Sports – Press Herald Mon, 23 Oct 2017 22:48:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tom Caron: Alex Cora brings persistence, energy to Red Sox Mon, 23 Oct 2017 18:08:14 +0000 Alex Cora will be introduced formally as the 47th manager in Boston Red Sox history after the World Series. Cora’s a little tied up until then, trying to finish off his stint as Astros bench coach by helping the franchise secure its first World Series championship.

Whether the Astros win over lose, Cora won’t have much time to savor the 2017 postseason. He’ll have to get right to work in his new job, becoming a first-time manager and taking over a team that won two straight American League East titles but didn’t perform well enough in October to save John Farrell’s job.

We always knew Cora would some day be a manager. In his three-and-a-half seasons as an infielder for the Red Sox, he was always thinking about the game, talking about strategy and trying to do his part as a role player to help his team maximize its potential. He did just that in 2007, helping the Sox win their second championship in four seasons.

A Red Sox manager must have many qualities. He’ll have to be patient with his young players. He’ll have to be consistent with his in-game strategies. And he’ll have to be persistent if he hopes to achieve his goal leading the Sox back to the Series.

He showed all of those traits in a legendary at bat while with the Dodgers in 2004.

Cora was never much of a power hitter, with just 35 home runs in his 14 major league seasons. So when he stepped up to the plate to face Matt Clement in the seventh inning of a game in 2004, there was no reason for the fans at Dodger Stadium to expect anything memorable.

Clement had thrown 86 pitches in the game for the Cubs, and had retired Cora twice on fly balls. He quickly fell behind Cora 2-1. Then Cora started to grind out one of the greatest at bats the game has ever seen. He fouled of 14 consecutive pitches as the count stayed at 2-2. At one point during the showdown the scoreboard operator began to keep track of the pitch count, and the crowd came to its feet.

“You never see so much excitement,” said Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully. “And nothing has happened. That’s really what’s so funny about it.”

Then, on the 18th pitch of the at bat, Cora hit a two-run homer. The L.A. crowd roared and Cora’s teammates jumped like they had just won a championship. It still stands as the third-longest at bat since pitch counts started being documented in baseball. And an epic reminder that Cora never backed down from a challenge.

A year later, Cora and Clement would become teammates in Boston. Clement would be gone by the ’07 championship, but Cora remained.

Cora wasn’t hired by President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski because of an 18-pitch at bat 13 years ago. He was hired because of his unique skill set. At 42, he’ll be the youngest Red Sox manager since 40-year-old Kevin Kennedy took over the Sox in 1995. Cora’s youth and energy are expected to help him connect with the core of young Red Sox players, a group that seemed to stagnate in 2017. He’s bilingual, which should help him connect with young Latin players such as Rafael Devers and Christian Vazquez. He spent four seasons working in television, which should help him deal with the relentless media in Boston.

Two of the last three Boston titles were won in the first year of a manager’s tenure: the 2004 squad under Terry Francona and the 2013 Sox under Farrell. Each time a new voice was needed to spark a team that expected to compete.

Now Cora will have to provide that voice. He’ll sit at the helm of a team with a high payroll, a team that won 93 games in each of the last two seasons yet will undoubtedly be picked behind the Yankees when predictions are made for 2018.

As bench coach in Houston Cora helped eliminate the Yankees in Game 7 on Saturday night. That pleased a lot of baseball fans in New England. Now Cora will face the much tougher task of pleasing that fan base during the Red Sox season. It’s a difficult task, but one Cora thinks he can handle.

Just like fouling off 14 consecutive pitches before hitting a home run.

Tom Caron is a studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.


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On Football: Patriots defense – yes, the defense – comes up huge in win over Falcons Mon, 23 Oct 2017 15:27:46 +0000 FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady spent Sunday afternoon at home carving pumpkins with his children. He spent Sunday night leading the New England Patriots to a 23-7 victory over the Atlanta Falcons at foggy Gillette Stadium, with his parents (Tom Sr. and Galynn) watching from the stands.

“That made for a pretty perfect day,” he said.

That it did. The Patriots served notice to the rest of the NFL Sunday night that they are, still, the Patriots, the defending champs, the preseason choice by many to repeat as Super Bowl champion. Their early-season struggles, the two home losses already, suddenly seem long ago.

They are 5-2, winners of three in a row. And the reason for this optimism and confidence is … the defense.

Yes, a defense that entered Sunday’s game as one of the worst, if not the worst, in the NFL, allowing nearly 325 passing yards and 27 points a game. That defense was without two of its top three cornerbacks, as Stephon Gilmore and Eric Rowe were once again out with injuries. Yet they throttled the Falcons and Matt Ryan – who incredibly became the first quarterback this year to NOT throw for 300 yards against New England – and sucked all the drama out of the hype that was the Super Bowl LI rematch.

Unlike that championship game played eight months ago, when the Patriots rallied from a 25-point deficit to win 34-28 in overtime, they Patriots didn’t need any historic comebacks this time.

No, the Patriots reached back into their championship formula and won this game in throwback fashion: running the ball (162 yards), special teams (a blocked field goal by Cassius Marsh) and defense.

The Patriots continually turned back the Falcons whenever they threatened. The Falcons were only 2 for 9 on third down, 1 for 3 on fourth down. Cornerbacks Johnson Bademosi, Jonathan Jones and Malcolm Butler blanketed game-breaking receivers such as Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel.

“We didn’t make all of the plays,” said Patriots coach Bill Belichick. “But when big plays came up we were able to make those plays.”

It was a most impressive – and unlikely – performance against one of the more dangerous offenses in the NFL.

“We knew what we were always capable of,” said second-year defensive tackle Trey Flowers. “We just had to put it together.”

“Play in, play out, 11 guys were on the same page,” said safety Devin McCourty.

New England lost its shutout with a garbage-time, 1-yard touchdown pass from Ryan to Jones, who plucked the ball out of Butler’s hands in the end zone. Ryan threw for 233 yards, but 66 came on that final drive, with the Patriots leading 23-0.

“We’re just better,” said safety Duron Harmon. “We continue to improve each week. From the Panthers game (a 33-30 home loss) on until now, we just continue to get better each and every week. We continue to come to work, work together, try to find the best combination of players that we can put out there and everybody that goes out there continues to do a great job and just work hard.”

It started early. Atlanta had a first-and-10 at the Patriots 19 late in the first quarter. After Butler came flying up to cut down running back Tevin Coleman for no gain, Ryan threw two incompletions. Matt Bryant came in to kick a 37-yard field goal but Marsh came in from the right to block it, keeping the game scoreless.

The Patriots went on to score a touchdown on the ensuing drive. Then the defense forced a three-and-out by the Falcons. The Patriots went in to score again, on a 29-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski.

New England then stopped Atlanta on a fourth-and-7 from the New England 48, Ryan’s pass to Sanu incomplete, with Jones in coverage. The Patriots drove down to go ahead 17-0 on Brady’s 2-yard pass to James White.

The defense stepped up in the third quarter, forcing the Falcons to try another field goal by Bryant. This one hit the left upright.

Then in the fourth quarter, with New England up 20-0, the Falcons had a fourth-and-goal from the New England 1. The Falcons went with a jet sweep to the right by Gabriel. Flowers, seeing Gabriel coming in motion toward him, busted through to knock Gabriel off course, and linebacker Kyle Van Noy came in the finish him off for a five-yard loss.

“The D kept making plays, and we kept going out there and chipping away,” said Brady.

The defensive backs cited communication, physical play and sticking to the game plan. They knew they had to stand up to Atlanta’s receivers. They never gave them any breathing room.

“We all just came out fighting,” said Jones. “It’s like a domino effect. You come out with good energy, make one stop and they keep adding up. Get up on them early and keep at it.”

That’s the way the Patriots won championships in the past. That’s the way they need to play going forward. Brady – as good as he still is – can’t will them to a victory in every game.

But this wasn’t just the defense’s best game of the season. It was the Patriots’ best complementary game of the season: offense, defense, special teams. Everyone contributed. This was the Patriots at their best. And they need to keep moving forward.

“As a team, we’re happy as far as how we managed the game,” said Flowers. “We’re going to look at the film and see that we missed some opportunities here and there. We can always be better, but this was a step in the right direction.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0 defensive tackle Adam Butler, right, sacks Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan. New England allowed Ryan to pass 233 the first time this season an opposing quarterback has not surpassed 300 yards against New England.Mon, 23 Oct 2017 18:37:52 +0000
Patriots keep Falcons in a fog, roll over Atlanta in Super Bowl rematch, 23-7 Mon, 23 Oct 2017 03:34:03 +0000 FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The rematch was a mismatch.

The New England Patriots’ much maligned defense, missing two of its top three cornerbacks, came up with its best effort of the season to throttle the Atlanta Falcons 23-7 Sunday night at foggy Gillette Stadium in a rematch of Super Bowl LI.

The Patriots, who entered the game allowing nearly 27 points and 325 passing yards a game, completely shut down Matt Ryan and the Falcons to improve to 5-2 on the season. Ryan was held to 233 passing yards – the first time this season a quarterback has failed to throw for 300 against the Patriots this season.

Last February, the Patriots rallied from a 28-3 third-quarter deficit to defeat the Falcons 34-28 in overtime in the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history. Much of the hype leading into this game centered on that game. But the Patriots defensive effort took all the drama out of this one.

Much of the second half was played in a heavy fog that enshrouded the field, making it difficult to see anything.

Tom Brady threw for 249 yards and touchdowns to Brandin Cooks (11 yards) and James White (2 yards) in the second quarter. Dion Lewis rushed for 76 yards. Stephen Gostkowski kicked three field goals.

And the defense came up huge.

Cassius Marsh blocked a 37-yard field goal attempt by Matt Bryant with 1:05 left in the first quarter to keep the game scoreless.

And linebacker Kyle Van Noy made a huge stop on a fourth-and-goal for the Falcons from the New England 1 early in the fourth, with New England leading 20-0. After Trey Flowers busted up the play, Van Noy tackled Taylor Gabriel for a 5-yard loss.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Patriots got their offense untracked in the second.

They got the scoring started with 12:26 left in the second quarter on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Cooks. It was actually a very short shovel-pass in the backfield, and Cooks followed tight end Rob Gronkowski around left end to the end zone.

Rex Burkhead came in on the next drive, his first appearance since a rib injury in the second game, and sparked the Pats to a 29-yard field goal by Gostkowski with 4:42 left to make it 10-0.

The Patriots defense then stood up, forcing a Ryan incompletion on a fourth-and-6 from the New England 47 with 1:55 left in the half.

Brady then completed a 2-yard touchdown pass to White with 21 seconds remaining in the half.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0 wide receiver Brandon Cooks follows Rob Gronkowski, who blocks Atlanta's Robert Alford, to finish an 11-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter of the New England's 23-7win Sunday in Foxborough, Massachusetts.Mon, 23 Oct 2017 11:35:20 +0000
Patriots notebook: Burkhead provides spark in return Mon, 23 Oct 2017 03:16:59 +0000 FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Running back Rex Burkhead was signed as a free agent in the offseason by the New England Patriots, who hoped his versatility would boost their running attack.

But he has had little impact this season, sidelined since he suffered a rib injury in Week 2 in a 36-20 win at New Orleans, with just 18 yards on five rushes and four catches for 49 yards.

He returned to the lineup Sunday night at Gillette Stadium against the Atlanta Falcons and immediately provided a jolt.

The former Cincinnati Bengal came in for the first time in the second quarter and sparked the offense, leading to a 29-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski that gave New England a 10-0 lead.

Burkhead’s first run went for 9 yards. In fact, he had three 9-yard runs on the drive and had 31 of the Patriots’ 64 yards on the drive.

The Patriots led 17-0 at halftime and Burkhead’s 31 rushing yards were second to Dion Lewis’ 34 in the first half.

NEW ENGLAND’S maligned pass defense, entering the game last in the league in yards allowed and missing two of its top three cornerbacks, had a tremendous first half, limiting Matt Ryan to just 110 passing yards.

LINEBACKER ELANDON Roberts was out of the lineup for the first time this season.

Roberts suffered an ankle injury last week and was not able to recover sufficiently to play. That meant veteran David Harris, who was a healthy scratch for two of the last three games and didn’t play in the third, was back in the lineup against the speedy Atlanta running backs.

Other players on New England’s inactive list were cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore (concussion/ankle) and Eric Rowe (groin), linebacker Harvey Langi (back), offensive linemen Cam Fleming and Cole Croston and defensive lineman Geneo Grissom.

THE PATRIOTS honored their three Pro Football Hall of Fame members at halftime.

Guard John Hannah, cornerback Mike Haynes and linebacker Andre Tippett were introduced to the crowd by owner Robert Kraft.

TOM BRADY’S parents, Tom Brady Sr. and Galynn, were part of the pre-game Crucial Catch ceremony, the NFL’s cancer awareness campaign. Galynn Brady’s fight with breast cancer was revealed in the lead up to last season’s Super Bowl. Also joining the ceremony were former Patriot guard Joe Andruzzi, a cancer survivor, and Nate Solder’s wife Lexi and son Holden. NBC reported during the game that Holden has resumed chemotherapy treatment for a rare pediatric cancer.

THE PATRIOTS players and coaches donated 200 tickets for military members to attend the game. They stood behind the Patriots’ end zone during pregame warmups, with many Patriots players greeting them. Patriots owner Robert Kraft went down the line shaking their hands.

THE SANFORD Police Department honor guard was part of the pregame ceremonies, presenting the colors during the national anthem along with the honor guards from police departments in Watertown, Massachusetts; Cranston, Rhode Island; Windsor, Vermont; and the Connecticut State Police.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

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NHL roundup: Canucks score three times in second to beat Detroit Mon, 23 Oct 2017 02:43:36 +0000 DETROIT — Sven Baertschi scored twice, and the Vancouver Canucks used a dominant second period to pull away for a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday night.

Vancouver scored three times in the second, outshooting the Red Wings 18-6 in the period. Baertschi, Derek Dorsett and Jake Virtanen scored in the second for the Canucks, who are 3-1 so far on a five-game trip.

Detroit has lost four in a row. Anthony Mantha scored the only goal for the Red Wings, tying it at 1 late in the first.

Vancouver opened the scoring when Bo Horvat’s shot was deflected and trickled right to Baertschi in front of the net. He stickhandled around goalie Jimmy Howard and backhanded the puck in. Mantha’s equalizer came on a wrist shot from the top of the left circle.

Dorsett gave Vancouver the lead back with his fifth goal in the past five games.

Baertschi’s second goal came on a wrist shot from the top of the slot, then Daniel Sedin got his 990th career point when he passed to Virtanen who put in his own rebound.


GOLDEN KNIGHTS: Goalie Malcolm Subban is expected to miss four to six weeks after sustaining a lower-body injury late in the team’s 3-2 overtime win over the Blues on Saturday. Subban appeared to injure himself attempting a kick save on a shot by Jaden Schwartz and was helped off the ice with 9:10 left in the third period.

FLAMES: Forward Jaromir Jagr left Calgary’s game against the Wild on Saturday night with 6 minutes remaining because of a lower-body injury. Coach Glen Gulutzan did not have an update on the 45-year-old’s condition after the game.

MAPLE LEAFS: Toronto signed veteran defenseman Roman Polak to a one-year, $1.1 million contract.

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NBA roundup: Suns fire coach Earl Watson just three games into season Mon, 23 Oct 2017 02:21:56 +0000 PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns have fired coach Earl Watson just three games in to the NBA season.

The Suns announced the firing Sunday night after hours of meetings at the team’s headquarters.

Assistant coach Jay Triano, a former head coach of the Toronto Raptors, was named interim coach. Triano was an assistant at Portland before coming to Phoenix last year.

Watson was promoted from assistant to interim coach after Jeff Hornacek was fired Feb. 1, 2016. The interim tag was removed on April 19 of that year. With a very young team, the Suns struggled under Watson. He compiled a 33-85 record. Watson’s only full season was 2016-17, when the team went 24-58.

The 38-year-old Watson played collegiately at UCLA and in the NBA for 10 seasons. He often spoke of his long talks with John Wooden, emphasized togetherness and a family atmosphere but wins were hard to come by.

And owner Robert Sarver apparently didn’t like what he saw. Phoenix is 0-3 and two of the losses were especially ugly. The Suns were blown out 124-76 by the Portland in their season opener Wednesday night, the most one-sided loss in franchise history. Phoenix was routed by the Clippers in Los Angeles 130-88 on Saturday night.

CELTICS: The league fined guard Kyrie Irving $25,000 for responding to a fan with inappropriate language. Irving spoke to a fan at halftime of Boston’s 102-92 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.

PELICANS: The NBA fined center DeMarcus Cousins $25,000 for language he used toward a fan late in a loss to Memphis on Wednesday night.


TIMBERWOLVES 115, THUNDER 113: Andrew Wiggins banked in a 3-pointer from a few steps inside halfcourt as time expired to give Minnesota a win at Oklahoma City.

Carmelo Anthony hit a 3-pointer with 5.1 seconds left to give the Thunder the lead before the Timberwolves inbounded to Wiggins, who rushed up the court and got free with help from a pick by Karl-Anthony Towns before pulling up for the winner.

NETS 116, HAWKS 104: Allen Crabbe scored 20 points, DeMarre Carroll had 17 and Brooklyn beat Atlanta at New York.

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College football notebook: Notre Dame moves into top 10 in AP poll Mon, 23 Oct 2017 01:48:45 +0000 Notre Dame cracked the top 10 of The Associated Press college football poll for the first time this season, coming in at No. 9, and Michigan fell out of the rankings for the first time in two years.

A week after a rash of upsets gave the poll a shake-up, the first eight teams in the Top 25 released Sunday were unchanged. Alabama remains a unanimous No. 1 in the media poll, with 61 first-place votes. Penn State is No. 2 and Georgia, which was idle, is No. 3.

Undefeated TCU – a 43-0 winner over Kansas on Saturday night – and Wisconsin round out the top five.

Notre Dame jumped four spots after beating Southern California 49-14 on Saturday night in South Bend, Indiana. The Trojans fell 10 spots to No. 21.

The Fighting Irish have slowly made their way up the rankings this season, jumping in briefly, falling out and then climbing steadily from 22 to 21 to 16 to 13. This is the 32nd time in seven-plus seasons under Coach Brian Kelly that Notre Dame has appeared in the top 10 of the AP poll.

Michigan played in the weekend’s other big game and lost to Penn State 42-13. The Wolverines (5-2) had been 19th.

Michigan moved into the top 25 on Sept. 27, 2015, after the fourth game of Jim Harbaugh’s tenure as coach and had been there ever since. But after the Wolverines’ second loss in three games, sandwiched between an overtime win against Indiana, they landed second among the others receiving votes this week.

MISSISSIPPI: Quarterback Shea Patterson will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.

The school announced on Sunday that an MRI revealed a torn posterior cruciate ligament in Patterson’s right knee. The sophomore appeared to suffer the injury during the second quarter of the Rebels’ 40-24 loss to No. 24 LSU on Saturday night.

GEORGIA SOUTHERN: The school fired coach Tyson Summers halfway through his second season with the school after an 0-6 start.

The Eagles were blown out 55-20 on Saturday by previously winless Massachusetts, dropping Summers’ record to 5-13. Summers is a Georgia native who was defensive coordinator at Colorado State and Central Florida before replacing Willie Fritz after the 2015 season.

Summers got off to a bad start not only with a losing season but by moving away from the triple-option offense that brought the program decades of success.

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Tom Brady’s mom, Galynn, tells her story of facing cancer last season Mon, 23 Oct 2017 01:37:33 +0000 If an NFL season and a Super Bowl can have an untold story, the tale of Galynn Brady’s journey to watch her son last February was one.

Tom Brady and her family kept it that way all through the season – through Deflategate, through the four-game suspension, through the conspicuous absence of Galynn and her husband at Patriots games.

Now, Galynn Brady is sharing the story of what was going on behind the scenes, the story that her son only hinted at. In an interview with the NFL Network’s Andrea Kremer, Galynn Brady tells of being diagnosed with breast cancer in the summer of 2016. It was a “fast-growing, aggressive” cancer. There were lumpectomies and then five months of chemotherapy.

“He wanted to know what was happening,” Brady Sr. says.

“He was in touch with us on an extraordinary regular basis. He knew our frustration of not being able to be back there with him and he said, ‘Oh, you’ll be ready for the Super Bowl.’ He told us that in the middle of the season. We did have it charted out that the end of her five months was going to be two weeks before the Super Bowl.”

Over the intervening five months, “we Face-Timed a lot” Galynn, who lives in the Bay Area, said of her son. “Losing my hair was hard for me. I’d have my bandanna on and he’d say, ‘Oh, Mom, you look beautiful, you look so beautiful.'”

Bouts with pneumonia and shingles left her ability to travel to Houston for the Super Bowl in doubt until just the day before. And then, when the Patriots were in a 28-3 hole to the Atlanta Falcons, she was ready to leave.

