Spring sports season passes midway point, best yet to come-Portland edition

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Portland shortstop Will Barnard makes a throw across the diamond during last week’s 4-2 win at Scarborough.

Deering freshman Andrew James shoots and scores during the Rams’ 12-11 loss at Waynflete Saturday.

Waynflete junior Sophie Sangster races up the field during the Flyers’ 10-5 home win over Marshwood Saturday.

(Ed. Note: For the complete Portland-Scarborough baseball, Deering-Waynflete boys’ lacrosse and Waynflete-Marshwood girls’ lacrosse game stories, with box scores and photos, see theforecaster.net)

The short and sweet spring sports season has passed the midway point. There has been plenty of excitement so far and every event will take on added importance in the days to come.

Here’s a look at what you might have missed and a glimpse at what’s to come:

Baseball

Portland’s baseball team was atop the Class A South Heal Points standings at press time and was on the verge of giving coach Mike Rutherford a landmark victory.

Last week, the Bulldogs improved to 6-1 after downing host Scarborough (4-2) and Biddeford (4-0) and visiting Sanford (8-2). Against the Red Storm, Brian Riley allowed just one earned run in a complete game effort and Cam King had a pair of hits.

“This team knows how to put it together in critical moments,” King said. “We’ve done it all year.”

“I think we’re a lot better than people thought we’d be,” Riley said. “It shows we always have guys ready to play.”

“If we can keep playing like this, we’ll be OK,” Rutherford added. “We have big games to come. It’s a veteran team. They’ve played a lot together.”

Donnie Tocci earned the victory and hit a two-run double and Will Snyder had three hits against the Tigers. In the win over the Spartans, Tocci hit a two-run triple and King had three hits. That victory was the 299th of Rutherford’s career. He looked to earn his 300th in the most poetic way possible, when Portland hosted Deering Tuesday night (see theforecaster.net for game story). The Bulldogs are home with Westbrook Wednesday, host Gorham in a makeup game Friday, welcome South Portland Saturday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and visit Cheverus Tuesday of next week.

Deering was 5-3 and ninth in Class A South at press time after wins last week at Kennebunk (5-2) and Gorham (3-1) and losses to visiting Biddeford (13-3, in five-innings) and host Marshwood (10-2). Luke Hill earned the victory, Keegan Stanton had a pair of hits and Mike Jones drove in a pair of runs against Kennebunk. Hill also earned the win and drove in a run against Gorham. The Rams played a doubleheader Tuesday, hosting Cheverus, then visiting Portland. After going to South Portland Thursday, Deering is home with Falmouth Saturday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and goes to Sanford Tuesday of next week.

Cheverus was 3-5 and 13th in Class A South at press time following wins over visiting Westbrook (11-1, in six-innings) and host Bonny Eagle (6-3) and an 8-0 home loss to South Portland. Against the Blue Blazes, Maxx St. John had two doubles, a triple, three RBI and scored twice, Nathaniel Lapoint had two hits and two RBI and Jack Mullen struck out nine without giving up an earned run. St. John tripled and had three RBI and Griffin Watson added three hits in the win over the Scots. Justin Ray had a pair of hits in the loss to the Red Riots. The Stags hosted Kennebunk Monday and went to Deering Tuesday, welcome Biddeford Thursday and play at Noble Friday, then welcome Portland Tuesday of next week.

In Class C South, Waynflete was 1-6 and 15th in the Heals at press time following home losses to Sacopee Valley (12-1) and Buckfield (11-1) last week. After welcoming St. Dom’s Monday, the Flyers go to St. Dom’s Wednesday and visit Old Orchard Beach Monday.

Softball

The Cheverus/North Yarmouth Academy co-op softball team took a 3-7 record and the number 13 ranking in the Class A South Heal Points standings into Monday’s game at Gorham. Last week, the Stags downed visiting Maine Girls’ Academy/Falmouth (7-5) and outlasted host Deering (30-18) before losing, 13-9, in eight-innings, to visiting Kennebunk. Emily Haley had two hits and three RBI against the Sea Lions. In the win over the Rams, Madison Durgin had three hits, including a home run, and six RBI, Alexandra Hammond added four hits and Caroline Taylor and Mackenzie Turner finished with three apiece. Against the Rams, Cheverus/NYA erased a 9-1 deficit to force extra innings, but fell just short. Hammond had three hits, including a home run.

