The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram » Sports http://www.pressherald.com Sun, 11 Dec 2016 04:42:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.3.6 Sports Digest: Seattle wins MLS Cup on penalty kicks http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/sports-digest-seattle-wins-mls-cup-on-penalty-kicks/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/sports-digest-seattle-wins-mls-cup-on-penalty-kicks/#comments Sun, 11 Dec 2016 04:42:47 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/sports-digest-seattle-wins-mls-cup-on-penalty-kicks/ SOCCER

Seattle wins MLS title, decided on penalty kicks

Roman Torres scored in the sixth round of penalty kicks to give the Seattle Sounders their first MLS Cup title, beating Toronto FC after 120 scoreless minutes Saturday night.

It was the first MLS Cup final to fail to produce a goal in regulation, setting the stage for a dramatic tiebreaker, which Seattle won 5-4.

PREMIER LEAGUE: Jamie Vardy ended a three-month goal drought in style when his hat trick led struggling champion Leicester to a 4-2 home victory over Manchester City.

It was Leicester’s first Premier League win since October and took Claudio Ranieri’s team four points clear of the relegation zone.

BOXING

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: Portland Boxing Club welterweight Josniel Castro lost a 5-0 decision to Quinton Randall, of Katy, Texas, in Friday’s semifinal of the USA Boxing National Championships at Kansas City, Missouri.

Castro lost the decision by one point on each of the judges’ scorecards.

Castro earned a top-10 spot in the welterweight’s division national rankings with his performance at nationals.

Castro started the tournament Tuesday with a 4-1 decision over Marcus Davidson of Kansas City, Kansas.

Castro then took a 4-1 decision over Angel Pacheco of Wilman, Minnesota, on Wednesday and a 4-1 decision against Joshua Moreno of San Antonio in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

GOLF

TEMPLETON SHOOTOUT: Harris English and Matt Kuchar won the Franklin Templeton Shootout at Naples, Florida, holding off Wisconsin friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly by a stroke.

English and Kuchar also won in 2013 in their first start together and finished second the last two years.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Sam Brazel of Australia shot a 3-under 67 in the third round of the Hong Kong Open to share a two-stroke lead with Rafa Cabrera Bello.

Cabrera Bello lost his three-shot lead after four bogeys and a double bogey. The Spaniard recovered with birdies on Nos. 15 and 17.

FATHER/SON CHALLENGE: David Duval and stepson Nick Karavites shot an 11-under 61 for a one-stroke first-round lead over Fred and Taylor Funk at Orlando, Florida.

WINTER SPORTS

WORLD CUP SKIING: Tessa Worley won her second straight giant slalom after first-run leader Mikaela Shiffrin struggled in her second trip down the 2006 Turin Olympics course in Sestriere, Italy.

With her 10th career giant slalom win, Worley matched the French record set by Carole Merle between 1988 and 1993.

Worley finished ahead of rising Italian skier Sofia Goggia and defending overall champion Lara Gut.

XC SKIING: Overall champion Martin Johnsrud Sundby of Norway won a 30-kilometer freestyle race and extended his lead in the overall standings at Davos, Switzerland.

Sundby was 13.7 seconds faster than teammate Anders Gloeersen to get his 27th career World Cup win.

– Staff and news service report

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Saturday’s high school roundup: Waynflete tops Sacopee Valley in boys’ basketball http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/saturdays-high-school-roundup-waynflete-tops-sacopee-valley-in-boys-basketball/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/saturdays-high-school-roundup-waynflete-tops-sacopee-valley-in-boys-basketball/#comments Sun, 11 Dec 2016 04:07:01 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1122254 Yai Deng scored 16 points and Jack Meahl added 15 as Waynflete opened its boys’ basketball season Saturday with a 67-38 victory over Sacopee Valley.

Asker Hussein, Abdullahi Mohamed and Abdirahim Mohamed each scored eight points for the Flyers, the reigning Class C South champions.

Waynflete outscored Sacopee 28-7 in the third quarter.

Brandon Sloan had 15 points to pace Sacopee, while Cameron Cyr added 12.

CHEVERUS 57, SCARBOROUGH 51: Will Shibles broke a 51-51 tie by sinking a pair of free throws with 48 seconds remaining as the Stags (2-0) edged the Red Storm (0-1) in Portland.

Four players scored in double figures for Cheverus: Jesse Matthews with 16, Jack Casale with 14, Shibles with 13 and Matt Duchaine with 12.

Morgan Pratt sank six 3-pointers and finished with 19 points for Scarborough. Reece Lagerquist added 10.

TEMPLE 49, SEACOAST CHRISTIAN 48: Joe Xu scored 22 points to lift the Bereans (1-0) to a win in Waterville.

Brad Smith added 13 points.

Sky Archer led Seacoast (0-1) with 13 points. Jesse Towne scored 11.

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

WAYNFLETE 38, SACOPEE VALLEY 29: Annika Brooks grabbed 15 rebounds and controlled the middle of Waynflete’s defense as the Flyers opened the season with a victory in Portland.

Lydia Giguere led Waynflete with 11 and Elspeth Olney added 10.

The Hawks were led by Helen Ruhlin with 13 points and Haiden Sawyer with 12.

TEMPLE 50, SEACOAST CHRISTIAN 22: The Bereans (1-0) raced to a 27-2 lead after one quarter on the way to a win over the Guardians (0-1) in Waterville.

Kiara Carr led Temple with 25 points, including a trio of 3-pointers. Veronica Rossignol and Selam Heinrich each added eight points.

Courtney Williams paced Seacoast with 14 points.

BOYS’ HOCKEY

GORHAM 4, CAPE ELIZABETH 1: Carter Landry scored twice and Jack Niles had a goal and two assists as the Rams beat the Capers in Gorham.

Gorham jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals from Niles and Landry.

Cape got on the board early in the second on a goal by Evan Concannon, assisted by Ethan Gillespie.

Landry put in his second goal three minutes into the third. Dominic Lorello completed the scoring with an empty-netter.

LEWISTON 5, CHEVERUS 3: Cole Ouellette flicked home the puck from a scramble in front of the Cheverus net for the go-ahead goal with 32 seconds left in the second period as the Blue Devils (1-0) beat the Stags (0-1) at Troubh Ice Arena.

Jeromy Rancourt had two goals and an assist for Lewiston, the reigning Class A state champion.

Ryan McSorley scored twice for Cheverus.

FALMOUTH 4, BIDDEFORD 3: Reece Armitage had two goals, and Robbie Armitage added a goal and two assists to lead the Yachtsmen past the Tigers in Biddeford.

Spencer Pierce turned aside 27 shots for Falmouth, while Biddeford goalie Owen Sullivan made 22 saves.

PORTLAND/DEERING 5, CONY/HALL-DALE/MONMOUTH 4: Don Tocci scored with 45 seconds left in overtime to give the Bulldogs a win over the Rams at Troubh Ice Arena.

ST. DOMINIC 6, THORNTON ACADEMY 2: The Saints scored four goals in the final nine minutes to beat the Trojans in a season opener in Auburn.

Thornton pulled into a 2-2 tie on a goal by Luke Chessie about five minutes into the third period, but Jacob Lewis put the Saints ahead again less than a minute later. Justin Keaney made it 4-2 just 35 seconds after the goal by Lewis, and Will Fletcher and Sam Blaisdell finished late scoring burst.

Thornton’s Chandler Bilodeau opened the scoring just two minutes into the game. Noah Toussaint tied it late in the first period, then made it 2-1 late in the second with a shot from behind the net that deflected off goalie Kyle Labbe.

POLAND/GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER/OAK HILL/LEAVITT 5, NOBLE/WELLS 1: Drake Goupil registered a hat trick in the first period and assisted on one of two third-period goals by Theo Mahaleris in a season opener in Rochester, New Hampshire.

Mahaleris also had a pair of assists.

Ethan Marsh scored from Kadin Lessard in the third period for Noble/Wells.

Ashton Dozois recorded the win with 26 saves, while Matt Burnham stopped 19 shots for Noble/Wells.

YORK 5, MASSABESIC/BONNY EAGLE/OOB 2: Thomas Carr scored twice and Julius Lundgren had a goal and two assists for the Wildcats in a win over the Mustangs at USM Ice Arena.

WATERVILLE 12, HAMPDEN ACADEMY 3: Justin Wentworth tied a school record with six goals as the Purple Panthers opened defense of their Class B state championship with an easy win over the Broncos at Alfond Rink.

GIRLS’ HOCKEY

FALMOUTH 12, GORHAM/BONNY EAGLE/WINDHAM 3: Reade Carmichael knocked home five goals and assisted on a sixth to lead the Yachtsmen (5-0) to a win over the Rams (2-3) in Falmouth.

Evie Clement added two goals and three assists, while Devon Sarazin had two goals and two assists. Abie Lebel also scored twice to go along with an assist, and Stone Carmichael netted the other Falmouth goal.

Celia Begonia tallied twice for Gorham. Sadie Denico also scored, with an assist from C.C. Cochran.

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College basketball: Villanova rallies to top Notre Dame http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/college-basketball-villanova-rallies-to-top-notre-dame/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/college-basketball-villanova-rallies-to-top-notre-dame/#comments Sun, 11 Dec 2016 03:27:22 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/college-basketball-villanova-rallies-to-top-notre-dame/ NEWARK, N.J. — Josh Hart scored a career-high 37 points and No. 1 Villanova rallied from an 11-point deficit to beat No. 23 Notre Dame 74-66 on Saturday at the Prudential Center.

Hart was the only Villanova (10-0) player to score double figures. He was 10 of 14 from the field, including 3 of 4 from behind the arc, and he made all 14 of his free throw attempts.

Matt Farrell and Steve Vasturia had 18 points each for Notre Dame (9-1).

(2) UCLA 102, MICHIGAN 84: T.J. Leaf scored 21 points, fellow freshman Lonzo Ball added 19 and the Bruins (10-0) shot 67 percent in a win at Los Angeles. Bryce Alford added 18 points and Aaron Holiday had 17 as the Bruins made 15 3-pointers.

(3) KANSAS 89, NEBRASKA 72: Frank Mason III had 18 points and seven assists without a turnover as the Jayhawks (9-1) cruised to a win at Lawrence, Kansas.

(5) DUKE 94, UNLV 45: Grayson Allen shot 75 percent from the field – including a perfect 7 of 7 in the second half – en route to a career-high 34 points as Duke (10-1) won at Las Vegas.

(8) GONZAGA 61, AKRON 43: Przemek Karnowski scored 14 points in a defensive battle at Spokane, Washington, lifting the Zags (10-0) to the best start in program history.

(9) INDIANA 103, HOUSTON BAPTIST 61: James Blackmon Jr. scored 18 points and Robert Johnson 16 as the Hoosiers (8-1) won at Bloomington, Indiana.

(11) LOUISVILLE 102, TEXAS SOUTHERN 71: Quentin Snider scored 15 points and V.J. King added 13 as the Cardinals gave Hall of Famer Rick Pitino his 400th victory as the Cardinals’ coach.

(13) XAVIER 77, UTAH 69: J.P. Macura scored 18 points as Xavier won at Cincinnati.

(15) WEST VIRGINIA 90, VMI 55: Daxter Miles Jr. scored a season-high 20 points as the host Mountaineers (8-1) gave Coach Bob Huggins his 799th career win.

(16) BUTLER 76, (22) CINCINNATI 65: Kelan Martin came off the bench to score 20 points for the Bulldogs (9-1) in a win at Indianapolis.

(17) WISCONSIN 93, MARQUETTE 84: Bronson Koenig scored 18 points to lead the Badgers at Milwaukee.

(18) PURDUE 77, CLEVELAND STATE 53: Isaac Haas scored 14 points to lead the Boilermakers (8-2) at West Lafayette, Indiana.

(20) ARIZONA 79, MISSOURI 60: The Wildcats (8-2) were led by Rawle Alkins with 19 points and nine rebounds in a win at Columbia, Missouri.

WOMEN

(2) NOTRE DAME 75, (16) DEPAUL 61: Arike Ogunbowale scored 13 of her 17 points in the first quarter as the Irish (9-1) won at Chicago.

(5) MISSISSIPPI STATE 72, SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI 50: Breanna Richardson scored a season-high 19 points in a win at Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

(7) FLORIDA STATE 93, UAB 47: Brittany Brown scored 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting as the Seminoles (10-1) won at Birmingham, Alabama.

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Anderson leads Maple Leafs by Bruins http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/anderson-leads-maple-leafs-by-bruins/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/anderson-leads-maple-leafs-by-bruins/#comments Sun, 11 Dec 2016 03:22:25 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/anderson-leads-maple-leafs-by-bruins/ BOSTON — Auston Matthews and Zach Hyman scored in the second period, Frederik Andersen made 32 saves and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Boston Bruins 4-1 on Saturday night.

James van Riemsdyk scored in the third for Toronto, which was 0-2-1 in its last three games.

Connor Brown added an empty-netter and Andersen improved to 6-0-0 in his career against Boston.

Brad Marchand had the Bruins’ goal, and Tuukka Rask stopped 16 shots.

Former Bruins defenseman Matt Hunwick had two assists.

Boston lost to Colorado, then the NHL’s worst team, on Thursday night at TD Garden and followed that by losing to the team that entered as the Eastern Conference’s last-place club.

Boston had earned points in 12 of its last 13 meetings against Toronto (9-1-3).

After getting just two shots on goal in the opening period, Toronto moved ahead on Matthews’ goal 1:44 into the second. The NHL’s No. 1 overall draft pick last summer took a pass from William Nylander and fired a wrist shot over Rask’s left shoulder.

Hyman redirected defenseman Jake Gardner’s shot from the slot, and the puck dipped and fluttered by Rask to make it 2-0 with 4:46 remaining in the period.

Marchand took advantage of a turnover behind Toronto’s net, slicing it to 2-1 with 1:21 left in the second. Andersen misplayed a clearing attempt, firing the puck off a player where it dropped next to the rear boards. He had a second chance to clear or cover it, but Marchand beat him to it, circled and put in his own rebound.

The Bruins had the best chance in the first period when David Pastrnak’s one-timer from the left point caromed off the left post early into the game.

Tyler Bozak’s shot was tipped in by van Riemsdyk midway into the third.

NOTES: The Bruins recalled forwards Noel Acciari and Danton Heinen from Providence of the AHL before the game and assigned F Anton Blidh to the AHL. … The first game between the two clubs was just over 92 years ago: Dec. 3, 1924, when the Toronto St. Pats beat the Bruins, 5-3.

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Boys’ hockey: Gardiner slips past Greely http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/boys-hockey-gardiner-slips-past-greely/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/boys-hockey-gardiner-slips-past-greely/#comments Sun, 11 Dec 2016 03:06:43 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/boys-hockey-gardiner-slips-past-greely/ HALLOWELL — Michael Poirier was keeping his Gardiner boys’ hockey team in its season opener. The senior goalie just needed a little bit of help from the offense.

Leave it to a family member to provide the boost.

Poirier made 27 saves and younger brother Matthew scored twice, including the winner, to lift the Tigers to a 3-2 victory over Greely on Saturday at the Camden National Bank Ice Vault.

“I think we played a little sloppy and undisciplined. We took way too many penalties,” said Gardiner Coach Sam Moore, whose team went 15-5-1 last season and reached the Class B South final.

“Michael really held us in the game and made some great saves. We were lucky to come out of it with the win, honestly. I honestly think we were.”

The Tigers broke a 2-2 tie in the third, thanks to the instincts of the younger Poirier. Greely was in the attacking zone when Matthew, a sophomore, stole the puck from Andy Moore and tore up ice for a breakaway.

“He opened up to shoot the puck and I just saw my opportunity,” Poirier said. “I poke-checked it, I saw open ice, and I skated as hard as I could.”

As he approached the net, Poirier first took the puck right, then carried it left after the goalie moved and buried the shot with 10:40 remaining.

“He’s really quick, he’s got soft hands, he’s good with the puck,” Moore said. “That was an awesome effort on Matt’s part to poke that puck away … and then have the composure to make a move and put it away.”

The Tigers killed six power plays. Poirier turned away Greely rushes and rebound tries, and made a big stop with 3:50 left when Jackson Williams carried the puck in and tried a shot from just in front of the crease. Williams lost his balance and collided with Poirier after the shot, but the goalie held on.

“The kids see the kind of effort that Michael puts out. Never says a word, never complains,” Moore said. “It’s hard for them not to go out and give 110 percent.”

The teams swapped goals in the first two periods. Greely struck first at 11:03 of the first after Poirier made a pair of impressive saves, stopping Matt Kramlich on a rush and then Caleb Duff on a rebound from the slot. The puck stayed in the zone, however, and Jake MacDonald took it into the right corner before finding Kramlich in the slot for a one-timer.

Gardiner answered at 13:44. Joe Clark took the puck close to the goal line on the right side before sending a pass through the slot, and Matthew Poirier was waiting on the other side of the net to bang it home.

The Tigers took their first lead at 5:34 of the second period. Clark again carried the puck into the right corner and sent a pass toward the slot, where Ryan Kelley was waiting to knock it in.

That lead didn’t last either, as Greely’s Jack Saffian fired a shot from the left side that kicked right to Peter Lattanzi, who sent it into the net at 8:49.

Greely Coach Barry Mothes liked the showing from his team, which went 6-12 last year.

“I thought the guys came in and played a pretty good hockey game tonight,” he said. “I think we’re disappointed that we kind of didn’t take care of a couple of pucks.”

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Bomb threat made to team plane carrying Celtics http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/bomb-threat-made-to-team-plane-carrying-celtics/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/bomb-threat-made-to-team-plane-carrying-celtics/#comments Sun, 11 Dec 2016 03:01:28 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/bomb-threat-made-to-team-plane-carrying-celtics/ OKLAHOMA CITY — A bomb threat was called into a charter flight carrying the Boston Celtics to Oklahoma City on Saturday afternoon, but police say the threat turned out to be a hoax, according to numerous media reports.

A plane landed at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City around 6:45 p.m. Saturday after a threat was made. A bomb squad searched the plane, but nothing was found.

Police say the hoax was one of many called into airports across the country Saturday. The threat, police said, was not specific to the Celtics.

The team was scheduled to land in Oklahoma City, and it was the nearest airport when the threat was called in. The threat did not re-route the team, but emergency crews greeted the plane on the tarmac.

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Red Claws cut through Nets http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/red-claws-cut-through-nets/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/red-claws-cut-through-nets/#comments Sun, 11 Dec 2016 02:19:41 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/red-claws-cut-through-nets/ Marcus Georges-Hunt has nothing but fond memories of his recent NBA Summer League experience with the Brooklyn Nets.

So when Brooklyn’s NBA D-League affiliate comes to Portland, Georges-Hunt sees plenty of familiar faces.

He also tends to play pretty well.

Georges-Hunt delivered 26 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds Saturday night to lead the Maine Red Claws to a 115-102 victory over the Long Island Nets before a crowd of 1,752 at the Portland Expo.

“There’s a little extra push,” Georges-Hunt said of playing the Nets. “They have a great staff, the whole organization is great. They treated me well, first-class. I learned a lot.”

In the home opener last month, also against Long Island, Georges-Hunt registered the 11th triple double in Red Claws history, with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists in a 114-98 victory.

Maine (9-3) has won five of its last six games. The short-handed Nets, who relied almost entirely on a seven-man lineup, fell to 2-11.

“They got hit with injuries pretty bad,” said Red Claws Coach Scott Morrison of the Nets. “Give credit to them for playing tough at times. They beat us in the second and the fourth (quarters). We just got lucky with shots at different times in the game, otherwise I thought it was a much closer game.”

Jalen Jones scored 17 of his 28 points in a first half that saw the Claws take an 11-point lead after one quarter (32-21), fall behind by five in the second, then rally for a 51-47 lead at intermission.

A pair of Coron Williams 3-pointers early in the third quarter put the Red Claws ahead 61-51. Yogi Ferrell, waived by Brooklyn on Thursday, answered with a 3 of his own before Georges-Hunt reeled off two successful drives, a free throw and a 3-pointer for a 17-point advantage that never again dropped into single digits.

“The first and third quarters, I thought we came out and defended better than we have this season, and rebounded better,” Morrison said. “The second and the fourth, we didn’t, but at least we showed some signs that we’re capable of improving on those two areas.”

Jones drained his first two 3-point attempts in the opening minutes, then spent much of the rest of the game driving hard to the basket.

“When I hit a couple 3s early, that helps open up other parts of my game,” Jones said. “I can shot-fake and get to the rim a lot easier.”

The game marked the Expo debut of Red Claws big man Dallas Lauderdale, recovering from foot surgery that caused him to miss the previous two seasons. Lauderdale, 28, played on the opening road trip to Texas and Oklahoma but strained his Achilles tendon.

He started both halves, playing six minutes each, and wound up with two steals, an offensive and a defensive rebound, and the game’s opening basket on the only shot he took, after a feed from Williams.

“It felt great,” Lauderdale said. “I’m looking forward to the next game. In fact, I’m looking forward to practicing (Sunday). There was a time when I’d have to take the next day, the next two days off. I’m looking forward to getting back at it on a more consistent basis.”

The teams meet again Wednesday night in New York.

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Louisville QB Lamar Jackson makes Heisman Trophy history http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/louisville-qb-lamar-jackson-wins-heisman/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/louisville-qb-lamar-jackson-wins-heisman/#comments Sun, 11 Dec 2016 02:13:07 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1122176 NEW YORK — Lamar Jackson leapt over a loaded field of Heisman Trophy contenders early in the season and by the time he slowed down nobody could catch him.

The sensational sophomore quarterback became the first Louisville player to win the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night, beating out preseason favorite Deshaun Watson of Clemson despite some late-season struggles.

Baker Mayfield finished third and Oklahoma teammate and fellow finalist Dede Westbrook was fourth. Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers was fifth.

Jackson, wearing a red velvet blazer with shiny black lapels, said he could feel his heart pounding in his chest right before his name was announced, and he barely held it together while giving his speech with the former Heisman winners standing behind him on stage.

“I almost cried,” Jackson said. “I never get emotional, but to have my name called and see all those great players …”

Watson, who finished third in Heisman voting last year, led a stacked group of contenders entering this season that included five of the top seven vote-getters in 2015.

Jackson outdid them all in his first season as Louisville’s full-time starter, accounting for 51 touchdowns and averaging 410 yards per game in total offense. He ultimately won going away, with 2,144 points to Watson’s 1,524. By percentage of possible points received, Jackson’s victory was the seventh largest in Heisman history, and he became the youngest winner at 19 years, 352 days, a few days younger than 2013 winner Jameis Winston of Florida State.

Jackson is the first Heisman Trophy winner to play on a team that lost its last two games of the regular season since Tim Brown of Notre Dame in 1987. He’s the first to enter the postseason without a chance to win the national title since Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M in 2012.

No matter. Jackson did so much before November it was difficult to deny him the award because of a couple of missteps at the end.

He provided a signature moment against Syracuse, hurdling a defender on his way into the end zone, and then played his best against Louisville’s toughest competition.

In a romp over Florida State and a close loss at Clemson, Jackson threw for 511 yards, ran for 308 and accounted for eight touchdowns. After ripping apart Florida State in September, he earned the stamp of approval from his idol, former Virginia Tech and NFL star Mike Vick.

“Each and every game should be a Heisman moment,” Jackson said.

Jackson left that Oct. 1 game in Death Valley as a threat to run away with the Heisman, but losses to Houston and Kentucky, when he committed four turnovers, in late November provided an opportunity for others to sway voters.

Watson made the biggest surge, but ultimately fell short.

