Strong starts the theme for winter teams; So far, so good on hardcourt, ice and in pool

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The 2009-10 winter sports season has only just begun, but it has left a lot of smiles in its wake.

Boys’ basketball

While Scarborough’s boys’ basketball team was going down to its first defeat (please see story), Cape Elizabeth and South Portland continue to impress.

The Capers, the two-time defending Western Class B champions, have a different makeup in 2009-10, but still feature in-your-face defense and clutch scoring. Cape Elizabeth has downed Wells (62-26), Poland (68-46), Lake Region (60-41) and Fryeburg (81-38). Against the Lakers, junior Theo Bowe had 15 points and senior Conor Moloney added 14. Tuesday night, against the Raiders, senior Matt Donovan led the way with 17 points. Senior Andrew Dickey finished with 13.

The Capers (4-0) were at Yarmouth Thursday, play host to Greely Saturday, then close the 2009 portion of their schedule at Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday.

South Portland has weathered the storm of senior standout Keegan Hyland’s injury quite nicely to date. After opening with a 63-51 win at Biddeford and a 48-44 home triumph over Windham, the Red Riots hosted Massabesic and held on for dear life in a 59-52 triumph. Senior Greg Reinhold finished with 14 points. Classmate Matt Lee had 13 and senior Connor Hasson added 11. Saturday, South Portland won 61-38 at Gorham (Reinhold led the way with 13) and Tuesday, the Red Riots improved to 5-0 with a 60-47 victory at Sanford (behind 18 from Lee and 14 from Hasson).

South Portland is home with Marshwood Friday and visits Noble Tuesday before taking a holiday break.

Girls’ basketball

On the girls’ side, while Scarborough enjoyed a landmark win last weekend over Deering (please see story), Cape Elizabeth and South Portland have shown positive signs.

The Capers have built on last year’s improvement so far in 2009-10, starting 3-1. After winning 37-34 at Wells and 53-15 at Poland to start the season, Cape Elizabeth fell 50-36 at home to Lake Region (despite a dozen points from senior Morgan Pillsbury). Tuesday, the Capers got back in the win column with a 40-32 triumph at Fryeburg. Pillsbury and junior Emily Donovan both scored 15.

Cape Elizabeth played at Yarmouth Thursday, visits Greely Saturday and closes the 2009 portion of its schedule Tuesday at home versus Gray-New Gloucester.

South Portland lost 52-45 at home to Biddeford to start the year, won at Windham (49-40) and Massabesic (62-26), then dropped an agonizing 38-37 home decision to Gorham Saturday (despite 16 points from senior Danielle McCusker and a dozen from senior Esther Palmieri). Tuesday, the Red Riots improved to 3-2 with an impressive 48-42 home win over Sanford (which upset two-time state champion Deering last week). McCusker, senior Tayla Genesio and junior Danielle DiBiase all had 11 points.

South Portland goes to Marshwood Friday and hosts Noble Tuesday as it wraps up 2009.

Boys’ hockey

While South Portland’s boys’ hockey team made a statement last weekend with a win over Portland (please see story), Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough have yet to hit their stride.

The Capers, who expect to be in the running for the Class B crown, bounced back from their 5-4 overtime loss to rival defending Class B champion Greely to start the year with a 4-1 home triumph over York. Cape Elizabeth then competed in the annual “Fix Cup,” which honors former broadcaster Frank Fixaris. The Capers lost to Falmouth, 7-2, then fell by the same score to Thornton Academy in the consolation game.

Cape Elizabeth (1-1) returned to action Thursday at Falmouth. Saturday, the Capers visit Gardiner in their final 2009 tilt.

Scarborough, under new coach Norm Gagne, is seeking its first win. The Red Storm lost 4-3 to Biddeford in the opener and were surprised 2-1 by visiting Cheverus last weekend. Scarborough (0-2) hoped to get in the win column Wednesday at home versus Kennebunk. Saturday, the Red Storm host Fryeburg/Lake Region. Tuesday, they’re home with Falmouth.

Girls’ hockey

The girls’ hockey season rolls on.

Scarborough won 5-2 at York Saturday, then hosted dominant Cheverus Tuesday afternoon. The Red Storm weren’t able to steal a win, but did give the Stags their first challenge of the year.

After Cheverus took a 1-0 lead early in the first period, Scarborough pulled even on senior Jordan Finley’s goal, making it 1-1 after one. The Red Storm had chances to take the lead, but fell behind 2-1 with 8:25 to go in the second on a power play goal. Despite the strong play of sophomore goalie Emma Chaloux-Pinnette, the Stags added one more in the third to win, 3-1, but Scarborough had certainly impressed with its effort.

“I’m really excited,” said first-year Red Storm coach Caitlin Cashman. “I told them if we go out there and play disciplined, we’d shut them down. Cheverus has a great reputation, but I thought we’d keep it close. What really hurt us was our penalties. We have to work on staying out of the box and we’ll see what happens next time. I changed the forecheck and the girls were able to implement it today. We shut down their ability to pass. It’s a great group of girls who work really hard. Hockey’s really important to them. We have some really strong players.”

Scarborough (4-3) was at St. Dom’s Wednesday, visits state champion Lewiston Friday and goes to Greely Saturday as it wraps up the 2009 portion of its schedule.

Cape Elizabeth is 2-2-1 to date, beating Gorham (6-0) and Leavitt (4-1), losing 8-0 to Cheverus and 7-2 to Scarborough and rallying to tie Deering 6-6 (on senior Sasha Timpson’s goal in the waning seconds).

The Capers host Falmouth Saturday and go to Portland Wednesday.

Elsewhere

In the pool, Cape Elizabeth’s defending Class A state champion girls’ team beat South Portland 81-21 in its opener. The boys were 124-66 winners over the Red Riots and lost to Scarborough, 136-124.

The Red Storm girls beat McAuley, 111-69 and South Portland 109-75. The boys downed South Portland 136-66 and 121-65.

No other swimming or wrestling results were available at press time.

Indoor track and skiing begin in earnest after the first of the year.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net

 

 

 

 

It’s a three-point play for Matt Lee as he’s fouled driving to the basket in Gorham on Saturday. The Red Riots used a swarming defense and inside scoring to dominate, 61-38.

South Portland senior Ryan Curit drives to the basket past Gorham’s Zach Spiers for two of his eight points as the South Portland boys’ basketball team ran over the Rams.

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