Postseason excitement underway-Northern edition

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While the basketball tournament will get the lion’s share of attention over the next few weeks (see story), there’s ample excitement across the board in the other sports now that February is here.

A lot of hardware is about to be handed out and local athletes will receive their share.

Here’s a look at what’s transpired and what’s to come.

Girls’ hockey

The Greely and Falmouth girls’ hockey teams were still alive at press time.

In the North region, the Rangers held the top seed after an 18-0 regular season and had little trouble with No. 4 EL/Leavitt/Poland in Saturday’s semifinal, advancing with a 5-1 victory behind goals from Emilee McGillicuddy, Bridget Roberts, Ellie Schad, Danita Storey and Courtney Sullivan.

“I think we know that we have more, but I was really impressed with how everyone played,” Greely coach Nate Guerin said. “I thought a lot of girls had a lot of positives. A couple girls had really nice games.”

The Rangers advanced to meet No. 2 St. Dom’s (17-2 after downing Lewiston, 6-0, in its semifinal) in the regional final Wednesday evening in Lewiston. Greely swept the Saints this year, eking out a 2-1 home victory Jan. 6 and rolling, 8-4, in Auburn 19 days later. The teams split two prior playoff meetings, with the Rangers taking a 1-0 decision in the 2009 semifinals and St. Dom’s winning, 3-2, in the 2011 regional final.

Yarmouth/Freeport/GNG was the No. 5 seed and lost to EL/Leavitt/Poland in the quarterfinals, 3-2, to finish 8-11. After falling behind 2-0, goals from Georgia Giese and Katie Clemmer forged a tie, but EL/Leavitt/Poland scored with just over six minutes to play to advance.

“I think the girls, they started working together,” Yarmouth/Freeport/GNG coach Meg Vaughan said. “We stress a lot about playing smart hockey and playing disciplined hockey and not relying on individuals.”

In the South region, Falmouth, ranked second, had a bye into the semifinals where it had no trouble with No. 3 Cheverus Saturday, 11-0. Sarah Hutcheon, Marcy Kittredge, Sarah Noyes and Martina St. Angelo each had two goals as the Yachtsmen improved to 15-2-2.

Falmouth advanced to meet No. 1 Scarborough (17-1-1 after a 3-0 win over York in its semifinal) in Wednesday’s regional final.

After tying, 3-3, in the opener at Falmouth Nov. 21, the host Red Storm rallied to edge the Yachtsmen, 3-2, in overtime, Jan. 22. The teams have met twice prior in the playoffs, with Falmouth taking them both: 3-2 in the 2010 West region semifinals and 4-2 in the last year’s regional final.

The winners meet in the state championship game Saturday night in Lewiston.

If Falmouth and Greely square off, it will mark the second time in five years they have battled on the big stage (the Rangers romped, 7-1, in the 2012 state final).

The Rangers beat Scarborough, 8-3 in the teams’ lone meeting Jan. 27 in Falmouth. Greely edged the Red Storm, 1-0, in overtime, in the 2013 state final in the only prior playoff encounter between the programs.

The Yachtsmen didn’t play St. Dom’s this year and the teams have no playoff history.

Swimming

The girls’ swimming Southwesterns were held Saturday.

Falmouth, Greely and North Yarmouth Academy joined seven other schools at the North Division championships in Cape Elizabeth. The host Capers edged the Rangers (280-275) to win the title. The Yachtsmen (92 points) came in sixth and the Panthers (29) were 10th.

Greely got a win from its 400 freestyle relay team (Camilla Civiello, Katie Bacall, Lily Black and Hwanhee Park), which had a time of 3 minutes, 47.15 seconds. Park was runner-up in the 500 free (5:23.36) and second in the 100 butterfly (1:00.14). Civiello placed second in the 100 free (57.16 seconds) and came in sixth in the 200 free (2:06.58). Courtney Rog placed third in the 200 individual medley (2:22.43) and seventh in the 500 free (5:43.83). Cat Maker came in third in the 100 breaststroke (1:13.46) and fourth in the 50 free (25.21). Bacall was fourth in the 200 free (2:06.32) and eighth in the 500 free (5:47.04). Madison Rawnsley was fourth in the fly (1:04.50) and sixth in the IM (2:28.17).  Black finished fifth in the 100 free (57.79) and fifth in the 200 free (2:06.57). Julia Bisson was fifth in the diving (241.40 points). Lauren Williams placed fifth in the 100 backstroke (1:05.40) and seventh in the 100 free (59.12). Sarah Beretich placed eighth in the breaststroke (1:19.30). The Rangers’ 200 medley relay team (Williams, Rog, Rawnsley and Maker) was runner-up to Cape Elizabeth (1:55.74). The 200 free relay squad (Beretich, Hannah Butland, Allison Coon and Maggie Reed) placed fourth (1:50.56).

