Sports – Press Herald Sat, 27 May 2017 08:00:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Major League roundup: Yankees’ error leads to A’s win Sat, 27 May 2017 03:28:40 +0000 NEW YORK — Masahiro Tanaka struck out a career-high 13 to rebound from the worst stretch of his major league career, but wound up a hard-luck loser Friday night when reliever Tyler Clippard’s wild pickoff throw sparked a go-ahead, two-run eighth inning in the Oakland Athletics’ 4-1 victory against the New York Yankees.

Sean Manaea (3-3) matched Tanaka, and allowed four hits in seven innings with six strikeouts and a walk. Ryan Madson pitched a perfect eighth and New York loaded the bases with one out in the ninth against Santiago Casilla before Didi Gregorius hit a sacrifice fly and pinch-hitter Gary Sanchez popped out.

Tanaka (5-4) left with the game scoreless after allowing Adam Rosales’ one-out single in the eighth, and Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis followed with run-scoring hits off Clippard. Stephen Vogt added a two-run homer in the ninth against Jonathan Holder.

With Aroldis Chapman sidelined by left shoulder inflammation and Dellin Betances moved from setup man to temporary closer, the Yankees’ bullpen has stumbled lately.

ROYALS 6, INDIANS 4: Jorge Bonifacio’s two-run double off Andrew Miller broke an eighth-inning tie and lifted Kansas City at Cleveland.

The Royals entered the game with the lowest winning percentage in the AL but rallied from an early 4-0 deficit.

BLUE JAYS 7, RANGERS 6: Devon Travis hit his second career grand slam, and Toronto won at home for its fourth consecutive victory.

Justin Smoak and Kendrys Morales also connected for the Blue Jays, and Aaron Loup (2-0) pitched 11/3 innings for the win.

ASTROS 2, ORIOLES 0: Jake Marisnick and Carlos Beltran homered to back a solid start by Joe Musgrove, and Houston won at home.

Marisnick went deep with one out in the third inning, and Beltran’s shot to the second deck in right field came with two outs in the sixth.

RAYS 5, TWINS 2: Chris Archer struck out 11 while pitching into the eighth inning and Tampa Bay hit three homers at Minneapolis.

Archer (4-3) gave up two runs and five hits in 72/3 innings, and reached double digits in strikeouts for the fourth time in five May starts.


NATIONALS 5, PADRES 1: Max Scherzer allowed three hits over 82/3 innings, Bryce Harper and Michael A. Taylor hit two-run homers and Washington won at home.

METS 8, PIRATES 1: Neil Walker homered twice in his return to his hometown and Jacob deGrom gave New York’s bullpen a needed rest at Pittsburgh.

REDS 5, PHILLIES 2: Tim Adleman tossed eight innings of one-hit ball, Adam Duvall and Scott Schebler homered as Cincinnati won at Philadelphia.

ROCKIES 10, CARDINALS 0: Rookie Antonio Senzatela threw eight sharp innings to grab a share of the major league lead in wins, Charlie Blackmon had a homer and run-scoring single as part of an eight-run eighth and Colorado won at Denver.


MARLINS 8, ANGELS 5: Giancarlo Stanton homered off the retaining wall behind the center- field fence, a shot estimated at 460 feet, and Miami won at home.

]]> 0 Austin Romine of the New York Yankees tags out Adam Rosales of the Oakland Athletics during the eighth inning of Oakland's 4-1 victory Friday night at Yankee Stadium.Fri, 26 May 2017 23:30:48 +0000
Sports Digest: UMaine promotes Michaud to full-time hockey assistant coach Sat, 27 May 2017 03:08:04 +0000 COLLEGES

UMaine promotes Michaud to full-time assistant coach

Alfie Michaud has been promoted to a full-time assistant coaching position with the Maine men’s hockey team.

Michaud, a goalie on the Black Bears’ national championship squad in 1999, was a volunteer goaltending coach this past season.

BASEBALL: Sophomore infielder and relief pitcher Jake Dexter of Southern Maine was named to the ABCA/Rawlings NCAA Division III All-America second team.

Dexter made the team as a utility player. He had a .356 average, 36 runs scored, one home run and 25 RBI. He also made 26 relief appearances, going 4-2 with a 2.66 ERA and a school-record 12 saves.


BELMONT STAKES: Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming will skip the Belmont Stakes after finishing eighth in the Preakness.

Trainer Todd Pletcher says the 3-year-old colt will be pointed toward either the $600,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga on July 29 or the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth on July 30.


WNBA: Sylvia Fowles had 20 points and nine rebounds to help the Minnesota Lynx beat the Connecticut Sun for the second time in three days, 82-68 in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Minnesota (5-0) has won 22 straight games in May since 2012.

 Elena Delle Donne scored 20 points against her former team as the Washington Mystics beat the visiting Chicago Sky, 88-79.


LYON OPEN: Second-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France beat Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia to reach his first clay-court final.

Tsonga hit 14 aces and saved eight of 10 break points to win 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.

The Frenchman will face third-seeded Tomas Berdych, who beat top-seeded Milos Raonic 7-6 (5), 7-6 (2).

GENEVA OPEN: Defending champion Stan Wawrinka advanced to the final by beating unseeded Andrey Kuznetsov 6-3, 7-6.

The top-seeded Wawrinka will face qualifier Mischa Zverev of Germany, who upset second-seeded Kei Nishikori 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.


NASCAR: Stewart-Haas Racing and Nature’s Bakery have agreed to settle a $31 million breach-of-contract lawsuit the team filed in a dispute with Danica Patrick’s former sponsor.

The team said the Nevada-based snack company agreed to serve as the primary sponsor for four Cup Series races. They will be split between Patrick and teammate Clint Bowyer.


NFL: A lawsuit accusing the NFL and team owners of conspiring to suppress wages for cheerleaders lacks evidence to support that claim, a federal judge said.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup dismissed the lawsuit by a former 49ers cheerleader. The suit sought class action status on behalf of all NFL cheerleaders.


GIRO D’ITALIA: Nairo Quintana reclaimed the pink jersey from Tom Dumoulin with two stages to go, setting up what could be a tense finale in Milan on Sunday.

Dumoulin couldn’t keep up with his main rivals in the final uphill finish of the three-week race and trails Quintana, the 2014 winner from Colombia, by 38 seconds.

Two-time winner Vincenzo Nibali is third overall, 43 seconds behind Quintana.

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Friday’s high school roundup: Cape Elizabeth improves to 9-1 Sat, 27 May 2017 02:57:19 +0000 CAPE ELIZABETH — Ben Carroll and Owen Thoreck scored three goals each Friday night to lead Cape Elizabeth to a 9-2 victory against Greely in a boys’ lacrosse game.

The Capers (9-1) opened a 6-0 halftime lead and cruised against the Rangers (3-7).

Tate Perkins added a pair of goals for Cape Elizabeth.

Andrew Lawrence and Schuyler Wetmore scored for Greely.

Sam Price turned aside nine shots for the Capers.

NORTH YARMOUTH ACADEMY 12, WAYNFLETE 9: The Panthers (4-6) led 6-2 at the half and held off the Flyers (2-8) at Yarmouth.

Sam Johnson led NYA with three goals and three assists, Kurt Heywood and Brent Rickett each added three goals and an assist, and William Tatge recorded seven saves.

Miles Lipton scored six goals and Hank Duvall added three for Waynflete. Ben Musgrove stopped five shots.

MARSHWOOD 13, NOBLE 3: Cooper Ross scored five goals to lead the Hawks (2-9) over the Knights (1-9) at North Berwick.

Evan Cole had three goals and one assist for Marshwood. Corbin Herrick and Avery Beale each scored twice.

DEERING 19, WINDHAM 5: Nathan Richards and Nick James each scored five goals to lead the Rams (7-4) over the Eagles (4-7) at Portland.

Jonah Peterson added three goals and seven assists, and Zach Harvey and Payson Harvey each scored twice for Deering.

Thomas Lekousi scored three goals for Windham.


MORSE 17, GARDINER 5: The Shipbuilders (10-2) led 13-5 at the half and defeated the Tigers (4-7) at Bath.

Amanda Gagne recorded two goals and six assists, Paige Daigle added four goals, and Emily Martin and Isabella Monbouquette each had three for Morse. Zenaide McCarthy and Abby Sreden combined for five saves.

FALMOUTH 19, LAKE REGION 8: Olivia Stucker and Kayla Sarazin scored four goals apiece while Sydney Bell added three to lead the Yachtsmen (9-1) past the Lakers (5-5) at Naples.

Caitlyn Camelio and Christina Oakes each chipped in with two goals.

Lindsey Keenan led Lake Region with four goals. Lauren Jakobs scored twice.

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Friday’s college roundup: Maine stays alive in America East baseball Sat, 27 May 2017 02:41:21 +0000 LOWELL, Mass. — Nick Silva and Jeff Gelinas combined on a three-hitter and Maine stayed alive in the America East baseball tournament with a 3-0 win Friday against Stony Brook.

Silva (2-2) allowed a leadoff double to Toby Handley, then held Stony Brook (26-26) without another hit until he gave a double and a single with two outs in the ninth. Gelinas struck out the final batter to earn his seventh save of the season.

Silva fanned 10 and walked six.

Maine (23-28) took a 2-0 lead in the third inning on a bases-loaded single by Jonathan Bennett. In the seventh, Jeremy Pena was hit by a pitch, advanced on a sacrifice and scored on an error.

Maine plays another elimination game Saturday against top-seeded Binghamton. The Black Bears need two wins Saturday and two Sunday to win the championship.


NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: Yarmouth’s Emma Egan, a freshman at Williams, won the high jump with a height of 5 feet, 91/4 inches at the Division III championships in Geneva, Ohio.

Allison Hill of Brunswick won her 100-meter hurdles heat with a time of 14.20 seconds, advancing to Saturday’s final. Her Bates teammate, Ayden Eickhoff, qualified for the 800 final by finishing second her heat at 2:10.78.

 Isaiah Harris of Lewiston qualified for the Division I championships by posting the fastest qualifying time at the East regional in Lexington, Kentucky.

Harris, a Penn State sophomore, finished in 1:45.92, more than a second ahead of the rest of the field. He’ll compete in the national championships June 7-10 in Eugene, Oregon.


NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: Bates went wire-to-wire to win its first varsity eight and second varsity eight heats in West Windsor, New Jersey, putting the Bobcats in position to win their second NCAA Division III title in three years.

The Bobcats’ first varsity eight – Laura Rand, Emma Wheeler, Grace Murnaghan, Olivia Stockly, Hannah Fitts, Lena Rintell, Rosemary Kyne, Molly Pritz and coxswain Katherine Traquina – completed the 2,000-meter course in 6 minutes, 35.534 seconds. Defending champion Wellesley was second in 6:37.704.

The second varsity eight – Alex Salazar, Claudia Glickman, Sophia Merelas, Cara Starnbach, Phoebe Long, Jessica Vocaturo, Julia Mason, Grace Jurkovich and coxswain Abigail Bierman – won its heat by more than 10 seconds with a time of 6:53.083.

Both crews will race in the grand finals Saturday.

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Rodriguez helps Sox to fifth straight win Sat, 27 May 2017 02:36:49 +0000 BOSTON — Eduardo Rodriguez pitched six scoreless innings and the Boston Red Sox took advantage of a sloppy performance by the Seattle Mariners to earn their season-high fifth straight win, 3-0 on Friday night.

It was the third consecutive win for Rodriguez (4-1), who went six innings, gave up just five hits and struck out four while throwing a season-high 112 pitches. Craig Kimbrel earned his 13th save.

Rodriguez has pitched at least six innings in his last seven starts, going 4-0 in that span.

The only run support Rodriguez needed came in the second inning, when Hanley Ramirez scored on Josh Rutledge’s RBI groundout. Boston added two more runs in the sixth, scoring on a wild pitch and passed ball.

Yovani Gallardo (2-5) took the loss. He lasted 51/3 innings, gave up seven hits and was responsible for all three of Boston’s runs. Seattle has won just one of its last seven.

Meanwhile, Boston gave Rodriguez got lots of help from his defense. Jackie Bradley Jr. had a pair of nice plays, getting an outfield assist in the second and running down another ball on the warning track in the sixth.

In addition to the pitching miscues, the Mariners had all kinds of issues in the wet conditions, committing two fielding errors.

The Red Sox left 11 runners on base, leaving the door open for the Mariners to get back in the game. But Seattle couldn’t capitalize, going 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. The Mariners also left seven runners stranded.

NOTES: Red Sox infielder Marco Hernandez will be out the remainder of the season after undergoing stabilization surgery on his left shoulder on Friday. Hernandez was placed on the disabled list May 4 with a left shoulder misalignment. The 24-year-old hit .276 with two RBI in 21 games. … A night after he left the game with left knee pain, 2B Dustin Pedroia was held out Friday for what Manager John Farrell said was “precautionary reasons” because of the wet playing surface.

]]> 0 Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez delivers a pitch Friday night against Seattle at Fenway Park.Fri, 26 May 2017 23:18:09 +0000
Golf roundup: Spieth makes move at Colonial Sat, 27 May 2017 02:01:56 +0000 FORT WORTH, Texas — Jordan Spieth normally doesn’t concern himself with the cut line in the middle of a round.

Unless the Dallas native is in danger of staying home on consecutive weekends in what amount to his hometown events.

Spieth recovered from a bad start by going 5 under over his final 13 holes at the Colonial on Friday, and his 2-under 68 put the defending champion at 2-under 138, four shots behind second-round leaders Webb Simpson, Kevin Kisner, Danny Lee and Scott Piercy.

“When your back’s against the wall and you feel the nerves kick up because you’ve got to do something, and you’re not going to be able to play both weekends in town,” said Spieth, coming off missed cuts in The Players Championship and AT&T Byron Nelson. “That would have been really, really tough for me to swallow if I missed the cut. And it was in my head.”

Lee birdied the last hole for a 64, the low round of the tournament on a hot and windy day. Kisner also had a birdie on his final hole, the ninth, for a second straight 67. Simpson, the 2012 U.S. Open champion, and Piercy each shot 66 to join the group at 6-under 134.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia (66) and fellow Spaniard Jon Rahm (69), who played in the same group, were at 5 under along with England’s Paul Casey (66) and Sean O’Hair (68).

LPGA: Sung Hyun Park shot a 7-under 65 to take a two-stroke lead after the second round of the LPGA Volvik Championship in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The South Korean player enters the weekend at 12 under, with Minjee Lee (66) and Suzann Pettersen (67) tied for second.

First-round leaders Stacy Lewis and Wei-Ling Hsu shot 72s and trail Park by five strokes.

 Ai Miyazato is retiring at the end of the season, capping an exceptional career that included nine victories and a No. 1 ranking.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Bernhard Langer made five straight birdies after the wind died down on a punishing day at Trump National, regaining the lead in the Senior PGA Championship as darkness fell in Sterling, Virginia.

Langer was 11 under through 13 holes in the second round when play was stopped, one shot ahead of Vijay Singh, who shot 68 in wind measured at more than 30 mph. Billy Andrade was 9 under after a 68.

The wind was so strong that play was temporarily halted and whitecaps formed on the muddy Potomac River. Singh and Andrade were eight shots better than the field average.

When play resumed after the delay, Langer grinded out three pars in the teeth of the wind before starting his birdie run.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Belgian Ryder Cup star Thomas Pieters, Italy’s Francesco Molinari and Scotland’s Scott Jamieson shared the halfway lead in the BMW PGA Championship at Virginia Water, England.

The trio were at 7-under, one shot ahead of Germany’s Max Kieffer.

Pieters recorded a 3-under 69, Molinari birdied the final two holes for a 70, and Jamieson also carded a 70.

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Major league notebook: Lasorda undergoes heart surgery Sat, 27 May 2017 01:35:12 +0000 LOS ANGELES – Tom Lasorda, a Hall of Fame manager with the Los Angeles Dodgers, is recovering after surgery to replace his pacemaker.

The Los Angeles Dodgers said Friday on Twitter that Lasorda, 89, “is doing well.” He had the surgery Thursday.

A team official said Lasorda will undergo rehab for the next few days before being released from the hospital, where he’s been for over two weeks.

Lasorda has a history of heart problems, including a heart attack in 2012 when he received a pacemaker for the first time. Lasorda has been hospitalized several times in the last year, including after a fall in August.

Lasorda, a special adviser to the team’s chairman, guided the team to two World Series titles, including their last in 1988. He’s spent nearly seven decades in the Dodgers’ organization, beginning as a minor league pitcher in 1949.

WHITE SOX: Starter James Shields said he’s just about ready to go on a rehab assignment.

Shields, a 35-year-old right-hander, threw about a 30-pitch bullpen session for the second time in three days. He plans to throw again Monday, then make one or two rehab starts before returning from the 10-day disabled list.

NATIONALS: In the wake of Chris Heisey’s significant biceps injury, Washington added more potential bench help, acquiring outfielder Ryan Raburn from the White Sox organization for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Raburn, 36, had been hitting .253 for the Triple-A Charlotte Knights with a .417 on-base percentage

ATHLETICS: Pitcher Kendall Graveman was scratched from his start at Yankee Stadium and likely is headed to the disabled list with fellow right-hander Jesse Hahn.

Manager Bob Melvin said that both pitchers have ailing shoulders.

Right-hander Jharel Cotton, demoted to the minors May 11, will be recalled from Triple-A Nashville and start Saturday.

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One obstacle left for Penguins Sat, 27 May 2017 01:32:26 +0000 PITTSBURGH — Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Chris Kunitz stood shoulder to shoulder at center ice as midnight approached, crowd on its feet, Prince of Wales Trophy in hand, another shot at the Stanley Cup in the offing.

On the surface, it could have been a scene ripped from 2008 when the longtime Pittsburgh Penguins teammates earned their first crack at a championship together, the one that was supposed to be the launching pad for a dynasty.

A closer look at the weary smiles told a different story.

This team has learned over the last decade that nothing can be taken for granted, not their individual greatness or postseason success, and not the cohesion it takes to survive the crucible of the most draining championship chase in professional team sports or the mental toughness needed to stay on top.

So Crosby paused in the giddy aftermath of Pittsburgh’s 3-2 double-overtime victory over Ottawa in Game 7 of the helter-skelter Eastern Conference finals to do something the two-time Hart Trophy winner almost never does. He took stock of the moment, aware of how fleeting they can be.

“Every series you look at, the margin for error is so slim,” Crosby said. “We’ve just continued to find ways and different guys have stepped up. We trust in that and we believe in that, and whoever has come (into) the lineup has done a great job. That builds confidence. We’ve done it different ways, which is probably our biggest strength.”

They’ll have to do it one more time in the finals against Nashville if they want to become the first team in nearly 20 years and the first in the salary-cap era to win back-to-back titles.

Credit Coach Mike Sullivan’s ever-prescient tinkering with the lineups, including his decision to throw Kunitz back into the fray with Crosby as Game 7 wore on, an experiment that ended with Crosby feeding Kunitz for the winner.

Credit goaltender Matt Murray, thrust back into the lineup when Marc-Andre Fleury’s hot play through the first two rounds finally cooled.

Credit maturity from the team leaders who watched the first half of the decade come and go with plenty of gaudy regular-season numbers but no Cup banners to join the one they captured in 2009.

“I believe that the resolve and the resilience of this team is the strength of this team,” Sullivan said.

]]> 0 Rowney of the Penguins celebrates after assisting on a goal by Scott Wilson during the first period of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals. Pittsburgh scored four goals in the first on the way to a 7-0 win.Fri, 26 May 2017 21:40:50 +0000
Sea Dogs let early lead slip away Sat, 27 May 2017 01:07:08 +0000 Danny Mars dropped a perfect safety squeeze bunt that turned into an RBI single in the second inning. The Portland Sea Dogs led 4-0 and all was good.

Then it all went flat.

The Sea Dogs (21-21) managed only three hits after that as the Trenton Thunder rallied for an 8-6 win Friday night at Hadlock Field.

The Thunder (30-16) scored three runs in both the fifth and sixth innings. Trey Ball (1-4) took the loss, allowing five runs (four earned) on 11 hits and two walks over 52/3 innings.

Portland’s Trey Ball pitches against the Trenton Thunder Friday at Hadlock Field. Staff photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

Trenton added two runs in the ninth off Yankory Pimentel.

Joseph Monge’s two-run single cut Portland’s deficit to 8-6 in the bottom of the ninth, but the rally ended there.

Portland jumped on Trenton starter Josh Rogers (1-0) for four runs on five hits in the second inning.

But Rogers, making his Double-A debut, settled down and retired 12 of the last 13 batters he faced, walking the other.