Jackson continues a recent trend of breakout stars winning the Heisman. He is the sixth player to win the award as either a redshirt freshman or sophomore, all since 2007, joining Manziel (redshirt freshman), Jameis Winston (redshirt freshman), Mark Ingram (sophomore), Sam Bradford (sophomore) and Tim Tebow (sophomore).

Jackson came to Louisville as a three-star recruit from Boynton Beach High School in Florida. Some colleges were not sold on him as a quarterback, but Jackson was such a dynamic talented Louisville coach Bobby Petrino altered his offense to accommodate Jackson’s speed and elusiveness.

Jackson flashed brilliance as a freshman and showed what was to come in the Music City Bowl against Texas A&M. He had 453 total yards and led Louisville to a victory.

Still, with so many well-established stars from Watson and Mayfield to running backs Christian McCaffrey of Stanford, Dalvin Cook of Florida State and Leonard Fournette of LSU, Jackson entered the season without much fanfare.

Just the way he likes it.

Jackson spent this season adjusting to newfound fame, growing into the role of face of the team and trying to stay out of the spotlight. He said he cut down on trips to the mall to avoid the inevitable crowds he drew.

He is about to become even more popular. Especially back in Louisville, where he has another year before he can even consider his next big jump – to the NFL.

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Saturday’s Maine men’s college roundup: Maine hockey has no problem with AIC http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/saturdays-maine-mens-college-roundup-maine-hockey-has-no-problem-with-aic/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/saturdays-maine-mens-college-roundup-maine-hockey-has-no-problem-with-aic/#comments Sun, 11 Dec 2016 01:53:13 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1122156 ORONO — Chase Pearson and Blaine Byron each scored a pair of goals as the University of Maine men’s hockey team beat American International 7-2 on Saturday after Alfond Arena.

Maine (6-9-3) trailed 2-1 in the first period before scoring six straight goals.

Mark Hamilton gave the Black Bears a 1-0 lead, and Pearson scored later in the period to start Maine’s surge.

Pearson scored again in the second period, followed by a pair of goals by Byron. Nolan Vesey and Patrick Shea also scored for the Black Bears.

Shawn McBride and Hugo Reinhardt scored for AIC (3-7-6).

Rob McGovern stopped 22 shots to earn the win.

Maine also beat American International on Friday night, 5-3.

BOWDOIN 4, CONNECTICUT COLLEGE 3: The Polar Bears (6-4, 3-3 NESCAC) scored three times in a span of four minutes in the first period, then held on to beat the Camels (1-6-1, 1-4-1) in New London, Connecticut.

Cody Todesco scored twice in the first period and Jason Nawrocki added a goal.

Connecticut College cut it to 3-2 with goals from Brian Belisle and Jeff Thompson in the second period.

Bowdoin rebounded in the third when Todesco scored again. Belisle scored his second goal in the final minute for Connecticut College.

NICHOLS 3, UNE 1: The Bison (8-3-2, 6-1-2 Commonwealth Coast) scored in each period to beat the Nor’easters (5-5-1, 4-4-1) in Harrisville, Rhode Island.

Matthew Menta, Michael Parnell and Sean Swansen scored for Nichols. Dylan Bengtson scored in the third period for UNE.

TUFTS 3, COLBY 1: Brian Brown and Oliver Takaci-Nagy scored third-period goals to lift the Jumbos (5-2-1, 3-1-1 NESCAC) over the Mules (5-1-1, 4-0-1) in Malden, Massachusetts.

Nick O’Connor scored in the second period to give Colby a 1-0 lead, but Tyler Scroggins tied it later in the period.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

MAINE 73, DARTMOUTH 68: Wes Myers scored 27 of his career-high 31 points in the second half as the Black Bears (4-6) beat the Big Green (0-8) in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Myers is the first Maine player to score 30 points since Justin Edwards in 2012. He finished 9 for 14 from the field and 10 of 12 from the free-throw line.

Austin Howard added 23 points for Maine, which also got 23 points from its bench.

WESTERN CONNECTICUT STATE 102, SOUTHERN MAINE 98: Jauch Green knocked down three free throws in the final minute of overtime as the Colonials (6-2, 1-1 Little East) held on to beat the Huskies (4-5, 0-2) in Gorham.

Green scored six of his 19 points in OT.

Christian McCue scored 28 points for Southern Maine, while James Starks III scored 26 and grabbed 17 rebounds. Zach Leal finished with 20.

NEW ENGLAND COLLEGE 87, HUSSON 76: Raheem Anderson scored 31 points for Husson, but the Eagles (5-2) lost to the Pilgrims (7-2) in Henniker, New Hampshire.

BOWDOIN 85, UMAINE-FARMINGTON 63: Jack Simonds scored 30 points and the Polar Bears (5-3) cruised to a win over the Beavers (2-5) in Farmington.

Blake Gordon chipped in 14 points.

SOUTHERN MAINE C.C. 78, ALBANY COLLEGE OF PHARMACY AND HEALTH SCIENCES 76: John Morgan hit a jumper with 25 seconds left and the Seawolves (5-4) beat the Panthers (2-7) in Albany, New York.

Chase Soares scored 21 points for SMCC, while Ryan Cloutier added 18 and Dylan Silvestri had 11.

ST. JOSEPH’S 60, ST. JOSEPH’S (L.I.) 54: Marc Corey had 12 points and seven rebounds as the Monks (4-4, 2-1 GNAC) beat the Golden Eagles (1-7, 1-1) in Patchogue, New York.

Aaron Hall added 10 points for the Monks, who went on a 32-16 run in the first half to take control.

COLBY 55, BATES 54: Patrick Stewart completed a three-point play with one second left to give the Mules (5-4) a win over the Bobcats (5-3) in Lewiston.

Stewart finished with 15 points for Colby.

Marcus Delpeche scored 15 points and Jerome Darling had 11 points and 11 rebounds for Bates.

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Boys’ hockey: Yarmouth, Brunswick settle for tie http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/boys-hockey-yarmouth-brunswick-settle-for-tie/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/boys-hockey-yarmouth-brunswick-settle-for-tie/#comments Sun, 11 Dec 2016 01:32:23 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/boys-hockey-yarmouth-brunswick-settle-for-tie/ YARMOUTH — When Yarmouth and Brunswick skated to a 2-2 deadlock in a boys’ hockey season opener Saturday, at Travis Roy Arena the postgame reactions were far from alike.

The home team, coming off an appearance in last season’s Class B state championship game, expected more.

“We are definitely disappointed,” said Clippers Coach David St. Pierre. “For stretches of the game, I thought we played well. We had our chances and we had a lot of open looks.

“Honestly, I think this is one of those games that we will look back on and wish we had finished the right way.”

Brunswick, an up-and-coming squad that ended last year with a loss in the Class B South quarterfinals, was pleased with its effort. Jacob Doring’s goal with 2:28 remaining, while his team was on the penalty kill, enabled the Dragons to avoid a season-opening loss.

“(Yarmouth) played (for the) state championship last year, so (a tie against them) is a big benchmark for us to see how we are doing,” Brunswick Coach Bill Bodwell said. “I am never happy with a tie, but the way it happened, being down and scoring in the last minutes, I was a little worried.”

The late tally was one of a handful of short-handed opportunities for the visitors, including a two-on-one for Doring and Michael Deveaux while killing off a major penalty called with 2:58 left in the eight-minute overtime. Clippers goalie Dan Latham (19 saves) made an arm save on Deveaux’s wrister from the right circle.

“It’s always difficult with special teams at the high school level to have it click the way you want it to be clicking at the start of the season,” Bodwell added.

Both teams had odd-man rushes at the start of overtime. Doring and Deveaux had another two-on-one off the faceoff. Moments later, Yarmouth’s Bennett Travers intercepted a pass at his defensive blue line, setting up a scoring chance, but his shot was smothered by Brunswick goalie Riley Kirk (28 saves).

Yarmouth generated many opportunities during the abbreviated five-minute power play in overtime. A wrister from the slot by Bill Jacobs was saved by Kirk, who also stopped Dom Morrill’s rebound bid from in close.

Yarmouth got on the board 3:28 into the middle period. Morrill took a shot from the point and it deflected through a maze of players, but Kirk made the save. After Cooper May’s rebound was turned aside, Chris Romano buried the puck from the doorstep.

Brunswick answered 37 seconds later when Andrew Eno’s wrister from inside the left circle snuck past Latham. Alex Labbe registered the lone assist.

The Dragons almost grabbed their first lead with 4½ minutes gone in the third period when Doring raced around the net and fired a shot from the bottom of the left circle. The puck trickled toward the goal line, but Spencer King cleared it.

Yarmouth took the lead again with 6:46 left in regulation when the teams were skating four-on-four. Defenseman Owen Ramsay whipped a shot from the right boards that eluded Kirk.

“We absolutely felt we should have won,” said Romano. “In all honesty, this is a team we should beat. But things didn’t go our way today.”

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Saturday’s Maine women’s roundup: Unbeaten Bowdoin routs Bates http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/saturdays-maine-womens-roundup-unbeaten-bowdoin-routs-bates/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/saturdays-maine-womens-roundup-unbeaten-bowdoin-routs-bates/#comments Sun, 11 Dec 2016 01:12:34 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/saturdays-maine-womens-roundup-unbeaten-bowdoin-routs-bates/ BRUNSWICK — Kate Kerrigan led a balanced attack with 13 points as Bowdoin rolled to a 76-43 victory over Bates in a nonconference women’s basketball game Saturday afternoon.

Abigail Kelly contributed 12 points off the bench to go along with six rebounds. Her buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the first quarter capped a 10-0 run that gave Bowdoin (7-0) a 24-10 lead.

The Polar Bears, ranked 11th in NCAA Division III, went on a 13-3 run early in the second quarter to increase their lead to 22.

Madeline Foote scored 11 points and Bernadette Connors had 10 for Bates. Allie Coppola added six points and 13 rebounds.

The game did not count in the New England Small College Athletic Conference standings.

ST. JOSEPH’S 58, COLBY 47: Emily Benway scored 10 of her 26 points in the third quarter as the Monks (7-1) pulled away from the Mules (5-4) in Standish.

Benway added 13 rebounds, three assists and three steals, while Kelsi McNamara scored 15 points for the Monks, who got the game’s last eight points after leading 50-47 with 5:41 left.

Emily Davis scored 13 points to lead Colby. Katie McCrum had nine points, nine rebounds and five assists.

TUFTS 76, UNE 50: Michela North and Josie Lee each scored 13 points and the 13th-ranked Jumbos (8-0) pulled away early in the second half to beat the Nor’easters (6-3) in Biddeford.

North added 12 rebounds, five assists and three steals, while Melissa Baptista added 11 points. Tufts started the third quarter on a 13-2 run to push its 12-point halftime lead to 49-26.

Alicia Brown scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead UNE. Kristie McNail added 14 points off the bench.

WESTERN CONNECTICUT STATE 75, SOUTHERN MAINE 35: Jancy Sherwood scored 16 points, knocking down four 3-pointers, as the Colonials (5-3, 2-0 Little East) cruised to a win over the Huskies (2-7, 1-1) in Gorham.

Samantha Smith added 14 points off the bench, while Kaitlyn Labonte scored 12 points for Western Connecticut, which jumped out to an 18-3 lead after the first quarter.

Kimberly Howrigan had 10 points and eight rebounds to lead USM.

SOUTHERN MAINE C.C. 56, ALBANY COLLEGE OF PHARMACY AND HEALTH SCIENCES 50: Jennifer Conrad scored 20 of her 30 points in the second half as the Seawolves (3-6) held off the Panthers (5-4) in Albany, New York.

Conrad hit a 3-pointer with 5:01 left to gave SMCC a 49-46 lead. She also had eight rebounds and six steals.

WOMEN’S HOCKEY

MAINE 3, UNION 1: Tereza Vanisova scored twice, including the go-ahead goal four minutes into the third period, as the Black Bears (6-12-1) beat Union (2-16) in Orono.

Vanisova put Maine on the board in the second period, assisted by Jessica Vallotton and Brooke Stacey. Union got a goal from Caitlyn McLaren off a feed from Emily Erickson with just 22 seconds left in the period, but Vanisova struck again 4:18 into the third, converting a pass from Brooke Stacey.

Vendula Pribylova extended Maine’s lead six minutes later off a pass from Vanisova.

UNE 3, BECKER 2: Annie Mullen recorded a goal and an assist as the Nor’easters (5-6-1) opened the third period with three goals in a span of 2:21 to beat the Hawks (3-8-1) in Biddeford.

Michaela Martin gave Becker a 1-0 lead in the second period.

UNE pulled even when Gabby Crugnale scored on a tip in at 6:39. Mullen and Shannon Smith were credited with assists.

Just nine seconds later, Tatum Gietl scored on a wrist shot from the right circle after the puck was tapped ahead by Cassandra Connolly.

UNE added another goal at 9:00 when Mullen poked home a rebound during a power play after a shot by Smith hit the post. Kierra Wright also assisted on the goal.

Bailey Coons answered with a power-play goal at 12:25 to cut UNE’s lead to 3-2.

Sydney Helmbrecht made 13 saves for UNE, while Julia Johnson racked up 37 saves for Becker.

NORWICH 3, BOWDOIN 1: Adrieana Rossini put in the go-ahead goal 12:27 into the second period as the Cadets (8-1-1) beat the Polar Bears (4-1-2) in Brunswick.

Brooke Solomon’s power-play goal, assisted by Julie Dachille and Tala Glass, put Bowdoin ahead 3:47 into the second period. Sophie McGovern countered with a power-play goal just 45 seconds later.

Kerri St. Denis finished with 26 saves for Bowdoin.

HOLY CROSS 6, COLBY 2: Sam Girard broke a 1-1 tie with 31 seconds left in the first period, and the Crusaders (10-2) pulled away from the Mules (0-6-1) in Waterville.

Colby took a 1-0 lead 2:44 into the game. Kailey Buxbaum won a faceoff and pushed the puck forward to Delaney Flynn, who immediately fed Cassidy Holzer for a one-timer.

Holy Cross answered at 5:05 on a goal by former Leavitt High player Kara Violette.

The Crusaders built a 4-1 lead before Colby’s McKayla McLaughlin scored on a shot from the right point in the third period.

Former North Yarmouth Academy goalie Alex Barnes made 19 saves for Holy Cross.

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Major League notebook: Victorino, 36, two-time All-Star, may be near the end of career http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/major-league-notebook-victorino-36-two-time-all-star-may-be-near-the-end-of-career/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/major-league-notebook-victorino-36-two-time-all-star-may-be-near-the-end-of-career/#comments Sun, 11 Dec 2016 00:34:15 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1122110 Shane Victorino is not what you’d call the retiring type.

But he knows it is inevitable at some point, and that perhaps he has played his final Major League Baseball game.

“I want to go as long as I can, but I get it,” he said Friday.

Will he be at spring training in 2017, trying to make someone’s roster?

That’s the tentative plan.

But right now the answer from Victorino to that question, who turned 36 on Nov. 30, is the same as everyone else’s.

“I don’t know yet,” he said.

He is hopeful, but in limbo. That’s been the status of the two-time All-Star and World Series champion since he was released from the Cubs’ Triple-A team in May.

He’s been working out at his home in Las Vegas for what he hopes will be a 13th MLB season after sitting out nearly all of last year following a few minor league games.

He had mixed emotions as he watched the Cubs’ win the World Series, knowing he could have been a part of it.

“It was hard,” he said. “It was hard to watch. Hardest (postseason) except for making the last out in the ’09 Series.”

That was with the Phillies, the year after he helped them win it all. He did it again in 2013 with the Red Sox, his grand slam in Game 6 of the ALCS propelling Boston to the World Series.

But since then, he’s batted .245 (30 points below his lifetime average) while playing in just 30 games with Boston in 2014 and 71 combined with the Red Sox and Angels in 2015.

Back and hamstring injuries sent him to the disabled list.

TWINS: Minnesota said minor league pitcher Yorman Landa has died in Venezuela. He was 22.

The club did not say how he died, but local media reports say it was in a car accident in the state of Miranda.

The Twins said in a statement Saturday they are “deeply saddened by the heartbreaking loss.”

Landa had been on the 40-man roster but was dropped after the season. The organization signed him to a minor league contract last week.

Landa pitched this season with Fort Myers of the Class A Florida State League.

He went 2-2 with seven saves and a 3.24 ERA in 412/3 innings. His career minor league ERA was 2.66.

Landa was signed by the Twins in 2010 as a 16-year-old from Santa Teresa, Venezuela.

ASTROS: A 20-year-old Cuban pitcher has agreed to a minor league contract with Houston that includes a $2 million signing bonus.

The agreement involving left-hander Cionel Perez is part of the last international signing period without a cap on bonuses.

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White Sox won’t rush Kopech http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/white-sox-wont-rush-kopech/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/white-sox-wont-rush-kopech/#comments Sun, 11 Dec 2016 00:32:50 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/white-sox-wont-rush-kopech/ NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — If people have compared new Chicago White Sox prospect Michael Kopech to Mets All-Star Noah Syndergaard, he can understand why.

They’re both tall, young, right-handed Texans who leave their golden locks flowing under their baseball caps as they fire triple-digit fastballs.

“It’s hard not to compare a 6-foot-4-plus, long blond hair, hard-throwing pitcher to another one,” said Kopech, who is shorter than his 6-6 counterpart. “There are not many of us.

“At the same time, I don’t want that to be my ceiling, no disrespect to him. I want to kind of set my own limits. I would like to see what those are for myself. I’m not big on comparisons, but that’s not a bad person to be compared to.”

After acquiring him from the Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade Tuesday at the winter meetings, the White Sox wouldn’t mind if Kopech, 20, reached the heights Syndergaard, 24, has in two seasons with the Mets – 23-16 record, 384 strikeouts in 3332/3 innings.

But that’s still a little ways off.

White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn said MLB.com’s 30th-ranked prospect could start the season at Class A Winston-Salem, but is likely to hit Double-A Birmingham sometime in 2017.

Kopech was drafted 33rd overall out of high school in 2014 and has compiled a 2.61 ERA with 172 strikeouts and 69 walks over 1342/3 innings. He made headlines this summer when his fastball was clocked at 105 mph in a minor league game.

But what he needs in 2017 is to put together a full minor league season free of off-the-field drama.

Kopech was suspended 50 games in 2015 for violating the minor-league performance-enhancing drug policy by testing positive for a stimulant. At the beginning of the 2016 season, he broke his pitching hand in a fight with a teammate. Hahn said the White Sox delved into the issues while evaluating Kopech before the trade.

“We got comfortable with what led up to the background and the back story behind him,” Hahn said. “There is still a fair amount of development left for him given the missed time and where he finished the season, but he did perform extremely well in the Arizona Fall League, which sort of reinforced those projections we have for him.”

Kopech returned from the injury in July to put up a 2.25 ERA in high Class A before moving on to the AFL, where he said he worked on his fastball command and changeup. He said the second half of the year was important to prove he can be the pitcher teams want him to be.

“Bottom line is you can’t take anything for granted,” Kopech said. “I’ve missed too much time, in my opinion. This half of the year was very important for me. I needed to show people that I’m still out here to compete and get better.

“I put a little bit of pressure on myself, maybe a little too much, but overall it strengthened my mentality, the second half of the year. That matured me quite a bit and put me in a good mind-set to compete for a big-league spot sooner than later.”

Kopech said the trade left him “shocked.” But he also is excited to see what the White Sox can do with their new load of prospects.

“It’s an opportunity for me and for all of us,” he said.

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LeGarrette Blount a big part of Patriots’ plan http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/legarrett-blount-a-big-part-of-patriots-plan/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/legarrett-blount-a-big-part-of-patriots-plan/#comments Sun, 11 Dec 2016 00:28:02 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1122103 The Baltimore Ravens have faced – and contained – a number of big running backs so far this season.

But the New England Patriots (10-2) will present a slightly different challenge on Monday night.

There was Oakland’s 6-foot-3 Latavius Murray (19 yards in a 28-27 Raiders win), 6-1 Le’Veon Bell of the Steelers (32 yards in a 21-14 Ravens win) and 6-1 Jeremy Hill of the Bengals (21 yards in a 19-14 Ravens win).

But at 250 pounds, LeGarrette Blount will be the heaviest running back the Ravens (7-5) will have faced this season.

“A 250-pound running back is pretty tough to tackle,” quarterback Tom Brady said. “Obviously when he gets away from people they never really catch him. So he’s got great speed and agility.

“They really don’t know how to tackle him. He jumped over guys. He’s run over guys. And I think he makes great decisions when he’s in the open field. So he’s done a lot of great things.”

The top-ranked rushing defense has not faced a tailback with that much girth since, well, Blount in New England’s 35-31 win on Jan. 10, 2015 in an AFC divisional playoff game.

The Ravens say they are not overly concerned about the size of Blount. The defense that allows the fewest rush yards and is tied for second with the Patriots for fewest points allowed at 17.2 per game (Seattle allows a league best 16.2 per game) is ready.

“We’ve played against bigger backs, and he’s just like every other back,” inside linebacker C.J. Mosley said. “A couple more hats might have to be on him, but we’ve just got to wrap him up and gang-tackle him.”

Added defensive end Lawrence Guy: “He’s a good running back. We have to eliminate the run with our packages and … play as a group.”

Blount, who turned 30 on Monday, has scored an NFL-best 13 rushing touchdowns and needs just one more to tie Curtis Martin for the franchise record. He also is just 43 yards shy of his second 1,000-yard campaign (first the New England) and is on pace to finish with a career-high 1,276 yards.

Blount’s “a big, physical, downhill, tough runner,” said Ravens Coach John Harbaugh.

Blount’s workload – he’s already carried the ball a career-high 230 times, exceeding his 201 when he ran for 1,007 yards as a rookie with Tampa Bay in 2010 – doesn’t figure to decrease any as the temperature drops.

“He’s had some big games this time of year,” said Brady. “It’s tougher if you get wet weather or cold weather, it certainly gets harder to tackle and he’s hard to tackle, anyway, being that he’s 250 pounds. It’s tough to bring him down.”

Mosley said the defense got a taste of that type of tailback in a 38-6 rout of the Miami Dolphins. Although the 6-0, 229-pound Jay Ajayi was limited to 61 yards on 12 carries, he did show off some shifty moves to avoid tackles and the kind of strength to power through stops.

“It kind of showed where we were because we definitely missed some tackles, especially in that first quarter,” Mosley said, referring to a pair of runs for 14 and 19 yards in the opening quarter. “I missed some, (inside linebacker) Zach (Orr) missed some, I saw the DBs had a few missed tackles. It just puts another emphasis this week on wrapping up.”

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Commentary: Giants-Cowboys Part II: A new chapter http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/commentary-giants-cowboys-part-ii-a-new-chapter/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/commentary-giants-cowboys-part-ii-a-new-chapter/#comments Sun, 11 Dec 2016 00:21:17 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1122097 Looking back at the first meeting between two NFL division rivals is usually an instructive exercise. The past is, after all, prologue, right?

Looking back at the first game between the Giants and Cowboys – teams that will clash once again Sunday night at Met Life Stadium – is like digging into ancient history. The only thing you find there are the bones of Eli.

First of all, the game was a full three months ago. The first debate between Donald and Hillary was two weeks away. Now how long ago does that seem?

But the more significant takeaway from that game is that it has almost nothing to do with what’s likely to transpire on Sunday, where the Cowboys are hoping to inch closer to securing the No. 1 seed in the NFC and the Giants just want to keep slim hopes alive in the division race.

