Successful week of winter sports action

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(Note: For the complete NYA-Waynflete boys’ basketball and Yarmouth-Edward Little boys’ hockey game stories, with additional photos, please visit theforecaster.net)

Not everything went according to plan last week, but was there was plenty of excitement win or lose for local teams. With indoor track and field now underway (please see story), all athletes are in action and every game now takes on added importance as the season progresses. Here’s a look at where things stand with less than a month remaining until the postseason fun commences.

Boys’ basketball

Falmouth’s defending Class B state champion boys’ basketball team avenged its lone loss Saturday night and shot to the top of the Western Class A Heal Points standings (the Yachtsmen moved up in class this year due to enrollment numbers).

The Yachtsmen were coming off a 67-54 home win over York and a 78-46 at Fryeburg. Thomas Coyne scored 24 points against the Wildcats and had 26 versus the Raiders. Saturday, in front of what longtime coach Dave Halligan said was the biggest crowd he can remember in the school’s gym, Falmouth welcomed Greely and paid the Rangers back for an earlier overtime loss, winning, 69-55, behind 24 points from Coyne, 17 from Nick Burton and 16 from Jack Simonds. The Yachtsmen (9-1) had another showdown at rival Yarmouth Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and plays at Lake Region Friday.

Greely is first in Western B at 9-1. Prior to the Falmouth game, the Rangers beat host Kennebunk (51-22) and York (62-32). Against the Rams, Michael McDevitt led the way with 18 points. McDevitt had 25 points and Connor Hanley 16 in the win over the Wildcats. Against the Yachtsmen, McDevitt led the way with 20 points. Greely is at Yarmouth Friday and hosts Old Orchard Beach in an interclass showdown Monday.

Yarmouth is hot on the Rangers’ heels in Western B, beginning the week third behind Greely and Morse at 7-2 after handling visiting Western C power Waynflete its first loss, 86-64, winning at Traip, 85-46, and enjoying an impressive victory at rival Cape Elizabeth, 67-55. David Murphy had 29 points, Nate Shields-Auble 21 and Adam LaBrie 13 against the Flyers. In the win over the Rangers, Murphy had 28. Against the Capers, Murphy had 15 points, Ethan Gage 12 and Shields-Auble 11. The Clippers hosted Falmouth Tuesday, hoping to beat the Yachtsmen for the first time since the 2012 Western B Final, had a makeup game at Gray-New Gloucester Wednesday, host Greely Friday and visit Fryeburg Tuesday of next week.

Freeport got its first victory Saturday, 44-35, over visiting Traip. The Falcons lost earlier last week, 59-39, to visiting Poland and 84-48 to visiting Lake Region. Jack Davenport had 22 points versus the Lakers. Freeport was at Old Orchard Beach Tuesday and plays host to Fryeburg Friday.

In Western D, NYA extended its best-in-six-seasons win streak to five last week with wins at Seacoast Christian (51-48) and over visiting Hyde (44-42). Chase Gendron had 20 points and El Tayeb Dahia added 16 against Seacoast. Gendron had 15 points against the Phoenix, while Dahia and Ryan Hemenway each added 11. Saturday, the Panthers scored the first three points at Waynflete, but the Flyers answered with a 24-0 run and NYA went on to a 75-35 defeat, falling to 6-3 in the process. In that one, D.J. Nicholas had a team-high nine points.

“We’re disappointed with the score being what it was,” said NYA coach Jason Knight. “We played them tough for two-and-a-half quarters the first time at home. They just played great defensively. Their intensity, switching, their help defense really caused us problems. We didn’t do a good job getting the ball inside to establish rhythm. Our defensive transition wasn’t there either. I wasn’t happy with our rebounding effort.  We tried to control the boards, but that set the tone.”

The Panthers (now fourth in the Heals) were back in action Tuesday at home versus A.R. Gould. They host Sacopee Friday and go to Pine Tree Academy Wednesday of next week.

I’m very pleased so far,” said Knight. “I think we’re where I hoped we’d be. We’re looking forward to the second half of the season. I feel like we can make noise in the tournament. The guys have the expectation of making a deep run. We’re playing a tough schedule which will help us down the road. Wherever we end up, as long as we’re in, I like our chances to make a run.”

Girls’ basketball

On the girls’ side, Greely continues to lead the way and is now fifth in the Western B Heals at 8-2 after extending its win streak to four with home victories last week over Kennebunk (75-29), York (42-34) and Falmouth (55-44). Ashley Storey and Moira Train both had 14 points against the Rams. In the win over the Wildcats, Storey went off for 22 points. Storey had 14 points and Haley Felkel had 13 in the win over the Yachtsmen. The Rangers were at Freeport Tuesday and go to Yarmouth Friday.