Portland’s Josh Tobias turns a double play as Billy McKinney tries to break it up. Staff photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

“Came out pretty good in the first, and the second inning was a little humbling,” Rogers said. “Just making better quality pitches was the main thing. Working the ball down (mostly with) fastball/change-up. The slider was a little shaky.”

Rogers is another impressive pitcher in the Yankees organization. Trenton leads the Eastern League in ERA (2.63). Portland is fifth (3.82).

Ball escaped jams early in the game, pitching four scoreless innings. But an error, three hits and two walks accounted for three Trenton runs in the fifth.

In Ball’s previous start, also against Trenton, he pitched two perfect innings before giving up five runs in the third.

Portland’s Jeremy Barfield rounds third base on his way to score. Staff photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

“That’s been the story of his season,” Portland Manager Carlos Febles said. “The first few innings, he’s really sharp. It seems like the second time through the lineup, he hits the wall. I thought his stuff was pretty good, but he was missing in the middle of the plate and up. They squared up pretty good against him.”

Ball left in the sixth inning with two outs and runners on first and third. Both scored off reliever Josh Smith, bumping Ball’s ERA up to 5.23.

Mike Olt paced Portland with a double and an RBI single. Jeremy Barfield, who just signed with the Red Sox, also had a single and a double.

NOTES: The announced paid attendance was 6,992. … Rafael Devers’ mini-slump continued with an 0-for-4 night (two strikeouts). He is in a 2-for-25 skid, and his average is down to .292. Devers made some solid plays at third but also committed two errors, allowing a hard grounder through his legs and later dropping the ball after fielding a grounder cleanly. … During their last road trip, the Sea Dogs released utility player Jose Rosario, 25, a minor league free agent from the Yankees organization. Rosario played 16 games, batting .140. … Barfield, 28, was signed Thursday by the Red Sox and was assigned to Portland. The son of former major leaguer Jesse Barfield, he was playing for the Sugar Land (Texas) Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League. … Left-hander Jake Drehoff, who appeared in 22 games for Portland last year, has been activated from the disabled list for the first time this season and was assigned to low Class A Greenville.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

Twitter: ClearTheBases

]]> 0 Dogs shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin can't apply the tag in time as Trenton's Jake Cave slides in safely for a double Friday night at Hadlock Field. Trenton won, 8-6.Fri, 26 May 2017 22:31:56 +0000
Tennis state championships: Final 16 boys’ and girls’ players set Sat, 27 May 2017 01:04:02 +0000 It wasn’t a frenzy, exactly, but Fynn Frenzel generated plenty of interest Friday on the long opening day of the MPA singles tennis tournaments.

Frenzel, a sophomore at Bonny Eagle, was one of the 96 boys and girls who advanced from regional competition to the culminating weekend.

Who was this kid with the alliterative name seeded ninth in the boys’ tournament? Why hadn’t anyone heard of him?

Frenzel, as it turns out, is an exchange student from Hannover, Germany.

“I am here since January,” said Frenzel, who won all but two of his regular-season matches, losing only to Conor Doane of Deering (No. 10) and Dariy Vykhodtsev of Thornton Academy (No. 2).

Jacob Greene of Waynflete wasn’t intimidated. For the second straight year Greene knocked out a ninth seed. He beat Frenzel 6-2, 6-2 to advance to the Round of 16 at Colby College in Waterville.

“There’s definitely something to be said for being the underdog,” Greene said. “But I also think coming in fresh and only having to play one match is also an advantage, one I would love to have rather than being the underdog.”

On Friday, Greene won a tough 7-5, 6-3 match with Yontz Sutton of Washington Academy. A basketball player from Bermuda with a YouTube dunking video, Sutton provided another international challenge for Greene.

“He was super athletic,” Greene said. “When he got his serve in, it was one of the stronger serves I’ve seen. And he got to everything, so that was tough.”

Originally scheduled for Colby, rain forced the first two rounds indoors to the Racket & Fitness Center in Portland. Sixteen boys and 16 girls will resume play Saturday in Waterville through the quarterfinal round with semis and finals scheduled for Monday at Bates College in Lewiston.

Matches began Friday at 8:30 a.m. and continued for more than 11 hours, a total of 63 matches involving 23 seeds and 72 unseeded players.

Zach Flannery of Hampden Academy, was first to punch his ticket to Saturday. Upon winning his early-morning match 6-0, 6-1 against Travel Lebel of Van Buren, Flannery learned his next opponent, sixth-seeded Peter Mao of Mt. Ararat, had withdrawn because of tendinitis.

Flannery will face another unseeded player, Kennebunk freshman Declan Archer, in the Round of 16. Archer knocked off Matt Morse of Camden Hills 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 in the morning and No. 11 Alec Cyr of Caribou 6-0, 6-4 in the afternoon.

Eleven also proved an unlucky seed in the girls’ tournament. No. 11 Katrina Mason of Carrabec fell 6-1, 6-4 to Falmouth freshman Meredith Kelley, who had beaten Kelly Nicklaus of Caribou by an identical score.

Older sister Kate Kelley (No. 10) was the other seed to fall in the girls’ tournament, losing 7-5, 6-3 to Arielle Leeman of Morse. Three of the 12 boys’ seeds failed to advance.

Junior Izzy Evans of Greely, seeded fourth, beat Brunswick freshman Anna Parker in straight sets. Evans returned after spending her sophomore year in Spain.

“The roles were reversed and I was the upperclassman playing a freshman,” she said. “It was a lot of fun as a freshman because you have nothing to lose; you have three more years. Now I feel like I have to do well.”

Peter Gribizis, a Portland High senior, advanced to Saturday for the first time in four years. He rallied for a 6-4, 1-6, 6-1 victory over Darren Hanscom of John Bapst.

“I started to break down at the end of the second set,” said Gribizis. “I told myself to calm down and forget about all the bad shots I was hitting. I managed to have a pretty relaxed third set. But I’m not going to lie. I was worried.”

The reward for Gribizis is a morning match against No. 3 Nick Forester, the Falmouth sophomore who reached the semifinals last spring before a freak injury after stepping on a ball caused his withdrawal.

Taking note of a crowded lobby and upstairs observation area, Gribizis was reminded of his sport’s close-knit community.

“Everyone is really nice and supportive,” he said. “This can be a brutal sport, mentally. So even when you’re out there battling, you have tons of respect for the person across the net.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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UMaine using NCAA money to add mental-health program for athletes Sat, 27 May 2017 00:52:04 +0000 The University of Maine will use a $640,038 disbursement from the NCAA to add a mental health program to its athletic department.

“We want to prioritize mental health care for our student-athletes,” said Lynn Coutts, a senior associate athletic director who is overseeing the implementation of the program.

This spring, the NCAA distributed a total of $200 million to nearly 350 Division I schools for the purpose of providing better support to student-athletes. The NCAA stipulated that the money has to be used on new programs or to enhance existing programs, meaning it could not be used to simply buy more equipment, hire more coaches, offer more scholarships or increase salaries.

“They gave us some flexibility,” said Karlton Creech, the athletic director at UMaine. “But we also needed to show some responsibility.”

The one-time disbursement went to schools that were active members of Division I in the 2015-16 school year, which is when the NCAA announced it was going to distribute the funds. The amount each school received was based on the number of athletic scholarships each school provided in the 2013-14 school year, multiplied by $3,291 (that value was reached by dividing the $200 million by 60,768.28 – the number of grants given by Division I schools that year).

Nine schools received more than $1 million, led by Ohio State, which received $1,329,575 based on 403.98 scholarships. Maine’s share, based on 194.47 scholarships, amounts to about 18 percent of the school’s $3,525,257 athletic budget.

“It will allow us to make some improvements we otherwise wouldn’t be able to,” said Creech. “Like a lot of schools at our level, there are plenty of opportunities where we can get better.”

From the beginning, Maine focused on a mental health component. “We ask these student-athletes to put a lot of time and effort into academics, sports performance, the physical part,” said Coutts. “It’s time we put a priority on the mental part of it. It’s the healthy body, healthy mind approach.”

School officials met with a newly-formed athlete group called the Elite 13 – representing the school’s athletic programs – throughout the year to discuss the direction of the athletic department. “Their input was invaluable,” said Creech. “They were very helpful, willing to talk, and helped steer us.”

Cailey Hutchinson, who just finished her sophomore season on the women’s hockey team and was a member of the Elite 13, said mental health was a subject the students stressed.

“Mental health often goes unnoticed. There were not as many outlets as we’d like,” said Hutchinson. “We have our coaches (to talk to), but a lot of times athletes don’t want to talk with coaches because then they seem vulnerable. (The coach’s) decisions make us happy or upset, if we play or not.

“So we want to get a sports psychologist on campus, maybe one for each sports team or a few for the entire department. It would be beneficial. It’s just an extra outlet for the athletes to have if they need someone to talk to.”

Jeffrey DeVaugh, a junior defensive back on the football team and also a member of the Elite 13, said many times an athlete isn’t comfortable talking to his coaches or teammates about a personal issue. “It would be a great thing to be able to get things off your mind,” he said. “School work, personal things, a lot can happen to affect you on the field. If a counselor is there, he can catch it early before it becomes bigger. It doesn’t have to be sports-related. A lot of things we go through aren’t sports-related.”

Maine officials hope to have the program in place by the fall. Coutts said the program will include more than just counseling for the students. She wants to educate coaches and support staff – “Anyone who has contact with our student-athletes” she said – in recognizing possible mental health issues among the athletes.

“We all need to know what to look for, how to direct people,” said Coutts. “We’re going to try to take a holistic look at the whole department. There’ll be some training, some chalk talk. It’s not just counseling kids who need it right now, but (learning) things you can do to try to prevent things from coming up.”

Coutts is working with Ryan Taylor, the school’s head athletic trainer, and Doug Johnson, the director of the UMaine Counseling Center, to come up with the appropriate program, which will include collaboration from both psychologists and psychiatrists.

“We’re trying to find a good fit,” she said. “We’re meeting with a lot of people, trying to put together a structure with layers.”

This would not just be a sports performance psychologist, but someone to counsel the athletes on how to deal with everyday life and its stresses.

“It’s not really performance-based, as sports go, but as people,” said Coutts. “How do we deal with anxiety? What’s going on in your life? There has to be a trust built. I think we have to become more cognizant of what’s going on in their lives.

“We talk about how much time we spend training and practicing and in study hall. Unless you live it, it’s hard to describe that to people. We’re going to do what we can to try to build people from the inside.

“Our coaches really know X’s and O’s, and I think we’re going to try to focus on how can we help you as people? That’s what that distribution is more for.”

The NCAA Division I Board of Governors approved the one-time distribution of $200 million a year ago, using funds liquidated from an NCAA quasi-endowment. Each school was required to submit a plan for spending its share, with some very specific guidelines. While Creech saw it as a very positive step, others see it differently.

Ellen Staurowsky, a professor of sports management at Drexel University in Philadelphia, viewed the distribution as a way to put the NCAA in a better light and to “relieve the pressure (brought on by) the ongoing number of athletes’ complaints that have challenged NCAA rules.”

The NCAA has faced several legal challenges in recent years, from athletes at Northwestern University attempting to unionize to several anti-trust class action suits, the most well-known brought on by Ed O’Bannon, a former UCLA basketball player who challenged the NCAA’s authority to use the images of former and current NCAA players for commercial purposes (such as promoting the NCAA basketball tournament). A District Court judge ruled in favor of O’Bannon, but the NCAA appealed the ruling, which was partly reversed. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

In February, the NCAA agreed to pay $208.7 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over scholarship maximums. However, the NCAA stated in a press release that it would “continue to vigorously oppose the remaining portion of the lawsuit seeking pay for play.”

Staurowsky has written papers and books about the plight of college athletes and the pressures they face. While she applauds the efforts of Maine and other schools, she said more needs to be done at a national level.

“No school is going to give that money away; no school is going to not accept it,” she said. “They’re going to do something, hopefully, really good with it, but at the same time it doesn’t address central issues.”

She added that real progress won’t be made until the NCAA recognizes “the pressures on (student-athletes) that are different from other students” and reforms the current system.

Scholarship athletes are expected to not only attend classes, but train year-round, practice, play games at home and on the road.

“Year in and year out, the athletic community continues to be very invested in insisting that college athletes have to be full-time students,” she said. “Given the time demands that are placed on them and the rigors of their sport, it really is a full-time job. It seems to me that there might be room for more creative problem-solving.”

She said Maine’s focus on mental-health issues was appropriate, given the stress and anxiety that student-athletes face.

Creech said university officials recognize those problems on a daily basis. “Division I athletes are being put out of their comfort zone in every area of life to become better,” he said.

This distribution of funds will go a long way toward making their lives better, he said, not just at Maine but after they leave.

“It’s an important step, one we’re thrilled to be able to (make) happen,” said Creech.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0 Fri, 26 May 2017 21:37:03 +0000
Ultimate state titles up for grabs Sat, 27 May 2017 00:18:26 +0000 The Falmouth High boys and Fryeburg Academy girls will try to defend their titles Saturday at the Ultimate state championships at the New Gloucester Fairgrounds.

Ultimate, a seven-on-seven game played by advancing a flying disc with throws and catches, has taken off in popularity as a club sport at Maine high schools over the past decade.

The Maine High School Spring League debuted in 2009 with eight teams. This year, 52 teams from 18 schools compete in four divisions (Boys A, Boys B, Girls and Mixed), with about 650 participants in total. Schools from the midcoast compete in the league, but most are from the greater Portland area. Westbrook and Gray-New Gloucester have teams in the boys’ division for the first time.

Saturday’s tournaments mark the fourth year of state championships for boys’ and girls’ teams, with the Falmouth boys and Fryeburg girls having won each of the first three years. Mixed championships date back to 2005 and will be held June 18 at Wainwright Recreation Complex in South Portland.

The boys’ tournament will feature eight teams in a single-elimination format, with the quarterfinals scheduled for 11 a.m. and the final at 3 p.m. Losing teams will continue to play each other to determine places three through eight. Games last 75 minutes, or until one team reaches 15 points. Teams get a point for each disc caught in the opponent’s end zone.

Top-seeded Falmouth is favored to repeat. “Falmouth boys have been a perennial power every year,” said Kevin Massey, coach of the Cumberland boys and co-director of the high school league.

Ben Field, Falmouth’s captain, feels confident heading into the tournament. “We were pretty lucky and only graduated one senior, so the squad looks about the same as last year. So far, we’ve had some juniors step up, like Sam Winkler and Jacob Skillin-Lanou, and also have some players back from injury, like Jack Hepburn. This year we have enough players … to be well-rested for our later games on Saturday.”

Falmouth beat Cape Elizabeth 13-4 in last year’s final. Cape Elizabeth captain Eli Babcock, whose older brother, Henry, helped lead Richmond to an NCAA Division III title, agrees that Falmouth is the team to beat. “(Falmouth) has handled us pretty easily the past few years, but I do think if we continue to develop our systems, the sky’s the limit for our squad.”

In the girls’ tournament, Fryeburg and last year’s runner-up, Cumberland, lost key players to graduation after last season. Cape Elizabeth enters as the top seed.

“We have a lot of depth on our team and some pretty talented players,” said Cape Elizabeth captain Grace Stoughton. She said the quality of girls’ Ultimate improved once the league started offering single-gender divisions in 2015 instead of strictly mixed teams. “Playing in the girls’ division gives girls more opportunity to hone in on skills that they would not necessarily have the chance to work on in a league where men outnumber women.”

The girls’ tournament will begin with pool play at 9 a.m. The championship game is scheduled for 4:15 p.m.

]]> 0 Babcock, left, and his Cape Elizabeth teammates will try to dethrone Dex Dremann, right, and the Falmouth Yachtsmen at the Ultimate state championships Saturday in New Gloucester.Fri, 26 May 2017 20:46:41 +0000
Oden or Durant was nearly a choice for Warriors Sat, 27 May 2017 00:04:27 +0000 Truth be told, Golden State’s former coach wasn’t sure the Warriors needed Kevin Durant.

The Warriors were already small-ball sensations, capable of piling up points with their daring drives and sizzling shooting. So rather than add another scorer, Don Nelson figured Golden State might be better off getting a dominant man in the middle to shore up the defense in the 2007 NBA draft.

Nelson thought the Warriors needed Greg Oden.

That was 10 years ago, leading up to the heavily hyped draft in which the Oden-Durant debate raged throughout basketball. And now, as Durant leads the league’s most potent team into the NBA finals while Oden is long gone from the NBA spotlight, it’s easy to forget that a lot of people agreed with Nelson.

“I think everyone felt there were two players there that were going to be prominent players, but one thing you can’t count on is injuries,” said Jerry West, a Warriors executive. “Greg really never had a chance to have a career, where Kevin’s obviously been more than advertised.”


The Warriors were looking like a lottery team in March 2007 when Nelson was asked what he thought they should do if they got the No. 1 pick. He’s one of the innovators of small ball, a coach who seemed more comfortable with a point forward than a power forward, so it wouldn’t have been surprising if he leaned toward Durant.

But he favored Oden, a 7-footer who in his lone season at Ohio State was compared to Hall of Famer Bill Russell, Nelson’s teammate in Boston.

“I think it would be pretty simple for us,” Nelson said. “We would probably have to go with the bigger guy at this point.”

Nelson said he might reconsider if he thought Durant would be a superstar, and he looked like one while tearing through the Big 12 as a freshman at Texas. But with the Warriors already having Baron Davis, Monta Ellis and Stephen Jackson, Nelson saw other needs.

“With this team, the center position is one we’re looking for,” he said. “But I’d say anybody up front. Our backcourt’s pretty solid.”

The Warriors were fined by the NBA for Nelson’s comments about players who weren’t yet draft eligible. Boston, San Antonio and New Orleans also were penalized that spring when normally button-lipped coaches couldn’t help themselves when thinking about the promise of the two freshmen.

“I don’t think there could have been any more hype than there was,” Memphis guard Mike Conley said. “It was an amazing time to see two great players who have Hall of Fame potential from the beginning. You just know they could come in and win multiple championships and be All-Stars every year, and you don’t have that in every draft.”

The No. 1 pick became a moot point when the Warriors finished the regular season with a 16-5 kick to secure the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, then pulled off perhaps the biggest upset in NBA playoff history by ousting the 67-win Dallas Mavericks in the first round.

Later that postseason, the Portland Trail Blazers won the draft lottery and the Seattle SuperSonics were second. The Grizzlies had the league’s worst record and the best odds at the No. 1 pick but fell to fourth.

Oden’s knee injuries ended his NBA career after 105 games, long before he would have had to worry about playing away from the basket, the way traditional centers such as Marc Gasol now do. But Conley, Oden’s high school and college teammate who went to the Grizzlies with their No. 4 pick, believes his friend could have handled the transition.

“I think he’s that kind of a talent,” Conley said.

Instead, Oden himself acknowledged he goes down as a bust, which nobody could have predicted when coaches were tantalized by him.

]]> 0 State forward Kevin Durant scored 32 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Warriors beat Portland 121-109 Sunday in Oakland, California, in Game 1 of their Western Conference first-round series.Fri, 26 May 2017 20:56:08 +0000
Commentary: Good year for Celtics, but a gap remains Fri, 26 May 2017 23:53:33 +0000 BOSTON — There were definite signs of progress on display throughout the 2016-17 Boston Celtics season.

Isaiah Thomas emerged as a superior scoring threat, Al Horford provided leadership and versatility, and the team won 53 games to earn the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

But for all of the progress the Celtics made, there was a clear message received when they reached the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in five years.

The Celtics still have a long way to go to compete with LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers.

While James and the Cavaliers are headed to a third straight NBA finals matchup with the Golden State Warriors, the Celtics will start the quest to close a sizable gap.

The Celtics, playing the final three-plus games without an injured Thomas, were taken out by the Cavaliers in five games.

It was no match Thursday night in Game 5 with the Cavs coasting from start to finish and winning 135-102 at the TD Garden.

The 33-point blowout was the most lopsided loss by the Celtics in an elimination game and came after they were beaten by 44 points at home in Game 2 last Friday night.

“We’ve got a long way to go,” said Coach Brad Stevens, whose team has gone from 25 wins to 40, 48 and 53. “We had a great year. We made a run at it. We made progress. But not good enough.

“I think collectively you take away what elite looks like because I think we saw it first-hand, especially in these home games.

“I told our guys we made a lot of great strides, but this pain is part of the path of what we ultimately want to be. This is great learning for all of us, how far we have to go.”

Only a remarkable comeback in Game 3 at Cleveland saved the Celtics from being swept by the Cavaliers. After opening a 16-point lead in Game 4, the Celtics couldn’t sustain it, then faltered in Game 5 at home.

They dropped the three Garden games by a combined 88 points.

