Postseason excitement in full swing-Portland edition

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Portland’s Griffin Buckley slides safely into third base before Deering’s Michael Randall can tag him out in last week’s 6-5 Rams’ victory.

Waynflete’s Clara Sandberg throws a pass during the Flyers’ 11-2 victory over St. Dom’s last week.

The tennis tournament is down to a select few teams and the baseball, softball and lacrosse postseason is about to begin.

Local teams are in the mix for titles in all sports and the next couple of weeks promise to be memorable.

Here’s an overview:

Tennis

Waynflete’s boys’ and girls’ tennis teams remain alive at press time.

The Flyers boys, who have won the past 11 state titles, earned the No. 3 seed in Class C South after a 9-3 campaign and blanked No. 6 North Yarmouth Academy (5-0) in the quarterfinals and did the same to second-ranked Dirigo (5-0) in the semifinal round.

Waynflete (11-3) will meet No. 1 Winthrop (11-1) in the regional final Thursday morning at Bates College in Lewiston. If the Flyers prevail, they’ll battle Orono (13-1) or George Stevens Academy (11-3) in the state match Saturday in Lewiston.

The Waynflete girls, meanwhile, wound up fifth in Class C South after a 7-5 season and after eliminating No. 4 Maranacook, 3-2, in the quarterfinals, the Flyers outlasted top-ranked Winthrop in a thrilling semifinal, 3-2, Saturday. Chloe Fisher won the decisive match at second singles, 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (5), to finish it off.

“It’s a lot of pressure,” Fisher said. “You’ve got to get it. It’s really hard, because by the third (set) you’re tired, you’re drained, so it’s really difficult to keep your body moving. It’s a mind-over-matter thing.”

“She’s had two or three three-setters this season (where) she’s dug it out,” Waynflete coach Linda Cohen said, of Fisher. “She’s very competitive, she doesn’t like to give up. It’s just sad that somebody had to (lose). Every point becomes match point, just about. Really, going down to the wire, stress, pressure, keeping score, calling lines. It’s all on them.”

The Flyers (9-5) will meet No. 1 Winthrop (11-1) in the regional final Thursday. 

Cheverus’ girls, ranked second in Class A South, handled No. 7 Marshwood in the quarterfinals, 4-1, then was ousted by No. 3 Scarborough, 4-1, in the semifinals to finish 10-4.

Portland, seeded eighth in Class A South, blanked No. 9 South Portland, 5-0, in the preliminary round, then was eliminated by top-ranked, defending champion Falmouth, 5-0, in the quarterfinals to finish 8-6.

Deering, seeded 10th, was beaten by No. 7 Marshwood in the preliminary round and finished the year 4-9.

Cheverus’ boys earned the No. 3 seed in Class A South, but were upset by No. 6 Kennebunk in the quarterfinals, 4-1, to finish the year 9-4.

Portland, ranked eighth in Class A South, edged No. 9 Gorham, 3-2, in the preliminary round, then was ousted by top-ranked, defending state champion Falmouth, 5-0, in the quarterfinals to wind up 7-7.

Deering, ranked fifth in Class A South, beat fourth-seeded South Portland, 4-1, in its quarterfinal, then lost to No. 1 Falmouth, 4-1, in the semifinals to finish the season 9-5. 

Baseball

Cheverus and Portland were the lone city baseball teams to make it to the playoffs.

The Stags finished sixth in Class A South after a 9-7 campaign, which wrapped up with a 5-0 win at Westbrook and a 3-0 home loss to Noble. In the victory, Justin Ray and Nick Galeucia combined to throw a one-hitter and Ray, Sam Clark and Nathaniel Lapoint all had a pair of hits. In the loss, Cheverus managed just two hits.

The Stags hosted No. 11 Noble (8-8) in the preliminary round Tuesday. Back on April 29, host Cheverus beat the Knights, 14-4, in five-innings. In the teams’ lone prior playoff meeting, in the 2003 Western A quarterfinals, the Stags prevailed, 11-5.

If Cheverus advanced to Thursday’s quarterfinal, it would visit No. 3 Scarborough (12-4). On May 9, the Red Storm blanked the host Stags, 4-0. The teams split two prior playoff meetings, with Scarborough’s 7-5 victory in a memorable 2012 Western A Final the most recent.

