The championship month of February is right around the corner and local teams are starting to play with an urgency as they seek to improve their playoff standing.
Here’s a glimpse at the week gone by and what’s on tap:
Falmouth’s boys’ basketball team stretched its win streak to six with recent victories over visiting Yarmouth (59-49), visiting Lake Region (66-42) and host Fryeburg Academy (55-39). Against the Clippers, the Yachtsmen avenged an early loss in which they blew an 18-point halftime lead and fell in overtime, but almost let another healthy lead dissolve. Falmouth erupted out of the gate behind the sharpshooting of Colin Coyne and Jack Simonds and took a 17-point, 31-14, advantage to the break. When the Clippers turned up the intensity in the second half, it appeared to be a case of deja vu. Yarmouth got as close as five points, 41-36, early in the fourth quarter, but the Yachtsmen closed strong and held on behind 23 points from Coyne and 20 points and 14 rebounds from Simonds.
“Last time, we blew an 18-point lead and this time, we had a 17-point lead at half and they cut it to five,” Simonds said. “It was nervewracking, but our team has improved since last time we played them. We battled back. We were fired up. This is our homecourt. We wanted to defend it. We weren’t going to lose on our homecourt.”
“We knew they were capable of coming back,” Coyne said. “They made a run, but fortunately, we stayed tough and we shut them down. I think we had more experience this time. We took care of the ball better. We attacked the basket more.”
Yarmouth never quits,” added longtime Falmouth coach Dave Halligan. “That’s what we expected. It was a great game. It’s always nervewracking, but our defense was the difference. Our defense held when they made a run. We’ve gotten better since the last time.”
Against the Lakers, Simonds had 28 points, Coyne added 18 and Sam Skop continued his strong recent play with 11. In the win over the Raiders, Simonds led the way with 25 points. The Yachtsmen (10-3 and second to defending state champion Portland in the Western Class A Heal Points standings) play host to Kennebunk Friday and welcome Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday.
Yarmouth followed up its 59-49 loss at Falmouth with a much-needed 61-42 home win over Greely Friday. In the setback, Cody Cook had 20 points, but it wasn’t enough.
“It was not a comeback,” Clippers coach Adam Smith said. “We weren’t in the game. We just played poorly for four quarters. They might have let up a little bit and the score got closer, but we weren’t in the game.”
Against the Rangers, Cook had 22 points and Jordan Brown added a dozen. Yarmouth (9-3 and first in Western B) went to Wells Tuesday, hosts Freeport Friday and plays at York Tuesday of next week.
Greely was 7-5 and seventh following a 61-42 loss at Yarmouth and a 50-47 win at Old Orchard Beach. Matt McDevitt had 20 points in the loss. McDevitt led the way with 14 in the victory, while Jordan Bagshaw had 11 and Gabe Axelsen 10. The Rangers go to Lake Region Friday, play host to Cape Elizabeth Saturday and welcome Fryeburg Academy Tuesday.
Freeport was still chasing its first victory at press time. The Falcons fell to 0-12 and 15th after losses last week at home to Old Orchard Beach (55-48) and at Fryeburg Academy (58-41. Jack Davenport had 16 points against the Seagulls and 15 versus the Raiders. Freeport goes to Yarmouth Friday, hosts Gray-New Gloucester Saturday and visits Lake Region Tuesday.
In Western D, North Yarmouth Academy began the week eighth at 6-6 after a 45-27 loss at Hyde and a 46-45 win at Sacopee Valley. Jake Malcom had 18 points and Eoin Anderson added a dozen, including the winning basket, in the victory. The Panthers were at Pine Tree Academy Wednesday, host Old Orchard Beach Friday and welcome Hyde Tuesday.
On the girls’ side, Greely was 10-2 and fifth in Western B after home wins over Freeport (66-33) and Yarmouth (54-22) last week. Ashley Storey had 22 points versus the Falcons, while Storey had 28 points and Moira Train added 11 versus the Clippers. The Rangers will host Lake Region in a pivotal showdown Friday (see theforecaster.net for game story). They go to Cape Elizabeth Saturday and visit Fryeburg Academy Tuesday.
Yarmouth fell to 4-7 and 12th (only 10 teams qualify for the playoffs) after losses last week at home to Falmouth (34-17) and at Greely (54-22). Sara D’Applonia had seven points versus the Rangers. The Clippers hosted Wells Tuesday, welcome Freeport Friday (see theforecaster.net for game story), have a pivotal makeup game at Falmouth Saturday, then host York Tuesday of next week.
