Postseason drama ramps up-Northern edition

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Falmouth’s Theo Hembre handles the puck during a 7-2 win at Portland/Deering Saturday.

Greely’s Lauren Williams clears the bar at 5 feet, 2 inches in the girls’ senior high jump during last weekend’s Western Maine Conference championship meet. Williams came in first and the Rangers were first as a team.

Freeport’s boys’ Nordic ski team is recognized as the champion at last week’s Western Maine Conference championship meet.

Freeport’s Allison Greuel competes in the skate race at last week’s Western Maine Conference championship meet. Greuel was 15th individually in that race. The Falcons wound up third in the team standings.

(Ed. Note: For the complete Falmouth-Portland/Deering boys’ hockey game story, with photos, see theforecaster.net)

The start of the basketball tournament (see story) will garner a big share of headlines in the days to come, but the other winter sports also are producing an abundance of excitement.

Here’s an overview:

Track

The Western Maine Conference indoor track championship meet was held last Friday at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham.

In the girls’ meet, Greely edged Falmouth (117-109) for the top spot. Freeport (37) came in sixth, Yarmouth (30) was 10th. NYA didn’t score.

The Rangers got wins from Lauren Williams in the senior high jump (5 feet, 2 inches), Maggie McCormick in the open pole vault (9-0) and Katherine Leggat-Barr in the open two-mile (11 minutes, 38.11 seconds).

The Yachtsmen got first-place finishes from Delaney Goodell in the junior 400 (1:04.25), Malaika Pasch in the open mile (5:12.91) and their junior 4×200 (1:55.92) relay team.

The Clippers got a win from Anneka Murrin the open 800 (2:20.40).

The Falcons were paced by Mikaela Fleenor, who was runner-up in the senior 200 (28.67 seconds), and Tara Migliaccio, who was second in the senior 400 (1:02.95). Their senior 4×200 relay team also came in second (1:54.38).

Falmouth won the boys’ title with 175 points. Greely (79) came in third, Yarmouth (33) placed sixth, Freeport (31) was seventh and NYA (22) finished 11th.

The Yachtsmen got wins from Kyle Bouchard in the junior 55 (7.08) and junior 200 (24.61), Joshua Bradford in the junior shot put (38-3), Noah Gull in the senior 55 hurdles (8.43), Ben Wyman in the senior high jump (5-8), Ted Pierson in the senior shot put (42-5), John Auer in the open mile (4:43.65), Aaron Thomas in the open pole vault (12-6) and their junior 4×200 (1:42.27) relay team.

The Rangers’ open 4×800 relay team came in first (8:58.94).

Yarmouth’s Luke Laverdiere won the open 800 (2:01.56). Tucker Whitney took the open long jump (19-9.75) and the open triple jump (41-0).

Freeport’s Henry Jaques took the open two-mile (9:58.68).

The Panthers were paced by Henry Quesada, who was runner-up in the senior 400 (55.80).

Greely will look to win a championship and Freeport, NYA and Yarmouth also will take part in the Class B state meet Saturday at Bates College in Lewiston.

Falmouth will make a run at the top spot at the Class A state meet Monday at USM.

Swimming

The North Division Southwesterns swim meet was held last weekend.

Greely’s girls’ team tallied 199 points but still finished a distant second to Cape Elizabeth (390.5). Falmouth (134) came in fifth. 

Greely was led by Courtney Rog, who was runner-up in the 200 freestyle (2 minutes, 2.79 seconds), and its second-place 200 freestyle relay team (Maddy Rawnsley, Kyla Moroney, Rog and Lily Black, 1:46.52).

The Yachtsmen’s top finisher was Grace Perron (third in the 200 free, 2:03.72, and fourth in the 100 free, 57.82 seconds). Marina Fuentes-Cantillana placed fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:15.58). Falmouth’s 200 free relay team (Perron, Sarah Baumann, Keller Gardner and Mae Causey, 1:48.28) placed third.

In the boys’ meet, also won by Cape Elizabeth with 278 points, Falmouth and Greely tied for sixth with 119 points apiece. 

Falmouth’s Connor Perron won the 200 free (1:47.92) and 500 free (4:49.28). Griffin Conley was the diving champion with a score of 343.25 points. 

The Rangers’ 200 free relay team (Will Russell, Charlie Gould, Cole Moore and Atticus Smith) came in fourth (1:38.89). 

In the girls’ South Division Southwesterns meet, also held last weekend, Yarmouth (129 points) came in fifth (Kennebunk won with 330). The Clippers were led by Eliza Lunt, who won the breaststroke (1:10.50) and their first-place 200 free relay team (Lunt, Elizabeth Hanson, Kara Murray and Amanda Murray, 1:50.84). Calista McLaughlin was runner-up in the 100 butterfly (1:09.72). 

The boys’ South Division Southwesterns were scheduled for last Thursday, moved to Monday due to bad weather, then were postponed again to Tuesday due to snow.

Looking ahead to states, the Greely and Yarmouth boys will compete in the Class B meet Saturday at Orono. The Clippers and Rangers girls take part in the Class B girls’ meet Monday in Orono. Falmouth competes in the Class A boys’ meet Monday in Brunswick. The Class A girls’ meet is Tuesday in Brunswick.

