Sat, Apr 19, 2014 ●
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Spring season hits critical stretch

Sports

Spring season hits critical stretch

(Ed. Note: For the complete Cheverus-Scarborough girls' lacrosse game story and Portland-Scarborough girls' tennis match story, with additional photos and box scores, please visit theforecaster.net)

The games are getting more meaningful as the spring sports season roars past the midway pole and into the home stretch and that was reflected in recent days with several pivotal matchups. Even more loom in the days to come.

Here's a glimpse:

Baseball

Waynflete's baseball team is quietly putting together another very strong season.

The Flyers made it five straight wins last Wednesday with a 6-1 victory at Old Orchard Beach. Nik Morrill got the win and had a key RBI hit. Friday, Waynflete dropped to 5-2 with a 12-7 home loss to Western B contender Gray-New Gloucester. The Flyers took a 6-2 lead to the fifth, but couldn't hold it. Waynflete (sixth in the Western Class C Heal Points standings) was at Traip Monday, hosts Sacopee Wednesday, goes to perennial Class B power Greely Friday and returns home Monday of next week to face Traip.

In Western A, city teams are coming off a rough week.

Portland dropped an 8-1 decision at Marshwood last Tuesday (Tim Rovnak and Nick Volger did have two hits apiece), then had games postponed by inclement weather on consecutive days at Bonny Eagle, then again Saturday against Massabesic. The Bulldogs (4-3 and eighth in the Heals) made up their game against Massabesic Monday, welcome South Portland Wednesday, have a showdown at unbeaten defending regional champion Scarborough Thursday (see theforecaster.net for full details), visit Westbrook Saturday and play at Cheverus Tuesday of next week.

The Stags lost, 9-2, to visiting Westbrook (despite two hits from Felix del Vecchio) and 3-2 at Noble (Ethan Jordan and Jensen LaPoint had RBI hits) last week as their skid hit three games and record dropped to 4-4. Cheverus (seventh in the region) was home against Marshwood Monday, plays at Biddeford Tuesday, visits Massabesic Thursday, plays host to Kennebunk Saturday and Portland next Monday.

Deering's losing streak was at seven at press time after the Rams dropped close decisions at Biddeford (5-4) and at home versus Sanford (8-6). Nick Carmichael and Dominic Esposito both had two hits against the Tigers. Deering (1-8 and 13th in Western A, where just 11 teams make the playoffs) was home against Bonny Eagle Monday, visits Scarborough Tuesday, hosts Windham Thursday and goes to South Portland Tuesday of next week.

Softball

Cheverus' softball team, after its sizzling start, hit a bump in the road last week with losses at Westbrook (5-4) and at home to Biddeford (5-3), but got back in the win column Friday, 7-1, at Portland, to improve to 6-3. Against the Blue Blazes, Libby DesRuisseaux singled, tripled and drove in a run. In the loss to the Tigers, DesRuisseaux added two more hits and drove in two runs. In the victory, DesRuisseaux had four hits and Casey Simpson finished with three. Brittany Bell struck out 10 batters in garnering the victory. The Stags (10th in the Western Class A Heals) were home with defending regional champion South Portland Monday, play at Gorham Wednesday, welcome Bonny Eagle Friday and have a test under the lights at Scarborough Monday of next week.

Portland suffered 10-1 losses to visiting Kennebunk (Leanne Reichert did triple and single) and host Marshwood and a 7-1 home defeat to Cheverus to fall to 2-9 (16th in the standings). The Bulldogs were at Windham Monday, welcome Westbrook Wednesday and go to Biddeford Saturday.

McAuley fell to 1-9 and 15th in the Heals after losses last week at South Portland (18-0, in five innings), at home to Kennebunk (12-0, in five innings), at home to Gorham (6-0) and at Bonny Eagle (12-0, in five innings). The road gets no easier for the Lions, who hosted Scarborough Monday, play at Thornton Academy Wednesday, welcome Noble Friday and visit Sanford Monday. Those are four of the top five ranked teams in the region.

