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Top teams square off as crunch time arrives

Sports

Top teams square off as crunch time arrives

Call it showdown season.

Several of the top teams in the area have been, or will be, squaring off against top rivals as we've passed the midway point of the 2012-13 winter sports season.

Here's a glimpse at what's occurred and what's to come:

Boys' basketball

Falmouth's boys' basketball team took a 10-0 record and the No. 1 spot in the Western Class B Heal Points standings into a showdown at rival Greely Tuesday night. Last week, the Yachtsmen handled host Gray-New Gloucester (77-28) and visiting Lake Region (92-41). Against the Patriots, Charlie Fay had a team-high 16 points. Freshman Thomas Coyne went off for 26 against the Lakers. Falmouth hosts another rival, Cape Elizabeth, Friday.

Greely stretched its win streak to five with wins last week over visiting Traip (54-45) and host Freeport (64-51). Mike McDevitt and Bailey Train both had 13 points, while Jonah Normandeau added 11 in the win over Traip. Against the Falcons, Train had 17 points and McDevitt added 15. After hosting Falmouth Tuesday, the Rangers (7-3 and sixth in Western B) go to York Friday.

Defending Class B state champion Yarmouth rolled at Poland, 67-44, last Tuesday (Adam LaBrie had 20 points, while David Murphy added 15), then fell to 5-5 (11th in the Heals) after a 59-50 home loss to Cape Elizabeth Friday (despite 16 points from Murphy). The Clippers were home with Western C contender Waynflete Tuesday and visit Gray-New Gloucester Friday.

Freeport's skid hit eight after home losses last week to Fryeburg (53-36) and Greely (64-51). Chandler Birmingham had 17 points against the Raiders and 20 versus the Rangers. The Falcons (1-8 and 16th in Western B) were at Lake Region Wednesday, play host to Wells Friday and welcome Gray-New Gloucester Monday. 

In Western C, North Yarmouth Academy began the week 10th in the standings with a 4-6 record. Last week, the Panthers handled visiting Pine Tree Academy (68-21), then lost Hyde, 49-44. In the win, Michael McIntosh led the way with 12 points. El Tayeb Dahia had 16 points against the Phoenix. NYA hosted Gray-New Gloucester Wednesday, visits Old Orchard Beach Friday and plays host to Hyde Tuesday.

Girls' basketball

On the girls' side, Greely extended its win streak to eight with wins last week at Traip (58-41) and at home over Freeport (51-41). Against Traip, Jaclyn Storey had 26 points and Ashley Storey added 19. In the win over the Falcons, each Storey sister had 18 points. The Rangers (9-1 and fifth in the Western Class B Heal Points standings) were at Falmouth Tuesday and host York (which was the lone team to beat Greely this year) Friday.

Freeport sat 5-4 and 11th in Western B at press time after going 1-1 last week, downing host Fryeburg (45-42, behind Nina Davenport's 22 points), then losing at Greely, 51-41, in first-year coach Jim Seavey's return to the school he led to the 2004 Class B state title. Davenport had a team-high 18 points in that one. The Falcons hosted reigning regional champion Lake Region Tuesday, go to Wells Thursday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and visit Gray-New Gloucester Monday.

Falmouth is also in the playoff hunt at 12th with a 4-6 mark after losses last week to visiting Gray-New Gloucester (55-48) and host Lake Region (59-38) extended its skid to four games. Anna Hickey had 19 points against the Patriots and Ally Hickey scored 21 against the Lakers. The Yachtsmen hosted Greely Tuesday and go to Cape Elizabeth Friday.

Yarmouth dropped to 0-10 (18th in the region) with losses last week to visiting Poland (58-35) and host Cape Elizabeth (63-35). Grace O'Donnell had 12 points versus the Knights. Monica Austin led the team with 10 against the Capers. The Clippers visited Western C power Waynflete Tuesday and host Gray-New Gloucester Friday.

