Varsity Maine – Press Herald Mon, 26 Jun 2017 10:04:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Boys’ tennis: Telegram All-State team Sun, 25 Jun 2017 08:00:00 +0000 BOYS

Brandon Ameglio, Waynflete senior: Ameglio knocked off the fourth and fifth seeds in singles tournament to become the second unseeded player in recent memory to reach the semifinals, where he lost to eventual champ Nick Mathieu. He’ll continue playing at Connecticut College.

Declan Archer, Kennebunk freshman: Archer was unseeded but reached the singles quarterfinals before being derailed by eventual finalist Nick Forester. Playing No. 1 singles, he went 10-2 in team matches for a team that finished 2-10.

Nick Forester, Falmouth sophomore: An ambidextrous player who returned from a knee injury to lead Falmouth to the Class A state title, he reached the final of the singles tournament and extended defending champ Nick Mathieu to three sets in a hard-fought championship match.

Matthew Jarmusz, Morse senior: Jarmusz advanced to the singles quarterfinals before falling to No. 3 Dariy Vykhodtsev. He helped lead Morse to a 12-2 record and into the Class B South semifinals. In four years of team play, he never lost a match.

Thomas Jarmusz, Morse senior: Jarmusz won a third-set tiebreaker to reach the quarterfinals before losing 6-3, 7-5 to Brandon Ameglio. He was unbeaten in team play. He’ll attend Ithaca College with his brother.

Nick Mathieu, Mt. Ararat senior: A two-time singles state champion and four-time finalist, he won the last three games in the singles final to beat Nick Forester, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. He had an 85-2 career record. He plans to continue playing at Colby-Sawyer College.

Cole Ouellette, Lewiston senior: A two-time state champion in hockey who plans to continue in juniors, Ouellette’s athleticism helped him reach the singles quarterfinals before falling 6-1, 6-1 to Nick Mathieu. He led Lewiston to the Class A North title over No. 1 Brunswick.

Dariy Vykhodtsev, Thornton Academy sophomore: A singles finalist as a freshman, he returned to the semifinals this spring before falling 6-3, 6-4 to Nick Forester. He was unbeaten in team play as the Golden Trojans finished 15-1.

Coach of the Year

Noah Capetta, Camden Hills: Capetta led the Windjammers to a second consecutive Class B state championship with 5-0 shutout of Yarmouth. In Capetta’s four years at the helm, Camden Hills has reached the state final four times, compiling a record of 58-6. “I love sharing my passion for tennis and the life lessons that I’ve learned through practicing, playing and teaching tennis,” Capetta said. He was previously an assistant at Greely and at his alma mater, Hermon. He said tennis is always a challenge because graduation and the end of the school year always coincide with the last week of playoffs. “I’ve been lucky to have a group of players who are dedicated to the team and are able to keep many balls in the air.”

– Glenn Jordan

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Boys’ tennis player of the year: Nick Mathieu, Mt. Ararat Sun, 25 Jun 2017 08:00:00 +0000 Nick Mathieu dabbled in baseball and soccer, but when he started playing tennis he was hooked. He loved the individual aspect of the sport, the lack of outside influence.

“It was a matter of how hard I wanted to work,” said Mathieu, who convinced his father to hit at Maine Pines in Brunswick in the predawn hours before school.

“Five days a week I would go in with my dad, from 4 to 7 a.m.,” he said. “We’d open up the club and he’d feed balls to me for three hours.”

Mathieu completed a remarkable high school career at Mt. Ararat in Topsham. He reached the final of the state singles tournament all four years, winning three-set matches as a junior and senior after twice being runner-up.

For the second straight year, he is the Maine Sunday Telegram’s Player of the Year in boys’ tennis.

“He’s a good athlete who could have done anything,” said Mt. Ararat Coach Don Foley. “He could have played lacrosse, baseball. His brother is very good at track. But (Nick) concentrated on tennis. That’s what he wanted.”

In four years, Mathieu went 85-2. He lost only to Brendan McCarthy of Falmouth in 2014 and Isaac Salas of Waynflete in 2015. He plans to continue playing at Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire and study business with a concentration in finance and a minor in biology.

“My goal going in (to high school) was to win all four, honestly,” he said. “I figured it was good to aim high. I’d still do well even if I didn’t reach it.”

There were sacrifices. Mathieu said he spent more time in the gym lifting weights, cross training and doing core and balance work than he spent with friends. He credits improved fitness for still feeling fresh at the end of his 2-hour, 20-minute 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory over Nick Forester of Falmouth in the singles final.

If he has any regrets, it’s the time he spent traveling to tournaments nearly every weekend from seventh to 10th grade.

“I’m happier now,” he said. “Looking back, I definitely wouldn’t have done as many tournaments as that. Now it’s more at home, training for the select big tournaments.”

He has several sprinkled throughout New England this summer. He’s also coaching and giving private instruction. But this weekend he’ll be on the Roach River north of Greenville, casting flies for brook trout and salmon. The trip is a birthday present from his parents.

“I have a balance,” he said. “Whenever I’m not playing tennis, I’m fishing.”

Foley, who coached another four-year singles finalist – three-time state champ Mike Hill – has known Mathieu since he was 12 and admires his passion.

“He gets very energized, let’s put it that way,” Foley said. “I told him the nearest comparison tennis has to another sport is boxing, and that tennis final was like a boxing match, one blow after another, back and forth, all day long.”

Telegram All-State Team

Brandon Ameglio, Waynflete senior: Ameglio knocked off the fourth and fifth seeds in singles tournament to become the second unseeded player in recent memory to reach the semifinals, where he lost to eventual champ Nick Mathieu. He’ll continue playing at Connecticut College.

Declan Archer, Kennebunk freshman: Archer was unseeded but reached the singles quarterfinals before being derailed by eventual finalist Nick Forester. Playing No. 1 singles, he went 10-2 in team matches for a team that finished 2-10.

Nick Forester, Falmouth sophomore: An ambidextrous player who returned from a knee injury to lead Falmouth to the Class A state title, he reached the final of the singles tournament and extended defending champ Nick Mathieu to three sets in a hard-fought championship match.

Matthew Jarmusz, Morse senior: Jarmusz advanced to the singles quarterfinals before falling to No. 3 Dariy Vykhodtsev. He helped lead Morse to a 12-2 record and into the Class B South semifinals. In four years of team play, he never lost a match.

Thomas Jarmusz, Morse senior: Jarmusz won a third-set tiebreaker to reach the quarterfinals before losing 6-3, 7-5 to Brandon Ameglio. He was unbeaten in team play. He’ll attend Ithaca College with his brother.

Nick Mathieu, Mt. Ararat senior: A two-time singles state champion and four-time finalist, he won the last three games in the singles final to beat Nick Forester, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. He had an 85-2 career record. He plans to continue playing at Colby-Sawyer College.

Cole Ouellette, Lewiston senior: A two-time state champion in hockey who plans to continue in juniors, Ouellette’s athleticism helped him reach the singles quarterfinals before falling 6-1, 6-1 to Nick Mathieu. He led Lewiston to the Class A North title over No. 1 Brunswick.

Dariy Vykhodtsev, Thornton Academy sophomore: A singles finalist as a freshman, he returned to the semifinals this spring before falling 6-3, 6-4 to Nick Forester. He was unbeaten in team play as the Golden Trojans finished 15-1.

Coach of the Year

Noah Capetta, Camden Hills: Capetta led the Windjammers to a second consecutive Class B state championship with 5-0 shutout of Yarmouth. In Capetta’s four years at the helm, Camden Hills has reached the state final four times, compiling a record of 58-6. “I love sharing my passion for tennis and the life lessons that I’ve learned through practicing, playing and teaching tennis,” Capetta said. He was previously an assistant at Greely and at his alma mater, Hermon. He said tennis is always a challenge because graduation and the end of the school year always coincide with the last week of playoffs. “I’ve been lucky to have a group of players who are dedicated to the team and are able to keep many balls in the air.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or:

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

]]> 0 the fitness training helped when it was most needed, when Nick Mathieu of Mt. Ararat went three long sets to outlast Nick Forester of Falmouth in the state final.Sat, 24 Jun 2017 20:01:25 +0000
Girls’ tennis player of the year: Lana Mavor, Yarmouth Sun, 25 Jun 2017 08:00:00 +0000 After blasting one final forehand winner, Lana Mavor relaxed and began the walk to the net for the congratulatory handshake.

As Mavor reached the service line, she glanced at her fingernails as if wondering if they needed a trim. No celebration seemed necessary. The outcome certainly was never in doubt.

Mavor, a Yarmouth sophomore, had defeated Rosemary Campanella of Wells 6-1, 6-1 to become a state champion for the first time. Nobody won more than a single game in any set against the top-seeded Mavor during her five singles tournament matches.

“Showing emotion makes it easier for the opponent to play you,” Mavor said later. “So it’s good to keep it contained.”

Mavor, who also led Yarmouth to the regional final of the Class B team tournament, is the Maine Sunday Telegram Player of the Year in girls’ tennis. Her father, Brian, was the 1982 singles state champion for Cape Elizabeth.

“When she’s on the court, she’s taking care of business,” said Yarmouth Coach Ann Harradon. “You don’t see any expression. There’s no happy. There’s no sad. Occasionally she’ll slap her thigh, then I know she’s not happy with what she’s just done.”

There was some question whether Mavor – a nationally ranked player who does schoolwork online through Maine Virtual Academy rather than attend classes at Yarmouth High – would play for the Clippers this spring. As a freshman, a back injury forced Mavor to withdraw from the state singles tournament in the semifinals against Campanella.

“I didn’t get a chance to finish states,” she said. “I wanted to see how I did. And I like being part of a team.”

Mavor didn’t drop a set in her 10 matches for the team, including three in the playoffs. Her games record was 120-13. Yarmouth had two other sophomores who were Mavor’s classmates back at Harrison Middle School.

“So she gets along with the kids,” Harradon said. “She had a team dinner at her house and they all came.”

On the court, Mavor had no peers in Maine.

“They watch her and they’re amazed,” Harradon said. “She’s something we’ve never had before. She’s very athletic and puts a lot of time and effort into making herself better. She works out in the gym, and she runs and she hits with area pros. We’ve had good players, but nowhere near as competitive and highly ranked as she is.”

Mavor’s busy summer schedule began this weekend with a trip to a sectional tournament at Yale University. Next weekend, she has intersectionals in Louisiana. After that are tournaments in Pennsylvania and Virginia, followed by up to three in California.

In the fall, college coaches can begin the recruiting process.

“I just focus every match,” Mavor said, “and try to practice my skills that I’ve been working on in practice.”

Telegram All-Sate Team

Grace Campanella, Kennebunk freshman: Campanella reached the semifinals of the state singles tournament, losing a total of only two games in her first three matches before being stopped by eventual champ Lana Mavor.

Rosemary Campanella, Wells junior: The two-time singles finalist and older sister of Grace won four matches by a combined games score of 48-10 before falling 6-1, 6-1 to Lana Mavor in the final. She helped lead Kennebunk/Wells to first tourney berth.

Liv Clifford, Cape Elizabeth senior: The No. 7 seed, she reached the quarterfinals with a pair of straight-set victories before falling to eventual finalist Rosemary Campanella, 6-3, 6-2. She plans to continue playing tennis at Colorado College.

Lexi Epstein, Waynflete senior: The No. 9 seed, Epstein reached the quarterfinals by beating No. 8 Gabrielle Marquis of Caribou 6-1, 6-0 before falling 6-0, 6-2 to eventual champ Lana Mavor, then helped the Flyers win the Class C team title. She plans to continue playing at Dickinson College.

