New winter season begins with triumph for city teams

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(Ed Note: For the full Deering-Scarborough boys’ and Cheverus-Portland and Waynflete-Falmouth girls’ basketball game stories, please visit theforecaster.net)

The 2010-11 winter sports season has begun and there has already been plenty of excitement in our midst.

Here’s a glimpse as we near the holiday hiatus.

Boys’ basketball

Defending Class A state champion Cheverus looked simply unstoppable in its first two outings, a 102-29 home romp over Noble and a 52-35 win at Westbrook (junior Louie DiStasio had 14 points, senior Peter Gwilym a dozen), but Friday night at home against Kennebunk, the Stags had to rally late to improve to 3-0 by virtue of a 31-25 win. Gwilym had seven clutch points to lead the way. Cheverus closes the 2010 portion of its schedule Thursday at Portland.

Deering, a team highly touted in the preseason, has struggled mightily to date. After blowing a 10-point halftime lead and falling, 44-41, at home to Bonny Eagle in the opener, the Rams got in the win column, barely, 60-58 at Sanford (27 points from junior Jon Amabile helped save the day). Friday night, Deering lost to Scarborough for the first time, 42-28, in its lowest offensive output in memory. The Rams had just nine first half points as they fell to 1-2 on the season. Amabile, senior Jackson Frey and sophomore Labson Abwoch all had seven points.

“It’s very frustrating,” Deering coach Dan LeGage said. “Right now, we have a lot of work to do. I think it’s finding what’s going to work for us and finding the right pieces. We’ll keep working at it. Starting 1-2 is not what we planned on doing.”

The Rams were home with Gorham Tuesday.

Portland has also been up-and-down. After battling highly touted Thornton Academy to the end in a 57-53 loss in the opener, the Bulldogs defeated Noble, 62-49, behind junior Peter Donato’s 16 points. Friday, however, Portland lost handily at Marshwood, 60-36. Sophomore Nick Volger had eight points in defeat. The Bulldogs host Cheverus Thursday.

In Western C, Waynflete won its first two, 41-40, over visiting North Yarmouth Academy and 57-49 over visiting Fryeburg (senior Alex Hadiaris scored 20 points and classmate Joe Veroneau added 14), then lost, 42-23, at Falmouth (Hadiaris led the way with seven points) and 42-31 at home to Old Orchard Beach (despite eight points from Veroneau). The Flyers are home with Sacopee Tuesday.

Girls’ basketball

On the girls’ side, preseason favorite McAuley had no trouble winning its first three games. The Lions romped, 61-35, at Marshwood, dominated host Thornton Academy, 46-21 (senior Rebecca Knight had 12 points, junior Alex Coulombe 11 and freshman Allie Clement added 10), and rolled over Windham in their home opener, 60-36 (Knight had 18 points, Clement and sophomore Hannah Cooke 12 each).

Cheverus has lived up to preseason billing by winning its first four games. After downing host Noble (57-34) in the opener, the Stags rolled, 67-35, over visiting Westbrook (junior Morgan Cahill had 27 points) and 71-15 over host Kennebunk (as junior Alexandra Palazzi-Leahy scored 13 and sophomore Victoria Nappi added 11). Saturday, Cheverus led from start to finish at Portland, pulling away for a 59-21 victory behind 16 points from Palazzi-Leahy and 10 from Cahill.

“We played well,” said Stags coach Richie Ashley. “We’re learning.”

Tuesday night (see theforecaster.net for the detailed game story), Cheverus hosted McAuley in a pivotal showdown, the teams’ last game of 2010. The Stags entered the contest having never beaten the Lions.

“It’s a big game,” Ashley said. “The girls have earned the opportunity to play in a big game. McAuley’s a very good team. They have two great players and a good supporting cast. They’re well coached. We need to take care of us and be ready to play. It’s only December. As long as we play well, that’s all we can ask. I’m happy for the girls to have an atmosphere like that.”

Deering is another preseason favorite. The Rams (56-34 winners at Bonny Eagle in the opener), held off visiting Sanford (47-30), then earned some revenge for last year’s playoff ouster with a 68-33 home romp over Scarborough Friday. Against Sanford, senior standout Kayla Burchill scored 24 points and added 16 rebounds. Sophomore Marissa MacMillan added 10 points. Deering was at Gorham Tuesday and hosts South Portland in its 2010 finale Thursday.

Portland was a 55-41 loser at Thornton Academy in its opener, but bounced back to edge Noble, 53-49. Senior Nicolette Kapothanasis led the way with 14 points. The Bulldogs fell to 1-3 last weekend with home losses to Marshwood (59-39) and Cheverus (59-21). Junior Nyaliep Deng had nine points against the Stags in Portland’s 2010 finale.

In Western C, Waynflete has impressed even after losing standout Morgan Woodhouse to graduation. The Flyers won, 65-49, at NYA in the opener, then rolled, 53-30, at Fryeburg, behind 20 points from sophomore Martha Veroneau and 16 from senior Sam Oakland. Thursday, Waynflete hosted Western B contender Falmouth and almost sprung a big upset. The Flyers led 41-35 with just over a minute to play, but three straight turnovers led to two Yachtsmen layups and a 3-pointer. Waynflete had a last-second look by senior Lydia Stegemann hit the rim and the Flyers lost, 42-41.

