Postseason fun in full swing
The postseason is now underway in every sport but boys' hockey. While basketball (see accompanying story) will get the lion's share of attention, there's been plenty else to hail, with a lot more on the docket.
Here's a glimpse:
The biggest news last weekend came in the pool, where a couple local teams won Southwestern crowns.
The small, but powerful Waynflete girls' squad held off Yarmouth and 10 other teams (including eighth-place Portland) to win the South Division Southwesterns.
Flyers senior standout Colby Harvey, bound for Florida State, was named "Swimmer of the Meet" after taking the 200 individual medley in 2 minutes, 9.64 seconds and the 100 backstroke (58.43 seconds).
Harvey had plenty of company, as Amelia Deady won the 50 freestyle (25.22) and the 100 free (54.55). Elle Silk took the 100 butterfly (57.97) and 500 free (5:33.08). Runner-up showings in the medley (Kiera MacWhinnie, Chloe Williams, Silk and Isabel Canning, 2:06.94) and 400 free (Sofia Canning, Isabel Canning, Harvey and MacWhinnie, 4:00.90) relays and a third-place finish in the 200 free relay (MacWhinnie, Williams, Renata Levine and Deady, 1:57.72) helped push the Flyers over the top.
"This was a big win for our girls," said Waynflete first-year coach John Stevens. "We definitely weren't expected to do as well this year and a lot of people felt we wouldn't be able to repeat, again. We were a little shorthanded for the meet, which meant we really needed the entire team to step up and they did. Our seniors had a fantastic meet. The rest of our team did a phenomenal job by stepping up in the relays, which secured the meet for us."
The Flyers now turn their attention to the Class B girls' state meet, to be contested Monday at Bowdoin College in Brunswick.
Portland's top finisher was Reegan Leslie, who placed fifth in the 200 free (2:19.67).
In the boys' competition, won by Massabesic with 253 points, Waynflete came in fifth with 128 and Portland was sixth with 119.
The Flyers were led by freshman Booway Bikales, who was second in the 500 free (5:26.46) and third in the 200 free (1:57.61), and Tom Silk, who placed third in the IM (2:18.83) and fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.42).
The Bulldogs got a victory from their 200 free relay team (Fedor Drown, Tyler Simpson, Chris Tomascak and Eric Worden) in 1:39.28. Worden was also runner-up in the fly 59.85.
Cheverus, Deering and McAuley competed in the North Division Southwesterns, where the Stags boys had no peer, tallying 372.5 points to dominate the field. Deering (128) placed sixth.
Cheverus was paced by Michael O'Donovan, named co-Performer of the Meet, who set a new record in the 500 free (4:45.23). He also won the 200 free (1:46.87). O'Donovan was joined as an event winner by Jacob Griffin in the 50 free (50.77) and diver Nick Jensen (382 points). The Stags also won the 200 (Tim Jerome, Griffin, John Devine and Gustav Anderson, 1:34.09) and 400 free (Tony Penk, Walker Church, Shane Moore and O'Donovan, 3:32.61) relays.
"Our athletes were simply amazing," said Cheverus coach Kevin Haley. "They love the Southwesterns. Our kids came up huge."
The Rams were led by Eric Delmonte, who shared Performer of the Meet honors with O'Donovan, after winning the breaststroke in a time of 59.67 seconds, which broke a 32-year-old meet record, and the IM (1:58.13) to boot.
The girls' meet was won by Cape Elizabeth with 290 points. Cheverus (223) placed third, Deering (178) was fourth and McAuley (58) was eighth.
The Stags were paced by Abby Longstaff, who won the 50 free in 25.22 and was second in the 100 free (55.42), and Sarah Nappo, who won the backstroke (56.59) and was second in the 50 free (25.30).
"Sarah Nappo broke three records with one swim...school, pool and Southwesterns, in the backstroke," said Haley.
The Rams got a win from Emma Pontius in the fly (58.58) and their 400 free relay (Wyeth Spike, Kate Pontius, Sophie deOliveira and Emma Pontius) in 3:49.01. Spike was runner-up in the 500 free (5:34.19) and the IM (2:16.32).
The Lions got a win from Ana Neff-Jendrasko in the IM (2:13.94). Neff-Jendrasko was also second in the breaststroke (1:11.95).
Cheverus, Deering and Portland's girls will take part in the Class A championships Saturday in Orono. The Class A boys' state meet is Monday in Orono.
"Our teams have depth and we're going to put the best lineup we can out there and go for it," said Haley. "The (defending champion) boys aren't backing down. Bangor is certainly on top, but we would like another championship banner. The Girls we will be top three. We have several fast swimmers and great relays. With two great divers, we should be right there at the top."
McAuley will join Waynflete at the Class B girls' state meet Monday in Brunswick. Waynflete will take part in the Class B boys' state meet Tuesday in Brunswick.
The always entertaining and hotly contested indoor track postseason began Saturday with the Southwestern Maine Activities Association championship meet at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham.
The top city team was the Cheverus girls, who tallied 102 points to finish a half-point behind runner-up Scarborough and 33 behind champion Thornton Academy. Deering (67.5) was sixth and Portland (20) came in 12th.
Individually, the Stags got wins from Sarah Mount in the junior long jump (15 feet, 3 inches), Meredith Willard in the senior 55 (7.58 seconds) and the senior 200 (27.17), Kiera Murray in the two-mile (11 minutes, 24.95 seconds) and the open 1,600 sprint medley (4:34.55). Mount was also runner-up in the junior 55 hurdles (9.35) and the junior 400 (1:03.12).
The Rams were paced by wins from Edie Pallozzi in the 600 (1:28.57) and open 55 hurdles (9.94). Deering also got runner-up performances from Lili Kien in the junior 55 (7.99), Rashad Zagon in the senior 55 hurdles (9.38) and senior high jump (5 feet) and Alexis Elowitch in the senior shot put (34-10).