“I said to Tom, ‘I just want to go home,'” Galynn said with a laugh. “She probably said it 60 times,” her husband admitted. “I was,” she added, “just heartbroken for Tommy.”

For “Tommy” and the Patriots, though, the mantra all season and on the sideline was to win for Brady’s mom and that’s just how it worked out. “It was great,” Brady, the game’s MVP, said emotionally the day after the game. “She’s been through a lot. Way harder than what I went through last night, way harder than what our team went through last night.”

Galyn called the feeling “euphoric” and even got a Super Bowl ring of her own, which seems pretty fitting. “I’m so glad that I decided I would go and just put cancer aside for that weekend.”

]]> 0 quarterback Tom Brady, right, kisses his mother Galynn after winning the Super Bowl last February.Sun, 22 Oct 2017 21:44:23 +0000
Sunday’s Maine college roundup: Maine moves atop division in field hockey Mon, 23 Oct 2017 01:34:04 +0000 ALBANY, N.Y. — Samantha Waggs’ converted a penalty stroke in the 60th minute, and the University of Maine took over the top spot in the East Division with a 1-0 victory over Albany in an America East field hockey game on Sunday.

The win was the fourth straight for the Black Bears (11-4, 5-1), who moved a half-game ahead of the Great Danes (10-6, 5-2) with two games remaining.

After Albany was whistled for a foul on the goal line, Waggs buried the stroke on the right post.

Emma Cochan made seven saves to record the shutout. Albany got two saves from goalie Melissa Nealon as well as two team saves.


MAINE 1, UMASS-LOWELL 0: Emilie Andersen’s successful penalty kick midway through the second half gave the Black Bears (5-10-1, 2-3-3 America East) a season-ending victory over Lowell (5-6-6, 3-5) at Orono, but Maine was shut out of the conference tournament by virtue of Vermont’s 2-0 win over Stony Brook on Sunday.

That left Maine in a tie for seventh place, one point back of the sixth-place Catamounts for the final playoff spot.

Samantha Cobotic finished with five saves for Maine, as did Julia Schneider for Lowell.

UM-FORT KENT 4, ST. JOSEPH’S 2: Sherifatu Sumaila had two goals and two assists as UM-Fort Kent (11-1-3) scored four straight goals at Standish to erase a 2-0 deficit and end a seven-game winning streak for the Monks (12-5-1).

Brenna Smith and Haley DaGraca scored for St. Joseph’s in the first 29 minutes.

Fort Kent keeper Valentina Green recorded seven saves. Monks goalie Brooke Troup had seven.


SMCC 2, UM-PRESQUE ISLE 1: Senai Yenie slotted home a shot 4:08 into the second overtime to give Southern Maine CC (4-7-2) a nonconference victory at South Portland.

The Owls (3-11) took the lead 22 minutes into the game when Chad Bartlett ticked a free kick off goalie Patrick Duddy’s hand. Ryan Forkey tied the game with 8:16 left in regulation.

Duddy finished with five saves; Matt Manter had 17 for UMPI.


MAINE 6, MIAMI (OHIO) 3: Patrick Holway and Brady Keeper each had a goal and two assists, and the Black Bears (2-2) opened a 5-0 first-period lead against Miami (1-3) on Saturday night at Orono.

Eduards Tralmaks, Patrick Shea and Mitchell Fossier added first-period goals for Maine. Tim Doherty had a goal in the second.

]]> 0, 22 Oct 2017 21:40:48 +0000
Golf roundup: Justin Thomas wins playoff hole to claim CJ Cup title Mon, 23 Oct 2017 01:31:15 +0000 JEJU, South Korea — Justin Thomas beat Australia’s Marc Leishman on the second playoff hole Sunday to win the inaugural CJ Cup in South Korea and cap his breakout year on the PGA Tour.

Thomas sealed his fifth PGA title in 2017 – and his first of the new 2017-18 PGA season – when he birdied the second extra hole and Leishman made bogey after finding the water.

The pair went to a sudden-death playoff after completing the first U.S. PGA Tour regular-season event in South Korea tied at 9-under 279.

Thomas, who shared the overnight lead with Scott Brown, fell behind when he had a double bogey on the 550-yard par-5 No. 3 hole.

Thomas regained the lead and looked set for the win in regulation until he bogeyed No. 17, a 195-yard par 3 hole. But he made amends with a birdie at the last to join Leishman in the playoff.

LPGA: Eun-Hee Ji fired a 7-under-par 65 to win the Taiwan Championship in Taipei for her first LPGA title since the 2009 U.S. Women’s Open.

Ji, who had a six-stroke lead heading into the final round, carded seven birdies to finish at 17-under 271, six strokes ahead of Lydia Ko, who also closed with a 65.

Top-ranked So Yeon Ryu also shot a bogey-free 65 to move into a tie for third place with Lizette Salas and Carlota Ciganda.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Tournament host Sergio Garcia won the Andalucia Valderrama Masters after shooting 4-under 67 in the final round at Sotogrande, Spain.

It was the Spaniard’s sixth win on home soil and his second at Real Club Valderrama. He won the Andalucia Masters in 2011.

Garcia made five birdies to go with one bogey, as he finished on 12-under 272 – one stroke ahead of Joost Luiten of the Netherlands.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Bernhard Langer made a 15-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th hole to overcome a mediocre round and win the Dominion Energy Charity Classic, the first event in the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs, at Richmond, Virginia.

Langer, even par for the day before getting to the easiest hole, beat Scott Verplank by one shot. Verplank shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 to erase a five-shot deficit, but missed short birdie putts on the 17th and 18th holes.

]]> 0 Thomas celebrates a par putt on the 16th hole that helped him secure a victory Monday in the Dell Technologies Championship.Sun, 22 Oct 2017 21:48:05 +0000
Sports Digest: Pliskova tops Venus Williams at WTA Finals Mon, 23 Oct 2017 01:23:32 +0000 TENNIS

WTA Finals: Pliskova gets a win over Venus Williams

Third-seeded Karolina Pliskova cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 win over fifth-seeded Venus Williams at the WTA Finals in Singapore on Sunday.

“I felt really good,” Pliskova said. “I think everything was fine with my game today. I think I was just a little bit better, even from the baseline, even on my service games, so there was no need to panic with anything in my game.”

In Sunday’s other match, second-seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain posted a 6-3, 6-4 win over seventh-seeded Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia.

STOCKHOLM OPEN: Juan Martin del Potro won his 20th career title, beating Grigor Dimitrov to defend his title at Stockholm.

Del Potro held serve throughout as he won 6-4, 6-2 against Dimitrov while also landing 70 percent of first serves and firing in nine aces.

KREMLIN CUP: Damir Dzumhur recovered from a second-set slip to beat Ricardas Berankis 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 at Moscow and win the Kremlin Cup.


MLS: Kelyn Rowe scored in stoppage time to give the New England Revolution a 3-2 victory at Montreal on Sunday in their regular-season finale.

Rowe, a late substitute, put a shot from 30 yards out just under the bar behind goalkeeper Max Crepeau moments after Montreal’s Matteo Mancosu tied it with a 90th-minute goal.

Diego Fagundez and Krisztian Nemeth also scored for New England (13-15-6).

Patrice Bernier scored in his final game for the Impact (11-17-6).

Toronto finished atop the Eastern Conference at 20-5-9 and will get a first-round bye, along with NYCFC. In knockout games this week, Chicago will host the Red Bulls, while Atlanta hosts Columbus.

Portland and Seattle got byes in the West, with Vancouver hosting San Jose, and Sporting Kansas City at Houston for knockout games.

U.S. WOMEN’S TEAM: Sam Mewis scored a pair of goals in the first half and the United States went on to beat South Korea 6-0 in an exhibition match at Cary, North Carolina.

Christen Press and Julie Ertz also scored as the national team built a 4-0 first-half lead. Lynn Williams and Allie Long added goals in the second half.


FORMULA ONE: Lewis Hamilton further tightened his control on the season championship, winning the U.S. Grand Prix ahead of title rival Sebastian Vettel, who finished second in a race he said he had to win.

The Mercedes driver continued his absolute dominance of the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, winning at the track for the fifth time since 2012 and fourth year in a row.

The victory extended Hamilton’s championship lead over Vettel to 66 points with three races left. While mathematically still possible, Vettel’s title hopes are nearly wiped out.


VENICE MARATHON: Eyob Faniel became the first Italian in 22 years to win the Venice Marathon after a bizarre incident in which the leading six runners took a wrong turn on Sunday.

Favorites Abdulahl Dawud, Gilbert Kipleting Chumba, Kipkemei Mutai and David Kiprono Metto were among the leading group which followed a motorcycle off the course after 16 miles. They lost around two minutes.

Faniel finished in 2 hours, 12 minutes.

– News service report

]]> 0 Pliskova, the No. 2 women's seed, rallied from a set down to beat Veronica Cepede Royg and reach the French Open quarterfinals for the first time.Sun, 22 Oct 2017 21:28:21 +0000
Major League notebook: Mets hire Indians’ pitching coach as manager Mon, 23 Oct 2017 01:19:54 +0000 NEW YORK — Looking for a fresh voice to shepherd their prized arms, the Mets found it in new manager Mickey Callaway.

New York agreed to a three-year contract Sunday with the Cleveland Indians pitching coach, according to a person familiar with the decision. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made.

A news conference to introduce Callaway as Terry Collins’ replacement is expected within the next few days.

With his contract set to expire, Collins stepped down at the end of the season after seven years as Mets manager and accepted a position as a special assistant to General Manager Sandy Alderson.

The 42-year-old Callaway, who has never managed at any professional level, has done an excellent job as Cleveland’s pitching coach for the past five seasons under highly successful skipper Terry Francona. Led by ace Corey Kluber, the Indians led the major leagues with a 3.30 ERA and 1,614 strikeouts this season – one year after reaching the World Series and losing to the Chicago Cubs in seven games.

This season, Cleveland won an AL-best 102 games and its second consecutive AL Central title.

Other candidates for the job were Mets hitting coach Kevin Long, Mariners third base coach Manny Acta and White Sox bench coach Joe McEwing. The team also interviewed Houston bench coach Alex Cora, according to reports. Cora was hired Sunday as manager of the Boston Red Sox.

JOSE FERNANDEZ never pitched in a playoff game for the Miami Marlins. But his presence was felt in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday between the Astros and Yankees.

Houston pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. said he drew inspiration from Fernandez before recording the final out to send the Astros to the World Series.

Just before facing Greg Bird with two outs in the ninth, McCullers told The New York Times that he paused briefly to think about Fernandez, who was his friend and offseason workout partner.

“I said, ‘Hey, show what you got, because Jose would,'” McCullers said. “Dead serious. Stepped off the mound, looked down. You know, people you loved from your past, they’re never off your mind. They’re always there, in the back of it.”

McCullers then retired Bird on a fly ball to preserve the Astros’ 4-0 win over the Yankees.

McCullers had known Fernandez from their high school days in Tampa, and the two remained friends after reaching the Majors. After Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in 2016, McCullers’ thoughts remained with the friend and pitcher he admired, even to the point of wearing custom-designed cleats bearing a photo image of Fernandez.

DODGERS SHORTSTOP Corey Seager is likely to be back in the Los Angeles lineup when the World Series begins.

The All-Star didn’t play in the NL Championship Series because of a back injury.

But Manager Dave Roberts said Sunday that the team was “very confident” Seager was ready to return. Depending on how Seager is feeling, he could be the designated hitter for the Dodgers when the Series shifts to Houston for Game 3.

Seager hit .295 with 22 home runs and 77 RBI this season.

Roberts also announced that left-hander Rich Hill will start against Houston’s Justin Verlander in Game 2 of the World Series. Hill went 12-8 with a 3.32 ERA in 25 starts this season.

Right-hander Yu Darvish, acquired in a deadline deal from Texas, will pitch Game 3.

]]> 0 Sun, 22 Oct 2017 22:26:20 +0000
NFL roundup: Moore leads Dolphins to come-from-behind victory Mon, 23 Oct 2017 01:18:26 +0000 MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Matt Moore replaced an injured Jay Cutler and threw two touchdown passes in the final 12 minutes to lead the Miami Dolphins to a comeback victory, their biggest since last week.

Rallies are becoming routine for the overachieving Dolphins, who pulled off another improbable win by erasing a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the New York Jets 31-28 on Sunday.

Josh McCown threw three touchdown passes and ran for another for the Jets, but his interception in the final minute set up the winning field goal.

Bobby McCain stepped in front of a pass intended for Jermaine Kearse to give Miami the ball at the Jets 27 with 39 seconds left.

Cody Parkey kicked a 39-yard field goal with 22 seconds to go for the Dolphins’ first lead of the game.

BILLS 30, BUCCANEERS 27: Rookie cornerback Tre’Davious White forced and recovered a fumble to set up Stephen Hauschka’s 30-yard field goal with 14 seconds left, and Buffalo (4-2) beat Tampa Bay (2-4) in Orchard Park, New York.

LeSean McCoy had 91 yards rushing and scored twice, including a 7-yard run to tie the score with 2:28 remaining. Tyrod Taylor went 20 of 33 for 268 yards and a touchdown, while Buffalo’s defense forced three turnovers.

COWBOYS 40, 49ERS 10: Ezekiel Elliott gained 219 yards from scrimmage and tied a career high with three touchdowns just days after a legal reprieve put his suspension on hold, and Dallas (3-3) won at San Francisco (0-7).

Elliott was granted his second temporary restraining order on Tuesday, putting his six-game suspension over domestic violence allegations on hold, and then gave the Cowboys a big boost on the field.

BEARS 17, PANTHERS 3: Rookie safety Eddie Jackson became the first NFL player to score multiple defensive touchdowns of 75 yards or more in a game, leading Chicago (3-4) to a victory over Carolina (4-3) in Chicago.

Jackson ran back a fumble recovery 75 yards on the game’s opening possession and returned an interception of Cam Newton 76 yards for a score early in the second quarter to give Chicago a 14-0 lead.

SEAHAWKS 24, GIANTS 7: Russell Wilson threw three second-half touchdown passes and Seattle (4-2) limited New York’s receiver-depleted offense to 177 yards in a road win against the Giants (1-6).

Wilson hit Doug Baldwin with a go-ahead 22-yard touchdown pass midway through the third quarter. He put the game away with a 38-yard TD throw to Paul Richardson on a play that had to be reviewed because of simultaneous possession. He closed out the scoring with a 1-yard toss to Jimmy Graham with 2:14 to go.

CHARGERS 21, BRONCOS 0: Travis Benjamin returned a first-quarter punt 65 yards for a touchdown and caught a 42-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter, and Los Angeles (3-4) played a dominant defensive game in the first home victory of its relocation season, against Denver (3-3).

SAINTS 26, PACKERS 17: Drew Brees threw for one touchdown and ran for another, Mark Ingram rushed for a score and New Orleans (4-2) beat host Green Bay (4-3).

STEELERS 29, BENGALS 14: Ben Roethlisberger threw for 224 yards and two touchdowns, Le’Veon Bell added 192 total yards and Pittsburgh’s defense dominated Cincinnati (2-4) in the second half of a home victory for the Steelers (5-2).

JAGUARS 27, COLTS 0: Blake Bortles threw for a season-high 330 yards and one touchdown and T.J. Yeldon scored on a 58-yard run, leading visiting Jacksonville (4-3) past Indianapolis (2-5).

BROWNS 12, TITANS 9: Ryan Succop’s fourth field goal – a 47-yarder with 1:55 left in overtime – extended his NFL record for makes inside 50 yards to 55 straight and sent Tennessee (4-3) to an ugly win over winless Cleveland (0-7), who also lost durable Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas with an injury, in Cleveland.

RAMS 33, CARDINALS 0: Jared Goff ran for a touchdown and threw for another and Greg Zuerelein made four field goals as Los Angeles (5-2) won for the first time in three appearances in Britain, beating Arizona (3-4) at Twickenham Stadium in London.

VIKINGS 24, RAVENS 16: Latavius Murray rushed for 113 yards and a touchdown and Kai Forbath kicked six field goals to lift Minnesota (5-2) to a victory over Baltimore (3-4) in Minneapolis.

]]> 0 tight end Marcedes Lewis makes a catch for a touchdown over Indianapolis strong safety Matthias Farley during the Jaguars' 27-0 win Sunday in Indianapolis.Sun, 22 Oct 2017 21:35:56 +0000
World Series a steamy matchup between powerhouses Mon, 23 Oct 2017 01:10:45 +0000 Big-time aces Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander. Playoff boppers Jose Altuve and Justin Turner.

A pair of 100-win teams for the first time in nearly a half-century. Hollywood Walk of Fame vs. Texans who wear the star. A little extra Magic, plus Nolan back in the fast lane.

This is one hot World Series – the Houston Astros, fresh off a Game 7 victory over the Yankees, taking on the Los Angeles Dodgers, well rested after a postseason romp.

Could be real steamy, too. It’s supposed to be almost 100 degrees at Dodger Stadium for the opener Tuesday night, maybe the hottest temperature ever at a World Series game.

At least the familiar October chill that makes players and fans shiver shouldn’t be an issue outdoors in sun-baked California or under the retractable roof at Minute Maid Park.

Not that young stars Cody Bellinger and Carlos Correa would mind, nor would old pros Carlos Beltran and Chase Utley, nor top starters Dallas Keuchel and Yu Darvish.

Because a chance to win a ring doesn’t come very often – these teams that have already played more than 700 games against each other over the years already know that.

The Astros have never won the crown. They’re playing for a whole region, with the Houston Strong patches on their uniforms representing an area hit hard by Hurricane Harvey.

The Dodgers haven’t been in the World Series since 1988, when Kirk Gibson’s bat, Orel Hershiser’s arm and Tommy Lasorda’s moves outdid Oakland for the crown.

Now with Lakers great Magic Johnson as a part-owner, this LA team that led the majors with 104 wins is hoping to bring back the glory days that began in Brooklyn.

“I just want to win a World Series,” Kershaw said after the Dodgers dethroned the Chicago Cubs in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series. “I know more than anybody how hard it is to get there. So, I’m definitely not taking this one for granted.”

Said mercurial outfielder Yasiel Puig: “The trophy’s coming soon.”

The Astros, the major leagues’ highest-scoring team this year, have never even won a World Series game. The only time they made it this far was 2005, when a club that included Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte got swept by the White Sox.

In fact, a World Series prize is the one piece of hardware missing from the trophy case from the Lone Star State. Texas teams have won the Super Bowl and championships in the NBA, NHL, college football and men’s and women’s basketball, but never in baseball.

Under the leadership of executive Nolan Ryan, the Texas Rangers came within one strike in 2011 before losing to St. Louis. The Ryan Express, who once pitched a no-hitter for Houston against the Dodgers, is currently an Astros exec.

The Astros posted 101 wins this year – not since Baltimore (108) and Cincinnati (102) in 1970 has the World Series matched teams who reached triple-digits.

These teams last met in 2015, when the Astros swept a three-game series at home. But they’d seen a lot of each other in the past. Overall, the Dodgers are 388-323 vs. the Astros. Houston debuted as the Colt .45s as a National League expansion team in 1962 and moved to the AL in 2013.

That first year in the AL, the young Astros got pounded and lost 111 times. But with smart drafts and player development, Houston emerged as a power. Manager A.J. Hinch’s club capped its rise by beating Boston in the AL Division Series, then stopping the Yankees 4-0 Saturday night in Game 7 of the ALCS.

The Dodgers, with a major league-high $226 million payroll, won their fifth straight NL West title this year, then went 7-1 in the playoffs against the Diamondbacks and Cubs under Manager Dave Roberts.

The result? Their first pennant since 1988 – the year Kershaw was born.

]]> 0 Angeles Dodgers players celebrate after winning Game 5 of the NL Championship Series to eliminate the Chicago Cubs last Thursday. The Dodgers are in the World Series for the first time since 1988 after winning a major league-high 104 games and cruising through the NL playoffs.Sun, 22 Oct 2017 21:14:09 +0000
NFL notebook: Cardinals quarterback breaks left arm Mon, 23 Oct 2017 01:04:56 +0000 LONDON — Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer broke his left arm in the 33-0 loss to the Los Angeles Rams at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday, leaving Drew Stanton to take over after the team returns from its bye week.

Palmer will require surgery on the arm and Coach Bruce Arians said he expects the quarterback to miss eight weeks.

That leaves Stanton, who has been Palmer’s backup since the two joined the team prior to the 2013 season, to step in and lead the offense.

And while the 10-year veteran has handled that role capably in the past, he completed just 5 of 14 passes for 62 yards and an interception Sunday.

BROWNS: Rock-hard and shatter-proof, Joe Thomas missed an offensive play, and he’s going to miss many more.

Cleveland’s iron-man left tackle sustained a serious injury to his left triceps and could miss the remainder of another losing season for the Browns.

PROTEST: Days after the NFL declined to change its rule on the national anthem, about two dozen players protested around the league Sunday.

Associated Press journalists counted 22 players protesting during the anthems in some way before day games.

