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Falmouth, Greely boys' hoops big winners in a busy week

Sports

Falmouth, Greely boys' hoops big winners in a busy week

(Ed. Note: For the complete Falmouth-Yarmouth and Yarmouth-Gray-New Gloucester boys' basketball and Greely-Yarmouth-Freeport girls' hockey game stories, with additional photos, please visit theforecaster.net)

There were several big moments for Forecaster Country teams last week, but no one had a better time of it than the Falmouth and Greely boys' basketball squads, who solidified their status as regional favorites.

It wasn't just basketball that witnessed greatness, however, local athletes also turned heads on the ice, the track, the slopes, trails and in the pool.

Here's a glimpse:

Boys' basketball

Defending Class B champion Falmouth and the team that hopes to raise the Class B Gold Ball this winter, Greely, both made impressive statements on the floor of rival Yarmouth last week.

Last Tuesday, the Yachtsmen, coming off a big win over Greely, held Yarmouth's top two scorers, David Murphy and Adam LaBrie, scoreless in the first half, but only led by six, 27-21, at halftime. After going up by eight points early in the third quarter, Falmouth watched as the Clippers roared back to the tie the game, 37-37, heading for the final stanza. There, Yarmouth momentarily took the lead on a Murphy free throw, but a jumper from Jack Simonds put Falmouth ahead to stay and despite some anxious moments down the stretch, the Yachtsmen's selflessness and big game experience proved to be the difference as they went on to a 55-48 triumph. Nick Burton led the way with 16 points and 14 rebounds, Thomas Coyne made five 3s, Simonds finished with 11 points and Justin Rogers was clutch down the stretch and added nine points.

"We knew we had to give (LaBrie and Murphy) extra attention since they're good scorers," Rogers said. "We tried to deny them the ball and make the other players beat us."

"We were a little bit on a high after beating Greely," Simonds said. "I'd say we kind of overlooked Yarmouth which didn't pay off because we let them hang around. My freshman year, in a similar situation down the wire, we let one slip away. I didn't want this to happen tonight for the seniors in the last game they play Yarmouth."

"I was worried about a letdown, but you can't let down against Yarmouth and we knew that coming in," added longtime Yachtsmen coach Dave Halligan. "We had spurts and they came right back. They had spurts and we came back. We might have lost that game before Christmas."

Falmouth went on to improve to 11-1 Friday with a 74-59 win at Lake Region, behind 27 points from Simonds, 17 from Coyne and 13 from Matthew Tseng. The Yachtsmen (first in the Western Class A Heal Points standings at press time) are back in action Friday at Kennebunk. After hosting Fryeburg Friday, Falmouth goes to Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday.

As for Greely, it bounced back from its loss to Falmouth with an emphatic 65-48 win at Yarmouth Friday night. The Rangers blew open a tight game in the second quarter and went on to a surprisingly easy win behind 23 points from Connor Hanley. Greely improved to 11-1 and first in Western B with an 86-49 home victory over Old Orchard Beach Monday, behind 21 points from Hanley and 18 from Michael McDevitt. The Rangers host Lake Region Friday, go to Cape Elizabeth Saturday and visit Fryeburg Tuesday.

Yarmouth hung tough in its loss to Falmouth, but despite 13 points and 11 rebounds from Nate Shields-Auble and 12 points from Musseit M'Bareck, fell short.

"I was pleased with the four quarter effort we had," said Clippers coach Adam Smith. "I was disappointed the first part of the season in our defense, but it's gotten better and we can still play even better, I hope."

Yarmouth was right back in action the next night and rolled to a 77-42 win at Gray-New Gloucester as 14 different players scored. David Murphy led the way with 18, Adam LaBrie had 12 and Cody Cook added 10.

"The Falmouth game was so hyped up, so it was good to be able to come right out again," Murphy said. "We try every time to come out firing, knocking down shots or working our butts off defensively."

"It's always good to get the blood flowing and play another game," Cook said. "We put (Falmouth) behind us. We move the ball well and I got open shots. We ran transition well. It was fun."

