday to improve to 10-1. Sophie Glidden had 18 points and Brooke Malone added 14. The Red Storm went to Bonny Eagle for a makeup game Wednesday, visit Massabesic Friday and host Maine Girls’ Academy Tuesday.

South Portland is right behind Scarborough in the standings (third) after improving to 9-2 Friday with a 58-40 home victory over Thornton Academy. Maggie Whitmore led the way with 17 points. The Red Riots went to Falmouth for a makeup game Wednesday, host Cheverus Saturday afternoon (see theforecaster.net for game story), play at Windham Tuesday, then visit Cheverus Wednesday of next week.

In Class A South, Cape Elizabeth fell to 0-12 and 13th in the Heals after last Friday’s 40-26 setback at Kennebunk. Alison Ingalls led the Capers with eight points. The Capers hosted Freeport in a makeup game Wednesday, go to Yarmouth Friday and welcome Greely Tuesday.

In Class D South, GPCS was 3-9 and 10th after a 51-11 loss at Temple Academy, a 40-16 home win over Kents Hill and a 58-15 home loss to Rangeley. The Lions were at Kents Hill Wednesday and at Hebron Academy Thursday. They go to Pine Tree Academy Saturday and welcome Highview Christian Tuesday. 

Hockey

Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ hockey team has won four in a row to improve to 5-3. The latest win came Saturday, 8-3, over visiting Camden Hills. Peyton Weatherbie had two goals and seven different players tickled the twine. The Capers (seventh in the Class B South Heal Points standings) were at St. Dom’s Wednesday, host Cheverus Saturday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and visit South Portland Tuesday.

Defending Class A South champion Scarborough fell to 5-5-1 and fifth in the Heals after a 3-2 home loss to St. Dom’s Saturday. Anthony Burnham and Eric Murray had the goals. The Red Storm hosted Lewiston in a state game rematch Wednesday, visit Thornton Academy Saturday and host top-ranked Falmouth Wednesday of next week.

The South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport co-op team was 4-5-1 and sixth in Class A South entering Thursday’s home game versus Mt. Ararat/Morse/Lisbon. Biddeford pays a visit Saturday and Cape Elizabeth visits Tuesday.

On the girls’ side, defending South Region champion Scarborough fell to second in the Heals behind Falmouth after recent losses to visiting St. Dom’s in a state game rematch (6-0) and at Cheverus (3-2, in overtime). The Red Storm played at Falmouth Wednesday, host Portland/Deering Saturday and welcomes Falmouth Wednesday of next week.

The Cape Elizabeth/South Portland/Waynflete co-op was 7-7 at press time after an 8-1 loss at Greely, a 5-4 come-from-behind win at Cheverus and a 7-0 victory at Portland/Deering. In the win over Cheverus, Sophia Venditti scored twice, including the winner in OT and Kate Ginder tied the score late. 

“We finally got an overtime win,” said Cape Elizabeth/SP/Waynflete coach Bob Mills. “The first two periods weren’t the prettiest periods for us, but we came out and executed in the third. This is a big confidence-booster, especially with Cheverus being right behind us in the standings.”

Cape Elizabeth/SP/Waynflete (fourth in the South) hosts Gorham/Bonny Eagle Thursday and welcomes Cheverus Saturday before playing host to Edward Little/Leavitt Tuesday.

Track

Scarborough’s boys’ indoor track team fended off a test from Deering, Thornton Academy and Massabesic Saturday to stay undefeated. The Red Storm got wins from Jarrett Flaker in the junior 55 (6.69 seconds), junior 55 hurdles (7.97) and junior 400 (53.23), Ben Hatch in the junior 200 (23.98) and junior triple jump (19 feet, 3.25 inches), Anthony Clavette in the junior high jump (5-8), Ben Batoosingh in the senior 200 (23.89), Sam Rusak in the senior 400 (51.09) and open pole vault (14-6), Shamus Malia in the senior 800 (2 minutes, 3.19 seconds) and open mile (4:40.83), Connor Langlois in the senior 55 hurdles (8.44), Sebastian Osborne in the senior shot put (45-5.25) and their junior 4×200 (1:36.93), senior 4×200 (1:34.34), open 4×400 (3:42.00) and open 4×800 (9:04.37) relay teams.

Scarborough’s girls also came in first and got victories from Emily Labbe in the junior 55 (7.64), junior 55 hurdles (8.96) and junior 200 (27.14), Maggie Franz in the junior 400 (1:02.81), Gaby Panagakos in the senior 400 (1:01.47), Ellen Shaw in the senior 55 hurdles (9.00) and senior high jump (5-0), Bethany Sholl in the open two-mile (11:41.75), Anna Gardner in the open pole vault (9-6) and the junior 4×200 (1:53.39), senior 4×200 (1:53.64) and open 4×800 (10:40.00) relay teams.