“It’s really tough,” Waynflete coach Brandon Salway lamented, about a potential Heal Points-rich victory slipping away. “We had a six-point lead with the ball and didn’t even get to shoot foul shots.  In hindsight, there were a couple timeouts I could have called there. We pulled (the ball out to stall) and I didn’t think it was too early. Next time we’re in this situation, hopefully we pull it out. It was a great second half which makes it even more disappointing.”

Stegemann led all scorers with 15 points, Veroneau added 12 and sophomore Rhiannan Jackson had 10 second half points off the bench.

“We created a lot of chances in the second half,” Salway said. “We made shots and put pressure on. I told them I was proud of our second half, but we have to learn to close games out. I don’t want to say we gave it away, but everything was in our favor.”

Saturday, Waynflete bounced back with a 60-37 win at Old Orchard Beach to improve to 3-1. Stegemann had 24 points, Jackson and senior Liz Lewis 10 apiece. The Flyers went to Sacopee Tuesday to wrap up the pre-holiday portion of their slate.

Boys’ hockey

On the ice, the Cheverus boys are off to a hot start. The Stags, who missed the playoffs a year ago, opened with home wins over Gorham (6-4) and Cape Elizabeth (6-5, in overtime). Against the Rams, sophomore Liam Fitzpatrick scored three times and junior Harry Ridge added a pair. Against the Capers, Sophomore Cameron McLain scored his second goal of the game as time expired in regulation on a penalty shot. Ridge struck in OT as Cheverus capped a comeback from three goals down. The Stags are home against Kennebunk Thursday.

Portland beat Deering in the teams’ mutual opener, 4-2. The Bulldogs then lost, 9-1, at Thornton Academy (senior Eddie Apon had the lone goal), but bounced back Saturday to down visiting Kennebunk, 5-1. Apon had a hat trick to the lead the way. Portland hosts Gorham Thursday in its 2010 finale.

Deering, last year’s surprise team, is still seeking its initial victory. The Rams lost to Portland in the opener, then fell at Marshwood (6-1) and Kennebunk (5-1). Sophomore Denny Patenaude scored against the Rams. Deering is home against Bonny Eagle Thursday.

Girls’ hockey

On the girls’ side, Portland is off to a promising start. The Bulldogs extended their win streak to three games Wednesday by beating visiting Gorham, 5-3 (sophomore Drew Barry had three goals and junior Raechel Allen added a goal and a pair of assists). Saturday, Portland dropped to 3-2-1 on the season after losing, 7-1, to Scarborough. Allen had the lone goal. The Bulldogs go to Cheverus Wednesday in their 2010 finale.

Speaking of the defending state champion Stags, they’re 5-1 and have triumped in two straight after seeing their 24-game win streak come to a close. Last Wednesday, Cheverus was a 5-1 winner at Biddeford behind a hat trick from freshman Katie Roy. Saturday, the Stags held off Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete, 4-2, as Roy and freshman Julia Lambert both scored twice. Cheverus is home with Portland Wednesday.

Waynflete’s co-op effort with Cape Elizabeth has resulted in a 2-5 record to date. Saturday’s loss at Cheverus snapped a two-game win streak. Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete defeated Lewiston (6-4) and Gorham (4-2). Against the Stags, Waynflete sophomore Phoebe Suva had a goal.

Track

Cheverus and McAuley took part in the Bowdoin Relays Saturday. The Stags had six points and were 13th out of 14 teams. The Lions had five points and placed 12th.

The regular season opens the first Saturday in January at the Portland Expo.

Swimming

Cheverus’ swim team is off to a hot start. The Stags boys beat both Deering (57-37) and South Portland (57-51) Friday, while the girls downed the Red Riots, 92-67. Cheverus was at Westbrook Tuesday.

Deering’s boys also swam against South Portland Friday and lost, 51-43. Results for the girls’ meet with McAuley weren’t available.

The Lions lost their first meet, 116-62, at Scarborough.

Portland’s boys lost to Massabesic, 102-66, and the girls also fell to the Mustangs, 85-76. Thursday, the Bulldogs boys had 180 points to down Falmouth (142), NYA (26) and Waynflete (18). The girls had 118 points and were third behind Waynflete (165) and Falmouth (158). NYA came in fourth with 28 points.

The first-year Flyers beat both Windham (52-42) and NYA (64-24) to start the season.

Wrestling

Portland earned a landmark wrestling win Saturday. The Bulldogs downed city rival Deering for the first time in a long time, 51-30. They also defeated Scarborough, 46-30.

The Rams also lost their first meet, 54-24, to visiting Sanford.

Results for Cheverus’ meets with Portland, Noble and Biddeford weren’t available.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net

Sidebar Elements


Deering senior Jackson Frey takes the ball to the rim on a fast break as Scarborough senior Kevin Philbrick tries to impede his path. The Rams fell to 1-2 Friday with a 42-28 loss at the Red Storm.

Waynflete senior Joe Veroneau battles Falmouth junior Jack Cooleen for possession during the Yachtsmen’s 42-23 victory Thursday.

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