"Tonight, we weren't looking ahead or anything, I just wanted to get a lot of guys in and replenish our momentum," Smith added. "When I extended the bench, it's not what we've been doing, so it took awhile to get the legs going. The starters root for the guys who work so hard in practice get minutes and look good doing it. They like that. It gives a boost to the team."

LaBrie had 14 in the loss to the Rangers. Yarmouth (8-4 and fourth in Western B) was at Fryeburg Tuesday and hosted Wells Wednesday. York pays a visit Tuesday of next week.

After earning its first win, Freeport fell to 1-12 with losses last week at Old Orchard Beach (58-38) and at home to Fryeburg (53-44). Jack Davenport had 15 points against the Seagulls. Chandler Birmingham finished with 19 in the loss to the Raiders. The Falcons (15th in Western A) is at Gray-New Gloucester Saturday and plays at Lake Region Tuesday.

In Western D, North Yarmouth Academy was seventh at 8-3 after a 73-35 home win over A.R. Gould and an 80-39 home win over Sacopee Valley. Chase Gendron had 13 points, El Tayeb Dahia and D.J. Nicholas each had 12 and Forrest Chicoine added 11 against A.R. Gould. In the win over the Hawks, Gendron went off for 28 points. The Panthers were at Pine Tree Academy Tuesday, visit Richmond Friday and go to Hyde Tuesday of next week.

Girls' basketball

On the girls' side, Greely was in the best playoff position at press time after improving to 10-2 with a 53-35 victory at Freeport and a 51-22 win at Yarmouth extended the Rangers' streak to six games. Against the Falcons, standout Ashley Storey had 27 points. Haley Felkel had 12 points and Blaise Tardif 11 versus the Clippers. Greely (seventh in the Western B Heals) has a challenging weekend upcoming, going to defending regional champion Lake Region Friday and hosting Cape Elizabeth Saturday. The Rangers are home against Fryeburg Tuesday.

Freeport and Yarmouth are on the outside looking in regarding the playoffs and need to finish strong.

The Falcons dropped to 4-8 and 14th (only 10 teams make the playoffs) after a 53-35 home loss to Greely and a 52-39 setback at Fryeburg. Against the Rangers, Nina Davenport had 16 points. Davenport then had 17 at the Raiders, including the 1,000th of her career. Freeport goes to Yarmouth Friday, hosts Gray-New Gloucester Saturday and welcomes Lake Region in a pivotal contest Wednesday.

The Clippers began the week 15th at 3-9 after losses at Falmouth (65-38) and at home to Greely (51-22). Shannon Fallon had 13 points and Abby Nielsen added 10 against the Yachtsmen. After hosting Fryeburg Tuesday, Yarmouth welcomes Freeport Friday and goes to Wells Saturday. Tuesday of next week, the Clippers go to York.

In Western A, despite its 3-9 record, Falmouth would be in the playoffs if they started today. The Yachtsmen (ninth in the Heals at press time, the top 12 qualify) beat visiting Yarmouth (65-38) and lost to visiting Lake Region (65-34) last week. In the win, Emma Powers and Dayna Vasconcelos each had 10 points. Vasconcelos had 10 points and Ally Hickey added nine against the Lakers. Falmouth hosts Kennebunk Friday, goes to Fryeburg Saturday and hosts Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday.

In Western D, NYA was ninth at press time (10 teams make the playoffs) at 5-6 after a 56-29 win at Hebron and a 40-32 loss at Sacopee Valley. Charlotte Esancy had 23 points and Hannah Carr added 21 in the victory. Esancy had 20 points in the loss. The Panthers were at Pine Tree Academy Wednesday and host Hyde Tuesday of next week.

Boys' hockey

Greely's boys' hockey team, the two-time defending Class B state champion, is showing signs of turning its season around. Last week, the Rangers lost at home to Western A contender Thornton Academy, 7-3, then held off visiting Gorham, 2-1. Monday, Greely improved to 3-5-2 (and fifth in Heals) with a 4-1 win at Leavitt. Against the Rams, Reid Howland had the winner. In the win over the Hornets, Andrew Ray scored twice. The Rangers are at Gorham Saturday, host Biddeford Monday and visit Camden Hills Wednesday.

