One weekend of postseason action is in the books and things are about to really ramp up.
Last weekend, swimming’s first of two Southwesterns meets was contested and the girls’ hockey and indoor track regular seasons came to a close. Basketball has a week to go and boys’ hockey and skiing are nearing their end.
Here’s a look at what’s occurred and what’s to come:
While Greely and Yarmouth’s sure-postseason boys’ basketball teams were doing battle Friday, Falmouth is in a fight to extend its playoff streak to 27 years. The Yachtsmen began the week 8-8 and 10th in the Western Class B Heal Points standings, but only nine teams make the postseason. Falmouth won two of three last week, downing host Poland (65-46) and visiting Lake Region (64-49) before dropping a 52-48 decision at York. Against the Knights, junior Matt Kingry had 23 points, junior Jack Cooleen 15 and classmate Matt Packard 13. In the win over the Lakers, Cooleen had 18 points. At York, the Yachtsmen jumped to an early lead, but couldn’t hold it. Packard led the way with 16 points and Cooleen added 14. Falmouth hosted York Tuesday and finishes at Cape Elizabeth Friday. The Yachtsmen desperately need to win at least one and likely both to get into the postseason dance.
Freeport fell to 0-16 last week after losses at Yarmouth (77-16) and at home to Traip (64-57). Senior Adam Higgins had a team-high five points against the Clippers. Senior Kyle Strozewski had 17 points versus the Rangers. Freeport (16th in Western B) went to Poland Tuesday and closes at home against Wells Friday.
In Western C, North Yarmouth Academy began the week 6-9 and 16th in the region (where just 10 teams qualify). The Panthers split last week, falling at A.R. Gould, 56-49, before downing visiting Sacopee, 57-48. In the loss, senior Eli Leavitt had 18 points. Junior Asad Dahia had 17 points in the victory. NYA was at Traip Tuesday, goes to Poland Thursday and closes at Old Orchard Beach Friday.
On the girls’ side, NYA has come from nowhere to position itself in the 10th spot in the Western C Heals, which would mean a playoff berth if the Panthers can hold off several other challengers and stay there. NYA enjoyed a 47-38 home victory over Sacopee Saturday as seniors Eliza Gendron and Blair Haggett had 13 points apiece. NYA then improved to 9-7 with its fifth win in six games Monday, 50-26, over visiting Old Orchard Beach. Junior Morgan Scully had 14 points, Gendron and Haggett 12 apiece. After hosting Traip Tuesday, the Panthers close the regular season Thursday at home versus Poland.
In Western B, Greely’s playoff-bound, but it might be the lone local representative in that class. The Rangers bounced back from last Monday’s loss at Lake Region with a 58-25 home romp over Fryeburg and a 52-22 home victory over Yarmouth. Against the Raiders, senior Sara Warnock had 18 points. Senior Megan Coale had 11 points and junior Caroline Hamilton nine in the win over the Clippers. Greely (13-3 and fourth in the Heals) was at Gray-New Gloucester Wednesday and closes at home against Lake Region Friday.
Falmouth entered the final week of the regular season needing to take care of business to make it to the postseason. After beating visiting Poland, 60-41, last Thursday, the Yachtsmen fell, 49-33, at Lake Region and 57-35 at undefeated, defending state champion York. Senior Jess DiPhillippo and junior Jenna Serunian both had 13 points in the victory, while junior Ashleigh Burton added 10. Against the Lakers, DiPhillippo had a team-high 10 points. She also led Falmouth with 15 versus York. The Yachtsmen (8-8 and 10th in Western B, where just nine teams qualify) hosted York Tuesday and go to Cape Elizabeth for a pivotal regular season finale Friday.
Freeport, despite turning its season around, will likely fall short this winter. The Falcons were 5-11 and 12th at the start of the week after a 44-24 win at Yarmouth last Tuesday and a 61-51 loss at Traip Friday. In the victory, junior Morgan Brown had 10 points and sophomore Leigh Wyman nine. In the loss, senior Katee Poulin had 13. Freeport was home with Poland Tuesday and visits Wells Friday.
Yarmouth fell to 1-15 and 17th after recent losses to visiting Freeport (44-24) and host Greely (52-22). The Clippers got eight points from senior Olivia Harrison and seven from promising freshman Monica Austin against the Falcons, on a night where Yarmouth honored past Boosters’ president, the late Tim White, who passed away in December. Freshman Olivia Smith had six points versus the Rangers. Yarmouth went to Cape Elizabeth Wednesday and closes at home against Gray-New Gloucester Friday.