Yes, New York won that first meeting. And the Giants certainly would like to believe there is relevance in that. But, as we all know, that game marked the NFL debuts for Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. Prescott wasn’t bad, but the Cowboys weren’t yet ready to hand him the keys to the offense and see what he could do. Elliott was just making up for missing training camp and averaged 2.5 yards per carry.

Can the Giants hold him to anything close to his season-low 51 yards again? The loss of their key pass rusher and general disrupter, Jason Pierre-Paul, won’t help the home team.

But this is a Giants team that has grown younger as the season has gone along, which seems impossible until you realize that new coach Ben McAdoo has worked rookies and second-year players into key roles.

That includes safety Andrew Adams, an underrated rookie who was on New York’s practice squad in September. That includes Paul Perkins, former Pac-12 rushing champ at UCLA and a fifth-round pick in April, who became featured while veteran Shane Vereen was out.

Even veteran Victor Cruz has lost playing time to rookie Roger Lewis.

So the Giants’ rookies aren’t as heralded or accomplished as Dak and Zeke, but they have helped keep their club atop the wild-card standings while staying barely alive in the NFC East.

Really, the only constant from the last meeting to this one is Eli Manning. And he has become a constant in this rivalry. This will be his 25th start against Dallas. He has thrown for more than 6,000 yards against the Cowboys while his team has gone 12-12 in the series.

If this is a big game, how does Eli’s big-game reputation fit into this story? Yes, the man has two Super Bowl rings, each trip requiring four postseason victories culminating with an upset win over the New England Patriots.

The Cowboys have beaten Manning’s team as often as they have lost, but he has been very good late in the season. In fact, the Giants have won the last four December and January meetings between the two. That includes the playoff upset at Texas Stadium after the 2007 season that ignited the Giants’ first Super Bowl run with Manning at the helm.

Do the Giants gain from that Manning experience? Certainly he has weapons capable of attacking this Dallas defense, led by Odell Beckham Jr. And there’s no question that New York needs this victory more than the Cowboys. But does that even matter?

This Cowboys team has run off a franchise-record 11 straight wins not by ignoring the opposition, but by focusing on their own path and their own growth.

Prescott shook his head this past week when he described some of the passes he missed in going 25 for 45 against the Giants.

The rookie has endured just one game since (Philadelphia) in which he completed less than 65 percent of his passes after being held to 56 percent against New York.

And no one has come close to containing Elliott to 2.5 yards per carry or to a long run of 8 yards since that opening night.

So the Cowboys have plenty to prove regarding the ancient history of that first meeting. And it’s up to Manning to show that the Giants’ late-season winning streak over Dallas is as meaningful as the Cowboys’ current streak that dates to a long-ago night in Arlington.

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NFL notebook: New York activates Vereen from injured reserve http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/nfl-notebook-new-york-activates-vereen-from-injured-reserve/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/nfl-notebook-new-york-activates-vereen-from-injured-reserve/#comments Sun, 11 Dec 2016 00:14:54 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/nfl-notebook-new-york-activates-vereen-from-injured-reserve/ The New York Giants activated running back Shane Vereen off injured reserve on Saturday.

Vereen, who has not played since he injured his right triceps in Week 3 of this season, will be available to play in this week’s critical NFC East game against the Cowboys

Giants Coach Ben McAdoo said the final decision on Vereen would be made by the medical staff after Saturday’s practice. Vereen had been making progress in his two weeks of practicing with the team.

To make room on the roster, the Giants waived offensive lineman Adam Gettis.

Vereen tore his triceps on Sept 25 against Washington. He was placed on injured reserve two days later and underwent surgery. Each NFL team is permitted to activate one player off injured reserve during the season.

Vereen had 59 catches for 494 yards and four touchdowns last season.

He could add a spark to an offense that has been stumbling all season. The Giants averaged 364.2 yards a game through their first six games, which tied them for 13th in the NFL.

Since that point, only the Browns and Rams have had worse offensive production than the Giants, who have seen their average plummet to 327.4 yards a game, 26th in the rankings. They gained just 296 and 234 yards in their last two games.

PATRIOTS: Receiver Danny Amendola has been declared out for Monday night’s game against Baltimore.

Amendola suffered an ankle injury in last week’s win over the Rams.

Tight end Martellus Bennett, with ankle and shoulder injuries, is listed as questionbable along with safety Jordan Richards (knee), linebacker Elandon Roberts (hamstring), cornerback Eric Rowe (hamstring), and receiver Matthew Slater (foot).

COWBOYS: Receiver and return specialist Lucky Whitehead won’t play against the New York Giants for an unspecified violation of team rules.

The team announced Saturday Whitehead didn’t make the trip for the Cowboys’ rematch with the only team to beat them this season.

Whitehead has been the primary returner on punts and kickoffs, averaging 8.8 yards on 19 punt returns and 23.8 yards on 10 kickoff returns.

JETS: New York waived/injured safety Antonio Allen and signed linebacker Freddie Bishop from the practice squad.

Allen had been ruled out against San Francisco on Sunday with a concussion after being injured during New York’s 41-10 loss to Indianapolis last Monday night.

JAGUARS: Jacksonville placed tight end Julius Thomas and defensive end Jared Odrick on injured reserve, ending their seasons.

Thomas missed the past two games with a back injury. He finishes the season with 30 catches for 281 yards and four touchdowns.

He will end up sitting out 11 games in two years since signing a five-year, $46 million contract that included $24 million guaranteed with the Jaguars (2-10).

BROWNS: Cleveland signed cornerback Jamar Taylor to a three-year contract extension.

Taylor has made 10 starts in his first season with Cleveland, which acquired him in a trade on draft day with Miami.

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Army shocks Navy, 21-17 http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/army-shocks-navy-21-17/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/army-shocks-navy-21-17/#comments Sat, 10 Dec 2016 23:45:34 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/army-shocks-navy-21-17/ BALTIMORE — The Army football team and its fans around the world can finally rejoice.

No longer will they have to listen to barbs from Navy or lament another missed opportunity in the biggest game of the year.

At long last, The Streak is over.

Army ended a 14-year run of frustration against the Midshipmen, using an overpowering running game and opportunistic defense to carve out a long overdue 21-17 victory Saturday.

With future commander in chief Donald Trump looking on, the Black Knights blew a 14-point lead before quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw scored on a 9-yard run with 6:42 left to give Army the win it had been waiting for since 2001.

The Black Knights’ 14-game losing streak was the longest by either academy in a series that began in 1890. Army (7-5) now trails 60-50-7 in one of the nation’s historic rivalries.

“We heard for a long time here at West Point about the streak and all that,” Army Coach Jeff Monken said. “It feels good to be a part of the team that put that to an end.”

Navy (9-4) was coming off a physical 34-10 loss to Temple in the American Athletic Conference title game and had only one week to prepare for Army with a new quarterback, sophomore Zach Abey, who was making his first college start. Abey took over for Will Worth, who broke his foot against Temple.

Abey ran for two touchdowns but passed for only 89 yards and was intercepted twice. Navy had four turnovers, three in the first half.

“I take a lot of responsibility for the game,” Abey said. “Obviously, in the first half I made some bad decisions. I feel horrible for the seniors.”

This senior class at Navy has accounted for 37 wins, most ever at the Academy over a four-year period. But they’ll never forget this defeat.

“It hurts a little bit. It hurts a lot a bit,” senior receiver Jamir Tillman said. “We will take this loss into the offseason and use this as inspiration and run with it.”

That was a mantra chanted by the Black Knights for the past 14 years. Not anymore.

“I’m just happy for our seniors,” Monken said. “The sense of pride that they’ll have to go on, having beaten Navy, having beaten our biggest rival in their senior year. It’s great for everybody in that locker room. I want them to enjoy it.”

By halftime, Army led 14-0 and owned a 14-1 advantage in first downs.

After watching from the Navy side of the field before halftime, Trump visited the TV booth on the Army side in the third quarter. The interview with the president-elect coincided with a big shift in momentum.

“In the second half we made some adjustments, and those helped us out pretty well,” Navy defensive end Amos Mason said.

Andy Davidson lost a fumble on the Black Knights’ first possession of the second half and the Midshipmen recovered at the Army 32. A screen pass for 16 yards set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Abey to get Navy to 14-7.

Minutes later, the Midshipmen got a field goal after a replay overturned a lost fumble by Abey at the Army 11.

A 41-yard touchdown run by Abey gave Navy the lead with 12:42 remaining. But Army wasn’t done.

The Black Knights put together a 12-play, 80-yard drive that lasted nearly seven minutes and ended with Bradshaw’s TD.

“It was a great feeling,” the junior quarterback said. “I can’t describe it. It just felt amazing. Our team worked really hard for this to happen today.”

Bradshaw went 2 for 4 for 35 yards and an interception in Army’s first win in Baltimore since 1944.

Davidson ran for 87 yards and two first-half scores, and Kell Walker carried 16 times for 94 yards.

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Women’s basketball: UMaine tops Dartmouth http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/womens-basketball-umaine-tops-dartmouth/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/10/womens-basketball-umaine-tops-dartmouth/#comments Sat, 10 Dec 2016 20:16:08 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1121948 BANGOR — The early focus for this University of Maine women’s basketball team is quickly getting its talented freshmen into the flow of the college game.

But don’t forget the one starting senior.

When the Black Bears find themselves needing a clutch play, they still turn to Sigi Koizar. Even the opponents know it.

“She is their go-to player,” Dartmouth forward Andi Norman said. “She makes things happen. Late in the game, that’s who they’re getting the ball to.”

Koizar, a 5-foot-8

guard, scored 10 points in the fourth quarter Saturday afternoon, including her team’s last six, to lead the Black Bears to a 60-55 win over Dartmouth before a crowd of 1,538 at Cross Insurance Center.

The Big Green trailed by as much as 16, but closed to within two points with 1:24 left on an inside drive by center Olivia Smith, a 6-2 junior from Yarmouth.

Koizar came down the floor, saw a seam and drove through traffic for a layup. Dartmouth never got closer.

Maine has won back-to-back games for the first time and is 5-5, while the Big Green dropped to 3-5.

The Black Bears are using the nonconference portion of the schedule to blend in seven freshmen, three of whom start, and three others who are the first players off the bench.

“I feel like a team mom sometimes, so proud of my little freshmen,” Koizar said, drawing a laugh from freshman teammate Laia Sole.

“I remember when we started playing, there was a lot of stuff we didn’t know. We were quitting on plays a lot. Now we’re a lot better at playing through mistakes, and also making less mistakes.

“Laia has really stepped up out of the freshmen group, and having her as a leading scorer is very important for us, especially to have that post presence.”

Sole, 6-foot-2, equaled Koizar with 15 points. She made 6 of 7 shots, despite receiving plenty of attention from the Dartmouth defense. Smith picked up two fouls in the first quarter trying to defend Sole.

“We didn’t want her to have so many touches,” Dartmouth Coach Belle Koclanes said. “We tried to front her, but again she was just stronger … and she got our veteran post player in foul trouble.”

Another Maine freshman, guard Blanca Millan scored 14 points, making 4 of 7 from 3-point range.

Dartmouth went crazy with 3-pointers – 11 for 26 – for a couple reasons. The Big Green have shooters, led by Norman (26 points, 7 of 13 3s), and Maine made it tough to score inside.

“Every day we are getting better (on defense),” Sole said. “But we have to work because we don’t have the chemistry we need to.”

Maine also outrebounded Dartmouth 34-27, limiting the Big Green to four rebounds on the offensive end.

Maine took a 33-22 halftime lead and extended it to 46-30 in the third quarter.

But Dartmouth adjusted, making extra passes to find an open shooter. The Big Green closed to 48-41 by the end of the third quarter.

“We kept chipping away,” Norman said.

With Dartmouth trailing 54-47, Smith drove inside and then kicked the ball out to Norman for a 3-pointer. Smith followed with a driving layup.

Then the Black Bears looked to Koizar.

“Everyone in the program knows that at the end of the game, we’re going to get the ball to Sigi,” said Maine assistant coach Edniesha Curry, subbing for ailing head coach Richard Barron at the postgame press conference (Barron coached the game).

After Koizar’s layup, Maine forced a turnover on a shot-clock violation. Koizar iced the victory with four free throws.

NOTES: Dartmouth dined Friday night in Yarmouth with Smith’s family. … Smith, who played at McAuley High, is a starter for the first time, averaging seven points and five rebounds. “She has incredible potential and incredible talent. We’re still trying to pull it all out of her,” Koclanes said. … Maine plays its next six games on the road, returning to Bangor Jan. 7.

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Friday’s girls’ roundup: Gorham triumphs as basketball title defense begins http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/fridays-girls-roundup-gorham-triumphs-as-basketball-title-defense-begins/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/fridays-girls-roundup-gorham-triumphs-as-basketball-title-defense-begins/#comments Sat, 10 Dec 2016 04:48:19 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/fridays-girls-roundup-gorham-triumphs-as-basketball-title-defense-begins/ WESTBROOK — Mackenzie Holmes scored 24 points for Gorham, the defending Class AA girls’ basketball state champion that opened its season Friday night with a 64-26 victory against Westbrook.

Friday was the opening night for high school basketball in Maine.

Jacqui Hamilton and Emily Esposito each added 10 points for Gorham, which led 14-6 after the first quarter, 31-13 at halftime and continued to pull away.

Julia Symbol led Westbrook with 12 points, all on 3-pointers. Logan Tibbetts scored nine points and Mikayla Van Zandt grabbed eight rebounds.

OLD ORCHARD BEACH 36, NORTH YARMOUTH ACADEMY 26: Brianna Plante finished with 10 points for the Seagulls, who opened with a 10-0 run at Yarmouth.

Maggie Strohm added six points for Old Orchard, which led 19-10 at halftime.

Katherine Larson led the Panthers with 10 points.

SOUTH PORTLAND 58, MAINE GIRLS’ ACADEMY 29: Meghan Graff scored 20 points to lead the Red Riots at South Portland.

Graff scored 16 of her 20 points in the first half. South Portland led 14-1 after the first quarter and 32-12 at halftime.

Sarah Boles added seven points with the only 3-pointer for the Red Riots.

Jill Joyce led the Lions with 10 points.

LINCOLN ACADEMY 58, MARANACOOK 18: Gabrielle Wajer had 10 points, six assists and five steals for the Eagles at Damariscotta.

Brianna Genthner added six points for Lincoln, to go with seven rebounds and a pair of steals.

Grace Despres led Maranacook with eight points.

HIGHVIEW CHRISTIAN 48, GREATER PORTLAND CHRISTIAN 28: Cassidy Lessner scored 26 points to lead the Knights at Bangor.

Megan MacDonald added 14 points.

Grace Mears had eight points to lead Greater Portland Christian.

LAKE REGION 32, WELLS 29: Kristen Huntress scored all of her 11 points in the second half, including six in the fourth quarter as the Lakers rallied at Naples.

Lauren Jakobs added eight points for Lake Region, which trailed 16-11 at halftime and 23-20 through three quarters.

Halee Ramsdell had 12 points for Wells. Taryn Lambert added nine.

DEERING 52, PORTLAND 31: Tasia Titherington scored 22 points, knocking down six 3-pointers to lead the visiting Rams at Portland.

Amanda Brett added 18 points for Deering, which led 25-10 at halftime.

Shayla Eubanks scored 10 points to lead Portland.

BRUNSWICK 65, MORSE 30: Sabrina Armstrong scored 30 points to go with 10 rebounds and four assists for the Dragons at Brunswick.

Madeline Suhr added 15 points, 10 rebounds and eight steals for Brunswick, which led 22-3 after the first quarter.

Sierra Wallace scored 10 points for Morse.

FRYEBURG ACADEMY 32, YORK 31: Zoe Bodwell scored all five of her points in the fourth quarter, including a 3-pointer with five seconds remaining to give the Raiders their only lead of the second half in a victory at Fryeburg.

After a 12-12 halftime tie, York, the defending Class A champion, opened the third quarter with a 9-0 run, but Fryeburg chipped away.

Kaylin Delaney led the Raiders with seven points, Mackenzie Buzzell added six and Nicole Bennett tossed in five.

Martha McCaddin led the Wildcats with six points.

GARDINER 68, MEDOMAK VALLEY 30: Lauren Chadwick scored 17 points as the Tigers won at Waldoboro.

Leslie Stevens added 13 points, and Mary Toman had 10 points and nine rebounds for Gardiner, which outscored Medomak 24-6 in the third quarter to open a 54-24 lead.

Chelsea Ripley scored 14 points to lead the Panthers.

GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER 46, YARMOUTH 35: Brianna Jordan scored 16 points as the Patriots pulled away at Yarmouth.

Alicia Dumont added 10 points for Gray-New Gloucester, which hit nine free throws in the fourth quarter.

Cory Langenbach scored 16 points, and Allison Clark added eight points and 11 rebounds for Yarmouth.

GREELY 78, CAPE ELIZABETH 45: Anna DeWolfe had 31 points, eight assists and five rebounds as the Rangers won at Cumberland.

Brooke Obar added 15 points, four rebounds and four assists for Greely, which led 41-24 at halftime.

Erin O’Rourke scored 20 points to lead Cape Elizabeth.

WATERVILLE 46, CAMDEN HILLS 44: Jordan Jabar scored 21 points to lead the Purple Panthers at Rockport.

Mackenzie St. Pierre added 13 points for Waterville.

Charlotte Messer paced Camden Hills with 17.

KENNEBUNK 41, FALMOUTH 34: The Rams held Falmouth to three points in the third quarter after trailing 21-18 at halftime, taking the lead for good and winning at Kennebunk.

Gabby Fogg scored 15 points for Kennebunk. Maran Oakman tossed in eight points, and Sierra Tartre had five points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals.

Adelaide Cooke led Falmouth with 13 points. Grace Soucy chipped in with 10.

POLAND 40, FREEPORT 20: Nathalie Theriault scored 21 points as the Knights breezed at Freeport.

Jessica Seely added 13 points for Poland.

Caroline Smith had seven points for Freeport.

LEAVITT 53, MT. ARARAT 40: Sophia Gilbert scored 21 points as the Hornets held on at Turner.

Elizabeth Goulet added 10 points for Leavitt, which took a 20-7 lead after the first quarter.

Nikki Bradstreet and Taylor Wienckoski each scored nine points to lead Mt. Ararat.

 

CHEVERUS 53, NOBLE 38: Abby Cavallaro scored 17 points to lead the Stags at North Berwick.

Cavallaro hit two 3-pointers in the first quarter, and eight Stags scored in the first half on the way to a 31-14 lead.

Amy Fleming led the Knights with eight points, including two 3-pointers.

LISBON 56, HALL-DALE 28: Elana Russell scored 21 points, including three 3-pointers, as the Greyhounds won at Farmingdale.

Kalin Le added 18 points for Lisbon.

Sabrina Freeman had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Hall-Dale.

VALLEY 49, BUCKFIELD 18: Haven Mayhew scored 17 points and Hallie Miller added 10 as the Cavaliers prevailed at Buckfield.

Kendra Sweet scored nine points for Valley. Emily Swartz led the Bucks with five points.

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NBA roundup: Cavaliers overpower Heat http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/nba-roundup-cavaliers-overpower-heat/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/nba-roundup-cavaliers-overpower-heat/#comments Sat, 10 Dec 2016 04:47:54 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/nba-roundup-cavaliers-overpower-heat/ CLEVELAND — LeBron James scored 27 points to move into ninth place on the NBA scoring list, and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Miami Heat 114-84 on Friday night.

James passed Elvin Hayes on a driving layup with 6:58 remaining and has 27,315 career points. The four-time MVP was removed about a minute later and received a loud ovation from the Cleveland crowd.

Kevin Love, who was questionable because of back spasms, scored 28 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers. He missed the morning shootaround but was in the lineup after warming up on the court about an hour before tip-off.

Kyrie Irving added 23 points for the Cavs, who have won three straight after losing three in a row.

Derrick Williams scored 17 points for the Heat, who have lost four straight.

ROCKETS 102, THUNDER 99: James Harden scored 21 points, and visiting Houston overcame Russell Westbrook’s seventh consecutive triple-double to beat Oklahoma City.

Harden also had 12 assists and nine rebounds to help the Rockets win their fifth straight.

Westbrook finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. It was Westbrook’s 12th triple-double this season and the 49th of his career. He is the NBA’s active leader in the category and ranks sixth overall.

The Thunder had won the previous six games during Westbrook’s triple-double binge.

PISTONS 117, TIMBERWOLVES 90: Andre Drummond had 22 points and 22 rebounds for his second straight 20-20 game and Detroit cruised in Minneapolis.

Marcus Morris added 15 points and seven rebounds and the Pistons had their way with Minnesota’s struggling defense, hitting 14 of 29 3-pointers.

Andrew Wiggins scored 16 points and Karl-Anthony Towns had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Wolves, who have lost seven of their last eight games.

MAVERICKS 111, PACERS 103: Wesley Matthews matched a season high with 26 points, Harrison Barnes scored 25 and Dallas won at Indianapolis for just its third victory in 15 games.

Matthews outscored the Pacers during a 32-11 spurt that turned a 50-42 deficit into a 74-61 lead, scoring 16 points.

Paul George had 22 points for the Pacers.

HAWKS 114, BUCKS 110: Dennis Schroder scored a career-high 33 points and Atlanta rallied from 20 down in the second half at Milwaukee.

Paul Millsap added 23 points and 14 rebounds, and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 18 points.

Jabari Parker scored 27 points for Milwaukee.

HORNETS 109, MAGIC 88: Nic Batum and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist each had 16 points, and Charlotte routed visiting Orlando for its third straight victory.

Kemba Walker contributed 15 points in limited action.

Evan Fournier had 14 points for Orlando.

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NHL roundup: Blue Jackets win fifth straight http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/nhl-roundup-blue-jackets-win-fifth-straight/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/nhl-roundup-blue-jackets-win-fifth-straight/#comments Sat, 10 Dec 2016 04:43:15 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1121861 DETROIT — Brandon Dubinsky scored a tie-breaking goal in the second period and the surging Columbus Blue Jackets won their fifth straight game, 4-1 over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night.

Lukas Sedlak got his first NHL goal for the Blue Jackets, who have earned at least a point in 12 of their last 13 games. Cam Atkinson contributed a short-handed goal in the first period for Columbus.

Dylan Larkin’s power-play goal in the second was the only scoring of the night for the Red Wings. Sergei Bobrovsky had 32 saves for the Blue Jackets.

Sam Gagner scored into an open net with 13.9 seconds left.

RANGERS 1, BLACKHAWKS 0: Nick Holden scored 55 seconds into overtime, Antti Raanta made 26 saves against his former team and New York won at Chicago.

Derek Stepan passed from the boards to a streaking Holden in the middle of the ice, and he beat Scott Darling on the stick side for his fourth goal of the season.

CAPITALS 4, SABRES 1: T.J. Oshie and Marcus Johansson each scored a goal, Philipp Grubauer made 27 saves and Washington won at Buffalo for its third straight victory.

Jakub Vrana and John Carlson also scored, helping Washington beat Buffalo for the third time in 15 days.

Kyle Okposo scored and Robin Lehner made 25 saves for Buffalo.

WILD 3, OILERS 2: Eric Staal scored on a backhand deke in the sixth round of a shootout and Minnesota won at home.

Matt Dumba and Jason Zucker scored in regulation for the Wild. Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had goals for the Oilers.

BLUES 4, DEVILS 1: Robby Fabbri scored twice and Vladimir Tarasenko had three assists, lifting the St. Louis to a win at Newark, New Jersey.

Tarasenko had eight of St. Louis’ 32 shots on goal, while Ryan Reaves and Jaden Schwartz also scored for the Blues. Jake Allen stopped 20 shots and won for the ninth time in 10 starts.

