New year dawns, winter sports fun just beginning-Portland edition

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Deering’s John Carpenter takes part in the 200 free relay during a recent meet against Gorham. Deering prevailed, 81-40.
Adam Birt / For The Forecaster

Cheverus’ Abby Cavallaro goes to the floor to gain possession during the Stags’ 61-39 home win over Sanford last week.

Waynflete’s Askar Houssein goes up for two points during the Flyers’ recent victory at rival North Yarmouth Academy.

(Ed. Note: For the complete Cheverus-Oxford Hills and Waynflete-NYA boys’ basketball and Cheverus-Sanford, Portland-Sanford and Waynflete-NYA girls’ basketball game stories, with photos, see theforecaster.net)

Out with the old, in with the new and the winter sports season rolls on.

Just about every local team has now seen action of some sort and early results are encouraging.

Here’s a glimpse:

Boys’ basketball

Defending Class AA boys’ basketball champion Portland entered the new year 4-1 after beating visiting Lewiston (73-31) and losing at Edward Little (76-70) to close 2016. Terion Moss had 25 points and Griffin Foley added 15 in the victory. Moss scored 18 points and Charlie Lyall had a double-double (16 points, 14 rebounds) in the setback which snapped the Bulldogs’ 16-game win streak. Portland was at Noble Tuesday, goes to Bangor Saturday and returns home Tuesday of next week to meet Scarborough.

Cheverus suffered its first loss, 71-51, at Edward Little, despite 16 points from Jack Casale, then improved to 4-1 with a 55-44 home victory over Oxford Hills, as Casale had 28 points and Jesse Matthews added 11 (with seven rebounds).

“We didn’t play well (at Edward Little),” said Casale. “We knew we had to come out ready to play. We knew (Oxford Hills would) be ready, so we had to be tough.”

“We want to defend our home gym,” said Matthews. “We’re undefeated here so far. We just wanted to send a message.”

“We started a little slow tonight, but we ratcheted it up on defense and got stops.” added Stags coach Ryan Soucie. “It starts with our defense. We had a lot of steals. That’s who we have to be. If we don’t get stops, we’ll have a hard time.”

Cheverus was at Massabesic Monday, goes to Bangor for a makeup game Wednesday and hosts Deering Friday (see theforecaster.net for game story).

The Rams were 5-1 entering the week after victories at Lewiston (66-58), Bangor (65-49) and Sanford 62-56). Against the Blue Devils, Ben Onek led the way with 19 points. In the win over Bangor, in a game played at the Augusta Civic Center, Onek scored 21 more. Manny Chikuta paced the victory over the Spartans with 24 points. Deering was home against Gorham Tuesday and goes to Cheverus Friday.

Defending C South champion Waynflete has been idle since a 53-44 victory at rival North Yarmouth Academy Dec. 20. In that one, Jack Meahl had 21 points and Askar Houssein added 11, including some big hoops late, as the Flyers beat the Panthers for the 15th consecutive time.

“I did what I had to do to help us win,” Houssein said.

“We stayed more composed in the second half,” Meahl said. “We were frantic in the first half. Down the stretch, we were more heady with the ball.”

“I was proud of how the kids handled the adversity,” added Waynflete coach Rich Henry. “We executed down the stretch and got key stops.”

The 3-1 Flyers were at Wells Tuesday, host Traip Academy Wednesday, visit Old Orchard Beach Saturday and play host to Greater Portland Christian School Tuesday of next week.

Girls’ basketball

The biggest early-season story on the girls’ side came at Portland, where coach Jay Lowery stepped down after losses at Lewiston (67-49) and at home to Edward Little (75-41) dropped the Bulldogs to 0-4 just before Christmas. Lowery was replaced by Gerry Corcoran, a former standout at Northeastern University and a one-time Boston Celtics seventh-round draft pick, who previously coached at Dean Junior College and for a short time at the professional level with the Cape Cod Frenzy of the American Basketball Association.

Corcoran’s first game came last Tuesday when Portland played hard, but lost at home to Sanford, 50-37. Senior captain Taylor Sargent had 16 points in the setback.

“It’s been challenging,” Sargent said.  “We’ve had to come together as a team and keep going. It’s a new chapter. The captains just told everyone to stay positive and cheer everyone.”

“The girls came out and played like I’ve known them for awhile,” Corcoran said. “We preach effort and they brought it. We were right there in the first half. I told the team we’d run out of gas in the second half.”

“I’m thrilled to have someone with (Gerry’s) basketball knowledge and coaching resume as part of the Bulldog family,” said Portland athletic director Rob O’Leary.

