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.
Cheverus entered the girls’ hockey playoffs as the No. 3 seed in the South region following an 11-7 regular season. Last Wednesday, the Stags hosted No. 6 Biddeford in what proved to be a tight and entertaining quarterfinal at Troubh Ice Arena.
Cheverus appeared en route to an easy win when Sophia Giancotti and Lilly Wolff scored early, but as time wound down in the first period, the Tigers cut the deficit in half. In the second period, Biddeford forged a 2-2 tie, but the Stags retook the lead on a rebound tally from Giancotti with 7.3 seconds to go.
Early in the third period, the Tigers pulled even again, but Cheverus saved its best for last, going on top to stay with 8:01 remaining, when Wolff scored, and putting it away on a goal from inspirational leader Jill Hannigan, who returned from injury just in time for the game. Goalie Anna Smith (10 saves) came up huge in a tough spot and the Stags went on to a 5-3 victory.
“We’ve had tough times, so it’s amazing to win a playoff game,” Wolff said. “It was difficult to go back and forth, goal to goal. They came back quickly, but we held them off.”
“This means a lot to win,” said Hannigan. “We knew this would be our best season yet. We’ve done well with our opportunities.”
“The program wanted to get back to the playoffs and we did,” Cheverus first-year coach Kent Hulst added. “The kids came in and bought into everything. We had some bumps in the road which helped us understand winning and losing, so winning a playoff game was big.”
The Stags’ season came to an abrupt end Saturday at No. 2 Falmouth, as the Yachtsmen led, 5-0, after one period and went on to an 11-0 victory. Smith made 32 saves, but Cheverus finished 12-8.
Portland/Deering finished 6-12, tripling last year’s win total, but fell short of the playoffs.
The Southwestern Maine Activities Association indoor track championship meet was held Saturday at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham.
Cheverus’ girls had 94 points to finish runner-up to Westbrook (111). Deering (37) came in 10th, Portland (34) was 11th and McAuley (8) finished 15th.
The Stags got wins from Hannah Abbott in the junior shot put (33 feet, 2.75 inches), Emily Turner in the senior long jump (16-4) and their open 600 (1 minute, 29.85 seconds) and its open 4×200 relay team (1:53.57).
Also scoring were Turner (second in the senior 200, 26.10 seconds), Emma White (second in the junior triple jump, 32-1.5, third in the junior high jump, 5-0, and sixth in the junior long jump, 14-6), Sarah Mount (third in the senior 400, 1:02.47, third in the senior 55 hurdles, 9.58, and fourth in the senior 200, 28.04), Evelyn Hanley (third in the junior 55 hurdles, 9.62, and fourth in the junior long jump, 14-9.25), Julia Pomerleau (fourth in the junior high jump, 5-0), and Abbott (sixth in the junior 55, 8.02)
The Rams got points from Annah Rossvall, who was runner-up in the junior 55 hurdles (9.61), third in the junior long jump (14-11) and sixth in the junior triple jump (30-9.25), Caitlin Lally, fourth in the open 600 (1:38.37), Lili Kien, fourth in the senior high jump (4-10) and sixth in the senior long jump (14-10), Nicola Ciccomancini, fifth in the senior 55 (7.92), and Chanta Robinson, sixth in the junior 200 (28.74). Deering’s open 4×200 relay team placed third (1:54.24). The Rams’ 1,600 sprint medley relay finished fourth (4:46.46).
The Bulldogs were led by Ella Altidor, who won the junior 55 (7.47) and the junior 200 (26.76), breaking her own league record in both events. Altidor also placed third in the junior 400 (1:02.22) and won the Harold Harmon Award as the regular season junior division MVP. Chessa Hoekstra placed fourth in the senior 55 (7.84). Maggie Hosmer was fourth in the senior 800 (2:32.54).
The Lions’ points came from Sophia Kriekhaus, who was runner-up in the senior shot put (33-11.5).
In the boys’ meet, won by powerhouse Scarborough with 168 points, Deering (134) placed third and Cheverus (31) finished eighth. Portland failed to score.
The Rams got wins from Iessa Ramadan in the junior 200 (23.81) and open 600 (1:18.99) and Paolo DeMarco in the senior 200 (23.41) and the senior 400 (51.43). DeMarco was honored with the Jim Daly Trophy prior to the meet as the regular season MVP. He won the “Hank” LaVallee Trophy for winning the senior 200, the Daniel J. Murphy Trophy for taking the senior 400 and after the meet, won the Gordon Williams Trophy as the senior division meet MVP.
Deering’s junior 4×200 relay team was also first (1:38.0), further lowering its league record time.
