By Michael Hoffer
The first full week of 2009 winter sports action continued to provide ample thrills for fans of Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough and South Portland.
There have been highlights galore whether the sport was basketball, hockey, track or swimming.
SUBHEAD-Boys’ basketball: Hyland the Magnificent leads SP to upset win
While defending Western Class B boys’ basketball champion Cape Elizabeth passed a couple of huge road tests in recent days (please see accompanying story, page 13), South Portland has stolen the headlines in Western A.
The Red Riots, who suffered their first loss last Thursday (a 62-47 setback to Westbrook), returned to form Friday with a 68-54 victory at Windham (behind 32 points from junior standout Keegan Hyland), then made a huge statement Tuesday at Thornton Academy.
South Portland, which was ousted from last year’s tournament by the Golden Trojans in the semifinal round, held on for a 72-67 victory behind a sensational 47 points from Hyland, who hit from everywhere (he had seven 3-pointers). The Red Riots improved to 9-1 with the victory.
South Portland (third behind Westbrook and Thornton Academy in the latest Western Class A Heal Points standings) was home with Noble Thursday (too late for this edition), visits Bonny Eagle Saturday and plays host to Kennebunk Tuesday. The Red Riots then play their final five games against city powers Deering, Portland and defending Class A champ Cheverus.
Scarborough continued its hot and cold season in recent days. The Red Storm won their first three games, then lost five in a row, beat visiting Noble 78-52 Friday and host Bonny Eagle 75-64 Tuesday to even their mark at 5-5.
Against the Knights, senior Craig Robinson had 19 points. In the win over the Scots, sophomore Zach Bean and senior Ian Philbrick both had 17 points. Senior Garrett Alofs added 14 and junior Conor Sullivan finished with 11.
Scarborough (10th in the Heals) was home with Kennebunk Thursday and plays at undefeated Cheverus Saturday.
SUBHEAD-Girls’ basketball: Scarborough bounces back
On the girls’ side, Scarborough had a chance to measure itself against the league’s (and state’s) best last week, and more than passed the test.
The Red Storm took a 7-1 mark into last Thursday’s home showdown with undefeated, defending Class A state champion Deering. The Rams had dominated Scarborough in previous meetings since the Red Storm moved up to Class A, but Scarborough more than held its own this time, leading 14-9 early in the second quarter.
Deering came back to lead 22-18 at halftime, then got 12 points from senior standout Diana Manduca in the third as it stretched its lead to five, 34-29.
Scarborough made it a one-possession game when junior Jenn Colpitts made two foul shots 13 seconds into the fourth, but Rams’ senior Jess Ruhlin answered with a 3-ball. After Red Storm junior Christy Manning made one-of-two free throws, Manduca buried a 3 for a 40-32 lead. Colpitts answered with two foul shots and Manning made one, but after Deering sophomore Britni Mikulanecz got an offensive rebound, Manduca found herself free for another 3-pointer and canned it, making it 43-35 Deering with 4:06 to go.
After two scoreless minutes, the Rams went up by 10 on a layup from sophomore Kayla Burchill. Red Storm junior Heather Carrier provided a spark with a 3-point shot, but Claire Ramonas made a free throw. After Manduca grabbed an offensive rebound on Ramonas’ second attempt, Burchill was fouled and calmly hit two shots to make it 48-38.
Scarborough had one burst left, getting a scoop shot from Colpitts and a 3-ball from junior Sarah Moody to pull within five, 48-43, with 43.7 seconds to go, but Manduca made a free throw, Burchill converted two and with 12.4 seconds to play, senior Casey Everest made two shots to give Deering the 53-43 win.
“I knew it wouldn’t be easy,” said Deering coach Mike Murphy, who formerly coached at Scarborough. “That’s a quality team we beat here tonight.”
Scarborough was upbeat in defeat.
“It was a good effort,” coach Jim Seavey said. “No complaints at all. I’m very pleased. Looking at their box scores and what they did to their first eight opponents, I’ll take it. We’ll learn from it and get better. I think we’re headed in the right direction.
“The first two years we were very intimidated when we played them over there. The kids were very tight going into those games and we got way down. We didn’t dig that hole tonight and we were right there at the end.”
Manning led the way with 15 points.
“They do a great job of getting the ball to Manning,” Murphy said. “She’s come a long way in my opinion. She has great hands, great instincts and can fill up the basket.”
Moody added 13 points and Colpitts had 12.
“It gets me excited that when we get (injured senior) Abbey Pelletier back we’ll be a pretty good basketball team,” Seavey said. “We have a key senior sitting on the bench who hasn’t played since game two and we’re still battling. It would be nice to see (Deering) again.”
Scarborough then beat host Thornton Academy (62-50) and visiting Noble (78-54) to improve to 9-2 on the year. Against the Golden Trojans, Manning had 14 points. Against the Knights, regional finalists last year, Colpitts erupted for 21, Manning had 20 and senior Reegan Brackett added 13.
The Red Storm (second behind Deering in the latest Western A Heals) played at Bonny Eagle Thursday and hosts McAuley Saturday.
Our other local Western A team, South Portland, has come to life. The Red Riots, who fell to 3-4 with a loss at Scarborough Jan. 6, beat visiting Westbrook 48-28 last Friday and earned a big 43-33 home win over Cheverus Monday to improve to 5-4 on the year.
