Was Scarborough High’s 52-32 victory over Skowhegan on Saturday in the Class A girls’ basketball state championship game destiny?

Skowhegan hadn’t been in the state final since 1979, when it lost 80-42 to Westbrook. Leading the way for the Blue Blazes in that game was Lisa Blais, now Lisa Manning and the mother of Scarborough star Christy Manning, who had 12 points Saturday in the Red Storm’s win, including four in the final two minutes.

 

THE LAST time Scarborough girls’ coach Jim Seavey took a team to a state final, his Greely Rangers won the 2004 Class B championship.

Reminded that was the last time a Western Maine team had won a Class B girls’ title until Friday when York beat Nokomis, Seavey said: “That just shows how old I am.”

 

THE RIVALRY between Scar-borough and Skowhegan is pretty fierce. The schools met in last spring’s Class A softball title game (won by the Red Storm, 3-1), last fall’s Class A field hockey final (won by Scarborough, 2-1 in overtime), and now in basketball.

The school’s also met in the 2008 field hockey state final, won by the Indians in overtime.

And based on returning players, there’s a good chance the schools will meet again in softball this spring.

 

HEATHER CARRIER has played on all three of those title teams for Scarborough, while Brittany Ross and Ellie Morin also played on the field hockey team for the Red Storm.

Ross and Morin talked about going for a third championship in lacrosse this spring.

“That would be great,” said Ross.

Morin said both championships have a special place. She scored the winning goal in field hockey.

“The field hockey one was more intense and challenging,” said Morin. “We went into overtime, and to get a goal in field hockey is a little more challenging than to get a point in basketball. But the feeling’s just as good.”

 

CHEVERUS WON its second Class A boys’ championship in three seasons by controlling Edward Little for stretches of the game with its trademark defense.

Cheverus lost just one game, the regular-season finale against South Portland. The Stags elevated their game when it mattered the most: in a regional final win over Westbrook and in the state final against the Red Eddies.

Everything Cheverus does stems from its defense, which started at the point of its zone with 6-foot-3 Indiana Faithfull. When opponents went inside, they had to contend with the long arms of Alex Furness and Griffin Brady, both 6-5.

The Stags will lose seniors Faithfull and Kyle Randall, but next year’s team should be formidable. Brady, Furness and Louie DiStasio return as starters along with leading reserves Peter Gwilym, Cameron Olsen and Conner McNeil. And waiting for his chance is 6-foot-7 Matt Cimino, a freshman this season.

 

IN BEATING Camden Hills for the Class B boys’ championship Friday night, Falmouth went deep into its bench to overcome foul trouble and outlast the Windjammers in overtime, winning 72-65 at the Bangor Auditorium.

The reserves helped keep Falmouth from fouling out any starters while maintaining control of the game. Stefano Mancini, Jahrel Registe and John Roberts each finished with four fouls.

Camden Hills had two starters foul out, including its best player Tyler McFarland, who left with 8.3 seconds remaining in regulation after scoring 32 points.

Mike Lafond, Neil Axelsen and Mike Ryan, all of whom saw limited action this season, contributed to Falmouth’s win. Lafond made 1 of 2 from the free-throw line to break a 50-50 tie and give Falmouth the lead entering the fourth quarter, providing his team with a boost after the Windjammers had rallied from a 10-point deficit in the third quarter.

 

FALMOUTH WON its first state title since moving to Class B in 2000. The Yachtsmen won three straight Class C titles from 1997-99. When the class designations in high school basketball were L (large), M (medium) and S (small), Falmouth won a Class M state title in 1942.

 

FALMOUTH ASSISTANT coach Jamie Hilton was interviewed on TV and radio stations before the game. The head coach is usually interviewed, but Dave Halligan told Hilton, his top assistant, to replace him because he was hoarse.

Hilton was a good choice. Over the past few years, he’s stepped in and coached the Yachtsmen when Halligan was at national soccer coaches’ conventions.

 

THE YORK girls arrived early for their Class B final against Nokomis at the Bangor Auditorium.

They attended an early-afternoon shoot-around that they said was very beneficial.

“It helped a lot,” said freshman Emily Campbell, who had eight points. “Especially knowing where the rebound would go off the rim. It was very big for us.”

In addition to learning where the dead spots on the floor were, Nicole Taylor said the shoot-around was simply relaxing.

“We went on the floor, took some shots, played some (shooting) games,” she said. “We wanted to see what the atmosphere was going to be like. We had to be ready for that.

“It really lessened the stress.”

Coach Rick Clark said the girls walked to the top row of seats in the stadium, then went to Dysart’s for a team meal and returned to a motel for the afternoon.

“We rented rooms for the day,” he said. “Some girls went into a function room and played board games. Others went to their room and slept. We just relaxed for three hours.”

 

THE WILDCATS really enjoy going to Bangor for a championship game, especially in even-numbered years. York has won state titles at the Auditorium in 1992, 1994 and now 2010.

 

EMMA CLARK, York’s senior point guard, was also captain of the Wildcats’ championship soccer team.

“I think (the championships) are equally great,” she said. “I wouldn’t necessarily rank one over the other, but winning two in one year is unbelievable and almost unheard of. I’m really, really lucky to be able to do that.”

Clark almost wasn’t around at the end. While diving for a loose ball, she smacked her right cheek on the edge of the media table with 6:18 left in the third quarter.

“I wasn’t going to sit out, this is my last game,” said Clark.

 

WHEN BIDDEFORD took a 4-0 first-period lead against South Portland in a Western Class A boys’ hockey semifinal Saturday, it looked like the game could get out of hand. The Red Riots use only two lines and, against a deep team like Biddeford, were expected to fade.

But South Portland kept skating hard and played the Tigers almost evenly the last two periods, eventually losing 7-2.

“We knew they would be physical,” Biddeford Coach Rich Reissfelder said. “Usually that kind of peters out over time because they run out of gas. But that didn’t happen. I was very impressed with their energy level.”

 

THE YARMOUTH boys’ hockey team returns to the Western Class B final for the first time in eight years after Saturday’s 3-1 win over Camden Hills.

In preparation for the playoffs, Yarmouth Coach Marc Halsted invited former Clippers Coach Scott Matusovich to practice with the team in the days leading up to the regional semifinal.

Halsted succeeded Matusovich in 2005 but recognizes the mark he left on the program.

“Yarmouth High School hockey is great because of Scott Matusovich and Dave St. Pierre, the coaches before us,” Halsted said. “I’m proud to make people remember those times.”

 

SHAWN ROUSSEAU has heard the question before, so when the Thornton Academy boys’ hockey coach was asked how it felt to beat his brother, he gave a pained smile and sighed.

Thornton had just topped Scott Rousseau’s Falmouth team 4-1 in the Western Class A semifinals on Saturday.

“I’ve said this before,” Shawn Rousseau said. “Scotty and I understand that these games are not about us but the young men we serve. The truth is, as happy as I am for my team, there is a part of me that feels bad because I love my brother dearly. And I know what it is to lose in the playoffs.”