Deering is still seeking its first victory. The Rams fell to 0-10 and 17th after a 10-3 loss at Gorham, a 19-3 (five inning) home defeat to Bonny Eagle and a 15-3 (five inning) setback at Scarborough. Deering was home against Thornton Academy Monday, visits Noble Wednesday, plays host to Sanford Friday and goes to Massabesic Monday of next week.

Boys' lacrosse

Portland's boys' lacrosse team got in the win column last week. The Bulldogs snapped a seven-game skid to open the season with a 13-3 home win over Noble, behind six goals from Joe Nielsen. Portland fell to 1-8 after a 17-5 home loss to Class B powerhouse Yarmouth Saturday. Max Pierter had three goals and Luigi Grimaldi a pair in that one. The Bulldogs (10th in the Eastern A Heals, only seven teams make the playoffs) go to Cheverus Wednesday, play host to Windham Saturday and close at Bonny Eagle Wednesday of next week.

Defending regional champion Cheverus is second to Brunswick in the Heals at 6-2. The Stags extended their win streak to four last Wednesday, 11-3, at Westbrook, but lost, 6-2, to visiting Cape Elizabeth Saturday. Cheverus hosts Portland Wednesday and plays at Gorham Monday.

Deering was 4-4 and fourth in the standings at press time after a 12-2 win at Windham and a 14-4 home setback to two-time defending Class B champion Falmouth. The Rams play at Gorham Wednesday and visit Greely Saturday at the cruel time of 9 a.m.

In Western B, Waynflete evened its record with a 16-3 home win over Fryeburg last Tuesday, then fell, 12-6, at Thornton Academy Saturday to drop to 3-4 on the year. In the win, Henry Cleaves had five goals and Zander Majercik scored four times. Against the Golden Trojans, Majercik had three goals. The Flyers (fifth in the Heals) play at York Thursday, welcome Western A contender South Portland Saturday and go to North Yarmouth Academy Tuesday.

Girls' lacrosse

On the girls' side, Cheverus, a regional finalist two years running, is making some serious noise.

The Stags extended their win streak to five with impressive victories last week over visiting Marshwood (13-10) and at three-time defending Class A champion Scarborough (9-7, in an overtime thriller). Against the Hawks, Meredith Willard had four goals, Alex Logan and Abby Biegel three apiece and Elyse Caiazzo added three goals and a whopping seven assists. At the Red Storm, the Stags took a 7-2 lead to the half and appeared in firm control, but not surprisingly, Scarborough rallied and won the second half, 5-0, to tie it, 7-7, and force overtime.

There, Cheverus, which hadn't scored in over 27 minutes, somehow found the will and heart to rise off the deck, breaking the tie when Willard and Logan combined for a goal, then getting some breathing room on a tremendous individual effort from Biegel, who scored unassisted after a draw win. The Stags went on to a 9-7 victory, snapping a six-game losing streak to Scarborough in the process.

Logan had a special game all over the field, finishing with a game-high four goals, while Willard added two goals and two assists and Biegel scored twice as Cheverus improved to 5-1.

"We knew it was a really big game for us," said Biegel. "We all wanted it so much. You could tell they did too, but them beating us the past few years was enough. We have a lot of potential this year. I don't think words can describe how it felt to win. It was one of the most fun, intense games I've ever played in."

"(Coach) Jamie (Chamberlain) always says, 'Have faith in each other,'" Logan said. "I think that helped us in the end. When things got tough, we didn't freak out or yell at each other like some teams do. We didn't want to be that team. I really feel like we have heart and faith. I really feel like that won the game for us. We were so composed. It was a great contest."

"It was unbelievable," Willard added. "I think it was all heart. Keeping our composure was key. We knew it would be intense. We had confidence, composure and heart and we worked together. It was awesome."

