Let the postseason fun begin-Southern edition

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South Portland’s Scott Lewis goes up for a shot in traffic during Tuesday’s 74-62 home loss to Portland.

Scarborough’s Julia Freeman goes up for two points during the Red Storm’s 42-35 win at Portland last Friday.

Cape Elizabeth’s Kristen Penley wins the senior high jump at last week’s regular season-ending league meet.

(Ed. Note: For the complete South Portland-Portland boys’ basketball and Scarborough-Portland, South Portland-Gorham and South Portland-Portland girls’ basketball game stories, with photos, see theforecaster.net) 

The regular season is winding down in basketball and hockey and the postseason is set to begin in the other sports.

There will be a lot of drama in store and plenty of hardware handed out in the weeks to come.

Here’s a glimpse at the week that was and a look ahead:

Boys’ basketball

The basketball regular season culminates Thursday and at press time, Scarborough and South Portland were battling for the top spot in the Class AA South Heal Points standings.

The Red Storm finished the regular season 14-4 (their best record since 2002-03) after a 55-50 loss at Windham last Thursday and a 52-41 home win over Thornton Academy Tuesday. In the setback, Nick Fiorillo had 15 points. Against the Golden Trojans, Fiorillo led the way with 18 points, Morgan Pratt had 16 and Brian Austin added 11. Scarborough was first in the standings as of Wednesday morning. The final Heals will be released Friday.

South Portland, meanwhile, handled visiting Gorham, 68-44, last Friday, then fell to 12-5 and second in AA South with a 74-62 home loss to two-time defending Class AA champion Portland Tuesday. In the victory, Connor Buckley led the way with 18 points, Noah Malone added 15 and Riley Hasson finished with 11. Against the Bulldogs, in a rematch of the past two state finals, the Red Riots played catch-up most of the way and despite 17 points from Malone, 16 from Scott Lewis, 14 from Buckley and 11 from Hasson, fell short.

“I feel like we really battled,” said South Portland coach Kevin Millington. “I like to think that’s as tough as (Portland can) play. I was happy with our effort, but we came up short.”

The Red Riots closed at Cheverus Thursday and will wait and see how the final standings shake out.

“It’s still close,” Millington said. “We’ll get some points from Cheverus if we beat them, then we’ll need some help. We’re as good as anyone in the South and we can compete with anyone in the North.”

In Class B South, Cape Elizabeth was first in the Heals at press time at 10-7 following a 52-47 home loss to Wells and a 62-58 victory at Gray-New Gloucester. Finn Bowe had 37 points against the Warriors. In the win, Bowe led the way with 29 points. The Capers hosted Poland in the finale Thursday and will likely be a top three seed in the region.

In Class D South, Greater Portland Christian School was 0-13 and 12th (eight teams make the playoffs) entering Wednesday’s finale at Temple Academy. The Lions fell at Buckfield (77-42), at Rangeley (83-46) and at home against Highview Christian (55-32) in recent games.

The postseason begins next week with preliminary round games, as well as quarterfinals for Class AA South and North. Those games will all be held on the home courts of the higher seeds.

Girls’ basketball

On the girls’ side, Scarborough and South Portland are playoff-bound, while Cape Elizabeth still had work to do at press time.

The Red Riots improved to 16-1 after statement-making victories at two-time defending Class AA champion Gorham (54-44) and at home over Portland (71-35). In the win over the Rams, in which South Portland somewhat avenged consecutive regional final losses, Meghan Graff and Maggie Whitmore both had 13 points, while Katie Whitmore added nine.

“This means a lot, it really does,” Katie Whitmore said. “We’ve had them on the ropes for two years, but we finally followed through.”

“It’s awesome,” Graff said. “What makes it even better is that we played great and came back from a tough loss (to Edward Little). This is just what we needed for a confidence-booster.”

“We knew we’d have to come out strong and send a message at the beginning,” added Red Riots coach Lynne Hasson. “We played very good defense and our running game got going and we took pretty good care of the ball.”

