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Cheverus’ Akera Oryem shoots over Portland’s Pedro Fonseca during the Stags’ 53-50 come-from-behind victory last week.
Waynflete’s Mitchell Adams scores one of his two goals during the South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete co-op boys’ hockey team’s 5-2 victory over Scarborough Saturday.
Cheverus/Kennebunk’s Sophia Pompeo tries to elude a Scarborough defender during last week’s 3-0 victory.
(Ed. Note: For the complete Cheverus-Portland boys’ basketball, SP/Waynflete/Freeport-Scarborough boys’ hockey and Cheverus/Kennebunk-Scarborough girls’ hockey game stories, see theforecaster.net)
The puck is about to drop on the girls’ hockey playoffs, wrestling’s regional championship meet will be held Saturday and conference titles in indoor track, skiing and swimming are also on tap.
And if that’s not enough February excitement, the boys’ and girls’ basketball tournament will be underway this time next week.
Here’s an overview of the week that was and a look at the drama that’s to come.
The Cheverus/Kennebunk co-op girls’ hockey team earned the top seed in the South Region for the second year in a row and after losing to Greely/Gray-New Gloucester in last year’s state final, this year’s edition hopes to finish the job.
Last week, Cheverus/Kennebunk completed its 15-2-1 regular season by beating visiting Scarborough (3-0) on Senior Day and tying host St. Dom’s (2-2). In the win, third period goals from Sophia Pompeo, Hannah Woodford and Abby Lamontagne proved to be the difference.
“It’s awesome to win on Senior Day,” Pompeo said. “Scarborough is great. We came in knowing they’re very competitive. We had to adapt to their defense.”
“It was a very well-played hockey game,” said Cheverus/Kennebunk coach Scott Rousseau. “I think both teams played terrific. We’ll play again in two weeks (in the regional final), maybe.”
In the tie, Lamontagne had both goals, but the Saints scored the equalizer with 3.4 seconds to play in regulation. Goalie Trinity Atwater made 21 saves.
“Trinity came up with some big saves when she needed to,” Rousseau said.
Cheverus/Kennebunk will host a semifinal round playoff game either Friday or Saturday against either No. 4 Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland (9-9) or No. 5 York/Traip/Marshwood (7-10-1). Cheverus/Kennebunk swept Cape/Waynflete/SP, winning 3-2 and 7-2, and also beat host York/Traip/Marshwood, 6-0.
Portland/Deering finished with the sixth-best record in the South Region, 5-13, after a 12-2 loss at St. Dom’s and a 7-2 win at York/Traip/Marshwood. In the victory, Emily Demers topped the 100-point plateau for her career, scoring three goals and adding two assists. Portland/Deering plays at third-ranked Falmouth (11-5-2) in Wednesday’s quarterfinal round (see theforecaster.net for game story). The teams met once, way back on Nov. 24, a 7-6 win for the visiting Yachtsmen.
If Portland/Deering springs the upset, it will visiting second-ranked Scarborough (13-4-1) in the semifinal round Friday or Saturday. The Red Storm won both meetings this fall, 7-4 in Portland and 4-0 at home.
The South Region Final is Wednesday of next week and the state game will be Saturday, Feb. 16 in Lewiston.
With two games remaining, all four city boys’ basketball teams are playoff-bound, but they’re not all peaking.
Deering entered Tuesday’s contest at Cheverus (see theforecaster.net for game story) ranked fourth in the Class AA North Heal Points standings with a 10-6 mark following a 50-47 loss at Thornton Academy and a 65-48 home victory over Noble. The Rams lost at the Golden Trojans on a buzzer-beater, but got 24 points from Ben Onek. In the win, Onek had a monster game, scoring 33 points, adding 14 rebounds and three blocked shots. Max Morrione contributed 16 points and Darryl Germain finished with 10 assists. Deering closes the regular season Thursday at home versus rival/nemesis Portland (see theforecaster.net for game story).
Cheverus moved up to fifth at 9-7 after wins at Noble (62-40) and Portland (53-50) last week. Against the Knights, Nick Galli scored 22 points, Matt Duchaine added 17, Patrick Foster finished with 11 and Owen Burke had 10. The Stags had lost 12 of 13 meetings with the Bulldogs and trailed by 16 points in the third quarter, but they roared back and went ahead to stay thanks to six straight points from Burke and prevailed behind 16 points from Akera Oryem, 13 from Galli and 10 from Duchaine.
“It didn’t look like it was going our way, but we stayed together as a unit,” Burke said. “We slowly got back in the game. It was a strong team effort. It’s an awesome feeling, especially for the eight seniors to beat Portland at the Expo.”
“I’m really happy for my seniors,” said Cheverus coach Ryan Soucie. “They went their entire careers without beating Portland. I’m happy they got it done tonight. I’m just so proud. It has nothing to do with the coaches, it’s all the kids. They made the plays, they believed, they went out and executed when it really mattered. Credit to them.”
The Stags hosted Deering on Senior Night Tuesday, then close at South Portland Thursday.
Portland, which is accustomed to surging as the season comes to an end, entered the week on a three-game skid after falling at home to Bonny Eagle (62-61, in overtime) and Cheverus (53-50) last week. Against the Scots, Simon Chadbourne had 19 points, Pedro Fonseca added 12 and Jeremiah Alado finished with 11. In the loss to the Stags, Trey Bellew scored 15 points and Alado added 13, but the Bulldogs couldn’t hold a 16-point third quarter lead.
