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Let the championship fun begin

Sports

Let the championship fun begin

(Ed. Note: For the complete Deering-South Portland and Portland-Windham baseball and Waynflete-Greely girls' lacrosse game stories, with photos and box scores, see theforecaster.net)

Believe it or not, it's time to think postseason.

The tennis singles tournament is in full swing with the team postseason set to commence. Track will host its conference championships this weekend with the state meets looming June 7. While baseball, softball and boys' and girls' lacrosse are still playing, the end is in sight for those sports as well.

Here's a look at what's transpired and what's to come:

Tennis

The preliminary round of the singles tennis tournament was held at Deering High School Wednesday.

Waynflete's Emily White, seeded fourth, beat Bonny Eagle's Hilary Kenney (6-2, 6-0). Cheverus' Caty Galligan advanced in a walkover. Portland's Margot Andreasen beat North Yarmouth Academy's Corinne Poitras (6-1, 6-0). Waynflete's Lexi Epstein downed Kennebunk's Laura Haddad (6-1, 6-4). Deering's Maddie Abbott advanced with wins over Biddeford's Monica Getchalian (8-2) and Yarmouth's Morgan Hamre (6-3, 5-7, 6-2).

Portland's Alyssa Vaccaro was an 8-0 winner over Cape Elizabeth's Erin Whitcomb in the preliminary round, then lost to top-ranked Olivia Leavitt of Falmouth in the qualifying round, 0-6, 0-6. Waynflete's Allie Armstrong beat Freeport's Katie McClelland in a preliminary round walkover, then was beaten by NYA's Lena Rich (1-6, 0-6).

In the preliminary round, McAuley's Kimanna Nguyen lost to Bonny Eagle's Kirsten Thomas by double default, Portland's Georgia Drew was ousted by Cape Elizabeth's Kate Miklavic (0-8), McAuley's Mary Furlong was beaten by Biddeford's Michelle Cote (4-8), McAuley's Siobhan Kenneally lost to Hamre (1-8), Deering's Jazmine Abasta was beaten by Greely's Allie Eaton (4-8), Cheverus' Jess Soucy fell to Greely's Katherine Pare (1-8), Cheverus' Natalia Mavor was ousted by Windham' Sarah Rich (5-8) and Deering's Ava Koeningberg lost to Gorham's Whitney King (3-8).

The boys' preliminary and qualifying rounds were held at Waynflete and Cape Elizabeth.

Waynflete's Isaac Salas advanced by virtue of a 6-0, 6-1 win over Windham's Dominick Cancelarich. Deering's Tyler Butler moved on after beating South Portland's Ian Mitchell, 6-1, 6-1. Waynflete's Brandon Ameglio had to win two matches to advance and did so, downing Cheverus' John Devine, 8-4, and York's Jack Lawlor, 7-6 (5), 6-4.

Deering's Isaac Finberg won his first match, 8-2, over Massabesic's Jacob Collupy, then lost, 0-6, 0-6 to Falmouth's Brendan McCarthy. Portland's Peter Gribizis was an 8-2 winner over Windham's Jarron Nadeau, 8-2, then lost to Kennebunk's David Behrens, 2-6, 6-3, 1-6. Deering's Conor Doane was an 8-0 winner over NYA's Max Maurer, then lost, 2-6, 4-6 to Gorham's Thomas Brent.

Preliminary round losers included Portland's Chris Eye (by default, to Westbrook's Jordan Gattine), Cheverus' Matthew McCormick (1-8 to South Portland's Mitchell), Cheverus' George Budri (5-8, to Kennebunk's Behrens) and Portland's Curran Clere (3-8, to Cape Elizabeth's Eli Breed).

Looking ahead, the singles tournament continues Friday and Saturday at Colby College in Waterville. In the boys' competition, Salas is seeded third. White is ranked 10th on the girls' side. The semifinals and finals will be Monday, June 2 at Bates College in Lewiston.

In team action, the three-time defending Class C champion Waynflete girls wound up third in Western C with a 10-2 record after closing with a 5-0 win over Yarmouth and a 5-0 loss to six-time Class B champion Falmouth.

In Western A, Portland was closing in on the top seed at press time. The Bulldogs took a 10-0 record into matches against Massabesic and Marshwood to close the year. Cheverus was 9-1 and fifth heading into its final matches against Windham and Gorham. Deering had the No. 10 seed with a 3-7 mark with matches against Bonny Eagle and McAuley looming. McAuley clung to the 12th and final playoff spot with a 2-8 mark going into matches versus Westbrook and Deering.

