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February fun underway

Sports

February fun underway

(Ed. Note: For the complete Greely-Yarmouth boys' and Greely-Yarmouth girls' basketball game stories, please visit theforecaster.net)

Yarmouth's swim team rang in the postseason last weekend and everyone else is about to follow suit.

The girls' hockey playoffs are underway, basketball's regular season ends Friday, boys' hockey isn't far behind and conference and Southwestern titles in indoor track, swimming and skiing will be contested this coming weekend.

Here's what happened last week and what's to come:

Swimming

Yarmouth's swim team competed in the South Division Southwesterns at Cape Elizabeth and did very well. The boys fell four points short of the title, tallying 210 points, while Windham finished with 214. Evan Coleman made a splash by winning and setting meet records in the 100 butterfly (53.79 seconds) and the 100 backstroke (53.42). Coleman was also part of a record-setting 400 freestyle relay team (3 minutes, 29.3 seconds). The Clippers also took the 200 free relay (1:36.78).

In the girls' meet, won by Waynflete with 200 points, two better than Massabesic, Yarmouth placed third with 157. The Clippers were paced by Abby Belisle-Haley, who was runner-up in the 200 individual medley (2:21.03) and the 100 fly (1:03.34), and Haley Estabrook (second in the 500 free, 5:46.01; fourth in the 200 free, 2:06.1). Yarmouth was second in both the medley (2:02.33) and 200 free (1:54.5) relays.

Falmouth and Greely take part in the North Division Southwesterns Friday (boys) and Saturday (girls) in Westbrook.

The Class B state meets are Feb. 18 (boys) and 19 (girls) at the University of Maine in Orono.

Girls' hockey

Falmouth and Greely's girls' hockey teams made the playoffs, while Yarmouth fell just short.

The defending state champion Rangers wound up with the top seed in the East Region after closing with 5-1 wins at Falmouth and at home over Leavitt/EL to wind up 15-2-1. Against the Yachtsmen, Sarah Kurland had two goals. In the win over the Red Hornets, five different players scored as Greely extended its unbeaten streak to 12 games. 

The Rangers will host either No. 4 Brunswick (7-11) or No. 5 Winslow (5-10-3) in the semifinals Saturday at 6:40 p.m. In the regular season, Greely defeated the Dragons, 6-0 at home and 7-3 away and also handled the Black Raiders, 4-0 away and 6-0 at home.

Yarmouth/Freeport finished just behind Winslow in the sixth spot with a 6-11-1 record, but only five teams make the playoffs. The Clippers dropped a 3-2 decision at Winslow last Friday, then closed with a 7-1 home victory over Mt. Ararat (Ariel Potter capped her strong season with two goals).

In the West, reigning regional champion Falmouth wound up third with an 11-7 mark after closing with a 5-1 home loss to Greely. The Yachtsmen will go to No. 2 York (14-3-1) for a semifinal Saturday at 4 p.m. Falmouth beat York at home, 1-0, and lost at the Wildcats, 4-2, in the regular season.

The regional final is Wednesday of next week at the Portland Ice Arena. The state game is Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Colisee in Lewiston.

Boys' basketball

Falmouth's boys' basketball team took its 16-game win streak, undefeated record and top spot in the Western Class B Heal Points standings to York for a showdown Tuesday night. The Yachtsmen were coming off wins at Lake Region (70-28) and at home over Wells (74-59). Charlie Fay had 18 points, while Grant Burfeind added 13 and Thomas Coyne 11 versus the Lakers. In the win over the Warriors, Fay erupted for 25 points, while Jack Simonds added 13. Falmouth closes the regular season Friday at home versus defending Class B state champion Yarmouth, which was the last team to beat the Yachtsmen, in last year's regional final.

The Clippers appear to be rounding into form again. After a sluggish start to the season, Yarmouth took a five-game win streak into Tuesday night's showdown at Cape Elizabeth. Last week, the Clippers held off visiting Greely, 60-53, then won, 72-56, over visiting Poland.