Chamberlain was very impressed with his team's poise under pressure.

"We've done well starting off, getting leads, but we told them at halftime that Scarborough would make adjustments and come back," Chamberlain said. "What I liked is that we took their best shot, bent but didn't break and held our heads. In overtime, we got back to where we were at the beginning of the game, like the game was starting over again. We just played hard and didn't worry about the score."

The Stags (second to Messalonskee in the Eastern A Heals) was home with Windham Tuesday, goes to NYA Wednesday, visits nemesis Kennebunk Friday and goes to dangerous Thornton Academy Tuesday of next week.

Portland improved to 5-2 and began the week fifth in the standings after a 15-5 victory at Bonny Eagle and an 18-12 home win over McAuley. The Bulldogs were at Deering Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and host Westbrook Thursday.

Deering has come alive of late, improving to 3-4 and 10th in the Heals (the top eight teams in the region qualify for the playoffs) after defeating host Biddeford (8-6) and visiting Noble (9-7) last week. Against the Tigers, the Rams rallied from a halftime deficit to prevail behind two goals apiece from Maddy Mazjanis, Lilly O'Leary and Juliana Salamone. Mazjanis added five goals to help beat the Knights. After hosting Portland Tuesday, Deering plays host to Bonny Eagle Friday and welcomes South Portland Monday.

McAuley is still seeking its first win. The Lions fell to 0-7 after losses at Windham (16-11, despite six goals from the high-scoring Katherine Lake) and Portland (18-12). McAuley (11th in the Heals) was home against South Portland Tuesday, hosts Sanford Thursday and goes to Westbrook Tuesday of next week.

Last, but not least, Waynflete continues to dazzle, although the Flyers had a pretty quiet week last week. Last Tuesday, they hosted Freeport in a state final rematch and after trailing for the first time all season, put it all together to prevail, 13-7, behind six goals from Sadie Cole and five more from Walker Foehl. Thursday, Waynflete visited Greely and jumped out 3-1 behind goals from Cole (assisted by Martha Veroneau), Veroneau (unassisted) and Cole (from Foehl), but with 12:54 to go in the first half, the game was interrupted by thunder and eventually called. It will be made up May 29. The Flyers (7-0 and first in Western B) were home against Cape Elizabeth in a highly anticipated showdown Monday (see theforecaster.net for all the details), then are idle until Tuesday of next week when they host Falmouth.

Track

McAuley and Portland's girls' outdoor track teams joined Kennebunk and Noble at Scarborough last Tuesday. The Lions came in third and the Bulldogs were fifth (the Red Storm came in first). McAuley got wins from Olivia Smith in the discus (96 feet, 6 inches) and the javelin (85-9) and racewalker Emma Downey (11 minutes, 1.2 seconds). Portland's Madison Bolduc took the triple jump (30-5) and Claire Kirby won the 100 hurdles (18.54 seconds).

Cheverus, along with Sanford and Windham, competed at Bonny Eagle and came in second behind the hosts. The Stags got first-place finishes from Abby Goodrich in the 100 hurdles (16.0), triple jump (32-5) and the long jump (16-7.5), Anne Slattery in the 300 hurdles (51.0), Greta Niedermeyer in the racewalk (10:02.2), Kiera Murray in the two-mile (11:46.2) and Sarah Mount in the 400 (1:03.2).

Deering's girls joined Marshwood and Westbrook at Thornton Academy and placed third. The Rams got wins from Whitney Adell in the 100 (13.82), Lizzy Fowler in the 800 (2:37.68), Alexis Elowitch in the javelin (99-11) and their 400 relay (53.83).

Waynflete joined Freeport, Lisbon and Old Orchard Beach at Sacopee last week and placed fourth. Rowan Price was runner-up in the long jump (4.6). The Flyers' 3,200 relay (11:01.1) was also second.

On the boys' side, Waynflete competed at Cape Elizabeth Friday, but results weren't available at press time.