“Every single day these girls show up, they listen and they work,” said Cheverus/NYA coach Theresa Hendrix. “It’s about mindset. Not wanting to win, or thinking you don’t want to lose, but believing you will win, knowing you can win. Hard work and trust are two keys to our team this year. We preach confidence and always being willing to give that little bit extra. That is exactly what these girls are doing. The special part is they aren’t doing it for themselves, but for their teammates.”

Cheverus/NYA welcomes Massabesic Wednesday, goes to Marshwood Friday, hosts Portland Monday and is at Noble Tuesday of next week.

Portland dropped decisions at South Portland (4-3) and at home against defending Class A champion Scarborough (11-0) last week, before improving to 5-4 (seventh in Class A South at press time) with a 4-2 victory at Westbrook. Against the Red Riots, Alexis Fiore and Sydney Gilbert each had a pair of hits. Jess Brown doubled against the Red Storm, in a regional final rematch. In the win, Brown earned the victory with 11 strikeouts and added a pair of hits. The Bulldogs hosted Thornton Academy in a playoff rematch Monday (see theforecaster.net for game story), go to Biddeford Wednesday, welcome Windham Friday, play host to Noble in a makeup game Saturday and visit Cheverus Monday of next week.

The Maine Girls’ Academy/Falmouth co-op squad saw its skid hit eight games last week with losses at Cheverus/NYA (7-5) and at home to Bonny Eagle (12-5) before improving to 2-8 and 15th in Class A South (at press time) with a dramatic come-from-behind, 6-5 home victory over Windham. Jill Joyce had two hits against Cheverus/NYA. Elizabeth Kennedy homered against the Scots. In the win, Liberty Ladd hit a game-tying two-run double and Kennedy followed with her third RBI, a walk0ff single. The Sea Lions were home with Deering Monday, welcome Kennebunk Wednesday, play at Gorham Friday and play host to Massabesic Monday of next week.

Deering dropped to 0-10 and 17th in Class A South after falling to visiting Cheverus (30-18) and Gorham (16-3, in five-innings). Against the Stags, Ashleigh Mathisen had three hits and Mackenzie O’Donnell drove in five runs. Liz Drelich tripled and drove in two runs in the battle of the Rams. Deering sought its first win Monday at MGA/Falmouth. After hosting Marshwood Wednesday and playing at Kennebunk Friday, the Rams welcome Noble Monday of next week.

Boys’ lacrosse

Portland’s boys’ lacrosse team continued its best start since 2011 when it improved to 7-0 with home wins last week over Bonny Eagle (9-1) and York (11-4). Against the Scots, goalie Aaron Hoekstra stopped 12 shots and Tristan Arcand, Reilly O’Brien, Sam Shaw and Miki Silva had two goals apiece. O’Brien and Kevin Moore each had three goals, while Arcand and Silva finished with two apiece in the win over the Wildcats.

“Our seniors have done a good job leading the team, on and off the field, and we expect them to do so the rest of the way,” said Portland coach Mike DiFusco. “It’s a good start for our guys, but it’s too early and we’ve still got a lot of work to do. We’re just going to keep attacking it one game at a time, stay hungry and continue to improve as a team.”

The Bulldogs (first in the Class A North Heal Points standings at press time) hope to go 8-0 for the first time since 2010 when they visit Massabesic Wednesday.

Cheverus dropped its first five games, but turned around and won two home games in a row last week, 14-10, over Kennebunk and 17-16 over Messalonskee. Max Coffin scored six times against the Rams. In the win over the Eagles, Coffin had five goals while Colby Anton and Chris St. John added four apiece. The Stags (sixth in the Class A North Heals at press time) welcome Thornton Academy Friday and visit Falmouth Tuesday of next week.

Deering was 2-5 and seventh in Class A North at press time following a 10-3 home win over Gorham and a 12-11 loss at Waynflete. Nick James had four goals in the victory. Against the Flyers, the Rams erased an early 3-0 deficit and appeared bound for a win when they were up by three late, but they couldn’t hold on, despite three goals apiece from Payson Harvey and Jonah Peterson.

“It should have been an easy ‘W,’ but sometimes with high school kids it gets undisciplined,” Deering coach Jon Dubois lamented. “We went on runs where we’d score two or three in a row, then give it back. We let them back in the game.”

