Winter playoff season has arrived

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The winter sports season is coming to a close and if the recent amount of snow has got you down, there’s some good news, as it has become apparent that the upcoming postseason is going to be more unpredictable than ever.

The girls’ hockey regular season has come to an end and the playoffs have begun. Boys’ and girls’ basketball wrap up by week’s end and the tournament starts next week. It won’t be long until the conference, regional and state championships are held for indoor track, swimming, skiing and wrestling.

Here’s a look at where things stand now that we’ve flipped the calendar to February.

Girls’ hockey

The girls’ hockey playoffs got underway Wednesday.

In the West Region, Capeflete, which finished 7-10-1 after tying York (1-1), losing to Scarborough (12-6) and Biddeford (3-2) last week, returned to Biddeford for the quarterfinals and this time, held on for a 3-2 victory to advance to the semifinals to face top-ranked Falmouth (14-4). In the regular season, Capeflete lost twice to the Yachtsmen, 3-2 and 4-0.

Scarborough, the defending state champion, wound up 13-4-1 and second to Falmouth in the West Region, following a 6-3 loss at Falmouth and wins over visiting Capeflete (12-6) and host Cheverus (5-0). Sami Shoebottom scored twice in the loss and had four goals against Capeflete. The Red Storm host No. 3 York (12-6-1) in Friday’s semifinals. During the regular season, Scarborough twice beat the Wildcats: 6-1 and 6-1.

The West Region Final is Wednesday of next week in Lewiston and the state game is Saturday, Feb. 14, also in Lewiston.

Boys’ basketball

With one game to play in the regular season, South Portland’s boys’ basketball team was 14-3 and second in the Western Class A Heal Points standings. After a 57-42 loss at Gorham, the Red Riots beat visiting Deering (71-66) and held off visiting top-ranked Portland in overtime (20-16). In the loss, Jaren Muller had 15 points and Jack Fiorini added 13.  South Portland then rallied past the Rams for the second time this season, as Muller had 18 points, Fiorini added 16, Kam Harper finished with a dozen and Sam DePaolo had 11. Against the defending Class A champion Bulldogs, the Red Riots avenged an early buzzer-beater loss despite Portland playing a slowdown game. Fiorini had a team-high eight points in that one. South Portland will likely be the No. 2 seed and looked to finish strong when it went to Cheverus Thursday.

Scarborough finished the regular season 8-10 after home losses to Cheverus (70-67, in overtime) and Thornton Academy (73-68) sandwiched around a 52-44 win at Sanford. Against the Stags, Milani Hicks went off for 36 points, but it wasn’t enough. Nate Wessel had 21 points and Hicks 19 in the loss to the Golden Trojans. In the victory, Sam Freeman led the way with 27 points. The Red Storm were 11th in the Western A Heals at press time and will go on the road for the preliminary round.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth was third behind Yarmouth and Morse with a 13-3 record at press time. The Capers extended their win streak to nine last week by defeating host Poland (69-50) and Greely (61-41). Eddie Galvin had 16 points, Justin Guerette added 14 and Ethan Murphy finished with 12 against the defending Western B champion Knights. Jack O’Rourke had 19 points and Quinn Hewitt 16 versus the Rangers. Tuesday, Cape Elizabeth finally stumbled, 69-62, at Falmouth, despite 17 points from Galvin, 16 from Guerette and 11 from O’Rourke. The Capers were home with Greely Thursday and close at home versus Fryeburg Academy in a makeup contest Friday.

In Western D, Greater Portland Christian School takes a 5-11 record into Friday’s finale at North Haven. Last week, the Lions defeated visiting Temple Academy (45-40) and host North Haven (53-38), then lost at Seacoast Christian (71-47) Tuesday and at defending Western C champion Waynflete (81-33) Wednesday. GPCS was 14th in the Heals at press time, but only 12 teams make the postseason.

The tournament begins Tuesday of next week with the preliminary round on the courts of the higher seeds. The Western A quarterfinal round is Friday, Feb. 13 and Saturday, Feb. 14 at the Portland Exposition Building. The Western B quarterfinal round is Saturday, Feb. 14 at the Expo.

Girls’ basketball

On the girls’ side, South Portland suffered a painful 65-56 overtime loss to visiting Gorham last Wednesday, then bounced back to defeat visiting Portland (63-48) Saturday and held off host Cheverus (63-55) Tuesday. Against the Rams, the Red Riots jumped out early, 14-4, but trailed, early in the fourth period, 40-30, before coming to life to lead, 48-45, with time winding down when Gorham’s Abby Hamilton hit a 3-pointer to tie the score. South Portland briefly led twice in OT, but couldn’t hold on and despite 22 points from Maddie Hasson, went down to defeat.

“I thought we had it,” said Red Riots coach Lynne Hasson. “We had an opportunity to walk away with a win, but we didn’t. I think the girls are ready to get a big win. I’m disappointed we didn’t get it (tonight), but we’re knocking on the door.”

Against the Bulldogs, Holly Black had 17 points, while Maddie Hasson and Megan Graff both added a dozen. Hasson had 22 points and Black added 18 in the win over the Stags. South Portland took a 13-4 record into Thursday’s finale at Scarborough. The Red Riots will likely be the No. 5 seed in Western A and will host a preliminary round game.

