Busy week produces a lot of triumph
(Ed. Note: For the complete Scarborough-Bonny Eagle and South Portland-Marshwood boys' basketball, Scarborough-Portland girls' basketball and Scarborough-Greely girls' hockey game stories, with additional photos, please visit theforecaster.net)
There were several big moments for Forecaster Country teams last week, as local athletes also turned heads on the ice, track, slopes, trails, mat and in the pool.
Here's a glimpse:
South Portland and Scarborough's boys' basketball teams were clinging to the final two playoff spots in the Western Class A Heal Points standings at press time.
The Red Riots knew this season would be challenging after they graduated every player but one (junior Jaren Muller) from their regional championship team. South Portland has had its share of ups and downs this winter, never more so than in the past several days.
Last Friday, the Red Riots had their three-game win streak snapped at Cheverus, 56-41, despite 11 points from Muller. Monday, South Portland welcomed Marshwood and led most of the way, taking an eight point lead to the fourth quarter, but the Hawks rallied and went ahead in the final minute. The Red Riots pulled even with 20.8 seconds to go when Muller made a layup, but the visitors got the final opportunity and they would use every remaining second on the clock (and then some) to deal out a dish of heartbreak, as Marshwood's Zachary Mitchell was fouled as time expired and made a free throw to give the Hawks a 53-52 win.
"I'm disappointed," said South Portland coach Phil Conley. "You think what-if. You never want to see a game decided by a foul called as time expires. That's very unfortunate. I would have liked to have seen it go to overtime, but you can't blame it just on one call."
The Red Riots got 18 points from Muller and 11 points and 10 boards from Jack Fiorini, but fell to 5-7.
South Portland (12th in Western A) goes to Windham Friday, hosts Gorham and plays at Deering next week, then goes to Scarborough and Portland and welcomes Cheverus to close the season.
"I'm not giving up, the kids aren't giving up and we'll continue to work hard to make the playoffs," Conley said. "We're going need to win a couple games and upset someone who's higher ranked. I have faith in these kids."
Scarborough was 11th at 7-6 at press time after losing at home to sizzling shooting Bonny Eagle (91-62) and at undefeated Portland (81-52). The Scots made an improbable 18 3-pointers, including 10 in a row in the first half and despite 21 points from Matt Hartl and 20 from Nate Wessel, the Red Storm had no chance.
"Our game plan was to play to our strength, which is scoring the ball, but we didn't expect them to make 18 3s," said shellshocked Scarborough coach Tony DiBiase. "What are you going to do? We still scored 62 points, but I thought (Bonny Eagle would) get 100. I've never seen shooting like that, but we didn't fall apart. It just wasn't our night."
Against the Bulldogs, Wessel had 15 points, Hartl 13 and Milani Hicks 12.
The Red Storm hosts Deering Friday, goes to Cheverus Tuesday and closes the regular year with games at home versus Sanford and South Portland and at Thornton Academy.
"We'll move on," said DiBIase. "We still have big games. We'll end up where we end up."
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth will take a 9-3 mark and the No. 7 ranking into Friday's home game versus York. The Capers have won four of five, including road decisions last week over Traip (52-37) and Kennebunk (47-44). Jack O'Rourke had 20 points against the Rangers. In the win over the Rams, Justin Guerette led the way with 13 points. Ethan Murphy added 11. After hosting Greely Saturday and Poland Tuesday, Cape Elizabeth goes to Fryeburg, hosts Falmouth, then closes the regular season at Greely.
In Western D, Greater Portland Christian School was 1-11 and 13th in the Heals (only 11 teams make the playoffs) after a 58-34 win at Highview Christian and home losses to Islesboro (69-29) and Forest Hills (72-35). The Lions hosted Sacopee Valley Wednesday, go to Acadia Christian Friday, welcome Seacoast Christian Monday, then close the regular season with games at Rangeley and Waynflete.
