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Portland junior Pedro Fonseca lines up a jumper during last week’s home victory over rival Deering.
Deering’s Delaney Haines hits a key basket during last week’s win at Portland.
Portland/Deering ‘s Cam King celebrates a goal during the team’s home win over York last week.
(Ed. Note: For the complete Portland-Deering boys’ basketball, Deering-Portland girls’ basketball and Portland/Deering-York and South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport-Scarborough boys’ hockey game stories, with photos, see theforecaster.net)
The new year is upon us and the winter sports season, like winter itself, has been very active.
Here’s a look at where things stand and what’s to come:
Portland’s boys’ basketball team began 2018 as it ended 2017, as the team to beat.
The Bulldogs improved to 5-0 last Thursday with a 53-34 home victory over rival Deering. Portland only led by six points, 25-19, at halftime, then pulled away to prevail behind 18 points from Terion Moss and 12 points (all on 3-pointers) from Simon Chadbourne.
“It never gets old to beat Deering,” said Moss. “I think the first part of the game, we didn’t really make our shots. Then we played team basketball and we made shots.”
“It takes awhile for us to get going, but we’re a second half team and we usually get it together,” Chadbourne said.
“When we decide to play as a team, we can turn the game around quickly,” Portland coach Joe Russo added. “When we play team defense, we’re tough to score on.”
The Bulldogs hosted Gorham Tuesday, have a showdown at Edward Little Friday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and play at Sanford Tuesday of next week.
Deering suffered its first loss at Portland, then improved to 4-1 with a 63-47 victory at Bangor. In the setback, Ben Onek had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
“Our inexperience and lack of executing put us in a hole,” said Rams coach Todd Wing. “I don’t believe in moral victories. Holding (Portland) to 53 points wasn’t terrible. We have to do a better job.”
Deering got 25 points and 13 rebounds from Onek in the win at Bangor. The Rams were home with Bonny Eagle Tuesday, go to Oxford Hills Friday and South Portland Saturday, then host Scarborough Tuesday of next week.
Cheverus started the season 0-3, but has since won three straight, capped by a 62-54 home victory over Bangor Friday, to even its record. Matt Duchaine had 16 points, Oxen Burke added 13 and Will Shibles also finished in double-digits with 10. The Stags were at Thornton Academy Tuesday, visit Scarborough Friday and go to Gorham Tuesday of next week.
In Class C South, Waynflete took a 3-2 mark into the new year. The Flyers have a key home test against Class B South power Yarmouth Wednesday, go to Poland Thursday, welcome Greater Portland Christian School Saturday and visit Sacopee Valley Monday.
Deering’s girls’ basketball team has been a pleasant surprise in the early going. Despite losing standouts Amanda Brett, Abi Ramirez and Tasia Titherington to graduation, the Rams won four of their first five outings, capped by victories at rival Portland (48-43) and Bangor (43-36) last week. Against the Bulldogs, Delaney Haines had 18 points, Mandy Mastropasqua added 16 and Victoria Garand had 10, all in the second half, including a late, go-ahead, three-point play.
“We calmed down and got the jitters out and got the pace to our level,” Garand said. “I knew we could do it.”
“(Portland’s) very fast, athletic and tough,” Haines said. “We had to play off them because they could get to the hoop. We have that winning mentality now.”
“I’m pleasantly surprised,” added Deering coach Mike Murphy. “This being our fourth game, I’m very pleased where we’re at. I like the kids’ attitudes. They’re very coachable. I think they’re responding. A win like this, they believe even more.”
Haines had 20 more points and Mastropasqua added 10 in the win over Bangor. The Rams went to Bonny Eagle Tuesday, host Oxford Hills in a regional final rematch Friday and play at Scarborough Tuesday of next week.
Another team exceeding expectations in the early going is Maine Girls’ Academy, which won its first four games, capped by a 59-40 home victory over Bonny Eagle last Friday. Catherine Reid had 21 points and Jill Joyce added a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds. The Lions were home against Biddeford Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), visit Windham in a key test Friday, then go to Massabesic Tuesday of next week.
Portland was 3-2 entering a showdown at two-time defending Class AA champion Gorham Tuesday. The Bulldogs fell at home to Deering last Thursday, 48-43, despite 17 points from Gemima Motema and 16 from Shayla Eubanks.
“It was a great game,” said Portland coach Gerry Corcoran. “It was fun to coach. I thought we had Deering on the ropes. To their credit, they came back. They made the big plays down the stretch. I’m excited about what’s going on. It’s fun. It’s a great group of girls.”
After going to Gorham, the Bulldogs host Edward Little Thursday and go to Sanford Monday.
