Postseason upon us, fun about to begin

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(Ed. Note: For the complete Scarborough-South Portland boys’ basketball and South Portland-Cheverus girls’ basketball game stories, with box scores and additional photos, please visit theforecaster.net)

With the calendar reading February, that means it’s time for local athletes and teams to be at their best as they chase their version of sports immortality.

The girls’ hockey playoffs are underway. The postseason is about to begin in swimming, skiing, track and wrestling and of course, the always popular basketball tournament will tip off in mere days.

Here’s a glimpse at what’s occurred and what’s on the docket:

Boys’ basketball

Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ basketball team is in the best playoff position as the regular season winds down. The Capers sit fifth in the Western Class B Heal Points standings at 11-6 after a 57-45 home loss to Poland, a 50-45 victory at Fryeburg and a 62-50 home loss to defending Class B state champion Falmouth. Eddie Galvin had 13 points against the Knights. In the win, Jack O’Rourke had 14 points and Ethan Murphy added 13. Murphy had 15 points and O’Rourke 12 versus the Yachtsmen. Cape Elizabeth closes the regular season at Greely Friday. If the Capers stay fifth, there’s a good chance they’ll face rival Yarmouth in the quarterfinals.

In Western A, Scarborough finished its regular season 9-9 Tuesday with a 73-60 loss at Thornton Academy. The Red Storm was coming off a 76-63 loss at Cheverus (Matt Hartl had 19 points and Nate Wessel added 18), a 72-48 home win over Sanford (Hartl had 19 and Wessel 16, while Milani Hicks had 15 and Sam Freeman added 14) and a 61-44 home victory over South Portland, as Wessel led the way with 22 points and Hartl added 16.

“Coach really stressed our strengths and we came out today and proved it,” Hartl said, after beating the Red Riots. “At home, you have to come out strong. You can’t let them have any momentum. Definitely at home we’re better, but if we’re on, we can beat anyone, anywhere. If we’re not, we can lose to anyone.”

“I thought our man-to-man defense was excellent,” said Red Storm coach Tony DiBiase. “We did a great job defensively inside. We’ve had better games offensively, but defensively, inside, we did a great job. They could throw three guys 6-foot-5 at us and we held our own. They couldn’t press us because we’re quicker than they are.”

In the season-closing loss to Thornton Academy, Hartl had 27 points, but it wasn’t enough.

The Red Storm was 10th at press time (12 teams make the playoffs in Western A) and will likely be on the road for a preliminary round game Wednesday.

“I like the way we’re playing,” DiBiase said. “The tournament could be an interesting ride. What we can do is score and a lot of teams can’t. A lot of games are in the 40s, but we’re never in the 40s.”

Prior to falling at Scarborough, South Portland lost at home to Gorham (55-23) and at Deering (63-53). Kam Harper had six points against Gorham. Jack Fiorini had 14 points, Harper added 13 and Jaren Muller finished with 11 against Deering. In the loss to the Red Storm, Fiorini had 14 points and Jordin Jackson added 10.

“We didn’t come ready to play today, but any positive I can take out of today’s game is that my two sophomore bigs played excellent,” said Red Riots coach Phil Conley. “Jack Fiorini and Jordin Jackson played a whale of a game inside. I always try to look on the positive side and they played a heck of a game inside even though they’re young.”

Tuesday, the Red Riots fell to 6-11 with a 64-42 loss at undefeated Portland (despite 21 points from Fiorini). South Portland clings to the 12th and final spot in the Western A Heals entering Friday’s finale at home versus Cheverus. The Red Riots likely need a win to make it eight straight trips to the postseason.

“We have to win one more to get in,” said Conley. “If we don’t, we won’t get in the tournament. It would be nice to make it since we’re so young. We graduate two seniors and everyone else returns. I’d like to get to the tournament for experience for the kids.”

In Western D, Greater Portland Christian School was 2-15 and 15th at press time (only 11 teams make the playoffs) after losing at Rangeley (35-27) and Waynflete (91-16) to close the year.

The preliminary round of the tournament is Wednesday. The Western A quarterfinals will be held Friday and Saturday of next week at the Portland Exposition Building. The Western B quarterfinals are Saturday at the Expo.