In Western C, NYA is 15th at 2-6 after a 43-31 home win over Pine Tree Academy and a 49-22 home loss to Hyde last week. Mallory Ianno had 21 points in the victory. Chloe Leishman had 12 versus the Phoenix. The Panthers were at Gray-New Gloucester Wednesday, host Old Orchard Beach Friday and have a rematch at Hyde Tuesday.

Boys' hockey

On the ice, the defending Class B champion Greely boys continue to excel, improving to 6-2 and first in the Heals after bouncing back from back-to-back losses with a pair of wins last week.

The first came Thursday in a surprisingly one-sided and contentious showdown with longtime rival York. The Rangers, who only beat the host Wildcats, 3-2, back on Dec. 17, raced to a 5-0 lead after one period and added four more goals in the second, a period which was marred by a rarely seen fight, which led to the ejection of two York players and one from Greely. The Rangers added four more goals in the third and went on to a 13-0 victory. Greely got two goals apiece from Ted Hart, Mitchel Donovan, Reid Howland and Jarod Lavallee and placed 10 different players in the scoring column.

"We had a great start," said Hart. "We moved the puck really well. We got the puck to the net and capitalized on our scoring chances and just went from there. We played with a full roster tonight. I think it really helped to have more depth. We got contributions from everyone."

"I thought our guys did a lot of things well tonight and we're pleased about that, but the number of penalties and the edge that came into the game just isn't the night of hockey you hope to have," said longtime Greely coach Barry Mothes. "It wasn't the sort of game I recall Greely and York having played over the years. We've had last-second drama, overtimes, close games. I don't remember a game with this kind of score differential."

Saturday, the Rangers won at Gardiner, 6-1, as Hart and Howland both had a hat trick.

Greely had a test at Leavitt Wednesday, hosts Class A power St. Dom's Saturday and welcomes Yarmouth Monday.

"We're in a steady run of games now," said Mothes. "I think we've been growing. Hopefully we carry our energy forward. We have to keep working hard."

Yarmouth got its first victory last Tuesday, edging visiting Cape Elizabeth, 2-0, as Izaak Dearden scored with a little more than a minute to go and Connor Lainey added an empty netter. Red DeSmith saved 27 shots for the shutout. Saturday, the Clippers fell to 1-6-2 (sixth in Western B) with a 6-2 loss at Camden Hills. Yarmouth goes to Kennebunk Thursday, hosts York Saturday and plays at Greely Monday.

In Western A, Falmouth slipped into the top spot with an 8-2 record after recent wins over host Portland (11-1) and visiting Kennebunk (15-0). Kris Samaras had a hat trick against the Bulldogs. In the win over the Rams, Samaras had another hat trick. The Yachtsmen are idle until Jan. 26, when they go to two-time defending Class A state champion Thornton Academy.

Girls' hockey

On the girls' side, defending state champion Greely extended its win streak to four games and its unbeaten streak to seven last week with wins at Lewiston (3-1) and York (2-1). Paige Tuller had the go-ahead tally against the Blue Devils. In the win over the Wildcats, Tuller and Etta Copenhagen scored. The Rangers (10-2-1 and third behind Leavitt/EL and Lewiston in the East Region Heals) hosted St. Dom's Wednesday and go to Brunswick Saturday.

At press time, Yarmouth clung to the fifth and final playoff spot in the East with a 4-8-1 record. The Clippers dropped a 1-0 home decision to Leavitt/EL Saturday. Yarmouth was at Winslow Wednesday, visits Biddeford Saturday and plays host to St. Dom's Monday.

In the West Region, Falmouth made it five straight wins by downing visiting Portland (7-1) and Gorham/Bonny Eagle (12-6) last week. Against the Bulldogs,  Jayde Bazinet and Sarah Hutcheon had two goals each. Hutcheon scored four times and Martina St. Angelo had a hat trick against Gorham. The Yachtsmen (9-4 and third to Scarborough and York in the Heals) hosts Biddeford Thursday and visit Cape Elizabeth Saturday.