Skiing

The Western Maine Conference Nordic ski championship meet was held last week. Freeport was first in the boys’ competition. Maine Coast Waldorf came in second, Falmouth third, Yarmouth fourth and Greely eighth.

The Falcons were sparked by Bennett Hight, who was third in the classical (14 minutes, 20.7 seconds) and fifth in the freestyle (13:39.5). Yacob Olins placed fourth in the freestyle (13:35.1) and fifth in the classic (15:06.3). John Giddens came in eighth in the freestyle (14:25.2) and ninth in the classic (16:16.6). John Smail was eighth in the classic (15:43.9) and 11th in the freestyle (15:03.4).

Tucker Pierce of MCW was the individual winner in the classic in 13:56.1 and came in second the freestyle (12:51.1).

The Yachtsmen were led by Simon Pratico (seventh in the classic, 15:36.0, and seventh in the freestyle, 14:06.1).

The Clippers’ top finisher was John Lane (third in the freestyle, 13:22.7, and fourth in the classic, 14:21.4).

The Rangers’ top finishers were Evan Goettel (24th in the freestyle, 16:30.8) and Silas Cunningham (30th in the classic, 18:35.6).

Yarmouth won the girls’ title. Freeport came in third, MC Waldorf was fourth, Falmouth fifth and Greely seventh.

The Clippers were paced by Grace Cowles, who won the classic in 17:08.5 and the freestyle in 15:51.9. Hannah Corey was fourth in the classic (18:09.2) and fifth in the freestyle (17:23.0). Gretchen Barbera came in seventh in the classic (19:13.9) and eighth in the freestyle (17:41.0). Isabel Brennan finished eighth in the classic (19:16.8). Sadie Cowles was 10th in the freestyle (17:59.5).

The top Falcon was Lily Horne, who was runner-up in the freestyle (16:44.1) and the classic (17:43.6).

MCW was led by Louise Ahearne (third in the freestyle, 16:50.4, and third in the classic, 18:05.5).

The Yachtsmen were led by Gabby Farrell (fifth in the classic, 18:30.6, and sixth in the freestyle, 17:23.6).

The top Ranger was Isabella Perry (14th in the freestyle, 18:41.3). Jenna Rice placed 20th in the classic (21:55.8).

The skiing state meets will be held next week.

Hockey

Falmouth and Greely’s girls’ hockey teams had reached the regional final round at press time.

The Yachtsmen, ranked first in the South Region, had a bye into the semifinals where they ousted No. 5 York, 9-0, to improve to 15-4. Abi Lebel had three goals, while Sarah Noyes and Devon Sarazin had two apiece. Falmouth battled No. 2 Scarborough (14-4-1), the defending regional champion, in Wednesday’s South Region Final in Lewiston. The teams split during the regular season with each winning at home (Falmouth 3-0 and Scarborough 3-2). Last year, the Red Storm won the regional final, 5-2, to even the all-time playoff series, 2-2.

Greely, ranked second in the North Region, had its hands full with No. 3 Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland in its semifinal, but behind a hat trick from Courtney Sullivan survived, 3-2, in overtime. The Rangers faced top-ranked St. Dom’s (19-0) in the regional final Wednesday in Lewiston. The Saints won both regular season encounters, 9-2 in Falmouth and 3-2 in Auburn. Last year, St. Dom’s upset Greely in the regional final, 5-4, to take a 2-1 all-time postseason lead against the Rangers.

The state final is Saturday in Lewiston. If Falmouth and Greely square off, it would mark the second time they’ve played in that game (the Rangers won, 7-1). In the regular season, Greely won the lone meeting, 2-0, in the Dudley Cup, Jan. 2.

On the boys’ side, Falmouth continued to extend its lead in Class A South after Saturday’s 7-2 win at Portland/Deering. Theo Hembre had two goals and four assists and Robbie Armitage also had two goals.

“It wasn’t just me,” Hembre said. “It was everyone. All of us passed it around and didn’t care who scored the goal. We threw it in deep and ground it out.”

“We hit a bit of a rough patch, but we’re trying to stay positive and keep things simple,” Armitage said. “That’s been key.”

“We have to keep it simple,” added Yachtsmen coach Deron Barton. “We had a stretch of games where we tried to do too much and be too creative. Back to basics always works in hockey. We’ve dominated, but we haven’t been putting the puck in the net.”

Falmouth (11-3-1) hosted second-ranked Cheverus Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), welcomes Thornton Academy Saturday and closes the regular season at Cheverus Thursday of next week.

In Class B South, Greely improved to 8-5 and fourth after wins last week over visiting Gardiner (5-4) and at Gorham (9-0). Jack Saffian had the winner against the top-ranked Tigers. Jake MacDonald had a hat trick against the Rams and Andy Moore scored twice. The Rangers were supposed to play at Brunswick Monday, but that game was postponed due to bad weather. Greely hosted York Wednesday, visits Yarmouth Saturday, welcomes Brunswick in a makeup game Monday and closes at home versus Kennebunk next Thursday.

Defending regional champion Yarmouth fell to 6-8-1 and sixth in Class B South after a 7-0 loss at York Saturday. The Clippers were supposed to host Class A power St. Dom’s Monday, but that game was postponed to Tuesday by bad weather. After welcoming Greely Saturday, Yarmouth finishes at home versus Cape Elizabeth Tuesday of next week.

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

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.