February, postseason loom
(Ed. Note: For the complete Cape Elizabeth-Greely girls' basketball and Capeflete-Cheverus girls' hockey game stories, with additional photos, please visit theforecaster.net)
The regular season is coming to an end in basketball and girls' hockey and it's almost time for other sports to hold their big postseason meets.
Here's a look at what happened last week and what's to come:
In Western A, South Portland and Scarborough were hanging on to the final playoff spots at press time.
The Red Riots were 11th at 6-7 after a much-needed 74-64 win at Windham last week. Jordin Jackson had 21 points, Kam Harper added 17 and Jaren Muller finished with 14. After hosting Gorham Tuesday and going to Deering Thursday, South Portland is at Scarborough Saturday, visits undefeated Portland Tuesday of next week and closes at home against Cheverus Feb. 7.
The Red Storm fell to 7-7 after an 88-72 home loss to Deering Friday. Matt Hartl had 24 points in a losing effort. Scarborough began the week 12th in the Heals (only 12 teams make the playoffs). The Red Storm was at Cheverus Tuesday and hosted Sanford Thursday. After welcoming South Portland Saturday, Scarborough closes at Thornton Academy Tuesday of next week.
In Western D, Greater Portland Christian School began the week 2-12 and 15th (only 11 teams make the playoffs) after falling at home to Sacopee Valley (60-20) and winning at Acadia Christian (37-25). The Lions hosted Seacoast Christian Monday, go to Rangeley Friday and close at Waynflete Tuesday of next week.
On the girls' side, South Portland continues to surge at the optimal time. The Red Riots moved up to fourth in the Western A Heals with an impressive 51-33 home win over Windham Friday. Maddie Hasson led the way with 14 points. South Portland had a pivotal showdown at Gorham Tuesday, hosted Deering Thursday, welcomes Cheverus Tuesday of next week, then closes at home against Scarborough Feb. 7.
The Red Storm was 6-8 and ninth at press time after Friday's 49-44 loss at Deering. Bailey Adams had 13 points and Ashley Briggs added 10 in that one. Scarborough was home with Cheverus Tuesday, goes to Sanford Friday, hosts Thornton Academy Tuesday of next week, then closes Feb. 7 at South Portland. All four games are crucial for the Red Storm's playoff hopes.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth is as dangerous as anyone, but unless it gets some wins down the stretch, it will be left on the outside looking in. The Capers just endured an agonizing weekend, falling at York, 36-35, on a buzzer beater, then letting a seven-point third quarter lead slip away at Greely in a 44-40 loss. Against the Wildcats, Montana Braxton had 12 points. Cape Elizabeth then made just one free throw in the fourth quarter in the loss to the Rangers, as they were outscored, 12-1, down the stretch. Braxton excelled with 19 points, 10 rebounds and seven steals, but it wasn't enough.
"Montana played all 32 minutes," Cape Elizabeth coach Chris Casterella said. "I told her before the game she has to get to the hoop. She has the ability. She's trying to figure out her role. Athletically, she's as good as anybody, if not better. It was nice to see her step up. Tonight, she showed the offensive piece that's been coming along.
"Last night hurt because I thought we outplayed (York), but we couldn't handle the pressure. Greely's a very good team and we stayed with them. Our effort was phenomenal tonight. We just have to find a way to get over the dry spell that happens every game. A lead against Greely doesn't mean anything. You can't stall and hold the ball. They missed a lot of shots and they adjusted to what we were doing. To their credit, they hit shots in the second half they didn't make in the first half. I was happy we didn't throw the ball away at the end. That killed us at York."
The Capers (now 12th in the Western Class B Heal Points standings, only 10 teams make the playoffs) went to Poland Tuesday and host Fryeburg Friday, then play at Falmouth next Tuesday before closing with a home game versus Greely Feb. 7.
"We have to keep playing with the intensity we had tonight," Casterella said. "Unfortunately, in a different year, we'd be OK where we are right now. We're competing with every team we play. We just hope we can grab a couple of these last four games. The girls know how important they are. They don't want the season to be over yet."
In Western D, GPCS was 5-9 and 12th (10 teams qualify) at press time after a 50-20 home loss to Sacopee Valley and a 39-16 win at Acadia Christian. The Lions were home with Seacoast Christian Monday, go to Rangeley Friday and close at Waynflete Tuesday of next week.
On the ice, Scarborough's boys' team improved to 8-2-1 and first in the Western A Heals with a 3-2 win at St. Dom's Saturday night. Sam Dedian had the game winner and Matt Henderson scored twice. The Red Storm goes to Portland/Deering Saturday.
South Portland began the week 5-4 and eighth (nine teams qualify for the playoffs) after a 7-0 loss at Noble/Wells Saturday. The Red Riots hosted Lake Region Thursday and go to Massabesic Saturday.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth was clinging to the seventh and final playoff spot at press time with a 3-8-1 record after a 4-1 win at Gardiner Saturday. Eli Breed, Cole Caswell, Dennis Frank and Curtis Guimond all lit the lamp. The Capers went to Kennebunk Monday and hosted Leavitt Thursday and welcome York Saturday.
On the girls' side, Scarborough, which has locked up the top seed for the West Region playoffs, improved to 16-0 after Saturday's 6-0 win at Cheverus. The Red Storm was at Leavitt/Edward Little in a possible state game preview Tuesday and closed the regular season at Greely in a rematch of last year's state final Wednesday.