Freeport was 1-11 and 15th after losses at Greely (66-33) and at Fryeburg Academy (56-35) last week. Taylor Rinaldi had 10 points in the loss to the Rangers. Kayla Belanger and Megan Cormier both had nine points against the Raiders. The Falcons go to Yarmouth Friday, visit Gray-New Gloucester Saturday and host Lake Region Wednesday.
In Western D, NYA was 2-9 and 15th (11 teams make the playoffs) after home losses to Hyde (39-26) and Sacopee Valley (44-23). Hannah Carr had 15 points versus Hyde and scored a dozen against the Hawks. The Panthers were at Pine Tree Academy Wednesday, visit Old Orchard Beach Friday, Kents Hill Saturday and Hyde Tuesday of next week.
On the ice, Falmouth’s boys’ squad, the two-time defending Class A state champion, has hit a rough patch. The Yachtsmen held on for a 5-4 win at Lewiston last Wednesday, then lost at home to Bangor 24 hours later (6-1), before losing, 1-0, at Biddeford Monday to fall to 9-3. Chris Camelio had the go-ahead goal and Jake Grade scored twice in the victory. Falmouth (still first in the Western A Heals) hosts Lewiston Monday and goes to St. Dom’s Wednesday.
In Western B, Yarmouth is back in the playoff picture. The Clippers were 3-7 and sixth (seven teams make the postseason) after a 4-0 win at Gardiner and a 2-0 home loss to Cape Elizabeth. Yarmouth hosts Kennebunk Saturday.
Greely was eighth at 2-8 after Saturday’s 2-0 win at Gardiner. Ben Kennedy and Colby Williams had the goals. The Rangers visit Thornton Academy Monday.
On the girls’ side, Greely is surging. The Rangers improved to 13-2-1 after recent wins at Mt. Ararat (7-0), at home over defending state champion Scarborough (7-5) and at home over Yarmouth/Freeport/Gray-New Gloucester (5-2). Against the Red Storm, Greely built leads of 4-0 and 5-1, but had to hold on for dear life. Danita Storey had four goals, while Courtney Sullivan finished with a pair.
“We knew it would be a good game,” Storey said. “It’s fun after beating them in the state game (in 2013) and losing to them twice last year, then beating them after they won states. We started out good and then we got ahead of ourselves and made bad passes and couldn’t get the puck. We gave it up to them in our zone and couldn’t get it out.”
“Scarborough’s a great team,” said Rangers coach Nate Guerin. “We knew it would be a close game. The girls were fired up for this game. We really like playing Scarborough. They really get up for it. It’s become quite a rivalry. It was an exciting back-and-forth game. I thought they played a strong game and I thought our girls played a strong game. It took some resolve there to finish strong.”
Storey and Emillee McGillicuddy both had two goals against Yarmouth/Freeport/GNG. Greely (third behind Lewiston and Edward Little/Leavitt in the East Region Heals) hosts Brunswick Saturday and closes at Lewiston Wednesday.
Yarmouth/Freeport/GNG was 7-6-1 and fourth in the East after winning at Capeflete (6-1) and falling at Greely, 5-2. In the victory, Michelle Robichaud produced an early lead, Emily Johnson scored twice and Keeley Arnold, Katie Clemmer and Colleen Sullivan all added one goal.
“It was huge because I knew if we were going to win, we had to score right away,” said Robichaud. “It set the tempo that we were here to win.”
“I think we like to play on the road,” Clemmer said. “We talked about having possession and instead of taking as many shots, we just needed to pass the puck around.”
“Michelle and I played together the past three years,” Johnson said. “This year, I’ve struggled without her. Having her back on my line was a huge help. She always knows where to be. We’ve been working a lot on our power play. I always look for Michelle and Katie. I think we started off inconsistent, but ever since the Falmouth win, we’ve picked it way up.”
“It was a great team effort,” added Yarmouth/Freeport/GNG coach Jeff Haley. “We knew Capeflete was aggressive. They have quality players. We talked between the second and third periods about maintaining pressure and good things would happen and they did.”
Yarmouth/Freeport/GNG was at St. Dom’s Wednesday, hosts Lewiston Saturday, plays at Winslow Wednesday of next week and hosts Mt. Ararat in the regular season finale Jan. 31.
In the West Region, Falmouth improved to 10-4 and second behind Scarborough after a 4-0 loss at Lewiston, an 8-1 home victory over Gorham/Bonny Eagle and a 4-0 win win over visiting Biddeford. Sarah Hutcheon had four goals versus Gorham/BE. Hutcheon, Evie Clement, Caroline Proctor and Martina St. Angelo had the goals against the Tigers. After going to Cheverus Saturday, the Yachtsmen visit Biddeford Monday. Falmouth welcomes Scarborough in a key showdown Wednesday of next week, then closes the regular season at home versus York Jan. 31.