Portland closed on a four-game skid, falling at home to Scarborough, 2-1, and at Deering, 6-5, to finish 7-9 and 12th in Class A South. Griffin Buckley had an RBI double and Donnie Tocci was the hard-luck loser against the Red Storm. Brian Riley went the distance against the Rams.

The Bulldogs were at No. 5 Windham (10-6) in the preliminary round Tuesday. On May 16, Portland lost at home to the Eagles, 5-1. The teams squared off last year in the quarterfinal round, with the Bulldogs prevailing, 3-1.

If Portland advanced, it would go to No. 4 Marshwood (11-5) in Thursday’s quarterfinals. On May 23, the Bulldogs lost, 5-0, at the Hawks. The teams have met just once before in the playoffs, a 5-0 Portland win in the 2007 Western A quarterfinals.

Deering finished 4-12 and 14th in Class A South (only 12 teams qualified for the playoffs) after a dramatic 6-5 home win over Portland. Tre Fletcher pitched six innings, hit an opposite field home run over the fence at Hadlock Field, stole three bases and scored the winning run on Bennett Berg’s hit. 

“It felt amazing,” said Fletcher, of hitting an opposite-field home run in his final high school game. “All our friends, our fellow students, were going crazy. My parents were going crazy. Our team was going crazy. I was going crazy a little bit. It was an exhilarating feeling.”

The Waynflete/NYA co-op squad wound up 2-11 and 12th in Class C South (only 10 teams made the playoffs) after closing with an 8-5 home loss to Sacopee Valley last week. 

Softball

The Cheverus/NYA co-op and Portland qualified for the softball postseason.

The Stags finished ninth in Class A South at 8-8 after closing with a 10-4 home loss to Marshwood and a 5-0 home win over Deering. In the victory, Mackenzie Turner threw a one-hitter, Alexandra Hammond had four hits and Sydney Plummer doubled twice. 

Cheverus/NYA was at No. 8 Bonny Eagle (9-7) in the preliminary round Tuesday. Back on May 6, the Stags won, 15-2, at the Scots. The teams met just once previously in the playoffs, a 7-6 Bonny Eagle victory in the 2009 Western A quarterfinals.

If Cheverus/NYA advances to Thursday’s quarterfinal round, it will have the daunting task of visiting top-ranked, two-time defending Class A champion Scarborough (16-0). On May 9, the Stags lost at the Red Storm, 10-2. Scarborough won the only prior playoff encounter, 3-0, in the 2008 Western A quarterfinals.

Portland finished 5-11 and 11th in Class A South after an 11-0 loss at Windham in the finale.

The Bulldogs were at No. 6 Biddeford (10-6) in the preliminary round Tuesday. The Tigers beat host Portland, 19-0, in five-innings May 23. The Bulldogs won two of three previous meetings, with a 7-3 win in the 2004 Western A semifinals the most recent.

If Portland sprung an upset, it would be at No. 3 Noble (14-2) in Thursday’s quarterfinals. On April 29, the Bulldogs lost, 12-3, in North Berwick. Portland has won all three prior playoff meetings, with a 4-2 victory in the 1997 Western A quarterfinals the most recent.

If a local team advances to the semifinals, they will play Saturday on the road.

Deering wound up 1-15 and 16th in Class A South, where only 12 teams qualified. The Rams closed with losses to visiting Kennebunk (9-1) and at Cheverus/NYA (5-0). Megan Dunn drove in Deering’s run against Kennebunk.

Boys’ lacrosse

Portland and Waynflete enter the boys’ lacrosse playoffs with high hopes.

The Flyers, the defending Class C state champions, extended their win streak to nine games last week with a 10-7 home victory over York, then finished 9-3 after a 12-5 setback at Yarmouth. In the win, Miles Lipton had five goals. Lipton didn’t score in the setback and while Mitchell Adams and Zane Moorhead each scored twice, it wasn’t enough.

“We don’t like the feeling of losing,” said Waynflete coach Parker Repko. “We told the team, ‘This should humble you, but it should motivate you so you don’t feel this way again.’”

The Flyers will be the No. 3 seed in Class C and will host No. 6 Lake Region (6-6) in the state quarterfinals Saturday. On May 21, host Waynflete beat the Lakers, 19-12. The teams have no playoff history.