NOTES

COYOTES-MAPLE LEAFS: Arizona acquired center Peter Holland from the Maple Leafs for a 2018 conditional draft choice. The 25-year-old had an assist in eight games with Toronto this season.

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Friday’s boys’ roundup: Cheverus wins in overtime in basketball http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/fridays-boys-roundup-cheverus-wins-in-overtime-in-basketball/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/fridays-boys-roundup-cheverus-wins-in-overtime-in-basketball/#comments Sat, 10 Dec 2016 04:40:10 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/fridays-boys-roundup-cheverus-wins-in-overtime-in-basketball/ SANFORD — Matt Duchaine hit a 3-pointer late in overtime Friday night to give Cheverus a 51-49 victory against Sanford in an SMAA boys’ basketball opener.

Friday was the opening night of high school basketball in Maine.

Brad Bouchard of Sanford hit a 3-pointer in the waning seconds of regulation to send the game to overtime.

Jack Casale had 20 of his game-high 23 points in the second half for Cheverus. William Shibles added eight points.

Bouchard finished with a team-high 20 points for the Spartans, including six 3-pointers. Ethan Belanger added 16 points, going 7 of 10 from the foul line.

GREATER PORTLAND CHRISTIAN 63, HIGHVIEW CHRISTIAN 43: Jeremiah Hammond scored 13 of his team-high 19 points in the first quarter as the Lions opened a 25-0 lead after the first quarter at Bangor.

Jeffrey Macomber scored nine of his game-high 24 points in the second quarter as the Knights pulled within 35-15 at halftime. Macomber finished with six 3-pointers.

Mason Jones added 17 points for the Lions.

BRUNSWICK 65, MORSE 37: Nathan Benoit scored 14 of his game-high 19 points in the first quarter as the Dragons cruised at Brunswick.

Corban Teel added 15 points and 11 rebounds for Brunswick, which led 34-14 at halftime. Dakota Freeman scored 17 points with five 3-pointers to lead Morse.

DEERING 62, WINDHAM 41: JeanClaude Butera scored nine of his 12 points in the second quarter as the Rams opened a 39-18 halftime lead at Windham.

Emmanuel Chikuta led Deering with 13 points. Raffaele Salamone added 12, including 8 of 14 from the foul line.

Nick Curtis led Windham with 12 points. Mike Gilman had 11.

TRAIP ACADEMY 57, ST. DOMINIC 42: Shane MacNeil scored a game-high 14 points to lead the Rangers at Kittery.

Andrew Davis added eight points with two 3-pointers for Traip, which outscored St. Dom’s 15-2 in the first quarter. Ethan Bosse scored five points to lead the Saints.

BONNY EAGLE 58, NOBLE 49: Zach Maturo scored a game-high 25 points and the Scots used a 7-0 run to open the second half at Standish.

The score was 25-25 at halftime. Brandon Davis scored 12 points to lead Noble, and Tyler Oliver and Luke Carlock each added 10. Will Hendrix added 12 points for Bonny Eagle.

FALMOUTH 69, KENNEBUNK 46: Colin Coyne nailed seven 3-pointers and scored 36 points to lead the Yachtsmen at Kennebunk.

Falmouth led 20-6 after the first quarter and 40-25 at halftime. Coyne scored 26 points in the first half, connecting on six 3-pointers.

Cameron Lovejoy led the Rams with 25 points and three 3-pointers.

POLAND 48, FREEPORT 43: Curtis Lane scored a game-high 18 points and the Knights used a 15-2 run midway through the fourth quarter to rally past the Falcons at Poland.

Caleb Hodgkins added 11 points and gave Poland its first lead of the fourth quarter on a bucket with under a minute left to make it 44-43.

Nate Chouinard added 11 points for the Knights, who trailed 35-28 after three quarters. Toby Holt scored 13 points to lead Freeport.

BOOTHBAY REGION 59, MOUNTAIN VALLEY 56: Carter Babcock had 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Seahawks at Boothbay Harbor.

Elijah Gudroe sealed the victory, hitting two free throws in a 1-and-1 situation with 15 seconds remaining to put the Seahawks ahead by four.

Keegan Davis led the Falcons with 23 points and hit five 3-pointers. Jacob Blanchard added 22 points.

WELLS 60, LAKE REGION 47: Cam Cousins had 16 points and seven rebounds to lead the Warriors at Wells.

The Warriors led 14-6 after the first quarter and 47-31 by the start of the fourth.

Matt Sherbourne added four points and seven steals for Wells.

Tyler Walker led the Lakers with 19 points.

YARMOUTH 61, GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER 41: Jonathan Torres and Gibson Harnett combined to score 11 of the 17 third-quarter points for the Clippers, who pulled away from a 27-27 halftime tie at Yarmouth.

Torres and Harnett finished with 13 points each for Yarmouth. Noah Eckersley-Ray added 10.

John Martin scored a game-high 18 points for Gray-New Gloucester, including three 3-pointers. Josiah Rottari and Hunter Colby each chipped in six points.

LINCOLN ACADEMY 69, MARANACOOK 67: Cody Tozier had a pair of buckets and Nathan Simmons was 3 of 4 from the foul line in overtime as the Eagles won at Newcastle.

Trailing by four with about 30 seconds to play in regulation, Kyle Wilbur hit two free throws to cut the deficit to two for Maranacook, which then forced a turnover. With five seconds left, Wilbur hit a runner to force to overtime.

Tozier led the Eagles with 29 points, going 11 of 17 from the foul line. Nathan Masters added 13 points and Keyden Leeman chipped in 10.

Wilbur finished with a game-high 32 points. Hayden Ellwell added 12.

YORK 52, FRYEBURG ACADEMY 35: Trevor Labonte scored a game-high 26 points, including 9 of 9 from the foul line, as the Wildcats cruised at York.

Jackson McCarty had nine points for York.

Cody Gullickson scored seven points and Tucker Buzzell tossed in six for Fryeburg.

BIDDEFORD 68, MASSABESIC 42: Patrick Pearl scored a game-high 19 points as the Tigers won at Waterboro.

Issac DesVergnes scored 15 points for Massabesic. Zion Mercado added 14.

OCEANSIDE 53, ERSKINE ACADEMY 41: Nate Raye scored a game-high 23 points to lift the Mariners at South China.

Cooper Wirkala added 12 points for Oceanside. Jack Jowett led Erskine with 18 points. Noah Bonsant chipped in 10.

HALL-DALE 72, LISBON 66: Jett Boyer scored 35 points and hit seven 3-pointers, helping the Bulldogs to win in overtime after Lisbon erased a 10-point fourth-quarter lead at Lisbon Falls.

HOCKEY

KENNEBUNK 2, SOUTH PORTLAND 0: Jacob Simikak scored twice for the Rams at Biddeford.

Simikak’s first goal came with 23 seconds remaining in the second period from Justin Wiggins.

With 5:47 remaining in the game, Simikak added his second goal on a power play from Miles Eaton.

Spencer Desrochers recorded 17 saves for the shutout. Joe Grant stopped 19 of the 21 shots he faced for South Portland.

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Friday’s college roundup: Power play fuels Maine’s win http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/fridays-college-roundup-power-play-fuels-maines-win/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/fridays-college-roundup-power-play-fuels-maines-win/#comments Sat, 10 Dec 2016 04:32:18 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/fridays-college-roundup-power-play-fuels-maines-win/ ORONO — The University of Maine scored five power-play goals – three by freshman Chase Pearson – on the way to a 5-3 win over American International in a men’s hockey game Friday night.

The Black Bears (6-9-3), who entered the game just 10 for 91 on the power play this season, went 5 for 7 against the Yellow Jackets (3-7-6). Three of those goals came in a span of 5:20 in the second period as Maine snapped a 2-2 tie. Pearson got the go-ahead goal, classmate Patrick Holway made it 4-2, and Pearson completed his hat trick at 16:51.

Mitchell Fossier, another freshman, tied the game at 2 with 10 seconds left in the opening period.

Fossier and Pearson share the team lead with eight goals.

Blaine Byron and Cam Brown each contributed three assists. Matt Morris made 26 saves for the Black Bears.

COLBY 1, CONNECTICUT COLLEGE 1: Colby (4-1-1, 3-0-1 NESCAC) got a first-period goal from Michael Rudolf but settled for a tie against the Camels (1-5-1, 1-3-1) in New London, Connecticut.

After Rudolf’s unassisted goal 2:49 into the game, Colby held its 1-0 lead until Jeff Thompson tied it with 6:59 left in regulation.

Colby goalie Andrew Tucci recorded 27 saves.

BOWDOIN 4, TUFTS 0: Thomas Dunleavy scored twice to lead the Polar Bears (5-4, 2-3 NESCAC) over the Jumbos (5-2-1, 3-1-1) in Malden, Massachusetts.

Dunleavy opened the scoring 3:22 into the game. Christian Capello added a goal with 8:09 left in the period.

Austin Ricci put the Polar Bears ahead 3-0 early in the third, and Dunleavy scored on a power play with 17:19 remaining.

Bowdoin goalie Peter Cronin recorded 43 saves.

WOMEN’S HOCKEY

MAINE 2, UNION 1: Catherine Tufts scored both goals for the Black Bears (5-12-1) in a win over Union (2-15) at Orono.

Tufts opened the scoring at 5:09 of the first, assisted by Emilie Brigham and Nicole Arnold.

Jordi Naidrich tied it 5:45 into the second period, but Tufts put the Black Bears ahead again just 29 seconds into the third. Brigham and Lydie Murray were credited with assists.

Carly Jackson turned aside 27 shots for Maine.

BOWDOIN 2, UNE 1: Julie Dachille’s power-play goal with 4:56 to play gave the Polar Bears (4-0-2) a win over the Nor’easters (4-6-1) at Brunswick.

Dachille converted a rebound after UNE goalie Sydney Helmbrecht stopped a shot from the right point by Maegan Sheehan.

Madeline Hall put Bowdoin ahead with a rebound goal at 6:21 of the second period, after Helmbrecht made back-to-back saves on shots by Tala Glass.

UNE tied it late in the second period with a power-play goal from Gabby Crugnale, assisted by Shannon Smith.

Helmbrecht finished with 36 saves. Bowdoin’s Sophia Lattanzio stopped 17 shots.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

(10) CREIGHTON 113, LONGWOOD 58: Marcus Foster and Khyri Thomas scored 16 points apiece for the Bluejays (10-0) in a rout against the Lancers (2-5) at Omaha, Nebraska.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

(15) KENTUCKY 61, MIDDLE TENNESSEE 48: Taylor Murray had 16 points and seven rebounds, Evelyn Akhator got her sixth double-double of the season, and the Wildcats (7-2) beat the Blue Raiders (2-4) in Lexington, Kentucky.

FOOTBALL

JAMES MADISON 65, SAM HOUSTON STATE 7: Khalid Abdullah and Trai Sharp combined for 285 yards rushing and five touchdowns and the fourth-seeded Dukes (12-1) advanced to the FCS semifinals with a over fifth-seeded Sam Houston State (12-1) at Harrisonburg, Virginia.

James Madison will play the winner of Saturday’s matchup between five-time defending champion North Dakota State and South Dakota State.

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Boys’ basketball: Greely handles Cape Elizabeth http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/boys-basketball-greely-handles-cape-elizabeth/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/boys-basketball-greely-handles-cape-elizabeth/#comments Sat, 10 Dec 2016 03:37:55 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/boys-basketball-greely-handles-cape-elizabeth/ CUMBERLAND — Matt McDevitt and Ryan Twitchell each notched a double-double as Greely beat Cape Elizabeth 62-44 in a Class A boys’ basketball season opener Friday night.

McDevitt scored 13 points to go with 11 rebounds. Twitchell collected 10 points, 10 rebounds and four steals.

“We know we have a small team,” said McDevitt, “so we know we have to work real hard when a team has a big man like (Andrew) Hartel, we really need to box out and go after those rebounds hard. I think we did a good job of that today.”

McDevitt, a 6-foot-6 senior, also added three assists and two steals.

“(McDevitt) is such a tough matchup for everyone because he can go inside (or) out. He can handle the ball pretty well,” said Greely Coach Travis Seaver.

McDevitt got help on the boards from Twitchell.

“Since we’re small, we need to box out on the perimeter, too; that was the biggest thing,” said Twitchell.

Senior guard Jordan Bagshaw paced Greely’s offense with 20 points.

“(Bagshaw) is a great shooter; we always look for him when we can,” said McDevitt. “He did a great job today. He played strong, he played his game. I was really proud of him.”

The Rangers jumped out to an 18-9 lead at the end of one quarter, with Twitchell scoring six points. Greely grabbed six offensive rebounds in the quarter and finished the game with 12 offensive rebounds.

“Our kids work hard every single day. Effort is not something we really have to worry about,” said Seaver.

Cape Elizabeth trailed 35-21 at halftime but opened the second half with a 7-1 run.

“We just needed to settle down,” said Seaver. “It was the first game, it’s something we need to work on and we’ll get better at. We’re going to rely on a lot of our experience to be able to come through a lot of those things.

The Rangers answered Cape’s run by with an 11-4 surge to end the third quarter.

Finn Bowe, a 6-4 junior guard, led Cape Elizabeth with 17 points.

Greely had a big edge in free throws, making 20 of 24, while Cape Elizabeth was 2 for 4.

“It’s really just all five guys we put on the floor and even guys that come off the bench,” said Seaver. “They feed off each other. That’s the thing that I hope makes us tough, that they really play well together.”

The game was originally scheduled to be played in Cape Elizabeth but was moved because court repairs in Cape’s gym, after water damage caused by a sprinkler accidentally going off, aren’t yet complete.

“We have great fans here, nice and loud,” said Twitchell. It just helps get us going throughout the whole game.”

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Celtics go cold in second half, fall to Raptors http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/celtics-go-cold-in-second-half-fall-to-raptors/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/celtics-go-cold-in-second-half-fall-to-raptors/#comments Sat, 10 Dec 2016 03:18:02 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1121785 BOSTON — Not too many teams have been able to outshoot the Raptors this season. The Celtics were the latest to try and fail.

Kyle Lowry scored 21 of his season-high 34 points in the second half to help Toronto hold on for a 101-94 victory over Boston on Friday night.

Toronto erased an eight-point halftime deficit and led by as many as 11 in the fourth quarter. The Celtics pulled within four in the final minute, but Al Horford fouled Lowry on a 3-point attempt with 30 seconds to play. Lowry made all three free throws to help close out the victory.

DeMar DeRozan added 24 points, and Norman Powell had 20. The Raptors have won eight of their last nine.

“I don’t think we’ve had a tough game in that sense of having to come back and fight,” Lowry said. “But we’ve done it before so I think our team is equipped to handle the pressure situations that’s going on. We just kept going at it.”

Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas sat out his second straight game with a strained right groin. Marcus Smart started in his place, but struggled to keep up with Lowry down the stretch.

Horford and Avery Bradley each had 19 points to lead Boston.

Boston had nine 3-pointers in the first half and used a 13-0 run in the second quarter to take a 14-point lead. The Raptors crawled out of that hole with 21-3 run in the third. Lowry had 14 points in the quarter.

The Celtics kept firing 3s in the second half, but cooled off and finished 17 for 42 for the game.

“They just weren’t falling tonight,” Bradley said. “We got some really good looks in the second half. We just weren’t making shots.”

DeRozan said the Raptors’ defense in the third quarter, limiting Boston to just five field goals while forcing five turnovers, is something to build on.

“It shows a lot about how resilient we are,” he said. “No matter if things aren’t going well for us, we can always play extremely hard defensively and try to figure out a way to win.”

The Celtics tied a franchise high with 17 made 3-pointers. … The Celts shot just 12 of 42 from the field in the second half and were outscored 33-18 in the third quarter.

NOTES: The closest Thomas came to basketball Friday was matching up against some kids in a pregame video game challenge on NBA 2K, which was played on the TD Garden Jumbotron. He said that he’s making progress in rehabbing from his groin strain and is hoping to return Wednesday when the Celtics play at San Antonio.

“It’s getting better. It hasn’t gotten any worse,” Thomas said. “Today I feel a lot better than I have since I’ve gotten the injury. So we’ll see.”

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Major league notebook: Moreland excited to be joining Sox http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/moreland-excited-to-be-joining-sox/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/moreland-excited-to-be-joining-sox/#comments Sat, 10 Dec 2016 03:13:12 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1121784 BOSTON — Free agent first baseman Mitch Moreland was already excited about joining the Boston Red Sox when the team made a move that made it even more appealing.

One day after trading for five-time All-Start left-hander Chris Sale, the Red Sox agreed to terms with Moreland on a $5.5 million, one-year deal to share time with Hanley Ramirez at first base.

“It just shows you that we’re in it and trying to go all out and trying to make that happen,” Moreland told reporters Thursday. “I’m glad to be a part of it.”

Manager John Farrell said Ramirez will get most of his at-bats at designated hitter, filling the spot that opened up when David Ortiz retired. Moreland will play primarily at first base, where he won a Gold Glove after committing just two errors in 1,103 total chances last season.

Moreland, 31, batted .233 with 22 homers and 21 doubles last year with the Texas Rangers. In 14 games at Fenway Park, he has a .341 average with four homers, two doubles and eight RBI.

“It’s one of those things where I’m just loose, I feel like I’m comfortable (there),” Moreland said. “It kind of brings the kid out in you when you get to do it at a place like this. That’s what makes it fun, and this place is one of the best at it.”

To make room for Moreland on the 40-man roster, the Red Sox designated left-hander Williams Jerez for assignment.

The deal finished off a busy winter meetings for the Red Sox.

Shortly before acquiring Sale from the White Sox for four minor leaguers – including No. 1 prospect Yoan Moncada – Boston acquired reliever Tyler Thornburg from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for a package that included infielder Travis Shaw. They also picked up the 2018 option on Farrell’s contract.

CARDINALS: Dexter Fowler is headed from the World Series champions to their biggest rival.

After helping the Chicago Cubs end their long championship drought, he finalized an $82.5 million, five-year contract with St. Louis on Friday.

Fowler fills the last big hole in the Cardinals lineup after moves made earlier in the offseason to shore up the bullpen.

Last season the switch-hitting Fowler batted .276 with 13 homers and a career-best .393 on-base percentage that landed him in his first All-Star Game.

Signing Fowler will cost the Cardinals their first-round pick (19th overall) in the 2017 draft, since the Cubs made him a qualifying offer.

BREWERS: Right-hander Phil Bickford, the 18th overall pick in baseball’s 2015 amateur draft, has been suspended for the first 50 games of next season following a second positive test for a drug of abuse under the sport’s minor league drug program.

Bickford, 21, is on the roster of Milwaukee’s Class A Carolina Mudcats of the Carolina League. He signed with the San Francisco for a $2,333,800 bonus and was traded at this year’s Aug. 1 deadline to the Brewers along with catcher Andrew Susac for left-hander Will Smith.

TIGERS: Detroit agreed to terms with infielder Omar Infante on a minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training.

The 34-year-old Infante played 39 games in the major leagues last season with Kansas City, hitting .239 with no home runs. He began his big league career with the Tigers back in 2002 and had a second stint with Detroit from 2012-13.

DIAMONDBACKS: The team finalized a $2.75 million, one-year contract with closer Fernando Rodney agreed to earlier this week.

The deal allows him to earn an additional $4 million in performance bonuses.

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Girls’ basketball: Thornton Academy beats Bonny Eagle in opener http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/thornton-academy-girls-beat-bonny-eagle-in-opener/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/thornton-academy-girls-beat-bonny-eagle-in-opener/#comments Sat, 10 Dec 2016 02:36:39 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/thornton-academy-girls-beat-bonny-eagle-in-opener/ SACO — In a league that’s expected to be extremely tight, the coaches and players of both Thornton Academy and Bonny Eagle knew that their season-opening girls’ basketball game would have playoff implications. Which is why they went at each other with playoff intensity.

In the end, Thornton Academy’s top two players carried the Trojans to the victory. Alex Hart, a junior guard, and Alisha Aube, a senior forward, combined for 15 points in the final quarter, including the final six, to lift Thornton to a 52-49 victory at Linnell Gymnasium.

“I really wasn’t sure what to expect,” said Thornton Coach Eric Marston. “We knew this was a big one. I’m just really pleased the way the girls grinded it out.”

Hart led Thornton with 19 points. Aube, who transfered from Westbrook, had 18.

“Those two took over,” said Bonny Eagle Coach Scott Regan. “That was obvious.”

Bonny Eagle, which trailed 5-0 early, had taken a 34-32 lead into the fourth quarter. It was still tied at 38 with 6:26 remaining after Bonny Eagle’s Mackenzie Emery – who led the Scots with 15 points, hitting 13 of 15 foul shots – made 1 of 2 free throws.

Then freshman forward Alexis Sanders put Thornton ahead for good, taking a back-door pass from Hart on the left and putting in a layup.

Thornton increased the lead to four, but Bonny Eagle – which ended Thornton’s season in the Class AA South quarterfinals last year – kept coming back to within one. Each time, the Trojans pushed back. First, freshman Amanda Bogardus hit a 12-foot leaner from the right with 1:45 remaining to make it 46-43.

Deirdre Sanborn (10 points) answered for Bonny Eagle with a drive down the lane. Then, with 51.5 seconds remaining, Hart went to the free-throw line. She missed both shots, but Aube was there to get the rebound of the second shot and put it in for a 48-45 lead.

“I was ready,” said Aube, who had eight rebounds and three steals. “I expected (Hart) to hit them, but I wanted to put myself in position just in case.”

Regan said that was the biggest basket.

“We knew to beat them we had to rebound and finish,” said Regan. “I’m sure they outrebounded us. And that was the biggest one.”

Samantha Averill (eight points), a sophomore, hit two foul shots with 36.3 seconds left to cut the lead to one again. But Hart was fouled again with 25.7 seconds left, and this time she hit both shots, swishing them through the net.

“I didn’t want to lose to Bonny Eagle a second time in a row,” said Hart. “So I just cleared my mind, said, ‘I have to make these.’ And I did.”

Tracie Townsend scored on a twisting drive with seven seconds left, but Aube hit two foul shots with 5.2 seconds remaining.

Hart said the Trojans weren’t worried when Bonny Eagle seemed to take control in the middle two quarters. “We were just going to play, push through adversity,” she said. “That’s what we did, fought back.”

Neither team shot well – except from the foul line. Bonny Eagle hit 28 of 32 free throws (86 percent), while Thornton was 22 of 31 (71 percent).

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Boys’ basketball: Portland edges South Portland again http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/boys-basketball-portland-edges-south-portland-again/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/boys-basketball-portland-edges-south-portland-again/#comments Sat, 10 Dec 2016 02:18:02 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1121721 SOUTH PORTLAND — Nearly 10 months later there was still little to choose between Class AA rivals Portland and South Portland.

In the season opener for both teams Portland defeated South Portland 61-54 on Friday night, with the lead changing hands four times in the fourth quarter.

The game was a rematch of last season’s state final, as North champion Portland beat surprise South regional winner South Portland 52-50 in double overtime at a packed Cross Insurance Arena.

No titles were decided Friday at Beal Gymnasium but the win was still significant, said Portland Coach Joe Russo.

“The importance of this win was that it was over here (in South Portland). It was a big game right out of the gate and when we got down to the end with foul trouble everybody had to step up and it was nice to see that,” Russo said.

Portland point guard Terion Moss scored 15 points in the first half to stake the Bulldogs to a 30-23 halftime lead. But Moss was called for charging twice in the third quarter and sat down with four fouls with 3:01 left in the third – just after South Portland cut the lead to one, 34-33, behind the long-range shooting of Noah Malone (22 points, six 3-pointers).

