Let the postseason begin; playoff frenzy underway-Portland edition

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(Ed. Note: For the complete Cheverus-Thornton Academy and Deering-Portland baseball game stories, with box scores and photos, see theforecaster.net)

The arrival of the month of June means that the spring sports season is coming to a close.

Postseason drama is already underway in tennis and outdoor track.

The baseball, softball and lacrosse regular seasons are wrapping up and their playoffs begin next week.

Here’s an overview of the spring sports playoff picture:

Tennis

The state team tennis tournament was set to begin at press time.

The eight-time defending Class C state champion Waynflete boys capped a stellar 10-2 season with a 5-0 victory over North Yarmouth Academy and a 3-2 win over Yarmouth. The Flyers earned the No. 4 seed in Class C South and host No. 5 Madison (8-4) in the quarterfinals Wednesday. The teams didn’t meet this year.

In Class A South, Portland also finished 10-2, its best record since the 2001 team went 11-1. The Bulldogs earned the No. 4 seed and welcomes fifth-ranked Scarborough in the quarterfinals. In the season-opener April 25, Portland won at the Red Storm, 5-0.

Deering closed with a 5-0 win at Windham to wind up 9-3, its sixth straight winning record. The Rams earned the No. 6 seed in Class A South and go to No. 3 Gorham (11-1) for a battle of the Rams in the quarterfinals. The teams didn’t meet this spring.

Cheverus wrapped up with a 3-2 loss to South Portland to end up 3-9, but the Stags earned the 10th and final playoff spot in Class A South, their 16th consecutive postseason trip. The teams met again in the preliminary round Tuesday with the winner advancing to face second-ranked Falmouth (12-0), the two-time defending Class A champion, in the quarterfinals. The Stags didn’t play the Yachtsmen this year.

On the girls’ side, Portland finished 8-4 and sixth and hosted No. 11 Bonny Eagle (5-7) in the preliminary round. The Bulldogs beat the host Scots, 4-1, in the regular season finale last Monday. The winner will go to No. 3 Gorham (11-1) for the quarterfinals. The Rams won the regular season meeting against Portland, 5-0, May 11.

Cheverus also went 8-4 this spring and earned the No. 7 seed. The Stags hosted No. 10 Massabesic (6-6) in the preliminary round. The teams didn’t play this year. If Cheverus, advanced, it will go to No. 2 Scarborough (12-0). The Red Storm beat the host Stags, 5-0, in the regular season meeting April 29.

Deering finished 8-4 and eighth and hosted No. 9 South Portland (6-6) in a prelim. The Rams won the regular season encounter, 4-1, at home way back on April 25. The winner goes to eight-time state champion Falmouth (12-0), which has won 137 successive matches, for the quarterfinals. Deering didn’t face the Yachtsmen this year.

McAuley beat Westbrook, 3-2, in its finale, but wound up 2-10 and 14th (only 12 teams made the playoffs). The Lions missed the postseason for only the second time since 1987.

In Class C South, Waynflete wound up 6-6 and sixth and will go to No. 3 Carrabec (9-3) for the quarterfinals. The teams didn’t play this spring.

Looking ahead, the semifinals are Saturday, on the home courts of the higher seeds. The regional finals are Thursday, June 9 at Bates College in Lewiston and the state matches are Saturday, June 11, at Lewiston High School.

In the state singles tournament, Waynflete’s Lexi Epstein, the No. 11 seed, advanced to the girls’ Round of 16 after downing Thornton Academy’s Eva Sachs, 6-1, 6-4, but Epstein was ousted there by sixth-ranked Megan Nathanson of Scarborough, 2-6, 2-6.

Waynflete’s Chase Warner dropped her first round match, 1-1, retired, to Caribou’s Conner Spencer.

On the boys’ side, Waynflete’s Jacob Greene outlasted Boothbay’s Nick Gorey in the first round, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3, and rallied to beat John Bapst’s Paul Branch, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, in the Round of 32, before losing to No. 8 Alex Klemperer of Falmouth in the Round of 16, 2-6, 0-6. Deering’s Conor Doane beat Mt. Blue’s Alex Bunnell, 6-4, 6-1, in the Round of 32, then lost in the Round of 16, 3-6, 3-6, to Cape Elizabeth’s Michael Mills, the No. 4 seed.

