Scarborough boys blank Portland, get back to .500

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SCARBOROUGH—After falling to 0-2 with home losses to Westbrook and Falmouth, Scarborough’s boys’ lacrosse team appeared to be in trouble.

But after two wins in three days, the Red Storm have returned to form.

After turning its season around with a critical victory at Thornton Academy Wednesday, its third one-goal game in as many outings, Scarborough got to enjoy an easy win Friday evening, when Portland paid a visit.

A goal from Sam Ware got the festivities started and the Red Storm would score six times in the first quarter. By halftime, Scarborough’s lead was 11-0 and when Braeden Kane scored unassisted early in the third period, a mercy rule running clock resulted. The Red Storm went on from there to finish off a 17-0 victory.

Eight different players tickled the twine, led by Cam Nigro, who had four goals, and Kane and Marc Guerette, who each added three, as Scarborough evened its record at 2-2 and dropped the Bulldogs to 1-3 in the process.

“We’ve talked all year long that we need to play our game and the rest of the stuff will take care of itself,” said Red Storm coach Joe Hezlep.

Getting up to speed

Scarborough, which saw its four-year reign as Class A champion come to an end last spring with a semifinal round loss to Thornton Academy, began 2015 with a shocking 6-5 home loss to Westbrook and a hard-fought 11-10 home setback to perennial power Falmouth.

The Red Storm felt like they were making strides, but that didn’t result in a victory until Wednesday, when they held off Thornton Academy in Saco, 4-3, somewhat avenging last year’s playoff loss in the process.

“That was great for our confidence,” said Nigro. “They’re one of the best teams. To get that as our first win was critical.”

“We felt like we’d been putting things together and it was good to see enough of those things come together to get a win,” said Hezlep.

Portland began the year with a promising 12-2 victory at Noble, then lost at home to Windham (12-4) and Deering (11-5).

Last year, Scarborough won at Portland by a 14-2 margin. The Red Storm entered Friday’s contest having beaten the Bulldogs on five straight occasions (by a composite 40-14 margin) dating to an 8-6 triumph in the 2010 Class A state final. Portland last downed Scarborough, 16-12, on June 1, 2010, when Caleb Kenney scored 10 goals.

Friday, the Red Storm did all the scoring.

With 9:20 to play in the first quarter, Ware scored the only goal Scarborough would need, taking a feed from Cam Thibault before beating Bulldogs goalie Andrew Hoekstra.

Camden Jepson added an unassisted goal, Nigro scored his first goal, unassisted, defender Anthony Quintiliani set up Kane for a goal after a long rush, Nate Howard assisted Nigro on his second goal and with 2:32 to play in the frame, Guerette scored unassisted to make it 6-0 Red Storm.

The second period was more of the same.

Thibault (unassisted), Kane (from Sam Jacob), Nigro (from Ware), Thibault (unassisted) and Nigro (from Howard) found the net to make it 11-0 Scarborough at halftime.

Kane’s unassisted goal with 9:27 left in the third quarter induced a running clock. Jepson (unassisted), Guerette (from Thibault) and Guerette again (from Colin Hayward) then scored for a 15-0 advantage.

Goals from Jacob (assisted by Jepson) and Marco Manfra (assisted by Jacob) brought the curtain down on the Red Storm’s 17-0 triumph.

“It’s good to jump out like that and just work on our offense,” Nigro said. “It shows we don’t have one or two main guys scoring goals. A bunch of guys can put points up.”

Nigro had a game-high four goals.

“I was in the right place at the right time,” Nigro said. “I got open when guys would slide.”

Guerette and Kane both scored three times, Jepson and Thibault both had two goals and Jacob, Manfra and Ware all added one.

Howard, Jacob and Thibault had two assists apiece, while Hayward, Jepson, Quintiliani and Ware all had one.

“We had some different guys get looks tonight,” Hezlep said. “Some new guys contributed. That was good to see.”