“It’s the worst part of the year, being eliminated, falling short,” said Jae Crowder. “It’s a pretty hard thing to swallow so I’m pretty down.”

Said Al Horford: “I’m proud of our group and I felt like we grew as the year went on, and it’s not the way we wanted to finish. The team to get past is Cleveland, and right now we’re not there.”

The Celtics never led and were behind 43-27 after one quarter, then trailed by as many as 39.

The Cavaliers never let the Celtics have an opening, taking them right out in the first few minutes.

James became the NBA’s all-time leader in career playoff points, and finished with 35 points, eight assists and eight rebounds while sitting out the fourth quarter.

Kyrie Irving added 24 points, and Kevin Love had 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Avery Bradley topped the Celtics with 23 points. Gerald Green scored 14.

Even with a healthy Thomas, the Celtics would have struggled against the Cavaliers, who are 12-1 in the postseason.

“They’ve been there before,” said Marcus Smart. “We’re a young team. It’s our first time. We made a lot of mistakes you don’t make at this stage and they capitalized. Everybody has to use this as motivation.”

Any mistake the Celtics made, the Cavaliers jumped all over, getting out on the fast break and scoring at will.

“I thought we played a little too haphazard (Thursday),” said Stevens. “Our offense mistakes led to bad defense and it kind of snowballed on us.”

Even though the final was never in doubt, the crowd at the Garden starting chanting, “Let’s go Celtics” in the closing minutes.

“It’s a good step forward as a season as a whole, but I leave with a little bit of a taste in my mouth of not playing as well here,” said Stevens. “Man, you want to play well here because there’s really no place like TD Garden in Boston. The fans at the end of the game, it’s amazing.”

]]> 0, 26 May 2017 20:49:48 +0000
Kvitova returns to major tennis after assault Fri, 26 May 2017 23:37:00 +0000 PARIS — Only two months after picking up her racket for the first time following a knife attack at her home, Petra Kvitova will be playing at the French Open.

Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champ, said Friday she will make her comeback at Roland Garros, although she still lacks power and strength.

“I knew this day would come,” said Kvitova, who was attacked by an intruder last year. “I’m really happy that … the dream comes true.”

Kvitova has missed all season after surgery on her racket-holding left hand. She sustained damage to the tendons in her left hand, with injuries to each finger and two nerves.

Doctors first thought she needed more time before returning, but Kvitova’s recovery was faster than expected. She said last month she was signing up for the French Open, which begins Sunday, in hopes of competing.

“It wasn’t easy but I’m happy that I work through this, and I can play tennis and be in the draw,” she said.

Kvitova, who won the Wimbledon title in 2011 and 2014, and climbed as high as No. 2 in the WTA rankings, wasn’t allowed to speak about the attack because a police investigation is ongoing. But she spoke about anxiety.

“I didn’t sleep well the days after but I wasn’t really staying alone,” she said. “From the beginning I was feeling really weird when I went in the city or somewhere. I was always staring to the guys and looking if there are no strangers there. But with the time, it’s better.”

Kvitova also provided details on the rehabilitation process that preceded her “last-minute” decision to try her luck in Paris.

“I worked very hard behind the scenes,” she said. “From the beginning I had this hand in a splint for two months, and even then I was practicing every day, always putting the splint away and trying to make this scar softer. So from the second day after surgery I started to work with that, which was kind of easy, just passive work with the fingers. I couldn’t move them.”

Kvitova ditched the splint after two weeks and started to move her fingers slightly. She said she can’t still move them completely.

Kvitova also consulted with a hand specialist in the French city of Grenoble every month and started practicing with a racket in late March.

“I hit a few forehands with soft balls from the net, and it felt very, very weird,” she said. “I didn’t really have touch in the hand for holding the racket. I’m happy I didn’t have to change any techniques or something. Everything seems OK. Of course the hand doesn’t have that power and the strength yet, but I’m working on it. Hopefully one day will be everything perfect.”

Kvitova, who opens her tourney against 86th-ranked Julia Boserup, is making her ninth appearance at Roland Garros.

“Not many people believe I can play tennis again. So I’m happy I can play,” Kvitova said. “I already won my biggest fight. I stayed in life and I have all my fingers.”

]]> 0, 26 May 2017 20:52:55 +0000
Against biologist’s urging, N.H. bear family to be spared Fri, 26 May 2017 21:15:17 +0000 HANOVER, N.H. — New Hampshire’s bear project leader said Friday there are no longer plans to euthanize a mother bear and her three yearlings that have been roaming neighborhoods near Dartmouth College. Instead, they will be captured and moved to the northern part of the state.

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu had asked that the bears not be killed.

Earlier this week, Andrew Timmins, the bear project leader for the state Fish and Game Department, said the bears, two of which got into a Hanover home near the college last weekend, needed to be euthanized because they are no longer afraid of humans.

“When their behavior reaches a certain point, it is tough to be wild bears again,” Timmins told the Valley News this week. “As the state’s bear biologist, I don’t think it would be prudent to move them to another area.”

Timmins said much of the problem stems from residents failing to take in their bird feeders by April 1 and not properly securing their garbage, much of which is related to student rental properties.

There was public outcry and a petition circulated opposing the decision to euthanize. Sununu said he shared people’s concerns “when it comes to finding a safe and human way to remove the threat these bears present.”

Timmins, in a black bear assessment done for the state in November 2014, wrote that the movement of bears to abate conflicts between the animals and humans is often viewed as a “Band-Aid” approach to a conflict, “as it does little to address the root of the problem (typically a food attractant).”

]]> 0 Fri, 26 May 2017 17:23:58 +0000
Waynflete graduate on verge of national title in college rowing Fri, 26 May 2017 08:00:00 +0000 Olivia Stockly, a Waynflete High graduate from Cumberland and a Bates College junior, was born to row.

“My mom rowed throughout high school and college,” Stockly said. “And then she became the coach (at Waynflete). Then my brother, who is a couple years older than me, joined the team and everything sort of fell in line, and I started to row and ended up falling in love with the sport.”

Stockly’s sister, Savannah, also attends Bates, and is one of the main reasons Stockly will be in the women’s varsity eight boat in the NCAA Division III championships Friday in Mercer, New Jersey.

Though the Stockly sisters won’t row together due to an injury Savannah suffered, Olivia is grateful for her sister’s role in influencing her to join the Bates program. Savannah will graduate Sunday.

“She’d love to be out here just as much as I love being out here,” Stockly said. “She certainly encouraged me to come to Bates, so I definitely thank her for that.”


With Stockly – a first team All-New England Small College Athletic Conference choice – the Bobcats are ranked No. 1 in the nation in Division III. It’s easy to see why.

In the first competition at Bates’ new boathouse on the Androscoggin River on April 23, the 21st Presidents Cup, the women’s team won all six races. The varsity eight finished 23 seconds ahead of its closest competitor.

At the Bates Invitational a week later, the varsity eight beat second-place New Hampshire by 29.8 seconds, traveling 2,000 meters in 7 minutes, 14.8 seconds.

Given her family background, Stockly has more experience than most of her teammates. Yet she wasn’t always a rower. Stockly played soccer and softball before transitioning to crew, which proceeded to “dominate my entire life, in the best way possible.”

At Waynflete – one of a handful of high school club teams in Maine – Stockly grew attached to the sport, enjoying the family dynamic the most.

“What I love the most about rowing is when you’re in a boat, you become so dependent on everyone else and it becomes just like a family,” Stockly said. “I think everyone relies on each other to go the fastest you can, and that’s what attracted me the most to it.”

Stockly’s mother, C.C. Stockly, is still the Waynflete coach and president of the Yarmouth Rowing Club. Even if she’s no longer her coach in an official capacity, Stockly rows recreationally with her mother and the rest of her family during the summer to stay fit.

With the exception of the summer, when athletes mostly train on their own, rowing is a year-round sport at Bates. The team rows in a couple longer regattas in the fall, including the Head of the Charles in October. In November, Peter Steenstra, the NESCAC coach of the year, steps out due to conference regulations, but the team unofficially continues to train throughout the winter, with captains organizing indoor practices.

Preparation for the major races begins in earnest in February.

To qualify for the national championships, Bates had to overcome a serious challenge from Williams in the May 12 grand final of the national invitational championships.

The Bobcats won by a mere .401 seconds and took home their third NESCAC title in four years.

“It was a really fun regatta but it was also pretty intimidating to be so close,” Stockly said.

“So I think we’re going in with confidence but not being too cocky about where we’re ranked.”

Still, Bates has plenty of reasons to be feel good about its chances.

The women’s team, making its 11th consecutive appearance at the nationals, won the title in 2015 thanks to a victory by the second varsity eights and a second-place showing by the varsity eights.

The Bobcats were the runners-up at last year’s championships.

“We have so much history that we’re building on. … I think that we all love the program so much and will follow Coach Steenstra’s footsteps as much as we can,” Stockly said. “He has so much love for the sport that we are willing to push through all the pain and the grit to get to the position that we’re in.”

]]> 0 Stockly, fourth from the right, was drawn to rowing through her family – her mother is the Waynflete coach, and her older brother and sister competed. Her sister, Savannah, is a Bates College teammate, but is injured and won't row in the NCAA Division III finals Friday.Fri, 26 May 2017 00:15:27 +0000
Wheelchair basketball exhibition gets Deering senior in the game: Photos Fri, 26 May 2017 04:22:28 +0000 Patrick Uwamahoro’s wheelchair doesn’t stop him from playing the game he loves: basketball. What does hold him back is the lack of opportunities to play wheelchair basketball. There isn’t a local league in which the Deering High School senior can play.

On Wednesday, in a wheelchair basketball exhibition game in the Deering gym, Uwamahoro got a chance to play with wheelchair basketball players from Veterans Adaptive Sports & Training. The program, based at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, promotes the health and well being of veterans with disabilities through physical activities and sports.

“I have been waiting for this and I have never played with other folks in a wheelchair,” said Uwamahoro, who immigrated to this country from Rwanda when he was in middle school. “Since I came to America, I usually go to an open gym and play with others but they aren’t in a wheelchair.”

The VAST athletes brought some spare wheelchairs so that other Deering students could join in.

Uwamahoro planned the tournament with Jessica Labbe, Deering’s social work intern from the University of Southern Maine, and many other Deering staff members.

]]> 0, ME - MAY 24: Deering High School senior Patrick Uwamahoro's wheelchair doesn't stop him from playing the game he loves best, basketball. VAST (Veterans Adaptive Sports & Training) a program promoting lifelong health and well being for people with disabilities played an exhibition wheelchair basketball game at Deering High School. Patrick readies to pass the ball up court during the game. (Photo by John Ewing/Staff Photographer)Fri, 26 May 2017 00:27:31 +0000
Penguins win in 2 OTs to return to Stanley Cup Final Fri, 26 May 2017 04:09:00 +0000 PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Penguins are heading back to the Stanley Cup Final.

Chris Kunitz beat Craig Anderson 5:09 into the second overtime to give the defending champions a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final Thursday night.

Kunitz scored twice, his first two of the playoffs. Justin Schultz added the other in his return from an upper-body injury, and Matt Murray stopped 28 shots on his 23rd birthday.

The Penguins are trying to become the first team since the Detroit Red Wings in 1998 to win back-to-back titles. They will host Western Conference champion Nashville in Game 1 on Monday night.

Mark Stone and Ryan Dzingel scored for Ottawa. The Senators rallied twice to tie it, with Dzingel making it 2-2 with 5:19 left in regulation.

Craig Anderson made 39 saves, but couldn’t get a handle on Kunitz’s shot from just outside the left circle. The Senators are 0-6 in Game 7s in franchise history.

The Senators forced a return trip to Pittsburgh – where they lost 7-0 loss in Game 5 on Sunday – by leaning heavily on Anderson in a 2-1 Game 6 victory, putting both teams at odds with history.

Ottawa came in 0-for-25 years in winner-take-all games, while the Penguins were 0-7 in Game 7s at home in series in which they also dropped Game 6.

Ottawa Coach Guy Boucher told his resilient team to not get caught up in the big picture but instead focus on the small ones, a recipe that carried the Senators throughout a bumpy transition under their first-year head coach to the brink of the franchise’s second Cup appearance.

The Penguins, trying to become the first defending champion to return to the finals since Detroit in 2009, came in confident they would advance if they could replicate their dominant Game 6, when they were undone only by Anderson’s brilliance.

Pittsburgh has been nearly unflappable in the face of adversity under Coach Mike Sullivan, going 12-2 in playoff games following a loss over the last two springs. He encouraged his team to “just play,” code for fighting through Ottawa’s neutral zone-clogging style and the bumping, grabbing and pulling that comes along with it.

A chance to play for their sport’s ultimate prize on the line, the sheets of open ice the Penguins found so easily in Games 4-6 closed up. For most of the first 30 minutes, loose pucks hopped over sticks to spoil some scoring opportunities while Anderson and Murray gobbled up the rest.

Kunitz, relegated to the fourth line since returning from injury in the second round, picked up his first postseason goal in a calendar year when he completed a two-on-one with Conor Sheary – a healthy scratch in Games 5 and 6 – by slipping the puck by Anderson 9:55 into the second period.

The momentum lasted all of 20 seconds. Ottawa responded immediately with Stone – who stretched his left skate to stay onside – fired a wrist shot that handcuffed Murray.

Pittsburgh kept coming. Schultz, returning after missing four games with an upper-body injury, zipped a shot from the point through Kunitz’s screen and into the net with 8:16 left in the third.

Once again, the Penguins could not hold the lead. Dzingel set up at the right post and banged home a rebound off Erik Karlsson’s shot that hit the left post and caromed off Murray’s back right to Dzingel’s stick.

]]> 0, 26 May 2017 00:20:37 +0000
Red Sox pitchers tie major-league strikeout record Fri, 26 May 2017 03:27:46 +0000 BOSTON — Drew Pomeranz pitched six strong innings and tied his career high with 11 strikeouts, and Boston pitchers combined to tie a major-league record with 20 strikeouts in a nine-inning game Thursday night as the Red Sox beat the Texas Rangers, 6-2.

Xander Bogaerts and Deven Marrero hit their first home runs of the season, helping Boston to its fourth straight win.

Pomeranz (4-3) made it as far as six innings for the third time this season and beat Texas for the first time in nine career outings.

Elvis Andrus homered and Nomar Mazara had two hits and an RBI for Texas, which has lost 4 of 5 overall and 15 of 21 on the road.

Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland had RBI singles in the first inning as Boston got to Rangers starter Nick Martinez (1-3) early.

Bogaerts hit a two-run homer in the third to put Boston ahead 4-0. Despite finishing with 21 home runs last year, Bogaerts needed 46 games to connect for the first time this season.

Red Sox pitchers combined for 20 strikeouts, tying the record held by Roger Clemens – who did it twice in 1986 and 1996 – Kerry Wood in 1998 and Max Scherzer last season. Reliever Craig Kimbrel had four strikeouts in the ninth when the first batter reached on a wild pitch strike three.

Mike Napoli struck out four times, and Pete Kozma and Andrus went down three times each. Every Ranger starter struck out at least once as they finished one shy of the club record.

Marrero homered in the eighth off Alex Claudio.

Martinez gave up four runs in five innings and is winless in four starts against Boston with a 6.46 ERA.

Andrus cut Boston’s lead to 4-1 in the fourth inning with his homer, snapping an 0-for-9 drought.

Moreland tied his career high by driving in at least one run for the sixth straight game and extended his hitting streak to seven games, batting .393 in that stretch.

Boston swept Texas for the first time at Fenway Park since 2008. Since 2009, Texas has the best winning percentage at Fenway Park in the major leagues at .600.

NOTES: Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia was removed from the game after five innings for precautionary reasons because of left knee pain. He is listed as day to day. … Third baseman Pablo Sandoval is 3 for 13 in four rehab games.

A painting of former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, valued at $1,000, was recovered by police in Quincy, Massachusetts, after it was stolen from the Thomas Crane library earlier this month.

Dana Bognar, a 37-year-old homeless man, was arrested Wednesday and charged with larceny from a building and conspiracy to commit larceny.

The portrait of “Big Papi” went missing sometime after May 7 from an ongoing art exhibit at the library and was reported stolen to police on May 20. The artwork was painted by local artist Edwina Caci.

On Wednesday, a library security officer found video footage of Bognar removing the painting. He also noticed that the man had just entered the building and called the police.

Members of the Anti-Crime Unit found Bognar a short time later and questioned him.

]]> 0's Xander Bogaerts, right, celebrates with Dustin Pedroia after hitting a two-run homer in the third inning Thursday night at Fenway Park.Fri, 26 May 2017 00:02:55 +0000
Major league roundup: Joseph leads way as Phillies win Fri, 26 May 2017 03:22:16 +0000 PHILADELPHIA — Tommy Joseph hit a tying home run in the seventh inning and a winning single in the 11th, lifting the Philadelphia Phillies over Colorado 2-1 and stopping the Rockies from a four-game sweep Thursday.

Joseph homered off Tyler Anderson and lined the game-ending hit against Scott Oberg after Michael Saunders’ one-out double.

Jeanmar Gomez (3-1) pitched a hitless 11th is his return from a disabled list stint caused by an elbow injury. Philadelphia stopped a five-game losing streak, winning for the fifth time in 25 games. Colorado, which has the NL’s best record, had won four straight.

Trevor Story homered in the fourth off Vince Velasquez, who allowed eight hits in five innings and struck out seven. Three of the strikeouts were by major league hits leader Charlie Blackmon, who went 2 for 5.

Anderson gave up six hits in seven innings.

PIRATES 9, BRAVES 4: Ivan Nova pitched into the ninth inning, Adam Frazier hit a three-run homer and Pittsburgh won at Atlanta.

The Pirates split the four-game series after losing the first two. This one was easy after Pittsburgh put up five runs in the third inning, capped by Frazier’s third homer this season.

Nova (5-3) threw 100 pitches in 81/3 innings, giving up three hits in the ninth and missing out on becoming the first pitcher in the big leagues with three complete games this season. It was the first time in three career starts against Atlanta that he’s surrendered an earned run.

CUBS 5, GIANTS 1: Kris Bryant, Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist hit solo homers, and Chicago won at home for its third straight victory.

Heyward went deep for the second time in three games and has a five-game hitting streak since a sprained finger in his right hand caused him to miss 12 games.

Zobrist added two singles as the Cubs took 3 of 4 games from the Giants and finished a 7-2 homestand.

PADRES 4, METS 3: Dinelson Lamet overpowered the Mets in his major league debut as San Diego won at New York.

Lamet cruised through five innings of one-run ball. He struck out eight and surrendered just three hits, including Lucas Duda’s solo homer in the second.

Brad Hand allowed a run but got the save.


RAYS 4, ANGELS 0: Matt Andriese allowed six hits over eight innings, Colby Rasmus drove in four runs and Tampa Bay won at St. Petersburg, Florida, to salvage a split of a four-game series.

Andriese (5-1) improved to 4-0 over his last five starts, holding the Angels to 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position. Los Angeles threatened in five innings against him.


MARINERS 4, NATIONALS 2: Nelson Cruz greeted reliever Jacob Turner with a go-ahead, three-run homer in the sixth inning, and Seattle won at Washington to stop a five-game losing streak.

Gio Gonzalez took a 2-0 lead into the sixth, when Jean Segura singled leading off and Guillermo Heredia took a called third strike. That prompted Seattle Manager Scott Servais to complain, which led to his ejection.

]]> 0 Joseph of the Phillies is welcomed by teammates Thursday after hitting a tying home run in the seventh inning against the Rockies. He also singled home the winner in the 11th.Thu, 25 May 2017 23:31:08 +0000
LeBron, Cavaliers finish off Celtics in Eastern Conference finals Fri, 26 May 2017 03:04:49 +0000 BOSTON — LeBron James scored 35 points and passed Michael Jordan to become the NBA’s all-time playoff scoring leader as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Boston Celtics 135-102 on Thursday night to claim their third straight Eastern Conference title and a return trip to the NBA Finals.

Kyrie Irving added 24 points and Kevin Love finished with 15 for the Cavs, who never trailed and led by as many as 39 points in one of their most dominating wins of the series. The Cavs set an NBA record by winning their 13th consecutive series closeout opportunity.

Cleveland’s 4-1 series’ win gives it a 12-1 record this postseason and sets up a third consecutive matchup with Western Conference champion Golden State, the team it beat in the Finals last season to claim the franchise’s first championship.

Cavaliers forward Kevin Love defends against Boston’s Jonas Jerebko in the first half. Associated Press/Elise Amendola

It will mark the seventh straight trip to the Finals for James.