On Sept. 25, days after President Trump said players should be fired for protesting during the anthem, more than 200 players protested.

]]> 0 quarterback Carson Palmer looks to throw against the Patriots.Sun, 22 Oct 2017 21:15:53 +0000
Truex wins Cup Series race – with a heavy heart Sun, 22 Oct 2017 23:23:57 +0000 KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Martin Truex Jr. didn’t feel a sense of urgency to win Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway because of its playoff implications, not with his spot in the next round safe following a victory at Charlotte.

No, it was much more personal.

Truex learned overnight that one of the Furniture Row Racing team’s crew members, Jim Watson, died of a heart attack while in town for the race. So with a heavy heart, Truex climbed into his No. 78 Toyota and overcame two early mistakes to win a wild playoff elimination race.

“We were racing for Jim today,” Truex said after emerging from his car. “He was a heck of a guy.”

Kurt Busch finished second before a wave of playoff contenders headed by Ryan Blaney, whose car failed post-qualifying inspection and was sent to the back. He quickly worked his way through the field and finished third, easily making it within the cutoff line.

Chase Elliott was fourth and Denny Hamlin fifth to punch their tickets to the next round. Kevin Harvick finished eighth to stay alive heading to Martinsville, while Kyle Busch finished 10th and Jimmie Johnson 11th – both of them also making the cutoff line.

Brad Keselowski was 13th after his win last week at Talladega sent him to the next round.

Kyle Larson blew his engine to spoil his chances of advancing, while a penalty on Matt Kenseth for having too many crew members over the pit wall following a wreck ended his championship hopes.

Jamie McMurray and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. also were eliminated from the playoffs.

“It’s a disappointing way to finish our race and probably our season,” said Larson, who had a 33-point buffer coming into the race. “I guess it’s sinking in as the seconds pass.”

Truex had dominated at Kansas for years before finally breaking through with a victory in the spring. And while he had nothing to lose Sunday, there was still a sense that Truex wanted to win his seventh race this season for his late crew member and the rest of their team.

“Still pretty surreal at this point,” crew chief Cole Pearn said. “We were all focused on what we had to do today. That was the best we could do for Jim. He was a true racer in the purest form.”

Truex is the first driver in series history with four straight wins on 11/2-mile tracks.

“I can’t say enough about all these guys,” he said. “Just really proud of them, and definitely we were racing with a heavy heart. Jim was a great worker and put a lot of speed in these Toyotas.”

Larson was the first of the 12 remaining playoff contenders whose chances were scuttled when he dropped a cylinder early in the race.

]]> 0 Truex Jr. drives to the win in the NASCAR Cup Series race Sunday at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas.Sun, 22 Oct 2017 21:51:47 +0000
Red Sox announce Alex Cora as new manager Sun, 22 Oct 2017 19:50:43 +0000 The Boston Red Sox have hired Houston Astros bench coach Alex Cora as their new manager, the team announced Sunday.

Cora was signed to a three-year contract with a team option for 2021. He replaces John Farrell, who was fired on Oct. 11 after Boston was eliminated in the first round of the American League playoffs for the second year in a row.

Cora, 42, will not be introduced to the media as Boston’s manager until after the World Series. The Astros will play the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series starting Tuesday.

“I am extremely honored and humbled to be named manager of the Boston Red Sox and I want to thank Dave (Dombrowski), John Henry, Tom Werner, and Sam Kennedy for giving me such a tremendous opportunity,” Cora said in a Red Sox news release.

“Returning to the Red Sox and the city of Boston is a dream come true for me and my family and I look forward to working towards the ultimate goal of winning another championship for this city and its great fans.”

Dombrowski, in the news release, said, “We were very impressed when we interviewed Alex. He came to us as a highly regarded candidate, and from speaking with him throughout this process, we found him to be very knowledgeable, driven, and deserving of this opportunity. He is a highly respected and hardworking individual who has experience playing in Boston.

“Alex also has a full appreciation for the use of analytical information in today’s game and his ability to communicate and relate to both young players and veterans is a plus. Finally, the fact that he is bilingual is very significant for our club.”

Cora, a native of Puerto Rico, played parts of four seasons with the Red Sox from 2005-08. He will become the franchise’s 47th manager, and its first Hispanic manager.

He takes over a team that won the AL East each of the past two seasons, finishing with a 93-69 record both years.

Cora played 14 years in the major leagues before retiring in 2011, and was a member of Boston’s 2007 World Series champions. An infielder, Cora was a lifetime .243 hitter with 35 homers and 286 RBI.

While the Astros job is his first coaching position in the major or minor leagues, Cora has managed in the Puerto Rican winter league. He also managed Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic last spring.

Before joining the Astros this season, Cora was an analyst for ESPN.

“Alex is a guy that communicates well with the players; he’s a guy that studies the game,” Astros designated hitter Carlos Beltran told the Associated Press earlier this month. “His preparation is above what I have seen in baseball, and he has a great personality.

“He’s intense – players like to see it. But at the same time, he is a guy that can sit down in the clubhouse with the players and have a baseball conversation,” Beltran said. “So he’s got the skills and I love it. He’s been a big help for this organization. He takes a lot of pride into relationships with the players.”

Dombrowski earlier said that the new Red Sox manager would get to choose his own coaching staff. It is unclear whether any of Boston’s 2017 coaches will be retained, including third base coach Brian Butterfield, a Maine native and Standish resident.

]]> 0, 22 Oct 2017 18:10:56 +0000
NBA fines Kyrie Irving $25,000 for improper comments to fan Sun, 22 Oct 2017 19:22:25 +0000 NEW YORK — The NBA has fined Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving $25,000 for responding to a fan with inappropriate language.

Kiki VanDeWeghe, the NBA’ executive vice president of basketball operations, announced the fine Sunday.

Irving spoke to a fan at halftime of Boston’s 102-92 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.

The NBA fined Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins $25,000 for language he used toward a fan late in a loss to Memphis on Wednesday night in the season opener.

]]> 0's Kyrie Irving, left, drives to the basket past Philadelphia's T.J. McConnell in the first half Friday night in Philadelphia.Sun, 22 Oct 2017 16:31:39 +0000
No. 2 Penn State barely slows down in victory over No. 19 Michigan Sun, 22 Oct 2017 11:47:11 +0000 STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — All the way back to the second play of the game Saturday evening, with the tailgate tables barely folded and the 110,823 barely in their seats and absolutely in their white, a simple second-and-4 from the 31-yard line hinted at a heap of complicated truths.

The snap whirred past the Penn State quarterback, Trace McSorley. It landed in the fine hands of one of the most dazzling college football running backs anybody would dare dream up, Saquon Barkley. And as Barkley stepped ahead, then shifted left, then went roaming for 69 yards into the easy night air until the pom-poms shook and then Beaver Stadium itself shook. Moments later, he dropped the football in the end zone and these hints upon anyone watching:

The fantastic defense of Michigan, with its impressively puny defensive statistics, No. 1 in total yards per game and No. 4 in yards per play, was in for some fresh wrinkles and some statistical warping. The 12-month whoosh of No. 2 Penn State would gather further steam heading into Ohio State next weekend. The legend of the junior Barkley would annex a few further notches.

Finally, the 42-13 destruction, even with its second-quarter pause during which Michigan clambered back to within 14-13, would entrench further Penn State as a national presence. It would cause Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh to say, earnestly, “It was impressive.” It would go to show just how much untold happiness two people can spread through a town of 40,000, when one of the people happens to be a dazzling running back, the other happens to be a clever cowboy of a quarterback, and the two of them have several friends on the line willing to block for them and for limited credit.

Nobody had gained more than 278 total yards against Michigan, and Indiana might have wanted to hold a mild parade for doing that. Penn State gained 506. Nobody had scored more than 20 points against Michigan, and Penn State had 21 by halftime. Teams had rushed for an average of 85.8 yards against Michigan, and Barkley had 109 by halftime. Michigan yielded 4.01 yards per play through seven games; Penn State helped itself to 8.3. After only six offensive plays, Penn State already had 153 total yards and 14 points, a long way toward the 192 yards Florida got all game on Michigan, or the 189 Purdue got. Barkley already had touchdown runs of 69 and 15 yards.

Nobody had chewed up such gaping gains against Michigan – in two seasons, really – so it looked almost eerie seeing somebody do it.

Soon James Franklin, the fourth-year Penn State coach who seemed almost embattled 13 months ago, spoke of a team playing well in all three football departments. (The defense had seven sacks.) He spoke of a rarity of a team playing well in all three football departments. He told of formations beyond even the direct snaps to Barkley, such as “lining up in empty and staying in empty,” of “disguising which side Saquon was on,” of maneuvering to “get Saquon matched up on a linebacker.” He declared he would not speak about Ohio State just yet, because he declared 37 minutes of further celebration, the 37 that would stretch until midnight.

He had Barkley rushing for 108 yards, receiving passes for 53 yards and treating the witnesses to a rare 42-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter, making it 35-13, when Barkley, who clearly doesn’t mind some novel duty running routes like a wideout, went up the right sideline, collected McSorley’s pass, bobbled it forward, then collected it again. Even with all of that, Franklin still could cite another factor as paramount, that of McSorley hitting enough slants and deep passes, 115 yards’ worth to DaeSean Hamilton, leaving Michigan’s defense plenty stretched.

“Typically people can’t hit them enough to make (Michigan) pay for playing that (aggressive) style of defense,” Franklin said, calling it “the biggest factor in the game” that brimmed with factors. He added later, “You’ve got to be able to make them pay for being so aggressive.”

When Michigan did nudge within 14-13 just 1:45 before halftime, Penn State revved it back up after some second-quarter sludge. It answered the visitors’ more methodical success with the brisk stuff of which it is capable, rampaging its next 75 yards in 52 seconds to make it 21-13. That deluge sustained itself into the Nittany Lions’ first possession of the second half. In coordinator Joe Moorhead’s offense from which so much stems from the decisions of two players – McSorley and Barkley – McSorley saw a defender nudging toward Barkley, so he hogged the ball and headed 13 yards to the sideline. He then threw right to Barkley for 9. After he found Hamilton on a third-down slant that kept things going to the Michigan 13-yard line, McSorley started slightly right, then went emphatically left, all 13 yards into the left pylon to make it 28-13.

By then, everybody looked delirious, even a defense profoundly unaccustomed to permitting any kind of delirium.


]]> 0 State's Manny Bowen celebrates after sacking Michigan quarterback John O'Korn during the second half Saturday night in State College, Pa.Sun, 22 Oct 2017 16:42:41 +0000
Hunting: Deer season approaches and decisions must be made Sun, 22 Oct 2017 08:00:00 +0000 It’s almost here. This coming Saturday marks the opening of deer season, the day most Maine hunters look forward to with great anticipation. And if the number of any-deer permits given out this year is any indication, there should be a bumper crop of deer ready for harvest.

As you’re pining away the last remaining days before the hunt, take a moment to consider your motivations and expectations for the coming season.

Maybe any deer will do. Perhaps you’re a youngster, or an oldster who is new to the sport, or maybe you’ve put in several unsuccessful seasons and you’re just looking for that first deer. You know it happens because you have friends, relatives or acquaintances who have experienced success. You just want your chance.

Maybe your time is limited. If you’re a youth and you didn’t connect on Youth Day, you may only have four more Saturdays and perhaps a few hours after school here and there, an opportunity that will be further limited once we set the clocks back.

Possibly your work schedule or personal obligations prevent you from getting out more than a few days, or even a few hours and you want to make the most of what little time you can spend in the woods. You know the odds are short but an opportunity could present itself at any moment and sometimes just being there is enough.

Your primary motivation might be meat. What you bring home will be far better than anything you can get at the grocery store. It’s all-natural, 100 percent pure organic protein. There are no additives, preservatives, artificial growth hormones or saturated fats. It’s local and best of all, it was procured by your own hands. And once you remove the head and hide, it’s just a carcass, so any deer will do you.

When the opportunity finally presents itself, by all means take advantage. The success and positive reinforcement will help build your interest and confidence in the future.

But bear in mind that opening day success in a one-deer state can be bittersweet. Unless you bowhunt in the expanded zones, your season is over. You give up four more weeks of time in the woods, experience and education. Whether it be by lack of early success or deliberate action, those who continue to hunt through the month will still benefit from every additional hour and day they spend in the woods.

Maybe you’re hoping for something more this season. You could be a hunter who has taken several deer and is now looking for a greater challenge: your first buck, or an older buck, a particular buck. Maybe your experience and confidence have elevated you to a level where you understand things like protecting yearling bucks to improve age structure in the herd. Or perhaps you just want to up the ante, to test both your skills and your resolve.

Or maybe you’re just looking forward to time spent out of doors, watching the woods come alive at dawn as fading darkness slowly reveals a serene woodland scene, immersing yourself in the wild rather than glimpsing at it through a pane of glass. For some that’s enough, though the timely presentation of a shot opportunity will not go unappreciated.

Whatever your personal motivation is for heading afield this Saturday, remember it may be different, possibly quite different from others you encounter. Respect them. Enjoy your time and let them enjoy theirs, and above all be safe. Good luck.

Bob Humphrey is a freelance writer and registered Maine guide who lives in Pownal. He can be reached at:

]]> 0 Fri, 20 Oct 2017 23:11:19 +0000
NFL Week 7 Sun, 22 Oct 2017 08:00:00 +0000 GAME OF THE WEEK

Falcons (3-2) at Patriots (4-2)

8:30 p.m. (NBC)

Outlook: A rematch of last season’s Super Bowl, which saw either the greatest comeback ever or the most embarrassing collapse. Can’t it be both? Oddly the rematch finds neither team especially dominant thus far in 2017. Atlanta just lost at home to the Dolphins and Matt Ryan has been a long way from great, while New England might be 3-3 right now if not for the good fortune of officiating that really hurt the Jets last week. Figure an advantage in revenge motivation will be offset by the Pats’ home-field edge. I don’t believe I ever will pick against Tom Brady at home, except when a lack of sobriety might be my only excuse.

Spread: Patriots -3

Prediction: Patriots, 31-26


Saints (3-2) at Packers (4-2)

1 p.m. (Fox)

Outlook: If ever I needed an Upset of the Week pick to count on the home field and the power of intangibles, it’s here. It’s more than Aaron Rodgers being out because of a broken collarbone. The Packers are beat up beyond that, especially on the offensive line, making this a foreboding first start for Brett Hundley. And the Saints are no longer awful on defense, while Drew Brees shows no signs his prime is leaving him. But the hunch in the gut won’t go away. Hundley will be good enough, Green Bay’s defense will arise bigly, and Rodgers will end the game with a sideline smile.

Spread: Saints -5

Prediction: Packers, 27-23

Other games

At Dolphins (3-2, -3) over Jets (3-3), 23-17: If Adam Gase’s game plan is on point, Jay Ajayi should have a big, clock-dominating day against a Jets run defense allowing a fat 4.6 yards per carry. That’s why the Jets should lose.

 At Bills (3-2, -3) over Buccaneers (2-3), 21-17: Ryan Fitzpatrick is on call because Jameis Winston will play with a sprained shoulder, which is the perfect reason to favore Buffalo in a defensive scrum.

 Panthers (4-2, -3) over At Bears (2-4), 23-16: The Panthers are 3-0 on the road and playing with extra rest. Their run-D will limit Jordan Howard and force the game into Mitch Trubisky’s green hands.

 Titans (3-3, -51/2) over At Browns (0-6), 27-23: I give the Browns a big shot at home despite their astonishing run of 25 losses in 26 games and DeShone Kizer (again) at QB.

 Jaguars (3-3, -3) over At Colts (2-4), 24-16: Home underdog in a division game tempts, but the Colts don’t have much to offer other than a propensity to blow leads.

Cardinals (3-3, +31/2) over Rams (4-2), 31-23: L.A. is the home team for this breakfast game, but it’s in London. Arizona is strong against division rivals, and a revitalized Adrian Peterson should find leg room vs. the suspect Rams run defense.

 At Vikings (4-2, -51/2) over Ravens (3-3), 19-13: Jerick McKinnon should make his fantasy owners happy again vs. a bad Baltimore run defense.

 Cowboys (2-3, -6) over At 49ers (0-6), 24-20: San Francisco has lost five straight by three points or fewer, an NFL record. The Cowboys are coming off a bye, though, and facing first-time starting QB C.J. Beathard.

 Seahawks (3-2, -5) over At Giants (1-5), 20-17: Not sure Seattle is all that special this year, particularly on the road, but they still have enough defensive might to stop the depleted Giants.

 At Steelers (4-2, -5) over Bengals (2-3), 24-20: Cincinnati has won two straight and is coming off a bye, but Pittsburgh’s No. 1-ranked pass defense will cool surging Andy Dalton.

 Broncos (3-2, even) over At Chargers (2-4), 19-17: Denver needs embattled Trevor Siemian to reassert himself. San Diego has won two straight, but I still trust the Broncos’ D more than the Chargers’.

 At Eagles (5-1, -41/2) over Washington (3-2), 27-21: Both QBs – Carson Wentz and Kirk Cousins – are flying high. But it’s Wentz who’s won four straight and has the offensive pop.

Week 7 byes: Lions, Texans

Last week: 8-6 overall, 7-5-2 vs. spread

Season: 47-44, 36-49-6

– By Greg Cote, Miami Herald

]]> 0 Sat, 21 Oct 2017 17:44:44 +0000
On Football: Unforgettable Super Bowl remains unbelievable Sun, 22 Oct 2017 08:00:00 +0000 Eight months later, I’m still not sure I believe what I witnessed on the night of Feb. 5 at NRG Stadium in Houston.

I mean, we all know what happened – 28-3 and all that – but I’m still not sure I believe it happened.

The New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons will reacquaint themselves Sunday night at Gillette Stadium, two teams forever linked in the greatest comeback/collapse in Super Bowl history. And I still don’t believe it happened.

How does a team come back from a 25-point deficit, from being completely dominated for nearly 40 minutes? How does a team lose a 25-point lead, and become completely dominated, in the final 20 minutes?

We all saw it happen. We all shared various stages of disbelief, anger, disbelief, elation and then more disbelief.

Here’s all I know: I’ve watched the Patriots play in seven Super Bowls, each one coming down to a fateful final few seconds, and New England’s 34-28 overtime victory over the Falcons that night is the one that everyone will remember.

New England’s first Super Bowl championship, that stunning 20-17 upset in New Orleans of the St. Louis Rams and the Greatest Show on Turf in the 2001 season, will always be the Patriots’ finest hour. It changed the direction of the franchise from sometimes-lovable/often-irascible losers to perennial championship contenders. But Super Bowl LI is unforgettable for its improbability.

Julian Edelman’s finger-tip catch? Improbable.

James White scoring three touchdowns? Improbable.

Julio Jones’ finger-tip sideline- tight rope catch? Not only improbable but impossible for anyone else.

New England scoring two two-point conversions? Improbable.

As a writer, sitting in the press box and watching the game unfold, it was certainly obvious that the Falcons were going to win, especially after Tevin Coleman beat Rob Ninkovich to the right corner of the end zone with 8:31 remaining in the third quarter to give the Falcons a 28-3 lead.

So, with a tight deadline facing me, I started writing my column. Heck, every writer from New England who was there started writing the same story: The Patriots were overmatched by a younger, faster, more athletic, better-coached team. It was obvious, right?

So we thought. I wrote and wrote and wrote. I wasn’t even paying much attention to what was happening on the field as I wrote about 800 words. All I needed to do was throw in the score, maybe a quick quote (if I had time) and I’m done. Finally, I thought, a Super Bowl that doesn’t come down to the last play. Too bad the Patriots were going to be on the short end.

And then Stephen Gostkowski kicked a field goal early in the fourth quarter to bring the Patriots within 16. Three plays later, Dont’a Hightower strip-sacked Matt Ryan, the Patriots had the ball at the Falcons 25.

“I’ve seen this movie before,” I thought. “This game is going down to the final seconds, to one last possession.”

I stopped writing my column, sent my editor a text message that sort of shared those concerns (the exact words will remain secret though I remember them well). “Don’t worry,” he replied. “The Patriots still have to score two touchdowns and two two-point conversions.”

Five plays later, Tom Brady throws a touchdown pass to Danny Amendola. Then James White slams in for a two-point conversion and it’s an eight-point game.

I take another deep breath. I’m starting to get a little sweaty, knowing that my work is just beginning.

I start rewriting the column. My boss sends me a text, now sharing my thoughts (the exact words will remain between us).

The Falcons have a chance to put this game away. Jones makes one of the most spectacular catches you’ll ever see, giving Atlanta the ball at the Patriots 22. All the Falcons have to do is kick a field goal and that’s it. The Patriots won’t have enough time to come back.

Instead, on second down, Ryan drops back to throw and is sacked by Trey Flowers. Then there’s an offensive holding penalty, pushing the Falcons back 10 more yards and out of field goal range.

The Patriots get the ball back with 3:30 remaining at their 9. You know what happens. Brady is magnificent, Edelman makes his catch, White runs in for the touchdown with 57 seconds left to bring New England within two. Brady passes to Amendola for the two-point conversion and it’s tied at 28.

