Winter sports season is halfway over-Portland edition

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Deering’s Ben Onek goes up for a dunk during the Rams’ 67-48 win at rival Cheverus Friday night.

Cheverus’ Brooke McElman drives to the basket during the Stags’ 56-32 win at Maine Girls’ Academy last week. The Stags beat the Lions for the first time ever.

Cheverus’ boys’ hockey team celebrates with the “City Cup” after last week’s 5-2 win over rival Portland/Deering.

(Ed. Note: For the complete Cheverus-Deering boys’ basketball, Cheverus-Maine Girls’ Academy girls’ basketball and Cheverus-Portland/Deering boys’ hockey game stories, with photos, see theforecaster.net)

It certainly feels a lot like winter and the winter sports season has passed the midway pole, believe it or not.

Action continued in all sports last week and here’s a look at how local squads fared:

Boys’ basketball

Deering’s boys’ basketball team was surging at press time. The Rams made it five wins in a row and improved to 7-1 with victories last week over visiting Gorham (57-45) and at Cheverus (67-48). In the Battle of the Rams, Manny Chikuta led the way with 20 points. At the Stags, Deering gradually pulled away and went on to the impressive victory. The Rams got scoring from eight players, were led by 17 points from Raffaele Salamone, 16 points from Ben Onek (who brought the house down with a slam dunk early in the contest) and 12 from Chikuta.

“It means a lot,” Onek said. “Cheverus is a really good team. We came out strong and finished and it felt great.”

“Anytime you come into a hostile environment, especially Cheverus, and win, it’s awesome,” Salamone said. “We knew it would be tough, but we came out with a ‘W.’ Every game we’ve had, we’ve come out with high intensity in the second half. It’s fun to keep that going.”

“We talk about our ceiling and where we could be and we took some steps there tonight,” added Deering coach Todd Wing. “We’ve played good segments throughout the season, but we haven’t put a full game together. Against a quality opponent, we did that tonight.”

The Rams are home with Thornton Academy Thursday (see theforecaster.net for game story), welcome defending AA South champion South Portland Saturday and go to defending AA champion Portland Tuesday of next week.

“These guys know it’s a four-game meat-grinder with no room to take a breath,” Wing said. “It’s on to the next game. This is what we want.”

Cheverus saw its three-game win streak snapped by Deering. The Stags had won earlier last week at Massabesic (56-45) and Bangor (58-44). Jesse Matthews led the way with 20 points against the Mustangs. In the win over Bangor, Jack Casale had 29 points and Matthews added 19.

In the loss to Deering, Cheverus got 23 points from Casale, but couldn’t keep up.

“They beat us fair and square, in every facet of the game,” Stags coach Ryan Soucie said. “Offensively, defensively, on the glass. They got to the free throw line and we didn’t. They’re aggressive. They come at you. They have depth.”

Cheverus is idle until Saturday when it hosts Bonny Eagle. Monday brings a trip to Noble.

Portland continues to cruise along. Last week, the Bulldogs rolled at Noble (87-41) and at Bangor (71-32) to improve to 6-1. Terion Moss had 23 points and Griffin Foley added 17 against the Knights. In the win over the Rams, Foley had 17 points and Charlie Lyall contributed 16. Portland hosted Scarborough Tuesday, visits Sanford Thursday and Gorham Saturday, then welcomes Deering in a showdown Tuesday of next week.

Defending Class C South champion Waynflete opened the new year with three straight wins to extend its streak to four games and improve to 6-1 on the season. The Flyers recently downed host Wells (45-40), visiting Traip Academy (56-33) and host Old Orchard Beach (57-39). Yai Deng had 17 points in the win over the Warriors. Against the Rangers, Christian Brooks had 14 points, Jack Meahl 12 and Deng 10. In the win over the Seagulls, Meahl had 18 points, Askar Houssein added 17 and Deng had 14. Waynflete was home with Greater Portland Christian School Tuesday, visits St. Dom’s Thursday, hosts defending Class B champion Lake Region Monday and welcomes rival North Yarmouth Academy Tuesday of next week.

