Showdown season has arrived-Portland edition

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Deering’s Raffaele Salamone takes a shot during the Rams’ 56-53 home loss to Thornton Academy last week.

Portland’s Shayla Eubanks goes to the floor to battle for a loose ball during last week’s home loss to Scarborough.

(Ed. Note: For the complete Cheverus-Bonny Eagle and Deering-Thornton Academy boys’ basketball and Portland-Scarborough girls’ basketball game stories, with photos, see theforecaster.net)

The winter sports season has made its turn for home and in the days to come, some of the most pivotal contests of the year to date will be held.

There has been no shortage of excitement in all sports over the past week and that trend figures to continue.

Here’s a glimpse:

Boys’ basketball

Waynflete’s defending Class C South champion boys’ basketball team entered a home showdown against defending Class B champion Lake Region Monday (see theforecaster.net for story) having won its last six games, including victories last week over visiting Greater Portland Christian School (57-29) and at St. Dom’s (60-32). Jack Meahl had 15 points and Yai Deng 10 in the win over the Lions. Abdul Mohammed led the way with 14 points and Deng added 13 against the Saints. After hosting rival North Yarmouth Academy Tuesday, the 8-1 Flyers go to defending Class A champion Falmouth Friday and welcome St. Dom’s Tuesday of next week.

Defending Class AA champion Portland extended its win streak to five and improved to 9-1 after wins last week at home over Scarborough (67-38) and at Sanford (72-41) and Gorham (58-44). Griffin Foley had 16 points, Terion Moss 14 and Clay Hardy 12 in the victory over the Red Storm. At the Spartans, Charlie Lyall had 14 points, Manny Yugu 13 and Trey Ballew 11. Moss had 14 points and Hardy 13 in the win at the Rams. The Bulldogs hosted Deering in the first of two scheduled showdowns between the rivals Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story). Portland is at Cheverus Friday and hosts undefeated Thornton Academy in another key test Tuesday of next week.

Deering was 8-2 going into its showdown at Portland after falling at home to Thornton Academy, 56-53, and downing visiting, defending AA South champion South Portland, 56-54. Against the Golden Trojans, the Rams fell behind 10-0 early and never could catch up. Ben Onek had a team-high 11 points.

“You can’t spot a team a 10-point lead and play from behind the entire time,” lamented Deering coach Todd Wing. “It’s hard to come back and beat a good team like that.”

Against the Red Riots, Manny Chikuta had 19 points and James Sinclair added 16. The Rams are at Massabesic Friday and visit Oxford Hills Tuesday of next week.

Cheverus sat idle last week until rallying past visiting Bonny Eagle, 51-43, Saturday afternoon. The Stags rode a 12-0 fourth quarter run to victory, a surge sparked by top-scorer Jack Casale (22 points), Will Shibles (who had a key free throw and layup) and reserve Patrick Foster (who made a clutch 3-pointer).

“I thought I had an open look so I thought I’d shoot it,” Foster said. “I’m glad it went in. When I come in, I just try to play as hard as I can and play defense. I just try to be tough and get rebounds.”

“We practiced hard all week, but a noontime game on a Saturday isn’t an ideal time to play,” Casale said. “We gutted it out and that shows our character.” 

“I’m proud of the guys,” added Cheverus coach Ryan Soucie. “It wasn’t pretty, but we grinded it out. We battled some adversity on all kinds of fronts. Early start, week off, coming off a loss, midterm week, all kinds of factors.” 

The 7-2 Stags were at Noble Monday, visit South Portland Wednesday, play host to Portland Friday and welcome Lewiston Tuesday of next week.

Girls’ basketball

On the girls’ side, Maine Girls’ Academy has struggled in the early going, but has played hard throughout the season and last week, the Lions were rewarded with a pair of key victories. MGA rallied for a 46-41 overtime win over visiting Marshwood last Tuesday, then, after a 47-34 home loss to South Portland, the Lions edged host Windham, 58-54, Saturday to improve to 4-6. Catherine Reid had 17 points and Jill Joyce added 13 against the Hawks, as MGA rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit. Against the Red Riots, the Lions dug a 15-6 hole after one quarter and trailed 20-12 at halftime. They hung tough in the second half, but despite nine points from Serena Mower and eight from Madison Legassey, fell short. In the win over the Eagles, Maddy Beaulieu had 13 points and Zoe Mazur (who returned from injury) and Hope Olson each added 10. MGA was at undefeated, defending Class AA champion Gorham Monday and visits Portland Friday.

Cheverus extended its win streak to five Saturday by downing host Bonny Eagle, 59-56, as a 28-point first quarter spelled an early lead and the Stags held on behind 19 points from Abby Cavallaro and 12 from Emme Poulin. Cheverus (7-2) has a key home tilt versus South Portland Wednesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), welcomes Windham Friday and goes to Lewiston Tuesday.