“When I picked up my fourth foul I was kind of mad but I knew we had Pedro (Fonseco) and he’s a good player and we have a good bench so I had trust in my team,” Moss said.

Fonseco, who played every position but center, promptly responded with a 3-point basket and then both Manny Yugu and Griffin Foley converted 3-point plays to keep Portland ahead 43-36 after three quarters.

“I just felt like I had to pass the ball and get into some gaps and shoot the ball more,” Fonseco said.

While Portland was converting, South Portland missed two free throws and had several empty trips.

“Well yeah, they’re down a really great player with Moss on the bench but it’s not that easy,” South Portland Coach Kevin Millington said. “Those other five guys out there, at least defensively, are really good.”

South Portland came back again in the fourth quarter and took the lead twice after Moss had returned to the court.

It was Yugu who went hard to the basket for what turned out to be the winning points, putting Portland up 55-54 with 1:10 left.

“I just wanted to try to stay aggressive. That’s what Coach told me to do,” Yugu said.

A shot by South Portland’s Ruay Bol (14 points) rolled off the rim and Moss, who stands 5-foot-8, skied for the game’s most important rebound. That set up two free throws for Charlie Lyall. He rolled in the first and swished the second to give Portland some breathing room.

Moss closed the win with four straight free throws. Portland made 11 of 14 from the line. South Portland was 4 of 10.

“We left a lot of points out there, a lot of missed free throws and layups,” Millington said.

In the first half, Moss showed his full range, getting loose for leak-out fast breaks, dribble driving and finishing at the rim with finger rolls and little flicks, and sinking open jumpers.

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Sports Digest: Report finds Russian doping involved more than 1,000 athletes http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/sports-digest-report-finds-russian-doping-involved-more-than-1000-athletes/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/sports-digest-report-finds-russian-doping-involved-more-than-1000-athletes/#comments Sat, 10 Dec 2016 02:08:07 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1121714 OLYMPICS

Report finds over 1,000 involved in Russian doping

Russia’s sports reputation was ripped apart again Friday when a new report investigating systematic doping detailed a vast “institutional conspiracy” that covered more than 1,000 athletes in over 30 sports and corrupted the drug-testing system at the 2012 and 2014 Olympics.

The findings were handed over to the International Olympic Committee, which will be under pressure to take action against the Russians ahead of the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

“It is impossible to know just how deep and how far back this conspiracy goes,” World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren said. “For years, international sports competitions have unknowingly been hijacked by Russians. Coaches and athletes have been playing on an uneven field. Sports fans and spectators have been deceived.”

McLaren’s second and final report said the conspiracy involved the Russian Sports Ministry, national anti-doping agency and the FSB intelligence service, providing further details of state involvement in a massive program of cheating and cover-ups that operated on an “unprecedented scale” from 2011-15.

The Canadian law professor described the Russian doping program as “a cover-up that evolved over the years from uncontrolled chaos to an institutionalized and disciplined medal-winning strategy and conspiracy.”

The findings confirmed much of the evidence contained in McLaren’s first report issued in July, while expanding the number of athletes involved and the overall scope of the cheating program in the sports powerhouse.

GOLF

PGA: Harris English and Matt Kuchar shot a 6-under 66 in modified alternate shot play to take the second-round lead in the Franklin Templeton Shootout at Naples, Florida.

English and Kuchar were at 21 under at Tiburon after opening with a 57 on Thursday in the scramble round.

Wisconsin friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly shot 68 and were a stroke back entering the better-ball finale Saturday. Charles Howell III-Rory Sabbatini (69) and Kevin Chappell-Kevin Kisner (68) were 16 under.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Rafa Cabrera Bello extended his lead to three shots at the Hong Kong Open after a 5-under 65.

Cabrera Bello was at 11-under 129 overall. Sam Brazel was second after a second consecutive 66.

Masters champion Danny Willett (66) had six birdies, moving into a four-way tie for third place, five strokes behind the leader.

Justin Rose (69) was 1-under for the tournament.

COLLEGES

FOOTBALL: North Carolina junior Nazair Jones will enter the NFL draft. The defensive tackle has a career-high 62 tackles with a sack, a forced fumble and three pass breakups this season.

FIGURE SKATING

GRAND PRIX FINAL: Defending champion Evgenia Medvedeva began the defense of her title in emphatic style, thrilling the crowd with a world record score in the short program.

The 17-year-old world champion landed all of her jumps cleanly as she recorded 79.21 points, beating three-time world champion Mao Asada’s 78.66 at the 2014 worlds.

Earlier, Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov earned their season-best score in the free skate to win the pairs event for the first time. The Russians scored 135.25 to win with a total of 213.85.

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Mitchell’s emergence fortuitous for Patriots http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/mitchells-emergence-fortuitous-for-patriots/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/mitchells-emergence-fortuitous-for-patriots/#comments Sat, 10 Dec 2016 01:04:45 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/mitchells-emergence-fortuitous-for-patriots/ FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Things just keep getting better for rookie Malcolm Mitchell.

The rookie receiver has suddenly become an important part of the New England offense. Now comes a big Monday night stage.

“I know (there’s) a lot of excitement around it,” Mitchell said Thursday as the Patriots prepared for their home game against the Baltimore Ravens in a matchup of AFC division leaders. “It’s the only game on Monday night, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Tom Brady clearly has developed trust with the young player, who set Georgia’s receptions record in college with 174. Mitchell was drafted by the Patriots in the fourth round.

After accumulating just seven catches in the first nine games, Mitchell has 13 catches and three touchdowns the last two weeks. His progression is now even more important with tight end Rob Gronkowski gone for the rest of the season because of a back injury, Danny Amendola also out because of a high ankle sprain, and Martellus Bennett banged up, causing him to be used mostly as a blocker last week.

“I feel blessed to have an opportunity to be part of this organization, from the time they drafted me to now,” he said.

Asked if he feels added pressure in light of the injuries to teammates, Mitchell said: “I just do what they tell me. That’s how I like to keep it, keep it that simple.”

He says being around veterans has been a big help.

“It just takes time to get used to any organization that you’re new in,” he said. “I’m still learning.”

NOTES: Griff Whalen, a receiver/returner signed Thursday as a free agent, reported for his first workout. “We haven’t seen much of anything from him. We’ll see how it goes,” said Coach Bill Belichick. “We’ll see how he works into our receiver situation.” Whelan, released by San Diego on Nov. 22, caught two passes for 22 yards and returned four kicks for 56 yards in eight games for the Chargers this season.

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NFL notebook: League sets fourth game for London http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/nfl-notebook-league-sets-fourth-game-for-london/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/nfl-notebook-league-sets-fourth-game-for-london/#comments Sat, 10 Dec 2016 00:54:37 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/nfl-notebook-league-sets-fourth-game-for-london/ The NFL continues to intensify its commitment to playing in London, announcing Friday that it will hold four games there in 2017.

That will be the most London games for the league in a season, and represents half of what the regular season home schedule would be if the NFL ever bases a franchise there.

“We continue to be incredibly excited by the passion and love for the NFL shown by our millions of UK fans,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a written statement. “London is an amazing city. We have had tremendous support from our fans, from Mayor (Sadiq) Khan and other government leaders and business partners, and we are looking forward to taking the next step in the UK by playing four games in London next season.”

The NFL played three games in London this season, plus one game in Mexico City. League officials left open the possibility of eventually placing a team in London, while acknowledging there would be competitive matters and issues of logistics to address. Such a move would have to be ratified by the owners of the 32 teams.

The league said it will announce the particulars of next season’s London games, including participating teams and venues, on Tuesday.

RAIDERS: Suspended pass rusher Aldon Smith met with Commissioner Roger Goodell in hopes of being reinstated.

A person with knowledge of the meeting said Smith sat with the commissioner and other league staff to make his case to be allowed back on the field following his yearlong suspension for violating rules on substance abuse.

 Oakland and Alameda County leaders will vote Tuesday on a financial and development plan to build a $1.3 billion football stadium at the Coliseum site to keep the Raiders from moving to Las Vegas.

DOLPHINS: Miami might be without two starting linebackers Sunday against Arizona: Kiko Alonso has an injured thumb and hamstring, and Jelani Jenkins has an ailing knee and hand. Both were both listed as doubtful.

Center Mike Pouncey has hip problems and was ruled out for the fourth straight game. He’s played in only five games this season.

VIKINGS: Safety Harrison Smith won’t play Sunday against Jacksonville because of a severely sprained ankle.

He missed all three days of practice this week and could be out longer after hurting his left ankle Dec. 1 during a loss to Dallas.

Coach Mike Zimmer said this week Anthony Harris likely would start in place of Smith, one of the team’s biggest playmakers.

BROWNS: Rookie receiver Jordan Payton was suspended for four games by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances.

The fifth-round pick from UCLA has one catch for 3 yards this season.

GIANTS: Odell Beckham Jr. was fined $12,154 for verbal abuse/excessive profanity toward an official following a 24-14 loss at Pittsburgh last weekend.

The fine wasn’t related to Beckham’s postgame comments to reporters when he described an unsettling exchange with one official, and complained about several non-calls.

SAINTS: Safety Kenny Vaccaro will serve a four-game suspension, starting Sunday at Tampa Bay, for violating league rules pertaining to performance-enhancing drug use.

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Rare feat for Oklahoma’s Heisman finalists http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/rare-feat-for-oklahomas-heisman-finalists/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/rare-feat-for-oklahomas-heisman-finalists/#comments Sat, 10 Dec 2016 00:36:45 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/rare-feat-for-oklahomas-heisman-finalists/ NEW YORK — Together, Baker Mayfield and Dede Westbrook were practically unstoppable for Oklahoma.

Mayfield is one of the most productive quarterbacks in college football and something of a magician in the pocket, escaping trouble to make something out of nothing. Westbrook is a big play waiting to happen, a receiver who can turn just about any play into long touchdown.

A case could be made that neither would have been a Heisman Trophy finalist without the other, and Westbrook, for one, is happy to have a friend around during a hectic week on the awards circuit.

“I would be so much more nervous than I am if he wasn’t here. It’s just good to always look over and see him smiling and me just smiling back at him,” Westbrook said.

The two Sooners, along with Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers and Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, met with reporters at a hotel in midtown Manhattan on Friday, not long after arriving in New York City. They were all in Atlanta on Thursday night at the College Football Hall of Fame for an awards show that was on ESPN.

The other finalist, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, was not scheduled to get to New York until Saturday.

Westbrook and Mayfield are the first teammates to be finalists since 2005, when USC’s Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart finished 1-3. The last time teammates finished in the top five was 2008, when Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell and wide receiver Michael Crabtree were a distant fourth and fifth behind Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford, Texas’ Colt McCoy and Florida’s Tim Tebow.

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More than 1,000 Russian athletes took part in doping, according to report http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/more-than-1000-russian-athletes-took-part-in-doping-according-to-report/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/more-than-1000-russian-athletes-took-part-in-doping-according-to-report/#comments Fri, 09 Dec 2016 12:45:15 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1121357 LONDON — A new report into systematic Russian doping details a wide-ranging “institutional conspiracy” that involved more than 1,000 athletes across more than 30 sports, including evidence corroborating large-scale sample swapping at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren said Friday the conspiracy involved the Russian Sports Ministry, national anti-doping agency and the FSB intelligence service, providing further of state involvement in a massive program of cheating and cover-ups.

“It is impossible to know just how deep and how far back this conspiracy goes,” McLaren said at a news conference in London. “For years, international sports competitions have unknowingly been hijacked by Russians. Coaches and athletes have been playing on an uneven field. Sports fans and spectators have been deceived. It’s time that this stops.”

McLaren said his conclusions were based on irrefutable forensic evidence, including DNA analysis proving that samples were swapped and other tests showing that doping bottles were opened.

The Canadian law professor’s investigation found that 15 Russian medalists in Sochi had their doping bottles tampered with, including athletes who won four gold medals. Names were not given.

McLaren also reported that Russia corrupted the 2012 London Olympics on an “unprecedented scale” but the full extent will “probably never be fully established.”

No Russian athlete tested positive at the time of the games, but McLaren said the sports ministry gave athletes a “cocktail of steroids … in order to beat the detection thresholds at the London lab.”

The findings confirmed and expanded on much of the evidence contained in McLaren’s first report issued in July.

His first report led WADA to recommend that Russia be excluded from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The IOC rejected calls for an outright ban, allowing international federations to decide which Russian athletes could compete.

McLaren’s latest report will put pressure on the International Olympic Committee to take action ahead of the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. His findings will be sent to the IOC, which has two commissions looking into the allegations.

IOC President Thomas Bach has said stiff sanctions will be taken against any athletes and officials implicated in doping. He said he favors lifetime Olympic bans for anyone involved.

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Wrestling: 25 wrestlers to watch http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/wrestling-25-wrestlers-to-watch/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/wrestling-25-wrestlers-to-watch/#comments Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1120788 Leo Amabile, Massabesic senior: Coming off a second-place finish in Class A at 106 and a 45-4 record, the A-plus student’s goal of winning a state title is well within reach. He’ll add to his 120 career wins while wrestling at 120 or 126.

Sam Anderson, Sanford junior: The third-place finisher at 182 in the New England qualifier looks even better this year. He’ll compete at 160 or 170.

Bradley Beaulieu, Marshwood senior: Beaulieu, who was in the 132-pound division last year, has already committed to wrestle at Old Dominion. He is close to amassing 200 victories and breaking the school record for wins, and will try to join the list of 20 Maine wrestlers who have won four state championships.

Kurtis Bolton, Lisbon senior: A move up to Class B didn’t deter the two-time second-place finisher in Class C, as he placed third in Class B South. His coach expects him to make noise at 138 pounds, the same weight at which he competed as a junior.

Trey Burnham, Biddeford senior: Despite moving into a different weight class when Biddeford juggled its lineup during the season, Burnham finished third in Class A at 220. He’ll wrestle at either 220 or 285.

Matthew Carroll, Massabesic senior: The defending Class A South champion at 220 will either wrestle at the same weight or jump to 285. He placed fourth at the state meet and finished with a 43-5 record.

Cullen Cummings, Wells senior: A four-year starter, Cummings followed a regional runner-up showing at 126 pounds with a runner-up finish in the Class B state meet.

Zach Elowitch, Portland sophomore: Elowitch was a team captain as a freshman and excelled in a weight class usually dominated by upperclassmen, finishing third in Class A at 152 pounds. He will wrestle at 152 or 160.

Kyle Glidden, Marshwood junior: After falling to three-time state champion Cody Craig of Skowhegan as a freshmen, Glidden won the Class A title at 113. He’s expected to contend again while moving up a few weight classes to 132.

Kaden Harrison-Billiat, Camden Hills senior: A senior captain, Harrison-Billiat hopes to improve on his third-place showing in Class B at 132. His coach says he is in midseason form already, thanks to a summer of wrestling.

Robert Hetherman, Mt. Ararat/Brunswick senior: Hetherman had a 55-3 record and won both the Class A title and New England qualifier at 170 pounds. He also placed fourth in the New England meet. With a 148-7 career record, he could reach the 200-win milestone while competing at 170 or 182.

Christian Jensen, Mt. Ararat/Brunswick senior: The son of Coach Erick Jensen has posted three top-four finishes at the Class A state meet; he was fourth last season in the 138-pound weight class. Jensen has a career record of 121-35. He will wrestle at 138 or 145.

 

Joe Kenny, Bonny Eagle junior: Regarded as one of the top wrestlers in the area by many opposing coaches, the 160-pounder took third at the Class A meet. He will wrestle at 152 or 160.

Noah Lang, Camden Hills sophomore: Lang finished third in Class B at 126 pounds as a freshman, and his coach expects an even better showing this year.

Zebulun Leavitt, Cheverus junior: In only his second year wrestling, he placed second in Class A South. The 6-foot-4, 280-pounder is an intimidating specimen on the mat.

Jake Martel, Noble senior: An aggressive wrestler who is strong on his feet, Martel broke out last year with a Class A championship at 126 pounds. He’ll compete at 132 or 138.

Joe Pilecki, Noble junior: The Class A runner-up in the 113-pound weight class hopes to win it all this year, wrestling at 120 or 126.

Jeremy Sendrowski, Scarborough junior: Sendrowski finished third in Class A at 120 pounds and was fourth in the New England qualifier.

Alden Shields, Kennebunk sophomore: Shields was fourth in Class A at 106 pounds as a freshman and was third in the New England qualifier.

Austin Shorey, Noble senior: Moving up to the ultra-competitive 138 or 145 weight class shouldn’t be a problem for last year’s Class A runner-up at 120. He placed third in the New England qualifier.

Mort Soule Jr., Deering junior: With wrestling in his blood – his father and uncles also competed for the Rams – he posted a 25-10 record at 160 pounds. While he didn’t place at the Class A state meet, he should be in the mix at the end of the season.

Steve Thompson, Medomak Valley senior: Put together a 41-10 record at 138 pounds and placed third at the Class B state meet.

Hannah Workman, Lincoln Academy junior: The fourth-place finisher in Class B South probably takes a backseat to only one Maine female wrestler – two-time All-American Zoey Buteau of Oak Hill. Workman held her own in the state meet at 120 pounds and will be penciled in somewhere between 120 and 132.

Nick Works, Sanford junior: Following his regional title in Class A South at 220, he impressed with fourth-place showings in the state meet and the New England qualifier.

Michael Wrigley, Wells junior: A technical wrestler who uses his athleticism to his advantage, he finished first in Class B South and was second in the state meet at 160 pounds. He is expected to move to 170.

 

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Skiing: Teams to watch http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/skiing-teams-to-watch/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/skiing-teams-to-watch/#comments Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1120834 GIRLS

1. Yarmouth: The quest for a seventh straight Class B Nordic state title is made more challenging by the loss (to Switzerland for a year) of junior Sophia Laukli, but seniors Grace Cowles, Gretchen Barbera and Abby Condon and junior Hannah Corey lead a deep squad that welcomes an influx of young talent. On the Alpine side, new coach Gavin Glider takes over a team of 12 – led by veterans Greta Elder and Hannah Van Alstine – that won giant slalom but failed to score in slalom at the state meet.

2. Falmouth: After two years as overall Class A champion, Falmouth won the Alpine title last winter and was runner-up to Mt. Blue in Nordic. Senior Audrey Morin, junior Caroline Keller and sophomore Olivia DeWolf return to Alpine and are joined by two new juniors and two freshmen. For Nordic, seniors Gabby Farrell (defending freestyle champ) and her cousin, Juliana Baranowski, return along with junior Meghan Cantlin, but with only two other skiers, both freshmen, depth will be a challenge.

3. Maine Coast Waldorf: Seniors Fiona Libby and Ava Haag, juniors Olivia Skillings and Louise Ahearne and sophomore Wilson Haims are joined by a sizable group of freshmen, including Caitlin Keliher. The small school based at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester is seeking a seventh consecutive Class C Nordic title.

4. Cape Elizabeth: After winning consecutive Class B Alpine titles, the Capers moved up to Class A and finished a distant second behind Falmouth. Seniors Caroline Paclat and Kinnon McGrath and sophomores Tori McGrath and Morgan Stewart return, and freshmen Piper Strunk and Allie Lynch show promise. The Nordic squad is all freshmen.

5. Deering: The Rams have no Alpine squad, but they return the bulk of a Nordic contingent that placed third out of 10 schools in Class A, only six points behind runner-up Falmouth. Leinani Farnsworth (trained with Outdoor Sports Institute), Ewa Varney, Violet Sulka-Hewes and Grace Callahan lead a strong senior class supplemented by junior Morgan Aponte-Clark and sophomore Grace Tumavicus.

BOYS

1. Freeport: The defending Class B Nordic champions appear poised to repeat, thanks to a formidable senior class led by Bennett Hight, Yacob Olins and Kyle Dorsey. John Smail completes a quartet that finished among the top 10 in classical. Classmate Perrin Davidson is an able fifth. On the Nordic side, the Falcons placed eighth in Class A and boast a young but deep squad, led by juniors Griffin Agnese, Eero Pandora and Kaia Williams.

2. Maine Coast Waldorf: Senior Tucker Pierce is the defending classical and freestyle champion for a squad aiming for its fifth straight Class C Nordic title. Not only has every scorer returned, but junior Nick Neveau returns after a year in California to join classmate Eli Gundersen and seniors Dylan Wu, Davis Ritger and Thomas Kolle and freshman Adam Staples for what might be the only team with a shot at knocking off Freeport in the Western Maine Conference championships.

3. Cape Elizabeth: Sophomore Devon Lathrop, the defending giant slalom champ, helped the Capers place third in Class A Alpine. His brother, Killian, a freshman, joins a team that returns its top four. Seniors Jon Fiutak and Cole Spencer and sophomore Duncan Geikie provide plenty of depth. For Nordic, seniors Calvin Barber, Jack O’Brien and Will Corsello lead a team looking to move up from sixth in Class A.

4. Falmouth: After winning four consecutive Class A Nordic titles, the Yachtsmen dropped to third last winter, one point behind runner-up Leavitt. Juniors Simon Pratico and Graham Bernier lead the charge this time, with sophomores Ethan Livingood and Jake Mitchell rounding out the top four. The Alpine squad should improve from fifth place, led by junior Owen White and sophomore Gibson Scott. Watch out for freshmen Angus Christie, coming off middle school state titles in slalom and giant slalom, and Nicky Shapiro.

5. Yarmouth: Senior John Lane, runner-up in both classical and freestyle, leads a dozen members of the Nordic contingent looking to improve from fourth place in Class B. Senior Joe Inger, juniors Mac Coury and Sean Moore and sophomores Justin Pietropaoli and Grady Welsh provide depth. Senior George Jutras and sophomore Ben Pearl lead an Alpine squad of nine that placed fifth in Class B.

 

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Wrestling preview: Feeder programs set the stage http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/wrestling-preview-feeder-programs-set-the-stage/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/wrestling-preview-feeder-programs-set-the-stage/#comments Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1120790 If there’s a common bond among the top high school wrestling programs in Maine, it’s that they are based in communities with strong feeder programs.

No longer can a high school wrestling team excel without the benefits of a youth program that funnels into middle school teams and then the varsity level.

“If you look at who is good year after year, you can bet they have a strong feeder program,” said Kip DeVoll, now in his 34th season as head coach at Noble High – traditionally one of the state’s top schools in the sport.

DeVoll said he started to field competitive squads in the mid-1990s. It was no coincidence that a few years earlier, the Lebanon and Berwick youth wrestling programs were launched. At their peak, the two squads combined for close to 200 kids. Today, there are about 100 youth wrestlers – still making for one of the bigger feeders in southern Maine.

“Once the feeder programs began, that is when it took off for us,” DeVoll said. “(Most) of our kids come from feeder programs. It makes a big difference.”

Tony Napolitano, coach at Portland High, said establishing a feeder program can even the playing field in high school wrestling. Portland Youth Wrestling – which is still in its nascent stage at 6 years old – has had participants go on to Portland, Deering and Cheverus.

“Having that feeder program is what we need if we want to be competitive with the best teams in the state who have had a feeder program for years,” Napolitano said.

Most communities with a youth program will offer coaching, tournaments and clinics for grades K-6. Youth wrestling programs have been launched recently in Sanford, Biddeford (both three years ago) and Scarborough (two years ago).

“Without a feeder program, it is hard to maintain a high school program because you won’t have the numbers,” said Biddeford Coach Steve Vermette. “If a kid starts in fifth or sixth grade and gets involved slowly, they are likely to wrestle in high school.”

Kyle Glidden, the Class A champion in the 113-pound division last winter, is one of the top returnees for Marshwood, which had a streak of four consecutive state titles snapped by Skowhegan.

