Stretch run begins in Forecaster Country

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(Ed. Note: For the complete Cape Elizabeth-Falmouth and South Portland-Bonny Eagle boys’ and Scarborough-McAuley girls’ basketball game stories, please visit theforecaster.net)

Believe it or not, but the winter sports regular season is coming down the stretch.

We’re mere weeks from the first state championships being bestowed.

Local teams continue to impress, but still have a long way to go.

Here’s a glimpse:

Boys’ basketball

South Portland’s boys’ basketball team won nine of its first 12 games, but faces a brutal schedule down the stretch. After holding off visiting Gorham, 38-37, Friday (behind 13 points from junior Ben Burkey), the Red Riots welcomed talented Bonny Eagle Tuesday. After South Portland held the explosive Scots to a mere four points in the first quarter, Bonny Eagle came to life and forged a 20-20 tie at halftime. Thanks to heroics of sophomore Dustin Cole, the Scots took the lead for good late in the third period and held on down the stretch for a 56-49 victory. Senior Jordan Muller led the Red Riots with 13 points, but 19 turnovers and an inability to get late stops sealed their doom.

“There are positives we take out of this,” said South Portland coach Phil Conley. “We’re not happy we lost this game, but on a positive note, we were right with them. (Bonny Eagle’s) a very good high school basketball team and I think we’re a very good high school basketball team. For the most part in the second half, it was a four- or five-point contest. The Cole kid made big shots and got to the foul line. That was the difference in the game. With a defensive stop or a good possession, we’re right in that game. Physically, we matched them.”

If Bonny Eagle wasn’t enough of a challenge, Friday, the Red Riots (now 9-4 and sixth in the Western Class A Heal Point standings) visit a Cheverus team coming off a home loss. Next Tuesday brings a trip to Deering and after an ostensible breather of a home game versus Noble, South Portland closes at Portland and at home with Cheverus.

“I feel no game in the SMAA is an easy game,” Conley said. “We’ve got the top three or four teams the rest of the way. We want to win those games and stay competitive and hopefully it will make us stronger for the playoff push. I still have confidence in my guys. We’re 9-4, not 4-9, and know we can play with the guys right ahead of us. We have to put someone away down the stretch. I think we can.”

Scarborough is sitting in the No. 7 spot in Western A with an 8-5 mark after Friday’s 63-60 win at Biddeford and a 60-44 triumph at Kennebunk Tuesday. Against the Tigers, senior Ben Wessel scored 26 points to help the Red Storm rally. In the win over the Rams, senior David Conceison had 17 points. Scarborough is home with Sanford Friday and welcomes Massabesic Tuesday.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth is 7-6 and eighth in the Heals after recent losses to visiting Falmouth (52-37) and at York (64-59, in overtime). Against the Yachtsmen, the Capers only trailed by a point early in the fourth period before undefeated Falmouth pulled away. Junior Henry Babcock had a team-high 13 points.

“You need to go and you need to play with a little more heart,” said Cape Elizabeth coach Jim Ray. “You need to attack. We had chances. We have a tough time digging ourselves out of a hole.

“The way we started this game, we played 100 percent unacceptable. Nonchalant passes. No bounce in their step defensively. Nobody talking. I’m sorry, you’re just not going to be successful against a team like Falmouth if you come out and play that way.”

The Capers got 19 points from junior Chris Robicheaw against the Wildcats, but couldn’t hold a fourth quarter lead. Cape Elizabeth is at Gray-New Gloucester Friday and welcomes Wells Tuesday.

Girls’ basketball

The undefeated, magic carpet ride of the Scarborough girls’ team came to an end last Friday. Hosting defending Class A state champion McAuley in a highly anticipated battle of unbeatens, the Red Storm were no match for the Lions’ size, committed 22 turnovers and were outscored, 27-11, over the middle periods en route to a 49-37 loss. Junior Maria Philbrick had a team-high 11 points.

“Basically, we got outplayed,” Scarborough coach Tom Maines said. “We don’t like to lose, but we’ll use it as a learning tool. Their size certainly hurt us. If the ball goes over the top, we can’t do anything about it. We were a step slow on the press. It’s the coach’s fault for not having the kids prepared. Next time, we’ll do a better job preparing the kids. It’s great to have this before the tournament comes.”

The Red Storm bounced back Tuesday with a 69-19 home romp over Kennebunk behind 15 points apiece from Philbrick and junior Mary Redmond. Scarborough (12-1 and second to McAuley in the Western A Heals) is at Sanford Friday and visits Massabesic Tuesday.

“If we win out, I don’t think we can go any lower than second and we could still be first,” Maines said.

South Portland is very much in the playoff hunt at 6-7 and 10th in Western A. The Red Riots lost, 49-36, at Gorham Friday (despite 10 points from senior Logan Neal) and fell, 43-38, at Bonny Eagle Tuesday (junior Danica Gleason led the team with 16 points). South Portland goes to Cheverus Saturday and visits McAuley Tuesday.

Cape Elizabeth fell to 3-10 and 15th in Western B after recent losses at Falmouth (46-33) and at home to York (41-16). Senior Kayla Raftice led the Capers with 10 points versus the Yachtsmen and six against the Wildcats. Cape Elizabeth is home with Gray-New Gloucester Friday and goes to Wells Tuesday.