Falmouth got a win from Charlotte Janelle in diving (363.75 points). Grace Perron was fourth in the IM (2:26.15) and fifth in the 500 free (5:36.48). Keunjoo Kim finished eighth in the backstroke (1:08.26). The Yachtsmen’s medley relay team (Sarah Baumann, Hannah Fishman, Ada Causey and Keller Gardner) was fourth (2:07.93). Falmouth’s 400 free relay team (Kim, Gardner, Blair Legere and Perron) came in fifth (4:06.62).

The Panthers points came from Sonia Lin, who won the 50 free (24.95) and placed second in the backstroke (59.60).

In the South Division championships at Kennebunk, won by the hosts with 311 points, Yarmouth (159) finished third.

The Clippers produced the champion 200 free relay team, as Amanda Murray, Eliza Brown, Calista Mclauglin and Natalie Bourassa had a time of 1:51.84. Yarmouth’s medley relay team (Eleanor O’Gorman, Eliza Lunt, Mclauglin and Murray) was runner-up to record-setting Kennebunk (1:58.75). The 400 free relay (Lunt, Bourassa, Brown and O’Gorman) was also second, to Massabesic (3:55.52). Individually, Lunt won the breaststroke (1:09.26). O’Gorman was runner-up in the backstroke (1:03.05). Mclauglin was third in the fly (1:09.23). Bay Hanson finished fifth in the fly (1:10.82) and ninth in the 50 free (29.05). Murray placed sixth in the 100 free (1:02.93). Cara Ricciardi was ninth in the IM (2:41.37) and ninth in the backstroke (1:11.33). Lily Kuhn was 10th in the 500 free (6:30.74).

The boys’ Southwesterns were supposed to be held Friday, but were postponed by snow to Monday, where more snow wiped out the South Division championships completely. The North Division championships were held at Cape Elizabeth, but poor weather kept Falmouth and Greely home.

The Class A girls’ state meet is Saturday in Orono. The A boys’ state meet is Monday in Orono. The Class B girls’ state meet is Monday at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. The B boys’ meet is Tuesday at Bowdoin.

Skiing

Local teams did very well at last week’s Western Maine Conference Nordic championships.

On the boys’ side, Freeport won the skate and the classic and its 46 total points easily outdistanced runner-up Falmouth (90). MC Waldorf (118) was third, Yarmouth (138) fifth and Greely (305) eighth.

Bennett Hight led the Falcons with a third-place showing in the skate (13 minutes, 34.4 seconds). In the classic, Kyle Dorsey finished fourth (15:41.6). Tucker Pierce, of MC Waldorf was the individual champion in the skate (13:05.6) and placed second in the classic (15:23.4). The Yachtsmen were paced by Simon Pratico (ninth in the skate, 14:31.1) and Devin Ventura (ninth in the classic, 16:46.8). The Clippers were led by John Lane, who was runner-up to Pierce in the skate (13:11.5) and third in the classic (15:23.5). The Rangers top finisher was Evan Goettel (26th in the skate, 16:36.1 and 31st in the classic, 20:16.9).

Yarmouth won the girls’ championship with 41 points, taking both events. MC Waldorf (68) placed second, Freeport (135) third, Falmouth (194) fifth and Greely (254) seventh.

The Clippers were paced by Lucy Alexander, who was runner-up in the classic (18:30.6) and third in the skate (15:33.6). Teammate Sophia Laukli was second in the skate (15:28.4). MC Waldorf’s top finishers were Fiona Ahearne (third in the classic, 18:30.9 and fifth in the skate, 15:44.0) and Olivia Skillings (fourth in the skate, 15:42.1 and fourth in the classic, 18:32.0). The Falcons produced classic champion Lily Johnston (17:42.7). Johnston came in sixth in the skate (15:47.3). The Yachtsmen were paced by Gabby Farrell (eighth in the classic, 19:39.3). Juliana Baranowski was 24th in the skate (20:13.6). The Rangers were led by Isabella Perry (19th in the skate, 19:25.8 and 19th in the classic, 22:29.3).

The WMC Alpine championships were held Monday and produced more excellence from local athletes, especially from Falmouth, which swept the meet.

The Yachtsmen boys had 20 more points than runner-up Yarmouth. Greely finished third and Freeport placed fourth.