The Falmouth boys’ hockey team continues to soar up the standings and is now going toe-to-toe with the best teams in the state. The Yachtsmen have gone 5-1-1 in their last seven games, including a hard-fought 3-1 win at Scarborough last Thursday and a 0-0 home tie versus undefeated Lewiston Saturday.
Sophomores Hugh Grygiel and Kris Samaras and freshman Alden Weller had goals against the Red Storm.
“Scoring goals isn’t our strength right now,” first-year Falmouth coach Adam Nicholas said. “Hopefully as we get into the second part of the season, we can find the back of the net because that’s what we need.”
In the tie, freshman goalie Dane Pauls made 25 saves, shutting the door on a team that had won its past three games by a total of 23-0.
“The kid knows he wants to be the best,” Nicholas said. “He works hard everyday to be the best. He is not a typical freshman goalie.”
With a minute remaining in overtime, Sam Cloutier split two Falmouth defenders at the blueline and broke free at the goal. A senior forward with 18 goals this season, Cloutier kept the puck low and tried to slide it in past Pauls, who shut the door to preserve the shutout.
Chants of “He’s a freshman!” rang from the Falmouth student section following the game-saving stop.
“(Pauls) came up huge on the breakaway,” Nicholas said. “ That’s one thing we have. We have great defense and goalies.”
The Yachtsmen’s best overtime opportunity came off a faceoff with 2.3 seconds remaining. Brandon Tuttle won the draw, sending it to senior captain Matt MacDowell, who fired a ferocious slapshot off the crossbar as the final horn sounded.
Falmouth (6-4-3 and fourth in the Western A Heals) was at Thornton Academy Wednesday and goes to Cheverus Saturday.
In Western B, Greely remains the top team at 11-1-1 after a 5-1 home victory over Yarmouth last Thursday. Senior Devyn Rogers scored twice for the Rangers. Junior Marshall Brunelle had the Clippers lone goal as they fell to 8-6 (fourth in the region).
Greely is at Winslow Monday and Camden Wednesday.
Yarmouth was at York Monday and is idle until next Wednesday when it goes to Leavitt.
Greely is the lone girls’ hockey team to advance to the playoffs, which begin this weekend. The Rangers wound up 11-6-1 and third in the East region after going 2-1 last week, defeating visiting Brunswick and host Yarmouth by 6-2 scores, before falling, 1-0, at home to Leavitt. Sophomore Paige Tuller had two goals versus the Dragons and sophomore Meg Finlay scored twice versus the Clippers. Greely will play at No. 2 Winslow (10-3-3) in the semifinals. The Rangers lost at the Black Raiders, 6-5, back on Dec. 1. The teams played to a 5-5 tie Jan. 15 in Falmouth. If victorious, Greely will meet either top-ranked St. Dom’s or No. 4 Leavitt in the regional final Feb. 16. The state championship game is Saturday, Feb. 19 in Lewiston.
Yarmouth wound up 4-12 and sixth in the East (where just four teams qualified) after the 6-2 loss at Greely. Alicia Piccirillo and Ariel Potter scored for the Clippers.
Falmouth just missed out in the West. The Yachtsmen wound up 8-10 and fifth (only four teams made the cut) after a 2-1 home loss to Leavitt and a 6-0 home victory over Gorham. Lucy Meyer had the goal in the loss and Gabby St. Angelo scored twice versus the Rams.
Local indoor track teams competed against each other, as well as Fryeburg and Lake Region in the regular season finale last weekend in Gorham.
Falmouth’s boys capped their perfect regular season by tallying 229 points. Greely (176) was second, Yarmouth (60) third, NYA (40) fourth and Freeport (35) sixth.
The Yachtsmen got wins from Jacob Buhelt in the junior 55 (6.88 seconds) and junior 200 (24.31), Jimmy Polewaczyk in the senior 55 (7.16), Will Wegener in the senior 200 (23.17) and senior 400 (51.76), Thomas Edmonds in the 800 (2:06.49), Reid Pryzant in the senior 55 hurdles (8.13), Henry Briggs in the two-mile (10:34.67) and their junior (1:44.36) and senior (1:37:28) relay teams. Rangers winners included James Ferrar in the junior shot put (36 feet, 7 inches), Michael Burgess in the senior shot put (50-11.75), Stefan Sandreuter in the mile (4:47.95), Matt Davis in the pole vault (10-6), Sam Mason in the long jump (19-5), Ben Giffard in the triple jump (36-9.75) and the open relay team (9:40.77). The Clippers lone winner was Lucas Davis in the senior high jump (5-8). The Falcons got a win from Harrison Stivers in the junior 400 (54.47).