Last Thursday, the Bulldogs fell to 0-6 after a 73-36 home loss to defending AA champion Gorham. Portland was home against Bonny Eagle Tuesday, visits Bangor Saturday and is home against Scarborough Monday of next week.

Deering’s win streak was four entering the new year after victories over visiting Sanford (43-17), visiting Lewiston (58-42) and at Bangor (48-38). Tasia Titherington had 17 points and Amanda Brett a dozen in the win over the Spartans. Brett had 19 points and Titherington 15 against the Blue Devils. In the win over Bangor, Brett, Delaney Haines and Abi Ramirez all had 12 points. The Rams were at Cheverus in a playoff rematch Tuesday, go to Massabesic Saturday and visit Windham Tuesday of next week.

After starting 2-0, Cheverus lost at home to Edward Little (37-34) and at Oxford Hills (52-44). Abby Cavallaro had 13 points and Emme Poulin 11 at the Red Eddies. The Stags improved to 3-2 last Thursday with a 61-39 home win over Sanford. Cavallaro led the way with 16 points, Kaylin Malmquist added 14 and Cheverus hit five first quarter 3-pointers and never looked back.

“We needed to get back in the win column,” said Cavallaro. “We came out knowing that we needed to win this game to get where we want to go. We came out hungry and wanting to win and it paid off.”

“(Abby) absolutely has a green light,” said Cheverus coach Steve Huntington. “They all do. Shooting 3s is who we are. We have a bunch of shooters. Not letting them shoot would be like having Tom Brady not pass the ball. We focus on shooting in rhythm, not just shooting 3s for taking 3s sake.”

The Stags were home with Deering Tuesday, go to Maine Girls’ Academy Thursday (seeking their first-ever victory over the Lions) and visit Bangor Friday.

MGA will enter its game against Cheverus 2-4 after losses at Thornton Academy (53-29) and at home to Scarborough (45-32) and a 50-38 home victory over Noble. Serena Mower had eight points against the Golden Trojans. Jill Joyce led the way against the Red Storm with nine points. Reid had 14 points and Maddy Beaulieu 11 in the victory. The Lions are home with Marshwood Tuesday of next week.

Waynflete closed the old year with a 55-34 win at NYA and a 63-44 setback at Lake Region. In the win, Annika Brooks had 16 points, Lydia Giguere added 14 and Emi Boedeker finished with 10.

“I’m so excited,” Giguere said. “I think it’ll be a really good season. I can only see us going up from here. With our work ethic, we can go far.”

“The girls played hard, like they’re accustomed to doing,” said Flyers coach Mike Jefferds. “NYA is much improved. We told our kids they couldn’t go to sleep against them.”

Giguere scored 21 more points in the loss. The Flyers were home with Wells Tuesday, go to Traip Academy Wednesday, visit Old Orchard Beach Saturday and play host to Greater Portland Christian School Tuesday of next week.

Hockey

Cheverus and Portland/Deering’s boys’ hockey teams did battle in the “City Cup” Monday afternoon (see theforecaster.net for game story).

The Stags entered the game 2-3 after sandwiching recent losses at Biddeford (3-2) and Scarborough (3-0) around a 6-1 home victory over St. Dom’s. Lukas Church, Cam Dube, Marco Giancotti, Ryan McSorley, Sean Walsh and David Woodford all had goals in the win. Cheverus goes to South Portland Saturday.

Portland/Deering was 3-0 entering the “City Cup,” with its most recent win an 11-0 blanking of visiting Marshwood. Cameron Clifford, Joe Herboldsheimer, Jake Luce and Donato Tocci all scored twice and Mason Martell, Milkas Silva and Dom Tocci had one goal apiece. Portland/Deering hosts South Portland Thursday and visits Bangor Saturday.

The Waynflete/South Portland/Freeport co-op team was 1-3-1 at press time after a 4-2 loss to Noble last week.

The Cheverus and Portland/Deering girls’ teams also met in the “City Cup” Monday.

The Stags entered at 2-5 after recent home losses to St. Dom’s (9-0) and Brunswick (6-4). Cheverus goes to Biddeford/Thornton Academy Wednesday and plays at York Saturday.

Portland/Deering was 1-7 after losses to visiting York (9-0) and at Lewiston (7-1).

The Waynflete/Cape Elizabeth/South Portland co-op team was 4-3 entering a home showdown with powerhouse Scarborough Monday. The squad’s last outing resulted in a 7-6 loss at Yarmouth/Freeport/Gray-New Gloucester Dec. 19.

