Midway point passed, much still to be determined-Portland edition

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Portland senior Griffin Foley lines up a one-handed shot during the Bulldogs’ 62-53 home win over South Portland last week.

Portland sophomore Gemima Motema blocks a South Portland shot during last week’s 47-38 home loss.

(Ed. Note: For the complete Portland-South Portland boys’ basketball, Portland-South Portland girls’ basketball and Portland/Deering-Winslow/Gardiner girls’ hockey game stories, with photos, see theforecaster.net)

The 2017-18 winter sports season has passed the midway point and while local squads have a lot to be proud of, there is also still a lot of work to do as each game, meet and event takes on added importance.

Here’s a glimpse:

Boys’ basketball

Portland’s two-time defending Class AA state champion boys’ basketball team was 9-0 and ranked first in the Class AA North Heal Points standings at press time after downing host Sanford (82-54) and visiting South Portland (62-53) last week. Against the Spartans, Manny Yugu led the way with 19 points, while Trey Bellew, Griffin Foley and Terion Moss all added 17. In the win over the Red Riots, in a rematch of the past two state finals, the Bulldogs trailed by a point in the fourth quarter, then closed strong to extend their two-year win streak to 13 behind 22 points from Moss, eight points, seven rebounds and two steals from Yugu and eight points and 11 rebounds from Pedro Fonseca.

“Our first half, we came out strong,” Moss said. “We had a lot of energy. We slowed down in the second half. We knew we had to pick up our intensity and energy like we did in the first half. We got on the same page.”

“We kept it together and talked on defense,” Fonseca said. “You win games by playing defense. We’ve had our ups-and-downs, but we put it together at crunch time.”

“We played an outstanding first half in all facets of the game,” added Bulldogs coach Joe Russo. “That’s as good as we can play. We pressed, rebounded, manhandled them and played like a championship team. The second half, we came out and we were flat as a pancake and SP made a nice comeback. We were resilient, thankfully.”

Portland was at Lewiston Monday, visits Cheverus Friday and plays a makeup game at Scarborough Saturday (see theforecaster.net for game story).

Deering fell to 5-5 and sixth in Class AA North after close losses to visiting Scarborough (58-53, in overtime) and at Cheverus (53-52). The Rams lost at home to the Red Storm for the first time despite 20 points from Ricky Despacho. Against the Stags, Ben Onek led the way with 24 points. Deering looked to snap its four-game skid Monday at home versus Edward Little (see theforecaster.net for game story). The Rams are home versus South Portland Friday and go to Massabesic Tuesday of next week.

Cheverus started the week 4-6 and seventh in Class AA North following a 65-53 loss at Gorham and a 53-52 home win over Deering. Owen Burke had 14 points in the setback. In the victory, Matt Duchaine scored 21 points, including the winning free throw in the final seconds. Burke also scored 21 for the Stags. Cheverus was at Sanford Monday, hosts Portland Friday and welcomes Oxford Hills Tuesday of next week.

In Class C South, Waynflete improved to 6-3 and seventh in the region after wins last week at Sacopee Valley (79-35) and Old Orchard Beach (54-36). Askar Houssein had 13 points and Dominick Campbell and Alex Saade added 10 apiece against the Hawks. In the win over the Seagulls, Christian Brooks led the way with 15 points, while Houssein had 12 and Finn Scott added 10. The Flyers hosted Gray-New Gloucester in a makeup game Monday, go to Poland Wednesday, welcome Traip Academy Friday and visit Freeport Tuesday of next week.

Girls’ basketball

On the girls’ side, Maine Girls’ Academy continues to turn heads, improving to 8-0 and second to South Portland in the Class AA South Heals after wins last week at Massabesic (39-37) and two-time defending state champion Gorham (50-41). Jill Joyce had a team-high 12 points against the Mustangs. In the win over the Rams, Serena Mower led the way with 13 points, while Catherine Reid added 12. The Lions went to Kennebunk Monday, host South Portland in a compelling showdown Wednesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), travel to Portland Friday and host Thornton Academy Tuesday of next week.

In Class AA North, Cheverus ascended to the top of the Heals at press time after downing visiting Gorham (52-50) and host Deering (32-20) to improve to 6-4. Against Gorham, a 10-0 run to the end the first quarter spelled an 18-9 lead (Abby Cavallaro and Meg Kelly each had eight points in the frame). The Stags extended their advantage to 33-21 at the half, but Gorham, behind post standout, Mackenzie Holmes, roared back within two late, but Cheverus held on to win behind 15 points from Kelly and 14 apiece from Cavallaro and Emme Poulin. In the win over Deering, Lauren Jordan led the way with 14 points. The Stags hosted Sanford Monday, go to Massabesic Saturday and visit defending regional champion Oxford Hills Tuesday of next week.

Portland won, 48-36, at Sanford and lost, 47-38, at home to South Portland last week. In the victory, Gemima Motema had 15 points and Shayla Eubanks added 12. Against the Red Riots, the Bulldogs fell behind early, 24-7, but rallied within a point before ultimately falling short. Amanda Kabantu had a team-high 10 points.