In Western D, Greater Portland Christian School is 4-4 and eighth in the standings. The Lions won a pair of games at North Haven last weekend, 47-35 and 45-20. GPCS is at Old Orchard Beach Tuesday.

Boys’ hockey

The Scarborough boys’ hockey team is 9-1-1 and second to Thornton Academy in Western A. The Red Storm last played last Thursday and downed visiting Portland, 6-0, behind two goals each from Jordan Bathe and Cam Loiselle. Scarborough hosted Cheverus Thursday and goes to Biddeford Saturday.

South Portland is 3-6 and 12th and returned to the ice after a 12-day absence Thursday when it hosted Cape Elizabeth. The Red Riots are at Cheverus Saturday and visit Yarmouth Wednesday.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth fell to 4-3-2 after Saturday’s 2-1 home loss to Gardiner. The Capers are currently holding on to the fifth and final playoff spot in the region. They went to South Portland Thursday, play host to Camden Hills Saturday and visit Camden Hills Wednesday.

Girls’ hockey

On the girls’ side, Scarborough improved to 11-3-1 and second to Falmouth in the West Region Heals after recent wins at Biddeford (3-1) and Portland (5-0). Kristina Block, Alyssa Hulst and Brenna Kent had goals against the Tigers. Block had a hat trick versus the Bulldogs. The Red Storm is home with St. Dom’s Saturday and closes the regular season at home versus Cape Elizabeth Feb. 4.

Speaking of the Capers, they’re 4-9-1 and seventh in the West after a 9-4 home win over Gorham Saturday. Kathryn Clark and Gretchen Stevens each scored twice. Cape Elizabeth hosted York Wednesday and went to Cheverus Thursday. The Capers close the season next week at Portland and Scarborough.

Indoor track

Scarborough and South Portland’s indoor track teams squared off against each other and Biddeford, Gorham and Massabesic last weekend. The Red Storm won the girls’ meet, with the Red Riots coming in second. Scarborough’s boys were also first. South Portland came in third.

Individually, the girls’ meet produced four multiple event winners. The Red Storm featured Morgan Rodway, who won the junior 55 (7.31 seconds) and the junior 200 (28.34) and Emily Tolman, who was first in the senior long jump (16-2) and 600 (1 minute, 29.37 seconds). The Red Riots featured Lauren Magnuson, who won the junior 400 (1:03.79) and the junior long jump (14-7.5) and Laurine German, who was first in the junior 55 hurdles (9.54) and the open 55 hurdles (9.93).

On the boys’ side, Scarborough took eight individual events and two relays. South Portland won four events.

Cape Elizabeth competed against Freeport, Fryeburg, Gray-New Gloucester, Lake Region, Yarmouth and York. Both the boys and girls were second to York. Hailey Petsinger won the girls’ junior 400 (1:08.70) and the junior high jump (4-2). Deven Roberts took the boys’ junior high jump (5-4).

Cape Elizabeth meets Freeport, Fryeburg, Greely, Lake Region, NYA and Wells Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Scarborough and South Portland will gear up for the SMAA championships, Feb. 4.

Swimming

Cape Elizabeth’s swim teams swept Falmouth last weekend. The boys won, 101-52. The girls triumphed, 117-67. Hannah Homans, Heather Kraft, Sydney Wright and Gabrielle Cloutier broke the school, pool and state record in the girls’ 200 medley relay with a time of 1 minute, 50.19 seconds. The Capers welcome Cheverus Friday.

Scarborough lost at Cheverus last week (boys, 98-59; girls, 93-71). The Red Storm visits Westbrook Friday.

South Portland’s boys Gorham, 95-60, while the girls lost to McAuley, 91-78. The Red Riots are home with Greely Friday.

Skiing

Cape Elizabeth’s Nordic ski team took part in the Maranacook Wave freestyle race Saturday at Black Mountain. The boys came in fifth and the girls were seventh. Individually, Dana Hatton was eighth in the girls’ competition (18 minutes, 29.8 seconds). James Yokabaskas was 11th on the boys’ side (15:40.7).

Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough’s Alpine teams faced Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth and Freeport Tuesday in a slalom race at Shawnee Peak. The Capers boys were second to Yarmouth. The Red Storm came in third. Cape Elizabeth’s girls were also runners-up, to Falmouth. Scarborough finished fourth.

Individually, Cape Elizabeth’s Schuyler Black was fourth in the boys’ race (a two-run combined time of 51.68 seconds). Scarborough’s Andrew Paradis placed fifth (52.94). On the girls’ side, Annesley Black of Cape Elizabeth finished fourth (54.30). Scarborough’s Rachel Paradis was 10th (57.52).

Freelance writer Ryan Robb contributed to this story.

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

Sidebar Elements


Cape Elizabeth junior Henry Babcock looks for an angle to get off a shot during Friday’s home loss to undefeated Falmouth.

Scarborough senior Carly Rogers battles McAuley senior Alexa Coulombe for a loose ball during Friday’s showdown. The Red Storm’s season-opening 11-game win streak ended with a 49-37 loss to the Lions.

Cape Elizabeth’s Hannah Newhall was first in the junior shot put at last weekend’s meet.

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