Kyle Glidden, the Class A champion in the 113-pound division last winter, is one of the top returnees for Marshwood, which had a streak of four consecutive state titles snapped by Skowhegan. Jill Brady/Staff Photographer

One benefit of feeder programs is that they allow high school teams to fill more weight classes – often a problem for schools in Maine. Another advantage, obviously, is the first day of practice is not marked by athletes who have never stepped on a wrestling mat.

Many of the youth coaches are former wrestlers or assistant coaches at the high school level who can impart philosophies similar to the head coach.

“One thing we made sure we did is (that) peewee and middle school coaches are teaching the same things and concepts I focus on in high school,” said Mt. Ararat/Brunswick Coach Erick Jensen. “I am then able to refine kids. It takes days instead of weeks. I then can work on positioning and techniques sooner. That’s a huge advantage.”

Many high school coaches look beyond wins and losses, and even state championships, when talking about the benefits of feeder programs. It gets kids involved early and often teaches them life lessons, before winning matches becomes a greater emphasis.

Marshwood Coach Matt Rix has first-hand experience of what wrestling can do for an individual. His four children wrestled or were involved with his team. His daughter, Deanna, trains with the women’s national team in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“Wrestling is a lot like life,” Rix said. “Kids may get beaten down but get back up and try again. They may never get to varsity or win a state championship … but some of them are very successful (in life) and credit the time they put in on the mat.”

There are scores of high school wrestlers in southern Maine who began in youth programs. Several will vie for state championships, including Zach Elowitch and Ben Levine of Portland; Sam Anderson of Sanford; Matt Carroll and Leo Amabile of Massabesic; and Cody Mains, Caleb Frost, Tyler Fitz and Joe Kenny of Bonny Eagle.

“More than anything else, we want to spread the culture of wrestling,” said Deron Sharp, Scarborough’s second-year coach. “We know what a great tool it is for life.”

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Skiing: 10 girls and 10 boys to watch http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/skiing-10-girls-and-10-boys-to-watch/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/skiing-10-girls-and-10-boys-to-watch/#comments Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1120835 GIRLS

Emily Carty, Fryeburg Academy junior: Carty placed seventh in Class A freestyle and 12th in classical.

Grace Cowles, Yarmouth senior: Cowles placed fifth in both classical and freestyle to help the Clippers win their eighth straight Class B Nordic title.

Nettie Cunningham, Greely junior: The Class A giant slalom champion as a freshman, she was the top Maine GS finisher at the Eastern championships. She also was the WMC slalom runner-up.

Greta Elder, Yarmouth junior: Elder was the Class B giant slalom champion as a freshman and was the runner-up last winter.

Leinani Farnsworth, Portland senior: The runner-up in Class A classical, she also placed fifth in freestyle.

Gabby Farrell, Falmouth senior: Farrell is the defending Class A freestyle champion and placed third in classical.

Audrey Heriz-Smith, Camden Hills junior: She placed seventh in Class A slalom and eighth in giant slalom.

Caroline Paclat, Cape Elizabeth senior: Paclat placed 12th in Class A giant slalom and 15th in slalom.

Polly Rae, Bonny Eagle junior: Rae is the defending SMAA slalom champion who was 11th in Class A slalom and 26th in giant slalom.

Olivia Skillings, Maine Coast Waldorf junior: The Class C runner-up in both classical and freestyle, she helped her team win the Nordic state title.

Hannah Van Alstine, Yarmouth senior: Van Alstine placed fourth in Class B giant slalom and was in third after one run of slalom before a disqualification in the second run.

Jennifer Wilbraham, Morse sophomore: The Class A freestyle runner-up, she also finished sixth in classical.

BOYS

Schuyler Black, Cheverus senior: The defending SMAA champion in both slalom and giant slalom, he placed fourth in Class A GS and seventh in slalom.

Kyle Dorsey, Freeport senior: Dorsey finished fifth in classical and sixth in freestyle to help the Falcons win the Class B Nordic title.

Jon Fiutak, Cape Elizabeth senior: He placed seventh in Class A giant slalom and 10th in slalom, and was fourth in WMC slalom.

Bennett Hight, Freeport senior: Hight helped the Falcons win the Class B Nordic title by placing third in freestyle and fourth in classical.

John Lane, Yarmouth senior: The Class B runner-up in both classical and freestyle, he won the freestyle title as a sophomore.

Devon Lathrop, Cape Elizabeth sophomore: Lathrop is the defending Class A giant slalom champ and placed fifth in slalom.

Axel Lindsay, Greely senior: Lindsay was the Class A runner-up in both slalom and giant slalom.

Willson Moore, Waynflete senior: The Class C runner-up in both classical and freestyle, Moore is also the defending WMC classical champion.

Caleb Niles, Deering senior: Niles placed fifth in Class A freestyle and classical.

Yacob Olins, Freeport senior: Olins finished third in classical and fourth in freestyle.

Tucker Pierce, Maine Coast Waldorf senior: The defending Class C champion in both classical and freestyle, he also won the WMC freestyle title.

Ryland Van Decker, Oxford Hills senior: Van Decker placed third in Class A in both slalom and giant slalom. He was the slalom champ at the KVAC championships and took fourth in GS.

 

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Girls’ basketball: Team-by-team outlook http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/girls-basketball-team-by-team-outlook/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/girls-basketball-team-by-team-outlook/#comments Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1120761 CHEVERUS

Coach: Steve Huntington, third year

Last season: 10-9, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 5

Impact players: Abby Cavallaro, jr., PG; Kaylin Malmquist, sr., G; Emme Poulin, jr., G; Brooke McElman, sr., F; Brooke Dawson, sr., G/F; Alayna Briggs, sr., G

Outlook: The Stags loom as one of the teams to watch, not only in the class but the state. They’re still small and will rely on 3-point shooting. But they have some of the best perimeter players around, led by Cavallaro, Poulin and Dawson. Malmquist is a calming influence and an underrated player.

DEERING

Coach: Mike Murphy, 12th year

Last season: 12-8, lost in regional semifinal

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Tasia Titherington, sr., G; Amanda Brett, sr., F; Abi Ramirez, sr., G; Delaney Haines, so., G; Mandy Mastropasqua, so., G; Victoria Garand, so., C/F; Ashleigh Mathisen, so., F

Outlook: The Rams should be among the best teams in the state. They have great experience and leadership from Titherington, Brett and Ramirez and some exceptional young talent in Haines and Mastropasqua. Their success will come down to how well they rebound. They’re not tall, so they’re going to have to play good defense and limit opposing shots.

PORTLAND

Coach: Jay Lowery, third year

Last season: 2-16

Returning starters: 5

Impact players: Rose Griffin, sr., C; Shayla Eubanks, jr., C/F; Regan Brown, so., C/F; Kiera Eubanks, fr., C/F; Andrea Lynch, sr., F; Taylor Sargent, sr., PG; Kate Johnson, sr., G; Nettie Walsh, so., F

Outlook: The Bulldogs could be one of the most improved teams in the SMAA. Everyone is back and they have some size, which could cause problems for a lot of teams inside. “The girls have come a long way,” said Lowery. “Now they’re ready to compete.” They’ll favor a half-court game, but there is some young talent here that can push the ball.

WINDHAM

Coach: Brody Artes, fifth year

Last season: 8-10

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Mya Mannette, sr., PG; Tara Flanders, so., G/F; Meghan Hoffses, so., G; Lyndsey Arsenault, sr., G; Hannah Talon, fr., G; Taylor Files, jr., F

Outlook: This is still a young team, with only two seniors and one junior on the roster, but the Eagles will look to get back into the tournament. They have some nice skilled players but need to become more consistent offensively. Inside play could be a factor, as will the defense.

Class AA South

BONNY EAGLE

Coach: Scott Regan, third year

Last season: 9-11, lost in regional semifinal

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Mackenzie Emory, so., PG; Deirdre Sanborn, jr., G/F; Natalie Bushy, sr., F; Mia Ferrante, jr., F; Tracie Townsend, sr., G; Lauryn Fagan, sr., C

Outlook: The Scots made it to the semifinals for the first time in 21 years last winter. Now they want to go further, and they could do it. The four returning starters are boosted by the addition of Sanborn, a transfer from Cheverus who will help the offense. They’re going to play aggressive defense and run the ball as much as possible.

GORHAM

Coach: Laughn Berthiaume, 10th year

Last season: 21-0, won state championship

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Emily Esposito, sr., G; Kaylea Lundin, sr., G; Kristen Curley, sr., G; Mckenzie Holmes, so., C; Michelle Rowe, jr., F; Jacqui Hamilton, fr., F/G; Alexis Fotter, jr., G

Outlook: The defending champs should be a powerhouse again, losing only Danasia Fennie (who moved out of state) from last year’s team. Esposito and Holmes are two of the best players around, providing a great 1-2 punch. Lundin and Curley step up in big moments. Berthiaume’s motto for the season: “Humble, Hungry and Healthy.”

MAINE GIRLS’ ACADEMY

Coach: Bill Goodman, sixth year

Last season: 16-3, lost in regional semifinal

Returning starters: 0

Impact players: Maddie Beaulieu, sr., G/F; Madison Legassey, jr., G; Jill Joyce, so., C; Emily Weisser, jr., F; Serena Mower, fr., PG; Hope Olsen, fr., F/G; Zoe Mazur, so., G

Outlook: The perennial contenders (formerly McAuley) may be in a rebuilding mode. Graduation, injuries (Weisser is out with a knee injury) and transfers stripped the team of a lot of experience. But Goodman likes this group, saying it is “young, humble and very coachable.” If the young players adjust to the varsity level, MGA could be a factor later in the season.

MASSABESIC

Coach: Ian Ryan, second year

Last season: 5-13

Returning starters: 5

Impact players: McKenzy Ouellette, so., G; Skylar Renaud, so., PG; Maddie Drain, jr., F; Emma Desrochers, sr., G; Jackie Bearse, sr., C; Morgan Pike, sr., F

Outlook: The Mustangs showed steady improvement last year and could be a factor in the playoff race this winter. Ouellette and Renaud are two of the top young players in the SMAA and are joined by an experienced group. Look for the Mustangs to run as much as possible to take advantage of their athleticism.

NOBLE

Coach: Paul Marquis, third year

Last season: 1-17

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Kendra Silvers, sr., F; Sam Couture, sr., G

Outlook: The Knights made steady improvement last year, especially on the defensive end, and will look to continue moving forward. Six freshman have made the varsity roster, meaning this will be a very young team. Silvers, who averaged 8.5 rebounds, and Couture, the top returning scorer, provide excellent leadership.

SANFORD

Coach: Kristy Parent, 16th year

Last season: 5-13

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Summer Camire, sr., PG; Annie Ledue, sr., F/C; Kristen O’Connell, sr., G; Paige Cote, fr., C; Julia Allen, so., G; Megan O’Connell, so., G; Julia Cyr, sr., C

Outlook: Parent returns after a one-year absence and is looking forward to making a playoff run. The Spartans aren’t deep, but they do have some talent and the ability to play an inside-outside game. Cote and Cyr are key inside players, while the guards all have the ability to drive to the basket. Sanford could make things difficult for a lot of teams.

SCARBOROUGH

Coach: Mike Giordano, fourth year

Last season: 7-12, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Sophie Glidden, jr., F/G; Brooke Malone, sr., G; Josie Couture, so., F; Emily Jefferds, jr., G; Jordyn Cowan, sr., C

Outlook: The Red Storm look to be a dangerous team for many reasons. They have experience and depth, with Giordano saying he can go 10 deep: “We’ve got a bunch of kids who step in and contribute.” They’ve got a nice inside-outside mix, but as always, their success will be determined by how well they do on the defensive end.

Eva Mazur, left, and Lydia Henderson were opponents last season but are now teammates after Mazur transferred from McAuley (now Maine Girls' Academy) to South Portland. The Red Riots reached the Class AA South final last year and are expected to be state championship contenders.

Eva Mazur, left, and Lydia Henderson were opponents last season but are now teammates after Mazur transferred from McAuley (now Maine Girls’ Academy) to South Portland. The Red Riots reached the Class AA South final last year and are expected to be state championship contenders. Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

SOUTH PORTLAND

Coach: Lynne Hasson, fourth year

Last season: 17-4, lost in regional final

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Lydia Henderson, sr., G; Meghan Graff, jr., G/F; Katie Whitmore, so., G/F; Sarah Boles, jr., G/F; Eva Mazur, jr., G; Maggie Whitmore, fr., G; Jena Leckie, so., F

Outlook: This is a team to watch. The Riots already had a strong returning cast and then added defensive whiz Mazur, who transferred from Maine Girls’ Academy. They have experience, talent and ability. The key will be on the defensive end, where the Riots have to tighten things up a little. Look for full-court pressure and a lot of players rotating in.

THORNTON ACADEMY

Coach: Eric Marston, 11th year

Last season: 11-8, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Alex Hart, jr., PG; Alisha Aube, sr., G/F; Bella Robinson, sr., G; Amanda Bogardus, fr., G; Alexis Saunders, fr., C/F; Lucy Macomber, sr., F; Taylor Jordan, sr., F

Outlook: The Trojans are an intriguing team. Always strong defensively, they could be a very good offensive club with the addition of Aube, a deadly shooter who transferred from Westbrook. With Aube, Hart and Robinson, the Trojans have good offensive potential. They’re probably going to run more than they have in the past.

Class A North

CAMDEN HILLS

Coach: Doreen Robbins, second year

Last season: 5-13

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Charlotte Messer, sr., PG; Mara Dostie, sr., G; Kassie Krul, so, F/C; Lauren Miller, jr., G/F; Kristina Kelly, fr., G

Outlook: The Windjammers will look to build off the experience many of the players gained last year while also tapping into the excitement of the girls’ soccer state championship in the fall. They’re not tall, but they’re athletic. If they play well defensively and create some points off turnovers, this could be a turnaround season.

MEDOMAK VALLEY

Coach: Ryan McNelly, first year

Last season: 7-11

Returning starters: 1

Impact players: Gabby DePatsy, jr., G/F; Chelsea Ripley, sr., F/C; Hallie Kunesh, jr., G

Outlook: McNelly moves over from the boys’ program, where he was an assistant coach, to take over for longtime coach Randy Hooper, who retired. He inherits a young team that has to learn its roles and a new system. He hopes the older players provide good mentorship for the younger players. Look for the Panthers to push the tempo as much as possible.

OCEANSIDE

Coach: Samantha Bragg, third year

Last season: 8-11, lost in regional prelim

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Jillian Brooks, sr., G; Haley Montgomery, sr., F; Alexis Mazurek, sr., F; Elise Laslavic, sr., F; Gabby Simmons, jr., PG

Outlook: Inside defense will be a focus for the Mariners. They’ll look to limit not only inside shots but second chances. They have nice senior leadership and some versatile players who can create matchup problems. A playoff berth is certainly within reach.

Class A South

BIDDEFORD

Coach: Katie Herbine, first year

Last season: 2-16

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Brook Davis, jr., PG; Grace Martin, so., F; Taylor Wildes, so., F; Megan Mourmouras, fr., G; Charli Yoho, fr., G; Azure Illiano, jr., G

Outlook: Herbine crafted a championship team at her last stop, in Bangor, and likes what she sees of the Tigers. They are still young but have some nice elements. Davis and Martin have stepped up as leaders and Martin has the ability to take control of a game. The freshmen, Mourmouras and Yoho, will have an impact. Look for the Tigers to push the ball and try to force the tempo.

BRUNSWICK

Coach: Sam Farrell, eighth year

Last season: 11-8, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Madeline Suhr, sr., F; Sabrina Armstrong, jr., F; Charlotte MacMillan, so., G

Outlook: The Dragons look to improve on last year’s record, but it won’t be easy with their schedule. They have some experienced players to combine with young talent. Suhr is one of the top inside players around, especially with her shot-blocking ability. Armstrong does a little of everything and could break out this season. The Dragons will look to create offense off their defense.

CAPE ELIZABETH

Coach: Chris Casterella, 10th year

Last season: 7-12, lost in regional prelim

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Erin O’Rourke, jr., G; Alison Ingalls, so., G; Sammi Guerette, jr., F; Kelly O’Sullivan, sr., G; Brooke Harvey, so., PG

Outlook: The Capers will be young and inexperienced, with only four players on the roster having varsity experience. They should be strong defensively and will look to create some easy offense off their defense. This is a team that should improve steadily throughout the season and possibly make an impact at the end.

FALMOUTH

Coach: Dawn Armandi, first year

Last season: 5-13

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Adelaide Cooke, sr., F; Alaina Birkel, sr., PG; Abby Ryan, sr., F; Grace Dimick, jr., C

Outlook: Armandi hopes to instill a lot of the same system and values she saw at McAuley, where she was an assistant coach. Expect Falmouth to push the tempo when possible and play stifling defense. This team has some talent and good shooters. If the defense comes through, Falmouth could make a run for the playoffs.

FRYEBURG ACADEMY

Coach: Sean Watson, fifth year

Last season: 15-4, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Ali Fraize, sr., G; Mackenzie Buzzell, sr., G; Kaylin Delaney, sr., G; Makayla Cooper, sr., F; Nicole Bennett, sr., F

Outlook: The five returning seniors bring back a ton of experience and will look to lead the younger teammates. Buzzell and Fraize have been contributors since their freshman year. As with most teams, the success starts on the defensive end, and the Raiders are also looking for balanced offense.

Moira Train, a senior forward/center, is one of three returning starters for Greely, a deep and talented team that enters the season as the favorite in Class A South.

Moira Train, a senior forward/center, is one of three returning starters for Greely, a deep and talented team that enters the season as the favorite in Class A South. John Ewing/Staff Photographer

GREELY

Coach: Todd Flaherty, first year

Last season: 17-4, lost in regional final

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Anna DeWolfe, so., G; Moira Train, sr., F/C; Molly Chapin, sr., F; Isabel Porter, sr., G/F; Hannah Stewart, sr., G/F; Brooke Obar, fr., G; Katie Fitzpatrick, fr., G/F

Outlook: This is the team to beat according to many observers. The Rangers have a deep, talented roster, led by DeWolfe, perhaps the most dynamic player in the state. This is a team that is fundamentally sound, plays great defense and can beat opponents defensively, on the fast break or by draining long 3-pointers. The expectations are rightfully high for Greely.

KENNEBUNK

Coach: Rob Sullivan, 21st year

Last season: 7-11

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Sierra Tartre, sr., PG; Gabby Fogg, sr., G; Madi Lux, sr., F; Marran Oakman, sr., G/F

Outlook: The Rams made a big jump last year but just missed the playoffs. This winter, they look to take that next step with a nice mix of returning experience and young talent. They’re strong in the backcourt with Tartre, a three-year starter, and Fogg, who already holds the school record for career 3-pointers (83). They’re going to have to play aggressive defense to be successful.

MARSHWOOD

Coach: Steve Freeman, second year

Last season: 10-9, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 1

Impact players: Courtney Thim, so., PG; Natalie Herbold, so., G/F; Elora Montgomery, jr., G/F; Miranda Montgomery, jr., F/C; Jordyn Beers, so., F; Celine Lawrence, so., G

Outlook: Even though they’re young, the Hawks don’t lack experience. Four freshmen were on the roster last year and all played significant minutes. Thim and Herbold, in particular, provide young leadership. Look for the Hawks to run and try to convert turnovers into easy baskets. They should be a playoff contender.

MORSE

Coach: Becky Roak, fifth year

Last season: 11-9, lost in regional semifinal

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Noa Sreden, sr., G; Sierra Wallace, jr. G; Marissa Parks, jr., C; Emma Gould, jr. G; Mae Winglass, so., G

Outlook: The Shipbuilders need to replace 80 percent of their offense because of graduation losses. Sreden and Wallace are certainly capable of stepping up. They need to lead a relatively young team. Defense and rebounding are the keys. Morse is a little more athletic than in the past, so don’t be surprised to see the Shipbuilders running more.

MT. ARARAT

Coach: Andy Morris, third year

Last season: 1-17

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Nikki Bradstreet, sr., G; Katelyn Cox, sr., G; Kate Guerin, sr., F; Laren Labbay, sr., G; Sabrina Paetow, sr., C; Taylor Wienckowski, sr., G

Outlook: The Eagles will look to be an aggressive team all over the court, attacking the basket on offense while playing pressure defense and crashing the boards for rebounds. Bradstreet was one of the leading scorers last year, while Guerin figures to be one of the team’s best inside players. Wienckowski is an excellent defender.

WESTBROOK

Coach: Todd Day, first year

Last season: 10-10, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Nyagoa Bayak, so., C; Avery Tucker, so., G; Julia Martel, so., G; Mikayla VanZandt, so, F; Morgan Rice, sr., F/C; Julia Symbol, sr., G; Logan Tibbetts, jr., G

Outlook: This is sophomore-centric team, with seven on the roster. But there is some talent, especially Bayak, who splits time between basketball and track. Look for this team to push the tempo to take advantage of its skills. “We’ve got to figure out our roles and play to our strengths,” said Day.

YORK

Coach: Steve Freeman, first year

Last season: 22-0, won state championship

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Lily Posternak, sr., G; Madigan Cogger, sr., G; Reilly Smedley, sr., F; Morgan Chapman, sr., G; Sophia Remick, sr., G; Martha McCaddin, so.. G; Jacquelyn Tarbora, so., G

Outlook: There will be a different look to the defending champs, who graduated some exceptional talent. The Wildcats won’t be big, but they’re very athletic, with players capable of playing multiple positions. Look for them to be aggressive both offensively and defensively.

Class B South

FREEPORT

Coach: Mike Hart, third year

Last season: 9-10, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Regan Lynch, sr., F; Ireland Hall, sr., F; Jessie Driscoll, jr., F; Taylor Dostie, jr., F; Megan Cormier, jr., F; Taylor Rinaldi, jr., G; Johanna Bogue Marlowe, jr., G

Outlook: The Falcons have an interesting mix of seven experienced players and seven freshmen. Hart will be looking for his team to push the tempo and create offense from full-court pressure. The offense should be balanced; rebounding will be crucial at the defensive end.

GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER

Coach: Mike Andreasen, sixth year

Last season: 17-5, lost in state final

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Skye Conley, sr., C; Alicia Dumont, sr., G; Grace Kariotis, sr., G; Isabelle DeTroy, sr., G; Brianna Jordan, so., G

Outlook: The Patriots return a strong nucleus from last year’s state runner-up team. Expect them to play up-tempo and run as much as possible. The scoring should be balanced, as the team returns five of its top scorers. If the Patriots are able to play pressure defense, they could be a contender again.

LAKE REGION

Coach: Paul True, 13th year

Last season: 15-5, lost in regional semifinal

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Kristen Huntress, sr., G; Melody Millett, sr., F; Chandler True, Jr., G; Lauren Jakobs, jr., F; Brooke Harriman, so., F

Outlook: The Lakers are traditionally one of the top teams in their region, and this year isn’t likely to be any different. Huntress averaged more than 16 points per game last season, and Jakobs and True were also key players for a team that lost in overtime to regional champion Gray-New Gloucester in the semifinals.

LINCOLN ACADEMY

Coach: Kevin Feltis, fifth year

Last season: 18-3, lost in regional final

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Gabrielle Wajer, sr., G; Brianne Genthner, sr., F; Kaitlyn Feltis, jr., C; Dorothy Dodous, sr., G; Cagney O’Brien, sr., G/F

Outlook: The Eagles will look to run and get the ball to Wajer in the open court. They’ll need to improve on defense to be competitive with the top teams in the region.