Against the Blue Blazes, senior Brianna Hawkins had 11 points. Against the Stags, Hawkins finished with 13 points, junior Danielle McCusker (rounding into form after injury) added 12 and sophomore Abby Hasson had 10.
South Portland (sixth in the Heals) was at Thornton Academy Thursday, hosts Noble Monday and plays at Bonny Eagle Tuesday.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth took another huge step last Friday with a 53-38 home win over Yarmouth. Senior Colleen Martin had 19 points as the Capers earned their fourth win, something the program hadn’t managed since the 1999-2000 season.
Monday, Cape Elizabeth lost 61-40 to visiting Greely. Junior Gabe Donahue had 16 points. Tuesday, the Capers fell to 4-6 with a 52-37 home loss to Wells. Donahue again led the team with 12 points.
Cape Elizabeth (13th in the Western B Heals) goes to unbeaten and top-ranked York Friday night.
SUBHEAD-Hockey: Scarborough boys fall in OT
On the ice, Scarborough, one of the top Western A contenders, went up against arguably Western Class B’s best, Greely, Wednesday night, in a game that was so good, 45 minutes couldn’t decided it.
The Red Storm led 2-1 after one period, 3-2 after two and 4-2 early in the third, but the Rangers rallied to tie, then Greely won 5-4 midway through overtime on senior Jesse Shavel’s third goal of the contest.
The Red Storm were coming off a 5-4 loss at St. Dom’s Monday in which they couldn’t hold a 4-2 third period lead. Scarborough (now 5-3 and third behind Thornton Academy and Gorham in the Western A Heals) next faces a pair of games at Eastern A powers. The Red Storm visit Brewer Saturday and Lewiston Monday.
South Portland bounced back from its first loss Saturday with a 10-1 victory at Sanford. Senior Nick Fornwalt and sophomores Josh Cobb and Zach Horton all had two goals.
The Red Riots (7-1 and fourth in the Western A Heals) hosted Yarmouth Thursday (too late for this edition) and go to Cony Saturday.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth has to find a way to finish games in regulation. Saturday, five days after a 5-4 overtime loss to Greely, the Capers fell 5-4 at home to Winslow, again in overtime. Cape Elizabeth had defeated visiting Houlton 8-1 the day before.
The Capers took a 5-3 mark into Wednesday’s game at Camden (no score was available at press time). Cape Elizabeth (second in the Heals behind Greely) hosts Presque Isle Friday.
Capers’ junior Phil Jordan was named the December Western Class B Goaltender of the Month by the Coaches’ Association. Jordan was 3-1 in December with a .921 save percentage.
In girls’ action, Scarborough did battle with Cheverus in a showdown Wednesday (please see story, page 13). Cape Elizabeth fell to 6-7-1 on the year after Wednesday’s 4-0 loss at Biddeford. The Capers were coming off a 3-2 win at Gorham. Cape Elizabeth (sixth in the West Region Heals) hosts Cheverus Friday, goes to Deering Saturday and welcomes Gorham Monday.
The indoor track season continued over the weekend.
At the University of Southern Maine Friday, Cape Elizabeth’s boys came in third and the girls were fourth in a meet which included Falmouth, York, Lake Region, North Yarmouth Academy and Poland. Senior Matt Rand won the boys’ two-mile (10 minutes, 5.31 seconds). In the girls’ meet, senior Marita Stressenger was named senior division MVP after taking the 800 (2:30.89) and the mile (5:25.72).
Saturday at the Portland Expo, Scarborough’s girls tallied 98 points to beat Bonny Eagle (56 1/2) and Deering (45 1/2). The Red Storm boys had 50 points and were third behind the Rams (75) and Scots (64).
South Portland’s boys had 94 points to beat Thornton Academy (60) and Westbrook (35). The Red Riots girls’ team had 51 points leaving it second to the Golden Trojans (136), but ahead of the Blue Blazes (13).
This Friday, Cape Elizabeth, along with Freeport, Gray-New Gloucester, Poland, Traip, Yarmouth and York, competes at 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, Scarborough’s girls go up against Cheverus and Thornton Academy at 10:55 a.m. The South Portland girls meet Noble and Windham at 12:15 p.m. The Red Riots boys’ team squares off with Noble and Windham at 1:45 p.m. Scarborough’s boys face Cheverus and Thornton Academy at 5:45 p.m.
In the pool, Cape Elizabeth swept Greely last Friday in a showdown of state title aspirants. The boys held off the Rangers 93-89, while the girls rolled 107-76.
Scarborough split with Massabesic. The girls won 109-53 and the boys fell 86-84.
The Capers host Cheverus Friday and St. Dom’s Monday. The Red Storm swim at Sanford Saturday. South Portland is home with Thornton Academy Friday.
Local divers had solid showings at a recent meet in Falmouth.
Scarborough’s Michaela Wood won the girls’ 6-dive with a score of 108.15, edging teammate Hannah Yerxa (107.05). South Portland’s Curry Girr was runner-up in the girls’ 11 dive. Girr had a score of 259.90, leaving her second to Falmouth’s Nicola Mancini (334.65). South Portland’s Courtney Perruzzi finished fifth (219.80).
In the boys’ 6-dive, Scarborough’s Tasean Lewis was second (91.05) to Justin Papkee of Cheverus. Four South Portland divers were among the top six in the 11-dive. Jaren Parras was runner-up (196.60) to Deering’s Brian McRae. Chris Carter (178.50) came in third, Travis Wibby (176.65) was fourth and Raener Flowers (153.05) placed sixth.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com