Freeport and Yarmouth would both be out of the Western B postseason if it started today, but both teams have time to get in, where they could do some damage.

The Falcons began the week 4-6 and 12th (only 10 teams qualify) after sandwiching wins over visiting Poland (70-54) and host Traip (58-23) around a 60-38 loss at defending regional champion Lake Region. Against the Knights, Nina Davenport had a career-high 40 points. Davenport had 25 in the loss. In the win over the Rangers, Davenport had 25 more. Freeport hosted Greely Tuesday (Davenport needed 30 points for 1,000 for her career) and goes to Fryeburg Friday.

The Clippers have already tripled last year’s win total, improving to 3-6 (15th in the Heals) with recent victories at defending Class C champion Waynflete (43-41) and visiting Traip (56-39). At the Flyers, Yarmouth shot to a quick 7-1 lead, opened it up to 28-20 at halftime, then held on for dear life down the stretch behind 12 points from Sean Cahill. Shannon Fallon had 16 points and Cory Langenbach 12 versus Traip. Saturday, the Clippers hung tough with visiting Cape Elizabeth for three quarters before going down to a 41-30 defeat, despite a dozen points from Lane Simsarian. Yarmouth was at Falmouth Tuesday and plays host to Greely Friday and Fryeburg Tuesday of next week.

In Western A, Falmouth began the week 2-8 and 10th in the standings after losing at York (47-37), at home to Fryeburg (47-41, in overtime) and at Greely (55-44). Jessica Burton had 10 points against the Wildcats. In the OT loss, Dayna Vasconcelos finished with 11. Ally Hickey had 18 points against the Rangers. The Yachtsmen were home versus Yarmouth Tuesday and play host to Lake Region Thursday.

In Western D, NYA is up to fifth in the standings after 4-5 after making it four wins in a row with victories at Seacoast Christian (39-30) and Hyde (38-33) before losing at home to Sacopee Valley (31-20) and Waynflete (53-28). Charlotte Esancy had 16 points and Hannah Carr 14 versus Seacoast. Esancy scored 17 points and Carr added 16 against the Phoenix. In the loss to the Hawks, Esancy had eight points. She had 10 to lead the Panthers against the Flyers. NYA was at Hebron Tuesday and goes to Sacopee Valley Friday and Kents Hill Saturday.

Boys’ hockey

Defending Class A boys’ hockey champion Falmouth dropped its second straight game last Wednesday, 3-1, at Lewiston, but bounced back Saturday to down visiting Portland/Deering, 7-1, to improve to 6-4 and third behind Scarborough and Cheverus in the Western A Heals. The Yachtsmen are now idle until Jan. 29, when they play at St. Dom’s.

In Western B, Yarmouth split a pair of 5-4 games last week, losing at home to Edward Little, then holding off visiting Greely. In the loss, the Clippers fell behind, 2-0 and 4-1, and thrice got within a goal, but still fell just short, despite goals from Walter Conrad, Isaak Dearden, Patrick Grant and Max Watson.

“We dug ourselves a pretty big hole and made some critical defensive mistakes,” lamented Yarmouth coach David St. Pierre. “I’m proud of the guys for battling back and working hard, but bottom line, you can’t stake a team to a three-goal lead. We have kids who know how to compete and know how to battle and they proved that. They also learned they can’t get in that kind of a hole. We’re young and that’s bitten us a few times, but we have great senior leadership.”

In the win, Dearden had two goals, while Conrad, Watson and Bobby Murray also tickled the twine as the Clippers improved to 4-2-1 (fourth in Western B). Yarmouth goes to Western A power Cheverus Thursday.

“We’re building,” St. Pierre said. “It’s still fairly early. I’m pleased with the progress so far, but we still have a lot to learn. I feel like we’re a top team, but there are four or five teams in that mix. If we can learn from our liabilities, we’ll be there in the end.”

Yarmouth’s Murray was named the Western Class B Rookie of the Month by the league’s coaches. Murray, a freshman forward, had a goal and four assists in his first four games.

Two-time defending Class B champion Greely fell to 1-4-2 and seventh in the region (only seven teams make the playoffs, by the way) with the loss to Yarmouth and a 3-3 tie at St. Dom’s. Aidan Black, Reid Howland, Joe Saffian and Brian Storey all scored against the Clippers. The Rangers were home against Thornton Academy Tuesday, welcome Gorham Thursday and go to Leavitt Monday.

Girls’ hockey

There’s been some movement of late on the girls’ side.