Yarmouth began the week 4-3-1 and fourth in Western B after last week's 7-3 loss at Cheverus. The Clippers go to Portland/Deering Thursday, welcome Leavitt Saturday and play host to Winthrop Tuesday.

In Western A, Falmouth is idle until Jan. 29, when it goes to St. Dom's. The Yachtsmen were third in the Heals at 6-4 at press time.

Girls' hockey

On the girls' side, two-time defending state champion Greely is in the midst of a brutal schedule stretch. Last Wednesday, the Rangers lost at Scarborough, 3-0, in a state game rematch. Freshman goalie Nica Todd stood tall, but it wasn't enough.

"Off the bat, we looked good," said Greely coach Nate Guerin. "The girls worked hard, but Scarborough's excellent. Very skilled. Deep. They have a lot of players who are dangerous. More than we do."

Saturday, the Rangers got back on track with a 5-1 win at Yarmouth/Freeport, avenging a loss from last year in the process. Unheralded freshman Victoria Lattanzi had a hat trick and Sarah Kurland added a pair of goals.

"I was surprised (to score three goals)," Lattanzi said. "My teammates gave me a lot of good set-ups."

"Last time, we didn't show them our best game," said Kurland. "That was the most disappointing thing about that loss. They left not knowing what Greely hockey really looked like. We wanted to show them this time."

"It was a good night," Guerin added. "What we needed to see, for sure. Nothing fancy. We knew we just wanted to get back to basics and we were able to get momentum rolling."

Monday, Greely fell to 9-4 and third in the East Region Heals after a 5-3 home loss to Leavitt/Edward Little. The Rangers host Mt. Ararat Saturday and welcome Scarborough Wednesday of next week.

Prior to losing to Greely, Yarmouth/Freeport edged host Mt. Ararat, 2-1. Against the Rangers, Katie Clemmer had the lone goal.

We knew (Greely would) be a tough opponent," Yarmouth/Freeport coach Jeff Haley said. "They always come out firing. They carried two periods and we pretty much evened the third period, but it was too little, too late. When you try to play catch up hockey, it's tough against that team."

Monday, Yarmouth/Freeport improved to 10-3-1 and fourth in the Heals with a 4-1 win at Brunswick. Clemmer had a goal and two assists. Meredith McLoon, Emily Johnson and Katie Brown also scored. Yarmouth/Freeport goes to Portland/Deering Thursday and hosts Winslow Saturday.

In the West Region, Falmouth improved to 9-5 and second to Scarborough in the Heals after Monday's 5-1 home win over Gorham/Bonny Eagle. The Yachstmen were coming off a 6-0 win at Cheverus and 6-0 home loss to Scarborough. Falmouth hosts Portland/Deering Saturday.

Indoor track

Falmouth's indoor track teams had the best time of it Friday at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham. The Yachtsmen boys and girls both downed seven other teams. NYA's girls were runner-up, while the boys came in fifth.

Individually, Falmouth's boys got wins from Noah Martin in the 55 (7.06 seconds) and the 200 (24.94), Sean Soucy in the 400 (56.54), Andy Clement in the 55 hurdles (8.74), Tony St. Angelo in the high jump (5 feet, 6 inches) and the 3,200 relay team (9 minutes, 42.93 seconds). Girls' winners included Emma England in the senior 200 (28.14), Maggie Seitz in the junior 200 (28.61) and triple jump (32-3.25), Olivia Baranowski in the 55 hurdles (9.86), Charlotte Cutshall in the 55 (7.76) and long jump (14-9), and the 800 (1:53.46) and 3,200 (11:12.55) relays.

The Panthers girls featured Hannah Austin, who won both the mile (5:37.25) and two-mile (12:14.65). NYA's boys got wins from Michael McIntosh in the 55 (6.75) and the 200 (23.66) and Matt Malcom in the mile (4:44.46).