All this time, I’m sitting in the press box, mesmerized by what’s happening, unable to write because I’m not sure I can put into words what I’m seeing.

All I’m thinking is, “I’m watching the greatest game I’m ever going to see in my life, and I don’t know what to say.”

Overtime comes, the Patriots win the toss and you knew the Falcons weren’t going to stop Brady. They didn’t. White scored. Confetti flew.

And I went to work. Not thinking, just writing and listening to Patriots players talk over the speakers in the press box.

Here’s what I wrote.

Nothing I will ever cover again will match that night. Eight months later, I’m still not sure I believe it.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0 engineering a most improbable victory last Feb. 5 in Houston, Pats quarterback Tom Brady could turn his back on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.Sat, 21 Oct 2017 17:44:34 +0000
Forest bathing catching on around coastal Maine Sun, 22 Oct 2017 08:00:00 +0000 SOUTH BERWICK — Forest bathing – the practice of walking slowly through the woods to benefit from nature – came to Maine in the last year, but the certified guides who offer this therapy believe it will explode, much like yoga.

“Helping people communicate with trees helps them to communicate with themselves. They often share stories of family members. It’s a very common theme,” said Jeff Brogan, 42, a Registered Maine Guide who has trained in forest therapy. “Maybe because trees are part of a family in a community (of trees), and they’ve been here a long time. I don’t know what it is that draws these feelings out of people. Nature has that ability. That’s what I’m noticing as a guide.”

Forest therapy was first used in Japan in the 1980s to combat high levels of anxiety and stress, and even suicide. Since then researchers in Japan have found that the practice of spending prolonged periods in a forest – called shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing” – can boost the immune system, lower blood pressure, alleviate anxiety and help with attention deficit disorder.

Studies have just begun in the United States, but in 2007 the National Center for Biotechnology Information in Bethesda, Maryland, reported after a study that “Shinrin-yoku may be employed as a stress reduction method, and forest environments can be viewed as therapeutic landscapes. Customary shinrin-yoku may help to decrease the risk of psychological stress-related diseases and evaluation of the long-term effects of shinrin-yoku is warranted.”

Forest therapy involves meditative exercises interspersed through a three-hour slow walk through the woods. Every 20 or 30 minutes the guide suggests a new exercise, then to provide the opportunity to observe the forest and consider their thoughts or simply the tranquility in nature.

Then the group convenes in a council to share what they learned. Brogan said the stories people share can be powerful.

“There is so much in nature that is reflected in ourselves,” Brogan said. “It reflects themes, our history, where we came from. Hopefully people lose track of time. Today we are so severely punished whenever we lose track of time. In the forest you enter a timeless state. You follow the natural rhythm.”

The practice of connecting with nature to gain peace or wisdom goes back thousands of years. Shinrin-yoku is practiced around the world and appears to be spreading.

Nadine Mazzola of Acton, Massachusetts, became New England’s first certified forest therapy guide in 2015 and is now a mentor for new guides. She said there are about 25 trained guides in New England.

Mazzola, 52, pursued her certification after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013. After her treatment in 2014, she found articles on how forest bathing boosts the immune system in cancer patients. She left her job in marketing to become a guide.

“I walked in the forest all through my mom’s (bout with) Alzheimer’s and my cancer, and after found the benefits were second to none,” Mazzola said. “The forest is the therapist; the guide just opens the door. There is a way nature has of supporting us.”

Brogan pointed out there are physiological benefits as well.

“Trees and plants emit essential oils,” he said. “(These oils) have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial benefits. It’s free medication. In Japan they’ve studied it and found the cypress trees are the most beneficial.”

Maine’s first certified forest therapy guide, Tracy Hall, was already a naturalist of 20 years. An environmental educator at the Boothbay Region Land Trust, she pursued her forest therapy guiding certificate to offer visitors one more way to enjoy and experience nature. She said it offers quite a bit.

“In the summer we see teenagers, moms with toddlers, all ages. People will say, ‘This is the first day of vacation. What a perfect way to start it right, and slow down,’ ” Hall said.

Susan Bickford is an artist, and a professor of visual and electronic art at the University of Maine at Augusta – as well as an avid kayaker. When Bickford found herself struggling to connect her students to a deeper connection with nature, she found herself drawn to forest therapy. The $3,800 price of the guide course almost deterred her, but only momentarily.

“I just kept coming back to it,” Bickford said. “Then when I took the training I thought, ‘I already do this.’ I was so totally wrong. There are an amazing set of exercises, ways to be in nature. It’s helped me help others slow down and notice nature.”

Bickford said it’s the next big thing, much like acupuncture and massage therapy.

“Once people do this, they’re going to crave it,” Bickford said. “Our society is sick, it’s anxious and people know they have to slow down. Everything has to be so immediate. The pendulum needs to swing the other way.”

As Brogan led a visitor on a forest therapy walk Thursday in the woods near Mt. Agamenticus, he started with exercises that encouraged the use of all five senses. Another exercise focused on motion through the woods.

Brogan took his time as he offered these invitations. Then he moved quietly ahead, as if forgetting his charge.

But after 15 to 20 minutes, he returned to bring the group together to share thoughts.

The exercises can lead to forgotten childhood memories, even epiphanies of loved ones who have passed on.

“Some smile, some shed tears,” Brogan said. “They find grief and let it go. People react in all different ways.”

Deirdre Fleming can be reached at 791-6452 or at:

Twitter: FlemingPph

]]> 0 Brogan, a Registered Maine Guide, leads a forest bathing walk at Kenyon Hill Preserve in South Berwick. The practice of intentionally spending time in the forest for health and wellness benefits comes from Japan, and is new in Maine and the East Coast.Sun, 22 Oct 2017 18:11:08 +0000
Astros beat Yankees to advance to World Series Sun, 22 Oct 2017 03:31:15 +0000 HOUSTON — Jose Altuve embraced Justin Verlander as confetti rained down. An improbable thought just a few years ago, the Houston Astros are headed to the World Series.

Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers Jr. combined on a three-hitter, Altuve and Evan Gattis homered and the Astros reached the World Series for only the second time by blanking the New York Yankees 4-0 Saturday night in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series.

Next up for the Astros: Game 1 against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night. Los Angeles opened as a narrow favorite, but Verlander, the ALCS MVP , and fellow Houston ace Dallas Keuchel will have plenty of rest before the World Series begins at sweltering Dodger Stadium.

“I love our personality,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “We have the right amount of fun, the right amount of seriousness, the right amount of perspective when we need it. This is a very, very unique group. To win 100 games and still be hungry is pretty remarkable.”

The Astros will try for their first World Series title, thanks in large part to Altuve , the diminutive second baseman who swings a potent bat, and Verlander, who switched teams for the first time in his career to chase a ring.

Four years removed from their third straight 100-loss season in 2013, the Astros shut down the Yankees on consecutive nights after dropping three in a row in the Bronx.

The only previous time the Astros made it this far, they were a National League team when they were swept by the Chicago White Sox in 2005.

Hinch’s club has a chance to win that elusive first crown, while trying to boost a region still recovering from Hurricane Harvey.

“This city, they deserve this,” McCullers said.

Clutch defensive plays by third baseman Alex Bregman and center fielder George Springer helped Houston improve to 6-0 at Minute Maid Park in these playoffs and become the fifth team in major league history to capture a seven-game postseason series by winning all four of its home games.

Morton bounced back from a loss in Game 3 to allow two hits over five scoreless innings. Starter-turned-postseason reliever McCullers limited the Yankees to just one hit while fanning six over the next four. A noted curveballer, McCullers finished up with 24 straight breaking pitches to earn his first major league save.

Combined, they throttled the wild-card Yankees one last time in Houston. Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and their New York teammates totaled just three runs in the four road games.

“I know people are going to talk about how we didn’t win many games on the road. There were some other teams that haven’t won many games on the road, either. We just happened to run into a very good team that just beat us,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

The Astros also eliminated New York in the 2015 postseason, with Keuchel winning the AL wild-card game at Yankee Stadium.

CC Sabathia entered 10-0 with a 1.69 ERA in 13 starts this season after a Yankees loss. But he struggled with command and was gone with one out in the fourth inning.   

Houston was up 2-0 in fifth when former Yankees star Brian McCann came through for the second straight game by hitting a two-run double. He snapped an 0-for-20 skid with an RBI double to give Houston its first run on Friday night in a 7-1 win.

The Yankees, trying to reach the World Series for the first time since 2009, lost an elimination game for the first time this season after winning their first four in these playoffs. New York went 1-6 on the road this postseason.

After going 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position through the first three innings, the Astros got on the board with no outs in the fourth with the 405-foot shot by Gattis.

Altuve launched a ball off Tommy Kahnle into the seats in right field with one out in the fifth for his fifth homer this postseason. It took a while for him to see that it was going to get out, and held onto his bat until he was halfway to first base before flipping it and trotting around the bases as chants of “MVP” rained down on him.

Altuve finished 8 for 25 with two homers and four RBIs in the ALCS after hitting .533 with three homers and four RBIs in the ALDS against Boston.

Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel hit consecutive singles before Kahnle struck out Gattis. McCann’s two-strike double, which rolled into the corner of right field, cleared the bases to push the lead to 4-0. Gurriel slid to avoid the tag and remained on his belly in a swimming pose at the plate for a few seconds after he was called safe.

It was just the second Game 7 in franchise history for the Astros, who lost to the Cardinals in the 2004 NLCS exactly 13 years earlier.

Sabathia allowed five hits and one run while walking three in 3 1/3 innings. He wasn’t nearly as sharp as he was in a Game 3 win and just 36 of the 65 pitches he threw were strikes.

Morton got into trouble in the fifth, and the Yankees had runners at the corners with one out. Bregman fielded a grounder hit by Todd Frazier and made a perfect throw home to allow McCann to tag Greg Bird and preserve Houston’s lead. McCann held onto the ball despite Bird’s cleat banging into his forearm. Chase Headley grounded out after that to end the inning.

A night after Springer kept Frazier from extra-bases with a leaping catch, Judge returned the favor on a ball hit by Yuli Gurriel. Judge sprinted, jumped and reached into the stands to grab his long fly ball before crashing into the wall and falling to the ground for the first out of the second inning.

Springer had another nifty catch in this one, jumping in front of Marwin Gonzalez at the wall in left-center to grab a ball hit by Bird for the first out of the seventh.

With McCullers in charge, the Astros soon closed it out.

“It’s not easy to get here. And I don’t take any of this for granted. And this is what we play for,” Verlander said. “These are the experiences that you remember at the end of your career when you look back, winning these games, just playing the World Series. Hopefully winning the World Series.”

]]> 0' Yuli Gurriel is congratulated by Carlos Correa after scoring during the fifth inning of Game 7 of the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees on Saturday in Houston. The Astros won, 4-0, to advance to the World Series.Sun, 22 Oct 2017 08:52:42 +0000
NHL roundup: Bruins lose lead, fall in overtime Sun, 22 Oct 2017 02:52:28 +0000 BOSTON — Ryan O’Reilly scored 2:59 into overtime Saturday night to give the Buffalo Sabres a 5-4 victory against the Boston Bruins, capping a comeback from a pair of three-goal deficits.

Jack Eichel, a former Boston University star and Hobey Baker winner, had a goal for the Sabres. Jason Pominville and Benoit Pouliot and Evander Kane also scored for Buffalo, which has one regulation win this season. Robin Lehner stopped 27 shots.

Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak each scored two goals for the Bruins, and Anton Khudobin made 37 saves.

The Bruins held leads of 3-0 and 4-1, but Buffalo tied it when Kane scored out of a scramble in front with 2:08 left in regulation.

O’Reilly then won it when he spun from the side of the net and slipped a backhander over Khudobin.

FLYERS 2, OILERS 1: Wayne Simmonds scored with an assist from Valtteri Filppula with 2:15 left to break a tie and lead Philadelphia at home.

Rangers 4, Predators 2: Kevin Hayes and Jimmy Vesey each had a goal and an assist as New York won at home to snap a five-game skid.

LIGHTNING 7, PENGUINS 1: Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov extended their season-opening points streaks to nine games and Tampa Bay won at home.

ISLANDERS 5, SHARKS 3: Anders Lee had two goals and an assist to lead New York at home.

KINGS 6, BLUE JACKETS 4: Anze Kopitar broke a tie with 2:14 left with his second goal of the game and Los Angeles won at Columbus, Ohio, to remain the only team unbeaten in regulation.

SENATORS 6, MAPLE LEAFS 3: Derick Brassard and Mark Stone each had two goals and an assist, Erik Karlsson added three assists and Ottawa won at home.


PENGUINS-RED WINGS: Pittsburgh acquired forward Riley Sheahan and a 2018 fifth-round draft pick from Detroit for forward Scott Wilson and a 2018 third-round draft pick.

]]> 0 Sat, 21 Oct 2017 22:58:56 +0000
Saturday’s high school girls’ roundup: South Portland advances in soccer Sun, 22 Oct 2017 00:48:30 +0000 SOUTH PORTLAND — Sophie Chase broke a scoreless tie early in the second half and Hattie Tetzlaff converted a penalty kick for the eventual winning goal as seventh-seeded South Portland beat No. 10 Noble 2-1 in a Class A South girls’ soccer preliminary-round game Saturday.

The Red Riots (8-4-3) move on to face second-seeded Kennebunk in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.

Tetzlaff’s goal made it 2-0 with 10:56 remaining. Brenna Frye scored for Noble (6-7-2) with 7:31 left.

SACOPEE VALLEY 2, OLD ORCHARD BEACH 1: Gabbi Black scored 20 minutes into the first half and Breanna Humphrey got the eventual winner 30 seconds into the second half as the 11th-seeded Hawks (5-10) beat the sixth-seeded Seagulls (6-7-2) in a Class C prelim in Old Orchard Beach.

Sacopee moves on to play third-seeded Traip in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.

Emily Greenlee scored for OOB with eight minutes left.

WINSLOW 2, MEDOMAK VALLEY 0: Sarah Guimond scored in the 10th minute and third-seeded Winslow (12-2-1) allowed only one shot on goal in a Class B North prelim victory against No. 14 Medomak Valley (3-11-1) in Winslow.

Ashley Quirion clinched the victory with a goal in the 74th minute as the Black Raiders set up a quarterfinal Tuesday against archrival Waterville.


BIDDEFORD 3, PORTLAND 0: Grace Martin had 12 kills and four aces as the third-seeded Tigers (12-3) swept the sixth-seeded Bulldogs (8-7) in a Class A quarterfinal in Biddeford.

Grace Boisvert and Mia Martel each chipped in with five kills and combined for five aces as Biddeford won, 25-15, 25-10, 25-14.

Abby Krieckhause had six kills for Portland.

Biddeford moves on to the semifinals Wednesday against second-ranked Scarborough.

DEERING 3, BONNY EAGLE 0: Maddy Broda supplied multiple digs, Catherine Balzano sparked the top-ranked Rams with her serving and Avery Donovan contributed timely kills as Deering (14-1) defeated the ninth-seeded Scots (6-10) in Portland, 25-17, 25-22, 25-18.

Broda finished with four aces, 26 assists and 10 digs. Donovan tallied 13 kills and a block, Dianne Dervis collected two aces, two kills and 10 digs, Rachel Pardi had three blocks, and Divine M’Bambi chipped in with nine kills.

Bonny Eagle’s Mia Ferrante recorded four aces, two digs and six kills. Whitney Regan added 22 assists and two aces, and Jenna Litif had two blocks, four kills and an ace.

SOUTH PORTLAND 3, GORHAM 1: Molly Mawhinney had 18 kills and seven aces to lead the fifth-seeded Red Riots (9-6) past the fourth-seeded Rams (9-6) in a Class A quarterfinal in Gorham, 15-25, 25-21, 25-20, 28-26.

Ashlee Aceto recorded 32 assists and two aces for South Portland, which meets top-seeded Deering in the semifinals on Wednesday. Kaleisha Towle chipped in with seven kills and two blocks.

YARMOUTH 3, ELLSWORTH 0: Marie LeBlanc recorded six kills and six aces as the second-seeded Clippers (14-1) swept the seventh-seeded Eagles (7-8) in a Class B quarterfinal in Yarmouth.

The Clippers move on to host third-seeded Falmouth in the semifinals on Wednesday.

Kaitlyn Bennett contributed eight kills and Skylar Bennett had six aces for Yarmouth, which won 25-18, 25-15, 25-13.

Olivia Robidoux had 10 kills for Ellsworth, while Shelby Cote added two aces to go with eight digs.

GREELY 3, MT. DESERT ISLAND 0: Jane Grandchamp had nine digs and eight kills as the fifth-seeded Rangers (8-7) swept the fourth-seeded Trojans (9-6) in a Class B quarterfinal in Bar Harbor, 25-20, 25-17, 25-12.

Morgan Selby added six kills and seven digs for Greely, which moves on to face top-seeded Cape Elizabeth in the semifinals on Wednesday.

]]> 0, 21 Oct 2017 21:42:14 +0000
Boys’ cross country: Yarmouth’s Luke Laverdiere easily wins Class B South title Sun, 22 Oct 2017 00:46:19 +0000 CUMBERLAND — Luke Laverdiere, a senior at Yarmouth High, came into Saturday’s Class B South cross country meet at Twin Brook Recreation Area as a two-time regional champion, so nobody was shocked when he cruised to another victory in the fastest time of the day.

But Deering junior Alec Troxell and Waynflete junior Henry Spritz? They surprised themselves by emerging from packs of five and four, respectively, late in their races to become Class A and Class C champions for the first time.

“I never could have imagined this,” said Troxell, who out-kicked Greely junior Luke Marsanskis by two seconds to win in 16 minutes, 51.44 seconds. “Last year I had the worst race of my season here, so I really just wanted to redeem that.”

Four other runners in Class A broke 17 minutes, with senior Conner Piers (fourth) and junior John Auer (sixth) leading Falmouth to victory in Class A team competition. The other team champions were Lincoln Academy in Class B and Maine Coast Waldorf in Class C.

Spritz, who lost twice in the regular season to Sacopee Valley junior Troy Hendricks, surged to victory in Class C by nearly three seconds in 17:43.50, with Maranacook junior Luke Bartol (third) and Maine Coast senior Nick Neveu (fourth) not far behind.

“We were all so close, we could taste it,” Spritz said. “I didn’t know who I should pace myself against, because every five seconds it would change, who was in first place. That last 100 meters, I just felt it and went for it.”

Laverdiere said he went out easy for the first two miles of the 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) course, hillier than most in the state. Wells senior Mitch Libby wasn’t far behind, until Laverdiere dropped a five-minute third mile to finish in 16:11.34 and win by 41 seconds over Libby.

“I wasn’t planning on going that fast, but I was feeling good,” Laverdiere said. “I didn’t want to push all the way through because I have to run this course next week.”

Lincoln Academy junior Sam Russ, who finished third, wanted no part of Laverdiere’s early pace, even if it was slower than normal.

“He’s in his own class,” Russ said. “There’s not a lot of people in Maine who can keep up with him. I don’t do well starting out hard, so for me to try to go out with Luke in the first mile would have been ultimately bad for me.”

Lincoln packed six runners among the top 20 to easily outdistance Freeport, 41-88. Wells (108), Yarmouth (107), York (118), Cape Elizabeth (150) and Lake Region (211) also qualified for the state meet.

Class A proved the closest team meet, with Falmouth edging Greely by eight points, 48-56, on the strength of three runners among the top nine and five in the top 16. Seniors Alex Kinley (ninth), Charlie Henning (13th) and Jared Troubh (16th) all broke 17:50.

“Alex Kinley went nuts,” said Danny Paul, one of Falmouth’s two head coaches. “If he had been 15th or 16th, that would have been a very good day. What he did was lights out.”

“The rest of our team had a pretty good day, too,” Kinley said. “I just went in with the mentality that, I have to be ahead of every other team’s third runner.”

Deering was third at 96. Scarborough (130), Massabesic (147), Bonny Eagle (199), Gorham (216), Portland (229) and Kennebunk (237) all qualified for the state meet.

In Class C, Maine Coast Waldorf placed six runners among the top 30 to run away from Boothbay Region, 51-109.

Waynflete was third at 118 with four other schools advancing to states: Maranacook (127), Traip Academy (170), Saint Dominic (189) and North Yarmouth Academy (197).

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

]]> 0 lead pack, led by Tristram Coffin of Scarborough, left, and Massabesic's Jacob Aboud, center, and Jeffery Waters reaches the top of a hill during the Class A South meet Saturday. Coffin helped Scarborough finish fourth, while Massabesic was fifth.Sun, 22 Oct 2017 15:46:17 +0000
Girls’ cross country: Gorham takes its turn atop Class A South Sun, 22 Oct 2017 00:46:17 +0000 CUMBERLAND — Gorham senior Anna Slager tries to make cross country, seemingly the most individual of sports, all about team.

