Local winter sports teams out to fast start-Northern edition

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Greely’s Andrew Storey drives on Falmouth’s Doug Cooke during the Rangers’ 46-29 victory Friday night. Storey had 14 points, including three slam dunks.

Yarmouth’s Hope Olson leans in for two of her 17 points during the Clippers’ 46-38 win at Waynflete Saturday.

As 2018 is about to give way to 2019, the early returns from the winter sports season are very promising for local squads.

Here’s an overview:

Boys’ basketball

Greely’s two-time defending Class A state champion boys’ basketball team has played its share of interesting games in the early going. The Rangers started with a 74-62 home win over Cape Elizabeth, giving coach Travis Seaver his 100th victory with the program. After handling host Wells, the defending Class B South champion, 61-47, Greely lost, 62-55, at South Portland to bring an end to its three-year, 46-game win streak. Friday, the Rangers handled visiting rival Falmouth from start to finish in a 46-29 triumph. In the opener, Logan Bagshaw scored 26 points and Andrew Storey added 25. In the win over the Warriors, Bagshaw finished with 27 points and Storey had 18. Storey had 21 points in the loss. Against the Yachtsmen, Greely pitched a second quarter shutout, got three dunks and 14 points from Storey and 16 points from Bagshaw.

“We have to keep pushing hard in practice and have composure,” Storey said. “I think we still have a ways to go, but I think (winning states again) is doable.”

“This is a totally different team than we’ve been in the past, but the kids have responded well,” said Seaver. “We do a good job focusing on who we play and following the game plan. It comes down to preparation and focus.”

Greely is back in action Friday at Brunswick. 

Falmouth won its first four games, 58-40 at Marshwood, 60-56 at Scarborough, 64-36 over visiting Brunswick and 59-16 at home over Biddeford, then fell to 4-1 with a 46-29 setback at Greely. Against the Hawks, Nik Hester and Michael Simonds each had 18 points. In the win over the Red Storm, Hester scored 19 points and Nicco Pitre added 16. Against the Dragons, Hester scored 21 points and had 11 rebounds and Simonds added 14 points. Simonds had 13 points and Pitre 12 in the win over the Tigers. Against the Rangers, Pitre scored eight points, but Falmouth never led and never got to the free throw line.

“You can’t win a game and not get to the foul line,” said Falmouth coach Dave Halligan. “We just weren’t being aggressive and they were playing great defense. You have to attack the pressure. We didn’t. We deferred to the pressure.”

The Yachtsmen play twice at the Portland Exposition Building next week, as they meet Cape Elizabeth Thursday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and York Saturday. Next Wednesday, Falmouth hosts Kennebunk in a critical showdown.

In Class B South, Freeport has built on its strong season a year ago, starting this winter 4-1. The Falcons opened with victories at Sacopee Valley (65-27) and Yarmouth (45-41). After a one-point (57-56) home loss to Gray-New Gloucester, Freeport defeated visiting Traip Academy (62-51) and host Morse (82-51). In the opener, Charlie Gnoal, Gabe Wagner and Shea Wagner all scored 12 points. Against the Clippers, the Falcons closed on an 11-0 run to beat Yarmouth for the first time in a decade behind 18 points from Toby Holt.

“It feels great to win,” Holt said. “We (seniors know) this was probably going to be our best year, so we want to make it one to remember.”

“It was an ugly game, but it was pretty at the end,” Freeport coach Bill Ridge said. It’s a different attitude for the kids on the team right now. Even when things aren’t going well, guys are up, guys are talking about how they can make changes out there.”

Holt had 18 points and Gabe Wagner 11 in the loss. Gabe Wagner had 22 points in the win over the Rangers. Against the Shipbuilders, Holt scored 19 points and Elias Thomas added 13.

The Falcons are back in action Saturday at home against Lincoln Academy.

Yarmouth started with losses to visiting York (68-39) and Freeport (45-41) and at Fryeburg Academy (49-41). The Clippers got in the win column and improved to 1-3 Saturday after holding off visiting, previously undefeated Waynflete, 50-47. Will Cox had a team-high 11 points in the opener. Against the Falcons, Jonny Torres led the way with 21 points, but Yarmouth failed to hold a late seven-point lead.

“We didn’t put 32 minutes together,” Clippers first-year coach Jonas Allen lamented. “We had spurts where we played as a team and with intensity, but it wasn’t 32 minutes and unfortunately, the worst of it was the last few minutes.”