Falmouth was led by Thomas Lesniak, who was runner-up in the giant slalom (a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 19.04 seconds) and placed third in the slalom (1:27.18). Owen White was fifth in the slalom (1:34.91) and eighth in the GS (1:26.80). Gibson Scott was sixth in the GS (1:24.48). Cameron Loncoski placed eighth in the slalom (1:38.02). Peter Alexander finished ninth in the GS (1:26.84) and 15th in the slalom (1:48.98).

The Clippers featured Jack Diggins, who was fifth in the GS (1:21.81) and sixth in the slalom (1:37.43). The Rangers were paced by Axel Lindsay, who was second in the slalom (1:26.74) and came in third in the GS (1:20.28). The Falcons were led by Liam Grogan (13th in the GS, 1:27.74) and Griffin Agnese (13th in the slalom, 1:46.45).

Falmouth’s girls had a healthy margin over runner-up Greely, while Yarmouth finished third and Freeport placed eighth.

The Yachtsmen got a win from Krysia Lesniak in the slalom (1:37.62). Lesniak was also runner-up in the GS (1:23.68). Alex Shapiro came in third in the GS (1:23.82). Vika Santoro placed seventh in the GS (1:26.98). Audrey Morin was 10th in the slalom (1:47.21). Kelly Frumer finished 12th in the slalom (1:48.42) and 12th in the GS (1:29.23). Caroline Keller was 14th in the slalom (1:48.98).

The Rangers were paced by Nettie Cunningham, who was runner-up in the slalom (1:37.91) and fifth in the GS (1:25.63). The Clippers top finisher was Greta Elder (third in the slalom, 1:38.20). Emi Ruth was tops in the GS (1:32.56). The Falcons were led by Kaia Williams (24th in the GS, 1:35.87 and 31st in the slalom, 2:14.81).

The Class A and B Alpine state meets are Feb. 16-17. The Class A, B and C Nordic state meets will be held Feb. 18-19.

Indoor track

The Western Maine Conference indoor track championship meet was snowed out Friday and again on Monday and will not be held this year.

Next up are the state championship meets.

The Class B state meet (featuring Freeport, Greely, NYA and Yarmouth) will be held Saturday at Bates College in Lewiston. Falmouth competes for Class A glory Monday at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham.

Boys’ hockey

The boys’ hockey regular season is in its closing stretch.

In Class A South, Falmouth continues to surge toward the playoffs, improving to 13-3 and second behind defending state champion Scarborough in the Heal Points standings after extending its win streak to five last week with victories over visiting Yarmouth (6-1) and host Biddeford (5-1) and Portland/Deering (6-0). The Yachtsmen played at Lewiston Tuesday, then close the regular season at Scarborough Wednesday of next week.

In Class B South, Yarmouth bounced back from a 6-1 loss at Falmouth by avenging a previous loss with a 4-1 home victory over Brunswick Saturday to improve to 12-3 and first in the Heals. Patrick Grant scored twice, while Walter Conrad and Cooper May had one goal apiece. The Clippers hosted Portland/Deering Tuesday, welcome Greely Saturday and close at home versus Cape Elizabeth Monday.

Greely was 4-11 and eighth in Class B South (seven teams make the playoffs) after a 5-4 home loss to Gorham and a 7-2 win at Leavitt last week. The Rangers host York Thursday, go to Yarmouth Saturday and close at home versus Brunswick Wednesday of next week.

The boys’ hockey playoffs kick off with the quarterfinals Feb. 23.

Unified basketball

Yarmouth’s Unified basketball team lost last week at Westbrook, 36-26, then improved to 2-2 Monday by edging host Brunswick, 34-32. After hosting Westbrook Wednesday, the Clippers are idle until Feb. 23 when they host to Bonny Eagle.

Greely earned its first win last Tuesday, downing visiting Brunswick, 44-32, to even its record at 1-1. The Rangers go to Bonny Eagle Thursday, then play at Deering/Portland Wednesday.

Sun Journal staff writer Wil Kramlich contributed to this story.

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

Sidebar Elements


Falmouth’s Alpine ski team, which includes skiers from Waynflete, celebrates after the boys and girls captured the Western Maine Conference championship Monday.

Freeport’s Nordic ski team had a strong showing at last week’s Western Maine Conference championship meet. The boys placed first as a team, winning both the classic and skate races. The girls finished third.

Falmouth seniors Blair Legere, left, Charlotte Janelle and Keunjoo Kim receive SMSOA merit scholarships at the North Division Southwesterns meet last weekend. The scholarships are given by the area swimming and diving officials to deserving student athletes based on academics, community service and swim/dive participation. Janelle won the girls’ diving title for the fourth year in a row.

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