In the girls’ meet, Greely had 263 points to finish the regular season undefeated. Falmouth (130) was second, NYA (46) fifth, Yarmouth (24) sixth and Freeport (10) seventh.
Individually, the Rangers got wins from Meaghan Crowley in the long jump (14-10.25) and triple jump (32-2.5), Jessica Wilson in the junior 400 (1:02.57), Molly Fitzpatrick in the junior 55 hurdles (9.88), Cassidy Storey in the junior shot put (33-7), Melissa Jacques in the 800 (2:32.96), Kirstin Sandreuter in the mile (5:35.1) and the two-mile (12:31.52) and their junior (1:55.58), senior (1:55.40) and open (10:29.93) relay teams. The Yachtsmen got victories from Charlotte Cutshall in the junior 55 (7.92), Sarah Sparks in the junior 200 (28.94), Jena Mannette in the senior 200 (1:05.81) and Kate Sparks in the senior shot put (37-3.75). The Clippers got a win from Jocelyn Davies in the senior high jump (4-6).
The Western Maine Conference championship meet is Friday at 4:30 p.m., at USM.
NYA and Yarmouth’s swim teams took part in the south division Southwesterns last weekend in Cape Elizabeth.
Friday, in the boys’ meet, won by Windham with 270.5 points, the Clippers were sixth with 91 and the Panthers came in 11th with 21.5. Yarmouth was led by Luca Seid, who was fourth in the 100 freestyle (54.49 seconds) and fifth in the 50 free (24.87). NYA’s Nico Kaminow was fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1 minute, 10.29 seconds) and fifth in the 100 free (54.52).
Saturday, in the girls’ competition, which saw Sanford with win 193 points, Yarmouth (151.5) placed fifth and NYA (15) came in 12th. The Clippers won the 200 freestyle relay (Teagan Snyder, Adrian Copeland, Haley Estabrook and Abby Belisle-Haley had a time of 1:50.42). Belisle-Haley was runner-up in the 200 individual medley (2:21.23)
Falmouth and Greely vie in the north division Southwesterns Friday and Saturday in Westbrook.
Local Nordic ski teams took part in a classic meet Friday.
NYA’s boys beat nine other teams with a 35-point performance. Yarmouth (45) was third, Freeport (53) fourth, Falmouth (54) fifth, Merriconeag (105) sixth and Greely (160) eighth. Individually, Yarmouth’s Thomas Sullivan was second in 15 minutes, 3.8 seconds. NYA was paced by Jake Susla (fourth, 15:54.2). Freeport’s top finisher was Scott Ross (seventh, 16:26.3). Falmouth was paced by Matt Goldstein (ninth, 16:31.5). Merriconeag was led by Jack Pierce (14th, 16:42.1) and Greely’s fastest skier was Jeff Alberg (27th, 17:47.9).
On the girls’ side, Yarmouth (11) came in first, Falmouth (38) second, Merriconeag (65) third, Freeport (70) fourth and Greely (117) seventh. Individually, Yarmouth’s Becca Bell was first (18:34.3). Merriconeag’s top finisher was Emelie Chase-Donahue (fourth, 19:27.9). Falmouth was paced by Catherine Hebson (sixth, 19:43.5). Freeport’s first finisher was Emily Martin (13th, 21:54.6). Greely was led by Audrey Parolin (20th, 24:39).
The Western Maine Conference Nordic championships are Wednesday (skate) and Saturday (classic) in Fryeburg. The conference Alpine championships are Friday.
Freelance writer Keith B. Wehmeyer contributed to this story
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter at @foresports
Late in overtime of Saturday night’s showdown, Falmouth freshman goalie Dane Pauls makes the save of the game, robbing Lewiston standout Sam Cloutier on a breakaway, to keep the game scoreless. The Yachtsmen and Blue Devils eventually settled for a 0-0 tie.
Greely’s Melissa Jacques races down the track in the 800 Saturday in the regular season finale. Jacques won the event and the Rangers came in first as a team.