POLAND

Coach: Michael Susi, third year

Last season: 7-12, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Nathalie Theriault, jr., G; Morgan Brousseau, jr., F; Jessica Seeley, jr., F; Lexy Grondin, jr., G

Outlook: Susi says his team will again be undersized but quick, and hopes to challenge for a playoff spot again. The Knights face a challenging schedule in the Western Maine Conference.

SACOPEE VALLEY

Coach: Chris Hughes, ninth year

Last season: 9-9

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Helen Ruhlin, sr., G; Nette Humphrey, sr., G; Haiden Sawyer, jr., F; Tiana Garland, sr., F; Brynn Hink, jr., F/G; Hannah Manchester, sr., F; Stacie Barton, sr., F; Bethany Dehmer, jr., F

Outlook: The Hawks bring back an experienced group, having lost only one starter. Hughes says his team will need to apply pressure to cause turnovers and create some easy baskets. Sacopee also is looking for more balance on offense. The schedule is challenging, but with continued improvement the Hawks could contend for a tournament berth.

WELLS

Coach: Don Abbott, 11th year

Last season: 8-11, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 5

Impact players: Natalie Thurber, sr., G; Halee Ramsdell, sr., F; Taryn Lambert, sr., F; Ally O’Brien, sr., G; Hannah Moody, sr., G; Alyssa Loukola, sr., F; Sara Ring, sr., G

Outlook: The starting lineup consists of five seniors who have started since their sophomore year. Overall, the team returns 12 players who contributed meaningful minutes last season. “We need to win the rebounding and turnover battles to be successful” said Abbott.

YARMOUTH

Coach: Christina Strong, fourth year

Last season: 9-10, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Cory Langenbach, sr., G; Alison Clark, sr., F; Johanna Hattan, sr., F: Isabel Bates, jr., G

Outlook: Leading scorers Clark and Langenbach return for the Clippers, who will rely on height and experience. Johanna Hattan and Isabel Bates give Yarmouth versatility on offense with their ability to score from both inside and outside. The addition of Sara D’Appolonia, who took a year off, should bring continuity to the offense.

Class C

BOOTHBAY

Coach: Tanner Grover, fifth year

Last season: 20-2, lost in state final

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Faith Blethen, so., G; Page Brown, jr., F; Kate Friant, sr., G; Nicole Clarke, sr., F; Sydney Meader, jr., G; Angie Perkins, sr., F; Alexis Welch, sr., F.

Outlook: Boothbay lost only one senior from last year’s regional championship team. With big-time scoring threats in Blethen and Brown and a strong supporting cast, the Seahawks have all the ingredients to make another deep tourney run. “We have a very intelligent group of kids” says Grover. “All of our players are high-honor students. In the senior class, we have probable candidates for both valedictorian and salutatorian. I’d go on record to say that we have arguably the smartest team in the state.”

HYDE

Coach: Jennifer Lobozzo, second year

Last season: 6-12, lost in regional prelim

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Emma Levensohn, sr., F; Timesha Walker, sr., G; Alice Yokabaskas, so., F; Anna Doline, jr., G

Outlook: The Phoenix lost four of their best players to graduation, so they’re rebuilding with new, skilled underclassmen. Seniors Levensohn, Walker, Allie Grover, Willow Beavis offer experience and leadership.

NORTH YARMOUTH ACADEMY

Coach: Seth Farrington, second year

Last season: 2-16

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Maggie Larson, so., G; Sydney Plummer, so., C; Lindsay Tufts, sr., PG; Katie Larson, fr., G; Helen Hamblett, so., F

Outlook: Even with four returning starters, the Panthers have a very young lineup. Farrington said they’ll try to pick up their offensive pace in search of easier scoring opportunities.

OLD ORCHARD BEACH

Coach: Dean Plante, 14th year (not consecutive)

Last season: 7-12, lost in regional prelim

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Brianne Plante, jr., G; Emily Greenlee, so., F; Samantha Donnell, so., G; Maggie Strohm, fr., C; Tiffany Leclair, sr., F

Outlook: Plante says his team has some depth and size, and balance and speed are strengths. “We will still be relatively young, but hope to improve and be tournament ready,” said Plante. “We have a tough schedule, and there are some very good teams in Class C.”

TRAIP ACADEMY

Coach: Scott Blake, fourth year

Last season: 8-12, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Marina Casey, sr., F; Cassidy Delano, jr., F; Kiara Perez, sr., G; Reilly Eddy, jr., F; Sierra O’Brien, sr., G/F; Mia Perez, so., G; Kiley Chambers, jr., G; Claire Dodge, jr., G/F

Outlook: Blake likes his team’s chances of going deep into the playoffs. Delano and Casey the top scorers last season, and Perez also returns at point guard. Traip’s ability to handle pressure and knock down outside shots will decide how far it goes in the playoffs.

WAYNFLETE

Coach: Mike Jefferds, second year

Last season: 7-12, lost in regional prelim

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Izzy Burdick, jr., G; Lydia Giguere, jr., G/F; Annika Brooks, sr., F/C; Ali Pope, sr., G/F; LZ Olney, jr., G/F; Emi Boedeker, so., F/C

Outlook: Jefferds expects the Flyers to be improved now that the players have a year of experience with a new coaching staff and new systems. He says the team has a good mix of young players and veteran varsity players. Defense should be a strength, and the offense will likely be balanced.

WISCASSET

Coach: Ben Clark, second year

Last season: 3-15

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Gabby Chapman, sr., G; Haylee Craig, sr., F

Outlook: The Wolverines are a young, athletic team that should be improved from last season. “We are excited to have the season (get) under way,” said Clark.

Class D

GREATER PORTLAND CHRISTIAN

Coach: Jeff Mears, first year

Last season: 6-13, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 1

Impact players: Natalie Smith, sr., F/C; Aubrey Viekman, jr., F; Kaley Brann, so., F; Megan Smith, so., G; Courtney Spaulding, so., G; Grace Mears, eighth grade, G/F

Outlook: This will be a rebuilding year for the Lions, who have a young team without a lot of experience. Natalie Smith, the only returning starter, and Viekman, a transfer, will lead the team.

PINE TREE ACADEMY

Coach: Josh Dayen, fourth year

Last season: 10-9, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Alex Goodman, jr., G; Angel Hood, sr., F; Stephie Kayumba, sr., F; Adriana DePalma, so., G

Outlook: The Breakers have a chance to be a top contender in Class D South, led by Goodman, who has been a starter since the eighth grade and has already surpassed 1,000 career points. Dayen says he has a versatile team that responds well to tough matchups.

SEACOAST CHRISTIAN

Coach: Charlie Johnson, 14th year

Last season: 0-18

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Courtney Williams, jr., C; Katie Pilkington, so., G; Abby Wirling, so., G; Cassidy Leech, so., F

Outlook: The Guardians have only one senior on the roster for the second straight season and just eight healthy players in all, not counting Leech, who is injured. Williams, at 5-11, is the team’s top scorer and rebounder, capable of averaging a double-double. “We’re definitely a better team,” said Johnson. “It’s hard to tell how much better until we start playing.”

 

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http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/girls-basketball-team-by-team-outlook/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2016/12/1120761_9385_20160216_classa_mcauly.jpgThu, 08 Dec 2016 14:41:50 +0000
Indoor track: 10 girls and 10 boys to watch http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/indoor-track-10-girls-and-10-boys-to-watch/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/indoor-track-10-girls-and-10-boys-to-watch/#comments Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1120804 GIRLS

Nyagoa Bayak, Westbrook sophomore: Won the high jump at the Class A state meet with a state-record jump of 5-7. Also won the New England title (5-7).

Samantha Curran, Thornton Academy senior: Captured the shot put (38-81/2) at the Class A state meet.

Abby Hamilton, Yarmouth senior: Was hindered by illness last winter but won the Class B 3,200 title outdoors (11:12:14) and was the Class B champion in cross country this fall.

Katherine Leggat-Barr, Greely senior: Finished second in the mile (5:14.30) and 2-mile (11:32.11) at the Class B state meet.

Malaika Pasch, Falmouth sophomore: Finished second in the 800 (2:23.04) in Class A; also the reigning Class A cross country champion.

Juliana Selser, South Portland junior: Class A champion at 800 meters (2:20.34). Went on to finish 10th at New England championships (2:15.79) in the outdoor season.

Bethany Sholl, Scarborough junior: Took second in the 2-mile (11:29.55) at the Class A championships.

Anna Slager, Gorham junior: Won the mile (5:19.23) and 2-mile (11:27.70) at the Class A championships.

Nina Tasker, Noble junior: Won the 55 hurdles (8.66) at the Class A state meet.

Emily Turner, Cheverus senior: Won the 400 (58.47) and was runner-up in the 200 (26.64) at the Class A state meet.

Traip Academy's Evan Porter is the defending Class B champ in the 55-meter dash and 55 hurdles.

Traip Academy’s Evan Porter is the defending Class B champ in the 55-meter dash and 55 hurdles. John Ewing/Staff Photographer

BOYS

Xander Bartone, North Yarmouth Academy senior: Finished third in the 55 dash at the Class B state championships (6.79); also could score in the 200 and 400.

Matt Brady, Biddeford senior: Was second at the Class A state meet in the shot put (51-81/2).

Henry Jaques, Freeport senior: Finished second in Class B in the 2-mile (9:54.70).

Luke Laverdiere, Yarmouth junior: Won the mile (4:30.18) and was third in the 2-mile (9:58.61) at the Class B state championships.

Matt Polewaczyk, Falmouth senior: Won the 200 (23:14) and finished third in the 55 (6.78) at the Class A state meet.

Evan Porter, Traip senior: Won the 55 hurdles (8.05) and 55 dash (6.55) at the Class B state championships.

Henry Quesada, North Yarmouth Academy senior: Captured the 800 (2:03.59) at the Class B state championships.

Sam Rusak, Scarborough senior: Won the Class A high jump (6-2) and pole vault (15-6), and has cleared 15-9 in the pole vault.

Aaron Thomas, Falmouth senior: Finished third at the Class A state meet in the pole vault (13-6).

Alex Wilkins, Windham junior: Placed third at the Class A state meet in the triple jump (41-31/4).

 

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Skiing preview: Fab four lead the defense of Freeport’s title http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/skiing-preview-fab-four-lead-freeport-title-defense/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/skiing-preview-fab-four-lead-freeport-title-defense/#comments Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1120836 FREEPORT — Certainly, amid the season’s first true snowfall, you would expect any Nordic skier worth his wax to be somewhat giddy. Four Freeport High seniors certainly conveyed that excitement earlier this week.

Even so, the more Bennett Hight, Yacob Olins, Kyle Dorsey and John Smail spoke of man buns and homemade jumps and bushwhacking their way through Black Mountain after high winds canceled a race (and every other school had the good sense to go home), the more you understood the true secret of their skiing success.

They’re having a blast.

“That is definitely true,” said Hight, who, along with Olins and Dorsey each registered a pair of top-six finishes at the state meet last winter to help Freeport win the Class B Nordic title. “We all love to ski, and skiing is more fun with others. We get out even on days when we don’t have to train and just bomb around in the woods on skis.”

As Hight, Olins, Dorsey and Smail (hereafter referred to as HODS) advanced from freshmen to sophomores to juniors, Freeport rose from third to second to first in Class B. This winter, the Falcons are overwhelming favorites to remain on top, both in the state and in the highly competitive Western Maine Conference.

“We’ve all known each other and competed and skied together for so long,” Dorsey said, “that there’s a constant drive to keep getting better, mostly, I think, because it’s something we all love to do.”

The other constant about HODS is that no one is ever quite sure, in any given race, how the letters will be arranged. Except for Smail, that is. He knows he’s unlikely to break into Freeport’s top three, but Smail is a converted Alpine skier convinced by Olins upon entering high school to join Nordic.

“They’ve been doing it a lot longer than me,” said Smail, who nonetheless placed 10th in classic in both conference and state meets last winter. “Freshman year, I came into it thinking, ‘Oh, it’ll be fun.’ But they made me step up to the next level, even if I didn’t want to.”

Bennett Hight was Freeport's top finisher last year in freestyle at the Western Maine Conference and state championships. The Falcons are favored to repeat as Nordic champions.

Bennett Hight was Freeport’s top finisher last year in freestyle at the Western Maine Conference and state championships. The Falcons are favored to repeat as Nordic champions. DW Action photo

Hight was Freeport’s top finisher in both WMC and Class B freestyle races, both times claiming third. In classic, Olins took top Falcon honors (third) at states and Dorsey did so (fourth) at the conference meet.

“We all swapped places pretty evenly last year, I feel like,” Hight said.

“No one of us was predominantly better than the other,” Dorsey added.

“Bennett’s definitely the best skate skier,” Olins said, “but on some days, he has a bad race.”

Joel Hinshaw, entering his 15th year as Freeport’s Nordic coach, said the lack of a pecking order leads to an environment that benefits everyone.

“They do drive each other to get out and train,” he said. “They challenge each other.”

Hinshaw describes Hight as a quiet talent who occasionally needs a push, Olins as outspoken and a technical skier who always wants answers, and Dorsey as the comedian of the group who sometimes flies under the radar. Smail anchors the quartet. A fifth senior, Perrin Davidson, serves as something of a paternal figure.

“He’s like the dad of the team,” Hinshaw said of Davidson. “He’s the one who keeps everyone in line in terms of not getting too crazy. The comedian and the other people tend to lose focus at times.”

Some of those times, the four fleet Falcons are simply lost in play, such as when they build jumps at Pineland Farms or turn a training day into a ski cross competition (as they did two years ago at the state meet in Presque Isle) or, when the Sassi Memorial was canceled in 2015, hike up the snowmobile trail at Black Mountain and play around on the ungroomed drifts.

“With the whole team, too, all skill levels,” Smail said. “We were all mashing around through the woods for like, five hours.”

They tend to flock together off the trails as well, taking part in Model United Nations and Ultimate frisbee and cross country. They roller ski together and did some bouldering this fall on the Pine Street ledges in town.

“It’s a way to get endurance strength training,” Hight said, “and still be super fun.”

Super and fun. Fun and super. No matter the order, those two words provide an apt description of Freeport’s fabulous foursome.

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Girls’ basketball preview: For Gray-NG, the goal never changes despite championship season http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/girls-basketball-preview-for-gray-ng-girls-the-goal-never-changes-despite-championship-season/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/girls-basketball-preview-for-gray-ng-girls-the-goal-never-changes-despite-championship-season/#comments Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1120765 GRAY — For Mike Andreasen and his Gray-New Gloucester girls’ basketball team, the start of the season has a different feel this year.

“Usually,” said Andreasen, “we’re the team doing the chasing. This year, we’ve got people chasing us.”

That’s because the Patriots won the Class B South championship last winter – their first regional title in 14 years – before losing to Houlton in the state title game.

With four starters back and some depth, the Patriots loom as one of the teams to beat this season. And now they believe that they can win.

Which is why Andreasen – in his sixth year as Gray-New Gloucester’s head coach – is doing his best to make sure his players remain focused on the task ahead. A championship game in February isn’t on his list of things to talk about just yet.

“We’re really downplaying the expectations of where we want to be,” he said. “I think teams can make the mistake of looking ahead to the end of the journey, whether they get there or not. I want us to enjoy the season.”

You can forgive the fans for looking so far ahead. “This is a community where we don’t win a lot of state championships,” said Andreasen. “It’s easy to get wrapped up in the hoopla.”

The Patriots haven’t defended a championship since they won back-to-back regional titles in 2001 and 2002 (each time losing in the state final to Mt. Desert Island).

Andreasen has had his teams moving forward in each of the last four seasons, always advancing one step beyond where they finished the year before.

The Patriots have four seniors – Skye Conley, Alicia Dumont, Grace Kariotis and Izzy DeTroy – who work hard to keep the team grounded.

“I like the way we work together and bond together,” said Kariotis. “We’re very close-knit. It’s like I have 21 other sisters. It’s an unbelievable feeling. I could come to practice in the worst mood and they will lift me up every time.”

Conley, a post player, said the team has worked hard to build that bond and will continue to focus on the task ahead – and it’s not necessarily concerning a Gold Ball.

“We’re focusing on just one game at a time, that’s something that we did the past few years,” she said. ” We don’t want to think too much about the future because what gets us there is what we do now.”

The four seniors make this team go. Conley is a very good inside player. Dumont, who missed some games because of a knee injury last year, is a dangerous shooter. Kariotis is the team’s best 3-point shooter.

And DeTroy? Well, let Andreasen tell you about her: “She doesn’t have flashy stats, she just does everything well.”

They’ve pushed each other for years and continue to do that now. It’s one of the elements that makes this team so close.

“We’re always pushing each other, whether in practice, or scrimmaging or in a game,” said DeTroy. “We foster that as a team and a program.”

Dumont said it’s important that the Patriots push each other hard all the time to keep improving as a team. They know they will face great competition all season.

And that competition knows it will face a great effort from the Patriots every night.

“They do things the right way,” said Paul True, the coach at Lake Region, one of the Patriots’ chief rivals. “That program is based on very fundamentally sound principles.”

Wells Coach Don Abbott said the Patriots are strong both mentally and physically.

“They were able to impose their will on a lot of teams last year,” he said.

“They have clearly defined roles and they play without a lot of ego. They play with a singular purpose and mindset.”

Andreasen likes it that way. He is trying to build a program that competes for a championship every year, not just once or twice.

For now, he wants the players to not worry about “what’s at the end of the rainbow” but to take the time to appreciate what they’re doing.

“It’s going to be fun,” he said. “Hopefully they’ll enjoy the ride.”

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Indoor track preview: Cheverus senior looks to defend state title http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/indoor-track-preview-cheverus-senior-looks-to-defend-state-title/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/indoor-track-preview-cheverus-senior-looks-to-defend-state-title/#comments Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1120807 Cheverus High’s Emily Turner turned heads with her remarkable performances in the 400 meters in 2016.

So who are we to doubt the senior when she says the team’s goal is to win the first girls’ indoor track state championship in school history?

As a sophomore in 2015, Turner finished third at the Class A indoor meet in the 400 with a time of 1 minute, 2.59 seconds. Going into the indoor state meet in 2016, she had never broken 1 minute. But Turner chased down defending champion Elisabeth Redwood of Bonny Eagle and won in 58.47 seconds.

It was the same story at the outdoor state meet in June. Turner’s best time going into the meet with 59.02. She chased down Redwood again to win in 56.57 and break the Class A record. She also erased the all-time Maine record in the event.

“Breaking 60 (seconds) is good,” said Cheverus Coach Steve Virgilio. “But there are a handful of athletes who do it every year.

“How she went from not being special in her state or on her team to being the best in her state and the best all time … She works very hard. And there is obviously a lot of potential. I think the biggest factor is her will and discipline.”

Turner, who will compete for Boston University on a partial track scholarship next year, shrugs when asked about her marked improvement.

“I am a very competitive person whether I’m (training) with the boys or running in a meet, any meet,” she said. “When I’m in the blocks, I’m shaking. But when the gun goes off, it washes over me and I only focus on the race.”

This indoor season, Virgilio is worried Turner won’t have anyone to chase down, now that Redwood has moved on to the University of Maine. Turner trains with the boys, and Virgilio said she usually beats them in workouts.

But Turner isn’t worried about a lack of competition. She said she always worries she’s not running fast enough, no matter what the competition. And she never expected to improve from 59 seconds to 56.5 seconds last year.

Her take-away message from that accomplishment: At any time, anywhere, someone could improve by a large margin.

“My freshman year, I ran 72 seconds (in the 400). My sophomore year, I ran 62.59,” Turner said. “That proves anybody can improve. I’m waiting for that person who’s going to come out of nowhere. I’m always looking over my shoulder.”

For her senior year, Turner wants to improve on the 25.92 she ran in the 200 outdoors, and even the 56.57 she ran in the 400. She’s unsure if she can become the first Maine girl to run the 400 under 56 seconds.

“Right now, I just want to be as good or better than last year,” Turner said. “Based on how my workouts are going, I think that’s possible. Lifting and in practice, I feel stronger.”

And the ultimate goal of her high school career? Turner wants Cheverus to win a state title.

Last indoor season, Cheverus finished fifth with 35 points, 18 points out of first place, with Turner contributing 18 points. Outdoors, she won three events (100, 200 and 400) and anchored the winning 1,600-meter relay, contributing 40 points to Cheverus’ third-place finish.

Turner expects more of the same at the indoor state meet.

“The goal for the team is to win a state championship,” Turner said. “Nobody puts more pressure on me than myself. I know they deserve a state title, and I hope they get it, whether or not I’m here. If it takes another few years and I’m at Boston University when they win it, I’ll still be just as proud as if we win it this year.”

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Girls’ basketball: 10 players to watch http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/girls-basketball-10-players-to-watch/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/girls-basketball-10-players-to-watch/#comments Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1120767  Alisha Aube, Thornton Academy senior guard: A transfer from Westbrook, she is one of the most dangerous shooters in the state. A 6-footer, she can play inside or out. She averaged 17.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.5 steals last year, and has 932 career points.

Faith Blethen, Boothbay sophomore guard/forward: At 6-2, she has the ability to play anywhere on the court. She averaged 11.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.2 steals while helping Boothbay reach the Class C state championship game.

Abby Cavallaro, Cheverus junior point guard: The 5-6 Cavallaro is coming off a tremendous season in which she averaged 11.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.7 steals (best in SMAA) and 3.9 assists – all highs on the Stags. She also hit 73 percent of her free throws.

Anna DeWolfe, Greely sophomore point guard: DeWolfe burst on the scene as perhaps the most dynamic player in the state with the ability to go the length of the court or hit the 3-pointer. She led the WMC in scoring with 20.4 points while averaging 5.0 rebounds, 3.6 steals and 3.1 assists.

EMILY ESPOSITO

Emily Esposito

Emily Esposito, Gorham senior guard: A three-time all-state selection, Esposito has earned a scholarship to Villanova. She has been amazingly consistent, scoring 345 points, 345 points and 344 points in her first three seasons. She’s dangerous inside or outside.

Meghan Graff, South Portland junior guard: A three-year starter, Graff is a tremendous defender who can play inside or outside. She averaged 12.7 points, 2.8 steals and 2.6 assists as the Riots advanced to the South AA finals.

Mackenzie Holmes, Gorham sophomore center: At 6-2, Holmes is a dominating player inside. She nearly averaged a double-double with 14.7 points and 9.1 rebounds, along with 3.1 blocks. She moves well in the post and is an aggressive defender.

Natalie Thurber, Wells senior guard: Thurber missed six games last season because of a stress fracture but was still selected to the Western Maine Conference all-star team. She averaged 14 points and has been a focal point for the Warriors for three years.

Tasia Titherington, Deering senior guard: A smooth all-around player who can take over a game either inside with drives or outside with her jumper, Titherington averaged 13.2 points and 2.6 assists. She also led the SMAA by hitting 81 percent of her foul shots.

Brie Wajer, Lincoln Academy senior guard: At 5-6, Wajer plays a much bigger game. She is relentless defensively and can beat opposing defenses. Last year, she averaged 11.2 points, 5.8 assists, 5.6 steals and 5.8 rebounds as the Eagles advanced to the B South final.

Wells guard Natalie Thurber, who received all-WMC accolades last season despite missing six games because of an injury, is part of a starting lineup that returns intact.

Wells guard Natalie Thurber, who received all-WMC accolades last season despite missing six games because of an injury, is part of a starting lineup that returns intact. Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

 

Emily Esposito, left, and Mackenzie Holmes led Gorham to the Class AA state championship last winter, and both standouts are back for a team that again looks formidable.