“This was a state game for us,” Portland coach Gerry Corcoran said. “It was an awesome game. Everything I expected. We’re still getting over the hurdles of the past and you could see that right away. The second half is who we are and what we do.”

The Bulldogs (6-3 and second in Class AA North), whose game at Noble Saturday was postponed due to bad weather, were home with Lewiston Monday and host MGA Friday.

Deering fell to 4-5 and fifth in the region after losses at Scarborough (53-37) and at home to Cheverus (32-20). Delaney Haines had 24 points against the Red Storm. In the loss to the Stags, Victoria Garand led the way with eight points. The Rams were at Edward Little Monday, play at South Portland Friday and return home Tuesday of next week to meet Massabesic.

In Class C South, Waynflete was 4-4 and 11th after a 55-28 home win over Sacopee Valley and a 30-25 home loss to Old Orchard Beach. In the victory, Lydia Giguere had 17 points and Anna Wildes added 11. Against the Seagulls, Giguere had 19 points. The Flyers hosted Poland Monday, welcome St. Dom’s Wednesday, go to Traip Academy Friday and return home Tuesday of next week to take on Freeport.


Cheverus’ boys’ hockey team lost at home to two-time defending Class A champion Lewiston (5-1) last Thursday, then improved to 4-2-1 and second behind Biddeford in the Class A South Heals Saturday with a 7-3 victory over Portland/Deering. Michael Hatch had the goal against the Blue Devils. In the win, Cam Dube and Justin Ray both scored twice. The Stags hosted Scarborough in a makeup game Monday and welcome Westbrook/Windham Saturday.

Portland/Deering settled for a 3-3 home tie versus Yarmouth last Thursday, then fell to 3-3-2 Saturday after a 7-3 loss to Cheverus. Walter Lewandowski had two goals and Cam King had the other against the Clippers. Portland/Deering (third in Class A South) was at Massabesic Monday, hosts Thornton Academy Thursday and welcomes Scarborough Saturday.

The South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport co-op team was 5-3 and sixth in Class A South at press time following a 6-2 win at Mt. Ararat/Morse/Lisbon last week, the squad’s fourth in a row. South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport was at Biddeford Monday, hosts Marshwood Thursday and welcomes Kennebunk Saturday.

On the girls’ side, Portland/Deering extended its win streak to eight and improved to 10-3 and second in the South Region Heals after victories over visiting Winslow/Gardiner (5-2) last Wednesday and host Gorham/Bonny Eagle/Massabesic (11-0) Saturday. Against Winslow/Gardiner, Emily Demers scored three times, including the go-ahead tally late in the second period.

“We picked it up in the third period and came out with a win,” said Demers. “We took it to them.”

“Our last couple games, the girls have figured out what to do to be successful and win,” said Portland/Deering’s first-year coach Tom Clifford. “We had three short-handed goals, which are always backbreakers for one team and a positive thing for the other. I think we’ve exceeded expectations, based on the history of the program. You have to learn how to win. It’s taken time, but we’ve figured it out.”

Portland/Deering hosted Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland Monday, visits two-time defending state champion St. Dom’s Wednesday and plays at Falmouth Monday.

Cheverus/Kennebunk was first in the South at 11-1 following an 11-1 home win over Edward Little/Leavitt and a dramatic 4-3 overtime victory at previously undefeated Lewiston. Emma McCauley had a hat trick in the victory and Abby Lamontagne and Caitlin Wolff both scored twice. Against the Blue Devils, Lamontagne had the tying goal late, then struck again to win it in OT. Cheverus/Kennebunk went to Winslow/Gardiner Monday.

Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/SP was 6-5 and third in the South after a 7-0 win at Mt. Ararat/Morse and a 6-2 home victory over York. Monday brought a game at Portland/Deering and a visit to York follows Saturday.

Indoor track

Deering’s boys defeated Biddeford, Kennebunk and Westbrook in a makeup conference indoor track meet last week. The Rams got wins from Antonio Ciccomancini in the junior 55 (6.99 seconds), junior 200 (24.67) and junior long jump (18 feet, 4.5 inches), Abu Abukar in the junior 400 (1 minute, 00.20 seconds), Luc Harrison in the senior 55 (6.98). senior 200 (23.8) and open pole vault (9-3), Nick James in the senior 400 (53.29), Alec Troxwell in the senior 800 (2:04.16), Chris Irakoze in the senior 55 hurdles (8.39) and senior triple jump (37-4.75), Chris Kombo in the senior high jump (5-2), Kabala Muka in the senior shot put (46-2.25), Jerry Mixangelo in the open 600 (1:25.57), Yahya Nure in the open mile (4:49.25) and their open 4×200 (1:44.08) and open 4×400 (3:54.92) relay teams.