Girls’ basketball

On the girls’ side, South Portland’s special season continues. The Red Riots extended their win streak to seven after key wins at Gorham (64-53) and Portland (48-35) and a thrilling, come-from-behind 49-46 home triumph over Cheverus. Against the Rams, Brianne Maloney had 20 points and Maddie Hasson added 18. In the victory over the Bulldogs, which avenged an earlier loss, Hasson had 15 points and Maloney added 13. Against the Stags, South Portland was down, 9-0, early, 18-6 after one quarter and 28-10 in the second period, but the Red Riots rallied within nine at halftime, erupted in the second half to go up by nine, then saw Cheverus rally to tie before Lydia Henderson’s layup put South Portland ahead to stay. Maloney led the way with 20 points.

“Honestly, it was our heart,” said Maloney. “We don’t give up. Ever. No matter how down we are, we don’t stop competing. Even if we’re the only ones in the gym believing, we’ll come out and fight and win and that’s what we did tonight.”

“We’ve been in this situation a lot,” said Henderson. “We know we can come back. It’s all about heart and we had that. I don’t think we get worried.”

“I believed,” added coach Lynne Hasson. “This team just won’t quit. Ultimately, our goal’s to play to our potential for four quarters. They find a way. It’s special. I don’t know how we pulled it out, but we did. The kids really believe that no one can beat them. That’s important.”

The Red Riots (now 14-3 and third behind McAuley and Thornton Academy in the Western A Heals) closes at home versus Scarborough Friday.

“We’ll stay confident and play hard,” said Maloney. “We knew from the beginning, that we had the potential to beat whoever. That’s what we’ve believed all season.”

“It’s going to be a wide-open tournament,” Lynne Hasson said. “It will be tooth and nail. We’ll have to make foul shots, have key possessions and box out. That’s where guts, character and mental toughness come in. All we can do is give our best effort, play hard and be focused and ready to play.”

Scarborough is eighth at 7-10 entering the finale at South Portland. The Red Storm sandwiched home losses to Cheverus (50-41) and Thornton Academy (39-34) around a 55-43 victory at Sanford. Against the Stags, Bailey Adams and Ashley Briggs both had 13 points. Briggs had 26 points and Adams added 17 in the victory. Scarborough led the second-ranked Golden Trojans much of the way Tuesday, but fell short despite 18 points from Adams.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth still holds faint playoff hopes entering Friday’s home finale versus Greely. The Capers are coming off a 54-47 loss at Poland, a 59-38 home loss to Fryeburg and a season-saving 37-34 win at Falmouth. Against the Knights, Hannah Sawyer had 15 points. Maddie Bowe and Ashley Tinsman each had nine points in the loss to the Raiders. In the victory, Sawyer and Kate Miklavic both had 10 points. Cape Elizabeth is 9-8 and 12th in the Heals (only 10 teams make the playoffs) entering Friday’s game.

In Western D, GPCS finished 5-12 and 13th (only 10 teams make the playoffs) after a 66-14 loss at Rangeley and a 73-25 setback at Waynflete.

The preliminary round will be contested Tuesday. Western A quarterfinals will be held Monday, Feb. 17 at the Portland Exposition Building. The Western B quarterfinals are Tuesday, Feb. 18, at the Expo.

Girls’ hockey

Scarborough’s powerhouse, undefeated girls’ hockey team will begin its championship quest Saturday evening. The Red Storm finished 18-0 after winning at Leavitt/Edward Little (5-1) and Greely (8-0). Lizzy Gross had a hat trick against Leavitt/EL. Against the Rangers, Sami Shoebottom scored twice. Scarborough will host either Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete (10-8) or No. 5 York (4-13-1) in the West Region semifinals. The Red Storm beat Capeflete twice this year: 6-0 and 5-2, and blanked York twice: 6-0 and 9-0.

Speaking of Capeflete, it produced its best record to date by closing with a 3-1 home loss to Biddeford and a 7-0 victory at Gorham/Bonny Eagle. Gretchen Stevens had three goals in the win. Capeflete split with York in the regular season, winning, 6-1, at home, and falling, 3-2, on the road.

Looking ahead, the West Region Final is Wednesday at Portland Ice Arena. The state game is Saturday, Feb. 15 in Lewiston.

