Early results promising for winter teams
Note: For the complete Cape Elizabeth-Yarmouth and South Portland-Portland boys' basketball, Cape Elizabeth-Freeport and South Portland-Portland girls' basketball and Capeflete-Falmouth and Capeflete-Yarmouth/Freeport game stories, please visit theforecaster.net)
The 2013-14 winter sports season is underway in earnest and local squads have already made their presence felt.
Cape Elizabeth's boys' basketball team is off to the best start among local teams. The Capers opened with wins at Wells (57-39), at home over Lake Region (50-41) and Gray-New Gloucester (66-52) and at Freeport (68-59), before losing at Yarmouth Saturday (66-52). Ethan Murphy had 18 points and Justin Guerette 13 against the Warriors, Eddie Galvin led the way with 12 versus the Lakers, Galvin went off for 21 against the Patriots and Galvin and Guerette both had 17, while Jack O'Rourke added 14 in the win over the Falcons. At the Clippers, Cape Elizabeth dug an early 10-0 hole and never was able to dig out, despite 16 points from Murphy.
"We always start slowly here," lamented longtime Capers coach Jim Ray. "We might as well just put 10 (points) on the board for them. The kids overthink it. The teams we played so far had a total of two wins. (Yarmouth) had a couple kids who are a lot beefier than us. You can't teach that. They're tough and played hard. It was too fast for us. We struggled offensively and had to shoot quicker."
Cape Elizabeth (fifth in the latest Western Class B Heal Points standings) hosts Kennebunk Friday. The Capers then open 2014 with a visit to Falmouth on Jan. 3.
"We've got a lot to learn," Ray said. "We had some young guys walk off the floor (tonight). That's not what Cape Elizabeth does. We need the practice. We still need to win a few to get in (the tournament). It's a process."
In Western A, Scarborough has been a pleasant surprise. The Red Storm beat visiting Biddeford (86-32, behind Matt Hartl's 30 points), host Westbrook (64-50, Hartl had 21 and Milani Hicks added 17) and visiting Windham (84-82 in overtime, thanks to 26 points from Nate Wessel) before losing in overtime to visiting Noble (74-72, despite 27 points from Hartl and 23 more from Wessel). Scarborough bounced back Friday with a win at Massabesic (75-70, behind 29 points from Wessel and 21 from Hicks), but fell to 4-2 Monday after a 59-45 setback at Gorham (despite 14 points from Hartl). Scarborough (eighth in Western A) plays Windham Friday (at the Portland Expo) and goes to Biddeford Monday.
South Portland fell to visiting Noble in the opener, 69-51, then downed host Sanford (57-45) and visiting Westbrook (61-53) before losing at Thornton Academy, 65-49, at home to Portland (79-49) and at home to Bonny Eagle (75-45). Patrick Conley had a team-high 18 points against the Knights. Jaren Muller had 16 versus the Spartans and 33 against the Blue Blazes. Jordin Jackson had 14 points in the loss to the Golden Trojans and Muller had a dozen in the loss to the Bulldogs.
"We knew it would be a tough task," Red Riots coach Phil Conley said. "If I can take a positive out of getting beaten by 30, it's that none of my kids gave us. They all gave me everything they had. We just ran into a very, very good team."
Against the Scots, Harper and Jackson both had 10 points.
South Portland (13th in Western A) hosts Deering Monday.
"We're in a tough stretch, but we're coming along as a group," said Conley. "We're getting better as a group. I have confidence in this group. I think we'll keep getting better."
In Western D, Greater Portland Christian School was 0-5 and 13th in the Heals heading into the new year. The Lions are home with Islesboro Jan. 3.
On the girls' side, Cape Elizabeth opened with losses at home to Wells (45-32) and at defending Western B champion Lake Region (52-38), then righted its ship by beating host Gray-New Gloucester, 61-59, on Kate Breed's late 3-pointer, visiting Freeport (48-36) and visiting Yarmouth (41-28). Maddie Bowe had eight points against the Warriors. Hannah Sawyer scored 18 against the Lakers. Sawyer had 15 points, Kate Miklavic 13 and Ashley Tinsman 10 in the win over the Patriots.
"That was a really big win for us," said Miklavic. "We had two tough games early on."
Against the Falcons, Sawyer had a team high 16 points and Bowe added 12.
"We started driving a little more and waiting on our offense," Bowe said. "(The Gray win) gave us momentum. We were definitely excited and ready to compete again and win this one."
"The adjustment we made on offense was to stop settling for shots," said Capers coach Chris Casterella. "We wanted to work the ball around, get it from one side to the other. The kids figured it out. The looks we got were better than in the first half. We were patient."
In the win over the Clippers, Miklavic led the way with 13 points. Cape Elizabeth (seventh in the Western B Heals) goes to Kennebunk Friday and hosts Falmouth Jan. 3.
"We take each game as it comes and try to focus on each team's biggest attributes," said Sawyer. "We have to make sure we look at each game and not look at the future. If we have a bad game, we have to put it behind us and move forward."
"We're defining roles," Casterella added "We have a little height, but we're mostly guards who are scrappy and get after it. We're still trying to find out combinations that can work. It's a good problem to have."
In Western A, South Portland, under new coach Lynne Hasson, opened with victories over host Noble (66-14), visiting Sanford (54-46) and host Westbrook (39-35) before falling from the unbeaten ranks with a 53-43 home loss to Thornton Academy. Next came a 50-46 home loss to Portland before the Red Riots bounced back Monday to win at Bonny Eagle, 47-31. Against the Knights, Brianne Maloney had 16 points. Holly Black led the way with 14 points versus the Spartans. Maloney had 17 against the Blue Blazes and Black and Maddie Hasson each finished with 11 in the loss to the Golden Trojans. In the nip-and-tuck loss to the Bulldogs, Hasson had 24 points and Black 11 points and 17 rebounds, but it wasn't enough, as South Portland turned the ball over 38 times.
