Let the postseason fun begin

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(Ed. Note: For the complete South Portland-Deering boys’ basketball game story, please visit theforecaster.net)

The postseason craziness is underway in Forecaster Country and beyond.

Swimming and track got a jump last weekend with their Southwestern meets. Girls’ hockey’s playoffs commence Wednesday, wrestling’s regionals are Saturday, skiing states aren’t far behind and of course, basketball’s tournament is only a week away. Even boys’ hockey is hitting the home stretch.

Here’s a glimpse:

Indoor track

Scarborough’s indoor track juggernaut had its way at Saturday’s Southern Maine Activities Association championship meet in Gorham.

The boys came in first with 156 points. South Portland tied Deering for fourth with 83 points.

Red Storm event winners included Michael Pino in the junior shot put (47 feet, 7.75 inches), Alec James in the pole vault (11-6) and Robby Hall in the two-mile (10 minutes, 5.26 seconds).

“It was a strong meet for the entire team as just about every kid, whether they scored or not, set a new personal best,” said Scarborough coach Derek Veilleux. “It was great to see the kids step up in a championship caliber meet. We knew heading into the meet that we had a shot to win. Most likely it was going to be a two-team battle between Gorham and us. It was a very close meet until the final three or four events. The junior 200 turned out to be a key event for us. Austin Doody entered the race as the No. 6 seed and surpassed that by finishing second. That combined with Gorham dropping down three spots was a big 13 point swing. The two-mile sealed the meet when Robby Hall and Jack Sullivan finished 1-2. We only won three events, but had numerous scorers. Robby Hall had a huge meet, scoring 20 points. He was selected as the meet’s outstanding open division performer.”

South Portland got a win from Darryl Wilkinson in the senior 800 (2:03.51).

The Red Storm girls won with 189.5 points. South Portland (73) came in fifth.

Scarborough featured event winners Morgan Rodway in the junior 55 (7.59 seconds), Sarah Rinaldi in the senior 55 hurdles (9.98), Nicole Kirk in the senior 55 (7.46), Catherine Bailey in the pole vault (10 feet) and Emily Tolman in the 600 (1:32.38), the senior 800 (2:26.14) and the senior long jump (16-8.5). The Red Storm also won the senior 800 relay (1:49.79).

“I was very pleased by the team’s performance,” said Scarborough coach Ron Kelly. “We had performances that kept us ahead of Thornton and gained valuable experience for some younger athletes.”

South Portland’s top finishes were Lauren Magnuson, runner-up in the junior 55 (7.82) and Nyajock Pan, second in the 800 (2:26.70).

Next up is the state championships, Monday, Feb. 20. Class A is at USM.

“As for states, we have put ourselves into a good position during the regular season to have a shot at winning the title,” said Veilleux. “There are several teams like Deering, Bangor, Bonny Eagle, Mt Ararat, Cheverus, and Gorham, along with us, that have a legitimate shot. We’ll need our guys to step up to the challenge once again. I know the team has the leadership and talent to repeat as state champions and that is certainly their goal heading into the meet. I feel we have a lot of big meet experience that will be beneficial. We’ll spend the next two weeks fine tuning and tweaking little things & preparing mentally.”

“Bangor is the favorite on seeds,” Kelly said. “TA, Scarborough and Brunswick are all in the picture. It’s like other years where we’re not the favorite. We’ll go down battling to the end. By noon at the state meet, I’ll know what our chances are.”

Cape Elizabeth competes in the Western Maine Conference championship meet Friday in Gorham then takes part in the Class B state meet Feb. 20 at Bates College in Lewiston.

Swimming

The north division Southwestern swimming and diving championships, featuring many of the best teams in the state, was held last weekend in Westbrook.

The Cape Elizabeth girls stole the show, edging two-time defending champion Greely to take the title, 341-334. Scarborough (80 points) was seventh, South Portland (46) came in eighth.

Cape Elizabeth was paced by wins from Sydney Wight in the 200 freestyle (2 minutes, 1.49 seconds) and the 100 butterfly (58.60 seconds), Hannah Homans in the 100 backstroke (1:00.90) and its 200 medley relay team (Homans, Heather Kraft, Wight and Gabrielle Coutier, 1:51.79). A runner-up finish from the 400 free relay squad (Lindsey Tanabe, Noelle Webster, Jane Vaughan and Caroline Herriman, 4:05.37) secured the victory.

