The 2018 sports year was one to remember-Southern edition

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Scarborough’s boys’ basketball team celebrated its first-ever regional championship back in February.

Hunter Owen and the South Portland baseball team dazzled for most of the spring, earning the top seed for the Class A South playoffs before being upset by Falmouth in the quarterfinals.

Karli Chapin was mobbed by her teammates after scoring the overtime game-winning goal to give Cape Elizabeth’s girls’ soccer team a perfect season and the Class B state title in November.

Local high school sports athletes made plenty of memories again in 2018.

Whether the season was winter, spring or fall, triumph was the theme and there were countless breathtaking moments.

With another winter season underway and a new year upon us, here’s one final look back at the thrills that made up a special year.

January

When 2017 gave way to 2018, South Portland’s boys’ basketball team was again defending a regional title, Cape Elizabeth was its usual competitive self and Scarborough was putting together a special, historic season.

On the girls’ side, South Portland was the favorite to win a Class AA state title, while Scarborough wasn’t far behind.

On the ice, Cape Elizabeth was a favorite in Class B South, while the South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete co-op team was also in contention.

On the girls’ side, Scarborough and the Cape Elizabeth/South Portland/Waynflete co-op team were jockeying for top spots in the South Region.

Skiing, swimming, track and wrestling teams and individuals geared up for the postseason.

February

The February vacation week brought the first hardware of the new year.

Scarborough’s indoor track program again swept the Class A championships.

Individually, the Red Storm boys were led by the exceptional Jarett Flaker, who was first in the 55, 200 and 400. Anthony Clavette (high jump) was also an event winner. The girls’ team was paced by Molly Murnane, champion of the 55. Cape Elizabeth’s Darcy Cochran (Class B girls’ 55 hurdles) and Matthew Concannon (Class B boys’ 200) and South Portland’s Juliana Selser (Class A girls’ 800 and mile) also won titles.

In the pool, Cape Elizabeth’s girls’ team won Class B again, as Olivia Tighe, who has since committed to swimming at Duke University, won the 100 and 500 freestyle. Alicia Lawrence (50 free) and Catherine Mahoney (200 free) also were event-winners. Cape Elizabeth’s Rohan Freedman (Class B boys’ 200 free), Scarborough’s Hannah Griffin (Class A girls’ 200 individual medley) and South Portland’s Molly Mawhinney (Class A girls’ 100 breaststroke) also came in first.

On the slopes, Cape Elizabeth’s Ian Geikie (first in the Class B giant slalom) and Killian Lathrop (top in the Class B slalom) helped the Capers win the Alpine team title. 

On the ice, the Cape Elizabeth/South Portland/Waynflete girls’ co-op team beat Falmouth in the South Region quarterfinals, then lost by a goal to Portland/Deering in the semifinals. Scarborough, meanwhile, downed Biddeford in the quarterfinals, then lost to Cheverus/Kennebunk in the semifinals.

On the boys’ side, South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete lost to eventual regional champion Biddeford in the Class A South quarterfinals. In Class B South, Cape Elizabeth earned the second seed and a bye into the semifinals in Lewiston.

Attention then turned to the basketball championships.

South Portland’s girls were the top seed in Class AA South and began the tournament with an easy victory over Noble in the quarterfinals, but a scoreless first period spelled a stunning upset loss to Gorham in the semifinals. Scarborough, meanwhile, beat Sanford and Bonny Eagle to get to the regional final, but the Red Storm also lost to Gorham.

On the boys’ side, Cape Elizabeth had no trouble with Mountain Valley and Yarmouth in its first two tournament games, but the Capers lost a close one to Wells in the Class B South Final. In Class AA South, South Portland, the two-time defending champion, handled Massabesic and Thornton Academy to reach the regional final, while Scarborough made it to the regional final for the first time after downing Noble and Bonny Eagle. Then, in the Class AA South Final, the Red Storm won boys’ basketball hardware for the first time, eliminating the Red Riots, 55-43.

March

March saw Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ hockey team down York in the semifinals, then lose by a goal to Greely in the regional final.

That left Scarborough’s boys’ basketball team, which gave Edward Little a 32-minute battle in the Class AA state final before falling five points short, 41-36.

April and May

The short spring regular season featured much excitement and triumph.

Cape Elizabeth and South Portland’s baseball teams produced winning records and Scarborough did enough to make the playoffs.

Scarborough’s softball team again had no peer, extending their regular season win streak to an amazing 89, while Cape Elizabeth and South Portland ultimately earned playoff berths. 

Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ lacrosse team moved up to Class A and was in contention, along with South Portland.

On the girls’ side, Cape Elizabeth was putting together something special, while South Portland was also playoff-bound.

Area track stars geared up for the state meet.

The tennis story featured five of six local squads earning a playoff trip.

June

The spring championship season began with more track glory, as Cape Elizabeth’s Cochran won the Class B girls’ 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles, while Scarborough’s Emily Labbe was first in the Class A girls’ 100 hurdles.