On the boys' side, six-time defending Class C champion Waynflete finished the regular year  9-3 after beating Yarmouth, 4-1, and losing to Falmouth, 3-2. The Flyers were fourth as of press time, but that could change.

In Western A, Deering is bound for the top seed. The Rams improved to 11-0 last week with a 4-1 win at Cheverus. They looked to complete a perfect regular season against Bonny Eagle. Portland has won six matches in a row and was up to sixth in the region at 6-4 heading into matches against Massabesic and Marshwood. Cheverus sat eighth at 6-4 with matches against Windham and Gorham remaining.

The team tournament begins June 3 with the preliminary round. The quarterfinals are June 5 and the semifinals June 7, with all rounds being played on the home court of the higher seed. The regional finals are June 12 at Bates College in Lewiston. The state finals are June 14, also at Bates.

Baseball

Baseball remains unpredictable and all four city teams are still in the playoff hunt.

Portland began the week 7-5 and sixth after losing at Scarborough (7-5), blanking host, top-ranked South Portland (3-0) and falling at home to Windham (11-2). Against the Red Storm, Ryan Dixon had two hits and three RBI, but took the loss.

"We had our chances," lamented Bulldogs coach Tony DiBiase. "A lot of chances, but you have to take advantage. We didn't quit."

In the win, Nick DiPalma threw a five-hitter. Saturday, Portland fell behind the Eagles, 4-0, after one inning, and 10-0, in the top of the third, due in large part to five errors. The Bulldogs had some baserunners, but weren't able to rally.

"We've been due for a bad game," said DiBiase. "When we catch and throw the ball, we can play with anybody. We had runners and couldn't get a key hit, but it came down to our defense."

Portland was supposed to play Deering Monday, but that game was moved to Tuesday due to bad weather. The Bulldogs host Massabesic Thursday and Westbrook Saturday and close at Sanford June 3.

Cheverus was eighth, also at 7-5, after a 5-1 home win over Deering, a 6-3 home victory over Westbrook and a 9-5 loss at Massabesic. Against the Rams, Charlie Mull had three hits and Chris Tinsman drove in a pair. Alex Jacobs threw a five-hitter. Against the Blue Blazes, Felix del Vecchio had three hits and two RBI and Logan McCarthy and Jonathan Ruterbories both drove in a pair. Mitchell Powers went the distance for the victory. The Stags went to Sanford Tuesday, host Thornton Academy Thursday and Gorham Saturday and close at Noble June 4.

Deering appeared bound for the playoffs after a recent win over Scarborough, but the Rams' offense then went into hibernation and they lost four in a row: 5-1 at Cheverus, 1-0 at Bonny Eagle, 1-0 (in nine innings) at Windham and 12-1 at home to South Portland. Dan Marzilli only gave up two hits and was the hard-luck loser against the Scots. In the loss to the Red Riots, Brendan McNally scored on a wild pitch to end a 22-plus inning scoreless streak and cut the deficit to 2-1, but South Portland broke it open with three runs in the sixth and seven in the seventh.

“We scored a run and got five hits and we didn't make any errors today," said Deering coach Tim Eisenhart. "We're just very young and injuries are hurting us. It shows when we get guys on base and can't push them across. It's very frustrating."

After facing rival Portland Tuesday, Deering hosts Massabesic Saturday and closes the regular season at Westbrook June 3.

In Western C, Waynflete was 10th at 7-6 (12 teams make the playoffs) after a 1-3 week. The Flyers lost at Sacopee (5-4) and at Traip (7-6) after beating visiting North Yarmouth Academy (7-3), they fell at Old Orchard Beach (2-1, in eight innings). Isaac Scher doubled against the Hawks, who scored twice in the bottom of the seventh. In the loss to the Rangers, Tom Silk had multiple hits. Scher had four hits and Will Manny drove in two runs in the victory. Joey Schnier was the hard-luck loser against the Seagulls. Waynflete went to Sacopee Tuesday, hosts NYA Wednesday and closes the regular season at home against Poland Friday.

Softball

Cheverus' softball team met its match last week when defending Class A state champion Scarborough paid a visit and handed the Stags a 4-0 defeat. Cheverus managed just one hit, a single from Brittany Bell, against Red Storm ace Alyssa Williamson. The Stags then lost decisively for the first time Friday, falling, 9-2, at Thornton Academy. Cheverus takes a 10-3 record and the No. 3 ranking in Western A into Wednesday's home game versus Noble. After playing at Sanford Friday, the Stags close the regular season June 4 at home versus Massabesic. One, possibly two home playoff games are still in play for this squad.