South Portland’s boys and girls both came in first in a meet which included Gorham and Sanford. 

The boys got wins from Teerapat Nakummun in the junior 55 (7.46), Jack Kingsley in the open 400 (1:02.34), Ethan McCarthy in the junior 55 hurdles (9.39) and junior high jump (5-2), Harrison Mayone in the junior long jump (16-11) and junior triple jump (33-3.5), Maxwell Holmes in the senior 200 (24.01), Finn Zechman in the senior 55 hurdles (8.90), Xavier Mills in the senior shot put (41-4), Layton Steele in the open mile (5:15.70), Steven Smith in the open two-mile (11:07.63) and their senior 4×200 (1:46.10) and open 4×800 (9:33.89) relay teams.

Girls’ first-place performers included Eva Tedford in the junior 55 (7.95) and junior 200 (29.10), Jordyn Hulsey in the junior 55 hurdles (10.17), Isabelle Chase in the junior high jump (4-6), Rachel Haynes in the senior 55 (8.16), Juliana Selser in the senior 200 (28.12) and open mile (5:15.77), Erica Magnuson in the senior 400 (1:07.34), Callie O’Brien in the senior 55 hurdles (9.54) and senior high jump (4-8), Phoebe Letourneau in the senior triple jump (31-6.25) and the junior 4×200 (2:02.10), senior 4×200 (2:02.11), open 4×400 (4:50.14) and open 4×800 (14:40.54) relay teams.

Cape Elizabeth took part in a nine-team WMC meet last weekend. The boys finished fourth and the girls placed sixth. Matthew Concannon won the boys’ senior 400 (56.52). The senior 4×200 relay team (1:42.28) also came in first. The girls’ team won the 4×800 relay (11:38.24).

Swimming

Cape Elizabeth’s swim teams enjoyed success at St. Dom’s last Friday. The boys won by a 109-16 margin and the girls prevailed, 136-20.

The boys got wins from Matt Yim in the 200 freestyle (2 minutes, 2.53 seconds), Rohan Freedman in the 200 individual medley (2:15.08) and 100 free (53.19 seconds), Kyle Long in the 50 free (24.27), Oliver Kraft in the 100 butterfly (59.96) and 100 backstroke (1:01.68), Sam Loring in the 100 breaststroke (1:0847) and their medley (2:04.58) and 200 free (1:38.93) relay teams.

Girls’ first-place finishers included Caroline Mahoney in the 200 free (2:08.99) and the backstroke (1:04.70), Emily Ecker in the IM (2:16.29), Alicia Lawrence in the 50 free (26.10), Olivia Tighe in the fly (1:00.27), Hope Campbell in the 100 free (1:01.34), Casey Concannon in the 500 free (6:09.22), Rose Baillie in the breaststroke (1:18.44) and the medley (2:04.58), 200 free (1:44.24) and 400 free (3:44.05) relay teams.

Scarborough’s boys and girls lost to Cheverus. The boys fell, 106-64, while the girls were beaten, 116-63. The boys got a win from Ryan O’Leary in the IM (2:10.87), while the girls got a victory from Jane Greenberg in the fly (1:06.47).

South Portland’s boys edged Sanford, 86-81, while the girls beat the Spartans, 91-79.

The boys got wins from Sam Goodine-Doane in the 200 free (2:00.34), Liam Hayes in the IM (2:27.78) and the 500 free (6:28.23), Mitchell Amadei in the 50 free (24.45) and 100 free (54.02), Brayden Gilbert in the 100 backstroke (1:05.80) and their 200 free (1:39.86) and 400 free (4:14.20) relay teams.

Girls’ first-place finishers included Margie Jones in the 200 free (2:14.86), Sophie Chase in the IM (2:23.47) and 100 free (59.09) and the 400 free relay team (4:17.22).

South Portland swam at Bonny Eagle Wednesday. On Friday, Cape Elizabeth welcomes Kennebunk and Scarborough is at Thornton Academy.

Skiing

Cape Elizabeth’s Alpine squad won both the boys’ and girls’ competition Monday in a four-team giant slalom meet at Shawnee Peak. The boys produced individual winner Jon Fiutak (a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 2.50 seconds). The girls were led by Caroline Paclat, who was third in 1:07.46.

Wrestling

Scarborough’s wrestling team (1-8) returns to action Wednesday at Sanford. The Red Storm take part in a meet at Wells Saturday and go to Cheverus Wednesday of next week.

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

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