Girls’ basketball

Cheverus’ girls’ team is coming off a triumphant and historic week, one which featured a dramatic overtime win over a rival, a first-ever victory over a nemesis and a strong performance after a long road trip.

The Stags first held off visiting Deering, 56-53, in overtime. Cheverus led most of the way, but the Rams rallied late to send the game to overtime before the Stags went on to the victory behind Emme Poulin’s 22 points.

Cheverus then went to Maine Girls’ Academy and while the “Holy War” officially ended when McAuley lost its religious designation and changed its name, the Stags were thrilled to finally beat the Lions for the first time, 56-32. Cheverus got points from 11 different girls, as Abby Cavallaro led the way with 19.

“We’re happy with the win and we’re happy we made history tonight,” Cavallaro said. “It’s a really cool win for us. We get to be part of the legacy and get to start a new trend. To come in here and make history is great for our confidence.” 

“It means a lot to me and the team,” said senior Ally Tillotson, who played for McAuley as a freshman and sophomore before transferring to Cheverus prior to her junior season. “It’s history. We’re coming in off a big win and we didn’t let up.”

“It’s important for the girls and the school,” added Stags coach Steve Huntington, who became the first of four coaches in program history to beat the Lions. “It might not be the same as before, but the smiles on the girls’ faces mean a lot. We made history, but it is just one game.”

Friday, Cheverus made the long trip to Bangor, where it won, 52-30, behind 20 points from Poulin.

The Stags (6-2) hope to extend their win streak to five when they go to Bonny Eagle Saturday. 

Deering got 21 points from Delaney Haines and a late basket from Amanda Brett in its overtime loss to Cheverus, then improved to 6-2 Saturday with a 60-41 win at Massabesic. Tasia Titherington had 17 points, Abi Ramirez 15 and Haines 14. The Rams were at Windham Tuesday, play at Thornton Academy Thursday and host Noble Tuesday of next week.

MGA fell to 2-5 after its 56-32 home loss to Cheverus. Catherine Reid had 12 points, but the Lions made just 6 of 19 foul shots and committed 22 turnovers.

“It’s tough,” Lions coach Billy Goodman said. “I love my girls. They play as hard as any team I’ve ever coached. They’re humble, they’re coachable, but the ball just doesn’t go in. They do everything a coach wants, so I can’t get upset with them.”

MGA was home with Marshwood Tuesday, hosts South Portland Thursday, goes to Windham Saturday, then visits defending AA champion Gorham Monday.

Portland fell to 0-9 after losing last week at home to Bonny Eagle (64-56) and at Bangor (69-44). Taylor Sargent had 11 points against the Rams. The Bulldogs are home against Scarborough Monday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and go to South Portland Monday of next week.

In Class C South, Waynflete was 3-5 at press time after sandwiching a 53-22 home loss to Wells and a 46-30 setback at Old Orchard Beach around a 37-32 victory at Traip Academy last week. Lydia Giguere had 12 points against the Warriors and 17 in the victory. Against the Seagulls, Annika Brooks had a team-high 10 points. The Flyers were home with GPCS Tuesday, go to St. Dom’s Thursday and welcome NYA Tuesday of next week.

Boys’ hockey

The Cheverus and Portland/Deering boys’ hockey teams met in the eighth annual “City Cup” last Monday at Troubh Ice Arena.

It took a mere 20 seconds for Colby Anton to score on a rebound to put the Stags on top to stay. With 10:12 to go in the first period, Alex Brewer added a rebound goal and after Portland/Deering got on the board midway through the first period, when Mason Martell tickled the twine, David Woodford finished the feed of junior Jesse Pierce for a 3-1 lead after one period.

Portland/Deering carried play in the second period and pulled within a goal when Cam King scored on a rebound, but that’s as close as it would get and the score remained 3-2 after two periods. Cheverus got some breathing room 1:27 into the third, capitalizing on a major penalty, as Pierce scored on the power play. Ryan McSorley added one final rebound tally with 1:30 remaining and the Stags prevailed, 5-2, their fourth straight win in the series, to take a 5-3 all-time City Cup lead.