Izzy Evans, Greely junior: After a year abroad, Evans returned to lead the Rangers to their third Class B title in four years, 3-2 over Caribou. Seeded fourth in singles, she reached the quarterfinals before falling 6-0, 6-2 to Grace Campanella.

Bethany Hammond, St. Dominic senior: A four-time singles semifinalist and the 2015 runner-up, Hammond fell 6-1, 6-2 to Rosemary Campanella in the semifinals. She plans to continue playing tennis at Stonehill College.

Lana Mavor, Yarmouth sophomore: The top seed in the singles tournament, she rolled through the field by a combined games score of 60-6 to win the title, culminating in 6-1, 6-1 victory over Rosemary Campanella. In team play, she led the sixth-seeded Clippers to the Class B South final.

Kira Wolpow, Brunswick senior: The sixth seed in the singles tourney, she rallied for a 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 win over Falmouth’s Meredith Kelley to reach the quarterfinals before falling 6-3, 6-2 to Bethany Hammond. She led the Dragons to the Class A North title. After a gap year teaching English in Colombia, she’ll attend Northeastern.

Coach of the Year

Bill Goodspeed, Falmouth: In his second season after rising from assistant coach to head coach, Goodspeed continued Falmouth’s run of state titles to 10 and match winning streak to 157. Falmouth won the Class A state title with a 5-0 sweep of Brunswick to cap a 19-1 tournament run despite, for the second straight year, losing the state singles champion to graduation and having to rely even more heavily on the bottom of the lineup. Goodspeed even found time to self-publish a book this spring called “Alternative Facts: Fake News, Tweets & the 2016 Election.” “We never talk about it,” Goodspeed said of the winning streak. “I don’t know if it’s superstition or it’s one match at a time. It’s like looking ahead in the draw. We don’t look ahead in the draw.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or:

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

]]> 0 Mavor of Yarmouth, the girls' tennis state champion, has a busy summer schedule planned, including tournaments in Pennsylvania, Virginia and California.Sat, 24 Jun 2017 20:04:19 +0000
Girls’ tennis: Telegram All-State team Sat, 24 Jun 2017 22:20:35 +0000 Grace Campanella, Kennebunk freshman: Campanella reached the semifinals of the state singles tournament, losing a total of only two games in her first three matches before being stopped by eventual champ Lana Mavor.

Rosemary Campanella, Wells junior: The two-time singles finalist and older sister of Grace won four matches by a combined games score of 48-10 before falling 6-1, 6-1 to Lana Mavor in the final. She helped lead Kennebunk/Wells to first tourney berth.

Liv Clifford, Cape Elizabeth senior: The No. 7 seed, she reached the quarterfinals with a pair of straight-set victories before falling to eventual finalist Rosemary Campanella, 6-3, 6-2. She plans to continue playing tennis at Colorado College.

Lexi Epstein, Waynflete senior: The No. 9 seed, Epstein reached the quarterfinals by beating No. 8 Gabrielle Marquis of Caribou 6-1, 6-0 before falling 6-0, 6-2 to eventual champ Lana Mavor, then helped the Flyers win the Class C team title. She plans to continue playing at Dickinson College.

Izzy Evans, Greely junior: After a year abroad, Evans returned to lead the Rangers to their third Class B title in four years, 3-2 over Caribou. Seeded fourth in singles, she reached the quarterfinals before falling 6-0, 6-2 to Grace Campanella.

Bethany Hammond, St. Dominic senior: A four-time singles semifinalist and the 2015 runner-up, Hammond fell 6-1, 6-2 to Rosemary Campanella in the semifinals. She plans to continue playing tennis at Stonehill College.

Lana Mavor, Yarmouth sophomore: The top seed in the singles tournament, she rolled through the field by a combined games score of 60-6 to win the title, culminating in 6-1, 6-1 victory over Rosemary Campanella. In team play, she led the sixth-seeded Clippers to the Class B South final.

Kira Wolpow, Brunswick senior: The sixth seed in the singles tourney, she rallied for a 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 win over Falmouth’s Meredith Kelley to reach the quarterfinals before falling 6-3, 6-2 to Bethany Hammond. She led the Dragons to the Class A North title. After a gap year teaching English in Colombia, she’ll attend Northeastern.

Coach of the Year

Bill Goodspeed, Falmouth: In his second season after rising from assistant coach to head coach, Goodspeed continued Falmouth’s run of state titles to 10 and match winning streak to 157. Falmouth won the Class A state title with a 5-0 sweep of Brunswick to cap a 19-1 tournament run despite, for the second straight year, losing the state singles champion to graduation and having to rely even more heavily on the bottom of the lineup. Goodspeed even found time to self-publish a book this spring called “Alternative Facts: Fake News, Tweets & the 2016 Election.” “We never talk about it,” Goodspeed said of the winning streak. “I don’t know if it’s superstition or it’s one match at a time. It’s like looking ahead in the draw. We don’t look ahead in the draw.”

– Glenn Jordan

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Local baseball: Orono standout wins Winkin Award Sat, 24 Jun 2017 03:16:39 +0000 WATERVILLE — Of all the winners of the Dr. John Winkin Award, Jackson Coutts of Orono can make the case for having the closest ties to the award’s namesake.

Coutts was presented the award as the state’s top high school baseball player Friday.

Coutts’ father, Mike Coutts, played for Winkin at the University of Maine, then was an assistant coach under him with the Black Bears for a decade.

“It’s pretty special, seeing my dad played for Coach Winkin and he coached with him for awhile,” Coutts said. “They had a great relationship.”

A member of the College Baseball Hall of Fame, Winkin, who died in 2014, coached at Colby before leading Maine to the College World Series six times. Winning the award that bears Winkin’s name is an honor, Coutts said, remembering meeting him one time.

“I knew him a little bit. I was pretty young,” Coutts said.

This spring, Coutts led Orono to the Class C state championship. His double to open the bottom of the seventh inning began the four-run rally that produced a 4-3 victory against Lisbon.

Coutts, who can pitch, catch and play the infield, was intentionally walked 25 times in 20 games, once with the bases loaded.

“It was pretty frustrating at first, then I adjusted to it. I kind of laughed at it. This year was unbelievable,” Coutts said. “Everybody behind me started to hit pretty well. I scored a lot of runs. It worked out for the best.”

Coutts said his father, now the UMaine softball coach, has been a big influence.

“He’d always do (batting practice) with me, play catch with me, hit ground balls, anything baseball whenever I asked. That was pretty helpful,” Coutts said.

Coutts will continue his baseball career at the University of Rhode Island.

Joining Coutts as finalists for the Winkin Award were Jared Brooks of Cheverus, Alex Maxsimic of Brewer, Trevor Labonte of York, Cam Guarino of Falmouth, Nate Howard of Erskine Academy, Zach Nash of Hermon, Dustin Crawford of Carrabec/Madison, Brandon Burnell of Sacopee Valley and Barrett Grant of Searsport.


SACOPEE VALLEY 5, BIDDEFORD 4: The Hawks scored the winning run in the ninth inning when Mike Murphy’s bunt with runners on first and second was thrown away, at South Hiram.

Biddeford took a 3-1 lead in the third with three unearned runs, but Sacopee Valley tied it in the fourth, including a Dylan Miner single to drive in Peter Cates.


DANBURY 5, SANFORD 2: Cooper Wallace allowed a pair of runs on four hits in eight innings, striking out seven and walking two to lead the Westerners (6-7) past the Mainers (2-11) at Sanford.

J.T. Pittman hit a solo homer for Sanford in the sixth, and Harrison Ray added a double for the Mainers, who have dropped seven straight.


AERO HEATING AND VENTILATING 4, EDGE ACADEMY 2: Nate Cyr and David Lutz had back-to-back RBI singles in the second inning as Aero Heating and Ventilating (4-4) opened a 3-0 lead and held off Edge Academy (3-4) at South Portland.

Edge scored a run in its half of the second when Andrew Merlino singled home Bailey Train.


OLD ORCHARD BEACH 6, PUERTO RICO 2: Mike Davis homered and had three hits, and the Surge scored five runs in the seventh inning of an opener at Old Orchard Beach.

Davis’ homer in the fourth made it 1-1. The Islanders picked up a run in the sixth before Old Orchard put it away.


GORHAM 5, GREELY 1: William Prescott broke a 1-1 tie with a two-run double in the third inning as Gorham (2-1) beat Greely (1-1) at Cumberland. Joe Curesky of Gorham allowed four hits, striking out eight.

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High school notebook: Gallant, Koffman win Gatorade honors Thu, 22 Jun 2017 22:58:32 +0000 Emma Gallant of Cheverus and Jake Koffman of Orono have been chosen as Gatorade Maine track and field athletes of the year.

Gallant, a freshman, helped Cheverus capture its first state championship by winning the 100 and 200 meters at the Class A state meet.

She broke the Class A record in the 200 with a time of 25.33, and also ran on the first-place 1,600 relay team and second-place 400 relay team.

Gallant then won the New England 200-meter title in 24.81, moving into second place on Maine’s all-time list behind former Lake Region High athlete Kate Hall.

Koffman won the discus and finished second in the shot put at the New England championships, then placed third in the discus at the New Balance Nationals with a state all-time best throw of 199 feet, 1 inch.

At the Class C state championship, he won both the discus and shot put to help Orono earn its third consecutive state championship.

Koffman will compete next for Stanford University.


MISS MAINE SOFTBALL: Hailey Perry of Hermon received the Miss Maine Softball Award between the two senior all-star games at Cony High School on Thursday.

Perry, regarded as an outstanding defensive catcher, led Hermon with a .576 batting average and also scored 27 runs and drove in 22.

She is part of the University of Maine’s incoming recruiting class, along with a fellow finalist, pitcher Lilly Volk of Scarborough.

Perry is the second consecutive Hermon player to win the award, which is given to the state’s top senior player. Karli Theberge earned the honor last season.

In addition to Perry and Volk, the other finalists were Windham first baseman Olivia Mora, Cheverus catcher/outfielder Ally Tillotson, Wells catcher Sara Ring and Bucksport outfielder Madysen Robichaud.

]]> 0 GALLANTThu, 22 Jun 2017 19:15:42 +0000
Lacrosse coaches say schedules based on strength of program would level the playing field Tue, 20 Jun 2017 08:00:00 +0000 The last game of the 2017 boys’ lacrosse season was exactly what players, coaches and fans love to see – exciting, competitive and complete with a thrilling finish as Brunswick beat Scarborough 18-17 to win the Class A championship on Josh Dorr’s overtime goal.

That type of game was exceedingly rare this season. The average margin of victory ranged from 9.7 goals per game in contests involving Class A South teams to 5.8 for Class B North. Class A North had a goal differential of 8.1, and Class B South’s average margin was 9.2.

“This season is probably the worst I’ve ever seen,” said Scarborough Coach Joe Hezlep, who is stepping down after guiding the Red Storm to six state championships in 10 years.

A total of 67 games involving Class A teams (including crossovers with Class B) were decided by 10 or more goals. Just 38 games ended with a margin of five goals or fewer.

That’s why a group of concerned coaches, headed by Cape Elizabeth’s Ben Raymond, is proposing a three-tier, statewide schedule based on strength of program, rather than enrollment or conference affiliation.

“Lopsided games are no good for either team,” Raymond wrote in his appeal to fellow coaches. “We all, as coaches, want competitive games, we want what is best for our student athletes and what is best for lacrosse overall.”

The mismatches were not quite as frequent in Class B South (33 blowouts, 29 close games), but some were exceedingly one-sided. Cape beat Waynflete 22-0. Falmouth beat Lake Region 20-0 and York 27-1.