“This team is a crazy team. They just stayed resilient all year, got to the playoffs, and we really stepped our game up,” Cavs Coach Tyronn Lue said. “Now we can start focusing on Golden State to get ready. As of tonight, I’ll get started.”

Boston’s Avery Bradley drives against Cleveland’s LeBron James in the first half. Associated Press/Elise Amendola

Avery Bradley led Boston with 23 points.

The Cavaliers basically conceded the East’s top seed to the Celtics at the end of the regular season by opting to rest their starters in advance of the playoffs. But they displayed their superiority over the final two games to wrap up the series.

After allowing the Celtics to seize the early momentum in Game 4, the Cavs barely gave them the chance in Game 5.

Led by its Big Three, Cleveland quickly built a 21-point lead in the first quarter, while getting lots of contributions from their teammates.

LeBron James appeals to referee Ken Mauer during the first half. Associated Press/Elise Amendola

Love continued to knock down shots from the outside, Irving sliced his way into the lane to the rim and James got free for several of his one-handed, tomahawk dunks.

It was a very welcomed sight in Irving’s case, after he rolled his left ankle in the third quarter of Cleveland’s Game 4 win. He showed no signs of lingering issues, though, beating several defenders off the dribble and handing out seven assists.

Meanwhile, J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver all helped spread out Boston’s defenders by connecting on several wide-open scoring opportunities.

Boston Celtics, from left, Al Horford, Avery Bradley, Jonas Jerebko and Kelly Olynyk watch from the bench during the second half. Associated Press/Elise Amendola

Deron Williams, who had been quiet for most of the series, also got in on the act with a series-best 14 points for Cleveland.

The Celtics did their best to keep up, but the consistent outside shooting, bench scoring and defense they relied on to stun Cleveland in Game 3 wasn’t there Thursday night.

“I thought we played a little too haphazard tonight,” Celtics Coach Brad Stevens said. “Our offensive mistakes led to bad defense, and it just kind of snowballed on us.”

He said though he’s disappointed with how the season ended, he’s encouraged that no one in Boston’s locker room is satisfied just making it to the conference finals.

“I told our guys: ‘We made a lot of great strides, but this pain is part of the path to what we ultimately want to be,'” he said.

NOTES: James has scored 30 or more points in 11 of Cleveland’s 13 games this postseason. … The Cavs improved to 36-5 against Eastern Conference opponents in the playoffs since 2015. … The 43 points Cleveland scored in the first quarter set a team postseason record for points in a quarter. … Injured Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas led his teammates in a pregame huddle before they took the court for warm-ups. Thomas sat out the rest of the series after aggravating a hip injury in Game 2.

]]> 0, 26 May 2017 08:40:18 +0000
Thursday’s high school roundup: Yarmouth still perfect in girls’ lacrosse Fri, 26 May 2017 02:51:00 +0000 KENNEBUNK — Eva Then and Meredith Lane each scored twice to lead undefeated Yarmouth to a 7-3 win over Kennebunk in a Class B girls’ lacrosse game Friday.

Eliza Lunt added a goal and two assists, and Cory Langenbach and Ella Antolini also scored for Yarmouth (10-0), the defending Class B North champion.

Kennebunk (8-2), the reigning state champion, got a goal apiece from Hallie Schwartzman, Gabby Fogg and Erin Groton.

WINDHAM 16, MAINE GIRLS’ ACADEMY 6: Mya Mannette recorded five goals and an assist, and had six ball controls to pace the Eagles (9-2) to a win over the Lions (5-6) in Windham.

Holly Spencer and Belle Skvorak each had three goals and two assists for Windham, which outscored MGA 10-3 in the second half. Kaitlyn Roberts added a goal and two assists, while Morgan Colangelo had 15 draw controls and three ground balls.

Catherine Reid collected three goals and an assist for MGA. Zoe Mazur added two goals and two assists.

Grace Sawyer made seven saves for the Eagles, while Lily LaCasse stopped nine shots for the Lions.

BIDDEFORD 16, NOBLE 1: Peyton McKeown collected seven goals and three assists as the Tigers (9-2) defeated the Knights (2-9) at Biddeford in a game called with five minutes remaining because of rain.

Paige Laverriere, Hailey Allen and Grace Boisvert chipped in with three goals apiece.

Rylee Collins scored for Noble.

BOOTHBAY 10, ERSKINE ACADEMY 3: Sydney Meader scored three goals and Kate Friant and Lincoln Hamblett each scored twice for Boothbay (8-2) in a win over Erskine (4-6) at South China.

The Seahawks got a 15-save performance from Page Brown.

Hayley Hinds scored twice for Erskine, and Audrey Jordan also scored. Ashlyn Wing made 13 saves.


CONY 6, MARANACOOK/WINTHROP 5: Nate Foye’s goal in overtime lifted the Rams (7-3) to a win over the Black Bears (5-6) in Augusta.

Cam Gallant made 28 saves for Cony. Foye finished with two goals and Chad Bickford scored three times.

Drew Davis had three goals for Maranacook/Winthrop, which also got goals from Alex Nuce and Tucker Nussinow.

WINSLOW 12, MT. BLUE 7: Bryce Hillier scored seven goals to lead the Black Raiders (5-6) to a win over the Cougars (1-10) in Farmington.

Sam Lambrecht chipped in with three goals and Isaac Lambrecht added two.

Sam Smith scored three goals for Mt. Blue.


TRAIP ACADEMY 11, BUCKFIELD 2: Jacob Farnham had three hits, including a pair of doubles, and drove in two runs for the Rangers (7-7) in a win over the Bucks (7-8) at Buckfield.

Ryan Perkins chipped in with two singles, three stolen bases and three runs scored. Traip erased a 2-1 deficit with three runs in the fourth, then added five in the sixth and two in the seventh.

Shane MacNeill picked up the win, allowing one earned run on four hits while striking out six in five innings.

Jacob Kraske and Ethan Jackson each had a double and single for Buckfield.

MT. ARARAT 2, SKOWHEGAN 1: The Eagles (7-7) pushed across a run in the top of the eighth to beat the Indians (5-10) in Skowhegan.

Garrett Booty went seven innings to earn the win.

RICHMOND 7, VALLEY 2: Zach Small was a home run short of the cycle and drove in three runs as he lead the Bobcats (13-1) to a win in Bingham.

Matt Rines worked four innings on the mound to earn the win, allowing two runs on four hits with two strikeouts. Brendan Emmons hit a double for the Bobcats.

Dillon Beane had an RBI double and Joey Thomas drove in the other run for the Cavaliers (1-9).

MESSALONSKEE 4, CAMDEN HILLS 0: Josh Joy tossed a three-hitter and struck out 10 as the Eagles (6-9) shut out the Windjammers (5-9) in Rockport.

Noah Tuttle had a triple and a single for Messalonskee, and Colby Dexter drove in a run.


SKOWHEGAN 4, MT. ARARAT 3: Ashley Alward struck out 13, and Alyssa Everett singled home Julia Steeves with two outs in the bottom of the eighth to give the Indians (13-2) a win over the Eagles (9-6) in Skowhegan.

Kylee Temple hit a triple for Mt. Ararat.

BUCKFIELD 7, TRAIP ACADEMY 2: The Bucks (12-2) scored the tiebreaking run in the fifth inning and added four runs in the sixth to defeat the Rangers (5-9) in Buckfield.

Trailing 2-0 after three innings, Traip tied it with two runs in the fourth.

Reilly Eddy pitched for Traip, striking out 12. She struck out five batters in the sixth inning, as two batters reached on wild pitches. Eddy and Anna Catgui each hit two doubles for the Rangers.

Kali Litchfield drove in the go-ahead run for Buckfield with a triple.

CARRABEC 10, LISBON 2: Mackenzie Baker had a double, three singles and six RBI to lead the Cobras (10-5) past the Greyhounds (10-5) in Lisbon Falls.

Bailey Dunphy contributed a triple and two singles, and Sam LeBeau hit three singles.

Alyssa Hall and Jasmine Le each hit a double for Lisbon.

]]> 0's Sam Brodeur is chased by Westbrook's Alexis Witham during their girls' lacrosse match Thursday in Scarborough. Scarborough won, 19-10.Thu, 25 May 2017 22:54:02 +0000
Outsider draws Indianapolis 500 attention Fri, 26 May 2017 02:42:06 +0000 INDIANAPOLIS — It was opening day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Fernando Alonso chose a skateboard as his means of transportation through the garage.

He essentially turned the hallowed Brickyard into his own personal playground.

It has been all Alonso, all the time, since the two-time Formula One champion announced last month he would skip the race in Monaco to run the Indianapolis 500 for the first time. His presence has drawn massive worldwide interest to “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” and given Alonso a break from his depressing F1 season with McLaren.

“I think it’s a breath of fresh air for him,” said Zak Brown, a former Indianapolis-based sports marketer who’s now executive director of the McLaren Technology Group. “He’s enjoying it. He’s doing all of it. He wants to do it. He feels very welcomed by the IndyCar club.

“I think clearly he’s getting the most awareness right now. But he’s getting awareness not just for himself but for Indianapolis, for IndyCar, for Formula One. I think it’s a good story. It’s a huge story. Might be the dominant story.”

Indeed, the run-up to the 101st running of the Indy 500 has seen a full-fledged case of “Alomania” and has come at the expense of many other aspects surrounding Sunday’s race.

As a thick crowd of international reporters pushed toward the seat Alonso was expected to take during Thursday’s media day, driver Oriol Servia approached and jokingly asked if they were waiting for him. After all, for more than a decade, Servia was the only Spaniard in the Indy 500. Now he calls himself “the other Spaniard.”

When Servia was asked earlier this month about Alonso, teammate Graham Rahal interrupted: “He’s the only guy racing here, isn’t he?”

No, there are indeed 32 others in the field. It just seems they have been overlooked.

Earlier Thursday, online betting site Bovada released its Indy 500 odds and listed Alonso as the 9-2 favorite. Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves? 12-1.

Alonso said being the betting favorite is “probably not” a fair expectation, and noted that the last time he did a rolling start was in a 1997 go-kart race. But he thinks he’s done everything possible to prepare for the race, and even spent time Thursday on a simulator.

“I know this is a race that everyone has a chance to win; this is an unpredictable race,” he said. “We all have a possibility. I think I have a lower chance than some of the big names because I am lacking that experience. But if I have a chance, I will go for it.

“I am prepared. I will try to compensate that lack of experience with good motivation, good racing speed and a lot of respect for everyone and a lot of respect for the race. If (fans) want to bet, and they put the money on myself, I will try to make them happy.”

Alonso has certainly thrilled IndyCar’s fan base, which has breathlessly followed his every move. It wasn’t until 2008 winner Scott Dixon turned in the best qualifying effort in 21 years to win the pole that the spotlight briefly shifted to someone else.

Dixon, who was robbed at gunpoint in the drive-thru line at Taco Bell a few hours after winning the pole, doesn’t feel snubbed. He considers Alonso a legitimate contender because he’s racing with Andretti Autosport — winner of this race last year with rookie Alexander Rossi — and because “the caliber of driver he is, it seems like he’s definitely soaking it in.”

But is there any jealousy?

“Maybe some of the fame whores, I don’t know,” said Dixon, a four-time IndyCar champion. “It’s not something I converse about.”

One seat over from Alonso during the media session sat Tony Kanaan, a 20-year veteran, series champion and former Indy 500 winner. Alonso decided he was done answering questions before the hour-long session was over, and made his way to Kanaan, a massive entourage stalking him.

He presented Kanaan with a hat, and Kanaan pretended to interview Alonso, joking that since Alonso’s much-hyped arrival on that skateboard, one of the most popular drivers in Indianapolis history has had to find a new job.

“We have one superstar who has come from Formula One to race here, so it’s a big deal,” Kanaan said. “It’s the best race in the world. He’s caught a lot of attention. He does have a chance, but I can name three or four other guys that I would put my money on this weekend.”

In terms of hogging all the attention, Kanaan is much like the other veterans in that he doesn’t mind.

“We’ve all been here a long time,” Kanaan said. “Does he deserve all this? I think 100 percent. He brought a lot of awareness to the European market. We’ve been through a few (stars) in our career. We went through the Danica (Patrick) phase. Selfishly, you could get jealous as a driver, but big picture, we are all benefiting from him being here.”

]]> 0, 25 May 2017 22:47:19 +0000
Sports Digest: Hall sets Georgia long jump record, wins NCAA regional Fri, 26 May 2017 02:41:22 +0000 COLLEGES

Hall breaks school record at NCAA track regional

Kate Hall of Casco set a University of Georgia record in the long jump while winning the event Thursday at the NCAA Division I East track and field preliminary meet in Lexington, Kentucky.

Hall, a redshirt freshman, jumped 21 feet, 11 inches on her final attempt to take first place. She qualified for the NCAA championships June 7-10 in Eugene, Oregon.

Lewiston’s Isaiah Harris, a Penn State sophomore, won his 800-meter heat and advanced to Saturday’s final.

Harris posted a time of 1 minute, 49.54 seconds. The two-time Big Ten champion finished fourth at last year’s NCAA championships.

 Tufts junior Brittany Bowman of Camden set a school record and earned All-America for the third time with a fifth-place finish in the 10,000 meters at the NCAA Division III meet in Geneva, Ohio.

Bowman was clocked in 35:22.11, 10 seconds faster than the previous school record.

Bates senior Jessica Wilson of Cumberland ran a personal-best time of 4:31.32 in the 1,500 prelims to qualify for Saturday’s final.

Allison Hill of Brunswick helped the Bates 1,600 relay team qualify for Saturday’s final with a time of 3:50.31, and Alex Nichols of Brunswick anchored Middlebury’s 1,600 men’s relay team to a time of 3:13.16, which was also fast enough to advance.

Ben Torda of Bowdoin ran 9:20.82 to make it to the steeplechase final.

BASEBALL: The University of Maine was rained out Thursday in the America East tournament and will play an elimination game at 2:30 p.m. Friday against Maryland-Baltimore County or Stony Brook, in Lowell, Massachusetts.


EASTERN LEAGUE: The Sea Dogs’ game at New Hampshire was postponed by rain and will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Portland’s next visit from July 13-16.


UNDER-20 WORLD CUP: The United States moved to the brink of advancing from Group F after edging Senegal 1-0 at Incheon, South Korea, with Josh Sargent’s third goal of the tournament in just his second game.

The U.S. needs a point Saturday against Saudi Arabia to be certain of a place in the second round.


NBA: Golden State Coach Steve Kerr isn’t ready from a health standpoint to be back on the bench with the start of the NBA finals a week away, the team announced.

Kerr, 51, underwent a procedure May 5 to repair a spinal fluid leak stemming from complications after two back surgeries in 2015, after the Warriors won their first championship in 40 years during his first season as coach.


NFL: The Chicago Bears signed former New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz to a one-year contract.

The Bears were looking for help after former Pro Bowl receiver Alshon Jeffery signed with Philadelphia. They’re hoping Cruz can rediscover some of his old flair and give them a reliable option along with the oft-injured youngster Kevin White.


NHL: The Nashville captain, Mike Fisher, said he feels a lot better and his goal is to be available during the Stanley Cup finals that begin next week.


GIRO D’ITALIA: Tejay van Garderen claimed his first grand tour victory on the tough 18th stage at Ortisei, Italy, as Tom Dumoulin kept the pink jersey.

Van Garderen, of the United States, came around the inside of the final corner to edge Mikel Landa at the uphill finish of the 85-mile leg.


CUP SERIES: Kevin Harvick will start on the pole Sunday for the Coca-Cola 600 at Concord, North Carolina, while the points leader, Kyle Larson, will begin NASCAR’s longest race at the rear of the field.

Harvick turned a lap of 193.424 mph on the 11/2-mile Charlotte Motor Speedway oval. It’s only the second time a Ford has won the pole in the last 16 Cup races at the track.

]]> 0 Hall is happy this year at Georgia after transferring from Iowa State, and it shows. She's the top sophomore long jumper in the country and one of the best overall.Thu, 25 May 2017 23:33:19 +0000
Butler ready to continue career in New England Fri, 26 May 2017 02:22:13 +0000 FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Cornerback Malcolm Butler publicly addressed his busy offseason Thursday for the first time, noting he is fully committed to the New England Patriots in 2017 and can’t predict what will happen in the future.

“I’m here,” Butler said. “This is my team.”

Butler took the first cornerback reps in one-on-ones during organized team activities at Gillette Stadium, often lining up against wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Butler looked like the leader of the positional group again.

Butler is under contract for his $3.91 million tender in 2017. He is unquestionably interested in signing a long-term extension, but it’s unclear what type of contract the Patriots would have to offer to make that happen.

It’s also unclear if the Patriots would be willing to pay big money for Butler after doling out a five-year, $65 million pact for cornerback Stephon Gilmore in free agency.

Butler was surely perplexed over the Patriots’ deal for Gilmore because they didn’t offer a package that eclipsed the $7 million annual mark during their round of negotiations in 2016. A source indicated Butler would have accepted a deal in the neighborhood of $9.5 million per season.

But Butler quickly turned the page on the Gilmore deal, recognized the business element in play and separated business from football.

“We got a better player,” Butler said of the Gilmore addition. “We got another good player on this team. Anything to help the team, I’m down with.”

All the while, Butler visited with the Saints for two days in March, which was his right as a restricted free agent. The two sides agreed to a four-year contract that was north of $50 million, but it was only contingent upon a trade between the Patriots and Saints. The teams were never close in trade negotiations.

“The past is the past,” Butler said. “I’m just here to do a job and do anything to help the team win. Just moving forward. Whatever happens, happens.

“Just got to keep working. Ignore the noise and keep working no matter what. You’ve got a job to do no matter where you’re at. I’m glad to be here to do this job.”

Butler didn’t attend the first two weeks of voluntary workouts while handling a combination of personal and business matters.

His family organized a trip to Disneyland for his son’s birthday, and he had a Visa appearance during the draft.

Plus, all parties involved recognized the draft represented the line in the sand for Butler’s future. If he wasn’t traded by that point, it made sense to return to Gillette for the offseason workout program, and that’s how it played out.

“Most definitely, I wouldn’t have hurt anybody but myself if I missed this,” Butler said. “This is extra time to get better. That’s what I’m out here to do, to get better and have another great year. Anything to help the team, present a positive image.”

Now, Butler and Gilmore are working together to form one of the best cornerback tandems in the NFL.

Will it last beyond 2017? No one can say for sure, so Butler is handling his football responsibilities because he recognizes his job is on the field and not behind a desk.

]]> 0 New England Patriots signed cornerback Malcolm Butler, a restricted free agent, to a $3.91 million agreement on Tuesday.Thu, 25 May 2017 22:30:54 +0000
Golf roundup: Three tied for lead in Colonial Fri, 26 May 2017 02:11:24 +0000 FORT WORTH, Texas — Kelly Kraft, Derek Fathauer and PGA Tour rookie J.T. Poston all shot 5-under 65 on Thursday to share the lead after the first round at the Colonial.

Jon Rahm, Scott Brown and Graeme McDowell followed at 66.

Two-time Colonial champions Phil Mickelson and Zach Johnson both birdied their last three holes and were among six players with rounds of 67.

Defending champion Jordan Spieth, coming off consecutive missed cuts, was tied for 34th after an even-par 70 with six birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey.

Only 33 of the 121 players finished under par.

Kraft and McDowell had the only bogey-free rounds. Brown had the lead outright at 6 under before a double bogey on his last hole.

LPGA: Stacy Lewis shot a 7-under 65 to share the first-round lead in the Volvik Championship at Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Lewis was tied with an unexpected challenger in Wei-Ling Hsu, the Taiwanese player who has only one top-10 finish on the LPGA Tour.

Hsu eagled two of her first five holes and was 6 under through six. She and Lewis ended up a stroke ahead of Nelly Korda.

Lewis, a former world No. 1, is winless in 72 events since June 2014. She has 11 LPGA Tour victories and 25 second-place finishes – 12 since her last win.

CHAMPIONS: Bernhard Langer held a two-shot lead at Sterling, Virginia, as he aims for his record ninth senior major at the Senior PGA Championship.

Langer shot a 7-under 65 in the morning and the lead held up as thunderstorms halted play in the afternoon with half the 156-man field still on the course.

Langer, a 59-year-old German, could break Jack Nicklaus’ record of eight senior majors with a win. He tied Nicklaus last week with a five-shot victory at the Regions Tradition. He would also become the first player to win all five of the current senior majors.

Langer finished off his round with a tap-in eagle at the par-5 18th.

EUROPEAN: British Open champion Henrik Stenson shot a bogey-free, 4-under 68 to lie two strokes off the lead held by Swedish compatriot Johan Carlsson after the first round of the BMW PGA Championship at Virginia Water, England.