In the win over the Rangers, Yarmouth never trailed and opened a healthy second quarter lead behind the sizzling 3-point shooting of Christian Henry, who hit three 3s in a 59-second span. The Clippers led by as many as 16 points, 47-31, late in the third period, but as expected, the Rangers made a run. In the end, Yarmouth made the plays when it had to and held on for a 60-53 victory. Henry led all scorers with 20 points and junior David Murphy added 17.

"I have to hand it to my teammates, they found me," said Henry. "I just positioned myself and get the ball. I just got lucky."

"(Henry's) a great player," Murphy said. "We look for him when he's on. He could perform like that every night."

"Earlier in the year, we lose this game," added Yarmouth coach Adam Smith. "Two weeks ago, we lose this game. We've turned the corner. I knew (Greely would) make a run. I was glad they did. We needed to be pushed and find out where we're at. It's important for us to be tested. I wasn't surprised we responded well. I expected that. That should build on itself."

Adam Labrie had 25 points and Murphy 18 in the win over Poland. The Clippers (10-6 and eighth in Western B) had a chance to move up with their trip to Cape Elizabeth and a regular season-ending date at Falmouth.

"We struggled a little bit throughout the season, but I think we're coming into our own," said Murphy. "We're playing the best basketball we can going into the playoffs. We've come together more. We have everyone in practice. It makes a huge difference. We need to keep playing our basketball. Great defense and knocking down shots."

"It's going to be a tough end to the season for us," Smith added. "We just have to make sure we focus on getting better and pushing each team we play. We can look in the mirror and see we're playing as well as we can. I know what we'll get in practice. That's a tribute to the seniors who have nurtured the team to get to where we are. The guys want to work hard and get after it. You can do incredible things when you have expectations of playing like we're playing now."

Greely is also in the playoff hunt, although the Rangers continue to be inconsistent. At Yarmouth, Mike McDevitt overcame first half foul trouble to score 18 points, but Greely couldn't quite come all the way back.

"It was a slow first half," said Rangers first-year coach Travis Seaver. "The kids worked hard in the second half. We played a much more manageable tempo, but we couldn't get over the hump. (Mike's) fouls definitely hurt us. He's a big presence defensively. Take him off the floor and the lane gets a lot bigger."

Friday, Greely improved to 9-7 with a 63-37 home victory over Lake Region. Bailey Train had 17 points and Connor Hanley added 16. The Rangers (seventh in Western B) were at Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday and close at home versus Cape Elizabeth Friday.

"We've gone up and down, but every day we're getting better," said Seaver. "Our goal is to play our best basketball in game 18 and hopefully game 19. The guys are getting more comfortable with each other. No one likes to lose, but it's a learning experience. Hopefully we'll get the confidence back up and finish strong."

Freeport fell to 2-14 (17th in the Heals) after losses last week at Fryeburg (78-29) and Traip (71-41). Against the Raiders, Brendan Qualls had a team-high nine points. Chandler Birmingham had 23 in the loss to the Rangers. The Falcons were home with Poland Tuesday and close at Old Orchard Beach Friday.

In Western C, North Yarmouth Academy won one (78-16 over Greater Portland Christian School) and lost one (80-42 to top-ranked Waynflete) at home last week. In the victory, Chase Gendron led the way with 15 points, El Tayeb Dahia added 13 and Colby Bate finished with 12. In the loss, Dahia led the way with 10 points. The Panthers (6-10 and 12th in the Heals, only 11 teams make the playoffs) hewere at Buckfield Tuesday and close at home against Traip Friday.

Girls' basketball

On the girls' side, Freeport clinched its first winning season in a decade with wins last week over visiting Fryeburg (56-37) and Traip (54-27) to extend its win streak to four games. In the victory over the Raiders, Nina Davenport had 28 points, while Aubrey Pennell added a dozen. Against the Rangers, Davenport had 15 points and Leigh Wyman 11.  The Falcons (10-6 and eighth in the Western B Heals) are seeking their first home playoff game in eight years and their first trip to the tournament quarterfinals since they were in Class C back in 2002-03. Freeport was at Poland Tuesday and finishes the regular season at Old Orchard Beach Friday.