“One thing about lacrosse, there’s probably no sport crueler for a team that’s not as strong,” said Cheverus Coach Bill Bodwell. “It’s a possession game. (In) lacrosse, when you get scored on, you may not see the ball the rest of the game if you can’t win a faceoff.”

Raymond’s plan would increase the number of competitive regular-season games. It would not impact the MPA’s plan to expand boys’ and girls’ lacrosse to three classes in 2018. Schools would still qualify for playoffs based on Heal points and then play in the Class A, B or C tournaments based on enrollment, unless they petition to play in a higher class.

Right now, the scheduling proposal is only for boys’ lacrosse.

“It’s at a very initial stage,” said Cape Elizabeth Athletic Director Jeff Thoreck. “The athletic directors need education on this issue.”

In Raymond’s plan, Tier 1 would include seven teams: Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth, Scarborough, Brunswick, Cheverus, South Portland and Thornton Academy. A Class C school based on enrollment, Cape has won 11 state titles in the 20-year history of the MPA sanctioning the sport. Brunswick, which plans to be in Class B next season based on its enrollment, has played in four straight Class A title games, winning two. The other five teams are Class A schools.

Tier 2 would be another seven-team cluster of Yarmouth, Greely, Gorham, Deering, Kennebunk, Lewiston and Messalonskee.

Tier 1 and 2 teams would play each other on a limited basis.

The rest of the teams in the proposal are divided into Tier 3 South (15 teams) and Tier 3 North (16 teams). Each is a combination of Class A, B and C teams.

“Scheduling all comes down to what the athletic directors and the conferences are willing to give us,” said Brunswick Coach Don Glover. Brunswick is in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference. The other main conferences are the Southwestern Maine Activities Association and the Western Maine Conference.

“To say we need a statewide schedule is all well and good, but we have to get it sold to all the conferences,” Glover said. “Four years ago, they tried something like that and boxed out the KVAC teams. We were the orphan league.”

Currently, teams play a 12-game schedule with two crossover games that are designed to create quality matchups.

For powerhouses like Cape and Falmouth, both expected to be in Class A next year, the tiered system would give them more quality opponents. When Cape wasn’t playing Falmouth this season, it outscored opponents by 13.5 goals per game.

The proposal would also help middle-of-the-road teams like Massabesic. A Class A team, Massabesic finished 7-6 this season, with an 18-7 loss to South Portland in a Class A South quarterfinal. Five of its losses were by 10 or more goals. The Mustangs also posted wins by scores of 20-3 and 18-8.

“I think it’s necessary,” said Massabesic Coach Steve Gallo. “For us, there were only two truly competitive games the entire season. We were either the hammer or the nail in every game.”

Class B North, where most of the teams are newer programs on relatively even footing, was the one division with more close games than lopsided contests in 2017. But when it came to the playoffs, traditional power Yarmouth, which went 8-6 in the regular season against a difficult schedule, cruised to its fifth straight regional title. Yarmouth won three regional playoff games by a combined score of 41-5, including a 13-2 win against previously unbeaten Gardiner in the final.

“Lacrosse has always done well in towns that have money. It’s no different this year,” Bodwell said. “I don’t think enrollment has anything to do with strength in lacrosse.

“The days of Gardiner competing against Yarmouth are over in most sports, and I think it comes down to resources and money.”

The idea of a state-wide, tiered schedule does have precedent; hockey is set up in a similar fashion. On a smaller scale, the WMC has had a tiered soccer schedule for years.

“The guys want a revolutionary schedule to go out. Could it be the best schedule ever? It could be,” Glover said. “But the people who have to buy it are the athletic directors.”

Thoreck said if a fully tiered schedule can’t be implemented, the discussion could at least lead to more crossover games.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0, ME - JUNE 17: Cape Elizabeth players huddle around head coach Ben Raymond during a timeout in the Class B Boys Lacrosse State Championship game. (Staff photo by Derek Davis/Staff Photographer)Tue, 20 Jun 2017 09:59:51 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Brunswick knocks off Scarborough in overtime to win Class A crown Sun, 18 Jun 2017 00:24:59 +0000 Josh Dorr had already saved the Brunswick High boys’ lacrosse from defeat in Saturday night’s Class A state championship game, scoring a tying goal with 10 seconds left in regulation.

Then in overtime – where the first goal wins – he saw the chance he needed. A Scarborough defender turned his head to take a peek at Aiden Glover, who had the ball behind the net manned by Dominic Joy.

“When I saw the back of his head I just made a mad dash and luckily put it in past that great (goalkeeper),” Dorr said. “That keep almost made that save. I think it hit some pipe, maybe his back, maybe his stick but the refs luckily saw that it hit the net.”

Dorr’s goal with 2:47 left in the four-minute overtime gave Brunswick an 18-17 win, set off a mad-dash celebration, completed the Dragons’ perfect 16-0 season and dethroned Scarborough (12-3), which had beaten Brunswick 18-10 in last season’s final.

Brunswick was appearing in its fourth straight title game, having lost to South Portland in 2014 and before beating South Portland in 2015.

“I just didn’t want to go home on that bus with a loss again,” Dorr said. “I’ve done it twice on this field and as a senior group we didn’t want to go down. We couldn’t let that happen.”

Dorr’s winning goal produced the fifth lead change in a game that also saw eight ties.

“We knew this was going to be a fast-break basketball game with high scoring and the ebbs and flows of two and three goals,” said Brunswick Coach Don Glover, who shared the win with his three sons, assistant coach Cam, senior defender Christian and Aiden, a sophomore attack.

Scarborough rallied from a three-goal deficit in the fourth quarter to take the lead with 1:46 remaining on Sam Neugebauer’s sixth goal, only to have Dorr tie it again when he curled around the net and beat Joy with a quick shot.

Dorr scored five goals and added two assists. Aiden Glover had four goals and two assists and Christian Glover and Max Gramins each scored three goals.

Andrew Eno (two goals) and Henry Doherty (goal) also contributed.

Christian Jensen won 26 of the 38 faceoffs for Brunswick. Like several of the 13 Brunswick seniors, Jensen was on the Dragons’ undefeated championship football team in the fall.

“Playing football was just an awesome feeling and we just really wanted one more,” Jensen said. “We had a great season and we have an awesome senior class, so we really wanted to go out on a win.”

Despite Jensen’s ability to gain possession, Scarborough led 5-3 after a quarter and 10-8 at the half with eight of the goals coming from its attack trio of Neugebauer, Marc Guerette (five goals) and Marco Manfra (three goals, two assists).

The Dragons dominated the third quarter, scoring all five goals to take a 13-10 lead. Aiden Glover and Dorr each scored twice and Gramins had one as the Dragons found open shooting space. Five key saves from Joy (17 for the game) kept the lead from being larger.

Guerette’s third goal in the fourth quarter tied the game 16-16 with 2:14 left. Red Storm faceoff man Nick Quartararo, who battled Jensen relentlessly, won the next faceoff to set up Neugebauer’s go-ahead goal.

“Really all you can ever do is put yourself in a position to have a chance and we sure did that,” said retiring Scarborough Coach Joe Hezlep.

In 10 seasons at Scarborough, Hezlep, 35, won six state championships (2008, 2010-13 and 2016).

Hezlep told his team he was retiring after the final regular-season game. A former president of the Maine Youth Lacrosse Association, Hezlep is the director of operations for a growing Portland real estate company. He plans to continue to coach lacrosse at the club level and be an assistant football coach.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0's Andrew Eno (13), celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against Scarborough in the Class A boys' lacrosse state championship game Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium. Brunswick won in overtime, 18-17. (Staff photo by Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer)Sat, 17 Jun 2017 21:55:28 +0000
Saturday’s high school roundup: Penobscot Valley ends Richmond’s softball reign Sat, 17 Jun 2017 22:46:27 +0000 STANDISH — Leine McKechnie pitched a no-hitter and hit a three-run homer to lead Penobscot Valley to a 4-0 win over Richmond in the Class D softball state championship game Saturday at St. Joseph’s College, ending the Bobcats’ 88-game winning streak.

The game was scoreless until the seventh inning, when Erynn Williams singled home Morgan Banks. McKechnie followed with a home run to make it 4-0, then retired Richmond in order in the bottom half. She finished with 11 strikeouts.

“I knew we’d score eventually, and I knew as long as I pitched my game the runs would come,” McKechnie said.

Penobscot Valley (20-0) was also the last team to beat the Bobcats (18-1), in the 2012 state final. Richmond was seeking a fifth straight state title.

Richmond’s streak was the longest active softball streak in the country and the fifth longest ever according to the National Federation of State High School Association’s record book.

“We had a heck of a run,” Richmond senior Meranda Martin said. “I’m upset a little bit, but I’m so proud of this team. We played our hearts out. Nobody else can say they’ve won 88 in row.”

BUCKSPORT 2, MADISON 1: MaKenzie Smith hit a two-run single in the fifth inning to lift the Golden Bucks (20-0) to a win in the Class C state championship game as Bucksport avenged a loss to the Bulldogs (18-2) in the 2016 final.

Katelin Saunders pitched a two-hitter with 13 strikeouts.

Madeline Wood drove in Madison’s run with a third-inning single.


ORONO 4, LISBON 3: Jayden Dana’s RBI single capped a four-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Red Riots (14-6) knocked off the Greyhounds (15-5) in the Class C state championship game in Bangor.

Lisbon pitcher Tyler Halls retired 17 straight batters after allowing an infield hit in the first inning, but Orono opened the seventh with four straight hits to cut its deficit to 3-2. The tying run scored on a groundout before Dana ended the game with his two-out single.

Jackson Coutts, who started the winning rally with a double, retired the final 13 Lisbon batters and finished with nine strikeouts.

Lisbon scored its runs in the third inning on RBI singles by Ryley Austin and Lucas Francis and an error.

SEARSPORT 6, BANGOR CHRISTIAN 5: Mitch Philbrook homered in the bottom of the ninth to give the Vikings (17-3) their third straight Class D state championship.

Searsport trailed 5-1 after five innings but got two runs in the sixth and two in the seventh to force extra innings.

Bangor Christian finished 13-7.

]]> 0 Sat, 17 Jun 2017 21:58:01 +0000
Baseball: Yarmouth beats Old Town 3-0 for Class B title Sat, 17 Jun 2017 22:19:51 +0000 STANDISH — They were the No. 9 seed in the Class B South regional and underdogs in pretty much every playoff game. But the Yarmouth Clippers ended the season alone at the top of Class B baseball.

Gibson Harnett allowed just two hits as Yarmouth defeated defending champ Old Town 3-0 to win the Class B state championship at Mahaney Diamond at St. Joseph’s College. It’s the Clippers’ first baseball state title since 1995, when they won the second of two Class C championships.

Old Town finished 16-4.

“Nobody really believed in us,” said senior shortstop Chris Romano. “And yet the whole time we believed we are an elite team. I think we showed that today.”

“To get a Class B championship with these kids, it’s something they’ll remember for the rest of their lives,” said Yarmouth Coach Marc Halsted.

The Clippers (16-5) made all the plays in the field and used their aggressive baserunning to score two insurance runs in the top of the sixth. Not that Harnett – a senior whom Halsted called “one of the finest competitors ever” at Yarmouth – needed them. He was in a zone from the first pitch, throwing just 75 pitches – only 37 over the final five innings – while striking out three, walking one and hitting one batter.

“He did a great job mixing and matching and keeping guys off-balance,” said Old Town Coach Brad Goody. “He’d start the pitch on the plate and move it off. He did a great job mixing speeds and moving locations and making it tough for us today.”