All four of Stenson’s birdies came on the back nine on new greens rolled out for the signature event on the European Tour. They appeared to meet with widespread approval, especially from Carlsson, whose hot run came on the front nine where he reached the turn in 30 shots, thanks to five birdies.

“The greens are so good. I love this golf course right now,” said Carlsson, who had eight birdies in his 66. “I think it has become so much better.”

Ernie Els was behind the latest changes to the West Course following criticism of his original redesign in 2010. The renovation program started eight days after Chris Wood’s victory last year, with all 18 greens stripped of their old turf and reseeded.

]]> 0, 25 May 2017 22:32:32 +0000
Major league notebook: Price will pitch Monday for Red Sox Fri, 26 May 2017 01:45:01 +0000 BOSTON — Red Sox pitcher David Price is set to make his season debut for Boston on Monday at the Chicago White Sox.

The 31-year-old left-hander, starting the second season of a $217 million, seven-year contact, has been recovering from a strained pitching elbow.

“Excited, just to be back here,” he said Thursday. “There’s not a better feeling. You can’t replicate it anywhere else.

Price allowed nine runs — six earned — and 12 hits in 5 2/3 innings during a pair of injury rehabilitation starts at Triple-A Pawtucket. He struck out eight and walked two.

“A lot of pitches, in a short amount of time. I think that is more of a test to being healthy as opposed to going out there and throwing five or six (innings) in 90 pitches,” he said. “To do what I did in both of my rehab outings, I don’t think you can do that if you’re not healthy.”

“He’s eager to get back to us and physically he feels great,” Red Sox Manager John Farrell said. “His return to us will give us a definite boost but that’s not to de-emphasize he needs to go out and perform.”

Farrell hopes Price’s return has a trickle-down impact.

“It’s not based solely on the name on the back of his jersey,” Farrell said. “Hopefully it allows us to even out some of the performances within the rotation.”


BRAVES: Atlanta designated right-hander Josh Collmenter for assignment after he surrendered three homers and seven runs Wednesday night in the 10th inning of a loss to Pittsburgh.

NATIONALS: Manager Dusty Baker will miss the weekend series against San Diego to attend his son Darren’s high school graduation.

RACHEL ROBINSON, the wife of the late Jackie Robinson, will receive the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award from baseball’s Hall of Fame on July 29, the day before this year’s induction ceremony.

]]> 0 Price Ailing ace or strength of staff?Thu, 25 May 2017 22:51:32 +0000
Baseball: Falmouth finds a way to stay unbeaten Fri, 26 May 2017 01:36:35 +0000 FALMOUTH — Falmouth came from behind for the second consecutive game Thursday to remain one of only two undefeated baseball teams in the state.

The Yachtsmen manufactured two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to pull out a 5-4 win against Wells and improve their record to 15-0. It was their first game since last Friday, when they overcame a three-run deficit to beat Yarmouth, 13-10.

“I just want to keep winning,” said Falmouth Coach Kevin Winship, whose team is ranked first in Class A South with one game remaining in the regular season. “We’ll take the wins when we can get them. We’re just plugging along and playing who we can play, and doing the best we can.”

Like it has been for most of this spring, the weather was cold and clammy, but the Yachtsmen found a way to overcome the elements and the feisty Warriors (9-5-1).

Robbie Armitage of Falmouth, left, gets congratulated by Griffin Aube after scoring in the third inning. Staff photo by Derek Davis

“They’re undefeated for the second year in a row (in the Western Maine Conference) for a reason,” Wells Coach Todd Day said. “You’ve got to find a way to win and overcome adversity, and they did that today.

“We did that, too. We got down 3-0 and we could have tucked our tails in. That didn’t happen. We came back and we took the lead.”

Falmouth freshman Ike Kiely, in his varsity at-bat, lined a single to left to drive in the game’s first run in the second inning, following a walk and a hit batsman.

In the third, Colin Coyne was hit by a pitch and came around to score when Robbie Armitage doubled into the gap in right. After Armitage moved up on a flyout, Max Fortier singled through the right side of a drawn-in infield to make it 3-0.

Wells, ranked second in Class B South, batted around while scoring all its runs in the fourth inning.

Wells shortstop Liam Bell makes an effort to catch a shallow fly ball to left field in the third inning, but can’t make the play. Staff photo by Derek Davis

The Warriors loaded the bases when Matt Tufts, Andy Skeats and Gary Andrews opened the inning with singles. John Miles drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch to force in a run. It was the first earned run allowed this season by Cam Guarino, a left-hander who will go to the University of New Haven in the fall.

“It was wet and raw, and I don’t think (Guarino) could get a real good grip on the baseball,” Winship said.

“My curveball stayed up,” Guarino said.

One-out singles by Liam Bell and Michael Wrigley each produced a run, and the Warriors took a 4-3 lead on Cam Cousins’ groundout.

“We came in here with the right attitude and we battled,” Day said. “We hit the ball well. Our approach at the plate was excellent. We hit the ball up the middle, the other way, where it was pitched.”

Falmouth scored the game’s final two runs without the benefit of a hit.

Wells shortstop Liam Bell throws to first after forcing an out at second to complete a double play, to end the second inning. Staff photo by Derek Davis

Robbie Armitage was hit by a pitch leading off the fifth and his twin brother, Reece, reached on an infield error.

With Fortier at the plate, the Wells infielders pinched in at the corners looking for a bunt, but the Armitage brothers pulled off a double steal to put two runners in the scoring position.

“Robbie picked up that the third baseman was charging, and he kind of took third base on his own,” Winship said.

Fortier followed with a fly ball deep enough to center to enable the tying run to score while Reece Armitage advanced to third. Griffin Aube hit another sacrifice fly to right to drive in the winning run.

Guarino retired six of the seven batters to face him in the fifth and sixth innings to record his sixth win.

Robbie Armitage, a hard-throwing right-hander who will go to Marist in the fall along with his brother, struck out two of the three batters in the seventh to pick up his second save.

]]> 0 Coyne of Falmouth dives across the plate to score a run in the third inning Thursday as Wells catcher Michael Wrigley fields the late throw. Falmouth won, 5-4.Thu, 25 May 2017 22:00:24 +0000
Bode Miller off U.S. ski team roster Thu, 25 May 2017 15:03:32 +0000 Bode Miller’s name no longer appears on the roster of the U.S. ski team. That doesn’t mean he’s retiring or won’t ever race again or that his chances of making a sixth Olympic squad have ended.

The situation is just hazy.

“I’m not going to say (Miller won’t be at the Olympics), because it’s Bode Miller,” men’s coach Sasha Rearick said. “Who knows? But my expectations of that aren’t high.”

The team announced nominations Thursday for the 2017-18 World Cup season. The familiar names are there – Lindsey Vonn, Mikaela Shiffrin, Julia Mancuso and Ted Ligety – with the roster set to be released closer to November when the season starts.

Miller is listed as “alumni,” with his chances of making the Pyeongchang Olympics in February very much uncertain. He turns 40 in October and hasn’t competitively raced since severing his right hamstring tendon during a super-G crash at the world championships in February 2015.

To have a shot to make the Olympics, Miller will have to demonstrate his speed at World Cup races.

There are no automatic spots.

“We’ve proposed to Bode several options for training and racing through the last year and especially this summer … in terms of trying to get him going again. The moving parts never lined up in the right way,” Rearick said. “Bode and I have had a tremendous run over the years and when we commit to something together, we’ve been able to have a lot of fun working hard and trying to make the impossible happen.

“Right now, with where he’s at with his family, where he’s at with his equipment, where he’s at with other aspects of his life, we both didn’t have that same commitment to making a big run at this together.”

But the door is always open. Should Miller want to step into a World Cup starting gate again, Rearick said he would give Miller that chance “without hesitation.”

“Bode Miller’s career has definitely earned him that opportunity,” Rearick said.

Miller’s resume includes 33 World Cup wins, two overall titles, four world championships and six Olympic medals, including gold at the 2010 Vancouver Games in the super-combined.

These days, Miller, who attended Carrabassett Valley Academy, has a full plate. He’s big into horse racing, with Fast and Accurate – a horse he bought a stake in – finishing 17th at the Kentucky Derby. He has four kids, two with pro beach volleyball player Morgan Miller, and other business endeavors.

One thing behind him is a public spat with ski manufacturer Head. Miller ended his nearly 10-year partnership with Head in 2015 and signed an agreement to not use other skis in World Cup or world championship races for two years.

He was attempting to get out of the remainder of the deal so he could race on skis by New York-based Bomber, which he helped develop.

At a fundraiser in Aspen, Colorado, two months ago, he told the crowd that his chances of a return this season were around “60-40.”

But he quickly cautioned he would have to be the “most fit guy on the hill. If I could do it and make it through the prep period, that’s a big piece of the puzzle.”

]]> 0 S. skier Bode Miller is expected to be sidelined until at least January after undergoing back surgery, planned for Monday.Thu, 25 May 2017 21:43:24 +0000
Cape Elizabeth graduate gets Ultimate honor for role in national championship Thu, 25 May 2017 08:00:00 +0000 Henry Babcock remembers his first game of Ultimate, a fast-paced, non-contact team sport played with a flying plastic disc. Six years ago, as a rangy sophomore at Cape Elizabeth High School, he discovered that he was “probably the worst player on the field.”

Oddly, he was having a blast.

“It was really the first time I had so much fun, without being a good player,” he said. “I had no clue what I was doing.”

Babcock has caught on. On Sunday, he led the University of Richmond to a national championship in Lexington, Kentucky.

The Spidermonkeys, as the college’s team is known, beat Davidson, 15-12, with Babcock scoring twice, assisting on six goals and notching three blocks. Afterward, he was named male winner of the inaugural Donovan Award as the Division III player who best combines skill, leadership and Spirit of the Game (the guiding principle of sportsmanship in the self-officiated sport), as voted on by fellow players.

“He’s very humble and dedicated,” Richmond coach Matt Graves said. “One of the biggest assets beyond his on-the-field play was him working with the team and establishing a culture of hard work and dedication.”

Babcock, 21, received his bachelor’s degree in physics with a concentration in computer science this month. He’s interviewing for software engineering and development jobs in either Portland or Boston, but he isn’t ready to relinquish his grip on the flying disc. Babcock is one of 90 men and 90 women invited to try out for the under-24 national team next month. If selected for either the men’s or mixed team, he will represent the United States at the U-24 World Championships in Australia.

Ultimate combines elements of football, basketball and soccer with seven players aside and near-continuous motion. The field of play is 110 yards long, including two 20-yard end zones. The object is to catch the disc in the opposing end zone.

As with hockey or basketball, any turnover – usually an intercepted or dropped disc, but also a pass out of bounds or a player holding the disc for more than 10 seconds – results in an immediate change of possession and transition from offense to defense.

Babcock led the national Division III tournament with 25 assists. He has the ability to hurl a disc 70 yards, from goal line to goal line.

“As a freshman, he was ready to start and play a lot of minutes from Day 1,” Graves said. “He’s a very, very good thrower. He’s like a quarterback, or point guard, of the offense.”

According to USA Ultimate, the sport’s governing body, more than 14,000 student-athletes play Ultimate on more than 700 teams. For a variety of reasons, the NCAA does not sanction Ultimate, which grew out of the counterculture 1960s, prides itself not having referees and exists on most campuses as a club sport. The first collegiate national championships were held in 1984. In 2010, because of growing popularity and disparity of resources, colleges split into Division I and Division III at the dividing line of 7,500 undergraduate enrollment.

Locally, the sport has grown considerably since Babcock began playing in 2011. Cape Elizabeth, with a roster of 14, was one of 12 teams from 10 high schools all playing in one Open division. His coach, Tom Stoughton, estimated Maine had 150 kids involved.

This year, Cape Elizabeth has 77 kids playing in high school and another 127 in middle school. Statewide, 52 teams from 21 schools compete in four divisions (Boys A, Boys B, Girls and Mixed) for a total of roughly 650 players.

In 2016, Maine boasted the seventh-largest youth player membership in the country, according to Stoughton, ahead of states such as New Jersey (the sport’s birthplace) and California.

“In Maine, the youth scene has really exploded,” said Babcock, who has assisted Stoughton at Cape Elizabeth and with Maine teams competing in the Youth Club Championships in Minnesota each summer. “It’s really easy to draw a wide range of kids because the culture can be more laid back.”

In Ultimate, players make their own calls and resolve disputes, although at the collegiate tournament level four so-called observers can help with resolution and actively make calls on out-of-bounds plays or whether the disc touched the ground before being caught.

Richmond had never advanced to the national tournament until Babcock arrived on campus, but qualified every year except his sophomore season.

“I came into a situation where the two captains my freshman year were making a push to legitimize the program,” Babcock said.

Babcock was the Atlantic Coast Division III Player of the Year in 2016, a member of the All-Region team in 2015 and named to the All-Freshman team in 2014. The 2017 awards have yet to be announced. He was a two-year captain.

Richmond went 25-10 this spring, including the postseason tournament, and ranked third heading into nationals. The Spidermonkeys rallied to a 14-10 semifinal victory over Bryant before facing familiar foe Davidson.

“This was the third major tournament we’ve played them in the finals,” Babcock said. “It was a pretty wild game.”

Richmond led 8-6 at halftime. Davidson, which had won one of the previous two tournament finals, jumped ahead 10-9. The Spidermonkeys scored three straight to go ahead 12-10 and held on to win.

Graves attributed a portion of the success to a strategic change that moved the 6-foot-2 Babcock around on the field instead of primarily as handler, “because he is such a mismatch. He is very athletic and long.”

Professional Ultimate exists in the form of the five-year-old American Ultimate Disc League. Twenty-four franchises in major cities compete in four regions across the United States and Canada. The closest teams to New England are the Montreal Royal and New York Empire.

Babcock said he may give the pro game a fling, but for now he’s concentrating on the national team tryouts and playing this summer for an amateur club out of Boston. From having no clue to having multiple options, his future clearly remains up in the air.

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

]]> 0 winning a national title in the sport of ultimate, Henry Babcock hopes to play on the world stage.Thu, 25 May 2017 09:13:33 +0000
NHL playoffs: Game 7 offers chance at history for Penguins and Senators Thu, 25 May 2017 04:00:47 +0000 PITTSBURGH — Craig Anderson is a realist, the byproduct of 15 years playing the most demanding position in the NHL.

The Ottawa goaltender would like to chalk his 45-save masterpiece in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals against Pittsburgh up to his own brilliance. He knows that’s not exactly the case.

“I think you need to be a little bit lucky to be good at times,” Anderson said.

Ottawa has relied on a bit of both during its deepest playoff run in a decade and Anderson helped force Game 7 Thursday night. Yet here the Senators are, alive and still skating with a chance to eliminate the deeper, more experienced and more explosive Stanley Cup champions.

So much for the series being over after the Penguins destroyed Ottawa 7-0 in Game 5.

“I think, if you believe you’re beaten, you’re done already,” Anderson said. “If you believe that you can win, there’s always a chance.”

All the Senators have to do to reach the Stanley Cup Final for just the second time in franchise history is take down one of the league’s marquee franchises on the road in a building where they were beaten by a touchdown last time out.

No pressure or anything. Really. The Senators weren’t supposed to be here. Then again, in a way neither were the Penguins. No team has repeated in nearly two decades and at times during the season and even during the playoffs this group was too beat up. Too tired from last spring’s Cup run. The bull’s-eye on their backs too big.

Yet they’ve survived behind the brilliance of stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, coach Mike Sullivan’s impeccable decisions and a resiliency that has them one game from being the first Cup champion to return to the finals since Detroit in 2009.

Those Red Wings, by the way, fell to the Penguins in seven games. There have been several Game 7s for Pittsburgh in the interim on both sides of the ledger, though the Penguins are 2-0 in Game 7s under Sullivan. They edged Tampa Bay in Game 7 of last year’s East finals and clinically disposed of Presidents’ Trophy winner Washington in Game 7 of the second round earlier this month.

“It’s not something that’s new to them,” Sullivan said. “These guys have been involved in these experiences on a number of occasions, and they have those experiences to draw on. You know, I think they know what to expect, and now it’s a matter of going out and earning it and controlling what they can and doing your very best to get the result that we’re looking.”

The Senators are 0-5 in Game 7s, the last setback coming in the first round to the New York Rangers in 2012. That was five years ago, a lifetime in the NHL. Ottawa rebuilt itself on the fly this season in coach Guy Boucher’s first year. Boucher favors discipline over daring, and while the stat sheet looked awfully one-sided in Game 6, the scoreboard did not.

The Senators understand they’re the underdog and that the idea of a Cup final between first-timer Nashville and a Canadian club from one of the smallest markets in the league won’t exactly draw eyeballs to the screen. They don’t care. They’ll try to play the way they always play on Thursday night. To be successful, they don’t really have a choice.

“We tried to win another way, and we got our butts kicked,” Boucher said.

While both Boucher and Sullivan are doing their best to try and keep their teams focused on the process and not the outcome, in some ways it’s a fool’s errand. It’s the only game all year that will end with the Prince of Wales Trophy presented – but not handed – to the winners. They know. The players do, too.

“I think it’s fun to kind of get lost in those moments and to just do what you can do,” Penguins goaltender Matt Murray said.

Just don’t confuse adrenaline with nerves.

“These are the games, when you’re a kid growing up, that you’re playing in the backyard, the Game 7s and that,” said 40-year-old Pittsburgh forward Matt Cullen, who could play in his final NHL game on Thursday. “So for us as players, this is what it’s all about.”

Game 7 offers the Penguins and their stars the opportunity to cement their legacy while the Senators can complete an improbable run to their sport’s biggest stage.

“We’re against a really good hockey team, the Stanley Cup champion, and we have a chance to advance to the Stanley Cup finals,” Senators forward Derick Brassard said. “We can’t ask for anything better than this, but we just have to have fun with that.”

]]> 0 Thu, 25 May 2017 00:01:35 +0000
Wednesday’s girls’ roundup: Windham wins in softball Thu, 25 May 2017 03:34:11 +0000 Chloe Wilcox drove in Olivia Mora with a well-placed fly ball to shallow left field in the sixth inning Wednesday night, giving Windham a 1-0 victory against Portland in an SMAA softball game at Payson Park.

Mora singled before Wilcox’s ball dropped in front of the onrushing fielders.

Danielle Tardiff of Windham (12-2) held Portland (13-2) to three hits and a walk, striking out five.

Jess Brown of Portland had 10 strikeouts but gave up five hits and two walks.

SOUTH PORTLAND 8, CHEVERUS/NORTH YARMOUTH ACADEMY 0: Stephanie Aceto allowed three singles and struck out 10 as the Red Riots (6-8) shut out the Stags (0-15) at South Portland.

Grace Rende had a two-run triple to spark a five-run first inning, and Ashlee Aceto and Kaitlin Bouchard added RBI singles.

Bouchard finished with a double and three RBI.

MAINE GIRLS’ ACADEMY/FALMOUTH 4, NOBLE 3: Liberty Ladd lined a two-run single and later scored on a single by Megan Faucher as the Lions (5-9) used a three-run second inning to down the Knights (11-3) at North Berwick.

Maine Girls’ Academy opened the scoring in the first when Ladd walked, advanced on a groundout and eventually scored on a single by Elizabeth Kennedy. Noble answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning when Raegan Kelly and Mackenzie Aleva doubled, and Aleva later scored on a passed ball.

Ashley Littlefield of the Lions allowed three runs on seven hits, walking three and striking out one.

Kelly gave up four runs on six hits, striking out 10.

WESTBROOK 7, BIDDEFORD 1: Kiana Fuller and Kimberly Goddard hit two-run singles in the first inning to give Westbrook (3-11) a 4-0 lead against the Tigers (6-8) at Biddeford.

Fuller finished with three hits and Angelica Johns tossed a four-hitter.

Biddeford scored in the sixth when Brook Davis singled and scored on a wild pitch.

BONNY EAGLE 14, DEERING 7: Makala Greene singled home two runs and also scored in a seven-run seventh inning as Bonny Eagle (5-9) broke a 7-7 tie and beat the Rams (1-13) at Portland.

Nell Spencer and Greene led the Scots with two RBI each. MacKenzie O’Donnell had two hits and scored twice for Deering.

GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER 3, FRYEBURG ACADEMY 1: Hannah Dixon singled in a tie-breaking run in the fifth inning and the Patriots (7-6) held off the Raiders (9-3) at Fryeburg.

Dixon later scored on a throwing error to give Gray-New Gloucester a 3-1 lead. Makayla Cooper hit an RBI single in the third for Fryeburg.

Ali Martell picked up the win, allowing one run on eight hits and striking out two. Nicole Bennett of Fryeburg struck out eight.

