Holiday break arrives for local teams
Just as quickly as we began, the 2009-10 winter sports season is set to take a brief holiday hiatus. While the sample size is small, early results have impressed and plenty more drama and triumph appear in store for 2010. Here's a glimpse at where things stand with the arrival of Santa Claus.
While Cape Elizabeth's boys' basketball team is defending its regional title in style (please see story), South Portland is undefeated as well. Friday, the Red Riots improved to 6-0 with a 54-32 win over Marshwood. South Portland got its usual balanced scoring attack as seven players had at least two points. Senior Connor Hasson led the way with 16. Classmates Matt Lee and Greg Reinhold both finished with a dozen. The Red Riots were at Noble Tuesday in their 2009 finale. After the holiday break, South Portland is back in action Jan. 5 at home versus Scarborough.
Speaking of the Red Storm, they took a 3-2 mark into Wednesday's 2009 finale against visiting Biddeford, which has been Scarborough's nemesis in recent years, eliminating the Red Storm from the preliminary round in three of the past four seasons. Scarborough's most recent game was a 45-38 home loss to Westbrook (senior Conor Sullivan and junior Zach Bean both finished with 11 points). After hosting Biddeford, the Red Storm are idle until a Jan. 5 date at South Portland.
On the girls' side, Scarborough took a perfect record into Tuesday's home showdown with McAuley (please see Web site for game story). The Red Storm were 5-0 coming in, with their latest victory a 64-32 triumph at Westbrook last Thursday. In that one, senior standout Christy Manning had 24 points. Scarborough has a showdown at Biddeford Monday.
South Portland is quietly putting together a strong season. Last week, the Red Riots improved to 4-2 with a win at Marshwood (53-47, behind 15 points each from senior Esther Palmieri and junior Danielle DiBiase). South Portland was home with Noble Tuesday, then is idle until Jan. 2 when it hosts two-time defending state champion Deering.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth is building on last year's success and has positioned itself as a top contender. Last Thursday, the Capers went to Yarmouth and trailed 27-17 midway through the third period (due mostly to a two-point second quarter), but erupted and ended the game on a 22-4 run to win 39-31, thanks in large part to 14 points from senior Alicen Johnson and 11 from senior Gabe Donahue.
"It wasn't our best first half," said Cape Elizabeth coach Chris Roberts. "We're a veteran team and we have to do better than that, but we came back. We're learning how to come back or hold on to leads. We're coming through. We're going in the right direction. Credit to the kids."
Saturday, the Capers went to powerhouse Greely and led 22-18 at the half, but couldn't hold on and fell to 4-2 with a 56-37 loss. Senior Morgan Pillsbury led the team with 11 points. Cape Elizabeth (4-2) hosted Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday in the 2009 finale. The Capers are back in action Jan. 5 at home versus Falmouth.
On the ice, Cape Elizabeth's boys lost 6-0 at Falmouth last Thursday, then bounced back and evened its record at 2-2 Saturday with a 5-4 win at Gardiner. Junior Vinny Dell'Aquila tied the score with a goal in the final minute of regulation and senior Ryan Jackson scored the winner in overtime. The Capers are idle until Jan. 6 when they go to Kennebunk.
Scarborough evened its record at 2-2 last week with a pair of shutouts, 3-0 over Kennebunk (senior Trevor Hoxsie scored twice) and 17-0 over Fryeburg/Lake Region (Hoxsie led the way with four more goals). The Red Storm were home with Falmouth Tuesday, then return to action Jan. 2 at home versus Thornton Academy.
South Portland is 1-3 after losses last week at Thornton Academy (8-2) and Yarmouth (3-2). Junior Josh Cobb and D.J. Conley had the goals against the Clippers. The Red Riots return to action Jan. 2 at home against Gorham.
On the girls' side, Scarborough ended the 2009 portion of its schedule with a 6-4 mark. Last week, the Red Storm won 5-4 at St. Dom's, lost 11-4 at defending champion Lewiston, then beat host Greely, 4-2 Saturday (thanks to two goals each from sophomore Abby Rutt and senior Marina Sterrer). Scarborough returns to action Jan. 2 at Deering.
Cape Elizabeth fell to 2-3-1 Saturday after a 6-0 loss to Falmouth. The Capers hoped to even their mark Wednesday when they visited Portland. Tuesday, Cape Elizabeth goes to Lewiston.
Scarborough took part in the Bowdoin Relays Saturday in Brunswick. The boys were runner-up to Brunswick with 72 points. Fourteen teams took part. The Red Storm won the pole vault competition. In the girls' meet, won by Mt. Ararat with 61 points, Scarborough was third out of 15 teams with 56 points. The Red Storm's 4x100 and distance medley teams both came in first.
In the pool, Scarborough beat Cape Elizabeth in a Class A showdown last Friday night. The boys enjoyed a 115-69 win, while the girls held off the defending Class A champion Capers, 102-83. The latter competition saw the Red Storm lead by just five points entering the final two events. The boys opened the meet with a new team record in the 200 medley relay, as Kip Gravel, Robby Gravel, Arthur Hamill and Mark Endrizzi had a time of 1 minute, 44.18 seconds.
"Our depth is our strength for the boys," said first-year coach Sean Flaherty. "We got key contributions from Jack Clark in the 200 and 500 free, Martin Schelasin in the 50 and 100 free and Adam Saltz in the 100 fly and 100 back, to name a few, but to be honest, the entire team, from top to bottom, turned in some impressive swims.
"The girls knew what was at stake and how close the meet was at the end. Sam Couillard, Alison Reynolds and Anna Wagner really took the team on their backs and swam great in the 100 breaststroke. Then, each of them had to jump right back on the block and finish it off in the 400 freestyle relay.
"The entire team effort, combined with great team spirit, is what pushed us over the top. I couldn't be more pleased with how the season has started."
Scarborough hosted Cheverus Wednesday. Cape Elizabeth swam at Deering Wednesday.
South Portland hosted Deering last Friday and dropped two close decisions, as the boys fell 103-83 and the girls lost, 104-75.
The Scarborough wrestling team lost 47-29 to visiting Kennebunk last Wednesday. The Red Storm host Deering Wednesday of next week.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com.