Tue, Nov 25, 2014 ●
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Winter season off and running

Sports

Winter season off and running

(Ed. Note: For the complete Cheverus-Portland, Portland-Scarborough and Waynflete-Sacopee boys' basketball, Waynflete-Traip girls' basketball, Portland-Cheverus boys' hockey and Portland-Cheverus girls' hockey game stories, please visit theforecaster.net)

A calendar year is coming to a close, but the new winter sports season is just getting going. Local athletes have already made their mark in several sports and the best is yet to come. Here's a glimpse:

Boys' basketball

As expected, city boys' basketball teams have been very strong in the early going.

Leading the way has been reigning Class A state champion Deering, which has defeated visiting Thornton Academy (77-28), host Marshwood (51-39), host Massabesic (80-40), visiting Noble (67-44) and host Sanford (47-39). The Rams are back in action Saturday with their first huge test, a home tilt versus Bonny Eagle in a rematch of last year's thrilling Western A Final (please see theforecaster.net for game story). Also looming for Deering are two games apiece versus Cheverus, Portland and South Portland.

Speaking of Portland, it's also off to a perfect start. The Bulldogs opened with a 57-39 home win over Marshwood, rolled at Sanford (68-48) and Cheverus (73-49), held off visiting Bonny Eagle (55-52), then improved to 5-0 Friday with a 63-53 win at Scarborough. Portland will face Western B power Falmouth Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. and Penquis Valley Thursday at 11:30 a.m. in holiday tournament action at the Portland Expo, then returns to countable league play Saturday when it hosts Gorham.

Cheverus began the Dan Costigan Era with wins over visiting Biddeford (57-46) and at Gorham (53-51). The Stags then lost at home to Portland (73-49) and at Westbrook (56-48) before bouncing back Friday with an emphatic 97-44 home victory against Noble. Cheverus is at Marshwood Friday and plays host to Bonny Eagle Jan. 2.

In Western C, Waynflete has lived up to billing as a top contender. After holding off host Old Orchard Beach, 50-49, in the opener, the Flyers defeated host Traip (48-39), visiting Lake Region (65-54), Sacopee (71-33) and North Yarmouth Academy (70-28), then improved to 6-0 Saturday with a 58-28 win over Greenville in a game played at the Augusta Civic Center, the site of the regional tournament. Waynflete is competing in the York Holiday Tournament Thursday and Friday. The Flyers play Somersworth, N.H., Thursday at 3 p.m. and will face a yet to be determined foe Friday at 4:45 or 8:15 p.m. Waynflete's next countable game is Jan. 3 at Western B contender Cape Elizabeth.

Girls' basketball

On the girls' side, two-time defending Class A state champion McAuley has had no problem in the early going. The Lions opened with a 77-12 home drubbing of Noble and went on to dominate visiting Kennebunk (84-30), host Portland (74-25), visiting Marshwood (75-24) and host Bonny Eagle (71-41) to improve to 5-0 and extend their three-season win streak to 31 games. McAuley will play Londonderry, N.H., Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at the Expo Holiday tournament, travels to Biddeford for a countable game Friday, then meets Winnacunnet, N.H., in a holiday game Saturday at 11 a.m. Last year, the Lions lost to Winnacunnet in tournament play, their only setback all season. McAuley's schedule gets much tougher with the arrival of the new year as showdowns with Cheverus, Deering and Scarborough loom.

Cheverus is keeping pace with the Lions, also winning its first five games with ease. The Stags opened with a 54-19 triumph at Biddeford, then handled visiting Gorham (57-34), Portland (42-17) and Westbrook (57-31) before rolling at Noble Friday, 68-15. Cheverus is back in action Friday when it hosts Marshwood.

Deering has dazzled in the early going, winning its first five games. After holding off host Thornton Academy, 38-35, in the opener, the Rams defeated visiting Marshwood (34-21) and Massabesic (54-35), won at Noble, 66-31, and held off visiting Sanford, 32-19. Deering is at Bonny Eagle Saturday and travels to surprisingly strong South Portland Monday of next week. On Jan. 4, the Rams go to McAuley.

Portland's girls dropped their first four outings: 45-23 at Marshwood, 66-50 at home to Sanford, 74-25 to visiting McAuley and 42-17 at home to Cheverus, before getting in the win column with a 54-45 victory at Bonny Eagle. The Bulldogs fell to 1-5 Thursday after a 57-44 home loss to Scarborough. Portland faces Londonderry, N.H., Wednesday at 1 p.m., in the Expo Holiday tournament, then returns to league play Friday at Gorham.