Indoor track

Deering’s powerhouse boys’ indoor track team started with a victory over Westbrook and Biddeford, scoring 143 points while nearly doubling up the Blue Blazes (78) and also beating the Tigers (39). Songha Loth set a new school record by winning the junior 55 in 6.86 seconds. Loth also won the junior 200 (24.44) Luc Harrison set a new school mark in the pole vault (10 feet, 6 inches). Other winners included Alec Troxell in the junior 800 (2 minutes, 10.66 seconds) and the open mile (4:47.94), Samacha Sam in the junior long jump (17-00.25), Abukar Abu in the junior triple jump (32-5), Josh Paisley in the junior shot put (39-9), Jack Lynch in the senior 55 (7.02) and senior 200 (24.35), Iessa Ramadan in the senior 400 (53.06), Emannuel Lam in the senior high jump (5-10), Nicholas James in the open 600 (1:24.86) and the junior (1:43.06), 4×200 (1:40.13), 4×400 (3:55.38) and 4×800 (10:40.46) relay teams.

In the girls’ meet, Deering had 79 points to place second to Westbrook (118). First-place finishers included Sreyly Sao in the junior 55 (8.06), Nicola Ciccomancini in the senior 55 (8.24), Hannah Amergian in the senior 200 (32.73), Annah Rossvall in the senior 400 (1:03.11) and the junior (2:00.31), 4×200 (2:04.31) and 4×400 (4:35.26) relay teams.

Cheverus joined Massabesic and Scarborough in its opening meet. The Stags boys had 40 points to finish well behind the Red Storm (209). Alex Baer was first in the junior 400 (59.44). Josh Stokes won the senior shot put (44-1.5). Marcel Haley-Read was first in the junior shot put (36-9).

Cheverus’ girls had 71 points and were second to Scarborough (132). Emma Gallant was first in the junior 200 (26.95), Emma White took the junior high jump (5-0) and junior triple jump (32-1), Evelyn Hanley was first in the junior long jump (14-5), Emily Turner was first in the senior 55 (7.75), senior 200 (27.34) and senior long jump (15-10) and the Stags’ senior 4×200 relay team was first as well in 1:52.75.

Portland opened against Gorham, Noble and Thornton Academy. The boys had 21 points and placed fourth (the Knights were first), while the girls had 61 points and were also fourth (the Golden Trojans came in first).

Alex Frank was first in the boys’ senior 400 (54.54).

The girls’ got wins from Emeline Avignon in the junior 400 (1:07.11), Awen Deng in the junior 55 hurdles (9.56), Ella Altidor in the senior 55 (7.73) and senior 200 (27.86), Julia Jankowski in the open 600 (1:48.85) and Maggie Hosmer in the senior 800 (2:39.93).

Swimming

Cheverus’ defending Class A state champion swim team opened by beating Greely (115-35) and Thornton Academy (86-71).

The Cheverus girls lost to Greely in their opener, 79-72, then defeated Thornton Academy, 123-56.

The Stags host Windham Friday.

Portland hosted Deering, Maine Girls’ Academy and Waynflete in the season opener. In the boys’ meet, the Bulldogs won with 105 points, while the Flyers were second with 96 and the Rams placed third with 57.

Deering won the girls’ meet with 349 points. Portland (307) came in second, MGA (275) was third and Waynflete (249) placed fourth.

Deering then swept St. Dom’s (the boys prevailed, 72-24, and the girls won, 117-28), were swept by Falmouth (the boys lost, 64-48, while the girls were defeated, 103-60) and swept Gorham (boys, 81-40; girls, 95-74).

The Rams go to South Portland Friday.

MGA’s most recent meets were losses to Kennebunk (115-52) and Sanford (97-67).

Portland is home with Greely Friday.

Waynflete’s girls also lost to Thornton Academy (103-57) and Massabesic (122.5-41.5). The boys fell to Massabesic, 106-41.

Skiing

The SMAA Alpine ski season begins Wednesday with a giant slalom race. Cheverus will take part. The Stags will also compete in a slalom race Friday.

Waynflete opens the WMC Nordic season Wednesday with a 5-kilometer skate.

Wrestling

Portland’s wrestling team was 5-4 at press time. The Bulldogs have beaten Lincoln Academy, Kennebunk, Windham, York/Traip and Scarborough and lost to Wells, Kennebunk, Noble and Sanford. Portland hosts Bonny Eagle Wednesday, then takes part at the Spartan Invitational in Sanford Friday.

Deering entered the new year 1-6 after beating Cheverus and losing to Biddeford twice and Kennebunk, Monmouth, Sanford and Westbrook/Gorham once each. The Rams welcome Noble Wednesday and travel to the Warrior Clash in Newport Saturday.

Cheverus was also 1-6, beating Gardiner and losing to Windham, York/Traip, Biddeford, Deering, Wells and Noble. The Stags are at Scarborough Wednesday and compete at the Warrior Clash Saturday.

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.