Scarborough turned the ball over 20 times and got in foul trouble during a frustrating first half, but still managed to hold a 30-29 lead at halftime, thanks to 10 points apiece from Bailey Adams and unsung hero Jamie Sargent. The Bulldogs went on a 10-0 run in the third period and took a 47-44 lead to the fourth quarter, but the Red Storm, in desperate need of a Heal Points-rich victory, made the clutch plays late.
After tying the game on three occasions, Scarborough went ahead for good with 2:27 to play when Briggs sank a free throw. Adams added two just inside the final minute and with 18.2 seconds to go, sophomore Rachel Linehan made two more. Those proved huge when Portland made a 3 with 7.2 seconds to play and the Red Storm managed to hold on for an inspirational 61-59 victory.
Briggs had 17 points, Adams and Sargent had 16 apiece. Freshmen Brooke Malone added 16 rebounds.
"It means a lot for us," said Briggs. "We were on a five-game losing streak. Talk about low spirits. I think we proved a lot to ourselves tonight. We've played 16 minutes, 24 minutes sporadically, but I think we finally put together a full game. We can win close games that we've lost before. Finally proving it to ourselves, it just feels good."
"Our team energy helped get us going," Sargent said. "There's always fluctuations in a game, but I knew we could pull together and pull it out. It was really emotional. This will really help us."
"I'm just so proud of my kids," added Scarborough coach Mike Giordano. "Every one of them contributed in a different way. In games the last couple of weeks, we've buckled. Tonight, we didn't. We responded. It was a little bit of everything from all the of the kids on the offensive and defensive end. A huge team win."
The Red Storm (now 6-7 and eighth in the Western A Heals) goes to Deering Friday, hosts Cheverus Tuesday, then plays at Sanford, hosts Thornton Academy and closes at South Portland.
"This gives us a chance to maybe host a prelim," said Giordano. "At least we're not on the cusp where if somebody beats somebody, we'd be out. There's still work to do. Plenty of Heal Points left. I really enjoy this group. I walk out of the gym after practices so pleased about how things are going. The kids have responded well to me. It's been a great experience. I'm really enjoying it. Wins and losses come and go, but these kids are battling and that's all you can ask."
South Portland is now sixth in the region at 10-3 after a pair of big road wins: 72-56 at Cheverus and 52-37 at Marshwood. Against the Stags, Maddie Hasson had 25 points and Lydia Henderson added 16. Henderson had 14 and Hasson a dozen versus the Hawks. The Red Riots are home against Windham Friday, go to Gorham and Portland next week, then close with home games versus Cheverus and Scarborough.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth, despite an 8-4 record, was in the 11th spot in the Heals at press time and only 10 teams qualify for the playoffs. The Capers dominated visiting Kennebunk, 54-16, last Friday, behind 10 points from Hannah Sawyer. Cape Elizabeth goes to York Friday, Greely Saturday and Poland Tuesday, then hosts Fryeburg, goes to Falmouth and welcomes Greely to wrap up the regular season.
In Western D, GPCS was 4-8 and 11th (10 teams make the playoffs) heading into Wednesday's game against visiting Sacopee Valley. The Lions were coming off a a 45-37 win at Highview Christian, as Erin Robinson had 13 points, while Ashlee Dawson added 10 points, eight rebounds and five blocks, a 38-15 home loss to Pine Tree Academy and a 60-15 home loss to Forest Hills. GPCS is as Acadia Christian Friday, hosts Seacoast Christian Monday, then closes at Rangeley and Waynflete.
Scarborough's boys' hockey team is still top ranked in Western A at 7-2-1, but the Red Storm's eight-game unbeaten streak came to a close Monday with a 4-3 loss at Lewiston. Scarborough goes to St. Dom's Saturday.