Falmouth is also playing well. The Yachtsmen did lose at home to visiting, defending regional champion Lake Region, 54-31, last Tuesday, but bounced back Friday with a 36-35 triumph at Wells, Falmouth's fourth victory in five outings. In the loss, Anna and Ally Hickey both had five points. Ally Hickey had 18 points at the Warriors. Falmouth (8-8 and 10th in the region) hosted York Tuesday and goes to Yarmouth Friday.

Greely remains the top local team at 13-3 and fifth. Last Tuesday, the Rangers went to Yarmouth and overcame a slow start to roll, 57-41, as Jaclyn Storey had 24 points and Ashley Storey added 14. 

"We had to battle back," said Ashley Storey. "We worked on our pressbreaker a lot this past week. We weren't making the right pass. Coach was mad and called timeout and told us to get going. We broke the press and got open layups. When we could get it inside, we did. We try to play the best we can."

"I think we came out a little bit slow," said Jaclyn Storey. "We picked up our intensity and it worked in our favor. We've been working a lot on passing into the post and we've gotten strong at it. We play best when we play together. We've never had a game where we've played a full 32 minutes. That's something we still need to do."

Friday, Greely was frustrated at Lake Region, 44-31, despite 13 points from Jaclyn Storey and 10 points from Jordynne Copp. The Rangers were hosted Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday and close at Cape Elizabeth Friday.

Yarmouth led Greely, 10-4, early last Tuesday, but ultimately went down to a 57-41 defeat, despite 10 points from Grace O'Donnell and nine from Sean Cahill. 

"As I said to the girls, if we made the layups and half the foul shots we missed, we would have beaten them," Yarmouth coach Jay Lowery lamented. "That goes to show where we are as a team. We're not far off the mark. The kids played hard tonight and they feel good about it. It's been a year that's been challenging. We have a bit of a depth issue here. We rotate seven players in. We swing some freshmen up for some experience."

Friday, the Clippers fell at Poland, 58-50, despite 16 points from Cahill, 15 from Lane Simsarian and 11 from Shannon Fallon. Yarmouth (1-15 and 18th in the standings) hosted Cape Elizabeth Tuesday and finishes at home versus Falmouth Friday.

In Western C, NYA took a 3-12 record and the No. 16 ranking (the top 13 make the playoff cut) into Tuesday's home game with Buckfield. Last week, the Panthers fell at home to Greater Portland Christian School (49-37) and Waynflete (75-25). Mallory Ianno had 10 points and Chloe Leishman nine against the Lions. In the loss to the Flyers, Ianno had 11 points. NYA closes at home versus Traip Friday. 

Boys' hockey 

Falmouth's boys' hockey team remains second behind Scarborough in the Western A Heals, but the Yachtsmen will get a crack at the Red Storm Saturday night at home. Last Saturday, Falmouth improved to 10-2 with a 7-2 win at Biddeford. Hugh Grygiel had two goals. The Yachtsmen host Bonny Eagle Thursday, then have the Scarborough showdown. Monday brings a home test versus Biddeford.

In Western B, defending state champion Greely is nearing a return to the top spot. Last week, the Rangers handled visiting Leavitt (11-2) and won at Messalonskee (8-4), in a rematch of last year's state game. Against the Hornets, Ted Hart had a hat trick and Kyle Megathlin set up five goals. In the win at the Eagles, Hart had three more goals and Mitchel Donovan scored twice. Greely (9-4 and second to Camden Hills in the Heals)  goes to Cape Elizabeth Thursday, then gets back-to-back cracks at Windjammers, Monday at home and at Camden Hills Feb. 15.

Yarmouth sits fourth at 5-7-2 after splitting two games last week. The Clippers fell at home to Marshwood, 7-4 (despite two goals from Kevin Haley), then won at Leavitt, 6-2 (Thomas Lord and Brady Neujahr scored varsity goals for the first time). Yarmouth is idle until Monday, when it goes to Kennebunk. Tuesday, the Clippers host Portland.