Yarmouth got a run in the first inning on an RBI single by Jack Romano, and then its defense preserved that lead.

One of the game’s biggest plays came in the third inning. With one out, Old Town’s Ryan Hoogterp was on second. Cole Daniel hit a fly ball to center field that kept carrying. When Jack Romano caught it, he stumbled and fell to his knees.

Hoogterp tagged up on the play and Goody waved him around third: “Once he hit the ground, and he was out there pretty deep, it was going to take a long throw to the (cutoff man) and then a long throw from the cut to home. The way their pitcher was throwing, I figured I’d take a shot.”

Chris Romano got the relay throw from his younger brother and turned, taking a step before he unleashed a throw to catcher James Waaler. “Chris threw an absolute seed to James,” said Harnett.

The throw was just up the third-base line, but Waaler had time to catch it and tag Hoogterp to end the inning.

The defense stepped up again in the fifth. With a runner on first and one out, Old Town’s Nick Boutin put down a perfect sacrifice bunt. Yarmouth first baseman John Thoma made the out at first and then quickly threw to Chris Romano to catch the lead runner, who had rounded second.

“It was the little plays all day that really helped us,” said Chris Romano.

Then Thoma made a dazzling backhand snag of a line drive to end the sixth inning.

Yarmouth came up with two runs in the bottom of the sixth with aggressive baserunning. With one out and runners on second and third, Jackson Caruso dropped a squeeze bunt that was fielded by Old Town pitcher Ethan Stoddard halfway to home plate. Waaler, on third, scored easily.

But when Stoddard turned to throw to first, no one was there. “Just a mental breakdown on our part,” said Goody. Joe Coyne, who was on second, rounded third and kept heading home. He slid in with Stoddard still holding the ball, and it was 3-0.

“That’s who we are,” said Halsted. “Yarmouth baseball at its best.”

Then it was on to the seventh. Harnett needed just six pitches, the final one resulting in a ground ball to Caruso at third.

“Just a flutter of emotions,” said Harnett. “It’s pretty incredible, hard to explain.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0 celebrates its 3-0 win over Old Town in the Class B baseball state championship Saturday. (Staff photo by Joel Page/Staff Pohotgrapher)Sat, 17 Jun 2017 21:59:14 +0000
Girls’ lacrosse: Massabesic leaves no doubt this year in Class A Sat, 17 Jun 2017 21:10:17 +0000 A four-goal lead in a state championship lacrosse game seems fairly comfortable.

Not to the Massabesic girls, though.

A year ago, the Mustangs saw such a lead evaporate and lost in overtime to Messalonskee.

On Saturday afternoon, the teams met again, and Massabesic kept its foot firmly on the gas pedal, pouring in five unanswered goals in the final 12 minutes to win the Class A state championship 13-4 at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

“I’ve been doing this a long time,” Massabesic Coach Brooks Bowen said. “You don’t ever really feel comfortable. When the momentum shifts in this game, it can be ugly. It’s really hard to get it back.”

The victory capped a perfect season for Massabesic (16-0). Messalonskee finishes 14-2.

A little over 14 minutes remained when Lauren Pickett of Messalonskee scored to cut the Eagles’ deficit to 8-4. Massabesic responded with three goals in a span of 85 seconds. Sophomore Skylar Renaud put in her own rebound. Madi Drain, walking with the ball 20 yards away from the net in an apparent stall, noticed a seam in the defense and raced in for another goal. Drain won the ensuing draw, attacked again with a spin move and put a left-handed shot into net for an 11-4 lead.

“I think we had a little fire in us that told us we can’t win by a few goals, that we need to keep going,” said Drain, who finished with three goals. “We waited, saw the opening and just went for it.”

Drain also helped pull the plug on Messalonskee comeback thoughts by winning eight of 11 draws in the second half.

Late in the first half, with Massabesic ahead 5-3, Morgan Pike had to sit out with a yellow card, but the Eagles couldn’t capitalize. Instead, Taylor Manning cut hard to the middle and scored a short-handed goal to make it 6-3 at intermission. Less than two minutes into the second half, she repeated the short-handed trick with a shot that caromed in off Messalonskee goalie Gaby Languet for a 7-3 lead.

“We were really affected by last year,” said Manning, who finished with three goals. “We were devastated by it. So we came out and really put our hearts into it.”

Massabesic took its first lead 24 seconds after the opening draw – won by Logan Champlin – when Renaud converted from free position. Four minutes later, Pike got the first of her four goals.

Messalonskee tied it at 2 and trailed only 4-3 thanks to three goals by Ally Turner, but a transition goal by Pike with just under four minutes left in the half gave the Mustangs a two-goal cushion they retained for the rest of the game.

“We didn’t want to get in the same situation we had last year,” said Massabesic junior goalie Lydia Wasina, who finished with five saves, the same as Languet. “We wanted to keep pushing all the way to the end.”

Several members of the Massabesic team that lost 7-6 in overtime last spring were also on the field hockey team that lost 2-1 to Skowhegan in the Class A final in the fall.

“It was back to back for us,” Pike said. “A lot of us play field hockey here, so it was nice to finally get it done.”

Crystal Leavitt, Messalonskee’s first-year coach, was an assistant on last year’s championship squad. She knew Massabesic was a team on a mission.

“We knew we weren’t going to see anything less than 100 percent from that team (Saturday),” she said. “You can tell they’re one family out there. I think that connection really helped them.”

The Mustangs printed Unfinished Business on shirts and sweatshirts this year. Bowen repeatedly harped on the importance of “finishing everything we start,” he said. “That included offseason work, practices, finishing. We talked about finishing a lot over the course of the year. I probably talked about it so much they got sick of listening to me.”

He paused and glanced over at Wasina, clutching the championship plaque.

“Now,” he said, “we can finish with that talk.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or:

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

]]> 0's Logan Champlin fires a shot against Messalonskee in a rematch of the 2016 state final.Sat, 17 Jun 2017 19:24:32 +0000
Baseball: Bangor wins Class A title in 9 innings Sat, 17 Jun 2017 20:05:09 +0000 AUGUSTA — The bloop dropped down quickly in center field, and Tyler Parke raced home from third base.

A celebratory pile of players in maroon and white followed. Bangor High completed a two-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning, beating Falmouth High 4-3 Saturday afternoon in the Class A baseball state championship game at Morton Field.

It was the fourth straight title for Bangor (16-4) and second straight championship win over the Yachtsmen (18-2).

Falmouth looked in command this time, scoring once in the top of the ninth. But the Rams rebounded with back-to-back doubles and then, with bases loaded and one out, Derek Fournier’s game-winning bloop single.

“They were coming inside on me all game,” Fournier said. “I just fisted it right off the handle. I thought it was too high. When I saw it drop, holy cow, I was the happiest man alive.”

Falmouth ace Cam Guarino lasted eight innings (106 pitches), giving up two runs on eight hits. Robbie Armitage relieved in the ninth, throwing heat.

“We had it where we wanted it, Cam and then Robbie,” Falmouth Coach Kevin Winship said. “I thought Robbie did well. But those guys, they can swing it … That was a tough one.”

Falmouth looked ready to break out in the first inning, loading the bases on two singles and a walk with one out. But Bangor starter Nick Cowperthwaite, induced a forceout at home, and then a strikeout.

“We had them on their heels early,” Winship said. “We just didn’t come up with that big hit.”

Bangor got the first break in the third. The leadoff batter struck out, but reached first on a wild pitch. Parke singled. Peter Kemble sacrificed the runners over. George Payne’s single scored one, and Fournier’s groundout scored another.

Falmouth tied it in the top of the fourth. Griffin Aube, Will Blum and Ike Kiely loaded the bases with three straight singles. Marcus Cady fielder’s choice scored one run, and another came in on an infield error.

Both pitchers settled down and neither team scored again until the ninth.

“It was a great baseball game,” Bangor Coach David Morris said. “Guarino’s record and tenure speaks for itself … And our pitcher had a gutsy performance.”

In the top of the ninth, Falmouth chased Cowperthwaite after a walk, sacrifice bunt and Garrett Aube’s single put runners on first and third. Left fielder Gary Farnham relieved.

Colin Coyne crushed a ball to deep left. It was good for a sacrifice fly, but it looked like it might have been more, until Charlie Budd – just inserted into left – ran the ball down.

“I started in on it and I had to scurry back,” said Budd, who hurried, stretched his glove as high as possible and grabbed it. “I didn’t know I had it until it went into my glove, to be honest.”

After a single by Armitage, Farnham induced a flyout to end the inning.

“If you give up one, you don’t want to give up the second one,” Morris said. “We had a chance.”

In bottom of the ninth, Armitage came in and struck out the first batter. Zach Cowperthwaite was up next and began walking away after two strikes.

“I thought I heard the ump say that was three,” he said. “Coach told me to relax and get back in there.”

Instead of striking out, Cowperthwaite slammed a fastball off the right-field wall for a double. Parke, the No. 9 hitter who went 2 for 3 with a walk and two runs, followed with a RBI double to deep center, tying the game.

“He throws hard. I just wanted to get a hold of it,” Parke said.

An intentional walk and infield error loaded the bases, setting up Fournier’s winning single.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

Twitter: @KevinThomasPPH

]]> 0's Derek Fournier celebrates with Gary Farnham (2) as the Rams beat Falmouth 4-3 in nine innings on Saturday in the Class A state championship baseball in Augusta. (Staff photo byJill Brady/Staff Photographer)Sat, 17 Jun 2017 21:43:04 +0000
Softball: Scarborough caps perfect season with Class A title Sat, 17 Jun 2017 18:54:56 +0000 AUGUSTA — In her four years on the Scarborough High softball team, Lilly Volk and her fellow seniors lost only three games, all in the postseason.

One loss has haunted Volk since her sophomore year, when she gave up just one hit in the 2015 Class A state championship game. It was a home run, and Scarborough lost, 1-0.

“It weighs on me every day,” Volk said. “That’s been my biggest heartbreak, and I’ve just used that as my motivation.”

The Red Storm (20-0) redeemed themselves Saturday on the same field where they lost the 2015 state final to Messalonskee, defeating Skowhegan 3-0 at Cony High School for their first state title since 2013.

Volk, Hannah Ricker and Abbie Murrell are the only seniors on Scarborough’s roster. During their four years, the Red Storm were undefeated in the regular season, but they lost in the regional final in 2014 and 2016 in addition to their state final loss in 2015.

Volk helped make sure their season wouldn’t end in disappointment this time. She struck out 13 and held Skowhegan (17-3) to two hits.

“That game was emotional on a whole different level, but winning this game just brought tears to my eyes,” Volk said, her voice cracking. “The fire in our stomachs was boiling through our bodies.”

Scarborough had a chance to score in the third, with two outs and two runners in scoring position, but Skowhegan second baseman Julia Steeves fielded a Murrell grounder and threw her out to end the threat.

“We were just swinging and swinging, so we stopped aiming for the fence,” Volk said. “We settled down, took some deep breaths and had a shorter stroke. Get those little singles, just chip away at them, and that’s what we did.”

With two outs in the fourth, Chloe Griffin put the Red Storm on the board with a two-run single that scored Samantha Carreiro and Lindsey Kelley. Isabella Dickinson made it 3-0 in the seventh when she belted a leadoff triple and scored on an errant throw to third base.

Volk and Ricker each hit two singles for the Red Storm, who have won five state championships since 2007.