South Portland improved to 5-4 and eighth in the region (nine teams make the playoffs) after sandwiching home wins over Westbrook (6-3) and Bonny Eagle (9-8, in overtime) around a 5-2 home loss to Mt. Ararat. Against the Blue Blazes, Andrew Whipple had a hat trick. Whipple then had five goals, including the tying and winning tally, in the victory over the Scots. Dylan Farrell-Reny and Chris Mitchell added two goals apiece. South Portland goes to Noble Saturday and is home against Lake Region Thursday of next week.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth began the week 2-8-1 and sixth in the Heals (seven teams make the playoffs) after a 3-2 home win over Portland/Deering and losses to visiting Kennebunk (3-2) and at Gorham (4-2). Eli Breed had the winning goal against Portland/Deering. The Capers go to Gardiner Saturday and Kennebunk Monday. They host Leavitt Thursday.
On the girls' side, Scarborough, after a wait of nearly a year, finally got a chance to avenge last year's gutwrenching overtime state game loss when it hosted Greely last Wednesday. The Red Storm, clearly the team to beat this winter, scored one goal in each period and rode a strong defensive effort to a 3-0 victory. Freshman sensation Sami Shoebottom continued to add to her burgeoning legend by scoring the first two goals and an unexpected source, senior Riley McKeown, produced the third.
"We've been pumped for this all day," McKeown said. "It means so much to show them that we're not stuck on states, that we're moving forward. It was definitely worth the wait."
"As freshmen, we didn't feel the actual pain, but coming on to the team, you understand it," said Shoebottom. "This is a really big step in our season."
"It feels good, especially for the seniors," added Scarborough coach Caitlin Cashman. "They've had a lot of heartbreak. This is a confidence booster."
The Red Storm then rolled at Falmouth, 6-0, Saturday (Shoebottom had a hat trick) and held off host Lewiston in a possible state game preview Monday night, 2-0, behind goals from Shoebottom and Alyssa Hulst and a sensational 29 save effort from goalie Devan Kane.
"We've been so fortunate all four years," Cashman said. "(Devan's) just that type of goalie where if the puck goes in, she laughs it off. She has a great mental game. She loves games like this where teams go at her. She thrives in this. I'm like, 'You're a wacko,' but whatever.'"
Scarborough (15-0 and far ahead of the pack in the West Region) is at Cheverus Saturday, goes to Greely Wednesday and also has to make up a game at Leavitt/Edward Little.
"We're not in the clear yet, that's for sure," Cashman said.
Capeflete was third in the West at press time at 7-7 after sandwiching home wins over Portland/Deering (10-1) and Mt. Ararat (3-1) around a 3-2 loss at York. Kathryn Clark had four goals and Hannah Bosworth added three against Portland/Deering. Clark and Bosworth scored in the loss. Against the Eagles, Bosworth, Clark and Katie Ewald all tickled the twine. Capeflete hosted Cheverus Wednesday, welcomes Gorham/Bonny Eagle Saturday, then finishes the regular season next week at home against Biddeford and at Gorham/Bonny Eagle.
After a week off, Scarborough and South Portland's indoor track teams returned to action last weekend at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham.
The Red Riots boys and girls both dominated Cheverus and Portland.
The boys got wins from Steven Smith in the two-mile (11 minutes, 57.48 seconds), Henry Curran in the 55 hurdles (9.08 seconds), Noah Blake in the junior 55 (7.3) and the junior triple (34-2.5), Anthony Tran in the senior 55 (7.0), Jonathan Bagley in the 600 (1:25.42), Bryan Currie in the junior 800 (2:18.78), John Salamone in the mile (4:56.85), Jake Maloney in the senior 800 (2:10.50) and high jump (5 feet), Jacob Angell in the 400 (1:00.79), Isaiah Anderson in the junior long shot (16-10.25), Michael Cuesta in the pole vault (9-6) and senior triple jump (42-3.25), Duncan Preston in the senior shot put (46-7.25), Daniel Guiliani in the junior shot put (42-9.75), Ben Michaud in the senior long jump (20-0) and their 800 (1:42.82) and 3,200 (10:48.14) relay teams.