Falmouth has won seven of nine to overcome an 0-2 start and move into the number two in the West Region standings behind undefeated Scarborough. Last week, the Yachtsmen lost at Lewiston, 5-1, then bounced back to down visiting Capeflete (8-2), avenging an early season loss in the process, and visiting Cheverus (4-0). Caroline Proctor scored twice against the Stags. Falmouth (7-4) hosted Brunswick Wednesday, plays at Cheverus Thursday, plays host to Scarborough in a pivotal showdown Saturday night and visits Gorham/Bonny Eagle Monday.

In the East, Yarmouth/Freeport began the week third at 8-2-1 after a 1-1 tie at Lewiston and a 5-0 home loss to Lewiston. After going to Mt. Ararat Wednesday, Yarmouth/Freeport hopes to sweep rival Greely, when the Rangers pay a visit Saturday. Yarmouth/Freeport plays at Brunswick Monday.

Two-time defending state champion Greely has won five of six after downing visiting York (5-2) and host Mt. Ararat (9-0) last week to improve to 8-2 and fourth in the East. Delaney Curtin, Sarah Kurland, Maura Perry, Ellie Schad and Danita Storey all had goals against the Wildcats. Storey had five goals against the Eagles. The Rangers had a state game rematch at Scarborough Wednesday, visits Yarmouth/Freeport Saturday and welcomes Leavitt/EL Monday.

Swimming

Greely’s boys’ swim team suffered its first loss last week, 79-77, to Falmouth, but bounced back to defeat Windham, 93-68. The Rangers girls beat the Yachtsmen, 94-72, and the Eagles, 116-51. Greely goes to Deering Friday. Falmouth hosts Deering Thursday and goes to Waynflete Friday.

Yarmouth’s boys lost to Thornton Academy, 91-75, while the girls fell to the Golden Trojans, 88-75. The Clippers are home against Sanford Thursday.

Skiing

Yarmouth’s powerhouse Nordic ski team opened 2014 with a pair of wins at a seven-team meet at Pineland last week.

The boys saw Braden Becker (13 minutes, 36 seconds), Carter Hall (14:01) and Sam Alexander (14:17) go 1-2-4 individually. Runner-up Merriconeag was paced by Forrest McCurdy (14:14), who was third individually. Falmouth was third as a team, as Iain Kurry (14:23) and Gabe Mahoney (14:31) were sixth and seventh respectively. NYA didn’t score, but Patrick Mallett had a 13th-place individual finish (15:24).

In the girls’ meet, which saw Yarmouth, Merriconeag and Falmouth go 1, 2, 3, the Clippers were paced by Emma Torres (16:30), Lucy Alexander (16:38) and Caitlin Teare (16:49), who were second, third and fourth individually, behind Merriconag’s Samantha Pierce, who won the meet in 15:54. Falmouth’s Gabby Farrell was fifth individually (17:16).

Freeport and Greely competed in a multiple team meet at Twin Brook last week. In the boys’ competition, Freeport’s Elijah McCurdy was the top local skier, finishing second to Portland’s Ben Allen in 18:47. Greely was led by Ryan Morrison (17th in 21:23). On the girls’ side, Freeport’s Elizabeth Martin was first (19:59). Greely was led by Emily Follett (14th, 24:52).

In Alpine action Monday, Greely’s powerhouse girls’ team came in first at a three-time giant slalom meet at Shawnee Peak. Falmouth was second despite Krysia Lesniak (a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 5.61 seconds) and Alexandra Shapiro (1:05.70) placing first and second individually. The Rangers were paced by third-place finisher Elyse Dinan (1:06.59).

In the boys’ meet, won by Falmouth with Greely third, Yachtsmen standout Joe Lesniak was first (1:01.15), while the Rangers produced runner-up Sam Perlmutter (1:01.38).

Freeport’s boys dazzled in a slalom meet Monday, which also included Cape Elizabeth, Fryeburg and Yarmouth. The Falcons were first behind Blake Enrico’s first-place finish (1:33.01). Teammates Jay Pier (1:34.41) and Caleb Abbott (1:35.56) came in second and third respectively. The Clippers were paced by Rhys Eddy, who was fourth (1:44.41).

In the girls’ meet, won by Cape Elizabeth, Yarmouth was second and Freeport third. Individually, Wynne Cushing was the top Falcon (fourth, 1:53.20) and Julia Primeau led the Clippers with a fifth-place showing (1:55.94).

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

Sidebar Elements


Yarmouth senior Max Watson races up the ice during last week’s 5-4 home loss to Edward Little.

NYA junior Chase Gendron goes up for a basket during last week’s win over Hyde.

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