In the other meet, York swept, but the Greely girls were second, with Freeport third and Yarmouth fourth. In the boys' competition, the Clippers were third, the Falcons fourth and the Rangers sixth.

Individually, the Greely girls got wins from Jocelyn Mitiguy in the 55 hurdles (9.69), Kirstin Sandreuter in the 800 (2:28.86) and mile (5;24.83), Alyssa Casarez in the shot put (33-0.5) and its 800 relay (1:59.17). The Falcons produced event winners Bethanie Knighton in the 400 (1:03.03) and their 800 relay (1:57.16). The Clippers got wins from Emma Egan in the high jump (5-0), 55 (7.88) and 200 (28.19).

In the boys' meet, Greely got wins from Ben Ray in the pole vault (11 feet) and Chance Carr in the 55 hurdles (8.81). Freeport didn't have a first place finisher, but got second place showings from Nick Wilson in the 55 (7.05) and long jump (18-7.75), Eric Wentworth in the 200 (24.92) Nate Smail in the 400 (59.75) and Harrison Stivers in the 800 (2:02.04). Yarmouth winners included Travis Hamre in the 55 (7.04) and 200 (24.32), Ben Decker in the mile (4:38.03) and Darren Shi in the shot put (44-2.5).

This weekend, in the early meet, Falmouth and Yarmouth take on Gray-New Gloucester, Hyde, Poland, Sacopee Valle, Traip and York, and in the late meet, Freeport, Greely and NYA go up against Cape Elizabeth, Fryeburg, Lake Region and Wells.

Swimming

Greely's boys' swim team held off Deering, 86-74, while the girls downed the Rams, 89-80.

Falmouth's boys beat Waynflete, 89-62. The Yachtsmen girls also beat the Flyers, 90-72.

Yarmouth's boys defeated visiting Sanford, 95-53, while the girls prevailed, 85-72.

Thursday, Yarmouth hosts Portland. Friday, Falmouth welcomes Deering and Greely hosts Cheverus.

Skiing

Local ski teams took part in downhill and cross country action last week.

The Falmouth boys and Yarmouth girls won a skate race at Starks Hill last Wednesday.

In the boys' race, Forrest McCurdy of runner-up Merriconeag, had the fastest individual time (11 minutes, 22.3 seconds). Sam Alexander of third-place Yarmouth was second (11:34.1). Iain Kurry led the Yachtsmen by coming in third (11:39.3). Freeport (which was fifth) was led by Elijah McCurdy, who was 13th (12:13.8). NYA came in ninth and was paced by Haley Cunningham (23rd, 12:40.9).

In the girls' competition, the first-place Clippers were led by Lucy Alexander (13:22.8) and Emma Torres (13:44.2), who were fourth and fifth respectively. Merriconeag's Samantha Pierce was second (12:37.5), helping her team to a second place finish. Third place Falmouth was paced by Gabby Farrell (sixth, 13:51.4). Fourth place Freeport featured third place individual finisher Elizabeth Martin (12:48.2).

Freeport's boys downed Greely, Fryeburg and Cape Elizabeth in the giant slalom at Shawnee Peak last Thursday, while the Rangers came in first in the girls' competition with the Falcons fourth.

Individually, Greely's Sam Perlmutter was tops on the boys' side with a two-run combined time of 58.55 seconds. Freeport's Ryder Bennell was runner-up (1:00.77). In the girls' meet, Greely's Elyse Dinan was second (1:04.02), while Freeport was paced by Wynne Cushing (seventh, 1:06.89).

Monday, in a GS race at Shawnee Peak, Freeport's boys and Yarmouth's girls were first in a meet which also included Cape Elizabeth and Fryeburg.

In the boys' meet, Bennell led the way in 58.95, with Jay Pier (59.30) second. The runner-up Clippers were paced by Tucker Grout (third, 1:00.29). On the girls' side, Chapin Dorsett (third, 1:05.59) led Yarmouth's first place effort. Fourth place Freeport was led by Cushing (second, 1:05.39).

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