In the girls’ meet, won by Biddeford, Deering was runner-up and MGA finished fifth. The Rams got first-place finishes from Mimi Banksmith in the junior 55 (7.91) and junior 200 (28.57), Hadley Poirier in the junior 800 (2:46.83), Darcy Lally in the junior 55 (10.28), Maddy Connor in the junior high jump (4-4), Annah Rossvall in the senior 400 (1:01.87), senior 55 hurdles (9.42) and senior long jump (15-10.5), Haley Foreman in the open 600 (1:45.56) and their junior 4×200 (2:02.90), open 4×400 (4:58.28) and open 4×800 (12:23.29) relays.

Cheverus’ boys and girls were fourth behind Noble, Thornton Academy and Falmouth.

The Stags girls got wins from Emma Gallant in the junior 200 (26.44) and junior long jump (15-3), Sophie Schuele in the junior triple jump (30-6) and Emma White in the senior high jump (4-10).

Cheverus’ boys’ winners included Jakub Jastrzebski in the junior 55 hurdles (9.32) and Giovanni Fornaro in the junior shot put (44-00.75).

Saturday’s league meets were postponed to Monday.

This coming Saturday, Deering joins Bonny Eagle, Falmouth and Massabesic, Cheverus competes against Gorham, Marshwood and Westbrook and Portland takes on Kennebunk, Scarborough and Thornton Academy.


Deering and Portland split a swim meet last week, as the Bulldogs boys prevailed, 95-67, and the Rams girls won, 106-61.

In the boys’ meet, Portland got wins from Reed Foehl in the 200 freestyle (2 minutes, 22.95 seconds) and 100 breaststroke (1:18.85), Josh Ying in the 100 free (59.49 seconds) and 200 individual medley (2:37.98), Will Couture in the 100 butterfly (1:03.89) and 100 backstroke (1:04.26) and its 200 medley (2:04.37), 200 freestyle (1:58.37) and 400 freestyle (4:27.59) relay teams. Deering’s Ben Archibald won the 400 (5:12.78). Mason Ripton was first in the 50 free (28.55).

In the girls’ meet, the Rams got first-place performances from Nicole Whipkey in the 100 free (1:07.68) and 200 free (2:29.19), Bethany Rozzi in the IM (2:55.65) and backstroke (1:18.69), Megan Willey in the fly (1:35.02), Claire Christopher in the 400 free (5:17.27), Bryn Silvia in the breaststroke (1:29.46) and their medley (2:23.32) and 400 free (5:23.26) relays. Portland’s 200 free relay team was first in 2:08.90). Fiona Silva took the 50 free in 30.00.

Cheverus swept Massabesic, as the boys prevailed, 125-41, and the girls won, 101-55.

The Stags boys got wins from Phineas Underwood in the 200 free (1:53.24), Ben Adams in the IM (2:12.58) and fly (1:00.77), Quintin Hastings in the 50 free (23.57) and 100 free (52.87), Brim Peabody in the 500 free (4:52.03), Jeremy Baker in the backstroke (1:07.62) and their medley (1:53.78), 200 free (1:34.35) and 400 free (3:39.37) relays.

Girls’ first-place finishers included Maggie Poulin in the 200 free (2:20.86) and 500 free (6:18.29), Caroline Arpin in the IM (2:27.77) and 100 free (1:03.78), Claire Hanley in the fly (1:17.78), Tholia Hallett in the backstroke (1:07.96) and the medley (2:09.57), 200 free (1:57.16) and 400 free (4:31.32) relays.

Waynflete swept Bonny Eagle, as the boys prevailed, 74-45, and the girls won, 89-61.

Cheverus was at Windham Monday, Deering hosts Sanford Friday, MGA and Waynflete join Cape Elizabeth at Scarborough Friday and Portland is at Gorham Friday.


The Falmouth/Waynflete boys’ Alpine ski team came in first in a six-team SMAA meet last week. Cheverus placed fifth.

In the girls’ meet, Falmouth/Waynflete was second to Marshwood and Cheverus came in third. Cheverus’ Annesley Black was first individually with a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 6.89 seconds.

Deering’s Peter Jordan won a Nordic classic meet last Wednesday at Libby Hill with a time of 18 minutes, 34 seconds. William Jordan was runner-up in 19:11. The Rams were third as a team. Portland was runner-up to Yarmouth. Liam Niles led the Bulldogs with a third-place finish (19:25). Cheverus placed sixth. Michael Luna was 14th individually (22:54).

In the girls’ meet, Deering was second to Yarmouth and Portland came in fourth. Sierra Aponte-Clarke led the Rams with a third-place showing (22:31). Elizabeth Thomas paced the Bulldogs by coming in seventh (23:35).


Cheverus and Portland/South Portland were scheduled to take part at the Kennebunk Duals Saturday, but that was meet was postponed by bad weather.

Portland/South Portland (5-2) hosts Deering and Wells Wednesday.

Cheverus was 4-5 at press time after a 51-16 win over Deering last week. The Stags hosted Portland and Massabesic Monday.

Deering fell to 1-4 after losses to Cheverus (51-16) and Wells (66-12).

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

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