“I’m a senior now and we’ve won it four times,” said McSorley, who won the William B. Troubh Award as Cheverus’ Most Valuable Player of the game. “It’s special to be here with this group and win. This game always has increased intensity and it never gets old.”

“The game has evolved really well,” Stags coach Dan Lucas said. “People have worked hard to get people to work hard, Portland, Cheverus, the ADs on both sides. Both schools were well supported.”

Cheverus improved to 4-3 Saturday with a 10-0 home win over South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport. The Stags don’t play another countable game until visiting Gorham Jan. 21. Cheverus is travelling to Chicago to take part in a tournament in the interim. 

Portland/Deering couldn’t generate enough offense in its loss to Cheverus.

“I didn’t plan on going 20-0 on the year,” Portland/Deering coach Jeff Beaney said. “We want to continue getting better. Hopefully a game like this will help us moving toward the playoffs. These kids stick together. They’re great kids and they play for each other.” 

Portland/Deering then improved to 5-1 after a 2-1 victory over South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport and a 5-3 win at Bangor. Cam King and Dylan Wike scored against the Red Riots. Portland/Deering hosts Scarborough Thursday and goes to York Monday.

The South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport co-op team was 1-5-1 at press time after recent losses to Portland/Deering (2-1) and Cheverus (10-0). After visiting Massabesic Saturday, the squad goes to Windham Monday.

Girls’ hockey

On the girls’ side, Cheverus (which also includes players from Kennebunk and Old Orchard Beach) was 4-6 at press time after beating Portland/Deering in the “City Cup” (9-3), winning at Biddeford/Thornton Academy (7-1) and losing at York (1-0). The Stags host Biddeford/Thornton Academy Saturday and play at defending South Region champion Scarborough Monday.

Portland/Deering fell to 1-8 with its loss to Cheverus. Portland/Deering is at Biddeford/Thornton Academy Wednesday, plays at Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland and goes to York Monday.

The Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/SP co-op squad was 4-5 at press time after overtime losses to Scarborough (2-1) and Lewiston (5-4). 

Track

The indoor track season continued last week with promising results.

Deering’s boys and girls both defeated Noble and Windham in their meet.

The Rams boys’ got wins from Songha Loth in the junior 55 (a new league record of 6.80 seconds) and junior 200 (24.58), Jerry Mixangelo in the junior 800 (2 minutes, 15.44 seconds) and open 600 (1:22.18), Mohamed Abdurahman in the junior 55 (10.05) and junior high jump (5 feet-2 inches), Josh Paisley in the junior shot put (tying the school record of 42-8), Luc Harrison in the senior 200 (24.64) and open pole vault (tying his own school record of 10-6), Jack Lynch in the senior 400 (54.58), Kevin Segal in the senior 55 hurdles (9.08), Ezra Chapola in the senior long jump (19-5) and senior triple jump (40-10.25), Yahya Nure in the open mile (4:48.79), Alec Troxell in the open two-mile (10;46.10) and their junior 4×200 (1:42.35), senior 4×200 (1:39.07), open 4×400 (3:48.34) and open 4×800 (9:58.58) relay teams.

First-place finishers from the girls’ team included Sreyly Sao in the junior 55 (8.19), Elinor Tierney-Fif in the junior 800 (2:53.72), Darcy Lally in the junior 55 hurdles (10.70) and open pole vault (8-0), Nicola Ciccomancini in the senior 55 (8.21), Annah Rossvall in the senior 200 (28.30), Elizabeth Erbe in the senior 800 (2:38.89), Caitlin Lally in the open 600 (1:36.80), Julia Lancia in the open mile (6:41.79), and their senior 4×200 (1:54.40) and open 4×800 (11:21.61) relay teams.

Portland did battle with powerhouse Scarborough and Bonny Eagle. The Bulldogs boys and girls both came in third.

Maggie Hosmer won the girls’ senior 800 (2:40.22) and Dylan Bolduc won the boys’ senior high jump (5-8).

Both Cheverus teams beat Biddeford, Gorham and Massabesic.