Waynflete’s Brandon Ameglio downed Scarborough’s John McCloskey in the first round, 6-0, 6-2, then was ousted by No. 10 seed Peter Mao of Mt. Ararat, 4-6, 0-6. Portland’s Peter Gribizis survied his first round match, 7-5, 6-4, over Mattanawcook Academy’s Tysen Libby, then was eliminated, 0-6, 0-6, by No. 3 Darly Vykhodtsev in the Round of 32.

Portland’s Quinn Clarke lost, 1-6, 0-6, to Lewiston’s Timo Teckenbrerg, in the first round.

Outdoor track

Thornton Academy in Saco was the site of the Southwestern Maine Athletic Association outdoor track and field championship meet under scorching skies Saturday.

Deering’s boys had the best local showing, tying South Portland for second place with 75 points. Scarborough (112) came in first. Portland (4 points) tied Massabesic for 13th place and Cheverus (2) was 15th.

The Rams got wins from Paolo DeMarco in the 110 hurdles (15.74 seconds) and 300 hurdles (40.62) and their 4×400 relay team (3 minutes, 31.96 seconds). Also scoring were Yahya Nure (second in the two-mile, 10:32.94), Abdi Hassan (third in the 800, 2:04.89), Jabari Washington (third in the 100, 11.74), Alec Troxwell (third in the two-mile, 10:33.43), Gabe Luka (fourth in the 400, 54.22), Masho Gebremikael (fifth in the two-mile, 10:59.25), Ezra Chapola (fifth in the triple jump, 39 feet-8.25 inches, and sixth in the long jump 19-5.75), Mason Kaserman (sixth in the 300 hurdles, 43.78), Songha Loth (sixth in the 100, 11.84) and the runner-up 4×800 relay squad (8:28.81).

The Bulldogs’ points came from Joe Esposito, who came in fourth in the javelin (150-5).

The Stags got a fifth-place showing from Luke Trickey in the 200 (24.00).

The girls’ title was shared by Thornton Academy and Westbrook with 73 points. Bonny Eagle was third with 72 points and Cheverus (71) placed fourth. Deering (31) finished eighth and Portland (15) was 14th. McAuley did not score.

The Stags got wins from Emily Grinnell in the discus (118-1) and their 4×100 (51.53) and 4×400 (4:16.04) relay teams.

Also scoring were Emily Turner, who was runner-up in both the 100 (13.15) and 200 (26.42), Hannah Abbott (second in the shot put, 33-9,5), Emma White (third in the long jump, 16-3, and third in the triple jump, 35-2.5), Katelyn Gendron (fourth in the 300 hurdles, 50.99) and Sarah Mount (sixth in the 300 hurdles, 52.12).

The Rams wins from Annah Rossvall in the 300 hurdles (48.93) and their 4×800 relay team (10:09.07). Also scoring were Neilab Habibzai (fourth in the shot put, 31-9.5, and fourth in the discus, 99-5), Lili Kien (fifth in the high jump, 5-10) and Nicole Whipkey (sixth in the 800, 2:31.76).

The Bulldogs’ points came from Ella Altidor (third in the 200, 27.14, and fifth in the 100, 13.39), Maggie Hosmer (third in the 800, 2:29.70) and their sixth-place 4×400 relay team (4:33.37).

In the Western Maine Conference championship meet at Lake Region High School in Naples, Waynflete’s girls came in eighth in Division II with 10 points (Gray-New Gloucester won with 168). The Flyers got a win from Emily Tabb in the racewalk (9:46.52). Waynflete’s boys had 2 points and placed eighth (Wells won with 146). Willson Moore came in sixth in both the 800 (2:12.50) and the mile (4:45.39). 

The state championship meets are Saturday. Cheverus, Deering and Portland compete in the Class A meet at Hampden Academy. McAuley and Waynflete will travel to Foxcroft Academy for the Class C meet.

New Englands are Saturday, June 11.

Baseball

Cheverus, Deering and Portland’s baseball teams are all tournament-bound, but there was much still to be decided in regards to positioning at press time.

The Bulldogs went 1-2 last week, falling to 11-4 and fifth in the Class A South Heal Points standings in the process. Portland, playing without coach Mike Rutherford and two players, lost at home to Deering last Monday, 7-2. Charles Barnard only gave up one earned run as the Bulldogs committed four costly errors.