Girls' victors included Meagan Johnson in the senior triple jump (28-11), Phonsavahn Senesombath in the junior shot put (24-2.25), Michelle Medici in the senior shot put (32-8.5), Shannon Conley in the 800 (2:29.96) and mile (5:24.75), Lauren Magnuson in the senior long jump (14-10), Casey Kelley in the 600 (1:38.08), Sophia Cummings in the junior long jump (13-3), Bridget Campbell in the 400 (1:06.56) Emma Russell in the junior high jump (4-8), Callie O'Brien in the 55 (7.82) and senior long jump (4-10) and 800 relay (1:59.41).
Scarborough's boys and girls defeated Massabesic, McAuley, Noble and Windham.
The boys' team got wins from Cam Langlois in the 200 (24.03) and senior 55 hurdles (8.36), Griffin Madden in the junior 55 hurdles (8.61), Max Ornstein in the 55 (6.96), Jacob Bloom in the two-mile (10:41.80), Colin Jones in the 600 (1;17.96), Jerry Kenney in the junior 400 (53.35), Jacob Terry in the mile (4:36.07), Cam Thibeault in the junior 800 (2:24.24), Mike Pino in the shot put (47-7.75), Sam Rusak in the pole vault (12-11), Alex Karam in the senior 800 (2:06.32), Elliot Youth in the senior long jump (16-5), Matthew Blaisdell in the senior 400 (57.31), and the 800 relay team (1:34.86).
Girls' winners included Aly Atherton in the 200 (28.84) and 400 (1:04.28), Sarah Rinaldi in the high jump (4-10), triple jump (31-5.5), Abbie Murrell in the shot put (27-7.5), Ellen Hall in the 55 hurdles (9.83), Emma Koukos in the 800 (1:39.74), Cailley Ledue in the pole vault (8-6), Laura Volan in the mile (5:34.43) and the 800 relay (1:57.97).
Cape Elizabeth took on six other teams. The boys were second to York and the girls placed fifth.
The boys got wins from Harry Queeney in the high jump (5-8) and the 3,200 relay team (8:59.58). The girls' 3,200 relay was also first (10:57.68).
This weekend, Cape Elizabeth faces Freeport, Fryeburg, Greely, Lake Region, NYA and Wells.
Cape Elizabeth's defending Class A girls' swim team downed visiting Scarborough, 137-43, last week, while the boys beat the Red Storm, 92-90. The Capers girls host McAuley this weekend, while the boys are back in action Jan. 30 versus Greely. The Red Storm hosted Westbrook Thursday.
South Portland's boys were a 98-72 home winner over Westbrook last weekend. The girls prevailed, 92-73. The Red Riots host Thornton Academy Friday.
Local ski teams took part in downhill and cross country action last week.
Monday, Cape Elizabeth joined Freeport, Fryeburg and Yarmouth for an Alpine giant slalom race at Shawnee Peak. The Capers girls were second to the Clippers, while the boys came in third behind the Falcons and Yarmouth. Individually, Emma Landes won the girls' race in a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 4.07 seconds. Jon Fiutak led the boys by placing sixth in 1:03.37.
Last Wednesday, Scarborough's boys and girls were both third in a GS meet at Shawnee Peak. Abby Mills won the girls' race in 1:09.07. The boys were paced by Andrew Mills, who was third in 1:06.26.
Friday, both Scarborough teams came in second in a six-team slalom meet. Abby Mills won the girls' competition in 1:14.86. Andrew Mills (1:47.21) and Matt McAlary (1:49.28) were sixth and seventh respectively in the boys' meet.
On the Nordic side, Cape Elizabeth's girls were sixth and the boys eighth in a 10-team skate race at Starks Hill last week. Individually, Julian Pelzer was fourth on the boys' side (11 minutes, 40.4 seconds). Dana Hatten was 16th in the girls' meet (14:32.8).
Scarborough's wrestling team lost, 53-30, to Windham last week. The Red Storm is at Massabesic Saturday.