“It is what it is,” Bulldogs coach Joe Russo said. “Unfortunately, as of late, we’re learning how to lose when usually, we know how to win, especially this time of year.”
Portland (9-7 and sixth in Class AA North) hosted South Portland Tuesday and closes at Deering Thursday (see theforecaster.net for game story).
In Class C South, Waynflete began the week battling Hall-Dale for the No. 2 spot in (the Flyers were third at press time) following wins at Sacopee Valley (79-41) and at home over Old Orchard Beach (68-45). Against the Hawks, Solomon Levy scored 12 points, Alex Saade had 11 and Askar Houssein added 10. In the win over the Seagulls, Levy led the way with 19 points, while Chris Saade added 10. Waynflete (12-2) was at St. Dom’s Tuesday and finishes the regular season at North Yarmouth Academy Thursday.
The boys’ basketball playoffs begin with preliminary round games on the home courts of the higher seeds next Tuesday and Wednesday.
On the girls’ side, Portland moved up to third in the Class AA North Heals after falling at Bonny Eagle (60-52), then snapping host Scarborough’s 12-game win streak with a 49-34 victory Friday. Amanda Kabantu had 24 points and Gemima Motema finished with 12 the loss. Against the Red Storm, Kabantu had 22 points and Grace Stacey added 10. The Bulldogs (8-8) host Class AA South top seed South Portland Tuesday and close at Deering Thursday.
Cheverus fell to 5-11 and sixth in Class AA North following last Tuesday’s 41-35 home loss to Noble. Lauren Jordan scored 13 points in the defeat. The Stags hosted Deering Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and finish at South Portland Thursday.
Deering improved to 3-13 and seventh in Class AA North after downing visiting Thornton Academy (54-35) and host Noble (43-37). Delaney Haines scored 28 points and Victoria Garand added 12 in the win over the Golden Trojans. Against the Knights, Haines led the way with 19 points and Mandy Mastropasqua added 14. The Rams visited Cheverus Tuesday and close at home versus Portland Thursday.
In Class C South, Waynflete fell to 1-14 and 18th (only 13 teams qualify for the playoffs) after a 43-20 home loss to Sacopee Valley and a 47-18 setback at Old Orchard Beach. Kilee Sherry had nine points in the loss to the Seagulls. The Flyers (who last missed the playoffs in 1999-2000) were home with St. Dom’s Tuesday and close at NYA Thursday.
The girls’ basketball playoffs begin with preliminary round games on the home courts of the higher seeds next Tuesday and Wednesday.
The boys’ hockey regular season still has a couple weeks remaining, but with Class A South as closely contested as it is, every game is magnified.
Portland/Deering began the week 6-7 and third in the region after a 2-0 home loss to Bangor and a 1-0 win at defending Class B champion Old Town/Orono. Jake Luce had the goal in the victory. Portland/Deering visits Cape Elizabeth Thursday and welcomes St. Dom’s Saturday.
The South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete co-op team improved to 6-6 and fifth in the region after defeating host Windham/Westbrook (9-0) and visiting Scarborough (5-2) last week. Against the Red Storm, Waynflete’s Mitchell Adams had two goals.
“(Scarborough’s) worth a lot of (Heal Points),” Adams said. “We wanted to beat them and we just did that.”
“This is a huge win for us,” SP/Freeport/Waynflete coach Joe Robinson said. “That was probably the most complete game we’ve put together since we beat TA right before Christmas. We’ve underachieved as a whole, but the talent’s there and when it clicks, we can play with anybody. Hopefully, going into February, when it really counts, this is where we start taking it to the level we thought we’d be at going into the season.”
The Red Riots visit two-time defending Class A champion Lewiston Wednesday, host Thornton Academy Thursday and welcome Marshwood Saturday.
Cheverus was 6-8 and sixth in Class A South following a 3-1 win at Falmouth and a 6-0 setback at St. Dom’s. The Stags host Scarborough Thursday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and visit Yarmouth in a makeup game Saturday.
Deering’s boys’ indoor track team won a nine-team regular season-ending Southwestern Maine Activities Association meet last week. The Rams girls’ squad placed eighth.
In the other meet, Cheverus’ girls were second to Scarborough while Portland came in fifth. In the boys’ meet, also won by Scarborough, Portland finished third and Cheverus placed fourth.
The SMAA Championship Meet is Saturday in Gorham.
In the pool, Deering split with Greely, as the Rams boys eked out a 78-73 win, while the girls lost to the Rangers, 95-73.
Portland was swept by Cape Elizabeth as the boys lost, 88-79, and the girls lost to the defending Class B champion Capers, 145-37.
Waynflete was swept by Falmouth, as the girls lost, 110-45, and the boys fell to the Yachtsmen, 107-49.
Team scores for Cheverus’ meet versus Gorham weren’t available at press time.
The Southwestern championships will be held this weekend.
Cheverus wrestling team finished the regular season 19-7 after closing with wins over Windham (52-11) and Sanford (48-27) and a loss to Noble (59-21).
Portland wound up 15-8 after beating Sanford (42-34), Kennebunk (44-34) and Windham (49-18) and losing to Bonny Eagle (45-36) and Marshwood (45-30).
Deering finished 8-15 following a 52-18 loss to Massabesic and wins over Westbrook (36-27) and Scarborough (46-24).
Sun Journal staff writer Wil Kramlich contributed to this story.