The boys got wins from Sean Tompkins in the junior 55 (7.19), junior 200 (26.98) and junior 400 (57.56), Bobby Slattery in the senior 200 (25.18) and Nolan Doherty in the open two-mile (11:21.02).

The girls got first-place performances from Emma Gallant in the junior 55 (7.81) and junior long jump (14-10), Julia Ryan in the junior 400 (1:11.35), Emma White in the junior 55 hurdles (9.92), Katelyn Gendron in the senior long jump (14-10.5) and senior triple jump (31-0) and their junior 4×200 relay team (1:56.36).

Swimming

Cheverus’ swim team continued its strong season Friday by sweeping Windham. The boys prevailed by a 90-60 margin, while the girls were victorious, 83-69.

The boys got wins from Ben Tompkins in the 200 freestyle (2 minutes, 00.34 seconds), Shane Moore in the 200 individual medley (1:58.68), Chase Cameron in the 50 free (25.17 seconds) and 500 free (5:23.06), Gustav Anderson in the 100 butterfly (1:01.86), Jeremy Baker in the 100 free (56.62) and their 200 medley (1:51.65) and 200 free (1:36.31) relay teams.

The girls got victories from Caroline Arpin in the 200 free (2:14.84)  and 200 IM (2:28.00), Lauren Girard in the 50 free (28.74) and 100 free (1:03.86), Abby Longstaff in the 100 fly (1:05.63), Patsy Ciampi in the 500 free (6:18.11) and their medley (2:05.14) and 200 free (1:56.53) relay teams.

The Stags are home with St. Dom’s Friday (Maine Girls’ Academy will take part in the girls’ meet) and host Portland Monday.

Deering was swept by South Portland Friday, as the boys fell, 92-67, and the girls were beaten, 95-84. The Rams are home with Cape Elizabeth Friday.

Portland’s boys defeated perennial powerhouse Greely, 101-57, Friday, while the girls lost to the Rangers, 78-66. The Bulldogs go to Scarborough Friday and visit Cheverus Monday.

Maine Girls’ Academy lost at Cape Elizabeth, 130-48. The Lions go to Cheverus Friday for a meet which also includes St. Dom’s.

Waynflete was swept by Scarborough in recent action. The Flyers boys lost, 57-20, and the girls were defeated, 107-58. Waynflete is back in action Jan. 19 versus Yarmouth. 

Skiing

Cheverus took part in a season-opening five-team Southwestern Maine Activities Association Alpine slalom meet last week. The boys were second to Marshwood, while the girls placed fourth. Schuyler Black was the top individual in the boys’ race (compiling a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 4 seconds). Annesley Black was first in the girls’ race (1:06.93).

On the Nordic side, city schools took part in a skate race at Stark’s Hill last week. Deering’s Caleb Niles was the individual winner (12 minutes, 31 seconds). Cheverus’ Michael Manetti had the sixth-best time (13:46.4). Portland came in third as a team and was paced by Koa Farnsworth, who was seventh overall and fourth for scoring purposes in 13:51.3.

Deering was runner-up in the girls’ race, as Ewka Varney placed fifth individually (15:30.6). Portland’s Elizabeth Thomas had the seventh-best time (16:55.2). 

Waynflete began its Western Maine Conference Nordic season last Wednesday with a skate race at Pineland Farms. The Flyers girls were fourth (Yarmouth came in first) and were led by Ellie Chidsey (seventh, 18:20). In the boys’ race, won by MC Waldorf, Waynflete didn’t score as a team, but Willson Moore was second individually in 13:06.

Wrestling

Portland’s wrestling team fell to 5-5 on the season last Wednesday after a 38-30 loss to Bonny Eagle. The Bulldogs go to Westbrook Wednesday.

Cheverus improved to 2-6 by winning at Scarborough, 33-29. The Stags go t0 Kennebunk Saturday, then host the Southern Maine Classic Monday.

Deering dropped to 1-7 after a 72-0 home loss to Noble. The Rams go to Essex, New Hampshire for a tournament Friday, then visit Cheverus Monday.

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.