“You’ve got to make plays and our errors led to their runs,” said Mike Fullerton, who filled in for Rutherford as coach.. “It’s a tough one to swallow. We’ll work to get better and hopefully have a different result next time.”

Portland bounced back to down visiting Massabesic, 8-1, behind a three-run first inning and five more runs in the third. Dan Marzilli earned the win, Jake Knop tripled twice and Nick Archambault hit a two-run double.

Saturday, the Bulldogs fell, 1-0, at Gorham. Knop had a double. Portland was scheduled to close the regular season at Scarborough Monday, but rain moved the game to Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story).

Deering’s win over Portland last Monday was its first over its rival in five years. Colby Dame bounced back from a tough first inning to go the distance, allowing just two earned runs. Pat Viola had the go-ahead RBI, Nate Loranger had three hits and James Sinclair scored twice as the Rams avenged last year’s playoff ouster.

“It feels amazing,” Dame said. “I thought about last year. I know we lost and we needed to win this year.”

“It feels great,” Viola said. “We’re just trying to ride the momentum. We have a brand new outlook. It’s overdue, for sure.”

“The guys came out ready to play,” added Rams coach Josh Stowell. “They were focused from the beginning, so I had a good feeling that these guys were ready to go.”

Deering then suffered a 9-1 home loss to Noble (Ian Westphal had two hits) and bounced back to down visiting Bonny Eagle, 4-3, Thursday, to improve to 7-7 and eighth in Class A South. Against the Scots, Sinclair went the distance to earn the win and also had a pair of hits and Dom Bernard and Orey Dutton both had three hits, 

Cheverus was 9-6 and 10th in Class A South at press time after a 4-3 home victory over Thornton Academy, a 12-5 home win over Biddeford and a 5-4 triumph at Sanford. Against the Golden Trojans, Tre Fletcher hit a tie-breaking home run and Jack Casale went the distance to earn the win and also had three hits as the Stags avenged a walkoff loss from earlier in the season.

“We’ve had a couple losses we shouldn’t have, but today we overcame adversity,” Casale said.

“It’s a huge win,” Fletcher said. “They beat us last game on a walkoff single and they got close again. I was sweating in the outfield, but we got it done.”

“It’s the first signature win of the year,” added Cheverus coach Mac McKew. “Unfortunately, it’s the 13th game of the year, but we desperately need it. We need Heal Points and they’re worth a lot.”

In the win over the Tigers, Alex Jacobs earned the victory after allowing just two earned runs and he also had three hits and scored four times. Jared Brooks had two hits and three RBI. 

Against the Spartans, Brooks, Fletcher and Jacobs all had multiple hits and Fletcher scored the go-ahead run on Logan McCarthy’s seventh inning double, helping rally the Stags from a 4-2 deficit.

Cheverus closed the regular season Tuesday at home versus Gorham. 

In Class C South, Waynflete was 3-10 and 13th at press time (the top 11 teams make the playoffs) after falling at Sacopee Valley (11-0, in five innings), at home against Traip Academy (9-3) and at NYA (4-3).  The Flyers close at Sacopee Valley Wednesday.

The baseball playoffs start Tuesday of next week with the preliminary round. The quarterfinals are Thursday, June 9. Those rounds will be contested on the fields of the higher remaining seeds.

Softball

Portland’s softball team will be the city’s lone postseason representative. The Bulldogs were in the No. 9 spot in the Class A South Heal Points standings at press time at 8-7 after a 5-3 loss at Gorham and a 3-2, eight-inning victory at Windham. Against the Rams, the Bulldogs got two singles, a triple and an RBI from Taylor Crosby and two RBI from Isabelle DiMillo. DiMillo had the game-winning hit against the Eagles. Portland closed at home against Bonny Eagle Tuesday.

The playoffs start Tuesday of next week with the preliminary round. The quarterfinals are Thursday, June 9. Those rounds will be contested on the fields of the higher remaining seeds.