Scarborough won 11 of 20 faceoffs, had a 25-21 advantage on ground balls, forced 19 turnovers while committing only nine and enjoyed a 33-12 shots advantage (23-4 on cage). Isaac Rico made three saves and Dominic Joy stopped one shot to help the Red Storm produce a rare shutout.

“Defense has been our strong point,”Hezlep said. “That’s given us a chance to win every game. We’ll have to continue to rely on that.”

Portland got six saves from Hoekstra.

A third of the way done

Both teams have already played four of their 12 regular season games and hope to improve enough over the next month to make the playoffs.

Portland is back in action Tuesday at Thornton Academy and visits Edward Little May 9.

Scarborough visits Deering Tuesday, then goes to two-time defending Class B champion Cape Elizabeth May 9 before hosting Cheverus, Windham and Marshwood.

“I think we’re taking steps in the right direction,” Nigro said. “We’re getting more reps in. I think we’ll be a contender. It’s good to get the losses out of the way at the beginning. We have to work on fundamentals, like passing and catching. If we run our system, I think we can play with anyone. We don’t have a target on our backs this year. We can come out without pressure and it’s easier to stay cool and collected.”

“It doesn’t get any easier,” Hezlep said. “We haven’t so much turned it around. We still have a lot of learning to do. To beat the good teams, we still have to do a lot  of things well.”

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

Scarborough’s Brian Garber shadows Portland’s Drake McGhie.

Portland’s Charlie Kovarik races up the field.

Portland’s Noah Thomas tries to keep up with Scarborough’s Braeden Kane.

Portland goalie Andrew Hoekstra stands tall in the cage as Scarborough’s Sam Ware possesses the ball.

Scarborough ‘s Colin Hayward defends Portland’s Charlie Kovarik.

Scarborough’s Reece Lagerquist chases Portland’s D.J. Cooper.

Portland’s Wes Bryan shields the ball from a Scarborough defender.

Portland’s Josh Sullivan checks Scarborough’s Sam Neugebauer.

Sidebar Elements

Scarborough’s boys’ lacrosse team celebrates its 17-0 win over Portland Friday night.

Ben McCanna photos.

More photos below.


Scarborough 17 Portland 0

P- 0 0 0 0- 0
S- 6 5 4 2- 17

First quarter
9:20 S Ware (Thibault)
8:34 S Jepson (unassisted)
7:39 S Nigro (unassisted)
4:50 S Kane (Quintiliani)
3:50 S Nigro (Howard)
2:32 S Guerette (unassisted)

Second quarter
8:46 S Thibault (unassisted)
6:29 S Kane (Jacob)
2:50 S Nigro (Ware)
2:18 S Thibault (unassisted)
1:10 S Nigro (Howard)

Third quarter
9:27 S Kane (unassisted)
7:25 S Jepson (unassisted)
6:04 S Guerette (Thibault)
4:32 S Guerette (Hayward)

Fourth quarter
10:00 S Jacob (Jepson)
3:21 S Manfra (Jacob)

S- Nigro 4, Guerette, Kane 3, Jepson, Thibault 2, Jacob, Manfra, Ware 1

S- Howard, Jacob, Thibault 2, Hayward, Jepson, Quintiliani, Ware 1

Faceoffs (Scarborough, 11-9)
P- McGhie 6 of 11, Chambers 2 of 7, Kovarik 1 of 2
S- Garber 4 of 6, Jepson 4 of 6, Howard 2 of 5, Lagerquist 1 of 2, Murray 0 of 1

Ground balls (Scarborough, 25-21)
P- Bryan, Nolan 3, Cooper, Kovarik, Martin, McGhie, Schwartz 2, Chambers, Green, Hoekstra, Sullivan, Thomas 1
S- Jacob, Lagerquist, Manfra, Quintiliani 3, Jepson, Murray 2, Garber, Hayward, Howard, Joy, Kane, Kinney, Neugebauer, Thibault, Ware 1

P- 19
S- 9

P- 12
S- 33

Shots on cage:
P- 4
S- 23

P (Hoekstra) 6
S (Rico) 3, (Joy) 1

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