Cheverus split its first six outings, with a 48-35 win at Bangor the most recent. In that one, Abby Cavallaro led the way with 18 points and Emme Poulin added 15. The Stags were home with Thornton Academy Tuesday, welcome Scarborough Friday and play host to Gorham Tuesday of next week.
Waynflete went 2-2 in the 2017 portion of its schedule and opened the new year at Yarmouth Wednesday evening. The Flyers host Poland Thursday, welcome Hebron Academy Saturday and are home against Sacopee Valley Tuesday of next week.
Cheverus’ boys’ hockey team earned bragging rights Monday evening when it defeated rival Portland/Deering in a shootout in the “City Cup.” The Stags improved to 3-1. Cheverus welcomes Scarborough Thursday and goes to Thornton Academy Monday.
Portland/Deering edged visiting York, 4-3, in an overtime thriller last week. Cam King, Donnie Tocci and Joe Herboldsheimer all had tying goals in regulation and Whit Steele scored his first varsity goal to win it in OT.
“I saw the puck coming to me and I saw my opportunity and I put it in,” Steele said. “That was a really good feeling to get my first goal. We kept the fight going and eventually we came back.”
“We never quit,” said Portland/Deering coach Jeff Beaney. “Sometimes, we get frustrated, but the Portland/Deering kids always compete and that’s the key. We picked each other up as the game went along. It was pretty exciting.”
Portland/Deering (3-2) is home against Thornton Academy Thursday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and visits Falmouth in a playoff rematch Saturday.
The South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport co-op team was 2-3 at press time after a historic 4-1 home win over Scarborough last week. Max Winson had a goal and an assist and Mitchell Adams also scored as the squad beat the Red Storm for the first time since Feb. 5, 2004.
“This just shows how hard we’ve worked,” Winson said. “It shows how the program has grown and that our practice is paying off. We’ve all meshed together.”
South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport goes to Massabesic Saturday and visits Brunswick Monday.
On the girls’ side, Cheverus/Kennebunk has set the pace, but Monday, the squad returned to action for the first time in 11 days and lost for the first time in eight games, falling, 4-3, in overtime, to rival Portland/Deering in the “City Cup.” Cheverus/Kennebunk hosts Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland Wednesday and visits York Saturday.
Portland/Deering, which previously downed visiting York, 4-1 (Lucy Howe scored twice), and Gorham, 10-2 (Caroline Lerch had a hat trick), improved to 7-3 with its 4-3 overtime win over Cheverus/Kennebunk in Monday’s “City Cup.” Kit Rosmus scored the tying goal in regulation, then struck again with the winner in OT. Portland/Deering visits Edward Little/Leavitt Saturday.
Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland held off Scarborough in its most recent outing, 4-3, and takes a 4-3 record into Wednesday’s game at Cheverus/Kennebunk. The squad then welcomes defending state champion St. Dom’s Saturday.
Local indoor track and field teams have one league meet under their belts.
Deering’s boys were second to Scarborough by two points in its first outing. The Deering girls tied Gorham for third place behind Noble and Scarborough. Maine Girls’ Academy placed fifth.
The Portland boys were third behind Biddeford and Falmouth, while the Bulldogs girls finished fourth behind Biddeford, Falmouth and Marshwood.
Cheverus’ girls were second to Windham, while the boys’ team came in fourth behind Windham, Bonny Eagle and Kennebunk.
League meets resume Wednesday, when Portland squares off against Gorham, Massabesic and Windham and Thursday, when Cheverus competes against Falmouth, Noble and Thornton Academy and Deering takes on Biddeford, Kennebunk and Westbrook.
Cheverus swept Portland in a recent swim meet. The Stags girls prevailed by a 93-55 score, while the boys won, 86-56. Cheverus goes to Sanford Saturday.
The Waynflete girls lost at Kennebunk, 90-61. The Flyers boys also lost to the Rams, 71-35. Waynflete, along with Maine Girls’ Academy, meets Massabesic and Thornton Academy Friday.
Deering swims at Gorham Friday.
Portland’s wrestling team, which is a co-op squad this year with South Portland, took part at Noble Invitational last week. Portland/South Portland tallied 56 points to place 15th (Nokomis was first with 170). Portland/South Portland was paced by Zack Elowitch, who was runner-up at 152 pounds. Teammate Anthony Napolitano was fourth at 106 pounds. Portland/South Portland, which is 4-2 on the season, is back in action Wednesday at home versus Westbrook/Gorham.
Deering is coming off a 45-18 home win over Fryeburg Academy. The Rams join Kennebunk at Biddeford Wednesday.
Cheverus takes a 3-2 record into Wednesday’s match at Scarborough. The Stags’ most recent outing resulted in a 60-17 loss at Noble.
The skiing season will get underway this week for schools in both in the SMAA and WMC.