Cheverus hosted Bonny Eagle, Sanford and Windham and came first behind wins from Isaac Yeboah in the 110 hurdles (15.1), Jackson McMann in the 100 (10.7) and 200 (22.4), Jake Dixon in the 400 (52.0), Jacob Schott in the 300 hurdles (45.3), Jimmy Campbell in the 800 (2:02.9), Mike Sinclair in the shot put (42-8.5), Matt Cushing in the discus (128-9) and javelin (169-4), Iain Whitis in the pole vault (9-0) and 1,600 relay (3:31.9).

Deering hosted Marshwood, Thornton Academy and Westbrook and was second the Golden Trojans. Jared Bell won the discus (161-0) and javelin (151-0), Jacob Coon took the high jump (5-6) and triple jump (39-5) and the Rams' 3,200 relay won in 9:40.3.

Portland joined Kennebunk and Scarborough at Noble and placed fourth. Drew Graham won the 300 hurdles in 42.38.

The regular season comes to a close Friday with the Cumberland County meet in Gorham.

Tennis

Portland's girls' tennis passed its biggest test to date last Monday, when it held off visiting Scarborough, 3-2. The Bulldogs got quick wins at first singles (Annette Denekas) and second singles (Sophia Hulbert), but Scarborough rallied for a three-set victory at first doubles and wound up winning second doubles as well. Portland sophomore Margot Andreasen then outlasted Scarborough freshman Megan Nathanson at third singles to finally put a bow on the match and give the Bulldogs a 3-2 victory.

"I was so nervous going into it," said Denekas, who moved into the top singles spot prior to the match. "Most of us were predicting 3-2. We'll probably see each other again."

"Eventually it all worked out," said Andreason. "I was worried it was slipping away, but I told myself I couldn't let it happen. I didn't want it to go into a third set. I was very relieved when it was over."

"I'm happy with the win," added Portland coach Bonnie Moran. "I told the girls, I know (Scarborough's) doubles are strong and they're always deep. We typically win with our doubles, so it's a little disconcerting to lose doubles. We did win at singles. The singles players know what to do. The girls are such good sports and so supportive. They really are a tight group. They're very competitive, but they really like each other."

The Bulldogs improved to 8-0 and first in the Western Class A Heal Points standings after blanking Thornton Academy and Marshwood. Portland is at reigning regional champion McAuley Friday and closes the regular season Monday at home versus Deering.

Cheverus began the week fourth in the Heals at 5-2 (after a 3-2 win over McAuley last week). The Lions were fifth at 5-3 (downing Deering, 4-1, Friday). The Rams sat ninth (the top 11 teams make the playoffs) at 3-4, while in Western C, two-time defending state champion Waynflete was clinging to the ninth and final playoff spot at press time with a 5-3 record (beating Greely, while losing to perennial champion Falmouth and York last week).

On the boys' side, five-time Class C champion Waynflete dropped a 3-2 decision at two-time Class B champion Falmouth, but improved to 6-2 and fourth in the standings with wins over Greely and York. In Western A, Portland has been a pleasant surprise and began the week 7-2 and fourth after 3-2 wins over Scarborough and Thornton Academy and a 5-0 victory over Marshwood last week. Deering began the week 3-4 and sixth (capping last week with a 4-1 victory over Scarborough). Cheverus was 2-4 and ninth.

The tennis singles tournament was scheduled to begin Saturday, but the qualifying round was moved to Tuesday due to bad weather.

McAuley's Devri Ramsey is the No. 4 seed in Region 5 on the girls' side, while Waynflete's Emily White is ranked seventh, Cheverus' Caty Galligan eighth, Portland's Denekas ninth, Hulbert 11th, Andreasen 12th and Cheverus' Lan Zhou 16th. Waynflete's Patrick Ordway is second among the boys in Region 5. Teammates Isaac Salas and Ben Shapiro are ranked sixth and 10th respectively.

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