Torres had 15 points against the Raiders. In the victory, Ashanti Haywood led the way with 17 points, Aidan Hickey added 15 and Jake Rogers collected 13 rebounds.

Yarmouth travels to Gray-New Gloucester Friday (see theforecaster.net for game story).

In Class C South, North Yarmouth Academy split its first four games. The Panthers opened with a 60-49 loss at Old Orchard Beach. After downing visiting Seacoast Christian (53-24) and host Buckfield (58-47), NYA fell Saturday at Traip Academy, 54-50. In the opener, Te’Andre King had 29 points and Chris Hamblett added 15. Against Seacoast Christian, King posted a triple-double of 25 points, 15 rebounds and 10 steals and Hamblett added 16 points. King continued his assault on the score sheet with 39 points in the win over the Bucks. Against the Rangers, King had 36 points and 12 rebounds.

The Panthers travel to Sacopee Valley Saturday.

Girls’ basketball

On the girls’ side, defending Class A champion Greely has been dominant in the early going, handling host Cape Elizabeth (64-27), visiting Wells (58-45) and South Portland (66-50) and host Poland (77-14) and Falmouth (75-41). Anna DeWolfe had 24 points, Camille Clement added 15 and Brooke Obar finished with 13 in the win over the Capers. Against the Warriors, DeWolfe led the way with 32 points. In the win over the Red Riots, DeWolfe had 29 points, while Clement and Obar each added 15 and Katie Fitzpatrick tallied six points and eight rebounds.

“My personal goal is to out-rebound everyone,” said Fitzpatrick. “I also like to discipline myself on defense and create steals.”

“This sets our standards high,” DeWolfe said. “Playing South Portland was a good test to see what we can do.”

“I think our defense really showed up,” Greely coach Todd Flaherty added. “We saw signs of that in the preseason, but we hadn’t sustained it for a long time, but I think we did a nice job, especially in the halfcourt.”

In the win over the Knights, DeWolfe had 26 points, Clement 17 and Obar 16. Against the Yachtsmen, DeWolfe was again the leading scorer with 23 points, while Clement had 18 points and Obar 17.

The Rangers meet Brunswick in a regional final rematch Friday at the Portland Exposition Building (see theforecaster.net for game story).

On the other end of the Class A South spectrum, Falmouth started 0-5, losing to visiting Marshwood (59-42), visiting Scarborough (49-25), at Brunswick in a playoff rematch (50-35), at Biddeford (43-39) and at home to Greely (75-41). In the loss to the Hawks, Chelsea Gravier had 25 points. Against the Red Storm, Karley Piers led the way with six points. In the loss to the Dragons, Gravier had a team-high 17 ponts. Gravier led the way with 12 points against the Tigers. Piers had a team-high 10 points against the Rangers.

The Yachtsmen hope to get in the win column Saturday at York.

In Class B South, Yarmouth has won four of its first five games under new coach David Cousins. The Clippers started by downing host York (41-33). After a 39-30 loss at home to Freeport, Yarmouth beat visiting NYA (41-35), visiting Fryeburg Academy (42-33) and host Waynflete (46-38). Margaret McNeil had 14 points and Hope Olson added 11 in the opener. In the loss, Calin McGonagle had nine points.

“Give a lot of credit to Freeport, they play hard,” first-year Yarmouth coach David Cousins said. “We came out flat and we stayed flat until the fourth quarter when I thought we played a little harder and it showed.”

In the win over the Panthers, McNeil had 10 points. Against the Raiders, McNeil had 10 points and McGonagle added nine. In the win over the Flyers, Olson led the way with 17 points and McNeil contributed 14.

“I think we’ve worked really hard and we’ve come together as a team,” Olson said. “Our team chemistry is really great this year.”

“I couldn’t be happier stepping in as a new coach,” Cousins said. “The girls have worked their tails off and deserve to be 4-1.” 

The Clippers are at Gray-New Gloucester Friday.

Freeport, a regional finalist last year, also started 4-1. The Falcons opened with wins over visiting Sacopee Valley (45-24) and host Yarmouth (39-30). After a 51-22 setback at Gray-New Gloucester, Freeport won at Traip Academy (52-32) and at home over Morse (66-32). In the opener, Caroline Smith had 21 points and Rachel Wall added 10. In the win over the Clippers, Smith had 18 points and Catriona Gould added seven, to go with seven rebounds and seven steals.

“I think our defensive intensity in the second half, getting stops and rebounding, was the difference,” said Smith. “We had to stay focused and keep our heads in the game.”

“Losing to (Yarmouth) in the soccer playoffs made us want to win tonight more,” said Gould. “We brought the intensity.”