Deering hosts Falmouth Wednesday and visits Mt. Ararat Friday.

In Class C, Waynflete was sandwiched wins at Gardiner (16-9) and at home over Deering (12-11) around a 9-8 loss at NYA to improve to 4-3 and fifth in the Heal Points standings at press time. The Flyers pulled off their most dramatic victory so far, when they erased a late 11-8 deficit against the Rams. Miles Lipton scored seven times, including the equalizer, and Hank Duvall added four goals, including the go-ahead tally with 19.5 seconds to play. Goalie Will Armstrong saved a shot at the horn and Waynflete celebrated a huge triumph.

“It felt awesome,” Armstrong said. “The best part is seeing all the guys coming at me to congratulate me. It was a big win.”

“It was a great game,” Lipton said. “A great time. We just kept at it.”

“We’ve been close in games and we needed a season-defining comeback win,” said Duvall.

“We got knocked down pretty hard in the previous game, but the guys responded well,” Flyers first-year coach Parker Repko added. “It’s a great win for the guys. They definitely earned it.”

Waynflete is home with Cony Saturday and goes to Lake Region Tuesday.

Girls’ lacrosse

Portland’s girls’ lacrosse team was surging at press time, having won five in a row after downing visiting Brunswick (13-0), host Deering (15-3) and visiting Edward Little (20-8) last week. Morgan Kierstead, Emma Merrill, Annika More and Isabella More all had two goals in the win over the Dragons. Against the Rams, Isabella More and Georgia Stoddard each had three goals, while Caitriona Moran and Hazel Parught added two apiece. Kierstead scored six times against the Red Eddies, Annika More added three goals and Isabella More, Praught, Elena Clifford and Chloe Kilbride each finished with two goals. The Bulldogs (second behind Falmouth in the Class A North Heal Points standings at press time) looked to clinch their first regular season winning record since 2015 when they went to MGA Tuesday. Portland plays at Noble Thursday and visits Westbrook Tuesday of next week.

Cheverus evened its record at 2-2 with an 11-4 home victory over Scarborough last Monday (Zoe Mazur scored four times and Bella Booth and Mackenzie Johnston each had two goals), then, despite leading for much of the first half, fell at two-time defending Class B champion Kennebunk, 16-7 (Johnston had a team-high three goals). The Stags (sixth in Class A North at press time) go to Falmouth Wednesday, welcome Sanford Thursday and York Monday, then visit Deering Tuesday of next week.

The Rams were 3-3 and seventh in Class A North after press time after falling at home to Portland (15-3) and at Winslow (12-6) last week. Maelle Tati-Pambou had two goals against the Bulldogs and scored three times against the Black Raiders. Deering was at Biddeford Tuesday, hosts Westbrook Thursday, goes to NYA Saturday and welcomes Cheverus Tuesday of next week.

In Class B, Waynflete was 4-1 and fifth at press time after a 10-5 home win over Marshwood Saturday. The Flyers got five goals from Ya Stockford, two goals and four assists from Izzy Burdick and they blanked the Hawks the final 13-minutes, 34-seconds.

“We just had to trust each other and we turned it on,” Stockford said. “We seem like a second half team.”

“We stayed together the whole game and never took for granted we were up and pretended it was a tie game the whole time,” said defensive standout Sophie Sangster.

Waynflete hosts Cape Elizabeth in a pivotal contest Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), welcomes Wells in a makeup game Thursday, visits Falmouth Saturday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and is home versus Lake Region Monday.

“We have some tough challenges coming up,” Flyers coach Cathie Connors said. “If we can connect like we did today and support each other, we should be fine.”

In Class C, MGA was 2-4 and 10th at press time following a 12-6 home loss to Cony, a 9-2 setback at Noble and a 15-11 home win over NYA. Catherine Reid had all six goals against the Rams, finished with both goals against the Knights and scored five times in the victory. Charlotte Spies added four goals against the Panthers and Lily LaCasse finished with three. The Lions were home with Portland Tuesday and go to Biddeford Tuesday of next week.

