Hoops, hockey excitement underway

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(Ed. Note: For the complete Cheverus-Scarborough, Deering-Edward Little and Portland-South Portland boys’ basketball and Deering-South Portland, Maine Girls’ Academy-South Portland and Waynflete-Yarmouth girls’ basketball game stories, with photos, see theforecaster.net)

The basketball and ice hockey seasons are well underway and there have been some positive signs in the early going for local teams.

Here’s an overview:

Boys’ basketball

The defending Class AA champion Portland boys’ basketball team is up to its usual tricks in the early going, winning at South Portland in a state game rematch (61-54) and at home over Bonny Eagle (71-45) and Oxford Hills (72-50). Against the Red Riots, a late basket from Manny Yugu put the Bulldogs on top to stay and they got some key free throws late from Charlie Lyall and Terion Moss (21 points) to prevail.

“I don’t know how many more games like this my heart can take,” Lyall said. “This rivalry is over 100 years old. It’s always an interesting game. It’s doesn’t matter the year or how good the teams are.”

It wasn’t our best defensive night, which is great, because we learned and still got a win out of it,” Yugu said.

“It’s a big win for us,” added Bulldogs coach Joe Russo. “(South Portland’s) one of the best teams in the South. They’ll win a lot of games. They’re very good and versatile. We want to win early and win often. This takes a little pressure off.”

Against the Scots, Moss had 20 points and Lyall added 12. In the win over the Vikings, Moss and Clay Hardy both had 18 points and Griffin Foley finished with 12. 

Portland was home with Lewiston Tuesday and closes the 2016 portion of its schedule with a key test at Edward Little Thursday.

Deering found out the hard way last week just how good the Red Eddies are. After opening with victories at Windham (62-41, behind 13 points from Manny Chikuta and 12 apiece from Jean Claude Butera and Raffaele Salmone) and at home over Noble (79-33, behind 13 points from Machar Nguany and 12 from Salamone), the Rams lost at home to Edward Little, 62-54, in a game which saw them lead just once, 14-13. Salamone led the way with 28 points in defeat.

“I’ll take a bad win over a good loss any day,” said Rams coach Todd Wing. “It doesn’t help because they’re a AA opponent, which puts us behind the eight-ball.”  

Deering goes to Lewiston Thursday, visits Bangor Tuesday of next week, then plays a makeup game at Sanford Dec. 29.

Cheverus won its first three games: 51-49 in overtime at Sanford, 57-51 over visiting Scarborough and 64-59 at home over Windham. Against the Spartans, Jack Casale had 23 points and Matt Duchaine hit a clutch 3 in OT. In the win over the Red Storm, Casale and Will Shibles made key free throws late and Jesse Matthews had 16 points.

“It’s a great win,” Shibles said. “It’s great to win at home.”

“We just knew we had to rebound and play defense and that the offense would come,” said Casale.

“This speaks to the grit of this team,” added Cheverus coach Ryan Soucie. “We use the word grit every day. The guys showed character, heart and poise.”

In the win over the Eagles, Matthews led the way with 18 points and Casale added 16. 

The Stags’ game at Bangor Saturday was postponed due to bad weather. After playing at Edward Little Tuesday, Cheverus hosts Oxford Hills Thursday (see theforecaster.net for game story) in its 2016 finale.

Defending Class C South champion Waynflete opened with home wins over Sacopee Valley (67-38) and Freeport (55-30) before dropping a 45-43 decision at Class B South favorite Yarmouth. Against the Hawks, Yai Deng had 16 points and Jack Meahl added 15. Askar Hussein had 15 points and Deng 14 in the win over the Falcons. Meahl had 22 points in the loss to the Clippers. The Flyers had Saturday’s home game versus defending Class B state champion Lake Region postponed by bad weather. Waynflete was at North Yarmouth Academy Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story) to close out the calendar year.

Girls’ basketball

Cheverus’ girls’ team is off to the best start, winning its first two games, 53-38 at Noble and 63-32 at home over Portland. Abby Cavallaro had 17 points against the Knights. In the win over the Bulldogs, Kaylin Malmquist scored 19 points, while Emme Poulin added 17. The Stags’ game at Bangor Saturday was postponed due to bad weather. Cheverus was home with Edward Little Tuesday, has a key test at undefeated Oxford Hills Thursday and closes 2016 Thursday of next week at home versus Sanford.