The Bulldogs' top finisher was Madison Bolduc, who was runner-up in the senior triple jump (32-4.75).
The boys' title was easily won by powerhouse Scarborough with 192 points. Cheverus tied Windham for fourth with 65 points, while Deering placed sixth with 59 and Portland was 13th with 3.
Individually, the Stags got a victory from Jake Dixon in the senior 200 (23.10). Dixon was also runner-up in the senior 400 (51.09). Jacob Schott was second in the senior high jump (5-10). Isaac Yeboah was runner-up in the senior 55 hurdles (7.86) and the senior 200 (23.26).
The Rams got wins from Yahye Hussein in the mile (4:38.72), Iid Sheikh-Yusuf in the two-mile (10:06.59) and Ricardo Delgado in the senior high jump (5-10). The 3,200 relay team (8:59.38) was runner-up to Scarborough.
The Class A state meet is Monday, back at USM.
City wrestling teams competed in the Western A regionals Saturday in Sanford. Portland finished a solid sixth (Marshwood placed first), Deering came in 10th and Cheverus was 11th.
Portland standout Kidayer Aljubyly, competing despite a hand injury, managed to win the 106-pound division, 3-1, over Darren Lapointe of Marshwood. Teammates Jaime Lones-Martinez lost in the finals at 120-pounds and Greg Casella lost in the finals at 160.
Cheverus' Aidan Whitis (113 pounds) and Portland's Josh Hunnewell (170) got to the consolation finals of their respective weight classes, but lost.
The Class A state final is Saturday at Noble High School in North Berwick.
Waynflete recently took part in the Western Maine Conference Alpine and Nordic championships.
On the downhill side, the Flyers didn't score as a team, but some individuals made some noise. Louis Frumer came in second in the giant slalom (a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 36.07 seconds) and fourth in the slalom (1:30.36). Beata Vest led the girls by placing fifth in the slalom (1:44.01) and 12th in the GS (1:50.93). Kelley Frumer placed sixth in the GS (1:48.28).
In cross country, in the classical race Saturday, Waynflete's girls were seventh, while the boys didn't score as a team. Individually, Marijke Rowse was 21st for scoring purposes for the girls, posting a time of 23 minutes, 11.7 seconds. Aidan Olney (32nd, 19:37.3) was the top boy. The skate race was held Monday (after this edition went to press).
The Nordic state championships begin Tuesday of next week. Alpine is held at the end of the month.
While the Cheverus and Portland/Deering co-op team missed the girls' hockey playoffs, Capeflete, the Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete co-op, not only qualified for the first time, but stuck around awhile.
Capeflete earned the No. 4 seed in the West Region after a 10-8 regular season and hosted No. 5 York in the quarterfinals Thursday. Capeflete went on to a 4-0 win, highlighted by two goals from Allison Mills.
"It was nice to score first," Mills said. "Our coaches tell us to play with heart. It doesn't always come down to who's the better team and we pushed ourselves."
Capeflete's run ended Saturday with an 11-1 loss at undefeated, top-ranked Scarborough, the heavy favorite to win it all. Capeflete finished its best-ever season 11-9 and will be a force going forward.
"It was a tough loss, but nothing to be ashamed about losing to that team," said Capeflete coach Bob Mills. "They are very good. I don't think anyone will beat them this year.
"This season was indeed special. More than doubling our win total from last season was a great accomplishment. We felt confident from the first day of practices that we could be a playoff caliber team and to get into the postseason and win a game was a big thrill for the players, coaches and families. The team, although small in numbers, was a tight knit group of girls who supported each other through wins and losses. They consistently demonstrated a desire to improve, compete aggressively and leave everything on the ice. They were a pleasure to coach.
On the boys' side, as the regular season winds down, Cheverus and Portland/Deering are both playoff-bound.
The teams met last Monday at Portland Ice Arena, where the Stags survived, 4-3, on Conor Ryle's overtime goal. Alex Libby, Jean-Claude Lemieux and Luke Trickey also had goals for Cheverus, which got clutch goaltending from Jason Blier.
"It was a close one," Ryle said. "We came into thinking it would be an easy win, but they took it to us and really wanted to beat us."
"It was a gift," said Cheverus coach Dan Lucas. "(Portland/Deering) had a game Saturday against Scarborough and we were sitting for four days eating too much Super Bowl chip and dip. We were really fortunate to win that hockey game."
The Stags then fell to 7-6-1 and fourth in the Western Class A Heal Points standings after losses to visiting Scarborough (5-4) and host Biddeford (5-3). James King had two goals against the Red Storm. After playing at Marshwood/Traip Monday and hosting Scarborough Tuesday, Cheverus has a rematch versus visiting Biddeford Thursday, then closes the regular season Feb. 20 at home against Thornton Academy.
In the OT loss to Cheverus, Portland/Deering got goals from Stephen Barry, Mike Fuller and Zach Luce, but suffered an agonizing defeat.
"I told the guys all year if they played three periods, they could play with anyone," said Portland/Deering coach Chad Hart. "I'm proud of them. We played with our hearts and worked our butts off. Today, the difference was just a couple bounces in OT. It's a tough outcome, but I'm proud of how we played."
Portland/Deering kept the momentum rolling with home wins over Marshwood/Traip (8-0) and Noble/Wells (3-1) to improve to 5-9-1 (good for seventh in Western A, where nine teams make the playoffs). Barry and Fuller both scored twice against Marshwood/Traip. Fuller, Peter Barry and Curran Clere had the goals against Noble/Wells. Portland/Deering goes to South Portland Thursday, visits Noble/Wells Saturday and closes Feb. 19 at home against Biddeford.