Scarborough finished with no errors while Skowhegan made three – starting with a dropped fly ball on the first batter of the game. Skowhegan pitcher Ashley Alward prevented the Red Storm from capitalizing on the mistake, closing out the inning with two strikeouts and a popout. Alward finished with nine strikeouts. Annie Cooke and Alyssa Everett got the only hits for Skowhegan, which lost in the state final for the second straight year.

“That’s the way the kids have played all year – they found ways to battle,” Skowhegan Coach Lee Johnson said. “The kids showed a lot of heart and found a way to compete the whole day.”

In the bottom of the second, Courtney Brochu dove to field a Lindsey Warren grounder before throwing her out. Volk caught a low line drive by the next batter.

Volk kept most of the Skowhegan hitters from making good contact, with only a single and a fly ball leaving the infield the entire game.

“The score would have been tied if we didn’t have that defense out there behind (Volk),” said Ricker, a senior catcher. “We’ve been so close, so to be able to come back and play a really good game means a lot.”

Scarborough had to replace its entire starting infield from last season, but still finished with a perfect record.

“We had to regroup – we had a freshman and a sophomore out there anchoring our middle infield,” Coach Tom Griffin said. “When it comes down to big games, defense is usually what separates it.”

Dickinson, a freshman shortstop, made the final play, throwing out Skowhegan’s Mariah Dunbar.

“They deserve this,” Griffin said. “This is the hardest working group I’ve had in the last 30 years, and probably the most talented.”

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or:

Twitter: TaylorVortherms

]]> 0 celebrates their win over Skowhegan in the Class A softball state title game at Cony High School in Augusta on June 17, 2017. Scarborough won the championship game, 3-0.Sat, 17 Jun 2017 21:58:30 +0000
High school state championships results Sat, 17 Jun 2017 18:34:24 +0000 0, ME - JUNE 17: Old Town's Lauren Gasaway, left, and Natalie St. Louis celebrate winning the Class B Championship Saturday, June 17, 2017 in Standish, Maine. Old Town beat Fryeburg Academy 2-0. (Staff Photo by Joel Page/Staff Photographer)Sat, 17 Jun 2017 17:21:32 +0000 Boys’ lacrosse: Capers beat Clippers for Class B state title Sat, 17 Jun 2017 18:22:16 +0000 Cape Elizabeth junior Finn Raymond knew it was time to step up.

Yarmouth had closed to within three goals in the Class B boys’ lacrosse state championship game. The underdog Clippers were focused on Cape’s other top scoring threats. Plus, it was a good time to get his dad, Cape Elizabeth Coach Ben Raymond, an early Father’s Day present.

In quick succession, Raymond made mirror-image moves from behind Yarmouth’s net to score a pair of fourth-quarter goals, providing the boost the Capers needed to pull away for a 16-7 victory Saturday.

“It’s definitely the best gift I can give him. It’s his favorite thing,” said Raymond, who finished with four goals. “I gave it to him two years ago. Couldn’t give it to him last year, but made it up to him this year.”

“It’s probably because he didn’t want to buy me a card,” quipped Ben Raymond. “I would rather have him play as well as he did today. He was one of the key reasons that we were successful. He had a good first quarter, and then in the fourth quarter when we needed to put some distance between us, he did just that.”

Cape Elizabeth (14-1) won its fourth state title in five years and 11th in the 20 years of MPA-sanctioned play. Cape won three straight from 2013-15 but was dethroned in 2016 in the South final by eventual champ Falmouth.

“A year ago, since that Falmouth loss, we’ve been waiting, waiting for that chance to play Falmouth again in the (regional final) and a chance to bring the state championship back to our town,” said faceoff specialist Cole Spencer, one of 13 Cape seniors.

Yarmouth (9-7) lost in the state championship game for the fifth straight season, falling into an early five-goal deficit for a second straight year.

After a taut 6-5 win against Falmouth in the regional final, the Capers came out sharp, opening a 5-0 lead after one quarter on two goals from Raymond, two from Owen Thoreck and one from Owen’s twin brother, Connor.

Yarmouth was outscored 33-4 in two regular-season losses to Cape Elizabeth but played even with the Capers in the second quarter and outscored them 3-1 in the third quarter to cut the lead to 8-5.

Remi LeBlanc had three goals and two assists for Yarmouth, which in the middle two quarters reduced its midfield turnovers and finally started taking shots. Yarmouth’s first shot resulted in a goal by LeBlanc with 6:55 left in the second quarter.

Cape killed off two penalties early in the fourth quarter, both coming with a three-goal lead.

“There were two man-up situations that really could have turned the tide of the game,” said Yarmouth Coach David Pearl.

Then Raymond scored on nearly identical moves from behind the goal, first popping out to the right of Yarmouth goalie Spencer King (11 saves) and then scoring from his left with 8:22 remaining to put Cape ahead 10-6.

Raymond had room to work in part because Yarmouth committed a long-stick defender to midfielder Connor Thoreck and was also focused on top scoring threats Owen Thoreck (two goals) and Tate Perkins (one goal, one assist)

“They just wouldn’t slide,” said Connor Thoreck of Yarmouth’s defensive strategy. “We just have wonderful coaches who can figure out stuff like that pretty quickly, and we really, really appreciate that.”

Cape reasserted its control of the midfield. The Capers caused 23 Yarmouth turnovers (compared to 13 for Cape), which helped lead to a 36-18 edge in shots. Eleven of Yarmouth’s shots came in the third quarter.

After Raymond’s two goals early in the fourth, Thoreck scored two of his four goals in the next four minutes. Cape pushed the lead to 14-6 on a goal by Jeb Boeschenstein (two goals).

]]> 0 Thoreck of Cape Elizabeth is hit by Spencer King, left, and Jake Rogers and Patrick Mallett of Yarmouth as he scores in the first quarter of the Class B boys' lacrosse state championship game Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland. The Capers won, 16-7, for their fourth title in five years.Sat, 17 Jun 2017 21:59:41 +0000
Softball: Old Town beats Fryeburg for second straight Class B title Sat, 17 Jun 2017 18:12:15 +0000 STANDISH — Saturday dawned like any other morning for McKenna Smith, Old Town High’s junior pitcher.

She had her usual breakfast of eggs and toast and then set about preparing for the Coyotes’ next game, which just happened to be the Class B state final against Fryeburg Academy.

“I just wanted to make everything the same,” said Smith. “I try not to make it any different, it’s just another game. I mean, it’s a big game, but you’ve got to treat it like any other.”

Smith’s performance was extraordinary. She struck out 19 and allowed just three hits as Old Town won its second consecutive state title with a 2-0 victory at Bailey Field at St. Joseph’s College.

“She’s worked so hard over the last year,” said Old Town Coach Jenn Plourde. “It’s amazing to see that all her work has paid off.”

The win was the 16th in a row for the Coyotes (18-2) and gave them their third state title since 2012, when they also defeated Fryeburg (16-4).

“It’s crazy,” said Smith, holding onto the game ball from her final strikeout. “Last year, I was (playing) in center field (while Olivia Albert pitched Old Town past York). To be in the circle this time, it’s a completely different feeling.”

She dominated from the start. After Fryeburg’s Mackenzie Buzzell reached on an error to start the game, Smith struck out the next seven batters. She walked Grace Condon in the third inning, and Buzzell followed with a long drive to left field that was tracked down by freshman Jennessa Brown just in front of the fence.

“I thought it was over my head,” said Brown. “It was traveling pretty quickly.” But Brown reached up and caught it, and then Smith struck out the next six batters. “That could have been something,” said Smith. “But she’s been fantastic for us. I knew she had that.”

Fifteen of Smith’s strikeouts were swinging, an indication that whatever she was throwing was working. “I have six pitches and I threw them all,” said Smith.

Her best pitch appeared to be her riser – “My favorite,” she said – which started low and ended up around the batters’ eyes.

“We knew it was coming, but we couldn’t lay off,” said Fryeburg Coach Fred Apt. “We don’t see a lot of that. It was a legitimate riser, not just a high pitch.”

At one point, Apt told his batters to swing at the first strike. “We took a lot of good pitches,” he said. “And if she gets ahead in the count, she was just dominating.”

Fryeburg pitcher Nicole Bennett allowed seven hits and struck out nine. But the Coyotes struck for two runs in the third, aided by an error.

Natalie St. Louis led off with a single and went to third when Morgan Love’s fly ball to right was dropped. Love stole second, and Smith followed with a sacrifice fly to right, scoring St. Louis and moving Love to third.

Albert then struck out, but the low pitch got away from catcher Makayla Cooper, prompting a throw to first to get Albert. Love beat the relay home to make it 2-0.

Old Town had several other chances but stranded eight runners, causing some concern for Plourde.

“At one point I went to my assistant, Rachel (Martin), and asked, ‘How many are we going to leave on base? Because we can’t keep doing this,’ ” said Plourde. “We knew what they did against Wells (rallying for four runs in the seventh to win the regional title) and we didn’t want to put ourselves in that situation. We were worried in that we didn’t think two would be enough.”

With Smith, two runs were plenty.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0 Smith of Old Town pitches in the third inning against Fryeburg in the Class B state championship game on Saturday at St. Joseph's College in Standish. She finished with a three-hitter and 19 strikeouts, leading the Coyotes to their second straight state title. (Staff photo by Joel Page/Staff Photographer)Sat, 17 Jun 2017 21:57:37 +0000
Girls’ lacrosse: Kennebunk repeats as Class B state champ, 5-4 Sat, 17 Jun 2017 16:25:09 +0000 Defending champions aren’t supposed to be underdogs, but that’s how the Kennebunk High girls viewed themselves in the Class B lacrosse state championship game.

They even came up with a slogan to address naysayers who noted the 11 graduated seniors and only three returning starters: Prove them wrong.

On Saturday morning, the Rams did just that with a 5-4 victory at Fitzpatrick Stadium over previously unbeaten Yarmouth.

“There’s nothing more satisfying than coming off this field, having nobody believing in you except for the girls around you, and proving them wrong,” Kennebunk junior midfielder Hallie Schwartzman said.

The Rams (13-2) never trailed against a Yarmouth team (15-1) that had beaten them 7-3 on a rainy day in late May. Beneath overcast skies, Kennebunk put into action lessons learned from the earlier loss, showing more patience on offense and clogging the middle on defense.

“We studied the film when we played them last and we looked at all the things that we needed to fix,” said Kennebunk senior goalie Mallory Burchill, who made five of her seven saves after intermission. “I think they were frustrated because we figured them out a little bit. They tended to plant people in the middle and we figured out how to work around that.”

Maran Oakman played the backer position and roamed the perimeter of the 8-meter arc, giving Kennebunk an extra layer of defense against Yarmouth attackers and preventing entry passes in front of the net.

“I’m not assigned to a spot and no cutters are my responsibility,” Oakman said. “My only responsibility is to be behind the ball and pick off the pass going into the (middle). It’s a frustrating defense because it’s new, so a lot of people don’t know how to beat it.”

Kennebunk jumped to an early lead behind goals from Erin Gorton (free position) and Leah Dumas (assist from Briannagh Beaudette). Yarmouth responded with a transition goal from Ella Antolini, her first of three.

Dumas curled from behind the net to make it 3-1. Gorton converted a feed from Schwartzman to give Kennebunk a 4-1 lead.

“The backer is not something we see a lot, and it flustered us initially,” said Antolini. “With Eva (Then), Eliza (Lunt) and Cory (Langenbach), I confidently say they’re the strongest drivers in the state. With that backer, they completely take that away. They essentially double the ball. Not a tight double, it just prevents us from getting the feed through, and it prevents the drive from the top.”