Outdoor track

Cheverus’ girls’ outdoor track team placed second to South Portland in a four-team meet at Massabesic last week. The Stags got wins from Emma Gallant in the 400 (1 minute, 2.66 seconds), Sophia Pompeo in the 800 (2:37.60), Ashley Turner in the mile (6:04.99), Emma White in the 100 hurdles (16.21 seconds) and long jump (16 feet, 7 inches), Sophie Schuele in the triple jump (32-9) and their 4×100 (52.84), 4×400 (4:18.49) and 4×800 (10:29.02) relay teams.

Cheverus’ boys hosted Massabesic, South Portland and Westbrook. The Stags tied the Red Riots for second place behind the Mustangs. Owen Burke won the 400 (52.57), Sean Tompkins took the 300 hurdles (44.12) and Giovanni Fornaro was first in the shot put (40.4.75), javelin (157-3) and discus (104-6). The Stags were also first in the 4×400 (3:47.25) and 4×800 (9:09.01) relays.

Portland’s girls were fourth at a four-team meet at Marshwood. The Portland boys were fourth in a four-team meet at Thornton Academy, then placed fourth in a five-team home meet, where Zach Elowitch won the 400 (54.6), Joe Harrington took the mile (4:55.77) and two-mile (10:45.38),

Deering took part in a five-team meet in Biddeford. The boys were second and the girls placed third. The boys got wins from Jerry Mixangelo in the 800 (2:09.87), Alec Troxell in the mile (4:39.02), Loki Anda in the high jump (5-10), Nicsoni Bushiri in the long jump (19-1), Aryz Terlaje in the javelin (142-5), and their 4×400 relay team (3:41.90). Girls’ first-place finishers included Annah Rossvall in the 300 hurdles (47.33) and the 100 (13.48), Darcy Lally in the pole vault (9-0) and the 4×800 relay team (10:13.18).

Tennis

The qualifying round for the state individual tennis tournament began last weekend.

Waynflete’s Thorne Kieffer advanced in the boys’ tournament, downing Westbrook’s Dylan Ho, 6-1, 6-0. Teammate Jacob Greene eliminated Deering’s Elliot Weeks, 6-0, 6-0. Portland’s Quinn Clarke (a 6-0, 6-2 winner over Cheverus’ Dylan Morrison), John Kovarik (who beat Massabesic’s Daniel Bolender, 8-0, and Yarmouth’s Liam Ireland, 6-0, 6-4) and Dana Hinchliffe (who beat Biddeford’s Cody Saucier, 8-2, and Waynflete’s Nick Wagg, 6-4, 6-1) advanced as well, as did Cheverus’ Aidan Treutel (a 6-0, 6-3 winner over Windham’s Vireak Tray).

On the girls’ side, three city players advanced. Cheverus’ Anastasia Kapothanasis beat Deering’s Sarah Wriggins, 6-2, 6-1. Portland’s Lauren Paradise was a 6-0, 6-0 winner over Windham’s Cordelia Inman. Portland’s Karina Boothe defeated Windham’s Autumn Hall, 8-0, and Greely’s Paige Evans, 6-3, 6-1.

Waynflete’s boys’ team improved to 8-0 after 5-0 wins over Cape Elizabeth and Freeport and a 4-1 victory over NYA last week. Two matches versus Greely Monday, a match at St. Dom’s Thursday and a home match against Cape Elizabeth Monday of next week stood in the way of the Flyers’ quest for their first undefeated season since 2010. The defending Class C champion Waynflete girls took a 5-3 record into Monday’s match at defending Class B champion Greely.

In Class A South, Cheverus’ girls blanked Portland, South Portland and MGA to make it five straight match victories and improve to 7-1. The Stags boys evened their record at 4-4 after Friday’s 4-1 win over South Portland.

Portland’s boys blanked Cheverus, Deering and Westbrook last week to stretch its win streak to six matches and improve to 7-1. The Bulldogs girls took a 4-4 mark into Monday’s match at MGA. Last week, Portland sandwiched wins over Deering (5-0) and Westbrook (4-1) around a 4-1 loss to defending champion Falmouth.

MGA won its first two matches last week, 4-1 over Biddeford and 5-0 over Sanford. The Lions were 2-5 entering Tuesday’s home match versus Portland.

Deering’s boys took a 4-4 mark into Monday’s home match versus Bonny Eagle. The Rams go to Cheverus Wednesday and welcome Falmouth Friday. Deering’s girls were 1-7 entering Monday’s match at Bonny Eagle.

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.