Indoor track

Falmouth, Freeport and Greely joined five other teams in a regular season-ending Western Maine Conference indoor track meet last weekend at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham.

The Rangers were first, the Yachtsmen third and Falcons fifth in the girls' competition.

Greely got wins from Maegan Dougherty in the junior 55 (8.02 seconds) and the junior 200 (29.34), Jocelyn Mitiguy in the junior 55 hurdles (9.7), Alyssa Casarez in the junior shot put (30 feet, 5.75 inches), Julia Mitiguy in the senior 400 (1 minute, 4.19 seconds), Gwen Sawyer in the senior shot put (35-2.5) and its junior (1:57.84) and 3,200 (10:35.36) relays. Falmouth's lone event winner was Madeline Roberts in the two-mile (12:01.71). Freeport got victories from Lexi Dietrich in the senior 200 (27.76), Chloe Hight in the junior 400 (1:06.65) and its senior relay (1:54.64).

York won the boys' meet. Falmouth came in second, Greely third and Freeport seventh.

The Yachtsmen got wins from Andy Clement in the junior 55 hurdles (8.46), Jacob Buhelt in the senior 55 (6.8) and senior 200 (23.35), and its junior (1:42.11) open (8:56.92) relays. The Rangers featured event winners James Ferrar in the shot put (47-3), Connor Wyman in the junior 200 (26.01) and Chris Perry in the junior 400 (57.03). Harrison Stivers gave the Falcons a win in the 800 (2:04.93).

NYA and Yarmouth also took part in an eight-team meet. The Clippers girls came in first, while the Panthers were third. Yarmouth got wins from Madeline Mitchell in the junior 55 (7.95), Emma Egan in the junior high jump (4-10) and open 800 (2:40.92), Megan Smith in the pole vault (8-0) and its junior relay (1:58.8). NYA event winners included Muriel Adams in the junior shot put (27-8), Jillian Bjorn-Caron in the senior 55 hurdles (10.14) and Hannah Austin in the two-mile (12:29.65).

On the boys' side, Wells was first, Yarmouth third and NYA seventh. Clippers event winners included Wes Crawford in the open 800 (2:09.75) and Ben Decker in the mile (4:40.08). The Panthers got victories from John LeBlanc in the two-mile (11:31.16) and Jake Burns in the senior 55 hurdles (8.91).

The WMC championship meet is Friday at USM.

The Class B state championship meet is Monday, Feb. 18, at Bates College in Lewiston.

Skiing

Greely's girls' Alpine ski team earned another victory Monday at Shawnee Peak in a giant slalom race, downing runner-up Falmouth, as well as Fryeburg and Gray-New Gloucester. Greely's Elyse Dinan was the individual champion, with a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 4.11 seconds. Falmouth's Alex Shapiro was runner-up (1:05.08). In the boys' race, the Yachtsmen were first and the Rangers third. Individually, Falmouth was paced by Devereux Thomas (first, 59.81 seconds) and Alex Gowen (second, 1:00.17). Greely's Sam Perlmutter placed fifth (1:03.66).

In a slalom meet, also at Shawnee Peak Monday, Yarmouth beat second-place Freeport, as well as Cape Elizabeth and Lake Region in the girls' competition. Chapin Dorsett set the pace for the Clippers with a second-place individual showing (1:43.42). Taylor Enrico led the Falcons (third, 1:45.34). On the boys' side, Cape Elizabeth finished slightly ahead of Yarmouth, while Freeport was third. Tucker Grout was the top Clipper, coming in fourth in 1:29.24. Blake Enrico (fifth, 1:32.07) paced the Falcons. 

The Western Maine Conference Alpine ski championship meet is Thursday at Shawnee Peak. The Nordic championships started Wednesday with the skate race. The classic is Saturday at Stark's Hill. 

The state championships are the week of Feb. 18.

Wrestling

Greely's Nick Vogel won the Eastern A wrestling title in the 160-pound weight class last weekend. Vogel will take part in the state meet Saturday in Augusta.

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