“We had over 22 best times in the meet, the girls could not have swam much better and overcame a lot to win,” said Capers coach Ben Raymond. “Going into the last relay, we knew we had to beat Greely’s ‘B relay’ and get second with our ‘A relay’ and we would be fine. Those eight swimmers all had tremendous swims. Our ‘A relay’ finished second and our ‘B relay’ finished ninth. When the pressure was on to perform, our girls did just that. Everyone of our girls entered into the meet scored points for the team with the exception of one disqualification. It was a total team effort. An outstanding meet.”

Scarborough’s top finisher was Dayna Ankermann, fifth in the fly (1:06.76). The Red Storm’s 200 free relay placed fourth (1:56.93).

South Portland’s Abby Onos placed fifth in the 200 individual medley (2:36.81). The Red Riots’ medley relay came in eighth (2:19.61).

On the boys’ side, Greely won the championship with 293 points, five better than Cheverus. Cape Elizabeth (255) came in third. Scarborough (134) was sixth. South Portland (100) finished seventh.

The Capers were once again led by Marcus Cloutier, who won the 50 free (22.38) and the backstroke (53.85). Evan Long took the 100 free (50.03). Cape Elizabeth also won the 400 relay (Tom Robinson, Long, Jacob Brady and Cloutier, 3:29.77).

“Once again Marcus won two individual events and a relay,” Raymond said. “I think he was the only swimmer to do so. Our 400 free relay swam very well and it was a great way to finish the meet. Third place in the meet is very respectable, especially for a meet that didn’t set up all that well for us.”

The Red Storm was paced by Nathaniel Duggan (third in the fly, 58.55).

The Red Riots’ top finisher was Chad MacWhinnie, who was third in the 100 free (51.55). South Portland was also second in the 200 free relay (1:39.03).

The Class A swimming state championships are Feb. 20 and 21, in Orono.

Girls’ hockey

Scarborough’s girls’ hockey team earned the No. 3 seed in the West Region with a 14-3-1 mark after a 5-0 home win over Cape Elizabeth in the regular season finale Saturday. The Red Storm goes to No. 2 York Saturday at 12 p.m. for the semifinals. Scarborough tied York, 1-1, at home Nov. 26 and beat the host Wildcats, 3-1, Dec. 15.

A win sends the Red Storm to the regional final Wednesday at Portland Ice Arena. The state championship game is Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Colisee in Lewiston.

Cape Elizabeth finished 5-12-1 with the loss to Scarborough. The Capers wound up sixth in the West, but only five teams make the playoffs.

Boys’ basketball

All three boys’ basketball teams appear playoff bound.

In Western A, South Portland ended a three-game losing streak last Friday with a 72-33 home romp over Noble (senior Logan Gaddar had a team-high 18 points). Tuesday, the Red Riots gave host Portland a scare before falling, 52-48, despite 20 points from junior Tanner Hyland. South Portland (10-7 and seventh in the Heal Points standings) closes at home versus Cheverus Friday night. A win could move the Red Riots up the ladder. They’ll likely host a preliminary round playoff game Tuesday.

Scarborough dropped to 9-8 (eighth in the standings) after recent losses at Bonny Eagle (52-43) and Thornton Academy (56-55). Junior Dillon Russo had 10 points versus the Scots and 11 against the Golden Trojans. Senior Johnny Passarelli led the team with 13 in that one. The Red Storm hosts Kennebunk in the regular season finale Friday. Scarborough will likely host a prelim Tuesday.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth fell to 7-10 and 10th in the standings after recent losses to visiting York (58-40) and at Yarmouth (58-52). Henry Babcock had 13 points in the loss to the Wildcats. Chris Peterson led the way with 15 versus the Clippers. The Capers close at home versus Greely Friday and barring an upset win, will probably play a road prelim Tuesday.

Girls’ basketball

On the girls’ side, Scarborough has locked up the No. 2 seed for the upcoming Western A tournament, while South Portland hasn’t secured a bid yet.

The Red Storm improved to 16-1 with home victories over Bonny Eagle (61-31) and Thornton Academy (52-41). Against the Scots, juniors Courtney Alofs, Taylor LeBorgne and Maria Philbrick all had 10 points. Senior Carly Rogers had a team-high 12 points versus the Golden Trojans. Scarborough closes the regular season at Kennebunk Friday.