Antolini converted from free position to make it 4-2 at the half, but Gabby Fogg scored early in the second half to put Kennebunk up 5-2. Only the crossbar prevented Kennebunk from padding its lead, not once but twice.

Greta Elder gave Yarmouth life with 8:38 remaining by flipping in a feed from Meredith Lane. Two minutes later, Antolini capitalized on one of Kennebunk’s 13 turnovers to make it 5-4.

For the remaining six minutes and change, Kennebunk tried to run out the clock and the Clippers pressed for the equalizer.

“We knew we didn’t need to shoot,” Kennebunk Coach Annie Barker said.

A Langenbach steal with 2:30 remaining gave Yarmouth a chance to tie, but the Kennebunk defense held. Callie Decker stole it again with a minute left and Yarmouth called time with 27 seconds left to set up a final play.

Yarmouth Coach Dorothy Holt directed the ball to go to Elder, who would pass to Then, who would drive net. Instead, an errant pass behind the goal short-circuited the play. The title remained with Kennebunk.

“Coming from behind is tough, but we rallied,” Holt said. “We showed we could. We just needed five more minutes.”

]]> 0, ME - JUNE 17: Class B Girls Lacrosse State Championship game. Kennebunk celebrates after defeating Yarmouth 5-4 to capture the state title.Sat, 17 Jun 2017 22:00:03 +0000
Miss Maine Softball finalists announced Sat, 17 Jun 2017 02:54:21 +0000 Scarborough High pitcher Lilly Volk, Windham first baseman Olivia Mora, Cheverus catcher/outfielder Ally Tillotson and Wells catcher Sara Ring are among the six finalists for Miss Maine Softball, awarded to the state’s best senior.

Hermon catcher Hailey Perry and Bucksport outfielder Madysen Robichaud are the other finalists. Volk and Perry are headed to the University of Maine in the fall.

The winner will be announced June 22 between the senior all-star games at Cony High School in Augusta.

]]> 0, 16 Jun 2017 22:59:35 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Scarborough, Brunswick meet again Fri, 16 Jun 2017 23:18:11 +0000 Goals are likely to come at a high rate when Scarborough and Brunswick meet Saturday in a Class A boys’ lacrosse state final rematch.

“Both of our teams love transition and the aspect of the sport that is (like) fast-break basketball,” said Brunswick Coach Don Glover. “I would think we’re very similar teams and have similar approaches.”

Scarborough beat a youthful Brunswick team in last year’s title game, 18-10. This time, the Dragons have 13 seniors with title-game experience.

“Oh yeah, Brunswick is for real,” said Scarborough Coach Joe Hezlep.

The Class A game (scheduled for 6 p.m.) caps a four-game slate at Portland’s Fitzpatrick Stadium. Scarborough is 12-2. Brunswick, playing in its fourth straight state final, is 15-0.

The Class B boys’ contest at 12:30 p.m. pits heavily favored Cape Elizabeth (13-1) against Yarmouth (9-6).

If that game turns into an up-and-down affair, that’s bad news for Yarmouth (9-6). Cape Elizabeth won the regular-season games 17-0 at Yarmouth and 16-4 at home.


The faceoff battle between Scarborough sophomore Nick Quartararo and Brunswick senior Christian Jensen will be a key subplot. In a 20-16 win against Thornton Academy in the South final, Quartararo dominated, while Jensen won eight of 22 faceoffs in the North final against Lewiston, which the Dragons won 14-8.

“Nick’s only a sophomore. It will be the biggest game he’s played in, but he’s up to the task,” Hezlep said.

Both teams have long-pole players who can turn a ground ball into a fast break. For Scarborough, that’s usually Reece Lagerquist and Eric Murray. Brunswick’s Christian Glover is an offensive force with the long pole, with 38 goals and 26 assists.

Scarborough’s leading scorer, Sam Neugebauer (58 goals, 12 assists), has been held in check in the playoffs by Gorham and Thornton – leaving openings for Marco Manfra (33 goals, 23 assists) to score 13 playoff goals, including nine against Thornton. Marc Guerette (43 goals, 18 assists) and Cam Thibault (24 goals, 13 assists) are also threats.

For Brunswick, sophomore attack Aiden Glover has 62 goals and 37 assists. Max Gramins (41 goals, 18 assists) and Josh Dorr (38 goals, 11 assists) are also experienced and dangerous scorers.

If the game stays close, it could come down to which goalie – Scarborough senior Dominic Joy and Brunswick sophomore Connor Pendergast – can make a momentum-switching save.


On paper, this game is a mismatch. Take out three close games against Falmouth (two wins), and Cape has outscored opponents by an average of 13.9 goals.

“We’re going to beat them,” said Yarmouth Coach David Pearl. “There’s nothing like an upset. I truly believe our guys think we can beat Cape. We’ve got a plan, we just need to execute it.”

Yarmouth has good scorers in Remi LeBlanc (32 goals) and Bill Jacobs (23 goals, 20 assists) but does not have Cape’s firepower. The Capers’ defense, led by Ben Ekedahl (69 ground balls, 40 caused turnovers) and goalie Sam Price (.700 save percentage, 80 percent successful on clears) has shown it can shut down top scorers and also create turnovers and start transition offense.

That means more opportunities for attackmen Owen Thoreck (43 goals, 22 assists) and Tate Perkins (33 goals, 18 assists) and midfielders Finn Raymond (31 goals, 17 assists) and Connor Thoreck (25 goals, 12 assists).

Cape’s Cole Spencer is winning 70 percent of his faceoffs.

“We have beaten them twice, but it’s the state championship, anything can happen,” said Ekedahl. “We’ve just got to be ready. We’ll see what happens, but we’re hoping for a big win.”

Cape beat Yarmouth in three straight finals from 2013 to 2015.

This will be the Capers’ 15th state championship game appearance in the 20 years of MPA-sanctioned playoffs. Cape is 10-4 in title games.

Yarmouth is in its fifth straight title game and eighth in 10 seasons, with championships in 2008 and 2009.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0 earned a shot at its second straight Class A boys' lacrosse state championship when it beat Thornton Academy 20-16 in the South final Wednesday. The Red Storm's opponent Saturday is the same as last year's foe, Brunswick, which is in its fourth consecutive state final.Fri, 16 Jun 2017 20:14:18 +0000
Girls’ lacrosse: Two state finals, two rematches Fri, 16 Jun 2017 23:08:10 +0000 Anyone for a do-over?

After a soggy regular season and another two weeks of playoffs, the girls’ lacrosse teams still standing are the same four that finished out 2016.

In the Class A state final, Massabesic will have another shot at defending champion Messalonskee, a 7-6 overtime winner last spring.

In Class B, Yarmouth gets another crack at defending champ Kennebunk, which ended Yarmouth’s two-year reign with a 9-7 victory.

Both games are scheduled for Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland, with Class B at 10 a.m. and Class A at 3:30 p.m.


Massabesic’s theme since Day 1 has been Unfinished Business. The Mustangs printed it on T-shirts and sweatshirts. They jumped to a 4-0 lead in last year’s championship game and led 6-3 with a little more than 12 minutes remaining.

Even after Messalonskee tied the game with 1:50 left, Massabesic had three shots in the final 30 seconds of regulation; one struck the crossbar.

“I think about it every day, even on the practice field,” said senior Emma Desrochers. “It’s painful, that moment, but you use it to motivate you, to focus you, so you’re working 10 times harder than you ever thought you could.”

Massabesic takes a 15-0 record into Saturday’s contest and won every regular-season game by at least five goals, outscoring opponents 163-40. Junior midfielder Madi Drain led the way with 37 goals and 26 assists, including playoffs. She had three goals in a 6-2 regional final victory over Marshwood.

Sharing the rest of the scoring load are Morgan Pike (31 goals, 26 assists), Taylor Manning (28/9), Logan Champlin (26/11) and Skylar Renaud (22/12). Josie Ring, Hallie Benton and Cailyn Forrester have at least 12 goals apiece.

Lydia Wasina stopped 60 percent of shots and sports a 3.1 goals-against average.

“We lost a lot of defenders to graduation, so we’ve got a lot of new bodies in there,” said Massabesic Coach Brooks Bowen. “But we’ve been pretty diligent in practices and in games, pounding out the details around the defense. They get better at what they do every day. They don’t panic.”

“Unfinished Business is our motto,” Drain said. “It was painful, but we definitely learned from it. Last year, we got (the state title) in our heads a little too soon and we threw it away. This year, we got it.”

Messalonskee (14-1) trailed in two of its three playoff games before beating No. 8 Portland 14-12 in the quarterfinals and No. 2 Windham 7-6 in the regional final. In the regular season, Massabesic beat those teams by a combined 28-7.

Still, the Eagles are nothing if not resilient. This is their third straight state final, and their only loss was to defending Class B champion Kennebunk in mid-May.

“The seniors are 100 percent focused now,” said Messalonskee Coach Crystal Leavitt. “They’re not in school. They want to win a championship before they leave.”


Yarmouth (15-0) and Kennebunk (12-2) meet for the third year in a row. Yarmouth, which is in its fifth straight final, won 11-10 in 2015.

On a rainy day in late May, Yarmouth beat host Kennebunk 7-3 on natural grass.

“It’s going to be a close game,” Yarmouth Coach Dorothy Holt said. “We’re closely matched.”

Both teams feature balanced attacks. For Kennebunk, Gabby Fogg, Hallie Schwartzman and Erin Groton lead an offense that includes Katherine Koch, Briannagh Beaudette, Leah Dumas and Mia Banglmaier.

“It will be the little things in this game that make the difference – the (fewest) turnovers, good shots and 50 minutes of smart play,” said Kennebunk Coach Annie Barker. “The Kennebunk girls are well prepared and ready to have fun.”

For Yarmouth, the top seven include Ella Antolini, Cory Langenbach, Eliza Lunt, Katie Waeldner, Greta Elder, Eva Then and Molly Wilson.

“We’ve been talking all season about how we want to get back to the state final against them,” Holt said. “It’s exactly what we want. Win, lose or draw, we’ve followed our plan and we’re going to give it our all.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or:

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

]]> 0 Pike, right, is one of numerous scoring threats for Massabesic, which faces Messalonskee in the Class A girls' lacrosse state final Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium. Messalonskee rallied for a 7-6 win in last year's matchup.Fri, 16 Jun 2017 20:18:00 +0000
Sports Digest: South Portland athlete wins racewalk at high school nationals Fri, 16 Jun 2017 21:18:23 +0000 HIGH SCHOOLS

South Portland’s Smith wins racewalk at nationals

Steven Smith of South Portland won the 3,000-meter racewalk Friday at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals high school track and field championships in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Smith, this year’s Class A state champion in the 1,600 racewalk, finished in 13 minutes, 49.09 seconds, more than a minute ahead of runner-up Brian Baccaglini of West Nyack, New York.


JUNIOR LEGION: Jason Lainey and Caleb Brown each had two hits and two RBI as Yarmouth (1-0) cruised to a 15-1 win over host Biddeford (1-1) in five innings.

Reece Hall doubled twice for Yarmouth, which scored four runs in the first and five in the second to take a 9-1 lead.


LPGA: Brooke Henderson bogeyed the final two holes for a 4-under 67, leaving the 19-year-old Canadian with a two-stroke lead in the Meijer LPGA Classic in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Henderson was at 12-under 130.


STUTTGART OPEN: Feliciano Lopez upset Tomas Berdych 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-4 and Mischa Zverev ended veteran Tommy Haas’ participation in the quarterfinals in Germany.

Lopez saved all nine break points he faced against the third-seeded Berdych.

Zverev defeated Haas 6-4, 6-4 to set up a semifinal against Lopez.