In Western C, Waynflete has been tremendous. The Flyers easily handled visiting Old Orchard Beach in the opener, 59-32. A 65-33 home win over Traip followed as standout senior Martha Veroneau reached the 1,000 career point plateau. After a narrow 60-55 loss at reigning Western B champion Lake Region, Waynflete had little trouble with host Sacopee (48-17), visiting NYA (76-22) and Greenville (71-25) in a game played at the Augusta Civic Center, where the Flyers hope to capture a regional title in late February. Waynflete will take part in the Expo Holiday tournament Thursday at 9 a.m., versus Western A contender Gorham, and will take part in the Capital City Classic in Augusta Saturday. The Flyers are back in league action Jan. 3 when they host Cape Elizabeth.

Boys' hockey

Cheverus' boys' hockey team rolled in its first four games, downing visiting Gorham (5-2) and York (7-2), host Marshwood (7-1) and visiting South Portland (13-0), but Saturday evening, in the "City Cup," the Stags fell from the unbeaten ranks against Portland.

The Bulldogs had opened by sandwiching losses at Noble (3-2) and at home to Cape Elizabeth (4-1) around a 4-2 home win over Kennebunk, but they handled the Stags, 4-1, to even their record.

Cheverus is back in action Jan. 3 at Yarmouth. Two days later, the Stags go to two-time defending Class A champion Thornton Academy.

Portland hopes to stay hot when it hosts Westbrook Thursday.

Girls' hockey

On the girls' side, Cheverus and Portland squared off in the "City Cup" Saturday and the Bulldogs got the better of the Stags, 6-3, to improve to 2-6-1, dropping Cheverus to 2-5-1.

The Stags host Gorham Thursday and Cape Elizabeth Saturday.

The Bulldogs are idle until hosting Yarmouth Jan. 5.

Waynflete's co-op team with Cape Elizabeth started 1-2-1, but is 3-2-3 after a 2-2 tie with Winslow Saturday. "Capeflete" is at Cheverus Saturday.

Indoor track

City indoor track teams already have two meets under their belts.

On the first weekend, Cheverus' boys beat Thornton Academy, Gorham and Windham, while the Stags girls came third. Deering's boys were runner-up to Scarborough, in a meet which also included South Portland, Massabesic and Portland (which was fifth). The Rams were third in the girls' meet, behind South Portland and Scarborough. The Bulldogs finished fifth. McAuley placed fourth behind Bonny Eagle, Biddeford and Noble, while finishing ahead of Westbrook.

This past weekend, Cheverus handled four other foes, including Portland, in both boys' and girls' action. Deering's boys were second to Thornton Academy and beat Biddeford, while the girls were also second to the Golden Trojans. McAuley was fourth in the girls' meet.

Swimming

Cheverus' boys' swim team has enjoyed early season wins over Cape Elizabeth (116-51), Westbrook (95-61) and Windham (111-59). The Stags are at Scarborough Friday.

Deering held off Portland (44-39) and beat Westbrook (44-18) in the opener. The Rams then beat South Portland (115-54) and lost to Scarborough (106-79). Deering is home against Portland Friday.

The Bulldogs beat Westbrook (39-18) and lost to Massabesic (87-76) and Kennebunk (92-74).

Waynflete beat Hyde twice and Thornton Academy once and lost to Windham and Sanford. The Flyers are back in action Jan. 4 versus Massabesic.

On the girls' side, highly-touted Waynflete has defeated Hyde twice, Thornton Academy and Windham once and also lost to Sanford. The Flyers are at Massabesic Jan. 4.

McAuley opened by beating NYA (36-12) and losing to Greely (46-36). A 97-71 loss to Falmouth followed. The Lions return to action Friday against Deering and Portland.

Cheverus lost to Cape Elizabeth in its opener, 117-39, then beat Westbrook (81-62) and Windham (106-57). The Stags are at Scarborough Friday.

Deering has impressed with wins over Westbrook (105-52), South Portland (115-54) and Scarborough (108-72). The Rams face McAuley and Portland Friday.

Portland lost to Massabesic, 96-66, and defeated Kennebunk, 95-67, in early action.

Skiing

The Alpine and Nordic ski seasons begin in earnest in the new year.

Wrestling

Deering and Portland's wrestling teams have been very competitive to date.

The Rams lost to Bonny Eagle, 43-21, beat Scarborough, 40-36, and lost to Marshwood, 78-6, in the early going. Deering is back in action Jan. 2 when it goes to Portland.

The Bulldogs opened with losses to Windham (39-33) and York (45-27), beat Morse (32-30) and Biddeford (37-36) and lost to Massabesic (54-9) and Bonny Eagle (63-18). Portland is back in action Jan. 2 when it hosts Bonny Eagle, Deering and Westbrook.

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