(Ed. Note: The basketball season was recapped in last week’s edition)
Sports excitement came in many forms this winter. There were dramatic finishes on the ice and transcendent individual and team performances in swimming, wrestling, skiing and indoor track.
In boys’ hockey, South Portland’s co-op team with Waynflete and Freeport was ousted in the Class A South quarterfinals by Falmouth. Cape Elizabeth made a spirited run to the Class B South semifinals before dropping a one-goal decision to Gardiner. Scarborough, the defending Class A champion, came oh-so-close to going back-to-back, but lost a painful one-goal decision to Lewiston in the state final.
On the girls’ side, Scarborough also reached the state final and lost a close one to St. Dom’s. The Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland co-op team also qualified for the playoffs.
Scarborough’s boys’ indoor track team continued to set the bar, winning another Class A title, its fifth in six years. Several individuals also produced February greatness.
Scarborough’s swim teams had their best state meet showings in years, while Cape Elizabeth was once again very strong.
While there were no team championships in skiing and wrestling, individuals turned heads.
Here’s a last look back at the winter excitement that was.
Scarborough Red Storm boys’ indoor track, Class A
Scarborough Red Storm boys’ hockey, Class A South
Griffin Madden, Scarborough, Class A boys’ 55 hurdles
Sam Rusak, Scarborough, Class A boys’ high jump
Sam Rusak, Scarborough, Class A boys’ pole vault
Colin Tardiff, Scarborough, Class A boys’ mile
Juliana Selser, South Portland, Class A girls’ 800
Olivia Tighe, Cape Elizabeth, Class A girls’ 200 freestyle
Devon Lathrop, Cape Elizabeth, Class B boys’ giant slalom
5) Cape Elizabeth boys almost get over the hump
Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ hockey team was at its best at the end of the season, beating eventual top seeds Gardiner and Yarmouth to close the regular year. As the No. 6 seed in Class B South, the Capers then raced to a quick start and ousted third-ranked Brunswick in the quarterfinals. Cape Elizabeth then traveled to Lewiston to meet Gardiner again in the semifinals. Hoping to reach their first regional final since 2009, the Capers had their chances late to complete a comeback, but ultimately fell one goal shy. You get the impression, however, that Cape Elizabeth is very close to finishing the job. Stay tuned.
4) Cape swim teams fall just short
Both Cape Elizabeth swim teams wound up Class B bridesmaids this winter. The girls almost took home the title, but lost by seven points to Greely. Olivia Tighe did take home an individual crown in the 200 freestyle. The boys were also second, to Ellsworth, as several athletes contributed. Both Capers teams hope to leapfrog a spot next winter.
3) Scarborough girls’ swimmers make huge jump
After four straight seasons where it finished no higher than 14th at the Class A state meet, the Scarborough girls’ swim team found itself runners-up to Brunswick this winter after a fabulous performance. The Red Storm’s 400 free relay team (Charlotte Pratt, Jane Greenberg, Emma MacDonald and Hannah Griffin) set a new school mark in placing second to Brunswick. Scarborough was also second in the 200 free relay. All four girls scored big individual points as well, as Pratt was second in the 200 individual medley and runner-up in the breaststroke, Griffin placed third in the 100 free and fourth in the 200 free, MacDonald was third in the 500 free and fifth in the 200 free and Greenberg finished fourth in the 100 free and fifth in the 50 free.
2) State final heartbreak for Red Storm
Scarborough’s hockey teams suffered a double whammy of disappointment this winter, as both the boys and girls dropped close decisions in the state final. The Red Storm girls went 16-1-1 in the regular season, then downed York and Falmouth to get to the state final, not against the team everyone expected them to play, Greely, but instead, St. Dom’s. Scarborough’s quest for a championship fell just short, however, 2-1. The boys were looking for a second straight Class A title, but after giving legendary coach Norm Gagne his 700th career victory during a 13-2-3 regular season and after downing Massabesic, Cheverus and Falmouth to get back to states, the Red Storm surrendered a goal with 29 seconds left in regulation and lost a heartbreaker to Lewiston, 2-1.
1) Scarborough track continues its dominance
Scarborough’s boys’ indoor track program won state championships in the 1980s and 1990, as well as the 2000s, but this decade has produced the Red Storm’s greatest dominance of all. In February, Scarborough easily outdistanced the Class A field to win its fifth crown in six seasons. The Red Storm got wins from Sam Rusak in the pole vault and high jump, Colin Tardiff in the mile, Griffin Madden in the 55 hurdles in 7.79 seconds and their 4×800 relay team (Connor Doherty, Shamus Malia, Andrew Sholl and Tardiff), which set a new meet record in the process. There’s no end in sight for this dynasty.
Scarborough’s boys’ hockey team got to indulge in a regional championship celebration earlier this month, but the Red Storm’s dream of winning consecutive Class A titles was dashed by Lewiston in the state final.
Sami Shoebottom was once again the state’s finest girls’ hockey player and she led Scarborough to the state championship game.
Sam Loring and his Cape Elizabeth teammates enjoyed a runner-up showing at the Class B state swim meet.