There were no tennis champions, but the Cape Elizabeth boys and girls each reached the regional final.

On the diamond, Scarborough’s baseball team lost to Windham in the preliminary round and South Portland, ranked first in Class A South, was stunned by Falmouth in the semifinals. In Class B South, Cape Elizabeth survived Yarmouth in the quarterfinals, then lost to Greely in the semifinals.

Cape Elizabeth’s softball team edged Yarmouth in the Class B preliminary round, then lost an extra-inning thriller to Leavitt in the quarterfinals. In Class A South, South Portland fell at Portland in the preliminary round. That left Scarborough, which had no trouble with Portland in the quarterfinals, pulled away late to eliminate Massabesic in the semifinals, then edged Thornton Academy in an nine-inning thriller in the regional final. The state game was a comparative breeze, as the Red Storm repeated as champion for the first time, beating Oxford Hills, 12-0, in six-innings. 

Boys’ lacrosse saw South Portland beat Bonny Eagle in the quarterfinals, but lose to Thornton Academy in the semifinals. The Golden Trojans were too much for Cape Elizabeth as well, knocking off the Capers in the regional final before they beat Falmouth for the program’s first championship.

On the girls’ side, South Portland beat Gorham in the Class A South quarterfinals, then lost to Kennebunk in the semifinals. In Class B, Cape Elizabeth beat York in the quarterfinals, edged Greely by a goal in the semis, then rallied late to tie Yarmouth in the state final before Emily Healy’s overtime strike gave the Capers the championship in thrilling fashion.

July and August

High school action took a short break, while familiar names competed in road races and American Legion ball. By mid-August, fall practice was underway.

September

Autumn brought football, soccer, field hockey, cross country, golf and volleyball excitement.

On the gridiron, Scarborough defended its championship with a fast start. Cape Elizabeth and South Portland were in contention for a playoff spot. 

On the pitch, all six local teams were competitive.

Scarborough’s field hockey team was on the short list of title favorites. 

All three local volleyball squads were playoff-bound.

Cross country and golf teams hinted at success to come.

October

At the golf state match, Scarborough was second in Class A, while Cape Elizabeth finished fourth in Class B. Cape Elizabeth’s Austin Legge repeated as the Class B individual champion.

Scarborough’s boys’ cross country team won yet another Class A state title.

Volleyball saw South Portland lose to Thornton Academy in the Class A preliminary round and defending champion Scarborough fall at Gorham in the semifinals. In Class B, Cape Elizabeth made it back to the state final, but dropped a five-set thriller to Yarmouth. 

The field hockey playoffs saw Scarborough open with a quarterfinal round win over Cheverus, but the Red Storm had no answers for Westbrook in the semifinals.

In the soccer tournament, South Portland’s boys’ team edged Westbrook in the preliminary round, but lost on penalty kicks at Cheverus in the quarterfinals. Scarborough was a winner over Thornton Academy in the preliminary round, but lost to Gorham in overtime in the quarterfinals. In Class B South, Cape Elizabeth had no trouble with Lincoln Academy in the quarterfinals, then shocked four-time defending champion Yarmouth in the semifinals. On Halloween Night, the Capers rallied from two goals down at Freeport in the regional final, but eventually fell just short, 3-2.

On the girls’ side, South Portland was beaten by Windham in the Class A South preliminary round. Unbeaten Scarborough repeated as regional champion, downing Noble, Windham (in overtime) and Cheverus to punch its state game ticket, while in Class B South, undefeated Cape Elizabeth beat Gray-New Gloucester, Yarmouth and York to get to the state final.

Football’s playoffs began with South Portland declining an opportunity to play in the quarterfinals, Scarborough earning a bye into the Class A South semifinals and Cape Elizabeth downing York in the Class B South quarterfinals.

November

The soccer drama continued into November, where local girls’ teams went 1-1 on the big stage.

Scarborough lost to Camden Hills for the second year in a row in the Class A state game, 1-0.

Cape Elizabeth fell behind Presque Isle early, but capped the best season in program history with a 2-1 overtime win, thanks to the heroics of Karli Chapin, who scored the tying and winning goals. 

Cape Elizabeth’s football team lost to Leavitt in the semifinals, while Scarborough advanced with a win over Bonny Eagle. The Red Storm’s quest for a repeat championship was then denied by eventual champion Thornton Academy, 53-21, in the regional final.

December

Winter has returned and here we go again.

In boys’ basketball, Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough and South Portland figure to be in the hunt throughout.

On the girls’ side, South Portland is hoping to finish what last year’s team started, while Scarborough has already knocked off Gorham. Cape Elizabeth hopes to make the playoffs this year.

On the ice, the postseason is a realistic goal for every local team.

Swimming, track and wrestling have provided their share of promising moments and skiing is about to get underway.

Say goodbye to the wonderful year that was. We welcome 2019 and look forward to a new batch of highlights.

Happy New Year everyone!

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.