“(The league) won’t keep us away from a big win all year,” Lynne Hasson said. “We’re going to get one. Looking forward, we’d rather have it at tournament time. It’s a confident group. We were a young group at the beginning of the season. Now, some of the young kids are feeling comfortable out there. A prelim isn’t a horrible thing. It’s an extra game for free.”

Scarborough was 8-9 and eighth going into its finale versus South Portland. The Red Storm were coming off a 55-41 loss at Cheverus, a 54-45 home victory over Sanford and  a 49-42 setback at Thornton Academy. Against the Stags, Ashley Briggs had 14 points and Bailey Adams added 11. Adams and Briggs both tallied 10 points in the victory. Briggs had 14 points and Brooke Malone 11 in the loss to the Golden Trojans.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth was eighth at 9-7 after a 44-19 home win over Poland and losses at Greely (63-30) and at home to Falmouth (59-47). Maddie Bowe and Montana Braxton both had 10 points in the victory. Hannah Sawyer had 14 points versus the Rangers. Braxton finished with 14 against the Yachtsmen. The Capers were home against Greely Thursday and close at Fryeburg Academy Friday.

In Western D, GPCS will miss the playoffs. The Lions were 4-11 and 15th (only 11 teams make the cut) heading into Friday’s finale at North Haven. Last week, GPCS lost at home to Temple Academy (43-39) and beat host North Haven (54-25). The Lions lost at Seacoast Christian (50-38) Tuesday and Waynflete (66-29) Wednesday.

The tournament begins Wednesday of next week with the preliminary round on the courts of the higher seeds. The Western A quarterfinal round is Monday, Feb. 16 at the Portland Exposition Building. The Western B quarterfinal round is contested Tuesday, Feb. 17 at the Expo.

Boys’ hockey

Scarborough’s boys’ hockey team returned to the ice last Saturday after a 12-day absence and held off visiting Cape Elizabeth, 2-1, on Sean McGovern’s overtime goal, to improve to 8-4-2, good for second behind two-time defending state champion Falmouth in the Western A Heals. The Red Storm host Cheverus Saturday and welcome Falmouth Wednesday.

South Portland was sixth at 7-4 heading into Thursday’s showdown against Portland (see theforecaster.net for game story). The Red Riots go to Noble/Wells Saturday and play at Lake Region Monday.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth was 7-7 and fifth after a 3-1 loss at Kennebunk, a 7-0 home loss to Biddeford and a 2-1 overtime setback at Scarborough. Curtis Guimond scored versus the Red Storm. The Capers were home against Gorham Thursday and play at Camden Hills Saturday.

Indoor track

The Southwestern Maine Activities Association held a final regular season makeup meet at Colby College in Waterville Saturday.

Scarborough’s boys got wins from Sam Rusak in the pole vault (14 feet), Jacob Terry in the mile (4 minutes, 43.58 seconds), Edward James in the high jump (5-8) and its 4×200 relay team (1:36.90). First-place girls included Lucy Malia in the two-mile (13:04.71), Ellen Shaw in the 55 hurdles (9.24 seconds), Laura Volan in the mile (5:37.02) and Sarah Rinaldi in the high jump (5-2) and the triple jump (33-2).

South Portland’s boys got wins from Michael Cuesta in the long jump (20-7.5) and Daniel Guiliani in the shot put (57-8.5). First-place girls included Lauren Magnuson in the 55 (7.79) and its 4×200 relay (1:53.72).

Cape Elizabeth takes part in the Western Maine Conference championship meet Friday at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham. The SMAA championship meet will be held Saturday at USM.

The Class A state meet is Monday, Feb. 16 at USM. The Class B state meet is the same day at Bates College in Lewiston.

Swimming

Cape Elizabeth’s girls’ swim team closed with a 97-84 home win over Cheverus. The boys lost to the Stags, 105-65.

Scarborough’s boys beat Greely in its finale, 65-28. The girls lost to the Rangers, 61-33.

The North Division Southwesterns meet is Friday and Saturday in Westbrook.

The Class B boys’ state final is Saturday, Feb. 14 at the University of Maine in Orono. The Class B girls compete for state glory Monday, Feb. 16 in Orono, while the Class A boys’ state meet will be held at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. The Class A girls’ state meet is Tuesday, Feb. 17, also in Brunswick.

Skiing

Scarborough’s boys’ and girls’ Alpine ski teams were third at a five-team slalom meet last week at Shawnee Peak. Andrew Mills finished third in the boys’ race with a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 30.57 seconds. Sarah Hassler was the top finisher on the girls’ side, placing sixth in 1:45.16.

The state meets are Feb. 16-18.

Wrestling

Scarborough’s wrestling team finished 4-12 after a 51-24 win over Windham, a 42-39 victory over Deering and losses to Biddeford (54-29) and Westbrook (58-18) last week.

The Western A regional championship meet is Saturday at Marshwood High School.

The Class A state meet is Saturday, Feb. 14 at Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham.

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

Sidebar Elements


South Portland’s Paige Carter (1) and Megan Graff (12) go for a rebound during last week’s overtime home loss to Gorham.

Cape Elizabeth junior Marcus Donnelly goes up for a shot during last weekend’s 61-41 win at rival Greely.

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