So those fifth and sixth and seventh runners slogging their way with little fanfare through the middle of the pack?

“Treat ’em like they’re part of a the limelight,” Slager said. “All for one. A train is only as strong as its weakest link.”

Her metaphor might be slightly mixed, but Slager’s message was right on track Saturday as Gorham knocked off two-time defending state champion Bonny Eagle as well as defending regional champion Falmouth to win the Class A South title at Twin Brook Recreation Area.

Under sunny skies and temperatures approaching 70 degrees, the Rams qualified for the state meet for the first time in Slager’s high school career. They did so by packing five runners among the top 22 finishers of a race that included 122 girls.

Iris Kitchen (ninth), Kate Tugman (16th), Sarah Johnson (21st) and Meadow Fortier (22nd) gave Gorham a comfortable 72-101 victory over Falmouth with Greely (113) edging Bonny Eagle (117) for third. Deering was fifth at 124.

Slager, who won this race as a freshman and sophomore, finished fourth in 19 minutes, 58 seconds over the hilly 5-kilometer course.

“When you have people to lift you up, cheer you on and work together,” she said, “you realize you’re running for something greater than yourself. My team is tough. We can handle anything.”

Falmouth freshman Sofie Matson turned in the day’s fastest time of 19:03.58 to earn individual honors by nearly a minute.

Carolyn Todd of Greely nipped Karley Piers of Falmouth for second in 19:56.01. The top nine of 18 teams advanced to next weekend’s state championship.

In other races, Anneka Murrin led Yarmouth to the Class B South title and Maranacook won Class C South despite an individual victory by freshman Olivia Reynolds of runner-up Maine Coast Waldorf.

Matson quickly separated herself from the pack in Class A, and ran alone into and out of the woods and up the short but steep hill late in Mile 3 that runners lovingly call the Pain Cave. Saturday was the first time Matson had run the full course.

“In middle school we do the 2-mile course here, so I had done parts of it,” she said. “I had never done the Pain Cave before. It’s always nice to challenge yourself in a race.”

In Class B, Murrin and Lily Horne of Freeport ran together for much of the race until Murrin surged late to win by three seconds in 19:31.37.

“Coming out of the Pain Cave, I decided it was time to make a move,” Murrin said. “I knew that Lily was right behind me. I just sprinted as hard as I could.”

Sophia Laukli (fourth), Greta Elder (seventh), Sadie Cowles (11th) and Abi Thornton (29th) combined to push Yarmouth past York 52-66 with Cape Elizabeth (82) third. Fryeburg Academy (95), Freeport (162) and Morse (166) also qualified for the state meet.

“Sadie had a great race, just phenomenal,” said Yarmouth Coach John Rogers.

In Class C, the first race of the day, Maranacook crammed four girls among the top eight and Madelyn Dwyer completed the scoring at 14th for a 37-51 victory over Maine Coast Waldorf. Saint Dominic (93), Waynflete (102) and Monmouth Academy (144) also qualified for the state meet.

Reynolds and teammate Olivia Skillings ran side by side for half the race. But Molly McGrail of Maranacook surged to second, 25 seconds behind the winning time (20:26) of Reynolds, who had won only one other race this fall.

“I had a lot of pre-race nerves,” Reynolds said, “but I knew it was possible.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

]]> 0 freshman Sofie Matson speeds down a hill into the woods Saturday during the Class A South regional in Cumberland. Matson won the 5-kilometer race in 19 minutes, 3.58 seconds – the fastest time among the three regional events on the course.Sat, 21 Oct 2017 20:58:05 +0000
Saturday’s high school boys’ roundup: Deering shuts out Westbrook in soccer prelim Sun, 22 Oct 2017 00:42:37 +0000 Caleb Delano tallied two goals and Bill Turahimbawe also scored as seventh-seeded Deering beat 10th-seeded Westbrook 3-0 in a Class A South boys’ soccer preliminary-round match Saturday.

Delano got both of his goals in the first half. He rolled a shot from the left side inside the far post just a few minutes into the match, then sent a high chip over keeper Jacob Brackett from nearly the same spot with less than four minutes remaining in the half.

Turahimbawe scored 16 seconds into the second half when he intercepted a pass near the goal line and sent a low shot inside the far post.

Deering’s Max Morrione stopped a penalty shot taken by Ryan Shackley with under eight minutes remaining and handled several hard outside shots by Westbrook’s Grayson Post when the Blue Blazes (5-10) increased the pressure late in the second half.

Deering (10-4-1) will play No. 2 Falmouth in the regional quarterfinals Wednesday.

CHEVERUS 4, BONNY EAGLE 2: Luc Dionne scored twice, including the go-ahead goal just before halftime, and the sixth-seeded Stags (9-5-1) beat the 11th-seeded Scots (5-10) in a Class A South prelim in Portland.

Cheverus moves on to face third-seeded Gorham in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

The Stags opened the scoring 13 minutes into the match with a goal from Ian Shaines. Tayte Harris of Bonny Eagle and Michael Nason of Cheverus exchanged goals before Bonny Eagle’s Cameron MacDonald tied the game with an unassisted goal with six minutes remaining in the first half.

Dionne added his second goal midway through the second half.

FREEPORT 7, OAK HILL 0: Eriksen Shea set up the first goal and added two goals of his own as the eighth-seeded Falcons (8-7) defeated the No. 9 Raiders (5-8-5) in a Class B South prelim in Freeport.

Freeport dominated the first half, outshooting the Raiders 29-1 while building a 4-0 lead on goals by Caleb Arsenault, Shea and Jesse Bennell plus an own goal created by an Evan McKittrick free kick

The Falcons then added three goals in the first 5:20 of the second half – from Shea, Will Winter and Nate Thomas (penalty kick).

Freeport will face three-time defending state champion Yarmouth in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

GREELY 4, WELLS 1: Hazael Tshituka broke a 1-1 tie late in the first half with an assist from Matt Kramlich, and the sixth-seeded Rangers (9-5-1) beat the 11th-seeded Warriors (6-8-1) in a Class B South prelim in Cumberland.

Aiden Smith, Brendan Carrell and Jack Libby also scored for Greely, which moves on to play third-seeded Cape Elizabeth in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Liam Bell scored for Wells.

LEAVITT 2, GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER 1: The seventh-seeded Hornets (7-4-3) went to penalty kicks to eliminate the 10th-seeded Patriots in a Class B South prelim in Turner.

Leavitt had a 3-1 edge in penalty kicks after two scoreless overtimes.

Leavitt’s Connor Cyr scored the only goal of the first half with a 25-yard shot. Julius Rapp tied the game with seven minutes remaining in regulation, assisted by Cam Usher.


FRYEBURG ACADEMY 43, GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER 0: Jared Chisari ran for two touchdowns and returned a blocked punt for a score as the Raiders (6-2) defeated the Patriots (0-8) at Fryeburg.

Oscar Saunders found Cody Gullikson for a 22-yard touchdown pass, then scored on a 14-yard run as Fryeburg raced to a 29-0 lead after one quarter.

Justin Daniels ran 20 yards for a touchdown that made it 43-0 in the second quarter.

Fryeburg finished third in Class C South and will host a quarterfinal next weekend against No. 6 York.

WINTHROP/MONMOUTH 41, MT. VIEW 6: Defensive lineman Trenton Wood returned a fumble 30 yards for a touchdown on the second play of the game, and the Ramblers (4-4) added three more touchdowns in the first quarter on their way to a win over the Mustangs (2-6) in Winthrop.

Keegan Choate threw three TD passes – 68 yards to Cameron Gaghan on a screen pass on Winthrop’s first offensive play, 2 yards to Evan Burnell, and 33 yards to Greg Fay.

Kane Gould and Carson Camick each rushed for a touchdown.

Winthrop will be the No. 6 seed in the Class D South playoffs and will play at No. 3 Lisbon in the quarterfinals.

]]> 0, 21 Oct 2017 21:19:52 +0000
College football roundup: Miami survives upset bid Sun, 22 Oct 2017 00:25:02 +0000 MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Malik Rosier threw for 344 yards and two touchdowns Saturday, and Travis Homer’s 33-yard touchdown run with 2:48 left helped No. 8 Miami defeat upset-minded Syracuse 27-19 as the Hurricanes extended their winning streak to 11 games.

It was the third straight down-to-the-end game for Miami (6-0, 4-0 Atlantic Coast), which is off to its best league start since joining the ACC in 2004. Syracuse (4-4, 2-2) was coming off an upset of Clemson.

(1) ALABAMA 45, TENNESSEE 7: Bo Scarbrough had two fourth-down touchdown runs and Alabama (8-0, 5-0 Southeastern) defeated Tennessee (3-4, 0-4) at Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

(5) WISCONSIN 38, MARYLAND 13: Jonathan Taylor ran for a touchdown and reached 1,000 yards for the season, Alex Hornibrook passed for two scores and Wisconsin (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) beat Maryland (3-4, 1-3) at Madison, Wisconsin.

(10) OKLAHOMA STATE 13, TEXAS 10: Ramon Richards intercepted a Sam Ehlinger pass in the end zone in overtime and Matt Ammendola kicked a field goal, giving the Cowboys (6-1, 3-1 Big 12) a victory over Texas (3-4, 2-2) at Austin, Texas.

(14) VIRGINIA TECH 59, NORTH CAROLINA 7: Josh Jackson threw three touchdown passes and Virginia Tech (6-1, 2-1 Atlantic Coast) scored on fumble, interception and punt returns to rout North Carolina (1-7, 0-5) at Blacksburg, Virginia.

(18) MICHIGAN STATE 17, INDIANA 9: Brian Lewerke threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Felton Davis with 5:59 remaining, and Michigan State (6-1, 4-0 Big Ten) edged Indiana (3-4, 0-4) at East Lansing, Michigan.

(20) CENTRAL FLORIDA 31, NAVY 21: Adrian Killins ran for 122 yards and two touchdowns, McKenzie Milton passed for 233 yards and Central Florida (6-0, 4-0 American Athletic) beat Navy (5-2, 3-2) at Annapolis, Maryland.

COLUMBIA 22, DARTMOUTH 17: Josh Bean had two short touchdown runs, the defense had two goal-line stands in the last three minutes and the Lions (6-0, 3-0 Ivy) held off Dartmouth (5-1, 2-1) to match its best start in 21 years.

YALE 24, PENNSYLVANIA 19: Kurt Rawlings hit Christopher Williams-Lopez for a 4-yard touchdown with 4:11 remaining and Yale (5-1, 2-1 Ivy) beat Pennsylvania (2-4, 0-3) at Philadelphia.

COLGATE 45, HOLY CROSS 7: Grant Breneman threw for two touchdowns and ran in two more to lead Colgate (4-4, 2-1 Patriots) over Holy Cross (2-6, 1-2) at Worcester, Massachusetts.

CONNECTICUT 20, TULSA 14: Bryant Shirreffs went 23 of 29 for 372 yards passing and one touchdown, and Connecticut (3-4, 2-3 American Athletic) scored the first 20 points against Tulsa (2-6, 1-3) at East Hartford, Connecticut.

ELON 35, RHODE ISLAND 34: Davis Cheek threw for 331 yards and three touchdowns, and Warren Messer made an interception in the final minute as Elon (6-1, 4-0 Colonial Athletic) rallied to beat Rhode Island (1-6, 0-4) at Kingston, Rhode Island, for its sixth straight victory.

BOSTON COLLEGE 41, VIRGINIA 10: Anthony Brown threw three touchdown passes and Boston College (4-4, 2-3 Atlantic Coast) stifled Virginia (5-2, 2-1) at Charlottesville, Virginia.

CORNELL 34, BROWN 7: Harold Coles ran for two touchdowns and Cornell (2-4, 2-1 Ivy) smothered Brown (2-4, 0-3) at Ithaca, New York, to end a nine-game skid in the series.

NEW HAMPSHIRE 40, TOWSON 17: Trevor Knight threw for four touchdowns as New Hampshire (5-2, 3-1 Colonial Athletic) rolled past Towson (2-5, 0-4) at Durham, New Hampshire.

]]> 0 Scott of Michigan State is stopped by Nathanael Snyder, left, and Chase Dutra of Indiana during the second quarter of 18th-ranked Michigan State's 17-9 victory in a Big Ten game Saturday.Sat, 21 Oct 2017 20:44:51 +0000
Sports Digest: Walter Case Jr. drives to 3 wins in return at Scarborough Downs Sat, 21 Oct 2017 23:36:26 +0000 HARNESS RACING

Walter Case Jr. drives to 3 wins in return

Walter Case Jr. drove three winners in his return to Scarborough Downs on Saturday.

Case Jr.’s career came to an abrupt halt in 2004 when he was convicted of felonious assault after stabbing his estranged wife. He was sentenced to five years in prison at Belmont Correctional Institution in Ohio. He was released in 2008, six months early for good behavior.

The Maine Harness Racing Commission approved a provisional one-year license for Case, a Lewiston native, last week.

Case won the second, sixth and 10th races on the card Saturday. He drove to third in both the third and ninth races.


NBA G LEAGUE: The Maine Red Claws acquired the rights to Chris Flemmings, the No. 7 pick NBA G League draft, in a trade after Saturday’s draft.

Maine acquired Flemmings, a 6-foot-5 guard from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, from the Reno Bighorns, along with a future fourth-round pick. The Red Claws sent Dominic Cheek, who they drafted with the 24th pick, as well as a future second-round pick and the player rights to Josh Hagins, to Reno.

Also Saturday, Maine drafted Leron Barnes, a 6-5 guard from Houston, in the second round and Jordan Price, a 6-5 guard from La Salle, in the third round.


XFINITY: Christopher Bell raced to his first NASCAR Xfinity Series victory, beating dominant Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Erik Jones after they made contract with four laps left at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas.

Bell led for just four laps, hanging in second place behind Jones for much of the race before sliding in front of him shortly before the collision. Jones was coming from the top of the track when he hit the back of Bell’s car.

FORMULA ONE: Lewis Hamilton stormed through qualifying to grab pole position for the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, with title rival Sebastian Vettel getting a big push on his final lap to grab second.

That sets up a Sunday duel as Hamilton chases a possible fourth career season championship. The Mercedes driver holds a 59-point lead over Vettel with four races to go and Vettel will be desperate to push for the win.


PGA TOUR: Justin Thomas fired a 2-under 70 in windy conditions to share the lead with fellow American Scott Brown after the third round of the CJ Cup in Jeju, South Korea.

Thomas offset a lone double bogey and a bogey with five birdies to reach the clubhouse at 9-under 207.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Bernhard Langer matched the course record with a 9-under 63 to take a three-stroke lead in the Dominion Energy Charity Classic, the first event in the PGA Tour Champions’ Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs in Richmond, Virginia.

Langer had nine birdies in his second straight bogey-free round to reach 14-under 130 on The Country Club of Virginia’s James River Course.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Tournament host Sergio Garcia will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Andalucia Valderrama Masters after shooting a 3-under 68 in Sotogrande, Spain.

The Spaniard had six birdies and three bogeys to reach 8 under for the tournament, just ahead of English golfer Daniel Brooks, who shot a 7-under 64 for the best round of the week.

LPGA TOUR: Eun-Hee Ji carded a 3-under 69 to open up a six-stroke lead after the third round of the Taiwan Championship in Taipei, Taiwan.

– Staff and news service report

]]> 0 Sat, 21 Oct 2017 20:25:45 +0000
Saturday’s Maine men’s college roundup: St. Joseph’s continues shutout streak in soccer Sat, 21 Oct 2017 23:33:44 +0000 NEWTON, Mass. — Brett Mattos broke open a scoreless game, scoring twice in a 3:40 span of the second half Saturday, and St. Joseph’s College continued its amazing shutout streak by defeating Mount Ida 4-0 in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference men’s soccer game.

St. Joseph’s (15-0-1, 9-0-1) hasn’t allowed a goal this season with one game remaining before the conference playoffs – Wednesday at Keene State (6-5-4, 2-2-2), which has 20 goals in 15 games.

Mattos’ first goal, from Cody Elliott, came 15:37 into the second half. Mattos made it 2-0 from Jesse Ramirez, then set up Trevor Lopes for a 3-0 lead with six minutes left. Colin Grant completed the scoring from Noah Elmore with 2:25 remaining.

Blake Mullen made four saves for the Monks behind a defense that allowed eight shots. Riley Ford stopped four shots on net for the Mustangs. The Monks took 18 shots overall.

BOWDOIN 0, CONNECTICUT COLLEGE 0: Stevie Van Siclen made five saves for the Polar Bears (10-3-1, 6-2-1 NESCAC) and A.J. Marcucci stopped two shots for the Camels (9-1-4, 4-1-4) at New London, Connecticut.

HAMILTON 2, COLBY 0: Aidan Wood and Eli Morris scored in the first half to lift the Continentals (7-5-2, 4-5-1 NESCAC) over the Mules (6-5-2, 3-4-2) at Clinton, New York.

Linds Cadwell made three saves for the shutout. Avery Gibson stopped eight shots for Colby.

UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND 1, ENDICOTT 0: Colin Madigan scored with 13 minutes left to lift the Nor’Easters (4-13, 3-5 Commonwealth Coast) past the Gulls (9-4-3, 5-1-2) at Biddeford.

Nathan Delesdernier made three saves for the shutout. Will Manuel stopped two shots for Endicott.

BATES 3, MIDDLEBURY 0: P.J. DiBenedetto scored twice, including opening the scoring after 2:13 as the Bobcats (7-5-2, 2-5-2 NESCAC) beat the Panthers (9-5, 4-5) at Lewiston.

DiBenedetto’s second goal came at 22:25 from Nate Merchant to give Bates a 2-0 halftime lead. Max Watson added a goal at 53:02.

SOUTHERN MAINE 3, UMASS-DARTMOUTH 1: Benjamin Musese, Riley Dinsmore-Patch and Qutaiba Hassoon scored as USM (6-9-2, 1-4-1 Little East) beat the Corsairs (3-9-1, 2-4) at North Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

The Corsairs took a 1-0 lead midway through the first half when Junior Robert scored from Akere Tambi, but the Huskies tied it just before the half when Musese scored from Hassoon.

Dinsmore-Patch scored the go-ahead goal from Sam Anderson eight minutes into the second half. The Huskies took a late 3-1 lead when Hassoon put back the rebound of Dinsmore-Patch’s shot.


TRINITY 63, BOWDOIN 14: Sonny Puzzo threw for 188 yards and two touchdowns on 12 of 15 passing, and the Bantams (6-0) took a 49-7 halftime lead before beating the Polar Bears (0-6) at Hartford, Connecticut.

Griff Stalcup ran for a 6-yard score early in the second period, and Nick Vailas caught seven passes for 82 yards for Bowdoin.

HAMILTON 27, COLBY 24: Kenny Gray threw for 179 yards and three touchdowns for the Continentals (2-4), who stormed back from a 17-0 first-half deficit to defeat the Mules (0-6) at Clinton, New York.

Gray threw all three touchdown in the second quarter to give Hamilton the lead, but Mark Snyder caught his second touchdown from Jack O’Brien with five seconds left to put Colby ahead 24-20 at the half.

Mitch Bierman ran for the winning touchdown from 2 yards out ith seven minutes remaining.

HUSSON 48, GALLAUDET 21: John Smith ran for four touchdowns and 186 yards on 23 carries, and the Eagles (6-1, 4-0 East Coast Football) scored 21 unanswered points in the third quarter to beat the Bison (2-5, 2-2) at Washington.

Kyle Gaudet caught seven passes for 151 yards, including a 70-yard score from Cory Brandon midway through the third quarter to give Husson a 28-7 lead. Brandon completed 18 of 25 passes for 296 yards.

MIDDLEBURY 43, BATES 14: Jared Lebowitz threw for 166 yards and two touchdowns, and the Panthers (5-1) scored the first 27 points to beat the Bobcats (0-6) at Lewiston.

Brendan Costa threw for two touchdowns and ran for 131 yards on 28 carries for Bates. He connected with Jason Lopez for a 16-yard score midway through the fourth quarter.

Jimmy Martinez caught three passes for 73 yards and a touchdown for the Panthers.

NORWICH 24, MAINE MARITIME ACADEMY 22: Connor Bourque ran in for the go-ahead touchdown from 18 yards early in the third quarter and the Colonels (1-6) held off the Mariners (1-6) at Northfield, Vermont.

Clyde Tamburro nailed a 36-yard field goal to put Norwich ahead 24-15, and the Mariners made it 24-22 on a 4-yard touchdown run by Joel Bennett with 6:14 left.


MAINE 6, MIAMI (OHIO) 3: Patrick Holway and Brady Keeper each had a goal and two assists for the Black Bears (2-2), who opened a 5-0 first-period lead against Miami (1-3) at Orono.

Eduards Tralmaks scored for Maine just 1:01 into the game, and Holway followed with a goal at 2:22. Keeper, Patrick Shea and Mitchell Fossier each added a goal to make it 5-0.

Phil Knies potted a power-play goal for Miami with five seconds left in the opening period.