“Every single day, these kids come to work hard,” added first-year Freeport coach Seth Farrington. “This has been a great place to coach.”

In the loss, Smith scored 14 points. In the win over the Rangers, Wall had 16 points and Smith added 13. Against the Shipbuilders, Wall led the way with 21 points and Smith added 11.

The Falcons will play at Lincoln Academy Saturday.

In Class C South, NYA opened by downing visiting Old Orchard Beach (68-34) and defending Class B South champion Lake Region (51-17). After losing at Yarmouth (41-35) and at home to Gray-New Gloucester (51-45), the Panthers beat host Traip Academy Saturday, 44-24, to improve to 3-2. Catherine Reid had 21 points, Maggie Larson 16 and Katie Larson 13 in the opener. In the win over the Lakers, Katie Larson and Reid scored 13 points, while Serena Mower had 12 and Maggie Larson added 10.

It’s been a lot of fun so far,” Katie Larson said. “We’re doing really well. I had no doubts it would go well, but it’s even better than my expectations.” 

“We’re still adjusting, but it seems like we’ve played together more than just a couple weeks,” Reid said.

“I love the way they move the ball and play for each other,” said NYA first-year coach Tom Robinson. “It’s a good combination of shooters and bigs who were here with the new players. They’re up for the challenge.”

Against the Clippers, Lucia Reidy had 11 points. In the loss to the Patriots, Reid had 16 points and Mower added 13. Against the Rangers, Reid had a game-high 23 points and Mower added 12. 

NYA goes to Sacopee Valley Saturday.

Boys’ hockey

Greely’s defending Class B South champion boys’ hockey team opened with victories at York (8-4) and Kennebunk (8-1) to give longtime coach Barry Mothes 300 wins with the program. After downing host Yarmouth, 6-1, the Rangers improved to 4-0 Saturday after a 5-1 home victory over Cape Elizabeth in a regional final rematch. Greely battles Falmouth in the Dudley Cup New Year’s Day.

Yarmouth started with victories at home over Maranacook (6-2) and at Brunswick (2-1), then lost at York (6-3) and at home to Greely (6-1). Saturday, at Camden Hills, the Clippers lost, 3-1, to fall to 3-2. Yarmouth is idle until Jan. 3 when they play at Cape Elizabeth. 

In Class A South, Falmouth opened with a 6-2 home loss to Edward Little, then enjoyed a 3-2 overtime home win over Scarborough. The Yachtsmen visit South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete Saturday, then meets Greely in the Dudley Cup New Year’s Day.

Girls’ hockey

On the girls’ side, Yarmouth/Freeport has turned heads in the first half of the season, winning six in a row after an Opening Night loss to sit 6-1 at press time. Last week, Yarmouth/Freeport handled visiting Mt. Ararat/Morse (7-1) and host Winslow/Gardiner (4-3). Yarmouth/Freeport welcomes York Thursday and goes to Lewiston Saturday.

Defending state champion Greely/Gray-New Gloucester was 2-6 at press time after snapping a five-game skid with a 7-1 home win over Mt. Ararat/Morse in its most recent outing. Greely/GrayNG hosts St. Dom’s Saturday and goes to Falmouth for the Dudley Cup New Year’s Day.

Falmouth tied visiting Edward Little/Leavitt, 1-1, Saturday and was 3-3-1 at press time. The Yachtsmen go to Winslow/Gardiner Wednesday, play at Biddeford/Thornton Academy Saturday and host Greely in the Dudley Cup New Year’s Day.

Indoor track

Falmouth took part in a nine-team Southwestern Maine Activities Association league meet to open the indoor track season. The Yachtsmen boys were second behind Deering while the girls’ squad placed fifth.

Team scores from the first Western Maine Conference meet weren’t available at press time.

Swimming

Falmouth and Yarmouth opened the swim season against each other. In the boys’ meet, the Clippers prevailed, 100-62. The Yachtsmen girls were victorious, 94-73. 

Greely swept Massabesic in its first meet, with the boys prevailing, 62-22, and the girls winning, 73-21.

In week two, Falmouth swept Thornton Academy, with the boys winning, 119-12, and the girls prevailing, 106-61.

Greely’s girls beat South Portland, 64-29, while the boys lost, 54-40.

Yarmouth was swept by Cheverus, as the boys lost, 106-51, and the girls fell, 115-54.

Friday, Greely’s boys downed Gorham, 111-49, while the Rangers girls prevailed, 123-56.

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.