Deering, a preseason favorite, opened with 52-32 win at Portland (Tasia Titherington had 22 points and Amanda Brett added 18), then lost at home to South Portland, 57-46, despite 15 points from Delaney Haines.

“We stunk on both sides of the floor,” Rams coach Mike Murphy said. “We were a step slow and they’re very good. We did too much chasing and not enough diverting their offense to other spots. They set the tempo.”

Deering bounced back Thursday with a 54-40 win at Edward Little. Titherington had a game-high 17 points. Haines added 14. The Rams hosted Sanford Monday, welcome Lewiston Thursday and go to Bangor Tuesday of next week to close the 2016 portion of its schedule.

Maine Girls’ Academy, formerly McAuley, started with a 58-29 loss at South Portland (Jill Joyce had 10 points). 

“It took us awhile to get settled,” said Lions coach Billy Goodman. “South Portland has a lot of talent, but we didn’t back down. I’ll never question the girls’ heart, hustle and effort. I’m lucky to have such good kids.”

MGA got in the win column, 49-27, over visiting Massabesic (Joyce led the way with 18 points), then fell to 1-2 after a 58-45 home loss to Bonny Eagle (Catherine Reid had 13 points and freshman Hope Olson added 10). The Lions were at Thornton Academy Tuesday and finish the old year at home versus Scarborough Thursday.

Portland dropped its first three outings: 52-32 to visiting Deering, 63-32 at Cheverus and 47-31 at Oxford Hills. The Bulldogs were paced by Shayla Eubanks’ 10 points versus the Rams. In the loss to the Stags, Reagan Brown had 15 points. Brown, Rose Griffin and Nettie Walsh each had six points versus the Vikings. Portland was at Lewiston Tuesday, hosts Edward Little Thursday, welcomes Sanford Tuesday of next week and closes the old year Dec. 29 with a home tilt versus Gorham.

Waynflete began with a 38-29 home win over Sacopee Valley (Lydia Giguere had 11 points and LZ Olney 10), then dropped a 55-53 decision at Freeport (despite 30 points from Giguere) before losing at home Thursday, 55-23, to Yarmouth. Annika Brooks had 11 points in defeat.

“(Yarmouth’s) very good,” said Waynflete coach Mike Jefferds. “We’ve had some tough games to start the season with. We just didn’t have our legs tonight.”

The Flyers’ game at Lake Region Saturday was postponed by bad weather. They finished the 2016 portion of their schedule at NYA Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story).

Boys’ hockey

The Portland/Deering co-op boys’ hockey team has gotten off to a fast start, beating visiting Cony (5-4, in overtime) and Windham (6-4). Donnie Tocci had the winner against the Rams. Saturday’s game at Thornton Academy was postponed by bad weather. Portland/Deering hosts Marshwood Thursday.

Cheverus began with a 5-3 home loss to Lewiston, then won at Thornton Academy, 4-2. Ryan McSorley had two goals in the loss. McSorley, Jesse Pierce, Mike Hatch and Colby Anton all scored in the victory. The Stags’ home game versus Brunswick Saturday was postponed due to bad weather. After going to Biddeford Tuesday, Cheverus welcomes St. Dom’s Thursday, then closes 2016 at Scarborough Tuesday of next week.

Girls’ hockey

Cheverus’ girls’ hockey team, which includes players from Kennebunk and Old Orchard Beach, was 2-3 at press time, beating visiting Portland/Deering (12-3) and host Mt. Ararat (7-1) and losing at home to York (4-1), at Falmouth (6-5, in overtime) and at Winslow (6-3). Cheverus is home with St. Dom’s in its 2016 finale Thursday.

Portland/Deering started 1-5, losing at home to Gorham (6-5), Scarborough (6-2) and Brunswick (14-6) and at Cheverus (12-3) before beating visiting Mt. Ararat (4-3) and losing at Winslow (9-2). Portland/Deering hosts York Wednesday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and closes 2016 at Lewiston Wednesday of next week.

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

Sidebar Elements

Deering’s Machar Nguany has a shot blocked during last week’s home loss to Edward Little.

Waynflete’s Ali Pope takes a shot during the Flyers’ home loss to Yarmouth last week.

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