Scarborough’s Felicia O’Reilly stretches for the throw to put out Massabesic’s Olivia Ducharme. Staff photo by Carl D. Walsh

SCARBOROUGH 13, MASSABESIC 1: Abbie Murrell homered twice and pitched a three-hitter as the Red Storm (14-0) downed the Mustangs (10-4) in six innings at Scarborough.

Murrell hit two-run shots in the first and third innings, and Hunter Greenleaf added a three-run homer during a nine-run sixth that ended it. Murrell struck out seven and Hannah Ricker added three hits for Scarborough.

Kyra-Mei Cartwright doubled and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth for Massabesic.

OCEANSIDE 3, MEDOMAK VALLEY 2: Alexis Mazurek led off the seventh inning with a towering home run as the Mariners (11-2) edged the Panthers (11-2) at Waldoboro.

Cassandra Smeltzer reached on an error, moved over on a sacrifice and scored on a Lydia Simmons single as Medomak Valley opened the scoring in the fourth.

Oceanside took the lead in the sixth when Lauren Hatch singled in Chloe Jones and later scored on a wild pitch, but the Panthers answered in the bottom of the inning on a Hallie Kunesh single.

SACOPEE VALLEY 12, ST. DOMINIC 1: Jordan Miner had a three-run single to pace a four-run third inning for the Hawks (10-4), who took advantage of nine errors to handle the Saints (1-12) at South Hiram.

Miner had a double and single for Sacopee, and Isabelle Eldridge added a pair of hits.

Brynn Hink went five innings for the Hawks, allowing one run on two hits, striking out eight.

CONY 8, CAMDEN HILLS 1: Angelica Velazquez had two singles and two RBI to pace the Rams (6-8) over the Windjammers (2-12) at Camden.

Cari Hopkins, Brooklyn Belanger, Delaney Keithley and Carly Lettre each had two singles for Cony.

MARSHWOOD 7, GORHAM 3: The Hawks (8-7) scored three runs in the second inning, including a two-run single by Katie Taran, and defeated the Rams (9-6) at South Berwick.

After Gorham chipped away with a run in the third, Marshwood added four runs in the fourth, highlighted by run-scoring singles from Kasey Davis and Meaghan Sandler.

Grace McGouldrick had a triple and a double to lead Gorham.

Kaylan Eastman picked up the win, allowing a pair of earned runs on five hits, striking out three.

THORNTON ACADEMY 16, SANFORD 8: Thornton Academy (11-3) broke open a close game by scoring eight runs in the seventh inning and defeated the Spartans (1-14) at Sanford.

Kaya O’Connor led off the seventh with a single and scored on Louisa Colucci’s two-run double. O’Connor added a three-run double later in the inning, then capped the rally by scoring on Sarah Casey’s single.

Sanford, trailing 8-2, pulled close with a four-run fifth keyed by Molly Boissonneault’s bases-loaded triple. Boissonneault scored the fourth run of the inning, then doubled home Julia Allen in the sixth to bring Sanford within 8-7.

O’Connor finished with four hits, Olivia Howe added a three-run homer and Hannah Collins a solo shot for Thornton.

GREELY 5, FREEPORT 1: Sawyer Dusch and Madison Rawnsley each had a pair of doubles for the Rangers (8-6), who took a 5-0 lead in the first three innings and downed the Falcons (1-12) at Cumberland.

Taylor LaFlamme added two hits for Greely.

Brooke Toothaker had a pair of singles for Freeport.

Kelsey Currier picked up the win, giving up five hits and striking out 10.


CAPE ELIZABETH 15, WAYNFLETE 9: Caroline Coburn scored four goals as the Capers (7-4) held off the Flyers (6-4) at Portland.

Susannah Graham, Emily Healy, Mariah Deschino and Chloe Chapin each added two goals for Cape, which led 7-6 at halftime. Kanha Stockford scored four goals and Isabel Burdick added three for Waynflete.

OCEANSIDE 16, GARDINER 5: Jillian Brooks and Gabby Straka each scored five goals to spark the Mariners (8-2) over the Tigers (4-6) at Gardiner.

Sierra Beal added four goals for Oceanside.

MORSE 15, CAMDEN HILLS 6: Paige Daigle scored six goals, and Amanda Gagne added three goals and two assists as the Shipbuilders (8-2) cruised past the Windjammers (1-9) at Rockport.

]]> 0 Ducharme, left, and Sarah Howe of Massabesic attempt to haul in an infield fly Wednesday during their SMAA softball game against undefeated Scarborough. The Red Storm ended the game with a nine-run sixth inning for a 13-1 victory at home.Wed, 24 May 2017 23:42:31 +0000
Major league roundup: Yankees top Royals, but Ellsbury leaves with a concussion Thu, 25 May 2017 03:28:56 +0000 NEW YORK — Helped by a great first-inning catch that forced center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury from the game with a concussion and sprained neck, Luis Severino won for the first time in a month and led the New York Yankees over the Kansas City Royals 3-0 on Wednesday night.

On the first pitch of the game, Ellsbury sprinted 107 feet and raised his glove above his head to catch Alcides Escobar’s fly. Ellsbury’s head jarred into the wall as the ball landed in his glove, and he crumpled to the field.

Ellsbury was checked by Manager Joe Girardi and head athletic trainer Steve Donohue, and remained in the game, then was replaced by Aaron Hicks starting the second.

Didi Gregorius homered against Jason Hammel (1-6) leading off the third inning, Gregorius’ seventh hit in a span of 12 at-bats.

His fastball reaching 99 mph, Severino (3-2) allowed four hits over eight innings, struck out seven, walked one and threw a career-high 114 pitches.

Dellin Betances struck out the side in a perfect ninth for his fourth save.

TWINS 4, ORIOLES 3: Jose Berrios took a two-hitter into the seventh inning, Kennys Vargas drove in two runs and Minnesota completed its first three-game sweep in Baltimore since 1996.

Eduardo Escobar had two hits and an RBI for the first-place Twins, who are a major league best 14-5 on the road.

RAYS 5, ANGELS 2: Steven Souza Jr. homered twice to rally Tampa Bay to a win at St. Petersburg, Florida.

Colby Rasmus also went deep for the Rays and Erasmo Ramirez pitched six strong innings in his third start of the season.

Albert Pujols hit his 597th career home run, a two-run shot in the first for the Angels.

TIGERS 6, ASTROS 3: Jose Iglesias finished a triple shy of the cycle, Ian Kinsler had two hits and scored twice, and host Detroit snapped a three-game skid.


ROCKIES 7, PHILLIES 2: Tyler Chatwood allowed one hit in seven scoreless innings, Carlos Gonzalez homered and Colorado won at Philadelphia.

Chatwood (4-6) befuddled the Phillies, striking out a season-high eight and only allowing a single by Andrew Knapp in the fifth inning.

CUBS 5, GIANTS 4: Anthony Rizzo hit two home runs, Kyle Hendricks tossed seven strong innings and Chicago hung on at home.

Rizzo has four homers over his last four games and 11 on the season.

PADRES 6, METS 5: Hunter Renfroe snapped an eighth-inning tie with a titanic home run, Brad Hand pitched out of a huge jam in the ninth and San Diego took advantage of a floundering Mets bullpen in rallying to a win at New York.


BLUE JAYS 8, BREWERS 4: Ryan Goins hit his first career grand slam, one of the four homers for Toronto in a win at Milwaukee.

The Blue Jays wrapped up a seven-game trip with three straight victories.

NATIONALS 5, MARINERS 1: Anthony Rendon hit a three-run homer for his eighth of the season and Tanner Roark allowed one run in seven innings to lead host Washington.

Rendon has three homers and eight RBI in the Nationals’ two victories to open this three-game series.

ATHLETICS 4, MARLINS 1: Sonny Gray struck out a season-high 11 over seven innings in his best start in two years, Khris Davis homered and Oakland won at home.

Jed Lowrie matched his career high with four hits, including two doubles, for the A’s.

DIAMONDBACKS 8, WHITE SOX 6: Jake Lamb homered off a left-hander for only the second time this season, five Diamondbacks drove in at least one run and Arizona completed a three-game sweep at Phoenix.


YANKEES: Injured All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman may be cleared to start a throwing program Saturday after visiting a doctor Friday. Chapman hasn’t pitched since May 12 because of tendinitis and bursitis in his left shoulder.

ORIOLES: Baltimore released outfielder Michael Bourn from his minor league contract after he exercised his opt-out clause Tuesday. The 34-year-old batted .220 in 11 games with Triple-A Norfolk.

METS: The team activated catcher Travis d’Arnaud from the disabled list and placed pitcher Tommy Milone on the 10-day DL with a sprained left knee.

]]> 0 Wed, 24 May 2017 23:48:50 +0000
On baseball: First impressions matter, and Travis gives a good one for Red Sox Thu, 25 May 2017 03:00:00 +0000 BOSTON — Before batting practice, Sam Travis walked around the Fenway Park infield, carrying a bat. He took a knee in right field and stared toward home plate.

Taking it all in.

Travis had earlier worked out at first base with coach Brian Butterfield.

“He looked great,” Butterfield said. “Now let’s see if we can get his heartbeat down.”

Travis, 23, who finished the 2015 season with the Portland Sea Dogs, made his major league debut Wednesday night, playing first base for the Red Sox.

“This is a guy who’s got a nose to hit,” Manager John Farrell said. “He’s got some instincts. He’s got some bat speed. He’s got some strength in the bat.”

Boston needs more bats and maybe Travis will help.

On Wednesday, Travis went 2 for 4 while playing a solid first base.

“I don’t know if you could do a whole lot better,” Farrell said. “He made a couple of good plays defensively, and he looks most comfortable in a batters’ box, I’ll tell you that.”

In his first at-bat, Travis hit a grounder up the middle but Texas has a shortstop named Elvis Andrus. He’s got range. Travis was thrown out.

“That’s why he’s in the big leagues,” Travis said.

Leading off the fifth, Travis hit a bouncer off pitcher Martin Perez’s glove. It rolled toward Andrus, but this time Travis beat the throw for a single. As the ball was retrieved for Travis, the Fenway crowd gave an extended ovation and Rangers first baseman Mike Napoli offered congratulations.

“I was just up there, trying to get something going and get on base,” said Travis in his usual matter-of-fact way.

What about that heartbeat?

“I was a little nervous in the first inning,” he said. “After that I was good to go and able to focus on what I could control, and that’s to win the game.”

In the seventh inning, with the left-handed Perez at 111 pitches, the Rangers kept him in to face Travis. Surely they had a scouting report on Travis’ mashing against lefties (.414 in Pawtucket). Travis lined a 95 mph fastball to center field for a single. He eventually reached second and came home with a head-first slide, scoring on Josh Rutledge’s single to right.

“Just trying to get the team going,” he said.

He batted again in the seventh and struck out, leaving the game when Mitch Moreland, who pinch-hit for Sandy Leon in the seventh, moved to first.

Travis’ parents and sister, who were at Fenway, got the word of the call-up right after he did, when Pawtucket Manager Kevin Boles called Monday night.

Fenway is a little different than McCoy Stadium.

“There’s not an atmosphere like this. It’s amazing,” Travis said.

It’s been a quick, bumpy journey for Travis, who was Boston’s minor league offensive player of the year in 2015. He came to Fenway in September of that year to accept the award.

“When I’m on this field, it makes it all worth it,” Travis said at the time. “I hope to be here soon.”

Now, after an abbreviated 2016 because of a torn ACL in his left knee, Travis was walking around Fenway.

“It’s good to be here and actually be in uniform and be able to compete with these guys,” Travis said.

And Travis does compete. He has that Pedroia-like drive that Farrell noticed the last two spring trainings.

“What we take away from spring training is that he’s a hard-nosed player, aggressive,” Farrell said. “You like the presence he gives when he’s on a baseball field.”

Maybe that presence will help kick-start an offense that’s needed a kick. Travis also provides depth – Moreland can pinch-hit in a key spot.

“Anything to help the team,” Travis said.

He always says that.

“It’s great to see him to step in the first day and contribute like he did,” Farrell said.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

Twitter: @ClearTheBases

]]> 0, 25 May 2017 12:28:16 +0000
Wednesday’s boys’ roundup: Gorham goes 8 innings to win 9th straight in baseball Thu, 25 May 2017 02:46:47 +0000 WINDHAM — Logan Drouin drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the top of the eighth, and Gorham rallied to a 5-3 victory over Windham in an SMAA baseball game Wednesday.

Drouin also earned the win, pitching three shutout innings of relief while striking out three as the Rams (13-2) ran their winning streak to nine games.

Gorham trailed 3-1 after six, but an RBI single from David Drew tied the score in the seventh, forcing extra innings.

Ben Nelson had three hits for the Rams.

Windham (6-8) scored its three runs in the second, keyed by Tim Greenlaw’s two-run triple. Greenlaw, Cameron McCartney and Evan Millett each had two hits for the Eagles.

SACOPEE VALLEY 5, ST. DOMINIC 1: D.J. Shea belted two home runs and Brandon Burnell held St. Dominic (9-5) to four hits at South Hiram as the Hawks (7-7) stretched their winning streak to five games.

Burnell struck out nine and did not allow a earned run.

Dylan Miner singled home Cam Cyr and Burnell for a 2-0 lead in the first.

Jacques Ouellette drove in Michael Ciley to bring the Saints within 2-1 in the second, but Shea countered with a solo home run in the third before adding a two-run shot with Burnell on board in the sixth.

YARMOUTH 3, KENNEBUNK 2: Gibson Harnett scored the go-ahead run on a groundout by Joe Coyne in the top of the fifth and the Clippers (10-3) rallied past the Rams (3-11) in Kennebunk.

Yarmouth trailed 2-1 heading into the inning but Luke Waeldner reached on an error, moved to third on a single from Harnett, then scored on a passed ball to tie the game.

Kennebunk took a 2-1 lead in the second when Derek and Matthew Smith scored on an infield throwing error.

Waeldner got the win, allowing four hits and a walk in a complete game. Justin Wiggins threw a three-hitter for Kennebunk.

NORTH YARMOUTH ACADEMY 4, TRAIP ACADEMY 2: Jack Linscott hit a two-run home run in the second and drove in all four runs for the Panthers (5-6), who held on to beat the Rangers (6-7) in Kittery.

Linscott hit an RBI double in the fourth, and added a run-scoring single in the sixth to give NYA a 4-1 lead. Dana Nichols threw a complete game, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out three to get the win.

Trevor Salema and Shane MacNeill each had hit a single and a double for Traip.

OLD ORCHARD BEACH 5, WAYNFLETE 4: Jake Malone had a two-run double to key a four-run rally in the fifth inning as the Seagulls (7-5) came from behind to edge the Flyers (0-10) at Old Orchard Beach.

Old Orchard Beach took a 1-0 lead in the second on an RBI single from Zack Whitten.

Waynflete scored four unearned runs in the fourth inning to gain the advantage.

Joey McCullum picked up the win for the Seagulls, allowing four runs on five hits and striking out five in a complete game.

GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER 5, FRYEBURG ACADEMY 3: Eli Winchester singled home a run and also scored for the Patriots (5-8) during a four-run first inning against the Raiders (3-10) in Fryeburg.

Jake Winchester, John Villanueva and Will Schufelt also scored for the Patriots in the first, with Nick McCann, Josiah Rottari and Nick Chandler each contributing an RBI.

Dawson Jones hit a two-run double to score Cullen Pietrantonio and Scott Parker before coming home on Keegan Jones’ grounder in the bottom of the first for Fryeburg.

MEDOMAK VALLEY 5, OCEANSIDE 2: Jordan Powell hit a two-run double to break a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the sixth, and the Panthers (6-8) beat the Mariners (7-6) in Waldoboro.

Adam Eutsler drove in a run later in the sixth with a sacrifice fly and finished with two hits for Medomak.

Michael Doherty and Titus Kaewthong each singled and scored a run for Oceanside.

CAPE ELIZABETH 7, LAKE REGION 3: Val Murphy drove in two runs and the Capers (8-4) scored four runs in the top of the fifth to get by the Lakers (5-9) in Naples.

Sean Agrondia drove in a run and picked up the win for the Capers, allowing three runs in 42/3 innings. Brett McAlister had three hits while Brendan Tinsman added two for Cape.

True Myers drove in two runs for Lake Region.

GREELY 10, FREEPORT 6: Ryan Twitchell doubled home Logan DeCourcey and Jack Saffian for the Rangers (9-5), who scored twice in the bottom of the second to take a 4-3 lead against Freeport (1-12) in Cumberland.

Twitchell added a two-run single, and also scored, as Greely widened the lead to 10-3 with six runs in the third. Will Neleski also had an RBI single in the third, and A.J. Eisenhart and Dylan Fried drew bases-loaded walks.

]]> 0 Thu, 25 May 2017 10:27:21 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Gorham rolls to victory over Windham Thu, 25 May 2017 02:34:00 +0000 GORHAM — Year after year, the Gorham High boys’ lacrosse team puts up more assists than normal in a sport that typically doesn’t have many.

The latest example came Wednesday night when the Rams assisted on 16 goals during a 19-2 rout of Windham.

Most of the goals began with a player behind the net finding an open cutter. The others came on transitions from defense. All were from within 10 feet of the goal.

“We’re a very unselfish team so when we see that cut we’re going to find it,” said Alex York, who finished with nine goals and seven assists. “Like I said, everyone knows their roles – the middies cut when they’re supposed to, everyone cuts when they’re supposed to, so we find them and they find the back of the net.”

Gorham improved to 8-2 and dropped Windham, which has alternated wins and losses all season, to 4-5.

Gorham Coach Dan Soule credited his team for sticking to the game plan.

Logan Heckman, left and Matt Hamel of Windham compete for the ball Wednesday night with Brady Rioux of Gorham during Gorham’s 19-2 victory in boys’ lacrosse. Staff photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

“(On offense) we try be active, trying to move. Anytime we move, anytime we cut, we are going to get (scoring) opportunities,” he said. “With our settled offense, if we’re moving, we put pressure on (the defense).

“(Offensively), we played as a team, (we) ran through the offense and didn’t try to get creative.”

York opened the scoring 2:25 into the game when he connected from 2 feet after taking a pass from Jake Dupuis (2 goals, 6 assists).

Twenty-two seconds later, York scored again when Chris Tucker (4 goals, 2 assists) picked up an errant clearing pass at midfield and ran down the field before dishing a perfect pass to his teammate.

York was the distributor on the next two goals.

First, from behind the net, he hit a cutting Tucker with a pass 4:31 into the opening period for a 3-0 lead. Then he took a clear from Mat Anderson –who broke up a play in the defensive zone – and fed Dupuis.

Windham’s Elliott Benjamin, center and Logan Douglas try and block the shot of Gorham’s Jake Dupuis. Staff photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

Dupuis finished the first-quarter scoring when he came out from behind the net, stopped and shot past Windham goalie Ben Elliott.

“I think one of the things they are very good at is movement,” Eagles Coach Pete Small said. “Coach Soule does very well teaching his kids to read the first (defensive) slide, (then) the second slide. They know when it’s coming and they know how to find that open guy. That’s what they did so well tonight – they saw when our second slide wasn’t coming and hit (a teammate) and scored.”

Windham broke its scoring drought 29 seconds into the second quarter. Tom Lekousi took a pass from Griffin MacVane and squeezed the ball between Carter Landry’s legs to make it 5-1.

The Rams, who led 11-1 at the half, scored the next 14 goals before allowing the final goal of the game to Tyler Woolston.

“Our whole year our motto has been to work for 48 minutes,” York said. “We’ve had some games we didn’t play well in the first period or maybe the fourth. Today I think we did great for (all) 48.”

Also scoring for Gorham were Brady Rioux (two goals) and Ben Nault. Landry only had to make two saves through three quarters as the Eagles only attempted 13 shots on the defense of Holden Edwards, Ryan Hamblen, Brady Rioux, Sam Burghardt and Peyton True.

]]> 0, 24 May 2017 22:38:35 +0000
Red Sox ace Sale gets some help, and a victory Thu, 25 May 2017 02:14:16 +0000 BOSTON – Chris Sale was not at his dominating best and needed support. He got plenty of it Wednesday night as the Boston Red Sox beat the Texas Rangers 9-4 at Fenway Park.

Boston trailed 3-1 before scoring seven runs in the seventh inning. Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run single in the rally.

Sale (5-2) gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits – including a Mike Napoli solo home run. He left with one out in the eighth inning.

Sale struck out six, ending his streak of 10-strikeout games at eight. Only Sale and Pedro Martinez have recorded eight straight 10-strikeout games in a season. It was Sale’s second such streak.