FIFA: About 25 separate investigations of suspected corruption linked to FIFA and World Cup bidding are being led by federal prosecutors in Switzerland.

Cases were not specified, but criminal proceedings are open against former FIFA officials Sepp Blatter and Jerome Valcke, and some 2006 World Cup organizers, including Franz Beckenbauer.


NFL: New Orleans left tackle Terron Armstead needs surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder and rehabilitation is expected to take four to six months, a source said.

Armstead, 25, is in the first year of a five-year, $65 million extension.

Minnesota wide receiver Michael Floyd, who played with New England part of last season, has been flagged for failed alcohol tests that are part of his monitoring for house arrest in Minnesota.

The Star Tribune reported that police records show Floyd flagged his alcohol monitoring three times and missed another test.

Floyd, 27, pleaded guilty on Feb. 12 in Scottsdale, Arizona, to extreme drunken driving.


BOXING: The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland dismissed an appeal by Russia’s Misha Aloian, who was stripped of his 2016 Olympic silver medal for doping.

Aloian won silver in the men’s flyweight division at the Rio de Janeiro Games but tested positive for the banned stimulant tuaminoheptane.

The 29-year-old retains the bronze he took at the 2012 London Olympics.


NHL: The Anaheim Ducks placed concussion-plagued defenseman Simon Despres on waivers and will buy out the rest of his five-year deal.

Despres was just one game into an $18.5 million contract extension last fall when the Ducks lost him for the season. He missed half of 2015-16 because of a previous concussion.

]]> 0 Fri, 16 Jun 2017 22:49:36 +0000
Softball: Championship traditions spur teams in Class A and B Fri, 16 Jun 2017 08:00:00 +0000 There are some very familiar teams in the Class A and Class B softball state championship games Saturday. Since 2007, the four teams involved have combined to win 10 state championships.

Scarborough High has won four Class A state championships; Skowhegan, with a state title in 2014, is appearing in its fourth Class A state title game in five years; Fryeburg Academy has won three state Class B titles; and Old Town is the defending Class B state champ and also won it in 2012.

While it’s never easy to get to a state championship game, getting there often helps create a winning tradition that’s hard to beat.

“It makes it a little easier to get the whole community involved,” said Tom Griffin, the Scarborough coach. “You build tradition. And tradition comes with expectations. We tell the girls all the time, ‘As soon as you put on the Scarborough uniform, it means something.’ It means excellence, commitment and dedication.”

Fred Apt of Fryeburg Academy understands that as well.

“It’s all about tradition and belief,” he said. “They buy into what we’re doing.”

Class A

Scarborough (19-0) vs. Skowhegan (17-2)

The regional powers will be meeting for the fourth time in a state championship game at noon Saturday at Cony High in Augusta.

Scarborough has won the three previous meetings.

But Scarborough hasn’t won a state title since 2013, when it defeated the Indians, 9-3. Since then the Red Storm have lost in the regional final, state game and regional final again.

“It motivates them,” said Griffin of his players.

“They want to try to right the wrong. They put in a lot of time and effort in the offseason, and in this season.”

In outscoring opponents 249-18 this year, Scarborough hit .406 as a team.

Junior outfielder Chloe Griffin led the way at .483 (with 28 RBI), followed by senior pitcher Abbie Murrell (.480, 39 RBI) and freshman shortstop Bella Dickinson (.465).

The pitching isn’t bad either with a 0.656 ERA and 142 strikeouts in 96 innings.

Griffin is 5-0 and hasn’t allowed an earned run this year. Murrell is 5-0 with a 0.22 ERA, and the University of Maine-bound Lilly Volk went 6-0 with a 1.32 ERA.

Murrell, Volk and catcher Hannah Ricker are the only seniors.

“They’ve been tremendous leaders, as good as I’ve ever had,” said Griffin.

Skowhegan, which has won 12 straight games, is talented as well.

Junior pitcher Ashley Alward struck out 12 in the Class A North final and had allowed only one hit in the other two playoff games.

Juniors Lindsey Warren and Wylie Bedard provide a strong punch in the middle of the order.

“They’re great people, great coaches,” said Griffin. ” We always know we’re in for a battle with them. They do things the right way.”

Class B

Fryeburg Academy (16-3) vs. Old Town (17-2)

Saturday’s 12:30 p.m. game at St. Joseph’s College is a rematch of the 2012 game, won by Old Town.

The Coyotes defeated York for the state championship last year but never thought about repeating.

“We just have that mindset, one game at a time,” said Coach Jen Plourde.

There weren’t many people who expected the Raiders to be in this game. But Apt said his four seniors – pitcher Nicole Bennett, outfielder Mackenzie Buzzell, catcher Makayla Cooper and outfielder Alexandria Fraize – provided “some of the best leadership we’ve ever had.

“We have such a young team, and I was nervous at first. I couldn’t believe how they pulled this team together. They made sure we were always doing things together outside of practice, lawn games, having dinners together.”

Buzzell hit .541 with six home runs. Cooper hit .463 with 21 RBI. Bennett hit .508 with 21 RBI, also striking out 121 in 109 innings.

And it’s a team that plays to the end.

In the Class B South final, Fryeburg scored four runs in the top of the seventh to upset top-ranked Wells, 6-5.

“We don’t quit,” said Apt. “We’re just going to play, play, play. Anything can happen.”

They’ll need to keep playing against Old Town, which has won 15 straight.

The Coyotes have an exceptional pitcher in junior McKenna Smith, who struck out 128 in 61 innings in the regular season. She hasn’t allowed a run in the playoffs.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0 Murrell, left, is a powerful pitcher and hitter for Scarborough, which meets Skowhegan in the Class A final Saturday. She's 5-0 as a pitcher and is hitting .480.Thu, 15 Jun 2017 22:11:40 +0000
Baseball: Yarmouth is very good, and that’s a surprise to its coach Fri, 16 Jun 2017 08:00:00 +0000 Marc Halstead has coached several Yarmouth High baseball teams he felt were contenders.

“Back on March 20th, when preseason started, this team was not one of them,” Halstead said.

But here the Clippers are, in their first state championship game since winning the Class C title in 1995.

Underdogs all year, Yarmouth (15-5) scrapped its way to 11 regular-season wins. As the No. 9 seed in Class B South, it has won four straight, beating No. 1 Madison/Carrabec, No. 4 Cape Elizabeth and No. 2 York along the way.

Now it gets Old Town (16-3) which returns seven starters from the 2016 title team that beat Freeport, another upstart from the South, 12-2 in last year’s championship game.

“We know Old Town is better than us and our kids just don’t care,” Halstead said. “These kids just love to compete. They play for championships.”

Yarmouth started the year with two players – Gibson Harnett and shortstop Chris Romano – with varsity at-bats, and Harnett was the only returning pitcher.

Harnett has become the ace, going 6-1 with a 1.03 ERA. He’ll get the start at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Joseph’s College with closer Dom Morrill (2-1, 3 saves, 24 Ks in 221/3 innings) waiting in the wings.

Harnett is looking for some personal redemption. In basketball he was injured early in Yarmouth’s regional final loss to Wells. Yarmouth was a heavy favorite in that game but lost, and not having Harnett’s outside shooting was a factor.

Then there’s the story of pitcher/outfielder Luke Waeldner in the regional baseball quarterfinal. Yarmouth took a 5-3 lead into the seventh at No. 1 Madison/Carrabec. Waeldner dropped an easy pop fly and soon the lead was trimmed to 5-4 with a runner at third and one out.

Waeldner raced to catch a line drive and threw “an absolute seed from 200 feet,” Halstead said, to get the runner tagging at third for the game-ending out.

Waeldner has been Yarmouth’s offensive catalyst, hitting .469 (.526 on-base) with 18 steals.

John Romano (.377, team-high 15 RBI), Chris Romano (.355), Harnett (.368) and catcher James Waaler (.327, 13 RBI) also have been consistent hitters.

Old Town can bang and run on offense, hitting .381 as a team with 114 steals in 122 attempts.

Four regulars are hitting over .400: Cole Daniel (.476, nine doubles, 21 RBI), Nick Swift (.450, 15 steals), Ryan Hoogterp (.448, 16 steals) and Jack Ketch (.431, 4 triples, 15 steals).

Ethan Stoddard, who won last year’s championship game, will get the start. He led Old Town in innings (45) and strikeouts (53) while posting a 1.09 ERA. Hoogterp (1.63 ERA) is also available.

There is one connection between the teams. Halstead, the Yarmouth coach, grew up in Orono and played American Legion baseball with Old Town Coach Brady Goody’s older brother.

“I used to be the batboy for that Legion team,” said Goody.

Class A

Falmouth (18-1) vs. Bangor (15-4)

This is a rematch of last year’s championship game won by Bangor 5-0 behind the three-hit pitching of Trevor DeLaite.

Bangor has won three straight titles and hasn’t allowed a run in this year’s tournament.

Peter Kemble (1 earned run in 46 innings) isn’t available after pitching a complete game in the regional final, but Bangor still has Nick Copperwaithe (5 complete games, 0.43 ERA) and Gary Farnham (2.29 ERA) available.

“Those guys would be number one or two starters on most teams,” said Bangor Coach Dave Morris.

Falmouth has its whole staff available, including Cam Guarino (9-1, 1.53 ERA, 66 Ks, 9 BB in 592/3 innings). He masterfully worked six innings on just 66 pitches Wednesday in the 4-1 regional final win against Cheverus, meaning he can return on two days’ rest.

The game likely will boil down to which team can generate offense. That’s where Falmouth’s senior twins, Robbie and Reece Armitage, may hold the key. Reece hit .463 with 15 RBI in 14 games (he was slowed by an ankle injury) and Robbie hit .441 with 16 RBI.

“We have a real veteran group. They’re battle-tested and played in a lot of big games,” Coach Kevin Winship.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0 Falmouth baseball team earned its celebration Wednesday by defeating Cheverus 4-1 in the Class A South final. One more hurdle (one more celebration?) remains Saturday when it meets Bangor in a state-final rematch. Bangor has won three straight state championships.Thu, 15 Jun 2017 22:10:48 +0000
College coaching legend Gary Fifield named girls’ basketball coach at Cheverus High Thu, 15 Jun 2017 22:19:19 +0000 Two years of retirement was apparently enough for Gary Fifield, the legendary former head coach of the University of Southern Maine women’s basketball program.

Cheverus High announced in a press release on its website Thursday that Fifield was its girls’ basketball coach.

“I’m back coaching,” said Fifield in a phone interview. “This one will be a little less stressful. And a lot more fun.”

The 64-year-old Fifield retired in 2015 after 27 seasons as head coach of the Huskies women’s basketball team. He had a career record of 660-137 and led USM to five NCAA Division III Final Four appearances. USM appeared in three national championship games.

His 660 victories were sixth all-time among NCAA Division III coaches when he retired.

He had spent the the 2015-16 season as an assistant coach at Appalachian State, which is coached by Angel Elderkin, one of his former players at USM.

He did not coach last year but the pull of the basketball court was still there.

“During the winter it’s sometimes tough to find things to do here,” said Fifield. “I enjoy the coaching and teaching part, and I missed that and missed building relationships and helping young adults mature and grow.”

He had considered calling local high schools and offering to join their staffs as a volunteer. Then he got a call from a Cheverus alum, asking him if he would consider coaching the Stags. Fifield met with Athletic Director Gary Hoyt and soon had the job.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Al Bean, the athletic director at USM, wasn’t surprised at the news.

“Gary likes working with kids,” he said. “This gives him a chance to do what he likes best.”

