Friday, March 7, 2014
From staff reports
The Northern Division of the Southwestern swimming and diving championships -- postponed from the weekend -- will be held Monday and Tuesday at Davan Pool in Westbrook, beginning at 5 p.m. each day.
• We'll be streaming all Western Class A boys' and girls' basketball quarterfinals from the Portland Expo at pressherald.com/sports
In a normal year, divers perform eight dives Thursday night and three more in the middle of the meet either Friday (for boys) or Saturday (girls). This year, the divers completed all 11 dives Thursday night in South Portland, but scores won't be announced until the meets Monday and Tuesday night.
"We have 19 divers this year," said meet organizer Tandy Ratliff. "That's down by about six."
The South Southwesterns, held the previous weekend, included only two divers, one boy and one girl.
The postponement means coaches will be scrambling to complete their entries for the state championship meets, scheduled for next Monday and Tuesday.
In a normal year, entries are due Monday and go out for approval Wednesday. This year, the MPA has extended the entry deadline to 11:59 p.m. Tuesday to allow for completion of both the Southwesterns and the Penobscot Valley Conference championships.
The state meets will be held at the University of Maine (Class B girls on Monday and boys on Tuesday) and Bowdoin College (Class A boys on Monday and girls on Tuesday).
WINDHAM BOYS' BASKETBALL Coach Kevin Millington probably best summed up what could be a wide open Western Class A basketball tournament.
"A team that doesn't make the tournament beats the No. 1 team," he said.
Millington was referring to Cheverus' upset of top-ranked South Portland in a regular-season finale Thursday night. It was a result few expected, and it nearly propelled the Stags into the 11th and last playoff spot.
But it also showed that upsets could be the rule rather than the exception when the tournament begins with preliminary-round games Tuesday at the home of the higher seeded team.
The quarterfinals are Friday and Saturday at the Portland Expo, before the tournament shifts to the Cumberland County Civic Center for the semifinals and finals.
Gorham edged Cheverus for the final spot. The Rams will play at No. 6 Scarborough at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
"The top four teams still have the edge, but they're going to have to play well," said Millington.
Millington's team, ranked No. 10, plays at No. 7 Thornton Academy, and No. 9 Sanford is at No. 8 Marshwood in a rematch of last year's prelim, won by the Hawks.
South Portland, Deering, Bonny Eagle, Portland and Westbrook are the top five seeds.
"We always seem to talk about parity every season, but this year there really is," said Deering Coach Dan LeGage, whose team beat Portland on Thursday night to split the regular-season series.
THE OLD ORCHARD Beach girls' basketball team paid tribute to the late Cheryl Rague with a touching ceremony Thursday before its Senior Night game against Freeport.
Rague passed away Tuesday after a long battle with scleroderma, a chronic autoimmune disease, after the Seagulls beaten Class D power Richmond to secure the No. 3 seed in the Western Class C tournament.
Her daughter, Mackenzie, is a sophomore guard, though she hasn't played since suffering a knee injury in the third game of the season.
Team members wore green socks. Fans wore green shirts -- Rague's favorite color according to another daughter, Courtney. OOB senior Abby Dubois read an emotional tribute, and then the team presented a bouquet to Courtney Rague.
"It was a nice night for everybody," said Coach Dean Plante. "Great turnout. The kids did it. They organized the whole thing, said they wanted to do it. All I had to do was show up. It's a classy group of seniors and underclassmen. They love each other."
TWO TEAMS will take long winning streaks into the girls' basketball regionals. Two-time defending Class A state champion McAuley has won 44 games in a row, and defending Class B champ Presque Isle has won 40 in a row.
The Lions haven't lost since a 38-35 home defeat against Deering in the final game of the 2010-11 regular season, on Feb. 10, 2011. McAuley was held scoreless over the final 5:03 in that game.
THE MEDOMAK VALLEY boys and Oceanside girls were declared Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B basketball champions after the league championship games scheduled for Saturday were canceled.
Medomak and Oceanside were the highest-ranked teams in the final Heal point standings.
-- Staff Writers Glenn Jordan, Tom Chard and Mike Lowe contributed to this report