Deering also got points from Abdi Hassan (second in the senior 800, 2:02.92, and sixth in the open mile, 4:44.24), Ezra Chapola (second in the senior long jump, 19-2.25, and fourth in the senior triple jump, 39-3.25), Songha Loth (second in the junior 55, 6.92), Luc Harrison (second in the junior 400, 55.88 and second in the junior high jump, 5-6), Wilder Baldwin (second in the junior 800, 2:13.66), Jack Lynch (third in the junior 200, 24.78, and third in the junior 400, 56.42), Kabala Muka (fourth in the junior shot put, 37-3), Alec Troxell (fifth in the junior 800, 2:15.90) and Yahya Nure (sixth in the open two-mile, 10:37.85). Deering’s 1,600 sprint medley relay team finished third (3:52.53). The Rams’ open 4×200 relay team came in fourth (1:40.73). Deering’s open 4×800 relay squad placed fifth (9:01.33).
The Stags were led by Tre Fletcher, who won the junior high jump (5-8) and was third in the junior long jump (19-0) and third in the junior 55 (6.93). Mike O’Brien was runner-up in the senior triple jump (39-5) and sixth in the senior 400 (54.20).
The Class B state meet (featuring McAuley) will be held Saturday at Bates College in Lewiston. Cheverus, Deering and Portland compete for Class A glory Monday in Gorham.
The boys’ North and South division Southwesterns were scheduled for Friday, but postponed by snow to Monday.
The girls did compete Saturday.
Cheverus, Deering and McAuley joined seven other schools at the North Division Southwesterns in Cape Elizabeth. The host Capers edged Greely (280-275) to win the title. The Stags (188 points) were fourth, the Rams (110) came in fifth and the Lions (72) placed eighth.
Cheverus got wins from Abby Longstaff in the 100 backstroke (59.35 seconds) and Caroline Arpin in the 100 breaststroke (1 minutes, 11.09 seconds).
Deering was led by Sofie deOliveira, who placed third in the 100 butterfly (1:02.76) and fourth in the backstroke (1:15.09).
McAuley’s Ana Neff-Jendrasko won the 200 individual medley (2:11.07) and the fly (59.94).
In the South Division Southwesterns at Kennebunk, won by the hosts with 311 points, Portland (71) was seventh and Waynflete (62) placed eighth.
The Bulldogs got a win from Reegan Leslie in the 50 freestyle (26.72). Leslie also came in third in the 100 free (58.69).
The Flyers were paced by Kiera MacWhinnie, who was runner-up in the 100 free (56.55) and third in the 200 free (2:05.87).
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.
Wrestling’s Class A South regional championship meet was held Saturday at Marshwood High School in South Berwick. The host Hawks edged Noble (210.5-201) for the top spot. Portland (65 points) was eighth, Deering (35) placed 11th and Cheverus (32) finished 12th.
Portland freshman Zach Elowitch won the title at 152 pounds, downing Noble’s Kasey Rogers, 8-4, in the final.
Deering’s Michael Darling won the heavyweight title, pinning Cheverus’ Zebulun Leavitt at 3 minutes, 12 seconds of the final.
Portland’s Clautel Buba got to the final at 170 pounds, but lost to Noble’s Otto Keisker, 4-2.
Cheverus’ Michael Macaluso won the consolation crown at 145 pounds, while Portland’s Omar Daud fell in the consolation round at 113 pounds.
The state meet is Saturday at Noble High School in North Berwick.
Waynflete’s girls were sixth and the boys tied for sixth at last week’s Western Maine Conference Nordic championships (Freeport won the boys’ title, while Yarmouth was first on the girls’ side).
The boys featured classic champion Willson Moore (15 minutes, 11.4 seconds). Moore also placed fifth in the skate (13:57.6).
The girls were led by Marijke Rowse, who was 16th in the skate (18:51.7), and Gail Johnson, who placed 23rd in the classic (23:01.6).
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.
The boys’ hockey regular season is in its closing stretch.
Cheverus fell to 6-7-1 and third in the Class A South Heal Points standings with an 8-2 loss at Lewiston last week. After hosting Thornton Academy Thursday and South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport Saturday, the Stags visit Thornton Academy Tuesday and close at home versus Noble/Wells Feb. 18.
Portland/Deering was 4-11 and seventh in A South (eight teams make the playoffs) after Saturday’s 6-0 home loss to Falmouth. After going to Yarmouth Tuesday and visiting Cape Elizabeth Thursday, Portland/Deering closes at home versus Thornton Academy Feb. 18.
The South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport co-op team settled for a 3-3 home tie versus Mt. Ararat last Thursday and began the week 4-8-2 and eighth in Class A South. After going to Massabesic Wednesday and visiting Cheverus Saturday, the season closes with home games versus Noble/Wells Monday and Windham Feb. 18.
The boys’ hockey playoffs start with the quarterfinals Feb. 23.
Cheverus senior Jill Hannigan fires a shot during the Stags’ 5-3 win over Biddeford in last week’s South Region quarterfinal. Cheverus was then eliminated by Falmouth in the semifinals.