Tim Doherty of Maine and Grant Hutton of Miami traded second-period goals before Hutton added a final goal with 3:13 left.

]]> 0 Sat, 21 Oct 2017 22:15:19 +0000
Saturday’s Maine women’s college roundup: St. Joseph’s soccer earns 7th straight win Sat, 21 Oct 2017 23:06:23 +0000 STANDISH — Colleen Sheehan scored twice as the St. Joseph’s College women’s soccer team ran its unbeaten streak to eight games with a 3-0 win over Suffolk University on Saturday.

The Monks (12-4-1, 7-3-1 in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference) have won seven straight games.

Their unbeaten streak started with a 1-1 tie against Regis on Sept. 27.

Brenna Smith added a goal for St. Joseph’s, with an assist from Lauren Stiles.

Brooke Troup needed just two saves to complete her sixth shutout of the season for the Monks.

Suffolk is now 6-8, 4-7 in the conference.

HAMILTON 2, COLBY 0: Katie Tenefrancia scored at the 29:35 and the Continentals (8-4-2, 4-4-2 NESCAC) beat the Mules (4-8-2, 0-8-1) at Love Field in Clinton, New York.

Hamilton took a 1-0 lead on an own goal 4:09 into the game.

Shannon Gray had 13 saves for Colby. Emily Dumont stopped five shots for Hamilton.

MIDDLEBURY 5, BATES 0: Virginia Charman and Ellie Greenberg each scored twice as the Panthers (10-2-2, 5-2-2 NESCAC) cruised past the Bobcats (6-7-1, 2-6-1) in Lewiston.

Charman scored less than three minutes into the game with an assist from Sabrina Glaser. Charman added her second goal at the 21:33 mark to give Middlebury a 2-0 lead at the end of the first half.

Greenberg scored consecutive goals to start the second half with assists from Amanda Dafonte and Alex Barber. Glaser added an insurance goal.

Sarah McCarthy had four saves for Bates.

ENDICOTT 2, NEW ENGLAND 1: Brady Sezon scored the winning goal in the 87th minute with an assist from Rachel Hanna as the Seagulls (10-4-1, 7-0-1 CCC) beat the Nor’easters (7-8-2, 2-5-1) in Biddeford.

Hanna opened the scoring 15:35 into the game with an assist from Mary Veneris.

New England tied it in the 61st minute with a goal by Katie Beaudoin.

Emily Ashman had seven saves for New England.

BOWDOIN 2, CONN. COLLEGE 0: The Polar Bears (9-4-1, 4-4-1 NESCAC) scored a pair of first-half goals and beat the Camels (11-2-1, 6-2-1) in New London, Connecticut.

Morgen Gallagher scored at 23:18 to give Bowdoin a 1-0 lead. Lizzie Sands scored with an assist from Gallagher to make it 2-0.

Rachel Stout made one save for the shutout.

SOUTHERN MAINE 2, UMASS- DARTMOUTH 0: The Huskies (4-11, 1-5 Little East) scored twice in the first half to beat the Corsairs (4-13-1, 2-4) in Gorham.

Emma Cost gave Southern Maine a 1-0 lead with an assist from Ally Little at 34:04. Sarah Michaud made it 2-0 when she scored from Elise Porter at 44:18.

Taylor Canastra had eight saves for Southern Maine, while Madison Boucher had two saves for UMass- Dartmouth.


MIDDLEBURY 6, BATES 3: Erin Nicholas scored the go-ahead goal at the 51:03 mark as the No. 2 Panthers (12-2, 8-1 NESCAC) rallied to beat the No. 20 Bobcats (8-6, 4-5) in Lewiston.

Emily Gianunzio and Jessie Moriarty scored to give Bates a 2-0 lead 22 minutes into the first half, but Middlebury tied it going into halftime on goals from Grace Jennings and Julia Richards.

Bates took a 3-2 lead at the 36:43 mark on a goal by Sydney Beres, but Marrisa Baker tied the game less than 13 minutes later.

WORCESTER STATE 1, SOUTHERN MAINE 0: Olivia Antonelli scored in the 40th minute as the Lancers (13-3, 10-1 LEC) beat the Huskies (5-13, 4-7) in Gorham.

McKenzie Cormier had 12 saves for the Huskies.

HAMILTON 3, COLBY 1: Tatiana Bradley scored three goals as the Continentals (9-5, 6-4 NESCAC) held on to beat the Mules (9-5, 4-5) in Clinton, New York.

Eleanor Fitzgerald scored in the 31st minute for Colby, while Riley Whitmyer had eight saves.

ST. JOSEPH’S 7, ANNA MARIA 0: Kayla Kelly had a hat trick to lead the Monks (12-4, 6-1 GNAC) past the Amcats (5-13, 2-5) at Standish.

Libby Pomerleau scored twice in the first eight minutes, and also had two assists. Samantha Silva and Arianna Kahler also scored, while Hayley Winslow had two assists, and Maddi Beaulieau and Kara Kelly each had one assist.

Kaylin Mansir and Megan Baker shared goaltending duties, combining to make two saves for the shutout.

Bryanna Tobin had 13 saves for Anna Maria.

BOWDOIN 3, CONN. COLLEGE 2: Juliana Fiore scored in overtime to lift the Polar Bears (9-5, 5-4 NESCAC) past the Camels (5-9, 1-8) at New London, Connecticut.

Fiore carried the ball to her right and buried the game-winner inside the near post off a penalty corner play.

Kara Finnerty scored in the second half to give the Polar Bears a 1-0 lead. Connecticut College tied it on a goal by Meg Lembo, before Finnerty gave Bowdoin the lead back two minutes later. Jamie Navoni scored late in the second half to send it to overtime.

Maddie Ferrucci made seven saves for Bowdoin.

]]> 0 Sat, 21 Oct 2017 19:11:52 +0000
Boys’ soccer: Scarborough starts fast, shuts out Kennebunk Sat, 21 Oct 2017 22:57:56 +0000 SCARBOROUGH — Fifth-seeded Scarborough struck for two early goals and cruised to a 3-0 victory over No. 12 Kennebunk in the preliminary round of the Class A South boys’ soccer playoffs Saturday.

Scarborough (11-4) advances to the quarterfinals on Wednesday at fourth-seeded Portland.

Scarborough wasted little time in seizing control. Just 3:13 into the game, striker Noah Drapeau took a beautiful cross-field pass from the left side by Liam Bridgham and found the upper left corner of the net.

“We thought we might get some opportunities; we were fortunate to get a couple in early. That really settled us down,” said Scarborough Coach Mark Diaz.

The Red Storm made it 2-0 with 22:17 left in the first half when Brandon Wasser blasted a left-footed shot, off an assist from Marco Manfra.

“We worked really well together,” said Wasser. “The defense played fantastic, really held down the fort back there, and we capitalized on our opportunities. It was a great team win.”

Freshman keeper Quinn Battagliese was busy for the Rams (5-10), making seven saves.

“Quinn has been great. You have to give him a lot of credit. We had a senior goalkeeper, Will Kenneway, unfortunately (get) injured early in the season, and it was one of those situations where Quinn stepped up and really earned the job,” said Kennebunk Coach Greg Cavanaugh.

Kenneway suffered season-ending concussion but made his impact on the team by mentoring Battagliese.

“Will continued to tutor (Battagliese), continued to work with him as he transitioned into the field,” said Cavanaugh. “Quinn’s success this year is directly linked to the work that Will put in with him. You can’t talk about Quinn’s efforts without talking about Will, and that’s a great legacy for Will to pass off because we’re going to have a very strong goalkeeper for quite a few years now.”

The Rams had a couple opportunities to cut into the 2-0 deficit in the second half, but a header by Alvaro Huezo Coto was saved by Morgan Pratt and a free kick by Tristan Wirth sailed high over the net.

“They never quit. This group is built on a workmanlike attitude; they don’t quit, they don’t stop, they’re persistent. That was the case again tonight, it’s just plain and simple (we) lost to a better side,” said Cavanaugh.

“Today was a good, solid playoff win. I thought we defended pretty well today, too, which is critical,” said Diaz.

Elliott Dumais scored the final goal, assisted by Brigham, with 9:07 left.

]]> 0, 21 Oct 2017 19:55:08 +0000
Missed field goal helps Maine top Albany Sat, 21 Oct 2017 22:40:26 +0000 ALBANY, N.Y. — A week after riding its offense to a victory over Rhode Island, the University of Maine turned to defense Saturday to beat Albany 12-10 in a Colonial Athletic Association game at Casey Stadium.

Maine held Albany to one third- down conversion in 12 attempts.

“When we let teams into the red zone, we know how big it is to hold them to a field goal,” said Joe Harasymiak, Maine’s second-year head coach. “Our defense made some big plays”

Maine (3-3, 2-3), winning a road game for the first time this season, held the Great Danes (3-4, 1-3) to 262 yards and no offensive touchdowns.

One week after leading the Black Bears to a 51-27 victory against Rhode Island, redshirt freshman quarterback Chris Ferguson didn’t have his greatest day – 19 of 30 for 273 yards – but tossed a perfect spiral to Micah Wright for the Black Bears’ only touchdown and a 9-7 lead.

Quarterback Will Brunson (13 of 27, 163 yards) put the Great Danes in position to win in the fourth quarter when a drive that included a pair of 41-yard receptions brought them to the Maine 13 with about five minutes left.

Karl Mofor was then thrown for a 1-yard loss and following an incomplete pass, Brunson was sacked by Deshawn Stevens for an 8-yard loss.

A false start turned what would have been a 39-yard kick into a 44-yard field-goal attempt by Ethan Stark that would have given the Great Danes a 13-12 lead. But he missed and the Black Bears were able to run off the remaining 4:36.

“The kick had plenty of distance but it was the penalty that may have thrown his timing off,” Albany Coach Greg Gattuso said. “It’s like when you call a timeout to freeze the kicker.”

Brandon Briggs, the former Thornton Academy kicker, connected on a 36-yard field goal in the first minute of the fourth quarter as the Black Bears regained a 12-10 lead. Maine set up the kick by driving 57 yards in 10 plays.

Stark kicked a 36-yard field goal with 2:08 remaining in the third quarter to give the Great Danes a 10-9 edge. Albany went 61 yards in five plays on the drive.

Earlier, Maine linebacker Sterling Sheffield made an outstanding play to prevent a touchdown.

Brunson led Donovan McDonald perfectly and the ball appeared ready to land in the receiver’s hands, but Sheffield timed the play perfectly and broke the pass up in the end zone.

“My hands were up in the air and I was expecting a slant,” Sheffield said. “I saw the ball in his hands and knew I had to knock it out.”

“That stop was huge,” Ferguson said.

Josh Mack (32 carries, 108 yards, including a 58-yard run) fumbled and Antoine White carried into the end zone from 5 yards as Albany took a 7-0 lead early.

But Maine recovered, dominated the second quarter and carried a 9-7 lead into halftime.

Briggs drilled a 37-yard field goal 43 seconds into the second quarter to cut the deficit to 7-3. Wright then caught a 34-yard pass from Ferguson with 3:51 left in the half and after the conversion kick failed, Maine held a 9-7 lead.

Wright’s touchdown capped a three-play, 50-yard drive. He slipped behind the defense and hauled in the perfect lead pass from Ferguson.

“We know we need to maximize our potential each week,” Ferguson said. “We hold each other accountable and it was great to win a conference game on the road.”

]]> 0, 21 Oct 2017 20:11:55 +0000
Girls’ soccer: Windham shuts out Falmouth Sat, 21 Oct 2017 20:38:04 +0000 WINDHAM — Goalie Kaitlyn Roberts recognized there was no room for error when Windham faced Falmouth in a Class A South prelim game on Saturday, two weeks after the teams played to a tie.

Roberts, a senior, recorded her fourth shutout of the season and Julia McKenna scored as the eighth-ranked Eagles earned a 1-0 win over No. 9 Falmouth.

“All I was focused on was getting to the ball, making sure that people were staying on their man, and throwing myself on the ball before it could go over the line,” said Roberts.

The Eagles (8-5-2), who tied the Yachtsmen (6-8-1) 1-1 on Oct. 6, advance to play No. 1 Scarborough in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.

A two-year starter, Roberts made 15 saves. She made two – the first on a diving stop, the second after quickly returning to her feet and stopping a would-be goal on a rebound attempt – to keep the game scoreless in the first half.

“Kaitlyn has done an amazing job this year,” said Windham Coach Deb Lebel. “She’s done a ton of work with one of our assistants to get better all year. She’s able to go high, to go low.

“Her reaction on that play was amazing. That chance there should’ve been a goal. We’ve taught her to get right back up because it’s the rebound that will go in. She’s kept us in a lot of games all season. Just super proud of her.”

Roberts continued her strong play in the second half, making nine saves, including several more diving stops.

“We’re young – we start six freshman and a few sophomores, and today was kind of the epitome of being young,” said Falmouth Coach Andrew Pelletier. “We just couldn’t finish our chances. We created six or seven right in front of the goal and just needed someone to put it in. (Roberts) was great. She’s a good goalkeeper. It’s frustrating to create those chances and see a goalkeeper come up with the saves she was making.”

McKenna, a freshman, finally got the Eagles on the board with 8:42 left in the game. McKenna scored her 10th goal of the season when she chipped in a shot on a crossing pass from Maggie Lloyd.

“Our freshmen have come up huge for us this season,” said Lebel. “She doesn’t try to do much fancy. She just has a nose for the net and knows where to place it. She’s been working on it – in and out of practice – and has a great foot.”

Falmouth goalie Claire Winkeler stopped 11 shots.

“Our defense was really strong today, and they play that flat back four that’s really hard to get through,” said Lebel. “But both goalies today really stepped up. (Winkeler) was huge for them in net today.”

]]> 0, 21 Oct 2017 17:28:20 +0000
Football: South Portland tops Portland, 34-17 Sat, 21 Oct 2017 19:55:44 +0000 SOUTH PORTLAND — Playoff positions were already set, but there was still a lot on the line in Saturday’s 102nd Battle of the Bridge between visiting Portland and South Portland.

Just ask South Portland senior defensive tackle/offensive guard Nick Penney, who keyed an aggressive defensive front and helped quarterback Jack Poole account for 300 of the Red Riots’ 326 total yards in a 34-17 victory at Martin Memorial Field.

“It’s the Bridge game, man. It’s one of the biggest games of the season for us,” Penney said. “It’s our last (regular-season) game. It’s so big for us, and this win meant so much for every one of us on this team.”

South Portland’s win snapped a four-game losing streak to Portland. South Portland leads the all-time series, 55-44-3.

The Red Riots (4-4) finished fourth in Class A South and will host Sanford (4-4) in a regional quarterfinal, probably next Saturday. South Portland is 4-0 at home this season, including a 28-7 win against Sanford.

Saturday’s no-turnover effort – highlighted by two second-half scoring drives to immediately answer after Portland twice cut the lead to 10 – showed South Portland’s difficult 2-7 season in 2016 is in the rear-view mirror.

“For us to overcome some of the stuff we’ve had to overcome the last couple of years, to (be 4-4), to have a Bridge championship and a home playoff game and to be undefeated at home is just an amazing accomplishment,” said South Portland Coach Steve Stinson.

Poole completed 10 of 13 passes for 200 yards, with a 20-yard touchdown pass to running back Spencer Houlette (three catches, 94 yards) in the first half and a 17-yard strike to 6-foot-5, 220-pound sophomore tight end Hunter Owen (four catches, 45 yards) in the second half.

Poole also rushed for 100 yards, with touchdown runs of 6 and 3 yards.

South Portland’s win finalized the order for Class A South’s three 7-1 teams. Scarborough secured the top spot by beating Bonny Eagle on Friday. With South Portland’s win, Thornton finishes second. Bonny Eagle is third and will host Deering (1-7) in a regional quarterfinal.

Portland (2-6) finished sixth in Class A North. The Bulldogs will be at No. 3 Oxford Hills/Buckfield in quarterfinals.

Oxford Hills beat Portland 20-14 to open the season, but Terion Moss had yet to take over as Portland’s quarterback. Moss showed he’s a playmaker on Saturday, scrambling away from near constant pressure for 110 rushing yards and capping a pair of second-half drives with touchdown passes to tight end Nico Leavitt (four catches, 44 yards) and Vinnie Pasquali.

Each time, Poole and South Portland countered. After Zack Johnson returned a kickoff 59 yards, Poole gained 14 yards on a run and then connected with Owen for a 27-13 lead.

Keyed by a 29-yard Moss-to-Zach Elowitch pass, Portland put together a 77-yard drive, capped by Moss’ 8-yard pass to Pasquali with 6:37 to play.

South Portland grinded out the clock with a 68-yard drive, finished by Riley Campbell’s 1-yard run with 24 seconds left.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0, 21 Oct 2017 19:49:43 +0000
Volleyball: Falmouth sweeps Cony in Class B quarterfinal Sat, 21 Oct 2017 19:21:09 +0000 FALMOUTH — The Falmouth volleyball team seems to have peaked at just the right time.

The third-seeded Yachtsmen dominated all phases of the game for a straight-sets victory Saturday over No. 6 Cony in a Class B quarterfinal.

Falmouth (11-4), which won 25-7, 25-13, 25-21, will play Yarmouth in a semifinal at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

“We had some really strong practices this week and a lot of motivation going into the tournament,” Falmouth Coach Molly Northway said. “They really wanted it and they showed their stuff (today), and I’m really proud of them.

“I think the tournament motivates everyone, but I also think they are binding as a team and they’ve really found their groove. I think they’re ready to explode from here and show everything and not hold anything back.”

It took the Rams (6-7) some time to adjust to the pace set by the Yachtsmen.

“I called a timeout in the first set when we were down 18-5 and said we’ve got to get used to the speed,” said Cony Coach Dennis Dacus. “Obviously, we’re not going to have success in this game.”

Cony crept closer with each set, but they couldn’t catch up.

“The second game, we scored a few more points, and in the third game we got it into the 20s,” Dacus said. “It’s a different level down here, and we’re not used to that up our way, but (my) girls played the best game of the year right here. … We gave (them) as good a game as we could.”

The score was tied four times in the third set and the lead changed hands twice before Falmouth scored eight of 10 points to open up a 22-15 lead.

“We’ve got some really strong servers and we’ve been working a lot on getting the ball in consistently,” Northway said.

In the first set, the Yachtsmen scored eight consecutive points off Summer Spiegel’s serve, then 10 straight points off Lydia Abbott’s serve to open a 24-6 lead.

In all, the Yachtsmen scored 25 points when Spiegel was serving.

“I’ve really been practicing a lot and it’s paid off,” Spiegel said. “I hit it deep and then it drops.”

The Yachtsmen received strong play up front from Alison Noyes, who scored 10 points off kills, blocks or dink shots, and Annika Hester, who had six kills.

“When we’re serving well we get easier balls up front,” Noyes said. “We were a lot more amped up than we get sometimes, and that helps the whole team play better. Everybody gets competitive, and it’s fun.”

]]> 0 Hester of Falmouth celebrates a point with teammates during the third set of Saturday's Class B quarterfinal against Cony. Falmouth swept the match in three sets.Sat, 21 Oct 2017 18:27:45 +0000
Boys’ soccer: Thornton Academy fends off Marshwood to advance, 1-0 Sat, 21 Oct 2017 18:14:22 +0000 SACO — Thornton Academy and Marshwood entered their Class A South boys’ soccer preliminary-round game Saturday with similar records and resumes, so it wasn’t unexpected that one goal would determine which team advanced to the regional quarterfinals.

Brogan Searle-Belanger scored the game’s only goal with 14:34 remaining, and eighth-seeded Thornton earned a 1-0 win over No. 9 Marshwood.

Searle-Belanger’s goal, off a pass from Chase Pierce, sends the Golden Trojans (9-5-1) to the quarterfinals Wednesday against No. 1 South Portland (13-0-1).

“I just got the through ball through and played it back to Brogan, who has been there all year, and he put it away,” Pierce said. “Feels good, we’re going to move on and see what we can do next week … it’s going to be tough, but we’ve got nothing to lose.”

Marshwood finished 8-7. The Hawks had several scoring chances, especially in the second half, but couldn’t break through against Thornton keeper Travis Snyder and the Trojans’ defense.

“We just missed some looks that we had, looks that we’ve been able to finish this season,” Marshwood Coach Ben Deschene said. “That’s soccer. You get opportunities, and the winner is just who puts them away.”

Snyder finished with 11 saves, while Chase Gagnon had 10 saves for Marshwood.

“We were struggling all day to kind of find our rhythm,” Thornton Coach Andrew Carlson said. “Marshwood is a good team; we’re pretty evenly matched. In a game like that, it’s not surprising that it ended one-nil.”

The Hawks threatened throughout the second half, producing seven shots and seven corner kicks.

With less than four minutes remaining, a corner kick by Marshwood’s Jason Janetos curved toward the Golden Trojans’ goal, but Snyder dove to punch it away. With Snyder on the ground, the ball landed in the box at the feet of Marshwood’s Connor McCoomb, who fired a shot. Snyder, though, popped up in time to make the save.