Indoor track

The Western Maine Conference indoor track season continued last weekend at USM.

Greely swept an eight-team meet, which also included NYA and Yarmouth.

The Rangers boys got wins from Declan Campbell in the 800 (2 minutes, 8.99 seconds), James Ferrar in the senior shot put (45 feet, 3 inches) and their junior 800 relay (1:45.11). Top Clippers included Brendan Dioli in the junior 200 (25.64 seconds), Chandler Smith in the senior 400 (55.58) and Wes Crawford in the mile (4:45.93). The top Panthers were Jake Burns, who was runner in the senior 400 (56.5), and Benjamin Claytor, senior high jump (5-2).

In the girls' meet, Greely got wins from Hannah Keisman in the junior 55 hurdles (9.61), Alyssa Sazarez in the junior shot put (30-11), Sarah Ingraham in the senior 55 (7.98) and senior long jump (15-2.5), Megan Boynton in the senior 200 (31.71), Jessica Wilson in the senior 400 (1:05.65), Kaley Sawyer in the senior 55 hurdles (10.12) and triple jump (33-1.75), Gwen Sawyer in the senior shot put (32-0.5), Emily Mason in the mile (6:06.64), and its 3,200 (10:48.38), senior 800 (2:03.68) and junior 800 (1:56.89) relays. NYA winners included Hannah Austin in the two-mile (12:29.53) and Emily Taylor in the junior 400 (1:12.15). Yarmouth's Emma Egan won the junior high jump (5-0).

Falmouth's girls tied York for first in its meet (Freeport came in fifth), while the Yachtsmen boys were second to York (the Falcons came in fifth).

The Yachtsmen girls got wins from Olivia Baranowski in the junior 200 (29.43), Alexa Hoffman in the junior 400 (1:07.69), Kiersten Dyhrberg in the junior shot put (26-10.5), Sarah Sparks in the senior 200 (28.98), Madeline Roberts in the mile (5:46.65) and their 3,200 relay team (10:53.73). The Falcons got a first-place finish from Ciera Wentworth in the 800 (2:33.12).

In the boys' meet, Falmouth winners included Joey Cyr in the junior 55 (7.47), Andy Clement in the junior 200 (25.66), Sean Soucy in the junior 400 (56.51), Jacob Buhelt in the senior 55 (6.86) and the senior 400 (53.29), Thomas Fortier in the senior 200 (24.82), Andy Roukey in the senior high jump (5-8), Max Pacetti in the senior shot put (39-4) and junior (1:42.54) and open (8:54.66) relays. Freeport winners included Abrim Berkemeyer in the two-mile (10:39.54) and Harrison Stivers in the 800(2:02.79).

Friday, Falmouth and NYA compete against Fryeburg, Hyde, Lisbon, Poland, Traip and Wells, while Freeport, Greely and Yarmouth take on Cape Elizabeth, Gray-New Gloucester, Lake Region, St. Dom's and York.

Swimming

In the pool, Greely's defending Class B state champion girls' team edged host Cheverus, 89-76, Saturday. The boys lost to Cheverus, 110-58. The Rangers swim at Cape Elizabeth Thursday.

Falmouth's girls lost, 96-81, to Deering, while the boys fell, 108-70. The Yachtsmen take on Cheverus Thursday.

Yarmouth's girls defeated Thornton Academy, 95-75, while the boys triumphed, 87-80. The Clippers go to Sanford Friday.

Skiing

Both NYA Nordic ski teams came in 14th at the Hornet Classic Saturday. Haley Cunningham was 12th in the boys' race (17 minutes, 5.9 seconds). The girls were paced by Isabella Munro (41st, 23:55).

Other local schools took part in a Nordic race at Twin Brook last Wednesday. Yarmouth's Braden Becker won the boys' race in 11:28. Freeport's Elijah McCurdy was a second behind in second place. In the girls' competition, Merriconeag's Zoe Chace-Donahue won in 13:04. Freeport's Elizabeth Martin was runner-up (13:17).

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