Deering won at Windham (56-30) and lost at Thornton Academy (44-40) last week and was 7-3 entering Tuesday’s home tilt versus Noble. Delaney Haines had 19 points and Tasia Titherington 13 in the victory. Against the Golden Trojans, Titherington led the way with 16 points. The Rams host Gorham Friday and welcome Oxford Hills Tuesday of next week.

Portland fell to 0-10 after a 53-35 home loss to Scarborough last Monday. The Bulldogs fell behind 17-4 early and couldn’t rally. Taylor Sargent had a team-high seven points.

“The girls are playing hard,” Portland coach Gerry Corcoran said. “We’re positioning ourselves to win, but it’s little plays at the wrong moments that teams are making on us. We go on runs and make it competitive and if we just could make a couple plays, we’d get over the hurdle. Against good teams who will play in the state tournament, we’re right there.”

The Bulldogs were at South Portland Monday, welcome MGA Friday and go to Thornton Academy Tuesday of next week.

In Class C South, Waynflete evened its record at 5-5 after wins last week over visiting Greater Portland Christian School (48-16) and at St. Dom’s (40-37). Annika Brooks had 16 points against the Lions while Lydia Giguere added 14. Brooks finished with 17 points versus the Saints. The Flyers hosted NYA Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), welcome Falmouth Friday and play host to St. Dom’s Tuesday of next week.

Boys’ hockey

On the ice, the Portland/Deering boys’ co-op team had a huge win last week, blanking defending Class A South champion Scarborough, 1-0, behind Dom Tocci’s first period goal and 13 saves from goalie Sam Segal. After playing at York Monday, Portland/Deering (6-1) hosts defending B South champion Yarmouth Thursday (see theforecaster.net for game story).

Cheverus spent the weekend playing at a tournament in Chicago. The 4-3 Stags return to league action Saturday at Gorham. They visit Yarmouth Tuesday of next week.

The South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport co-op team improved to 2-5-1 and snapped a three-game skid Saturday with a 6-2 win at Massabesic. The squad went to Windham Monday.

Girls’ hockey

On the girls’ side, Cheverus (which also has players from Kennebunk and Old Orchard Beach) improved to 5-6 after a 6-2 home win over Biddeford/Thornton Academy Saturday. After playing at Scarborough Monday, the Stags host Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland Thursday, go to Gorham Saturday and welcome Scarborough Monday of next week.

Portland/Deering fell to 1-10 after losses at Biddeford/TA (8-0) and Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/SP (9-3). Inez Braceras, Raven Bradenday and Maeve Leclair had the goals in the second game. After going to York Monday, Portland/Deering hosts Falmouth Wednesday and welcomes Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/SP Saturday.

The Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/SP co-op was 5-6 after a 4-3 loss at Scarborough and a 9-3 home win over Portland/Deering. Kate Ginder had two goals in the loss and added a hat trick in the victory. Hannah Bosworth and Sophie Venditti both scored twice in the win. After visiting Greely Monday, the team goes to Cheverus Thursday and plays at Portland/Deering Monday.

Track

Deering’s boys’ indoor track team stayed undefeated this winter by tallying 263 points to easily defeat Bonny Eagle, Gorham and Marshwood. The Rams got victories from Songha Loth in the junior 55 (7.05 seconds) and junior 200 (24.92), Jerry Mixangelo in the junior 400 (55.55), Alec Troxell in the junior 800 (2 minutes, 7.06 seconds), Mohamed Abdurahman in the junior 55 hurdles (9.81) and junior high jump (5 feet-2 inches), Chris Kombo in the junior triple jump (34-4.25), Josh Paisley in the junior shot put (41-7.5), Iessa Ramadan in the senior 200 (23.81), Luc Harrison in the senior 400 (54.19), Ezra Chapola in the senior triple jump (39-11), Kabala Muka in the senior shot put (44-1), Yahya Nure in the open two-mile (10:13.03), Jack Lynch in the open shot put (9-6) and their senior 4×200 (1:35.93) and open 4×400 (3:45.52) relay teams. 

The Rams girls were second to Bonny Eagle. Event winners included Mbacthan Muka in the junior high jump (4-8), Caitlin Lally in the senior 55 (7.99) and senior 200 (28.15), Gaia Zampieri in the senior 400 (1:05.01), Annah Rossvaull in the open 600 (1:38.95), and their junior 4×200 (1:59.58) and senior 4×200 (2:00.02) relay teams.  

Cheverus took part in a meet with Thornton Academy and Windham. The Stags were second to the Golden Trojans and the boys came in third.

