Undeniably the best! Scarborough boys' lax wins first state crown
(Ed. Note: This story originally ran June 17, 2006)
PORTLAND—At 8:05 p.m. Saturday, at Fitzpatrick Stadium, the Scarborough Red Storm boys' lacrosse team completed its rise from also-ran to powerhouse.
The Red Storm scored early and often and rolled to an emphatic 14-2 victory over the Lewiston Blue Devils in the Class A state championship game.
Five goals from senior Bryan Macphie and four from junior Andy Clark highlighted the onslaught as Scarborough proved once and for all that it was the undisputed king of its class.
"It feels great," Clark said. "I?ve dreamed of this since I was a little kid."
"The kids played just outstanding," third-year coach Tobey Farrington added. "Everyone brought their 'A' game. There wasn't a 'B' game out there. We got supreme efforts. It was very impressive to watch."
As recently as three years ago, the words Scarborough and boys' lacrosse excellence would have been anything but synonymous.
In 2003, the Red Storm went 2-10 and missed the playoffs. Farrington arrived the next year and produced a 6-8 team, which won a huge playoff game at Deering. In 2005, the Red Storm was 9-5 and a regional quarterfinalist.
Scarborough entered the 2006 season as a team that some thought could challenge Deering and Portland for Western Class A supremacy, but even the Red Storm players themselves might have been hard pressed to envision a state title.
Everything came together from the get-go, however, and by midseason Scarborough was the team to beat. Early home victories over Deering and Portland and a win at South Portland put the Red Storm atop the Heal Points standings. The wins kept on coming as Scarborough crushed Cheverus and held off Falmouth at home. The Red Storm finally came back to earth on June 1 in a 13-6 loss at eventual Class B finalist Kennebunk.
Scarborough's 11-1 record gave it the top seed for the Western A playoffs and a bye in the quarterfinal round. In the semifinals, the Red Storm rode a second half surge past No. 4 South Portland 13-7. Then, in a dramatic regional final victory over No. 2 Portland, Scarborough shot to an 8-4 lead only to see the Bulldogs roar back and threaten to send the game to overtime before the Red Storm held on for an 8-7 win.
Scarborough earned a state final date with a Lewiston team which was ranked third in Eastern A, but upset No. 2 Brunswick and No. 1 Messalonskee to advance.
The Red Storm knew little about the Blue Devils prior to Saturday, but the team entered the game with tons of confidence.
It proved to be warranted.
This one was over quickly. In fact the biggest drama came before the game when it appeared that Lewiston had brought its home jerseys, when it was supposed to be the away team (the Blue Devils did have their other jerseys in their possession).
Just over two minutes into the first period, Macphie took a pass from senior Steve Doane and beat Lewiston sophomore goalie Nate Rivet for a 1-0 lead. At the 8:42 mark, senior Eric Payne got in on the fun, converting sophomore Chris Kipp's pass for a 2-0 advantage. Later in the stanza, Payne and junior Cody Powers scored in an 18-second span to put Scarborough firmly in control, up 4-0. Lewiston finally scored with 14.6 seconds left in the first as sophomore Jonathan Roy (from senior Jon Fournier) found the net on the man advantage to make it a 4-1 game.
The avalanche continued in the second as the Red Storm completely smothered the Blue Devils' attack, while having its way with the Lewiston defense at the other end.
Two seconds after Macphie hit the post on a shot, Clark converted the rebound for a 5-1 lead. With 8:40 to go before halftime, Clark fed Macphie for the first time. The pair combined again with 2:07 to play in the second and the Red Storm took a 7-1 lead into the half.
"We knew Lewiston had some scorers, so defensively, we knew we had to keep the ball off of those sticks," Farrington said. "Offensively, we knew we could move the ball. We got it done today."
In the third, Clark (unassisted) and Macphie (from Doane) found the net for a 9-1 lead.
Just 16 seconds into the fourth, Clark (from junior Ed Jones) scored for a 10-1 advantage.
Lewiston finally got its second and final goal with 8:36 remaining. Senior Travis LeBrun (from senior Zach Sheltra) beat Scarborough junior goalie Phil Lambert to end a 26 minute, 38 second scoring drought.
The Red Storm would score the game's final four goals, however, as Macphie (from Clark), Clark (from Macphie on the fast break), freshman Jake Barrett (from sophomore Ryan Hunt) and junior Brent Mayo (from junior Mike Hathaway) did the honors. The final 2:48 was played with "mercy rule" running time and Scarborough went on to the 14-2 win, a victory which led to a mighty celebration afterwards.
"It feels great," said Macphie. "The best feeling in the world. I never thought when I was a freshman that I'd be in this game. There's nothing better than to go out as a state champion as a senior. We just ran our offense and it worked to perfection. It's great."
"I think it finally clicked," Clark said. "Coach always says, 'You can do better.' Today we did better. We just ran our offense."
Scarborough (14-1 when all was said and done) had become champions in every sense of the word.
"A lot of guys were going in a lot of different directions when I got here, but the last couple of years, we got everyone on the same road," Farrington said.
"Hard work," said Macphie. "That's all it was. We have guys who stepped it up. The seniors told the young guys what it was like to lose."
"We got the right coaching staff," Clark added. "Our team started out young and came on as juniors and seniors."
Scarborough will graduate seniors Doane, Macphie, Nick McLellan, Keith Mercer, Payne, Mike Sterling, Brendan Toohey and Andy Tremberth, but returns a strong, seasoned team in 2007. One that knows how to win and one that will be hungry to make its own legacy.
"We lose some great kids, but we have some good young players who can step in and fill those roles," Farrington said. "We'll worry about next year next year."
For now, the 2006 Scarborough Red Storm boys? lacrosse team is the best Class A squad in the state.