McAuley is still chasing a postseason spot. The Lions lost by big margins twice last week: 16-1 (in five innings) to visiting Thornton Academy and 11-1 at Noble. Ally Tillotson had a triple and Lauren Coulombe and Sam Libby both had multiple heads against the Knights. Friday, McAuley improved to 6-8 with a 4-3 win over visiting Sanford, as Taylor Whaley threw a two-hitter and Tillotson tripled and drove in two runs. The Lions (ninth in Western A) were at Massabesic Tuesday and close Friday at home versus Deering.

Portland began the week 4-9 and 16th, but only 12 teams make the postseason. Last week, the Bulldogs fell at home to Biddeford (9-0) and at South Portland (12-0, in five innings). After visiting Bonny Eagle Tuesday, Portland hosts Gorham Wednesday and closes at home against defending champion Scarborough Monday.

Deering almost got its first win last Monday, but lost in eight innings to visiting Noble, 8-5. The Knights erased an early 4-0 Rams' lead. Isabelle Doughty, who had two hits, drove in the tying run in the seventh. Wednesday, Deering lost, 13-2, at Sanford. The next day, the Rams came close again, but despite a home run from Erin Winschel, lost at home to Gorham, 3-2. Friday, Deering fell to 0-14 with a 23-0 (five inning) home loss to Massabesic. The Rams (18th in Western A) are at McAuley Friday and close at Marshwood Monday.

Boys' lacrosse

Cheverus' two-time defending Eastern A champion boys' lacrosse team was 6-4 and fourth in the Heals at press time after romping at Noble (15-4) and Westbrook (15-7). Thomas Lawson and Jack Sutton both had three goals against the Knights. Nick Schleh had four goals and Pat O'Hanlon scored three times against the Blue Blazes. The Stags host Portland Wednesday and close the regular season Saturday at Marshwood.

Portland was sixth at 4-5 after a 14-2 win at Oak Hill, a 12-7 victory at Bonny Eagle and a 22-6 loss at South Portland. John Boyd and Mike Fuller both had four goals against the Raiders. Fuller scored five times and Luigi Grimaldi added three goals against the Scots. In the loss, the Bulldogs only trailed, 6-4, at halftime, before the Red Riots pulled away. Fuller scored three times. Portland is at Cheverus Wednesday, welcomes Massabesic Saturday and closes the regular season June 5 at home against Marshwood.

Deering clung to the eighth and final playoff spot at 3-6 after a 26-6 home loss to South Portland and an 18-10 home win over Massabesic. Sam Hornblower scored three times against the Red Riots. Isaac Santerre had six goals and Alec Halpin scored four in the victory. The Rams go to Windham Wednesday, visit Noble Friday and close the regular season at home versus Westbrook June 4.

In Western B, Waynflete was 5-4 and fifth in the Heals at press time. Last week, the Flyers enjoyed an 18-2 home romp over Lake Region, as Harry Baker-Connick and Will Nelligan both scored three times, then dropped a 5-4 home heartbreaker to perennial powerhouse Yarmouth. In that one, Henry Cleaves scored twice and had the ball as time wound down with a chance to tie, but he turned the ball over. Waynflete got 14 saves from goalie Graham Ratner.

"To be honest, I kind of ran out of moves," Cleaves said. "At the end, I was too fatigued. I looked for my teammates, but everyone was ball-watching, so there wasn't much I could do."

"I feel like we won, in my mind," Ratner said. "We were calm and confident. I think we played the best lacrosse we played all season and in the past couple years. We should be as happy as if we did win. I feel like we played our hearts out."

"We feel pretty good about how we played," added Flyers coach Dan Thomsen. "Everyone went hard and left everything on the field. We're comfortable having a result like that against a great team like Yarmouth."

Waynflete is at Wells Wednesday, goes to York Friday of next week and closes at home versus Freeport June 5.

Girls' lacrosse

Waynflete's girls' lacrosse team has now won five in a row after its 1-2 start led many to believe the Flyers wouldn't be a serious contender. The latest two wins came last week, 13-7, over visiting York and 11-8 at Greely. Cat Johnson scored five goals and Ella Millard added four against the Wildcats. At the Rangers, Leigh Fernandez scored five times, including a goal right before halftime to make it 4-4 and two quick ones in the second half after Greely went ahead by two. Johnson had three goals, including the go-ahead tally with just over eight minutes to play, and Christian Rowe scored twice to help Waynflete pull away late.

"I was very concerned today, because Greely's an amazing team," Fernandez said. "We came together with passing and trusting each other. It was a true team effort moving off ball and connecting with each other."