Deering finished 4-12 and missed the playoffs as the No. 14 seed (only 12 teams qualify), but the Rams managed to double last year’s win total after beating host Bonny Eagle (8-6) and visiting McAuley (5-1). Abby Elowitch had three hits and scored three times against the Scots. Siobhan Densmore, Sydney Giroux and Kaylee Helmick all had two hits. Giorux and Cassidy Coyne both had two RBI. Giorux had three hits against the Lions and Kaytlin DiBiase earned the victory. DiBiase and Elowtich also had two hits.

McAuley wound up 3-13 and 17th in Class A South after closing with losses at South Portland (7-3), at home to Noble (19-1) and at Deering (5-1). Lillie Donovan homered against the Knights. Kim Fisher had two hits in the loss to the Rams.

Cheverus finished 0-16 and 18th in Class A South after losing at Noble (14-2, in six innings), at home to South Portland (13-2) and at home to Sanford (14-2). 

Boys’ lacrosse

Cheverus’ boys’ lacrosse team is playoff-bound and will likely host at least one postseason game. The Stags took a 7-4 record and the No. 4 ranking in the Class A North Heals into Tuesday’s home finale versus Marshwood. Cheverus lost, 9-7, at Westbrook, then downed visiting Portland, 9-5, last week. Finn Cawley and Marco Giancotti both scored three goals in the victory.

Deering was fifth at 6-5 after downing host Maranacook (12-6), visiting Massabesic (17-8) and host Windham (9-8). Bryce Randall had five goals against the Black Bears. Andrew Johnson had seven goals and Nate Richards added five in the win over the Mustangs. The Rams closed at Noble Tuesday.

Portland was 4-7 and eighth in Class A North at press time, but only seven teams make the playoffs. The Bulldogs’ skid hit six games last week with losses at South Portland (17-3) and at Cheverus (9-5). Drake McGhie and Robert Nolan both had two goals versus the Stags. Portland closed at home versus Massabesic Tuesday.

In Class B South, Waynflete was 7-4 and fourth at press time and appeared destined to host a quarterfinal round playoff game. Last week, the Flyers won at Wells (18-8) and at York (13-12). Waynflete finishes the season Wednesday at home versus Freeport.

The playoffs start with the quarterfinal round Wednesday, June 8, on the fields of the higher seeds.

Girls’ lacrosse

Waynflete’s girls’ lacrosse team is hitting its stride at the right time. The Flyers improved to 8-3 and fourth in the Class B South Heal Points standings after downing visiting Wells (13-3) and York (5-3) last week. Izzy Burdick and Lydia Giguere had four goals and Nina Moore added three against the Warriors. Moore scored two goals in the win over the Wildcats. Waynflete closed at Lake Region Tuesday in the first meeting between longtime Flyers coach Cathie Connors and her older brother, David Keenan, who coaches the Lakers. There’s a good chance the teams will meet again in the quarterfinals.

In Class A North, Deering was 4-7 and sixth at press time after losing at home to McAuley in overtime (11-10) and at home to Sanford (14-12). Megan Violette scored five times against the Lions. The Rams closed at Portland Tuesday.

McAuley was clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot in Class A North at 2-9 at press time after an 11-10 overtime victory at Deering and a 7-1 home loss to Windham. Zoe Mazur had the winning tally against the Rams. Catherine Reid scored four times and Elizabeth Poulin added three goals. The Lions finished at Cheverus Tuesday.

Cheverus was 2-8 and ninth after an 18-6 home loss to Scarborough. The Stags hosted McAuley Tuesday and close at Gorham Thursday.

Portland was 1-10 and 11th entering the final at home versus Deering Tuesday. Last week, the Bulldogs lost at Thornton Academy (14-6), at home to Bonny Eagle (13-12) and at home to Biddeford (14-8). Merritt Ryan scored twice against the Golden Trojans and had three goals in the loss to the Tigers.

The playoffs start with the quarterfinal round Wednesday, June 8, on the fields of the higher seeds.

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

Sidebar Elements


Deering’s Dom Bernard, center, is congratulated by teammates Spencer Todd, left, and James Sinclair after scoring a run in last Monday’s 7-2 win over rival Portland.

Waynflete’s Emily Tabb speeds toward a first-place finish in the Division II racewalk at Saturday’s Western Maine Conference outdoor track and field championship meet.

Cheverus’ Emma White prepares to compete in the triple jump at Saturday’s Southwestern Maine Activities Association outdoor track and field championship meet. White came in third.

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