In Class A North, Portland finished 11-1 and second to Windham after wins at Westbrook (12-5) and Noble (14-0). Grant Jacobson scored six times against the Knights. 

The Bulldogs have a quarterfinal round bye and will host either No. 3 Lewiston (9-3) or sixth-ranked Oxford Hills (8-4) in the semifinals Saturday. Portland didn’t face either team this year. The Bulldogs and Vikings have no playoff history. Portland is 1-2 all-time against the Blue Devils in the postseason, with an 8-7 overtime victory by Lewiston in the 2015 Eastern A quarterfinals the most recent.

Deering finished 2-10 and eighth in Class A North (where only six teams qualified for the playoffs) after a 7-2 home win over Cheverus and a 15-0 setback at defending Class A champion Thornton Academy. Sam Spach had three goals in the victory.

Cheverus also wound up 2-10 and placed ninth in Class A North following a 7-2 loss at Deering and an 18-4 home loss to South Portland. 

Girls’ lacrosse

On the girls’ side, Cheverus, Portland and Waynflete are all playoff-bound.

The Bulldogs ended up third in Class A North after winning the final 10 games of their season to wind up 10-2. Portland closed with a 16-11 victory at Bonny Eagle and a 16-3 home win over Deering. Chloe Kilbride and Isabella More had four goals apiece and Annika More added three in the win over the Scots. Against the Rams, Annika More, Isabella More and Sydney Girsch all had three goals.

Portland will host No. 6 Lewiston (7-5) in the quarterfinals Wednesday (see theforecaster.net for game story). The teams didn’t meet in the regular season and have playoff history.

A win in that game would send the Bulldogs to No. 2 Windham (11-1) for the semifinals Saturday. Back on April 22, in the season opener, the Eagles won at Portland, 11-6. The teams have no playoff history.

Cheverus took fifth place in Class A North after finishing 8-4. The Stags rallied to edge visiting Marshwood, 11-10, in an overtime thriller, then closed with a 20-9 victory at South Portland last week. Against the Hawks, Zoe Mazur scored in the final second to force OT and Annesley Black’s third goal proved to be the winner. Aisling Flaherty also scored three times.

Cheverus goes to No. 4 Oxford Hills (11-1) for the quarterfinals Wednesday. The teams didn’t play this year and have no playoff history.

If the Stags advance, they’ll go to top-ranked Falmouth (11-1), the defending Class A champion, Saturday for the semifinals. On May 20, the Yachtsmen won at Cheverus, 14-7. The teams met last year in the regional final, a 17-5 Falmouth victory.

Deering finished 0-12 and ninth in Class A North, where only six teams made the playoffs. The Rams closed with a 13-10 home loss to Sanford and a 16-3 setback at Portland. 

In Class B, Waynflete continued its streak of never missing the playoffs, thanks to an 11-2 home win over St. Dom’s last Wednesday. The Flyers got five goals from Emi Boedeker.

“We really needed this one,” Boedeker said. “We’ve been watching the Heal Points. This definitely helps boost us in Heal Points and with our confidence.”

“Emi brings everything to our team,” Cathie Connors said. “She’s our motivator. She makes everyone better. It was nice that she was able to shine.”

Waynflete finished 5-7 after a 9-4 setback at Yarmouth Friday. Emily Wagg scored twice and goalie Avis Akers made 13 saves, but it wasn’t enough.

“It was an awesome effort and I’m really proud,” Connors said. “This was a great way to go into the playoffs. Now the fun begins. After playing like this, we’ll have more confidence.”

The Flyers will visit No. 7 Brunswick (5-7) in a preliminary round contest Wednesday. The teams didn’t play this year and last met way back in the 2003 state final (a 7-5 Waynflete win). The Dragons and Flyers also played in the 2000 state quarterfinals (a 5-3 Waynflete victory).

If the Flyers advance, they’ll go to No. 2 Cape Elizabeth (10-2), the defending Class B champions, for the quarterfinals Saturday. On May 16, Waynflete lost, 13-3, at the Capers. The teams have played 11 previous times in the playoffs, with the Flyers holding a 9-2 edge. The most recent encounter was in 2017, a 10-6 Cape Elizabeth victory in the Class B South quarterfinals.

Watervile Morning Sentinel staff writer Drew Bonifant contributed to this story.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. 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.