The girls got wins from Emma Gallant in the junior 200 (27.07) and junior 400 (1:01.00), Emma White in the junior high jump (5-0) and junior triple jump (35-1.25), Hannah Abbott in the senior 55 (8.23), Emily Turner in the senior 200 (28.10) and senior 400 (1:01.13), Katelyn Gendron in the open 600 (1:37.44) and their junior 4×200 (1:55.88) and open 4×800 (12:09.46) relay teams.

Boys’ first-place performers included Alex Baur in the junior high jump (5-0), Bobby Slattery in the senior 400 (55.01) and Nolan Doherty in the open mile (4:49.03).

Portland’s boys and girls both finished third in a three-team meet with Massabesic and Westbrook.

Girls’ winners included Karina Boothe in the junior 55 (8.23) and Ella Altidor in the senior 55 (7.79), Maggie Hosmer in the senior 800 (2:36.52), Julia Jankowski in the open 600 (1:42.09),

The boys’ team got first-place finishes from Dylan Bolduc in the senior high jump (5-10) and Keller Nicolai in the senior shot put (37-1.75).

Swimming

Cheverus and Maine Girls’ Academy joined St. Dom’s in the “Catholic Splash” last weekend. The Stags beat the Saints in the boys’ meet, 74-31. Cheverus girls’ beat MGA, 63-31, and St. Dom’s, 78-11. The Lions beat the Saints, 74-17.

In the boys’ meet, Cheverus got wins from Phineas Underwood in the 100 freestyle (54.92 seconds) and the 200 free (2 minutes, 00.75 seconds), Chase Cameron in the 200 individual medley (2:17.19), Shane Moore in the 50 free (21.59), Raymond Le in the 100 butterfly (57.95) and its 200 medley relay team (2:05.14).

The Stags girls got first-place showings from Abby Longstaff in the 50 free (26.63) and 200 free (2:05.01), Thalia Hallett in the 200 IM (2:34.73) and 100 backstroke (1:10.21), Patsy Ciampi in the 100 free (1:04.49) and their medley (2:05.14), 200 free (1:51.28) and 400 free (4:13.02) relay teams.

The Lions got wins from Ana Neff-Jendrasko in the 100 fly (1:01.37) and 100 breaststroke (1:08.51) and Gabrielle Begos in the 500 free (6:27.73).

Cheverus hosted Portland and Waynflete Monday and is at Scarborough Friday.

MGA welcomes Falmouth Friday.

Deering hosted powerhouse Cape Elizabeth. The boys lost, 97-32, while the girls were beaten, 115-40. Claire Christopher was first in the 400 freestyle (5:10.74)

The Rams are home with Kennebunk Friday.

Portland’s girls lost an 89-73 decision at Scarborough, while the Bulldogs boys were beaten by the Red Storm, 112-56.

The girls got wins from Corry Hemond in the 200 free (2:20.68), Ava Giaquinto in the 200 IM (2:37.96) and 100 fly (1:15.04), Reegan Leslie in the 500 free (6:03.80), Fiona Silva in the backstroke (1:12.84) and their medley (2:15.45) and 400 free (4:13.30) relays.

Boys’ event winners included Reed Foehl in the 200 IM (2:11.63) and the breaststroke (1:07.48), Joshua Ying in the 50 free (24.64), Jack Martin in the backstroke (1:07.65).

Portland was at Cheverus Monday and goes to Thornton Academy Friday.

Waynflete was at Cheverus Monday and swims at Yarmouth Thursday.

Skiing

Deering’s Ewka Varney won the Leavitt Hornet Classic Saturday in 16 minutes, 1.6 seconds. The Rams were fourth out of 16 scoring teams. Waynflete placed 14th. Emily Wagg placed 58th (23:20). Portland didn’t score, but Elizabeth Jones came in 21st individually (18:50.1). 

Deering was sixth in the boys’ meet. Caleb Niles was second individually in 13:45. Cheverus didn’t score as a team, but Michael Manetti placed 29th (15:31.4). Waynflete didn’t score as a team, but Nicholas Werner had the 56th-best time (17:48.5). 

On the Alpine side, Cheverus participated in a giant slalom meet last week at Shawnee Peak. The Stags didn’t score as a team, but Annesley Black won the girls’ competition with a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 7.54 seconds and Schuyler Black was first on the boys’ side in 1:03.38. 

Wrestling

Portland’s wrestling team fell to 5-8 after losses last week to Westbrook (45-33), Marshwood (72-12) and Biddeford (51-24). The Bulldogs competed at the Southern Maine Classic Monday at Cheverus. 

The Stags were 2-6 at press time. Cheverus joins Deering at Bonny Eagle Wednesday.

Deering was 1-7 entering Monday’s Southern Maine Classic.

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

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