The Red Riots snapped a five-game losing streak Friday with a 40-26 win at Noble. Junior Danica Gleason and sophomore Brianne Maloney both had 14 points. Tuesday, South Portland fell to 7-10 with a 49-35 home loss to Deering, despite 15 points from Gleason. The Red Riots cling to the 10th spot in Western A entering Friday’s home finale versus undefeated, defending state champion McAuley. Eleven teams make the playoffs, but South Portland could get bumped if it doesn’t win its finale. The Red Riots hope to take part in a preliminary round game Wednesday of next week.

The tournament begins Monday, Feb. 20 at the Portland Expo.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth dropped a 52-24 decision at York last Friday, but bounced back Tuesday with an impressive 52-33 home victory over Yarmouth, which snapped a six-game skid. Caroline Kelly led the way in that one with 11 points. The Capers took a 4-13 mark and the No. 15 spot in the Heals into Friday’s finale at Greely. With only 12 teams qualifying for the playoffs, Cape Elizabeth would need to spring an upset to make the cut.

In Western D, Greater Portland Christian School was 7-8 and seventh in the Heals (nine teams make the playoffs) entering Wednesday’s finale versus visiting Forest Hills. The Lions have lost three of four, with the lone win coming over visiting Hebron (36-20, behind 16 points from Elaine Beech and 11 from Suzanne Gonzalez).

Boys’ hockey

Scarborough’s boys’ hockey team continues to lead the charge locally. The Red Storm entered Thursday’s game at Brunswick (its first in 12 days) 10-2-1 and third behind defending state champion Thornton Academy and Falmouth in the Western A Heals. Scarborough is home against Biddeford Saturday.

South Portland is 3-10 and 13th after recent losses at Yarmouth (4-1) and at home to Kennebunk (7-3). James Gilboy had the goal against the Clippers, but it wasn’t enough.

“We had our chances,” said Red Riots coach Joe Robinson. “We came out flat in the first period. After that, we battled back. We didn’t take advantage of opportunities. It’s been super challenging this year. We lost our goalie and our top forward and another top forward broke his leg and we lost another kid. It’s tough. Coming into the season with 15 guys, we were OK and could compete. When we lost some key players it really hurt. You can’t win every year. I told the guys this is a chance to learn from adversity. We’ll keep plugging away.”

South Portland is home with Portland Saturday and goes to Kennebunk Wednesday.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth began the week 8-3-2, second to Greely in the standings. The Capers downed host Camden Hills (4-1) and Leavitt (6-2) last week. After hosting Marshwood Thursday, Cape Elizabeth has a big test at Yarmouth Saturday.

Skiing

Cape Elizabeth’s Alpine ski team met up with Freeport and Fryeburg Academy for a giant slalom meet Tuesday at Shawnee Peak. The boys were first as Sam Barber placed first individually (a two-run combined time of 54.01 seconds). The girls were third. Emma Landes came in fourth individually (1 minute, 1.53 seconds).

In a Nordic skate meet last Thursday at Starks Hills, Cape Elizabeth’s boys were seventh and the girls sixth. Dana Hatton placed 17th on the girls’ side with a time of 17:05.5. Julian Pelzer came in 30th in the boys’ meet (15:01.5).

Scarborough’s Alpine team competed with Cheverus, Gorham, Kennebunk, Marshwood and Windham in a slalom meet at Shawnee Peak last Friday. The girls finished third and Abby Mills was runner-up individually (1:40.55). The boys were fourth as Matt McAlary tied for ninth (1:51.83).

Wrestling

Scarborough’s wrestling team finished the regular season Saturday, losing to Sanford (60-16) and Noble (76-6), then registering its first victory, 39-36, over Portland.

The Red Storm will next take part in the Western A regional championships Saturday at Noble High School. The Class A state meet is Saturday, Feb. 18, at Windham.

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

Sidebar Elements


Cape Elizabeth freshman Eddie Galvin soars over a York defender during last weekend’s showdown, won by the Wildcats, 58-40.

Cape Elizabeth’s Isabel Johnston heads for a fifth-place finish in the junior 400 at last weekend’s regular season indoor track meet.

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