"We never underestimate Greely," Johnson said. "You can see they fought all the way to the end. That's the theme for a lot of teams this season, who can play a full 50 minutes and then some."

"I had some nice goals, but I wouldn't have done it without anyone else," Rowe said. "They were both assisted. That's more props to the team than to me."

"I knew they'd give us a battle," added Waynflete coaching maestro Cathie Connors, who might be in the midst of her piece de resistance this spring. "It's always tough here."

The Flyers (6-2 and second to Kennebunk in the Western Class B Heals) host the Rams in a pivotal showdown Thursday (see theforecaster.net for game story). Waynflete then welcomes Yarmouth Saturday (see theforecaster.net for game story), hoping to avenge a lopsided loss from earlier this season. The Flyers go to Cheverus June 4 for a battle of defending champions, then close at Cape Elizabeth June 6.

Speaking of Cheverus, the Stags held off visiting Thornton Academy last Tuesday, 9-6, then lost an overtime heartbreaker at Marshwood Thursday, 11-10. Against the Golden Trojans, Meredith Willard scored three times and Elyse Caiazzo and Anne Veroneau both had two goals. Willard had five goals and Alex Logan four in the overtime loss to the Hawks. Saturday, Cheverus jumped out quickly and went on to a 17-7 victory at Messalonskee in a makeup game as Willard went off for 10 goals (tying her career high). The Stags (6-2 and second to Cony in Eastern A) hosted Scarborough Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), visit dangerous Gorham Thursday, welcomes McAuley June 3 and Waynflete June 4.

Portland got back in the win column Wednesday, 20-4, at McAuley, behind four goals apiece from Ella Coose, Erin Mahoney and Merritt Ryan. Friday, the Bulldogs fell to 3-5 and fifth in Eastern A with a 19-13 loss at Cony. Portland went to Thornton Academy Tuesday, hosts Bonny Eagle Thursday, welcomes Edward Little Friday and closes the regular season with a home game versus Deering June 3.

Deering was 2-7 and ninth (only eight teams make the playoffs) after losses at South Portland (12-8) and Westbrook (15-7) and an 8-4 win at Camden Hill. Wyatt Spike scored three goals against the Red Riots. Casey Girsch had three versus the Blue Blazes. The Rams were at McAuley Tuesday, host Sanford Thursday and close at Portland June 3.

McAuley fell to 1-7 and 10th after a 20-4 home loss to Portland and a 19-8 setback at Gorham. Kaeli Leddy scored six times against the Rams. The Lions were home against Deering Tuesday, welcome Windham Thursday and Lincoln Academy Saturday and close at Cheverus June 3.

Outdoor track

The outdoor track regular season closed with the Cumberland County championship meet in Scarborough Saturday.

In the boys' meet, won by Scarborough, Cheverus placed third, Deering was fifth and Portland seventh.

The Stags got wins from Elijah Yeboah in the 110 hurdles (15.97 seconds), Isaac Yeboah in the 300 hurdles (39.96), Jake Dixon in the 400 (49.99), Nick White in the discus (152 feet, 11 inches), Justin Johnston in the javelin (152-5) and their 1,600 relay team (3 minutes, 30.94 seconds). Rams winners included Iid Sheikh-Yusef in the mile (4:43.74), Yahya Hussein in the two-mile (9:58.23) and Jacob Coon in the high jump (6-0). The Bulldogs were led by Jonathan Bobe, who came in second in the 200 (23.77).

In the girls' competition, won by South Portland, Cheverus came in fourth, McAuley placed sixth, Deering finished eighth and Portland was ninth.

The Stags got wins from Sarah Mount in the 400 (1:01.89), Milena Opielowski in the long jump (16-1) and their 3,200 relay (10:07.13). The Lions got three individual victories from throwing standout Olivia Smith, who took the discus (124-6), javelin (106-4) and shot put (36-3). The Rams were led by Caitlin Lally, who was second in the 300 hurdles (51.59). The Bulldogs got third-place showings from Claire Kirby in the 100 hurdles (17.81) and their 400 relay (56.26).

Waynflete, meanwhile, ended its regular year at Yarmouth, facing the Clippers, along with Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth and Greely. The Flyers were fifth in both genders. Cody Tiparos was second in the boys' 100 (12.12).

This coming Saturday, the Southwestern Maine Activities Association championship meet will be held at Scarborough, while the Western Maine Conference championship meet will be contested at Lake Region.

On June 7, Cheverus, Deering and Portland will vie for Class A state glory at Windham, while McAuley and Waynflete take part in the Class C championships at Foxcroft Academy.

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