Texas starter Martin Perez had not allowed a hit until Deven Marrero’s two-out single to center field in the third inning. Marrero stole second and scored on Mookie Betts’ single up the middle, a grounder just past diving second baseman Rougned Odor

Texas tied it in the fourth (walk, passed ball, groundout, Elvis Andrus’ sacrifice fly) and scored twice in the fifth, on Napoli’s home run over the Monster and Joey Gallo’s RBI single.

In the seventh, Andrew Benintendi singled with one out. Sam Travis – making his major league debut – got his second single of the night with a line drive to center.

RBI followed from pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland (single), pinch-hitter Josh Rutledge (single), Pedroia, Chris Young (walk) and Benintendi (sacrifice fly). Another run scored on a wild pitch.

Reliever Sam Dyson (1-5) gave up four runs in the inning.

Texas got one back in the eighth, chasing Sale. But Betts added an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth.

The Red Sox (24-21) won their third straight, while Texas dropped to 24-23.

NOTES: In Triple-A Pawtucket, David Price made his second rehab start, needing 89 pitches for 3 2/3 innings. He allowed six runs (three earned) on seven hits and a walk, while striking out four … Pablo Sandoval also played in Pawtucket, going 2-for-4 with two doubles, a walk and a strikeout.

]]> 0's Mitch Moreland scores on a wild pitch by Rangers relief pitcher Sam Dyson in the seventh inning Wednesday night at Fenway Park.Wed, 24 May 2017 23:45:18 +0000
Celtics notebook: Cavaliers expect a challenge Thu, 25 May 2017 01:57:55 +0000 After cruising to a 2-0 Eastern Conference finals lead over Boston, the Cleveland Cavaliers were humbled at home in a Game 3 loss, and needed a 42-point night from Kyrie Irving to battle back from a 16-point hole and win Game 4 on Tuesday night.

The challenge from the Celtics has sharpened the focus of the defending champs. Cleveland is expecting another unflinching effort in Game 5 from a Celtics team that isn’t backing down despite facing a 3-1 deficit in the series.

“The closeout game is always the hardest and Boston is going to make it even harder,” said LeBron James, who rebounded from a playoff-low 11 points in Game 3 to score 34 in Game 4.

While Irving’s scoring ignited the Cavs’ comeback, it was made possible by Cleveland’s defensive effort over the final 24 minutes. Cleveland limited the Celtics to 41 percent from the field and 29 percent from beyond the arc.

“We have to go in with a bunker mentality that we had in Game 1 and Game 2, to go out and do what we do, but we have to defend,” James said. “We have to execute offensively. We have to have low turnovers, and we have to try to make them miss because some of those guys play a lot better at home. That’s just how the game be played.”

WHILE Heading home to the Garden should be a comfort, the Celtics haven’t always played that way this postseason.

But with elimination one game away following the 112-99 loss Tuesday night, home is all they have left. Game 5 will find them trying to improve on a rather middling 5-4 playoff record at the Garden.

“We’re humble enough to know we haven’t played well at home, and we want to give our home crowd a better outing than we did the past two games,” Jae Crowder said. “We’re right there where we want to be – we’re locked in.”

Crowder wants to hear from the Garden crowd.

“I’m expecting our fans to be able to carry us a little bit and be behind us,” he said, “and personally I feel like it’d be a great time for us to get a win, especially on our homecourt.”

Said Al Horford: “A lot of energy. We need it to be very lively and we’ll go out there and we’ll fight. I’m just excited that we have another opportunity and hopefully be able to come out on top.”

Crowder strained his groin after falling and sliding into a split in the third quarter, though he was able to return. Of course, that meant chasing LeBron James around the floor on defense in a diminished capacity.

The Celtics are operating on a more limited pre-draft workout schedule right now. Director of player personnel Austin Ainge said workouts of candidates for the No. 1 pick in the June 22 draft will occur after the team’s season ends.

Stevens, after all, has to be on hand when the likes of Markelle Fultz and Josh Jackson do their individual workouts for the team. LaVar Ball, the outspoken father of Lonzo Ball, has said his son will only work out for the Los Angeles Lakers. Ainge noted the Celtics have not heard that directly from the Ball camp.

“He has publicly said (Lonzo) won’t work out, and that’s what we have to go by,” Ainge said.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge and his staff will travel for some workouts, possibly including Fultz. But there will predictably be only a limited amount the team can learn from the sessions. None of the players in this group will work out against another player.

“They’re all one-on-none,” Austin Ainge said. “The only one last year who did work against other players was Jaylen Brown, the No. 3 pick, and that’s because he didn’t have an agent.”

Thus far the Celtics have worked out second-round prospects and early-entry players who might still withdraw their names from the draft.

According to Danny Ainge, Isaiah Thomas is prepared to take his time in pursuit of the right solution for his injury.

“We’re not in a rush,” said Ainge, who added that so far Thomas’ meetings have been with team physician Brian McKeon and his medical group. “There won’t be any procedures until everything calms down in the hip joint. He’s clearly not going to play. If we win three straight games and stay alive, you’re not going to see Isaiah Thomas coming back.”

Ainge said he anticipates Thomas rejoining the team Thursday night for Game 5.

“It’s been very tough for him, being away from the team,” Ainge said.

]]> 0's LeBron James, left, eventually put up 34 points on Jae Crowder, right, and the Boston Celtics during the Cavaliers' 112-99 victory Tuesday night in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, but he had to work for it. James isn't anticipating any quit from the Celtics, despite a 3-1 series deficit.Wed, 24 May 2017 22:00:29 +0000
Commentary: NFL players drop the ball on concussions Thu, 25 May 2017 01:17:41 +0000 Isn’t it fun, this game of hide-and-seek that NFL quarterbacks are playing with concussions. Maybe Tom Brady had one or maybe he didn’t – find his symptoms, win a free prize. Drew Brees said he would conceal one from his own wife, which conjures an image of him popping in and out of the linen closet while she looks for him behind the kitchen door.

Excuse the sarcasm; it’s a result of exasperation. If Brady and Brees want to calculate the exchange rate between winning a game and how many neurons must be sacrificed to stay on the field, that’s their personal choice. The problem is they have signaled to four million high school and college football players that hiding symptoms is what the great ones do, and that it’s OK to either not tell the woman in your life, or tell her to keep quiet about it, even though she may have to wipe the food from your chin one day.

NFL players have a difficult calculation to make in weighing the cost versus benefit of reporting a concussion. Some factors that affect their willingness to be honest range from letting down teammates to fear of stigma, to how receptive a coach is to injury reports, to their flawed perception of how serious their symptoms are.

Then there are contractual issues. Have a few too many “dings” on your chart and pretty soon you could be feeling the headache in your next salary negotiation, or on your way out of the league like Wes Welker.

“The unfortunate part of concussion awareness is that the financial consequences at the NFL level for reporting them have gone through the roof,” said Chris Nowinski, co-founder and CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation.

But if anyone has leverage in this situation, Brady and Brees do. This is the perfect moment for a new tone and message, a more honest if complicated answer from players who are influencers. Honest is what Gisele Bundchen tried to be during her appearance on “CBS This Morning,” when she let it drop that her husband has played with head injuries, and had one just last season.

“I mean, we don’t talk about – he does have concussions,” she said.

The responses she prompted have not been especially informative or clarifying. The NFL issued a statement that no “records” indicate Brady had any kind of head injury, and his agent, Don Yee, said Brady had not been formally “diagnosed” with one. Brady himself has been utterly silent.

If only someone, a Brady or a Brees, would say the following: “Yeah, I played through a concussion. It was a poor decision I made because I felt responsible to so many other people whose livelihoods depend on the game’s outcome. I won’t know for years whether it was the wrong decision for my long-term health, but what I do know is that no one at the high school or college level should ever make the decision I made, because protecting against neurological diseases is not about eliminating one big hit but reducing the number of smaller blows you take over a career. That’s why I’ll pull my kids from a game the minute they see stars, and why they won’t be allowed to play tackle football before the age of 14. I advise you to do the same with yours.”

But that’s not what anyone said. Instead what you heard was a lot of guy-frequency dog-whistling and tacit approval about what’s tough. Brees, the New Orleans Saints quarterback, acknowledged that he played with a concussion in 2004 with the San Diego Chargers even though, “I knew something was not right,” as he told ESPN.

Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson said he had multiple concussions over his nine-year career even though he never submitted himself to treatment. “I know I’ve got a job to do,” he said. “The team needs me out there on the field.”

Ben Roethlisberger is the rare exception who has pulled himself from a game, but even he admitted to Sports Illustrated, “I haven’t reported things before, either.” The subtext to these statements is, “I’m too important to come off the field.”

All of this is a tremendous missed opportunity. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Neurotrauma showed that only one in every six football concussions is actually diagnosed, and now we know why. The study surveyed 730 college football players and found that for every concussion they reported to their team, they experienced 21 so-called “dings” or symptoms they failed to report.

What was so discouraging about the study was it showed the NFL ethos leaching downward to players who aren’t being paid, for whom football is a game and not a job. Denial is simply considered the thing to do.

This is a failure on the part of NFL players. It is not a form of strength; it’s weakness – and dumbness, and egotism. And it’s based in a deep-seated fear of someday being replaced on the field.

“We’re seeing an incredible lack of leadership among NFL players,” Nowinski said.

The NFL as an organization has tried to change the paleo culture of “playing through” concussions. It has hired certified independent neurologists. It has stationed spotters in press boxes. It has increased penalties for vicious head-hunting, and put limits on practice time and contact drills. But what is any of that going to matter if a player won’t meet the eye of his own wife?

Here’s the truth that no one wants to speak aloud: The NFL concussion crisis is all but unsolvable. The game is violent, competing pressures on players from financial to peer influence compel them to hide injuries of all sorts. We simply can’t expect all of them to self-report, and the league is never going to be able to devise rules or protocols that make their concussions diagnosable from the sideline. The problem is here to stay, and all the league can do is to provide them with the best medical care and brain health information available.

But there is a lot more that can be done at other levels. NFL players have a responsibility not just to themselves, but to the younger versions of themselves, their mini-me emulators. And they are not living up to it. If they decide to take risks with their health, that’s fine; they are adult professionals. But when they, by word or act or complicit silence, encourage thin-chested, bobble-headed boys to take risks with their brains, that is not fine, not at all, not one bit.

]]> 0 England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady passes during NFL football training camp in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, July 26, 2014. (AP Photo)Wed, 24 May 2017 21:25:48 +0000
Softball: Lake Region puts it together to win Thu, 25 May 2017 01:16:57 +0000 NAPLES — The losses kept coming but the Lake Region softball team kept growing, and Wednesday the players finally put it together.

The Lakers collected just their second victory of the season, scoring an 8-1 victory against Cape Elizabeth in a Western Maine Conference game.

The Lakers improved their record to 2-10 behind strong pitching from Haley Fernald and an offense led by Madison Rock, who finished with three hits, two runs and an RBI.

Rock’s first hit came in the first inning, when she ripped an RBI single to center.

Fernald held that advantage for the rest of the game, only allowing a run in the seventh when the Capers (6-6) scored on a double by Kelly O’Sullivan.

Though Fernald didn’t overpower Cape Elizabeth, Coach Wayne Pivet was impressed with her off-speed pitches and control.

“Haley is only a sophomore, and she’s one of these kids that works at it every single day,” Pivet said.

“Today she did a great job hitting spots when she had to, made big pitches in key moments and really continued to grow as a pitcher.”

Lake Region’s defense also came through.

With one out in the second, Rock threw out a runner attempting to steal third. Center fielder Kaylyn Lorrain saved a run in the fifth when, with a runner on third and two outs, she tracked back and snow-coned a backhanded catch.

The Lakers then pulled away in the bottom of the fifth, scoring three runs.

With one out, Rock laced a ground-rule double down the left-field line, then scored on consecutive wild pitches.

Elizabeth Cole capped the inning by lining a two-run single to right-center.

Pivet praised Cole’s intense approach and said that her attitude set the tone for the entire team.

“I told the team, this game is about having some passion about what you’re doing,” said Pivet.

“And today, (Cole) was a perfect example, and I thought she did a great job of sparking things for us.”

Lake Region added four runs in the sixth, thanks in part to sloppiness by the Capers.

Fernald reached on a two-base error by the left fielder, then came around to score on another wild pitch.

“Our team all season long has played really, really hard,” said Pivet.

“They’ve been very close to pulling out wins against what I would consider to be top-quality teams. Little mistakes here and there just prevented them from succeeding.

“Today, they played very strong defense, had clutch hits, which we haven’t had most of the season, and played with an attitude.”

Both teams will play again Friday, with Cape Elizabeth at home against Yarmouth and Lake Region traveling to Freeport.

]]> 0 Wed, 24 May 2017 21:19:12 +0000
Men’s lacrosse: South Portland’s Hellier turns a tryout into title game start Thu, 25 May 2017 00:59:12 +0000 NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. — When Edward “T-Moe” Hellier arrived at Merrimack College last fall as a sophomore transfer student, he wondered if his days of playing lacrosse might be over.

Eight months later, Hellier, a 2015 South Portland High grad, is preparing for the biggest game of his life.

Nudged into trying out for the men’s lacrosse team by a new roommate, Hellier has gone from fourth-string walk-on in the fall to starting goalie for Merrimack, which will face No. 1 Limestone College of Gaffney, South Carolina, in Sunday’s 2 p.m., NCAA Division II national championship game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.

“It’s something every kid dreams about when you’re playing lacrosse, playing for a national championship,” Hellier said Wednesday. “I mean, I had no idea I’d be starting in a championship game when I came here. I was just hoping to make the team at first.”

Hellier keyed South Portland’s 2014 Class A title team as a junior and was named the Maine Sunday Telegram Player of the Year as a senior.

As a freshman at Goucher College, a Division III team in Towson, Maryland, Hellier played in 10 games with one start. The lacrosse was fine but Hellier said the school and locale turned out to be a poor fit.

“Baltimore’s got a different vibe than New England. I’ve been in New England my whole life. The change of pace wasn’t for me,” Hellier said.

Merrimack Coach Mike Morgan said he heard about Hellier in an email from South Portland Coach Tom Fiorini.

“We were down to two goalies and I was like, great, if he’s a living, breathing goalie, I’ll take him. Literally, that’s what we thought. We just needed depth,” Morgan said.

Morgan wasn’t wowed immediately but saw enough in a tryout to keep Hellier in the fall. Gradually, Hellier’s calm demeanor, stick skills and ball-stopping ability became more evident. The day before the opener, Hellier was told he’d start.

Hellier started 17 of Merrimack’s 18 games and despite a midseason Achilles injury, posted a 7.88 goals-against average and a .559 save percentage. In the NCAA playoffs, Hellier made 12 saves in a 10-5 win against LeMoyne, which had won seven straight games against Merrimack, then had nine saves in a 17-9 rout of Adelphi in the semifinals.

“It’s just wild, really, how a kid, a walk-on from Maine, is now playing in the national championship game as your goalie,” said Morgan. “We just gave him an opportunity and he ran with it.”

Merrimack, ranked fourth in Division II, is 15-3 and making its first title-game appearance after semifinal losses the past two seasons. Limestone is 20-1 and playing in its fourth straight NCAA championship game, winning titles in 2014 and 2015.

Merrimack handed Limestone its only loss, 18-13, at a neutral site in Gambrills, Maryland, on April 23, coming back from a 5-1 first-quarter deficit.

“We hung T-Moe out to dry early in that game. Some of those goals they scored were right on top of him,” Morgan said. “Then once the game tightened up, he played great in the third and fourth quarters, made a lot of key saves.”

Hellier has answered to T-Moe his whole life. His father Edward, a beloved youth coach in South Portland who died in 2013, was known as Ted. Susan and Ted Hellier planned on calling their son Teddy Marley, but older sister Eliza mispronounced it as Teddy Moe. Soon it was simply T-Moe.

“Everyone still calls me that. It’s not a name that goes away,” Hellier said.

Sunday’s full day of college lacrosse at Gillette Stadium includes the Division I women’s final at 11 a.m., and the men’s Division III final at 5 p.m.

This will be the fourth time Gillette has hosted to the men’s lacrosse championships (the Division I game is Monday). The Division II and III games have drawn as many as 24,317 combined fans in the past.

Merrimack’s biggest announced crowd this year was 712 for a Northeast-10 playoff game against Southern New Hampshire.

“Growing up, being a Pats fan my whole life, to step on the same field that (Tom) Brady plays on every Sunday is going to be awesome,” Hellier said.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0, 24 May 2017 21:17:26 +0000
High school tennis: Top players are back on track Thu, 25 May 2017 00:49:58 +0000 FALMOUTH — One year after Lana Mavor and Nick Forester had to withdraw from the high school tennis state singles semifinals because of injuries, both are healthy and eager for a title.

Neither Mavor, a Yarmouth High sophomore, nor Forester, a Falmouth sophomore, has lost a set this spring. She is seeded first among the 48 players who advanced from regional qualifying. He is seeded third among 48 boys, behind defending champion Nick Mathieu of Mt. Ararat and runner-up Dariy Vykhodtsev of Thornton Academy.

Because of a wet forecast, Friday’s matches were moved indoors to the Racket & Fitness Center in Portland. Organizers remain hopeful that the Round of 16 and quarterfinals can be played as scheduled Saturday at Colby College in Waterville.

Semifinals and finals are scheduled for Monday at Bates College in Lewiston, but last year marked the third time in four years that weather forced the finals indoors.

“I’m excited for it,” Mavor said. “I’ve been looking forward to it.”

She spoke Monday following an anticipated match with Bethany Hammond of St. Dominic, a three-time semifinalist and 2015 finalist seeded third this spring. Mavor won, 6-0, 6-0.

Only three girls have won a game against Mavor this spring: Rosemary Campanella of Wells (second seed) lost 6-3, 6-1; Grace Campanella of Kennebunk (No. 5) lost 6-1, 6-3; and Izzy Evans of Greely (No. 4) lost, 6-1, 6-1.

“I think she’s improved considerably over last year,” Yarmouth Coach Ann Harradon said of Mavor, the top-ranked USTA player in Maine for girls 16 and under who is also No. 2 in New England and No. 122 in the country. “She’s much stronger. She really hits the felt off the ball.”

Mavor, the top seed a year ago, strained her lower back in a regular-season win over Julia Brogan of Falmouth. Mavor won three matches in the singles tournament before withdrawing, down 4-0, in the semifinals against Rosemary Campanella because of back issues. Brogan, now playing No. 2 singles for Trinity College, beat Campanella 6-1, 6-0 in the finals.

“The goal was to win it,” Mavor said. “I wasn’t able to but it was OK, I guess. There’s always more.”

Mavor said physical therapy and “some kind of massage thing, muscle manipulation” on a six-week visit to her mother’s native Ukraine helped her back heal. She has since played in several national events, including one earlier this month on clay in Virginia, where she placed fifth in singles.

Not long after Mavor walked off the court last spring, Forester withdrew from his semifinal after stepping on a stray ball from an adjacent court and suffering two partial ligament tears in his left knee and a fractured growth plate. At the time, he led Vykhodtsev 4-3 in the first set.

“I didn’t need surgery,” Forester said. “I was going to (physical therapy) for about six to eight weeks. As soon as I was cleared to play, I was right back out there.”

Mathieu, a three-time finalist, wound up beating Vykhodtsev 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 to win his first singles title.

Forester said it took a few months before he felt on par with his level of play prior to the injury. He and Vykhodtsev met twice in USTA tournaments in the final, once in Massachusetts and once in Maine. Forester won both in straight sets.

“He’s playing much better,” Falmouth Coach Bob McCully said. “He played well last year, but he’s recovered very well from the injury and is playing at a very high level.”

In his first seven matches this spring for unbeaten Falmouth, Forester is a combined 84-13 in games. His style is a bit unusual in that he hits forehand ground strokes from either side.

An accident in a gym class that resulted in a strained lower back caused Forester to miss a few matches as a precaution, but he said he’s been fine for the past two weeks.

“I feel very good,” he said. “I feel ready. I’ve prepared.”

Forester’s match Friday is scheduled for 12:45 p.m. against Thorne Kieffer of Waynflete or Noah Toussaint of St. Dom’s. They play at 8:30 a.m.

Mavor is scheduled to begin at 5:15 p.m. against the winner of an 11:15 a.m. match between Emma Nassif of Thornton Academy and Lindsay Nevin of George Stevens Academy.

“It will be an interesting weekend,” Harradon said.

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

]]> 0 Fri, 26 May 2017 17:29:30 +0000
Sports Digest: Bullpen provides spark for Sea Dogs Wed, 24 May 2017 20:14:14 +0000 BASEBALL

Bullpen comes through as Sea Dogs top Fisher Cats

Portland got six scoreless innings from its bullpen, eight of nine starters had one hit and Mike Olt’s home run provided the difference as the Sea Dogs beat the New Hampshire Fisher Cats 4-3 in an Eastern League game Wednesday morning at Manchester, New Hampshire.