"We had way too many turnovers," Lynne Hasson lamented. "We missed too many foul shots. Games are won and lost at the foul line. We knew the type of game (Portland would) play. We didn't handle it at times. We knew they'd play physical and I think at times we backed off. We've struggled to play four quarters well with intensity, but I'm proud of how the girls played."
Maddie Hasson sparked the win over the Scots with 16 points. The Red Riots (4-2 and seventh in the Western A standings) are home with Deering Monday and welcome Massabesic Jan. 3.
"We didn't expect to go undefeated," Hasson said. "I still think we're in the mix. Two losses isn't a huge deal. We can play with every team. We have to make the little plays that make a difference. All in all, I'm pretty happy. The difference this year is that I don't have to sell it. (The girls) believe they're good. They're confident we'll be in the mix when it counts."
Scarborough, under new coach Mike Giordano, won four of its first six games to sit ninth in the Heals. The Red Storm opened by beating host Biddeford, 56-32 (behind 17 points from Bailey Adams and 13 from Ashley Briggs), and visiting Westbrook, 43-29 (as Briggs had 15). After a 48-43 loss at Windham (despite 16 points from Briggs and 14 from Adams), Scarborough downed host Noble, 73-35 (Briggs had 20 points, Adams 19), and visiting Massabesic, 58-42 (behind 17 from Briggs). Monday, however, the Red Storm lost at home to Gorham, 66-48 (Brooke Malone had a team-high 16 points). Scarborough is home with Biddeford Monday and goes to Thornton Academy Jan. 3.
In Western D, GPCS started 0-5 and is 14th in the standings. The Lions host Islesboro Jan. 3.
Scarborough's boys' hockey team lost its opener, but has now won five in a row to take over the top spot in the Western A Heal Points standings after downing visiting Gorham, 3-1, Saturday. Sam Gideon had the game-winner. The Red Storm's showdown at St. Dom's Monday was postponed by bad weather, meaning it will return to action Monday of next week when York pays a visit.
South Portland is 3-2 on the season, downing visiting Windham (5-4), host Westbrook (4-3) and host Bonny Eagle (4-2). Kyle Halvorsen had four goals against the Eagles, two against the Blue Blazes and also scored in the win over the Scots. The Red Riots (fifth in Western A) is home Thursday of next week against Lake Region/Fryeburg/Oxford Hills.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth was 0-4-1 and sixth in the standings at press time after a 3-2 loss to Cheverus and a 3-2 overtime loss to Brunswick. Curtis Guimond had two goals against the Dragons. The Capers host Kennebunk Thursday.
On the girls' side, Scarborough, a state runner-up last week, is off to a red-hot 7-0 start and sits first in the West Region Heals. The Red Storm's most recent victims were visiting Biddeford (8-1) and host Portland/Deering (11-3). Brenna Kent had two goals versus the Tigers, while Alyssa Hulst had four goals against Portland/Deering. Scarborough is home against Lewiston Monday.
Capeflete dropped its first three games, then won three in a row before losing a hard-fought 3-1 decision at undefeated Yarmouth/Freeport Monday afternoon. Gretchen Stevens had the goal in the loss and Capeflete hung tough throughout.
"We're still learning as a team how to win games," said Capeflete coach Bob Mills. "We played two periods out of three. Hopefully we'll go out and execute better next time. We really wanted to end their undefeated streak."
Capeflete (3-4), third behind Scarborough and Biddeford in the West Region Heal Points standings, hopes to bounce back Monday when its hosts Cheverus. It opens the 2014 portion of its schedule Jan. 2 at home versus Biddeford and still has lofty goals.
"The next four weeks will be really busy for us," Mills said. "We talk about playoffs all the time. That's certainly a goal. We expect to be there and we expect to do some damage in the playoffs. We hope to be firing on all cylinders at the end of the season and play a complete game. We're a tough team to play against when everyone on the ice is playing with passion."
Scarborough's boys were first and South Portland came in second at a five-team SMAA league meet last weekend. It was the second week in a row the schools went 1-2 in a five-team meet.
The Red Riots girls were first and the Red Storm third last weekend, which was the same order they finished in the opening meet Dec. 14.
Teams take part in the USM Relays Saturday, then league meets resume the following weekend.
Cape Elizabeth begins its regular season Jan. 3.
The Cape Elizabeth boys' swim team lost at home to defending Class A champion Cheverus in its opener, 111-70, then won at Yarmouth, 103-62. The girls beat the Stags, 109-73, and the Clippers, 103-58. The Capers go to Westbrook Jan. 3.
Scarborough's boys opened with a 90-83 home loss to Greely, then beat visiting Falmouth, 99-80. The girls were a 118-51 winner at McAuley, then fell at home to Greely (110-58) and Falmouth (115-60). The Red Storm is at Deering Friday.
South Portland's boys lost at Greely to start the season, 61-33, then beat host Falmouth (85-78), before losing at home to Deering (88-71). The girls lost at Greely (63-25), at Falmouth (114-54) and at home to Deering (95-70). The Red Riots go to Cheverus Jan. 3.
Scarborough's wrestling team got in the win column last weekend with a 42-30 victory over Deering. The Red Storm takes part in the Noble Tournament this weekend.
The Alpine and Nordic ski seasons begin after the new year.