Western Maine Conference indoor track action continued last weekend in Gorham.
Falmouth swept its meet versus seven other teams, which included NYA. The Panthers girls were fifth and the boys came in sixth.
Individually, Yachtsmen boys’ event winners included Ben Rudnick in the junior 55 (7.2 seconds), Ted Pierson in the junior shot put (33 feet, 10.5 inches), Nick Sanzari in the senior 200 (24.06), Kohl Valle in the senior 400 (55.19), Nigel Dunn in the senior 55 hurdles (8.46), Spencer Brown in the open mile (4 minutes, 35.66 seconds), Bryce Murdick in the open two-mile (10:20.48), Aaron Thomas in the open pole vault (12-0), Tony St. Angelo in the open long jump (19-6.25) and their junior 4×200 (1:44.19), senior 4×200 (1:35.32) and open 4×800 (9:27.54) relay teams. The Panthers got a win from Henry Quesada in the senior 800 (2:07.17).
On the girls’ side, Falmouth got wins from Elizabeth Cyr in the junior 200 (28.78), Danielle Casavant in the junior high jump (4-8), Emma England in the senior 55 (7.89) and senior 200 (28.17), Kiersten Dyhrberg in the senior shot put (29-9.5), Gina Pardi in the open mile (5:41.40), and its junior 4×200 (1:59.15) and open 4×800 (11:00.27) relays. For NYA, Linnea Hull was runner-up in the open pole vault (7-0). Hannah Austin finished second in the open two-mile (12:11.78). Adrienne Tracy was second in the senior 55 hurdles (12.56). The Panthers were runners-up in the open 4×800 relay (11:29.31).
Greely’s boys and girls were both second to York. Yarmouth’s boys came in fourth and the girls placed fifth. Freeport’s boys came in sixth and the girls were seventh.
Individually, the Rangers boys got a win from Ben Ray in the pole vault (11-6), The Clippers got a victory from Luke Laverdiere in the open two-mile (9:47.79). The Falcons’ open 4×800 relay squad was first (10:17.04).
On the girls’ side, Greely got wins from Chloe Waldrop in the junior high jump (4-8), Jocelyn Mitiguy in the senior 55 hurdles (9.36), Alyssa Coyne in the senior shot put (37-10.5) and the open pole vault (8-0), Izzy Evans in the open 800 (2:31.16), Olivia Bucknam in the open mile (5:41.34), Meagan Dougherty in the open triple jump (32-6.75) and its senior 4×800 (10:35.88) relay. Yarmouth’s Emma Egan won the senior high jump (5-2). Freeport’s Patricia Dupere was runner-up in the junior 55 (8.25).
Friday, Falmouth and Freeport take part in the early meet, along with Cape Elizabeth, Gray-New Gloucester, Lake Region, St. Dom’s, Traip and York. Greely, NYA and Yarmouth are in the late meet, along with Fryeburg Academy, Poland, Sacopee Valley and Wells.
In the pool, Greely’s boys won at Westbrook last week, 79-72, while the girls defeated the Blue Blazes, 90.5-69.5. The Rangers are at South Portland Friday.
Falmouth’s boys were 90.5-74.5 winners at Cape Elizabeth. The girls lost, 109-67. The Yachtsmen are home versus Westbrook Friday.
Yarmouth goes to Bonny Eagle Thursday.
In a WMC Alpine giant slalom meet Monday at Shawnee Peak, Yarmouth’s girls beat Cape Elizabeth, Freeport and Fryeburg Academy. Greta Elder came in first individually in a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 1.94 seconds. In the boys’ meet, won by Fryeburg Academy, the Falcons were second and the Clippers placed third. Freeport’s Ryder Bennell was second (1:01.61). Yarmouth was paced by Joe Inger (fourth, 1:03.28).
Also Monday, Falmouth, Greely, Gray-New Gloucester and Lake Region took part in a slalom competition at Shawnee Peak. The Rangers won the boys’ meet. Nicholas Piacentini led the way with a fourth-place finish (1:42.92). The Yachtsmen didn’t score as a team, but Thomas Lesniak had the fastest time (1:22.02). On the girls’ side, the Rangers were first and the Yachtsmen. Falmouth’s Krysia Lesniak came in first individually (1:34.53). Teammate Alex Shapiro was runner-up (1:37.00). Greely’s Kelsey Otley placed third (1:40.55).