Emily Esposito, left, and Mackenzie Holmes led Gorham to the Class AA state championship last winter, and both standouts are back for a team that again looks formidable. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

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Indoor track: Teams to watch http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/indoor-track-teams-to-watch/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/indoor-track-teams-to-watch/#comments Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1120809 GIRLS

1. Cheverus: Emily Turner, who could win three state titles, leads a team that finished fifth in Class A last season, just 17 points behind champion Edward Little.

2. Greely: Distance runners Katherine Leggat-Barr and Carolyn Todd are the top returnees for a team that placed second in Class B last winter.

3. York: The Wildcats finished third in Class B last season and return their victorious 3,200-meter relay team intact, along with other potential scorers.

4. Westbrook: The Blue Blazes return several scorers from last year’s squad that finished fourth in Class A, including high jump champion Nyagoa Bayak.

5. Bonny Eagle: Last winter’s Class A runner-up lost several seniors but returns a handful of point-getters from the state meet.

Despite some big graduation losses, Scarborough could contend for another Class A state championship, led by Sam Rusak, the reigning champion in the high jump and pole vault.

Despite some big graduation losses, Scarborough could contend for another Class A state championship, led by Sam Rusak, the reigning champion in the high jump and pole vault. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

BOYS

1. Scarborough: With multi-event standout Sam Rusak leading the way, the Red Storm could win their sixth Class A title in seven years.

2. Falmouth: Defending 200-meter champion Matt Polewaczyk could place in multiple events for a team that finished second to Scarborough last season.

3. Traip Academy: The Rangers placed fifth in Class B, but Evan Porter is the defending state champion in both the 55 hurdles and 55 dash and also is a top long jumper. He’ll be supplemented by others who finished just outside of the points.

4. Yarmouth: Led by defending Class B mile champion Luke Laverdiere, the Clippers could move up from their eighth-place finish a year ago, as other top teams graduated key scorers.

5. Westbrook: The Blue Blazes finished sixth in Class A last year, but return four multi-event athletes who scored at the state meet.

 

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Girls’ basketball: 10 teams to watch http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/girls-basketball-10-teams-to-watch/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/girls-basketball-10-teams-to-watch/#comments Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1120771 1. Gorham: The SMAA might be a little tighter this year, but the defending Class AA champs still loom as the team to beat, with four starters returning. Senior guard Emily Esposito can beat opponents so many ways, and sophomore center Mackenzie Holmes is a dominating inside presence. Add pesky senior guard Kaylea Lundin and sharp-shooting senior guard Kristen Curley, and Gorham will be a tough team to beat.

2. South Portland: The Red Riots return four starters from last year’s Class AA South finalist and added a big component via a transfer. Junior guard Meghan Graff is one of the best in the SMAA and is joined by senior point guard Lydia Henderson, junior guard Sarah Boles and sophomore guard/forward Katie Whitmore. The addition of junior guard Eva Mazur, a defensive whiz who transferred from Maine Girls’ Academy, gives the Riots an extremely strong core.

3. Greely: The Rangers could be one of the best teams in the state regardless of class. They are talented and deep, led by dynamic sophomore guard Anna DeWolfe. Seniors Moira Train, Isabel Porter, Molly Chapin and Hannah Stewart provide talent and leadership, and freshmen guards Brooke Obar and Katie Fitzpatrick will make an immediate impact for a team considered the favorite in Class A South.

4. Deering: The Rams return four starters from a team that reached the AA North semifinals. They have three standout seniors in guards Tasia Titherington and Abi Ramirez and forward Amanda Brett. Sophomores Delaney Haines, Victoria Garand, Mandy Mastropasqua and Ashleigh Mathisen will also make an impact.

5. Cheverus: The Stags have five starters returning and look to be ready to run their way to a title. Still small but quick, Cheverus will again rely on the 3-point shot to break down opposing defenses. Abby Cavallaro, Kaylin Malmquist, Emme Poulin and Brooke Dawson are dead-eye shooters. Brooke McElman will be strong inside and Alayna Briggs brings a ton of energy.

6. Thornton Academy: The Trojans were already going to be pretty good, then Alisha Aube, a spot-on shooter, transferred in from Westbrook. Thornton’s forte has always been defense, but with Aube, Alex Hart and Bella Robinson, the Trojans could have a highly productive offense, too. A couple talented freshmen, Amanda Bogardus and Alexis Sanders, join the team.

7. Scarborough: The Red Storm have been on the fringe of being really good the last couple years and should break through this winter. Four starters return, and Coach Mike Giordano says he can go 10 deep. The Red Storm have some scorers, like Sophie Glidden and Brooke Malone, but the big key is how they play defense in tight games.

8. Gray-New Gloucester: The defending Class B South champs return four starters and appear set to make another title run. The Patriots aren’t flashy, but they have a crew of unselfish, talented players who believe in each other. Skye Conley is solid inside, and Alicia Dumont and Bri Jordan are dangerous outside. The Patriots may run more than usual, and the defense will be just as tight.

9. Bonny Eagle: The Scots reached the regional semifinals (Class AA South) for the first time in two decades last season. With four starters returning and a key transfer, they’ll look for even more success. Deirdre Sanborn is the transfer, from Cheverus, and she should help the offense. Mackenzie Emery and Lauryn Fagan are also worth watching.

10. Boothbay: The Seahawks should be one of the best Class C teams, led by junior forward Page Brown (17.3 points) and sophomore guard Faith Blethen (11.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.2 steals). Four other starters return from last year’s regional champs.

 

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Swimming: 10 girls and 10 boys to watch http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/swimming-10-girls-and-10-boys-to-watch/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/swimming-10-girls-and-10-boys-to-watch/#comments Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1120816 GIRLS

Caroline Arpin, Cheverus sophomore: The defending Class A champion in breast stroke, she also placed third in the individual medley and swam a leg on the winning 200-yard medley relay.

Emily Ecker, Cape Elizabeth freshman: Ecker holds several age-group state records and already has broken 4:56 in the 500 free – three seconds under the state record set in 2003.

Ana-Neff Jendrasko, Maine Girls’ Academy senior: The Class B runner-up in the individual medley after winning it as a sophomore and freshman, she’s also a former backstroke champ who placed third in the butterfly.

Alicia Lawrence, Cape Elizabeth sophomore: The Class B runner-up in the 200 freestyle, she also placed third in 50 free and anchored the winning 200 medley and 400 free relay teams.

Abby Longstaff, Cheverus senior: The defending Class A state champion in the 50 free and 100 backstroke, she led off the Stags’ winning 200 medley relay.

 

Eliza Lunt, Yarmouth senior: The Class B runner-up in breast stroke, Lunt also placed sixth in the 50 free. She was third in both events as a sophomore.

Emma Patterson, Kennebunk junior: The defending Class B champion diver amassed 343.20 points at the state meet.

Olivia Tighe, Cape Elizabeth sophomore: Tighe, the Class B champion in the 200 freestyle and runner-up in the 500 free, also swam on the winning 200 medley and 400 free relays.

Ann Tolan, Morse senior: The two-time defending Class B state champion and state record holder (23.39) in the 50 freestyle, she also won the 100 free. She’s headed to Penn State on scholarship.

Caitlin Tycz, Brunswick senior: The state record-holder in the butterfly (53.32) and the defending Class A individual medley champion is headed to Southern Cal on scholarship.

BOYS

Tucker Banger, Morse senior: The two-time Class B runner-up in the 50 freestyle, he also finished fourth in the 100 free.

Will Couture, Portland sophomore: Couture was fourth in Class A in the backstroke and sixth in the butterfly.

Nathaniel Hayward, Wells senior: The defending Class B diving champion, he amassed 328.85 points at the state meet.

Brian Hess, Brunswick junior: Hess placed third in Class A breast stroke and sixth in the 50 free, and was on the state record-setting 200 medley relay team.

Sam Loring, Cape Elizabeth junior: Loring was third in Class B in the individual medley and breast stroke.

Shane Moore, Cheverus senior: The defending Class A champion in the 100 freestyle also placed third in the 50 free and anchored the winning 200 free relay.

Connor Perron, Falmouth senior: Perron was the Class A runner-up in both 200 freestyle and 500 free.

Eli Steward, Thornton Academy junior: Steward placed fourth in the butterfly and fifth in the individual medley in Class A.

Ben Tompkins, Cheverus senior: Tompkins was fourth in Class A in the individual medley and 500 free. He’s the only returning member of the Stags’ victorious 400 free relay.

Ben Willertz, Morse junior: Willertz placed third in the Class B 500 freestyle and ninth in the 200 free.

 

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Boys’ basketball: 10 teams to watch http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/boys-basketball-10-teams-to-watch-2/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/boys-basketball-10-teams-to-watch-2/#comments Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1120773 1. Portland: The Bulldogs have won three straight regional titles and last year’s first-ever AA state championship. With player of the year candidate Terion Moss running the show – along with clever scorer Griffin Foley and veteran banger Charlie Lyall back in the starting lineup – they are the favorites until proven otherwise, even though AA North is stacked. A veteran squad from Edward Little and likely improved Windham join perennials Deering and Cheverus as worthy contenders. What Portland has and will develop further is superior depth. Coach Joe Russo, in his 27th season, helps, too.

2. Thornton Academy: Two key transfers have coaches picking the Golden Trojans as the favorite in AA South. Senior point guard Austin Boudreau was a three-year varsity player at Cheverus, where he was a third-team SMAA choice as a junior. Evan Christensen is a senior guard/forward who previously played at Old Orchard Beach. They join junior David Keohan to form one of the state’s top trios. There could be a brief adjustment period, but since Boudreau lives in OOB and went to middle school in Saco, the group probably has established chemistry. Jon Fogg, at 6-5, adds inside presence.

3. Greely: The Rangers were upset last season in a Class A South semifinal by a strong Brunswick team. They enter this year as the favorite in the division, with seniors Jordan Bagshaw, Matt McDevitt and Ryan Twitchell all capable of putting up big offensive nights. Bagshaw can shoot or drive, while the 6-6 McDevitt is a matchup problem because he can step outside and drain the 3. Focus on those two, and Twitchell will get loose within 15 feet. With good overall team size and depth, Greely gets the nod ahead of defending Class A champ Falmouth.

4. Deering: The Rams went 16-3 last season, losing three times to Portland. They graduated four starters but return three key reserves to go with strongman center Raffaele Salamone. They also added a tough guard from Houston (Ricky Despacho) and are anticipating the liftoff of sophomore Ben Onek into a full-fledged varsity force. JeanClaude Butera played a bunch as the backup point guard and is ready to take the reins. Manny Chikuta can stuff the stat sheet. And Machar Nguany is a 6-3 player who was hampered by injuries. If the pieces all fit, the Rams can win it all.

5. Falmouth: Colin Coyne showed two years ago he could run the show when his brother, Tom (now playing at Bates), was injured. This year he’s definitely the guard in charge. His ability to protect the basketball while still making plays means Falmouth is going to be in every game. Sean Walsh, a 6-7 threat inside and out, is the other returning starter. In the backcourt, senior Ben Simonds and junior Jack Bryant saw time during the title run. If Niko DePatsy, a 6-5 junior, and freshman Michael Simonds improve as expected, Coyne will have enough targets for his pinpoint passes.

6. South Portland: The Red Riots were expected to be a power, then went 9-9 in the regular season before getting hot in the playoffs. They went to double overtime before losing to Portland in the state final. This year, the Riots won’t be as big but figure to be quicker. Ruay Bol, a 6-5 senior, is the team’s most exciting player, capable of a big dunk or a midrange jumper. The team may have more scoring options this year with seniors Ansell Stilley, Deandre White (point guard), Moses Oreste and Cam Deiley ready to make consistent contributions, as is junior shooter Noah Malone. Riley Hasson adds contagious energy.

7. York: The Wildcats return four starters from a team that went 7-3 after a 2-7 start. Trevor LaBonte is a player of the year candidate, able to play all over the court at 6-6. Junior guards Payton Small and Alex Nickerson were thrown into the fire because of injuries last year and now have big-game experience. With a good mix of veterans, size and depth, the Wildcats have the pieces to be a surprise team in Class A South, moving ahead of perennial powers Brunswick and Cape Elizabeth.

8. Brunswick: The Dragons reached the Class A South final last season, but a lot of their scoring departed with the graduation of Thomas Hanson and the transfer of Caleb Cost (private school in Massachusetts). Senior guards Josh Dorr and Jesse Devereaux must find a way to distribute the ball to inside threats Corban Teel and Colby Bucknam while still getting their own offense.

9. Yarmouth: The Clippers have a potent big-man combination with 6-7 Alek Medenica and 6-6 junior Nolan Hagerty. Both can shoot the 3, but the offense, which will be run by Johnny Torres, is designed to get the ball inside. That will open things up for shooting guard Noah Eckersley-Ray. Last season, Yarmouth reached the South final, losing to eventual state champ Lake Region. If Yarmouth slips, Wells could be the team to step forward, as it returns its entire starting lineup.

10. Cheverus: The Stags probably need to find some more complementary pieces to be able to get past Portland, Edward Little and Deering, but the combo of 6-4 guard Jack Casale and 6-5 forward Jesse Matthews will present problems. They combined for more than 28 points and nearly 13 rebounds last season. Coach Ryan Soucie says the slender Matthews has improved dramatically as a finisher at the rim.

 

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Swimming: Teams to watch http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/swimming-teams-to-watch/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/swimming-teams-to-watch/#comments Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1120817 GIRLS

1. Cape Elizabeth: Runners-up in Class B by seven points last winter, the Capers boast a ton of young talent, led by a sophomore class that includes Olivia Tighe, Alicia Lawrence, Hope Campbell, Corinne Wight, Jade Lindenau and divers Kelsey Kennedy and Maggie Pierce. Freshmen Emily Ecker (potential all-American) and Caroline Mahoney will make waves. Rose Baillie and Maggie Baker provide senior leadership.

2. Morse: Coach Todd Marco believes this is the best girls’ team he’s had in 10 years. The Shipbuilders, fifth in Class B last winter, return an outstanding core with seniors Ann Tolan, Brittany Kaler, junior Leah Totman and sophomores Ella Martin and Emma Warner. Add talented freshman Emily Martin, Laney Schults and twins Olivia and Harley Harper, and Morse will give Cape Elizabeth a run for the title.

3. Brunswick: The two-time defending Class A state champions return Telegram Swimmer of the Year Caitlin Tycz, the state record holder in the 100 butterfly. Graduation hit the Dragons hard, however. Sophomore Alex Morse is the only other individual to place among the top six in Class A, although seniors Hannah Escoe and Emily Cowan and juniors Anna Rider and Sophie Blair provided scoring depth.

4. Cheverus: Third in Class A last winter, Cheverus returns more of its lineup than Brunswick or runner-up Scarborough. Senior Abby Longstaff and junior Caroline Arpin lead a veteran group that includes senior Nina Greenwood – the top returning diver in Class A – as well as senior Gabrielle Cholish and sophomore Tholia Hallett. The return of senior Carrie Hight helps make up for the loss to club swimming of junior Sophia Kruse.

5. Greely: The two-time defending Class B state champions suffered significant graduation losses, but with 27 girls, the cupboard isn’t bare. Junior Lily Black and sophomore Courtney Rog lead a half dozen returning scorers from the state meet. The others are seniors Lauren Williams and Sarah Beretich, junior Madison Rawnsley and sophomore diver Julia Bisson.

Shane Moore of Cheverus is the defending Class A champ in the 100 freestyle.

Shane Moore of Cheverus is the defending Class A champ in the 100 freestyle.

BOYS

1. Cheverus: Seniors Shane Moore and Ben Tompkins will lead the push for a fifth straight Class A state title. Graduation took a big bite, but the Stags return seniors Gustav Anderson and Raymond Le and sophomore Jeremy Baker, all of whom scored in two individual events at states. Freshmen Chase Cameron and Quinton Hastings will help fill in some of the gaps for a squad that numbers 18.

2. Brunswick: After consecutive runner-up finishes in Class A, the Dragons are eager to win it all. They’ll have to do so without Nate Samson (Florida State) but lost only one other state-meet scorer. Junior Brian Hess leads a squad of 20 that includes seniors Henry Raker and Eddie Capoldo, junior Andrew Samson, sophomore Matt Yost and divers Chris Roderick and Seth White. Freshman Nicco Bartone is strong in breast stroke and backstroke.

 

3. Cape Elizabeth: After winning the Class B crown in 2015, the Capers finished second to Ellsworth in 2016. Senior Kyle Long, junior Sam Loring and sophomore Oliver Kraft placed among the top seven in two individual events. Seniors Elliot McGinn, Owen Thoreck and Connor Thoreck, junior Andrew Herrera and sophomores Rohan Freedman and Matthew Yim also contributed points.

4. Morse: The Shipbuilders return everyone from a team that placed fifth in Class B. Seniors Tucker Banger and Cameron Fitzgerald lead a contingent that includes seniors Max Gurney, Patrick McKenna and Cameron Marco, junior Ben Willertz and sophomore Dominic Marco. Alex Gurney is among the freshmen who will contribute.

5. Thornton Academy: Coach Kathy Leahy has 16 swimmers set on improving on the Trojans’ sixth-place finish in Class A. A strong junior class headed by Eli Steward and Josh Roberts also includes Joe Vail and Nolan Eisenhaur. Senior Tom Cote also provides a veteran presence and swam on two freestyle relays that placed among the top four in Class A.

 

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Boys’ basketball: 10 players to watch http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/boys-basketball-10-players-to-watch/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/boys-basketball-10-players-to-watch/#comments Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1120774  Jordan Bagshaw, Greely senior guard: An outstanding 6-1 shooter who averaged 18 points per game as a junior, he can also score at the rim. Bagshaw and 6-6 senior Matt McDevitt will lead a veteran team that expects to challenge for the Class A title.

 Ruay Bol, South Portland senior forward: His 22-point second half in the AA South final showed that the lean, 6-5 forward is capable of building on his junior averages of 9.9 points and 6.4 rebounds.

South Portland's Ruay Bol is capable of dominating games, as he showed in last year's Class AA South final.

South Portland’s Ruay Bol is capable of dominating games, as he showed in last year’s Class AA South final. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

 Jack Casale, Cheverus senior guard: An all-around player who can score, rebound and defend, he averaged 16.2 points and 7.2 rebounds and has improved athletically.

Colin Coyne, Falmouth senior guard: A key multi-year contributer for the defending Class A state champions, he can score and create opportunities for Falmouth’s big but relatively inexperienced frontcourt.

  Nick Curtis, Windham junior guard: Now a known commodity, the gritty point guard will look to build on a sophomore season in which he averaged 16.8 points and led the SMAA with 6.6 assists per game.

David Keohan, Thornton Academy junior forward: An all-around player who does many things well and can play multiple positions, he averaged 10.8 points and 6.3 rebounds as a sophomore.

Trevor LaBonte, York senior forward: The 6-6 forward can play all over the court and contributes points (18 per game last season), rebounds and assists.

Alek Medenica, Yarmouth senior forward: Medenica is a rugged 6-7 and averaged 15 points and more than 10 rebounds per game. He and 6-6 Nolan Hagerty lead a Class B contender.

Terion Moss was one of the state's best all-around players as a sophomore, leading Portland to the Class AA championship.

Terion Moss was one of the state’s best all-around players as a sophomore, leading Portland to the Class AA championship. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Terion Moss, Portland junior guard: Quick and savvy, Moss can seemingly get to the rim at will. He’ll be asked to look for his shot even more after averaging 14.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and an SMAA-best 3.2 steals as a sophomore.

Ben Onek, Deering sophomore forward: A high-flying 6-5 forward who can shoot from outside, Onek played sparingly as a freshman but is pegged as a player with star potential by several area coaches.

 

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Swimming preview: They’re the best of Maine, and the best of friends http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/swimming-preview-best-of-maine-best-of-friends/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/09/swimming-preview-best-of-maine-best-of-friends/#comments Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1120818 BATH — Standing behind the blocks at the YMCA Short Course Nationals in April, waiting for their turn to hit the water at the Greensboro Aquatics Center in North Carolina, Ann Tolan and Caitlin Tycz talked about random stuff: Who they knew at the meet; which coaches they think are funny; maybe reminding each other to bring an air mattress for the tent they share at a big summer meet in New Brunswick.

“We laugh a lot behind the block before relays, trying to calm each other down,” Tolan said.

“It’s good, because you’re not thinking about swimming,” Tycz said. “You’re just thinking about being with your friends.”

Tolan and Tycz are seniors at Morse and Brunswick high schools, respectively. They are also longtime teammates on the Long Reach Swim Club that trains out of the Bath Area Family YMCA. Each ranks among the top 10 students academically at her high school, and each has accepted an athletic scholarship to continue swimming at a major NCAA institution – Penn State for Tolan and the University of Southern California for Tycz.

“Every year in Maine, there seems to be somebody going to some really good swim school,” said Jay Morissette, who has coached at Long Reach since 1985. “I don’t have statistics, but I almost think swimming does better than other sports in terms of consistently sending high-end athletes recruited to high-end colleges.”

After practicing together in the afternoon, Tolan and Tycz join their high school teams for evening practices. Tolan holds the state record of 23.39 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle and placed sixth in that event at the YMCA Nationals. She also holds Morse High records in six of the eight individual events and owns Bowdoin and University of Maine pool records in the 50 free.

Tycz, who swam in the U.S. Olympic trials the summer, holds the YMCA national record in the 100 butterfly (52.43) as well as the state record in that event (53.32). She, too, holds six records at her high school, lacking only the 100 breast stroke and 500 freestyle.

“I’m working on them,” she said with a smile.

Tolan and Tycz, both 17, have been swimming together at Long Reach for the past decade. Tolan started first, at age 6. Tycz arrived a year or so later, after first taking lessons at the Casco Bay YMCA.

At 5-foot-11, Tolan is four inches taller and specializes in sprinting. Tycz has the broad shoulders of a butterfly swimmer. They occasionally go head-to-head when Brunswick and Morse hold their annual dual meet. But because Brunswick competes in Class A and Morse in Class B, they don’t see each other at state meets.

“It’s a fun type of competitive,” Tolan said. “We want our teams to do well and we want each other to do well.”

“We’ve always been friends,” Tycz said. “Ann is really focused. When she needs to accomplish something, she always gets it done, which I really admire.”

The recruitment process started earlier for Tycz, who honed in on USC as a sophomore and twice attended summer camps there. She also visited Yale and the University of Virginia, but opted for Southern Cal, whose women’s team finished sixth in the 2016 NCAA championships and featured eight All-Americans.

“I liked the other schools,” Tycz said, “but they would have had to be perfect, in my mind, to top USC. They train outdoors (at times) and have a 50-meter pool, which we don’t have in Maine. So having that training for when I go to the Olympic Trials in four years or international competition will give me a chance to do my best.”

Tolan played soccer and lacrosse her freshman year at Morse before going all-in on swimming. She came later to the college recruitment process and asked Tycz plenty of questions.

“I was never really the best until, like, last year,” Tolan said of her sprinting. “I was always good, but I wasn’t great. She’s always been really good.”

Penn State placed 25th at the NCAA meet last March. Tolan also visited Yale and North Carolina State.

“It’s definitely an up-and-coming team,” Tolan said of Penn State, which also boasts an outdoor pool to go along with two indoor pools. “It will be fun to be part of a team that’s improving so much, and hopefully I’ll be able to help bring them to a new level.”

For her final season of high school swimming, Tolan has her sights set on the Class B state championship. The Shipbuilders were fifth last winter but have their deepest team in a decade.

Brunswick, meanwhile, has won two straight Class A titles, but graduation left holes that may be too big to fill.

“We’re rebuilding,” Tycz said. “My goal is to get all of the new swimmers and returning swimmers to enjoy the year. I’m a captain this year, which gives me a new perspective on it.”

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