Jacob Dahlstrand (3-1) relieved Jalen Beeks and earned his first relief win, tossing four innings while allowing three hits and no walks. Jake Cosart allowed one hit in two innings to get his second save.

Olt’s drive to left in the fourth gave Portland a 4-2 cushion.

Beeks – who had a 25-inning scoreless streak snapped in his last start – lasted just three innings Wednesday, allowing four hits, three runs and four walks. His ERA rose to 2.13.

COLLEGE: Tyler Schwanz singled down the left-field line to drive in Jeremy Pena in the bottom of the 11th, and fifth-seeded Maine (22-28) avoided elimination with a 2-1 win over sixth-seeded Hartford (20-30) in the America East Conference tournament at Lowell, Massachusetts.

Schwanz hit an RBI double in the first, but the Hawks tied the game in the eighth.

Maine fell 3-0 to No. 4 Albany in its tournament opener Wednesday. The Black Bears next play at 6 p.m. Thursday.


EUROPA CUP: Manchester United gave its grieving home city a moment to cheer by winning the title on Wednesday, beating Ajax 2-0 in the final at Stockholm thanks to goals by Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, two days after 22 people were killed in a bomb attack.


NBA: The NBA All-Star game will be played in Charlotte, North Carolina, two years later than anticipated.

The league had selected Charlotte to host the 2017 All-Star game, but later moved the game to New Orleans because of a state law limiting anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people. However, a compromise was struck in March to partially erase the impact of House Bill 2.


NFL: Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was a passenger in a minor car accident Sunday night and will miss the first three offseason practices as a precaution.

 The Pro Bowl will return to Orlando, Florida, in 2018 after its successful first appearance in the city last season.


NHL: The Coyotes hired Craig Cunningham as a pro scout and say he will assist with player development.

Cunningham collapsed on the ice with a cardiac disturbance before a game Nov. 19 while playing for Arizona’s AHL affiliate in Tucson and required emergency life-saving care. He had part of his left leg amputated and saw his playing career end.

The 26-year-old Cunningham played in 63 NHL games, including 34 with the Bruins.


HALL OF FAME: Robert Yates, a NASCAR Cup champion as both an engine builder and owner, will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame along with four others.

Three-time NASCAR Cup championship crew chief Ray Evernham, drivers Red Byron and Ron Hornaday Jr. and broadcaster Ken Squier also were voted in Wednesday.


FRENCH OPEN: Simona Halep could miss the tournament because of a torn ankle ligament, while Juan Martin Del Potro might pull out of the men’s event because of shoulder and back problems.

]]> 0 Wed, 24 May 2017 22:57:32 +0000
Cavaliers rally past Celtics to take control of series Wed, 24 May 2017 13:06:48 +0000 CLEVELAND — Kyrie Irving gritted his teeth, tightened up his left sneaker and hopped to his feet.

The pain couldn’t stop him. The Celtics couldn’t either.

Irving took over in the second half and finished with 42 points despite playing on a tender ankle, LeBron James added 34 and the Cleveland Cavaliers moved within one win of an almost inevitable third date in the NBA Finals with Golden State by rallying to beat Boston 112-99 on Tuesday night in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.

With James in foul trouble, Irving was forced to do more than ever and he delivered, scoring 19 in less than five minutes and 33 in a 19-minute stretch.

“The kid is special,” James said. “I was happy to sit back and watch him. He was born for these moments.”

The defending NBA champions, who shot 71 percent in the second half, opened a 3-1 lead in the series and can wrap up their third straight conference title – and a “three-match” against the Warriors – with a win in Game 5 on Thursday night in Boston.

But if Games 3 and 4 are any indication, it won’t be easy.

Fighting to keep their season alive, the Celtics aren’t giving an inch despite playing without All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas, who may need surgery on a hip injury.

The Cavs, meanwhile, wouldn’t be on the cusp of the Finals without Irving.

With Cleveland in jeopardy of dropping its second game in a row after James followed an 11-point Game 3 debacle by picking up four first-half fouls, Irving put on a breathtaking one-man show.

Freezing Boston defenders with his dribble and driving to the basket whenever he wanted, Irving made six layups, two 3-pointers and a free throw in a dizzying span of 4:48. He capped his blistering 19-point outburst with a 3 in the final second of the quarter and celebrated at mid-court by pretending to put two pistols back in his holster.

“He saw Bron went out and he wanted to put the team on his shoulders,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “He did that.”

Irving said he was driven by the thought of the Cavs seeing their series lead vanish.

“In the back of my mind, I thought, ‘They can’t tie up the series,”‘ he said. “We can’t go back to Boston tied 2-2. We needed everything tonight.”

Irving put a scare into the Cavs and their fans when he stepped on Terry Rozier’s foot and rolled his ankle. He stayed on the floor for a few moments before sitting up and re-tying his sneaker. Nothing was keeping him out.

“It was one of those games we had to fight through and we had to earn it,” he said.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens was disappointed with his team’s defense on Irving, who was able to spread the floor while surrounded by shooters.

“There’s choices,” Stevens said. “I’m not sure there are good choices. When he gets going like that, he’s tough to stop. The ones we gotta look at are the ones he got at the rim.”

Kevin Love added 17 points and 17 rebounds for the Cavs, now 11-1 in the postseason.

Avery Bradley scored 19 and Jae Crowder 18 for Boston.


Irving did not show any noticeable limp following the game as he walked down the hallway, stopping to hug and kiss friends and family following his performance.

Irving, who has had a history of injuries, said he’s rolled his ankle enough times to know when it’s serious.

“My adrenaline is still going,” he said. “I’m pretty sure I’ll be sore when I get home.”


Crowder and the Celtics are looking forward to going home and redeeming themselves after the blowout losses in Games 1 and 2.

“I feel like we’re humble enough to know we haven’t played well at home,” he said. “We want to give our home crowd a better outing than we put out the past two games.”


Lue paused for several seconds before responding to a question about the third and fourth fouls called on James, who was whistled for barely touching Marcus Smart on a jumper and then was called for a charge.

“They called them,” he said of the officials. “We had to do what we had to do.”


Celtics: Thomas spoke to coach Brad Stevens and told him that he has visited one hip specialist and plans to see more before it’s decided if he needs surgery. Thomas initially injured his hip in March and played the final two months of the regular season before aggravating it during the playoffs. … Stevens started Kelly Olynyk, who had 15 points. … Before the playoffs began, the Celtics were 22-5 at home since Jan. 1. They’re 5-4 in the postseason so far.

Cavaliers: The 42 points were a career playoff-high for Irving, who scored 41 in Game 5 of last year’s Finals. … Cleveland improved to 35-5 against Eastern teams in the playoffs since 2015. … J.R. Smith and his wife, Jewel, brought their daughter home after more than five months in the hospital following her premature birth. Smith posted photos on his Instagram account of the couple leaving Hillcrest Hospital with their baby in a stroller. “We Walked In Together We Walked Out Together!!” Smith wrote. … Deron Williams played 18 minutes after sustaining a shoulder “stinger” in Game 3.


The Celtics lost Game 2 at home by 44 and the first two games of the series by a combined 57.

]]> 0 Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) goes up for a shot against Boston defender Jae Crowder during the second half of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals Tuesday.Wed, 24 May 2017 09:06:48 +0000
NHL roundup: Senators force Game 7 Wed, 24 May 2017 03:35:08 +0000 OTTAWA, Ontario — Mike Hoffman scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period to give the Ottawa Senators a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night and force a decisive Game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals.

Bobby Ryan also scored a rare power-play goal for Ottawa and Craig Anderson stopped 44 shots.

Evgeni Malkin gave Pittsburgh, vying for its second straight trip to the Stanley Cup finals, the lead early in the second period and Matt Murray finished with 28 saves.

Game 7 is Thursday night in Pittsburgh.

The Penguins failed to close out a series on their first try for the third time in these playoffs and fifth consecutive time overall.

Pittsburgh tilted the ice during the first half of the second period, accounting for 16 of the first 19 shots in the period, but the Senators steadied themselves later in the middle session.

Ottawa took over – and got the game-winning goal – early in the third, holding the Penguins to zero shots on goal for more than six minutes at the start of the final period.

The Senators charged ahead 2-1 on a rocket of a shot from Hoffman at 1:34, his blast from the top of the left circle going ping-ping-ping before going in.

The Penguins got a superb goal from Evgeni Malkin in the second period, but an apparent Trevor Daley goal that was reversed via coach’s challenge loomed large.

At 3:04 of the second, Daley pushed a puck through in a scrum.

Ottawa Coach Guy Boucher argued for goaltender interference.

After a review it was determined that Daley had kept pushing Anderson, preventing him from making the save.

Malkin put the Penguins ahead 1-0 at 4:51. He curled out to the bottom of the right circle with Ottawa’s Zach Smith trailing him. Anderson stopped Malkin’s initial shot, but Malkin backhanded the rebound to complete a fantastic individual effort.

Ryan tied the score at 13:15 of the second.

Pittsburgh was down a pair of defensemen when Ron Hainsey went off for interference and Ian Cole picked up two minutes for high-sticking just 36 seconds later. Ryan blasted a one-timer from Kyle Turris from the right circle for Ottawa’s first power-play goal in the series.

It snapped an 0-of-29 skid overall for Ottawa’s power play, which hadn’t scored since April 27.

Ottawa’s best scoring chance in the first period came when Mark Stone swatted a puck out of the air like he was poking a double the opposite way.

No dice, though, as Murray got a little help from the post.

]]> 0 center Sidney Crosby, left, takes a shove from Ottawa defenseman Marc Methot during Game 6 in Ottawa, Ontario, on Tuesday night. The Senators won, 2-1.Tue, 23 May 2017 23:46:19 +0000
Sports Digest: Bowdoin falls to Emory in Division III men’s tennis semifinals Wed, 24 May 2017 03:18:34 +0000 COLLEGES

Emory swept the singles competition and defeated defending champion Bowdoin 5-2 on Tuesday in the semifinals of the NCAA Division III men’s tennis tournament at Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The Polar Bears (22-5) took two of the three doubles matches, with Gil Roddy and Justin Patel winning a 7-4 tiebreaker for a 9-8 victory in the No. 3 match.

The Eagles (21-4) took control in singles though, getting straight-set wins at Nos. 1, 3 and 6 before Jonathan Jemison’s late break against Bowdoin’s Grant Urken at No. 2 gave him a 6-3, 6-7, 6-4 win for the clincher.

MEN’S BASKETBALL: Former Kansas player Josh Jackson must undergo anger management classes and apologize as part of a diversion agreement arising from a confrontation with a Kansas women’s basketball player.

Jackson was charged with a misdemeanor count of criminal property damage after a December argument with McKenzie Calvert outside a Lawrence bar. He pleaded not guilty in April and his attorney said he would seek diversion for Jackson, who is expected to be a top pick in the NBA draft next month.


GENEVA OPEN: Second-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan eased into the quarterfinals, beating Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-3 on Tuesday.

Ranked No. 9, Nishikori took a wild card entry after a wrist injury affected his clay-court season and did not drop serve against Kukushkin.

NUREMBURG CUP: Eugenie Bouchard withdrew from the tournament in Germany with a right ankle injury, putting the Canadian’s participation in the French Open in doubt.

An MRT scan late Monday showed the 2014 champion had torn a ligament in training the previous week.

LYON OPEN: Fourth-seeded Nick Kyrgios was upset by qualifier Nicolas Kicker, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, in the second round in France, hampering the Australian’s French Open preparations.

STRASBOURG INTERNATIONAL: Fourth-seeded Carla Suarez-Navarro beat American Christina McHale 6-4, 6-1 to reach the quarterfinals in France.

ROGERS CUP: Maria Sharapova was awarded a wild card for the Toronto event in August.

Since her return from a doping ban, the former No. 1 player has used wild cards to play three events on the WTA Tour. She was denied a wild card for the French Open.

Rogers Cup tournament director Karl Hale called her a “fan favorite,” noting she has completed her punishment.


WNBA: Sylvia Fowles had 21 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks to help the host Minnesota Lynx beat the Connecticut Sun 80-78.


DOPING: A Russian anti-doping commission set up by President Vladimir Putin has called for new measures to claw back prize money from drug cheats and to restore trust in Russian athletes.

The commission, headed by 82-year-old former International Olympic Committee member Vitaly Smirnov, denies the Russian government played any role in covering up drug use. However, it says rules need to be tightened and admits some coaches have been motivated to use “any means” to push their athletes to victory.


WBA: The heavyweight title fight between Shannon Briggs and Fres Oquendo is off after former champion Briggs tested positive for high levels of testosterone.

The fight was set for June 3 in Hollywood, Florida.

– From staff and news report

]]> 0 Tue, 23 May 2017 23:21:49 +0000
Irving and LeBron take charge, push Cavs past Celtics in Game 4 Wed, 24 May 2017 03:18:25 +0000 CLEVELAND — Kyrie Irving took over in the second half and finished with 42 points, LeBron James added 34 and the Cleveland Cavaliers moved within one win of an almost inevitable third date in the Finals with Golden State by rallying to beat the Boston Celtics 112-99 on Tuesday night in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Irving stayed on the floor despite rolling his left ankle in the third quarter, when he scored 19 in less than five minutes, and James shook off early foul trouble as the Cavs opened a 3-1 lead in the series.

The defending NBA champions can wrap up their third straight conference title — and a “three-match” against the Warriors — with a win in Game 5 on Thursday night in Boston.

But if Games 3 and 4 are any indication, it won’t be easy.

Fighting to keep their season alive, the Celtics aren’t giving an inch despite playing without All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas, who may need surgery on a hip injury.

The Cavs, meanwhile, wouldn’t be on the cusp of the Finals without Irving.

With Cleveland in jeopardy of dropping its second game in a row after James followed an 11-point Game 3 by picking up four first-half fouls, Irving put on a breathtaking one-man show in the third quarter.

Freezing Boston defenders with his dribble and driving to the basket whenever he wanted, Irving made six layups, two 3-pointers and a free throw in a dizzying span of 4:48. He capped his blistering 19-point outburst with a 3 in the final second of the quarter and celebrated at mid-court by pretending to put two pistols back in his holster.

When the horn sounded, Cleveland’s players poured off the bench to greet him. They had to be careful not to knock him off his feet after Irving had put a scare through the frenzied Quicken Loans Arena crowd moments earlier when he stepped on the foot of Boston’s Terry Rozier.

Irving stayed on the floor for several seconds before sitting up and re-tying his left sneaker.

Nothing was keeping him out.

Kevin Love added 17 points and 17 rebounds for the Cavs, now 11-1 in the postseason.

Avery Bradley scored 19 and Jae Crowder 18 for Boston.

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue chuckled before the game when he was asked if he planned to say anything to James following his sub-standard performance in Game 3.

“No message,” Lue said. “Just come out, be aggressive, in attack mode like he has been over the last four or five months. Nothing has changed.”

Lue should have warned James to be careful, too, as the superstar picked up four fouls and spent the final 6:46 watching from the bench, unable to help his team.

But beyond James’ foul trouble, the Cavs were having other issues as the Celtics outplayed them at both ends while opening a 16-point lead.

Irving kept Cleveland within striking distance while James was out by scoring 12 points over the final 5:11 of the second quarter.

And in the third quarter, the All-Star guard had James’ back again, keeping the Cavs on their collision course with the Warriors.


The Celtics lost Game 2 at home by 44 and the first two games of the series by a combined 57.

]]> 0 Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving, 2, goes up for a shot against the Boston Celtics' Al Horford, 42, duing the second half of Game 4 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals Tuesday in Cleveland. Associated Press/Tony DejakTue, 23 May 2017 23:41:19 +0000
Sea Dogs swept at New Hampshire Wed, 24 May 2017 03:10:25 +0000 MANCHESTER, N.H. – The first two go to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

The Portland Sea Dogs and Fisher Cats opened their 22-game season series a night later than planned – thanks to a rainy Monday – at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium and New Hampshire kicked things off with a sweep Tuesday, 5-2 in seven innings and 3-2 in eight.

Portland’s win streak was snapped at two and the Sea Dogs are even at 20-20 for the season. The Fisher Cats are 16-28 and matched their season-best win streak at four.

Reliever Taylor Grover, in his third spot start of the season and fourth of his career, combined with reliever Williams Jerez on a three-hitter through seven innings for the Sea Dogs in the second game.

It wasn’t enough.

The Sea Dogs trailed 2-1 going into the seventh. They scratched out a run to tie it and send the game to extra innings.

Heiker Meneses worked a one-out walk and hustled to third on Deiner Lopez’s single up the middle. Meneses scored on Tzu-Wei Lin’s fielder’s choice.

New Hampshire loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the eighth with a single, sacrifice and another single.

Richard Urena delivered a sacrifice fly to right field, Emilio Guerrero beating the throw from Cole Sturgeon to win it.

The Fisher Cats bunched their only two hits off Grover in the third. He struck out the first two batters, but then J.C. Cardenas singled and Jonathan Davis ripped a 2-2 pitch to straightaway center field for a home run.

Portland opened the scoring with a run in the second. Sturgeon led off with a walk and Mike Olt followed with a run-scoring double down the third-base line.

Grover went four innings, struck out five and walked no one. Jerez pitched three innings and allowed an infield single, struck out three and walked one.

The Fisher Cats took a 2-0 lead in the opener on Guerrero’s two-run homer to right.

Nick Longhi’s homer to right-center, his third of the season and first since April 22, led off the fourth. He had two of Portland’s eight hits in the game.

Sea Dog starter Travis Lakins, who lasted 11/3 innings in his Double-A debut May 17, went 41/3 innings. He allowed seven hits and five runs with two strikeouts and two walks.

The Fisher Cats broke the game open in the fifth with three runs on three hits with the help of a couple of errors to push the lead to 5-1.

New Hampshire starter Jon Harris gave up singles to Longhi and Tzu-Wei Lin in the sixth but struck out Jordan Procyshen to end the threat.

Joseph Monge was hit by a pitch to open the seventh and after a flyout went to third on a Josh Tobias double. Monge scored on a wild pitch.

]]> 0 Tue, 23 May 2017 23:19:31 +0000
Red Sox offense comes alive against Rangers in 11-6 win Wed, 24 May 2017 03:08:13 +0000 BOSTON — Xander Bogaerts had three RBIs and twice scored on wild pitches, Dustin Pedroia had a two-run double during a four-run sixth inning and the Boston Red Sox beat the Texas Rangers 11-6 on Tuesday night.

Rick Porcello (3-5) won for just the second time at home despite allowing 11 hits in 6 2/3 innings. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner struck out four and allowed five runs, four earned.

Joey Gallo got his 14th homer for Texas, and Shin-Soo Choo went 2 for 5 with two RBIs.

Texas entered having won 11 of 12. The 11 runs allowed marked a season high.

Andrew Cashner (1-4) pitched five innings, allowing five runs, six hits and four walks. He also threw a pair of wild pitches, one of them allowing Bogaerts to score from third and put Boston up 2-1 after three.

Boston piled up the runs behind some timely hitting and a little help from the Rangers defense. Bogaerts was 3 for 5 and took advantage of misfires by Cashner and Jeremy Jeffress to score, and Andrew Benintendi came home on a balk by Alex Claudio in the eighth. Pedroia and Mitch Moreland finished with two hits and two RBIs apiece.

Texas went to the bullpen in the sixth and the Red Sox broke open the game. Deven Marrero and Mookie Betts both walked with two outs and scored on Pedroia’s double to right. Bogaerts followed with another double that scored Pedroia. Two more walks loaded the bases and Bogaerts scored on Jeffress’ wild pitch, putting Boston up 9-3.

The Red Sox broke a 2-all tie with three runs in the fifth after loading the bases with nobody out.

Marrero and Betts started the rally with back-to-back singles and Pedroia walked to load the bases for Bogaerts, who drove in two with a single to left. Cashner walked Benintendi to load the bases again and Bogaerts scored on a sacrifice by Moreland.


RANGERS: LHP Martin Perez (2-5, 3.71 ERA) struck out eight in his last start, allowing two runs on five hits over seven innings Thursday against Philadelphia for his second win of the season.

RED SOX: LHP Chris Sale (4-2, 2.19 ERA) is riding a streak of eight consecutive starts with 10 or more strikeouts, an MLB record he also achieved in 2015 and shares with Pedro Martinez (1999).

]]> 0 Red Sox's Xander Bogaerts follows through on his two-RBI single during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers at Fenway Park in Boston, Tuesday, May 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)Tue, 23 May 2017 23:39:50 +0000