Boys’ hockey

Boys’ hockey is the lone sport that still has ample time remaining in the regular season.

Scarborough remains in the top spot of the Western A Heals at 9-2-1 after an 11-0 blanking of host Portland/Deering Saturday. Jake Gross scored four times. The Red Storm was at Cheverus Thursday, visits Bangor Saturday and hosts Cheverus Tuesday.

South Portland improved to 7-5 and eighth with wins over visiting Lake Region (5-4) and host Massabesic (9-1). Dylan Farrell-Reny and Andrew Whipple both scored twice against Lake Region. Against the Mustangs, Farrell-Reny, Tyler Goldberg, Kyle Halverson and Chris Mitchell all had two goals. The Red Riots were home versus Massabesic Thursday and go to Leavitt Saturday.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth was sixth at press time at 5-9-1 after a 4-1 win at Kennebunk, a 3-2 home loss to Leavitt and a 12-5 home win over York. Against the Rams, Curtis Guimond scored twice. Guimond then had a double hat trick (six goals) against the Wildcats. The Capers host Yarmouth Saturday.

Indoor track

The regular season has come to a close.

Last weekend at the University of Southern Maine, Cape Elizabeth’s girls were third and the Capers boys came in fourth in a nine-team meet.

The girls got wins from Katie Oberholtzer in the junior high jump (4 feet, 8 inches) and Hailey Petsinger in the 800 (2 minutes, 29.26 seconds).

Andrew Mitchell won the shot put (34-11), Liam Simpson captured the 800 (2:06.99) and the mile (4:31.17) and Deven Roberts took the senior high jump (6-0) for the boys.

This weekend, Scarborough and South Portland return to action and will be in the hunt for the top spot at the Southwestern Maine Activities Association championships at USM. Cape Elizabeth will take part in the WMC championships, also at USM.

The Class A state meet is Monday, Feb. 17, at USM. The Class B meet is the same day at Bates College in Lewiston.

Swimming

Cape Elizabeth’s defending Class A state champion girls’ swim team closed the regular season with an impressive 123-56 win over Greely. The Capers boys downed the Rangers, 98-78.

Scarborough’s girls beat South Portland, 107-73, and the Red Storm boys downed the Red Riots, 112-70.

The Southwestern championships will be held this weekend in Cape Elizabeth.

The Class A girls’ state championships are Feb. 15 in Orono. The Class A Boys (Orono) and Class B girls (Bowdoin) will hold their state meets Feb. 17. The Class B boys’ championships are Feb. 18 at Bowdoin.

Skiing

Scarborough’s Abby Mills continues to be a shining star on the SMAA Alpine circuit. Last Friday, in a giant slalom race at Shawnee Peak, Mills was the top individual with a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 49.2 seconds. The Red Storm was third among six teams.

Scarborough’s boys were second to Marshwood, as Andrew Mills placed third (1:04.57) and Matthew McAlary was fifth (1:05.15).

Monday, Cape Elizabeth’s girls beat Yarmouth, Fryeburg and Lake Region in a slalom event at Shawnee Peak, as Emma Landes (1:36.30), Kinnon McGrath (1:43.56) and Sophie Hewitt (1:45.45) went 1-2-3 individually.

The Capers boys were third behind Yarmouth and Lake Region. Luke Dvorozniak placed sixth individually (1:45.85).

The Nordic skiing state championships are Feb. 19-21. The Alpine championships are Feb. 27-March 1.

Wrestling

The wrestling regular season came to an end last week.

Scarborough closed with a 41-35 win over Bonny Eagle and losses to Biddeford (51-28) and Kennebunk (42-33).

The Western A regionals are Saturday at Sanford High School.

The state championships are Saturday, Feb. 15 at Noble High School in North Berwick.

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

Sidebar Elements


Scarborough junior Sam Freeman, who sank four 3-pointers, gets a step on South Portland junior Kam Harper during the Red Storm’s 61-44 home win Saturday.

South Portland senior Brianne Maloney goes up for two of her 20 points during the Red Riots’ 49-46 come-from-behind win over Cheverus Tuesday night.

Cape Elizabeth Caroline Garfield (front) and Samantha Feenstra take part in the mile at last week’s league meet.

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