“He has been one of the best corner kickers I’ve ever had, and he put a good delivery in there,” Deschene said. “The keeper just made a really good save. He was athletic enough, when we took our second shot, to get up off the ground to get it.”

“Just always get up after the first hit,” Snyder said. “It was pretty intense. We played with a lot of heart and didn’t give up.”

Moments later, Marshwood tested Snyder again when Nevan Collins booted a shot on target from nearly 30 yards. Snyder batted down the ball, which landed in front of Marshwood’s Henry Honkonen. But Honkonen slipped before he could capitalize on the opportunity, and Snyder collected the loose ball.

While those were the last of Marshwood’s chances, they certainly weren’t the only ones. Janetos had a breakaway three minutes into the second half, but Snyder charged out and made a diving save before Janetos could strike.

With 23 minutes left, following a string of passes in the Golden Trojans’ box, Marshwood’s Mike LaSelva got open and took a shot that slammed into the crossbar.

“They were coming at us hard, but Travis and our defense really stepped up today,” Pierce said.

“We didn’t play our best soccer, but we came out and we fought hard.”

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or:

Twitter: TaylorVortherms

]]> 0, 21 Oct 2017 18:20:03 +0000
Field hockey: No. 6 Westbrook dethrones Massabesic in double OT Sat, 21 Oct 2017 18:04:12 +0000 WATERBORO — In the eyes of many, Westbrook High began the season as the favorite in Class A South field hockey, a team loaded with talent and experience.

Now the Blazes have a chance to prove those predictions right.

Avery Tucker tipped in a shot by Maddison LeBeau with 5:09 left in the second sudden-death overtime to lift sixth-seeded Westbrook to a 3-2 victory over No. 2 Massabesic in a Class A South semifinal Saturday.

It was a stunning ending to a marvelously played game and sent Westbrook to the regional final for the first time since 2008. Westbrook (12-4) will play fourth-seeded Biddeford on Tuesday at Thornton Academy, at a time yet to be determined.

Biddeford defeated Westbrook 4-3 in overtime in the regular season.

“It’s a huge accomplishment for us,” said Tucker, who assisted on Westbrook’s other two goals. “We worked extremely hard to get here.”

Massabesic (13-3), the defending regional champion, led 2-1 at halftime on two Emma Rutledge goals just 75 seconds apart late in the half.

But Westbrook, which led 1-0 on a Morgan LeBeau goal, controlled most of the second half – getting the tying goal from Maddison LeBeau with 20:54 remaining off a penalty corner blast – and had the best chances in overtime.

“We lost our momentum in the second half,” said Massabesic Coach Michele Martin-Moore. “I wish we didn’t have to have the halftime. But hats off to the Westbrook kids and coaches. That was quite a game.”

The Blue Blazes could have cracked after Rutledge’s second goal, on a reverse swipe during a scramble with 4:24 left in the first half. But Theresa Hendrix, Westbrook’s co-head coach along with Beth Murphy, called a timeout.

“We saw some heads low, some shoulders low,” said Hendrix. “So we talked to them and told them if they wanted to beat a team like Massabesic, that couldn’t be happening. They had to fight back, play their game. And they did that the rest of the game.”

Massabesic, which defeated a favored Westbrook team in the quarterfinals a year ago, had nine shots in the first half, but only four the rest of the way. Westbrook’s defense, led by goalie Kim Goddard, was superb.

“I knew coming in this was going to be the hardest game of my life,” said Goddard, who made three huge saves in the game’s first four minutes. “I knew I would have to push it and give it everything.”

Westbrook had a chance to win it in regulation, getting a penalty corner with less than 30 seconds remaining. But Massabesic’s Morgan Pike and Logan Champlin combined to clear the ball, forcing overtime.

Massabesic goalie Madyson Pomerleau came charging out of the net twice to stop rushes by Mary Keef in overtime. Again, Westbrook had a corner in the final seconds but could not score, forcing a second eight-minute overtime.

With just under six minutes remaining, the Blue Blazes were awarded a free hit after the ball hit the foot of a Massabesic player. As she stepped to the ball, LeBeau, who takes most of the free hits and quite often passes, recalled something Murphy had said to her.

“Coach had been telling me, ‘Take it in, take it in, be a little selfish, if you have the chance,'” said LeBeau. “I was like, ‘I’ve got to get this to Avery.'”

So she dribbled around a Massabesic defender and unleashed a hard shot from just inside the circle. Tucker stuck her stick out – “I knew all I could do was stick my stick out there and do my best,” said Tucker – and tipped the ball inside the left post.

“We played with our heart the whole time,” said Massabesic’s Rutledge. “Neither team deserved to lose. Both teams could have won. It was just their turn.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0, 21 Oct 2017 18:58:33 +0000
Cross country: Falmouth boys, Gorham girls win Class A regional titles Sat, 21 Oct 2017 16:48:45 +0000 CUMBERLAND — The following are results from the southern Maine regional cross country championships on Saturday at Twin Brook Recreation Area.


The Falmouth boys scored 48 points to capture the regional title with Greely (56) close behind. Deering was thirs with 96. Alex Troxell of Deering placed first with a time of 16:51, followed by Luke Marsanskis of Greely and Yahya Nure of Deering.


Standout freshman Sofie Matson won the individual title by 53 seconds with a time of 19:03. Carolyn Todd of Greely was second and Karley Piers, another Falmouth freshman, was third. But it was the Gorham girls winning the team with 72 points followed by Falmouth (101) and Greely (113).


The Lincoln Academy boys dominated Class B, scoring 41 points to finish ahead of Freeport (88) and Wells (105) to secure the team title. In the individual race it was Luke Laverdiere of Yarmouth dominating with a time of 16:11. Mitch Libby of Wells was second and Sam Russ of Lincoln Academy third.


The Yarmouth girls prevailed in a tight race with 52 points with York (66) second and Cape Elizabeth (82) third. The top overall finisher was Anneka Murrin of Yarmouth on 19:31, followed by Lily Horne of Freeport and Lila Gaudrault of Cape Elizabeth third.


The Maranacook girls won the team title with 37 points, followed by Maine Coast Waldorf (51) and St. Dominic (91). The top individual was freshman Olivia Reynolds of Maine Coast Waldorf with a time of 20:26. Molly McGrail of Maranacook was second and Olivia Skillings of Maine Coast Waldorf was third.


The Maine Coast Waldorf boys won the team title with 51 points followed by Boothbay (109) and Waynflkete (118). Henry Spritz of Waynflete finished in 17:43, three seconds ahead of Troy Hendricks of Sacopee Valley. In third was Luke Bartol of Maranacook.

This story will be updated.

]]> 0 freshman Sofie Matson is all alone in the chute as she races to the finish of the Class A girls race during the South regional cross country championships in Cumberland on Saturday. Matson won her race by 53 seconds.Sat, 21 Oct 2017 18:12:39 +0000
Harness racing legend gets ‘second chance’ after prison Sat, 21 Oct 2017 08:00:00 +0000 Nine years after he was released from prison for stabbing his wife with a steak knife, Walter Case Jr. will be back in the stirrups Saturday at Scarborough Downs for an afternoon of harness racing.

A legendary career that began 40 years ago at the Bangor Fair and totaled more than 11,000 victories came to an abrupt halt in 2004. Case was convicted of felonious assault after stabbing his estranged wife in a fit of jealous rage fueled by drugs and alcohol.

The woman survived her injuries; Case, 56, was sentenced to five years at Belmont Correctional Institution in Ohio. He was released from prison in the fall of 2008, six months early for good behavior. In three subsequent years of probation, Case completed all required testing and counseling for alcohol, drugs and anger management.

“He’s a different person,” said Luanne Case, who married Walter Case in 2009 and trains horses with him in Ohio, where he moved in 1999 after being banned from tracks in New York and New Jersey. “He’s calmed down a lot. The only spits and spats we’ve had are about whether a horse’s equipment is right or not.”

Walter Case Jr. Photo by Luanne Case

Last week, the Maine Harness Racing Commission approved a provisional one-year license for Case, a Lewiston native who had been turned away by similar boards in Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Massachusetts since being released from prison. By a vote of 2-1, the Maine commission reversed its ruling of a month earlier that had confirmed a preliminary denial of Case’s application.

The basis for that preliminary denial was because the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission rejected Case’s 2013 license application – noting he had made “good progress in his rehabilitation since his release from incarceration,” but that his “experience, character and general fitness is not consistent with the best interests of the public, or with racing generally.”

Pennsylvania also imposed a five-year waiting period before he could re-apply. The rules in Maine say that the commission “shall refuse to license or shall suspend the license of any person whose license is currently refused, revoked or suspended in another jurisdiction.”

Evan Fisher, Case’s Augusta-based attorney, argued that Maine’s rules provide a maximum suspension of one year, so the state should not abide by Pennsylvania’s five-year ban. He also pointed to a Maine rule allowing an applicant “to show cause as to why such a penalty (from another state) should not be enforced against him/her in this state.”

Four people familiar with Maine harness racing spoke on Case’s behalf at his Sept. 22 hearing, including a racing judge, a track announcer, a horse owner and a trainer. “They said Walter deserves a second chance,” Fisher said. “They said he’s changed, he’s living a quiet life, he’s rehabilitated. Nobody spoke against him.”

Because one of the five positions on the commission was vacant, four members heard the appeal on Sept. 13. A procedural error led to one member’s recusal. Of the remaining three, Bill Varney, the Bangor businessman and horse enthusiast who chairs the commission, motioned to approve Case’s application.

Nobody seconded. The vote went 2-1 against Case.

Because of the procedural error last month, Varney asked that Case’s appeal be added to the agenda for the next meeting, on Oct. 13. This time, the vote went 2-1 in favor of Case.

“I think it was a matter of fairness and a matter of rules,” Varney said this week. “At least two of us felt he had served his time and he should be given an opportunity to drive again. I think he should be able to make a living and do what he’s done all his life.”

The commission granted Case a one-year conditional license that can be revoked if he has any serious violations or problems. In a career that includes more than 43,000 races at tracks throughout the Northeast and Ohio, Case accumulated 757 incidents, rulings, infractions or suspensions from 1984 through 2003, according to U.S. Trotting Association records cited in the Pennsylvania decision. He served a 10-day jail sentence in Ohio in 2003 for violating a restraining order Nadine Habke had against him. Case and Habke had married in Las Vegas that year.

Now 39, Habke did not return a phone call seeking comment on Case’s return to racing, but last summer she was interviewed by the Cleveland Plain Dealer about her work as an outrider at a harness track in Northfield and her recovery from the stabbing. She said she hasn’t spoken to Case since the incident, but does not speak ill of him.

“He had all the talent in the world, but couldn’t handle life off the track,” she said. “Walter would have been fine if he could have driven horses 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

In a 2006 interview from prison, Case told the Portland Press Herald of his remorse.

“I feel ashamed and terrible for doing what I did to her,” he said. “I’ve never been a violent person. I never picked up a gun or knife in my life until that point. It’s something I’ve got to live with for the rest of my life.”

Earlier this week, Case brushed aside questions about life before his release from prison.

“I really don’t want to harp on the negative stuff that’s behind me,” he said by phone from Ohio, where he had spent the morning putting eight horses through their paces at the Warren County Fairgrounds in Lebanon. “I did my time. I’ve been a model citizen ever since I left (prison) and I never plan on going back.”

He handed the cellphone to his wife because a call from another trainer had arrived on his flip phone. She apologized.

“He’s a little standoffish about phone interviews and interviews in public,” Luanne Case said. “He’s timid by nature. I’m the opposite. That’s why we get along so great.”

They met in a barn in Mount Hope, New York, where Walter Case had gone to live with his brother Tim while on probation. It was the dead of winter, late in 2008, and they struck up a friendship.

“It was really cold,” Luanne said. “He saw I had a few more horses to get on the track and jog. He said, ‘If you’d like, I’ll jog those last two.’ He said, ‘I’m from Maine. The cold doesn’t bother me.’ He’s just a kind-hearted person.”

The next summer, they got married. The marriage is the third for both. They lived on a farm in Pine Bush, New York, and spent their first winter in Florida two years ago. Last year, Luanne’s parents mentioned two new tracks that had opened in Ohio and suggested they consider moving back to the Midwest. They did so in May and now live in Springboro, Ohio.

Life outside the track has not always been easy for Case, who despite his long absence from the track remains eighth on harness racing’s career victory list.

“He’s the greatest driver I’ve ever seen on the racetrack,” said Mike Sweeney, the Scarborough Downs announcer. “I grew up watching him. We’re overjoyed we’re going to have an opportunity to come through for Casey this weekend.”

Luanne understands not everyone will be thrilled about her husband’s return to the limelight.

“A lot of women hate him,” she said. “I feel their pain. I went through a very violent marriage before I met Walter.”

Francine Garland Stark, executive director of the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence, doesn’t know Case but she does know that he took a steak knife in hand and used it to stab another human being.

“That’s a profoundly violent act,” she said. “He nearly killed a person.”

Stark said she’s not interested in testimony about Case’s character. She would like to see evidence of what he’s done to repair the damage he caused.

She’s all for rehabilitation and second chances, but said, “I do think it’s simplistic to say, ‘He did the crime, he did the time, let’s move on.’ ”

Sports pages include regular mentions of athletes charged with domestic violence, with football’s Ray Rice and boxing’s Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather bringing attention to an issue that all four major professional leagues are under pressure to address.

“In the athletic world, this is something people are really wrangling with,” Stark said. “That gives me hope. Because when people think deeply about these things, change can happen.”

This weekend’s races will be Case’s first in Maine in nearly 20 years. The season continues at Scarborough Downs through early December.

“Take him for what he is now,” Luanne Case said of her husband. “He’s a great horseman. He takes care of the animals. He terribly regrets what happened, but he also knows what’s done is done. We are always harder on ourselves than people can imagine.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

]]> 0 Case Jr.Sat, 21 Oct 2017 20:21:55 +0000
District was asked not to hire Gray-New Gloucester football coach who urged taunt Sat, 21 Oct 2017 08:00:00 +0000 GRAY — Duane Greaton was hired as Gray-New Gloucester High School’s football coach despite the objections of a parent who said he had an abusive style and a warning from the school’s previous coach that Greaton was unqualified.

Greaton no longer coaches the team after it came to light that he instructed his players last week to taunt a Yarmouth opponent with the phrase “Who’s your daddy?” because that player’s parents are both women. Greaton was in his first year as the varsity coach after coaching for several years at the youth and middle school levels in Gray-New Gloucester.

Duane Greaton

Renee Blazejewski of Gray said she told SAD 15 Superintendent Craig King that her son, a junior, would not play football if Greaton was hired.

“We’ve seen his tactics and abuse. It goes as far back as third and fourth grade,” Blazejewski said Friday. “He would get in these young players’ face, grab their face masks and swear at them.”

“I emailed Craig King and blatantly said, ‘Please do not hire Duane Greaton.’ The upperclassmen, a lot of them didn’t come back when they found out Duane Greaton was going to be the coach.”

Mark Renna coached the Gray-New Gloucester varsity from 2014-16, but he resigned in May because he said King told him he would need to hire Greaton as an assistant coach. Renna said he told King that hiring Greaton would be a mistake.

“He’s very unqualified. Oh, you can’t trust him at all,” Renna said Friday of Greaton.

Although Greaton was a youth coach, Renna involved him in events with the varsity team. Renna said during the 2015 season Greaton got into a confrontation with one of the high school players and Renna had to step in, telling both parties to apologize. Later that season, Greaton had another confrontation with a member of Renna’s staff.

Greaton did not respond to multiple requests for comment Friday.

King said he had the final say in Greaton’s hire as the varsity coach. “We hired Mr. Greaton using the same process we use for all of our coaches,” King said in an email. “We advertised in local papers; formed an interview committee, interviewed candidates; the committee made a recommendation to me; and I made the final decision.”

King would not confirm whether Greaton resigned or was dismissed, although he said Greaton’s final day of employment in the school district was Monday.

King did not address whether he knew Greaton had been convicted in 2011 of misdemeanor theft and had served 30 days in Cumberland County Jail.

Greaton was charged with felony and misdemeanor theft in May 2010 after police said he stole more than $10,000 worth of Hood Dairy products while he was a delivery driver.

The felony charge was dismissed and Greaton pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft by unauthorized taking or transfer, according to court records. The rest of his 364-day sentence was suspended and he was placed on probation for one year.

Greaton has a current approval background check from the Maine Department of Education. A misdemeanor crime is not an automatic disqualifier for certification, said Rachel Paling, the Maine DOE’s director of communications.

“SAD 15 works hard to ensure that all of its employees meet the Department of Education’s certification, authorization, and approval requirements to work in Maine schools,” King said in an email. “With respect to Mr. Greaton, we can report that he met all of the Department’s certification and approval requirements (including state and federal criminal history record checks) before beginning work for SAD 15.”

On Wednesday, the parents of the Yarmouth player sent a letter to King asking for an update on his investigation into Greaton’s instructions to taunt their son. Lynn and Stephanie Eckersley-Ray wrote in the letter that they were appalled by Greaton’s behavior “as it is not only the explicit targeting of a player, but it is also incredibly discriminatory and hate-laden in nature.”

Lynn Eckersley-Ray said Friday that her family would have no further public comments on the issue. They have spoken with King and received an update on the school’s investigation, she said.

Gray-New Gloucester senior Eric Thompson, one of four team captains, confirmed Friday that Greaton told his players to say “Who’s your Daddy?”

“The short answer is yes,” Thompson said, adding that he and his teammates understood they shouldn’t actually engage in taunting. Rather, Thompson said, it was a tactic by Greaton to get the team fired up.

“He wanted us to be aggressive and play hard,” Thompson said, noting that during the game that the Yarmouth player was not taunted. disables reader comments on certain news stories, including those dealing with sexual assaults and other violent crimes, personal tragedy, racism and other forms of discrimination.


]]> High football players run sprints at the end of practice last week. With a deep squad that includes nine returning starters on offense and six on defense, the Red Storm are hoping this is the year they rise to the top of Class A South.Sat, 21 Oct 2017 00:00:54 +0000
Astros tie series with a 7-1 win in Game 6 Sat, 21 Oct 2017 03:53:15 +0000 HOUSTON — Justin Verlander remained perfect with the Houston Astros, pitching seven shutout innings when they needed him most, and Jose Altuve homered and drove in three runs during a 7-1 victory over the New York Yankees on Friday night that extended the AL Championship Series to a decisive Game 7.

Acquired in an Aug. 31 trade, Verlander has won all nine of his outings for the Astros. And with his new club facing playoff elimination in Game 6 against the Yankees, he delivered again.

After striking out 13 in a complete-game victory in Game 2, Verlander threw another gem. The right-hander scattered five hits and struck out eight to improve to 9-0 with 67 strikeouts since being traded from Detroit.

George Springer helped him out of a jam in the seventh, leaping to make a catch at the center-field wall and rob Todd Frazier of extra bases with two on and the Astros up 3-0.

Game 7 is Saturday night in Houston, with the winner advancing to the World Series against the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers. CC Sabathia is scheduled to start for New York against Charlie Morton in a rematch of Game 3, won 8-1 by Sabathia and the Yankees.

Brian McCann’s RBI ground-rule double in the fifth ended an 0-for-20 slump before Altuve snapped an 0-for-12 skid with a two-run single later in the inning. Altuve hit his fourth homer of the postseason when he connected on a solo shot off David Robertson with no outs in the eighth.

Houston improved to 5-0 at home this postseason after dropping three straight in New York as the Astros chase their second trip to the World Series. Saturday will be just their second Game 7 in franchise history after losing the final game of the 2004 NLCS at St. Louis 5-2.

The Yankees will have to hope that their elimination-game magic continues on Saturday when they look to improve to 5-0 this postseason in such games and advance to the World Series for the first time since 2009.

Yankees rookie slugger Aaron Judge cut the lead to 3-1 with a homer off Brad Peacock in the eighth. But that came after Judge struck out in two of his first three at-bats to give him 26 this postseason, tying him with Alfonso Soriano for the most strikeouts in one postseason in major league history.

Peacock settled down after the homer by Judge, retiring the next two batters, capped by a strikeout of Gary Sanchez to end the inning. Ken Giles finished it off with a scoreless ninth.

Houston led the majors in scoring during the regular season, but had struggled in this series, managing just nine runs combined in the first five games. Alex Bregman, who changed his walk-up music to Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” on Friday, belted a two-run double in the eighth inning to make it 6-1, giving the Astros more runs than they’d managed in their last three games combined.

Many in the rowdy crowd of 43,179, which included Roger Clemens and former Rockets great Clyde Drexler, held signs and most fans waved orange towels that were handed out at the door. One woman hoisted a sign that read: “Verlander = Victory” and a little boy clutched one that said: “Justin Time” above a crudely drawn clock.