South Portland was even more dominant against the Bulldogs on Senior Night, racing to a 19-7 lead after one quarter and 38-14 at halftime and never looking back behind 15 points from Katie Whitmore, 13 from Graff and a dozen from Maggie Whitmore.

“I got in foul trouble in the first half, but other people stepped up, which was nice to see,” Graff said. “In the second half, I wanted to make the most out of our Senior Night game.” 

“Last time we played them, we let up and this time, we couldn’t afford to do that,” said senior Eva Mazur, who made three 3-pointers for nine points. “It was easy to (not let up) in this atmosphere. Everyone was really loud and the bench was into it.”

“Senior Night is a really big deal,” said senior Sarah Boles, who had six points. “We knew we’d have a lot of emotions, but we had to keep them in check and that’s what we did.”

“We wanted to come out and play our best basketball and send a message,” Hasson added. “The three seniors led the way. They were awesome.” 

South Portland (16-1) has the top seed in Class AA South locked up. The Red Riots closed the regular season at Cheverus Thursday.

Scarborough extended its win streak to 12 games (the program’s longest since the 2009-10 title team went 22-0) and improved to 14-3 and second in the region after downing host Portland (42-35) and Thornton Academy (57-38). In the victory over the Bulldogs, Julia Freeman had 18 points and 12 rebounds and Sophie Glidden added 16 points and 10 boards as the Red Storm let a 14-point lead slip away before making key plays late.

“We hadn’t played a team like that all season,” said Glidden. “Once we got used to seeing how they played, we handled it well.”

“It was really tough against a scrappy team,” Freeman said. “We finally started to click and we locked down on defense and we did better.” 

“We knew Portland would come back and we struggled scoring,” Scarborough coach Mike Giordano added. “We got the momentum back and finished it on the defensive end.” 

In the win over the Golden Trojans, Glidden led the way with 16 points while Bella Dickinson added 12. The Red Storm closed the regular season Thursday at home versus Maine Girls’ Academy. A win will likely lock Scarborough in as the second seed in the region.

Cape Elizabeth was 6-11 and 11th in Class B South at press time, but only nine teams from that region qualify for the playoffs. Saturday, the Capers lost at Wells, 43-32, and Tuesday, they fell at home to defending Class B champion Gray-New Gloucester, 71-44. Erin O’Rourke had 16 points against the Patriots. Cape Elizabeth closed at Poland Thursday and needed a victory to qualify.

The postseason begins next week with preliminary round games, as well as quarterfinals for Class AA South and North. Those games will all be held on the home courts of the higher seeds.

Boys’ hockey

Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ hockey team enjoyed a 9-1 win at South Portland, then rallied for a 3-3 tie at Yarmouth last week. In the victory, Alex Glidden had a hat trick. In the tie, Glidden, Sean Agrodnia and Gavin Simpolous all scored. The Capers (11-2-2 and second to Greely in the Class B South Heals) hosts Kennebunk Saturday.

The South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport co-op squad was 8-7 and sixth in Class A South after a 9-1 home loss to Cape Elizabeth and a 3-0 setback at Thornton Academy. The team is back in action Saturday at home versus Windham/Westbrook.

Scarborough was 3-11 and seventh in Class A South (where six teams make the playoffs) following a 4-0 home loss to Biddeford and a 5-2 home victory over Marshwood, which snapped a nine-game skid. Zach Chaisson and Dawson Gendreau both scored twice in the win. The Red Storm visit Thornton Academy Saturday and go to Greely Tuesday.

Girls’ hockey

Scarborough’s girls’ hockey team finished the regular season on a 5-2-1 surge to wind up 8-9-1 and fourth in the South Region. The Red Storm closed with a 6-2 home win over York and an 8-0 home loss to top-ranked Cheverus/Kennebunk. Scarborough then began the playoffs Tuesday with a 2-0 home victory over No. 5 Biddeford in the quarterfinals behind goals from Lucy Bogdanovich and Carrie Timpson. The Red Storm visit Cheverus (17-1) in the semifinals Saturday night.

The Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland co-op team wound up third in the South Region despite going 1-1-1 in the final week, beating host Biddeford (3-1), falling at home to Falmouth (6-5) and tying host Yarmouth/Freeport (4-4), to wind up 9-8-1. Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/SP was supposed to host No. 6 Falmouth (6-11-1) in the quarterfinals Wednesday, but bad weather moved that game to Thursday. If victorious, Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/SP will play at No. 2 Portland/Deering (13-5) in the semifinals Saturday.

Looking ahead, the regional final will be held Wednesday, Feb. 14 in Lewiston.

The state final is Saturday, Feb. 17 in Lewiston.

Indoor track

Cape Elizabeth’s indoor track team wrapped up its regular season last weekend in an eight-team meet. The Capers boys placed second to Freeport, while the girls finished third.

Boys’ event winners included Max Patterson in the junior high jump (5 feet, 2 inches), Matt Concannon in the senior 55 (6.89 seconds), senior 200 (23.84) and open triple jump (37-11), Luc Houle in the senior shot put (43-9.5) and Ricky Perruzzi in the open two-mile (11 minutes, 18.69 seconds).

First-place girls included Jaya McClure in the junior 400 (1:04.79), Darcy Cochran in the senior 55 hurdles (8.7), Kristen Penley in the senior high jump (4-8) and open long jump (15-2.5) and the open 4×200 (1:53.96) and open 4×800 (12:33.69) relay teams.

The regular season is over for Scarborough and South Portland. The Red Riots and Red Storm will take part in the SMAA championship meet Saturday in Gorham.

The Class B state meet will be contested Saturday, Feb. 17 at Bates College in Lewiston.

The Class A state meet is Monday, Feb. 19, in Gorham. 

Swimming

The swimming regular season came to an end last week.

Cape Elizabeth swept St. Dom’s, as the boys prevailed, 113-15, and the girls won as well, 135-2.

Scarborough split a meet versus Cheverus, as the girls won, 99-71, and the boys lost, 97-68.

South Portland was swept by Thornton Academy, as the boys lost, 84-70, and the girls fell by a 94-83 score.

The Southwestern meets will be held this weekend in Cape Elizabeth.

The Class A boys’ state meet is Saturday, Feb. 17 in Orono. The Class A girls’ state meet is Monday, Feb. 19 in Orono. That same day, the Class B girls’ state meet will be contested at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. The Class B boys’ state meet is Tuesday, Feb. 20 in Brunswick.

Skiing

Cape Elizabeth’s girls were eighth and the boys 10th at a Nordic classical race at Stark’s Hill last week. The girls were led by Helen Vaughan (37th, 27 minutes, 10.7 seconds) and the boys were paced by Peter DiNinno (19th, 16:04.8).

On the Alpine side, Cape Elizabeth’s boys won a six-team giant slalom meet last week. The Capers were led by Killian Lathrop, the individual champion, who had a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 1.73 seconds. The girls came in fourth and were paced by Adeline McGrath (seventh, 1:11.17).

Monday, in a slalom meet, the Cape Elizabeth boys were first again, as Lathrop won with a time of 1:37.11. The girls placed fourth and were paced by McGrath (fourth, 2:07.11).

The WMC Alpine and Nordic championships are being held this week.

The state meets begin Monday, Feb. 19.

Wrestling

The wrestling regular season has concluded.

Scarborough wound up 12-7 following a 36-35 win over Sanford, a 51-18 victory over Windham, a 63-9 win over Deering, a 49-30 victory over Bonny Eagle, a 52-21 win over Deering and a 60-18 victory over Westbrook/Gorham.

The Portland/South Portland co-op squad finished 11-8 after beating Cheverus (51-18), Bonny Eagle (46-30) and Kennebunk (42-33) and losing to Noble (42-34).

The regional meet is Saturday at Marshwood High School in South Berwick.

The state meet is Saturday, Feb. 17 in Sanford.

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.