The Cape Elizabeth-Waynflete co-op team, Capeflete, improved to 9-7 last week with wins over visiting Mt. Ararat (3-1), Cheverus (3-2) and Gorham/Bonny Eagle (9-2). Against the Eagles, Hannah Bosworth, Kathryn Clark and Katie Ewald all scored. Ewald, Bosworth and Kate Ginder, on the power play late, helped beat the Stags.
"I kind of just shot it," said Ginder of her game winner. "Kathryn passed it to me, I saw the five hole and just shot it. It felt good. Coach just told us to screen the goalie and shoot."
"We kept our composure and kept battling," said Capeflete coach Bob Mills, following the win over the Stags. "We knew Cheverus was right behind us in the Heal Points. We knew if we beat them twice, chances are good they won't leapfrog us."
Against Gorham/Bonny Eagle, Clark had three goals, while Julia Ginder, Allison Mills and Gretchen Stevens all tickled the twine twice. Capeflete hosted Biddeford Thursday and has a game at Gorham/Bonny Eagle to close on Saturday.
"We're hoping to win both games so we can have home ice advantage," Clark said. "We want to go into playoffs second or third seed. We'll work on improving. We're not the best we can be yet.""
"If we beat (Biddeford), we'll be in good standing to have a home playoff game," Mills said. "I think this group has believed for the past month-and-a-half that they can do special things. If we can stay healthy and rested, I think we can do some damage."
Strong indoor track performances continued last weekend at USM.
Scarborough's powerhouse boys' team beat South Portland and three other teams.
Individually, the Red Storm got wins from Jerry Kenney in the 200 (23.95 seconds), Griffin Madden in the junior 55 hurdles (8.62), Cameron Langlois in the senior 55 hurdles (8.27), Jacob Terry in the two-mile (10 minutes, 49.3 seconds), Colin Jones in the 800 (2:04.64), Jacob Bloom in the mile (4:46.53), Edward James in the pole vault (11 feet, 6 inches) Mike Pino in the shot put (49-6.25) and its 800 (1;33.98) relay team.
The Red Riots got victories from Jake Maloney in the 800 (2:14.10), Duncan Preston in the long jump (19-10.75), Michael Cuesta in the triple jump (43-1.25) and Daniel Giuliani in the shot put (44-6).
The South Portland girls placed first, while Scarborough finished third.
The Red Riots got wins from Callie O'Brien in the junior 55 (7.88) and junior high jump (5-0), Lauren Magnuson in the senior 200 (27.59), Shannon Conley in the 400 (1:03.09), Sophia Cummings in the long jump (14-00.75), Bridget Campbell in the triple jump (32-9.25), Michelle Medici in the shot put (33-6.75) and their 800 (1:53.0) and 3,200 (10:45.90) relays.
Red Storm event winners included Sarah Rinaldi in the high jump (5-0), Aly Atherton in the junior 200 (29.01) and Cailley Ledue in the pole vault (9 feet).
Action resumes Feb. 8, with the SMAA championships.
In Western Maine Conference action last weekend, also at USM, Cape Elizabeth's boys came in second to Fryeburg in a seven-team meet. The Capers got wins from Liam Simpson in the two-mile (10:25.65) and mile (4:30.39), Deven Roberts in the triple jump (37 feet, 00.75 inches) and the senior high jump (5-8), Harry Queeney in the junior high jump (5-8) and Andrew Kelly in the shot put (38-6.5).
Cape Elizabeth's girls came in fifth and got a win from Hailey Petsinger in the senior 400 (1:04.48).
In the regular season finale this weekend, the Capers battle Falmouth, Freeport, Fryeburg, Greely, Traip and York in the early meet.
Scarborough's boys' swim team won at Westbrook last weekend, 122-64, while the girls beat the Blue Blazes, 109-58. The Red Storm closes the regular season at South Portland Feb. 6.
The Red Riots boys edged Thornton Academy, 90-85, while the girls lost to the Golden Trojans, 95-89.
Cape Elizabeth's girls downed McAuley last weekend, 136-38. The Capers closed the regular season Thursday when they hosted Greely.
In the South Portland Diving Invitational Saturday, South Portland's Lydia McMullin was third in the girls' 6-dive with a score of 84.60 points. Cape Elizabeth's Michaela Pinette was third in the girls' 11-dive with 206.55 points. South Portland's Josh Centeno placed third in the boys' 6-dive (90.20). Scarborough's top performer was Nate Erickson, who came in third in the boys' 11-dive (225.00).
Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough took part in the Sassi Memorial Nordic ski race Saturday.
In the girls' competition, the Capers were 16th out of 41 teams, while the Red Storm placed 38th. Cape Elizabeth's Dana Hatton was sixth individually with a time of 16 minutes, 47 seconds. The Capers boys came in 18th out of 38 teams, while Scarborough placed 28th.
On the Alpine side, Scarborough's girls were second and boys third in a six-team giant slalom meet at Shawnee Peak last week. Abby Mills won the girls' meet in a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 5.87 seconds. Matthew McAlary placed third on the boys' side (1:06.00).
Scarborough's wrestling team lost to Massabesic (72-12) and Portland (49-12) Saturday. The Red Storm hosted Kennebunk Wednesday and closes the regular season by welcoming Biddeford and Bonny Eagle Saturday.