After the Astros got walloped in three games in the Bronx, New York starter Luis Severino kept them off balance early and they didn’t get a hit until a single by Carlos Correa with two outs in the fourth. Bregman walked to start Houston’s fifth before a one-out walk to Evan Gattis. McCann got his first hit of the series with his ground-rule double that made it 1-0 after Houston had gone 15 straight innings without scoring.

Severino walked Springer to load the bases before retiring Josh Reddick. Altuve then sent the first pitch of his at-bat sailing just inches over the glove of Frazier, the third baseman, and into left field to make it 3-0 and chase Severino.

]]> 0's Jose Altuve hits a two-run single in the fifth inning Friday night in Game 6 of the ALCS at Houston.Sat, 21 Oct 2017 00:10:25 +0000
Friday’s football roundup: Thornton foils Sanford’s upset bid Sat, 21 Oct 2017 03:29:36 +0000 SANFORD — Anthony Bracamonte scored the tiebreaking touchdown with a 22-yard run in the fourth quarter, then added a 37-yard TD run as Thornton Academy beat Sanford 21-7 on Friday night in the final high school football game at Cobb Stadium.

The game was scoreless until Will Mitchell’s 1-yard run put Thornton (7-1) up 7-0 early in the fourth. Sanford (4-4) tied it on a 56-yard pass from Ryan Connarton to Ethan Shain.

Thornton will be the No. 2 playoff seed in Class A South if South Portland defeat Portland on Saturday; otherwise, the Trojans will be the No. 3 seed.

Sanford will be the No. 5 seed and will travel to South Portland for a quarterfinal next weekend.

OXFORD HILLS 13, CHEVERUS 7: Colton Carson threw his second touchdown pass of the game early in the fourth quarter, and Jordan Silver intercepted a pass in the end zone on the final play to preserve a win for the Vikings (4-4) against the Stags (3-5) in South Paris.

Both teams were missing their top running back – Max Coffin of Cheverus and Dawson Stevens of Oxford Hills.

Cheverus took the lead in the second quarter on a 1-yard run by Teigan Lindstedt.

The Vikings tied it with 56 seconds left in the first half when Carson connected with Cam Slicer for a 59-yard touchdown.

Slicer also got the winning TD pass – a 22-yard scoring play.

KENNEBUNK 35, BIDDEFORD 21: Derek Smith ran for 122 yards and scored three touchdowns as the Rams (7-1) defeated the Tigers (5-3) in Biddeford.

Tripp Bush connected with Smith for a 23-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring, but Carter Edgerton answered with two rushing touchdowns to give Biddeford a 14-7 lead after one quarter.

Kennebunk retook the lead with touchdown runs from Smith (23 yards) and Cameron Lovejoy (2 yards) in the second quarter. Smith added a 64-yard run in the third quarter, and Bush made it 35-14 with a 56-yard touchdown run.

WELLS 54, MOUNTAIN VALLEY 0: Nolan Potter, Tyler Bridge and Michael Wrigley each rushed for two touchdowns, and the Warriors (8-0) completed an undefeated regular season with a win over the Falcons (4-4) in Rumford.

Potter’s 4-yard TD run gave Wells a 6-0 lead after one quarter, and the Warriors broke it open in the second quarter as Bridge (51 and 3 yards) and Wrigley (13 and 5 yards) each scored twice.

Potter added a 55-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. The Warriors also got second-half TD runs from Devin Chace (11 yards) and Brian Roberts (8 yards).

CAPE ELIZABETH 29, YORK 3: Ryan Weare got two of his three rushing touchdowns in the first half as the Capers (6-2) built a 20-3 lead on their way to a win over the Wildcats (4-4) in York.

Jack Glanville scored on a 3-yard run after a blocked punt, and Hajmil Carr kicked a 38-yard field goal.

Jake Martin made a 44-yard field goal for York just before halftime.

MASSABESIC 25, DEERING 22: Tomasso Mobiglia completed a 57-yard touchdown on a lateral from Ryan St. Laurent with 19 seconds remaining to lift the Mustangs (2-6) over the Rams (1-7) in Portland.

Massabesic took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 31-yard pass from Nick Roberge to Isaac DesVergnes. Roberge tossed four touchdown, three to DesVergnes.

Deering took a 22-19 lead late in the fourth quarter on a deflected 88-yard touchdown pass from Jack Lynch to Keegan Stanton. Lynch also rushed for two TDs.

OCEANSIDE 67, BELFAST 26: Michael Norton Jr. had 211 yards rushing on seven carries and scored four touchdowns in the first half as the Mariners (5-3) cruised past the Lions (0-8) in Rockland.

Ben Ripley added two touchdowns while gaining 116 yards on eight carries and topped the 1,000-yard mark for the season. Dustin Cote had a 62-yard TD run and an interception return for a touchdown.

Isaak Cunningham had a pair of second-half touchdowns for Belfast, including 55-yard run.

WINDHAM 48, BANGOR 6: Tanner Bernier threw for two touchdowns and ran for a score as the Eagles (4-4) defeated the Rams (0-8) in Windham.

Windham opened a 13-0 lead in the first quarter on a 4-yard run by Nathan Watson and an 11-yard pass from Bernier to Hunter Coffin. Treva Valliere rushed for two touchdowns in the second quarter, and Bernier ran 30 yards for a TD before connecting with Kaleb Cidre for a 24-yard touchdown to make it 39-0 at halftime.

The Eagles got a 3-yard touchdown run from Seth Wall and a 34-yard field goal from Liam McCusker in the second half.

Bangor’s Nick Canarr scored on a 6-yard run in the fourth quarter.

LEWISTON 41, EDWARD LITTLE 16: Garrett Poussard rushed for two touchdowns and recovered a fumble for another TD, and the Blue Devils (4-4) upset the Red Eddies (7-1) in Lewiston.

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Friday’s college roundup: UMaine men beaten in hockey Sat, 21 Oct 2017 03:23:17 +0000 ORONO — Gordie Green had two goals and three assists Friday night to lead Miami of Ohio to a 7-5 victory against the University of Maine in a men’s hockey game at Alfond Arena.

Grant Hutton added two goals for Miami (1-2) and Josh Melnick had three assists.

Miami led 2-0 after the first period and 7-3 after Green’s second goal eight seconds into the third period.

Mitchell Fossier scored twice for Maine (1-2), and Rob Michel, Veli Tiuraniemi and Eduards Tralmaks also had goals. Rob McGovern recorded 29 saves.


MAINE 4, BOSTON UNIVERSITY 2: The Black Bears (5-2, 1-0 Hockey East) scored two first-period goals in a 49-second span and went on to defeat the Terriers (0-4, 0-4) at Orono.

Alyson Matteau and Vendula Pribylova scored the early goals, and Jessica Jacques made it 3-0 at 7:35 of the second. Nara Elia answered for BU four minutes later.

Victoria Bach scored unassisted to pull the Terriers with 3-2 at 7:18 of the third, but Matteau iced it in the final minute.


MAINE 2, UMASS-LOWELL 1: Brittany Smith scored from Brianna Ricker after 4:41 of the second half, lifting the Black Bears (10-1, 4-1 America East) over the River Hawks (8-9, 2-4) at Orono.

Maine led 1-0 after 7:21 when Libby Riedl took a pass from Casey Crowley on the right side of the net and scored, but Torrie Huk answered on a penalty corner at 16:27.

Eva Berkhout stopped six shots for UMass-Lowell. Emma Cochran had four saves for the Black Bears.


LOUISVILLE: Interim coach David Padgett promoted R.J. Evans to acting assistant coach, staying in-house as the program moves forward from this week’s firing of Coach Rick Pitino.

Hired this spring, Evans recently received on-court responsibilities after assistants Kenny Johnson and Jordan Fair were placed on paid administrative leave.


RUTGERS: The school moved its Nov. 4 game against Maryland from Yankee Stadium to its on-campus High Point Solutions Stadium because of the Yankees’ postseason run.

The joint decision with the Yankees was made to allow a sufficient amount of time to logistically stage the game on campus.

MICHIGAN STATE: Coach Mark Dantonio said running back L.J. Scott resolved his driver’s license issues and will play Saturday for the 18th-ranked Spartans against Indiana.

Scott faced a charge of driving with a suspended license, and court records Thursday showed him scheduled for a hearing next month. Dantonio said in a statement that Scott “now has a valid driver’s license.”

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NHL roundup: Ovechkin comes through in OT as Capitals edge Red Wings Sat, 21 Oct 2017 02:53:47 +0000 DETROIT — Alex Ovechkin’s power-play goal at 1:56 of overtime gave the Washington Capitals a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night.

T.J. Oshie forced the extra session for the Capitals, tying it with 1:01 left in regulation with a power-play goal of his own. Ovechkin drew a tripping penalty on Trevor Daley in overtime, then won it with his 10th goal of the season – a familiar slap shot from the left circle that beat Petr Mrazek to the glove side.

Tomas Tatar scored twice in the third period for Detroit. His second goal came on the power play after John Carlson was called for delay of game. But Dylan Larkin was whistled for the same penalty toward the end of the period, and Oshie was able to tie it at 3 with Caps goalie Braden Holtby pulled.

Darren Helm scored a short-handed goal for the Red Wings in the second. Andre Burakovsky tied it for the Capitals in the final minute of that period, and Jay Beagle added a short-handed goal of his own in the third for Washington.

Helm opened the scoring when he intercepted Ovechkin’s pass and skated back the other way. His shot from the top of the left circle beat Holtby for the third short-handed goal allowed by the Caps this season.

Washington, which was shut out by Toronto on Tuesday night, snapped its scoreless drought when Burakovsky’s wrist shot through traffic tied the game at 1.

PENGUINS 4, PANTHERS 3: Conor Sheary scored a power-play goal with 2:53 left to give Pittsburgh a victory at Florida.

Sheary backhanded the puck past James Reimer.

Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist, and Sidney Crosby and Carter Rowney also scored for the Penguins. Matthew Murray stopped 28 shots, and Phil Kessell had two assists.

SHARKS 3, DEVILS 0: Martin Jones made 28 saves for his first shutout of the season and 16th overall in San Jose’s victory at New Jersey.

Melker Karlsson, Joe Pavelski and Joonas Donskoi scored and Justin Braun had two assists to help the Sharks open a five-game East Coast trip.

Keith Kinkaid, the top goalie for New Jersey with Cory Schneider on injured reserve, stopped 30 shots as the Devils’ three-game winning streak came to an end.

CANUCKS 3, SABRES 2: Derek Dorsett had two goals and an assist in Vancouver’s victory at Buffalo.

Daniel Sedin, Markus Granlund also scored to help the Canucks improve to 2-1-0 on a five-game trip. Brandon Sutter had two assists, and Jacob Markstrom faced just 17 shots.

At 1-5-2, the Sabres are off to their worst start since going 1-7-0 in 2014-15.

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NBA roundup: James scores 24 as Cavs top Bucks, 116-97 Sat, 21 Oct 2017 02:48:24 +0000 MILWAUKEE – LeBron James had 24 points and eight assists, Kyle Korver hit three straight 3s in a big third-quarter run and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 116-97 on Friday night.

Kevin Love added 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Cavs. Their 15-5 spurt over the final 4:25 of the third quarter, sparked by Korver’s long-range shooting, opened a 13-point lead. Cleveland led by double digits most of the rest of the way to spoil the Bucks’ home opener.

The defending Eastern Conference champions started the season with a second straight victory over an East contender after beating the Boston Celtics in their home opener.

Korver finished with 17 points and was 5 of 6 from 3-point territory.

Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetopounmpo had 34 points on 15-of-22 shooting, along with eight rebounds and eight assists. Malcolm Brogdon had 16 points.

CAVALIERS 116, BUCKS 97: LeBron James had 24 points and eight assists, and Kyle Korver hit three straight 3s in a decisive third-quarter run to help Cleveland win at Milwaukee.

Kevin Love added 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Cavs. Their 15-5 spurt over the final 4:25 of the third quarter, sparked by Korver’s long-range shooting, opened a 13-point lead. Cleveland led by double digits most of the rest of the way to spoil the Bucks’ home opener.

The defending Eastern Conference champions started the season with a second straight victory over an East contender after beating the Boston Celtics in their home opener.

HORNETS 109, HAWKS 91: Kemba Walker scored 26 points, Dwight Howard had 20 points and 15 rebounds in his first home game with Charlotte, and the Hornets rallied to beat Atlanta.

The Hornets trailed by 20 in the first half, but used a 24-0 run in the third quarter to win their home opener.

NETS 126, MAGIC 121: D’Angelo Russell, Trevor Booker and DeMarre Carroll all scored 17 points, and Brooklyn won its home opener.

Booker added 11 rebounds and made the clinching free throws with 0.9 seconds left after Orlando’s Evan Fournier missed a tying 3-point attempt .The Nets bounced back after yielding 140 points Wednesday night in a season-opening loss to Indiana, a game in which they lost Jeremy Lin for the season after a ruptured patella tendon in his right knee .

TRAIL BLAZERS 114, PACERS 96: CJ McCollum scored 28 points on 12-of-18 shooting to lead Portland at Indiana.

With Pacers starting center Myles Turner out with a concussion, McCollum teamed with backcourt mate Damian Lillard to take advantage of an inexperienced Pacers interior defense.

WIZARDS 115, PISTONS 111: John Wall scored 20 of his 27 points in the second half and added 10 assists to help host Washington beat Detroit.

Otto Porter led the Wizards with 28 points, and Bradley Beal added 24. Washington won despite blowing a 15-point fourth-quarter lead. Reggie Jackson scored 21 points for Detroit.

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Friday’s high school roundup: Bonny Eagle advances in girls’ soccer Sat, 21 Oct 2017 02:32:03 +0000 STANDISH — Emily Ginter and Madison Boothby scored late in the first half Friday as sixth-seeded Bonny Eagle overcame an early deficit and defeated 11th-ranked Thornton Academy 2-1 in a Class A South girls’ soccer prelim.

The Scots (10-4-1) will be at third-ranked Marshwood (11-2-1) in the quarterfinals Tuesday.

Sydney Gillingham made seven saves for Bonny Eagle. Dana Sirois stopped nine shots for Thornton (6-9).

CHEVERUS 4, SANFORD 0: Lauren Jordan had two goals and an assist as the fifth-seeded Stags (13-2) handled the 12th-ranked Spartans (7-8) in a Class A South prelim at Portland.

Jordan converted a cross from Emma Gallant just 3:45 into the match, then set up Gallant with a through ball in the 23rd minute. Kate Sessler made it 3-0 late in the first half, assisted by Sydney Michelson.

Jordan’s second goal came in the 45th minute, assisted by Gallant and Mackenzie Johnson.

Neve Cawley of Cheverus and Kayla Pierce of Sanford each made two saves.

Cheverus will visit fourth-seeded Gorham for a regional quarterfinal at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

WELLS 5, SPRUCE MOUNTAIN 0: The eighth-seeded Warriors (10-5) scored four goals in the second half to pull away from the ninth-ranked Phoenix (7-6-2) in a Class B South prelim at Wells.

Sydney Belanger got the only goal in the first half. Hannah Cottis converted a penalty kick early in the second, Kenzie Foss and Sarah Webb each scored to extend the lead, and Cottis made it 5-0 with 15 minutes remaining.

Wells advances to face top-seeded Yarmouth in the quarterfinals Tuesday.

CAPE ELIZABETH 3, GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER 1: Prezli Piscopo scored twice in the first half and the seventh-seeded Capers (9-6) ousted the 10th-ranked Patriots (6-8-1) in a Class B South prelim at Cape Elizabeth.

Piscopo opened the scoring off an indirect kick, then made it 2-0 just three minutes before halftime. Karli Chapin struck a minute later to give the Capers a 3-0 lead.

Jordy Grant answered for the Patriots after 3:15 of the second half with an assist from Jaley Martin.

Cape advanced to face second-seeded Oak Hill in the quarterfinals Tuesday.


RANGELEY 2, GREATER PORTLAND CHRISTIAN 1: Leonardo Perez and Connor Hall scored to lead the ninth-seeded Lakers (4-8-3) over the eighth-ranked Lions (4-10-1) in a Class D South prelim at South Portland.

Perez’s score came in the 26th minute and Hall added his goal 13:48 into the second half. Sebastien Irish scored for Greater Portland Christian at 20:05 of the second half.

Mason Jones had 10 saves for Greater Portland Christian. Hunter Lowell stopped six shots for Rangeley.

Rangeley will play Wednesday at fourth-seeded Greenville.

ISLESBORO 7, A.R. GOULD 1: Finnian O’Malia scored three of his four goals in the second half as the seventh-seeded Eagles (4-5-3) pulled away from the 10th-ranked Bears (1-9-1) in a Class D South prelim at Islesboro.

Patrick Kehoe added a pair of goals and O’Malia converted a penalty kick for Islesboro before Garrett Cote scored from Tristin Chamberlain for A.R. Gould.

Jasper Louden also scored for the Eagles.

Alex Shoureas stopped 15 shots for A.R. Gould. Zander Howell had a pair of saves for Islesboro.


DEXTER 4, BOOTHBAY 2: Hayley Rossman scored three goals as the second-seeded Tigers (14-2) downed the third-seeded Seahawks (13-3) in a Class C North semifinal at Dexter.

Sydney Meader and Chloe Arsenault scored for Boothbay.

SPRUCE MOUNTAIN 3, MOUNTAIN VALLEY 1: Morgan Dalton, Erin McPherson and Emily Castonguay scored to lead the second-seeded Phoenix (12-4) over the sixth-seeded Falcons (7-8-1) in a Class C South semifinal at Jay.

Rylee Sevigny converted a penalty stroke for Mountain Valley to cut the lead to 2-1 heading into halftime.

Spruce Mountain advances to play top-seeded St. Dom’s on Tuesday at Thornton Academy.


NARRAGUAGUS 3, NORTH YARMOUTH ACADEMY 1: The fifth-seeded Knights (8-7) won 21-25, 28-26, 25-22, 25-18 over the fourth-ranked Panthers (7-8) in a Class C quarterfinal at Yarmouth.

Narraguagus will play Wednesday in the semifinals against eighth-seeded Sumner or top-ranked Washington Academy, who meet Saturday.

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Sports Digest: Class AA and A basketball state games coming to Portland Sat, 21 Oct 2017 01:59:45 +0000 HIGH SCHOOLS

Basketball title games coming to Portland’s CIA

The Maine Principals’ Association and America East have worked out an agreement that will allow the Class AA and Class A state championship games to be held at the Cross Insurance Arena this year.

America East will hold its tournament, including quarterfinal and semifinal games, at the CIA in Portland on March 3 and 4, with practices scheduled for March 1 and 2.

The MPA and America East agreed to have the practices end by 4 p.m. on March 1 and 2, allowing the Class AA and Class A title games to be played at the CIA later on those nights.

The Class A boys’ and girls’ title games will be held on Thursday, March 1, at CIA; the Class AA boys’ and girls’ title games will be held on Friday, March 2, at CIA with a split session.

“The concession that America East afforded us to that they decided to arrange all their practice sessions earlier in the day on Thursday and Friday, and they would give up the facility for the evening,” said Dick Durost, the executive director of the MPA. “This is something we’ve talked about for several months.

“This really is a win for everyone involved.”

The MPA was unable to hold any of its state championship games in Portland last year because of a conflict with the America East tournament schedule.

The Class B state championship games will be held in Bangor on Friday, March 2. The Class C and Class D state championship games will be held at the Augusta Civic Center on Saturday, March 3.


GIRLS’ SOCCER: Aaliyah Farid and Brayden Reed each scored twice as host Berwick (10-2-1) defeated Waring 6-1. Kenza Farid and Rayne Zimmerman also scored for the Bulldogs.

BOYS’ SOCCER: Tucker Smith scored twice as host Berwick (7-5) edged Lexington Christian Academy 2-1.


NASCAR: Martin Truex Jr. continued his winning ways at Kansas Speedway, capturing the pole for this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series playoff elimination race.

With that prize came the chance to have pit choice at Martinsville, Virginia. The paper clip-like geometry of that track makes stall selection arguably the biggest advantage of any track all season,

FORMULA ONE: Season championship points leader Lewis Hamilton posted the fastest laps in two practice sessions for the U.S. Grand Prix, putting more pressure on title rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, who spun into the gravel and completed just 11 laps in in Austin, Texas.


CHAMPIONS TOUR: Bernhard Langer birdied the par-5 18th for a 5-under 67 and a share of the first-round lead in the Dominion Energy Charity Classic in Richmond, Virginia, the first event in the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs.

Seeking an unprecedented fifth Schwab Cup and fourth in a row, the 60-year-old Langer leads the season standings and has a tour-high five victories this season.

EUROPEAN TOUR: With the help of an albatross from 227 yards out, Joost Luiten shot a 1-under 70 to take a one-stroke lead over tournament host Sergio Garcia and two others at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters in Spain.


KREMLIN CUP: Julia Goerges will seek to end a six-year wait for a title when she faces Daria Kasatkina of Russia in Saturday’s final in Moscow.

Goerges beat Natalia Vikhlyantseva 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.

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