Fifield already has met his players and is looking forward to working with them in the summer to learn what they can do. The Stags went 11-8 last winter, losing in the Class AA North quarterfinals.

Fifield last coached at the high school level in 1987, when he left South Royalton (Vermont) High to join USM. He knows there’ll be a difference in how he coaches the Stags from the Huskies.

“Certainly there will be differences in the complexity of what we are running,” he said. “And what kids can do at the college level from a skill or technical standpoint is different. The more skills they have the more things you can do. So there will be differences. But at the same time I’m going to push them to the limits to help them be the best players/team we can be.”

Fifield is a member of the USM Husky Hall of Fame, the New England Basketball Hall of Fame and the Maine Sports Hall of Fame. He will be inducted into the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame in August.

“I hope the players enjoy the experience and have some fun,” he said. “At the same time, I’m going to teach them how to play the game and if we have some players with college potential, I can advise them in that direction. I have a little experience with that.”

Fifield replaces Steve Huntington, who coached the Stags for three seasons.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0 Fifield laughs with former players during a ceremony honoring him at the University of Southern Maine in 2015. (Staff photo by John Ewing/Staff photographer)Fri, 16 Jun 2017 14:07:09 +0000
Lacrosse state championship schedule revised Thu, 15 Jun 2017 15:44:34 +0000 The schedule for Saturday’s state championship lacrosse games at Portland’s Fitzpatrick Stadium has been revised to accommodate Yarmouth High’s presence in both the boys’ and girls’ Class B games.

The Class B games now will be in the morning session. The Yarmouth girls will play defending champion Kennebunk at 10 a.m., with the Yarmouth boys facing Cape Elizabeth at 12:30 p.m.

In Class A, the defending champion Messalonskee girls will play Massabesic at 3:30 p.m., with the defending champion Scarborough boys facing Brunswick at 6 p.m.

Both Class A games and the Class B girls’ game are rematches of the 2016 title games.

]]> 0, 15 Jun 2017 22:45:12 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Yarmouth extends reign in Class B North Thu, 15 Jun 2017 01:35:41 +0000 GARDINER — The disparity between lacrosse in central Maine and teams to the south remains significant.

The gap in talent, tradition and scheduling was displayed Wednesday night at Hoch Field, where sixth-seeded Yarmouth handled top-seeded and previously unbeaten Gardiner 13-2 in the Class B North championship game.

Yarmouth (9-6) advances to its fifth straight state championship game Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland, where it will face Cape Elizabeth. The Clippers have won four state titles, the last coming in 2009. Gardiner, which has played in three regional finals without a victory, finishes at 14-1.

That the Clippers lost six regular-season games is no surprise. They fell to Class A finalists Scarborough and Brunswick, and twice each to Class B South powers Falmouth and Cape Elizabeth, arguably the four best teams in the state.

“We’ve played the most difficult schedule of any team in the state of Maine,” Yarmouth Coach David Pearl said. “The tempo and the pace that our younger players are playing at, I think it’s paid off in their development. This whole team has really skyrocketed.”

The Clippers built a 6-0 lead in the first quarter, getting two goals from Silas Chapelli, and one each from Remi LeBlanc, Cooper May, Anders Corey and Henry Venden. Chapelli finished with three goals and Venden scored four.

“We’ve brought in a lot of freshmen who have contributed a lot, especially in the midfield,” Venden said. “We knew that transition for us was key, especially on defense. It mostly came down to us playing our game.”

After being outshot 16-0 in the first quarter, Gardiner regained its composure and matched Yarmouth’s four shots in a scoreless second quarter.

“We buried ourselves in a little hole,” Gardiner Coach K.C. Johnson said. “When we played our style of lacrosse, we did fine. When we play a pressing defense, we do well.

“Today we didn’t do a good job with our pressing defense.”

Gardiner trailed 7-0 in the third quarter before Connor Manter scooped up a ground ball and shoveled it past freshman goalie Spencer King. A minute and a half later, Manter fed a cutting Parker Hinkley from behind the net, and Hinkley cut the lead to 7-2.

Venden answered for Yarmouth, which dominated the final 12 minutes.

“We had a rough start (to the season),” said Bill Jacobs, who had a goal and six assists for Yarmouth, “but I think toward the middle of the season we kind of locked it in. I think our practices have gotten much faster and we’ve had a kind of different momentum.”

UPDATE: This story was corrected on June 16 at 10:20 a.m. to show that Yarmouth will play in its fifth consecutive state championship game.

]]> 0 May takes a shot against Gardiner goalie Noah Keene during Yarmouth's 13-2 win Wednesday.Fri, 16 Jun 2017 10:22:18 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Cape Elizabeth holds on, dethrones Falmouth Thu, 15 Jun 2017 01:06:02 +0000 CAPE ELIZABETH — Every second mattered in the final episode of the Cape Elizabeth vs. Falmouth boys’ lacrosse Class B regional final series.

For the ninth straight time, the two powers met in the regional final Wednesday night. In front of roughly 1,000 fans, the Capers secured a 6-5 win when Nick Farnham of Falmouth fired a man-up shot just inches wide of the goal as the clock expired.

“I saw the shot but boy, it was fast,” said Cape goalie Sam Price, who made 11 saves. “It took me a long time to process that we had won, probably until I was at the bottom of the (victory) pile.”

It’s possible the rivals will meet again in a regional final in 2018, but it won’t be in Class B. With the sport expanding to three classes for the first time, Falmouth will move up to Class A. Cape is expected to petition to also join Class A.

Cape (13-1), the top seed in the South, will take a 13-game winning streak into Saturday’s state championship against Yarmouth (9-6). Cape will be going for its 11th state title in its 15th championship-game appearance in the 20-year history of MPA-sanctioned lacrosse.

Cape beat Yarmouth twice by big margins this season.

Cape’s current winning streak started after consecutive losses to Falmouth when it blew leads at home in the 2016 regional final and this season’s home opener in a rainstorm.

“After that loss last year we had a good feeling we’d be back here and we’ve been thinking about it ever since, and we came out and played a great game,” said defender Ben Ekedahl.

Backed by seven first-half saves from Price, Cape took a 4-1 lead with Tate Perkins scoring the first two goals, and Connor Thoreck and Ben Carroll scoring once each.

Cape pushed the lead to 6-1 on third-period goals by Finn Raymond and Owen Thoreck.

Then Falmouth (12-2) began another comeback.

Jack Scribner and Tom Fitzgerald scored late in the third quarter, and goals from Lou Mainella and Farnham in the first 3:19 cut the margin to one.

Price followed with big saves on Henry Farnham (one goal) and Scribner. A hard one-bounce shot by Scribner caromed off the crossbar and ricocheted all the way to midfield with 1:35 to play.

“We played our offense but Sam Price had a great game,” said Falmouth Coach Dave Barton. “Best game I’ve seen him play. The shots weren’t falling.”

Cape’s defensive group of Ekedahl, Peyton Weatherbie and Gavin Spidle, with key help from long-stick middie Ethan Avantaggio, kept Falmouth from getting deep on Price.

“I think our defense played really well,” said Cape Coach Ben Raymond. “The last time we played them we held them to five and we thought if we could hold them to five we’d win the game. We didn’t know that we’d only get six but it worked out pretty well.”

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0, 14 Jun 2017 23:05:46 +0000
Softball: Scarborough rides fast start to regional softball title Thu, 15 Jun 2017 00:50:45 +0000 STANDISH — It’s no secret that the Scarborough High softball team has been on a mission this spring, spurred by three years of championship-game losses.

Wednesday night the top-ranked Red Storm moved one step closer to completing that mission.

Scarborough took control with five runs in the first inning and defeated second-seeded Portland 8-3 in the Class A South championship game at St. Joseph’s College.

The Red Storm (19-0) will play Skowhegan (17-2) in the Class A state final at noon Saturday at Cony High in Augusta, looking to end three years of frustration since the program’s last state title.

“I’ve got to say this is amazing,” said senior pitcher Abbie Murrell. “It really feels rewarding. We’ve worked so hard for the past four years. We’ve picked it up a couple of notches (this spring) and worked so hard.”

Since winning the Class A state championship in 2013, Scarborough has lost in a regional final, a state championship game and last year another regional game.

This year, said Coach Tom Griffin, “We really felt all year that there was some separation between us and the rest of the league, and I think we proved that. Now we have to go out and finish it.”

The Red Storm, playing in their 11th consecutive regional final, wasted no time against Portland (16-3), which was playing in its first regional title game since 2004.

With two outs in the bottom of the first and runners on first and third, Sam Carriero hit a ball that dropped six inches in front of the plate and then started spinning … and spinning … and spinning.

Portland catcher Liani Legere tried to pick it up but it simply squirted away and Chloe Griffin, who was on third, slid in with the first run.

“Never seen that before,” said Tom Griffin. “I’ve coached almost 30 years and I’ve never seen a ball like that. That ball was like a top spinning. Crazy.”

Lindsey Kelley then reached to load the bases and Hannah Ricker dropped a liner into right-center that scored all three runs. Ricker later scored on an outfield error.

“We knew we had a mountain to climb,” said Bulldogs Coach Robbie Ferrante. “Good team like that, we gave them five outs and they jumped on us. That’s why they’re a great team.”

Portland settled down but Scarborough never let it back in. Lilly Volk hit an RBI single in the second. Laura Powell hit a long home run over the equipment shed some 225 feet out in left field. Courtney Brochu tripled, then scored on a single by Bella Dickinson in the fifth.

“I’m glad we had a shot at them,” said Ferrante. “But they just have too much. They keep coming and coming after you.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0 Wed, 14 Jun 2017 22:24:53 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: It’s Brunswick again in Class A North Thu, 15 Jun 2017 00:33:49 +0000 BRUNSWICK — Top-seeded Brunswick beat No. 2 Lewiston for the fourth time this season Wednesday night to claim its fourth consecutive Class A North boys’ lacrosse title.

Aiden Glover, a sophomore attack, had five goals and two assists as the unbeaten Dragons cruised to a 14-8 win.

Brunswick (15-0) will play defending state champion Scarborough (12-2) in the state final at 10 a.m. Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

The Dragons never trailed, building leads of 5-2 after one quarter, 7-3 at halftime and 12-5 after three quarters.

“We’ve played them four times and they knew what we were throwing at them, and we knew how we had to execute,” said Christian Glover, a long-stick middie who had a goal and two assists while spearheading the defense. “Communication was really big, and our leaders stepped up.”

Brunswick defeated Lewiston 16-6 and 15-8 in two regular-season matchups, then recorded a 10-5 win in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championship game.

“I think we played better against them each time,” said Lewiston Coach Ben Fournier. “We practiced a lot against the zone. We got a lot more looks even though we didn’t capitalize on them.”

Brunswick’s zone defense forced the Blue Devils (10-5) to shoot mostly from the perimeter.

“It was a little frustrating,” Fournier said. “We were getting our looks that we (coaches) saw on the sideline, but it’s not easy to see on the field.”

The Dragons used a zone defense in all of their games against the Devils.

“We traditionally are not a zone team,” Brunswick Coach Don Glover said. “I like to run and gun and go, but sometimes you’ve got to look at the strategy. (Lewiston is) skilled and they move well off the ball, so maybe you want to clog it up a little bit.”

Lewiston’s Roman Dennis, a senior middie, won 14 of 22 draws. He enabled the Devils to obtain possession of the ball the majority of the time following goals. A lot of those possessions ended with goalie Connor Pendergast stopping a shot from well outside the crease.

“For him as a sophomore to step into a game like he did was really big,” said Christian Glover, one the head coach’s two sons who play for the Dragons. “I think he can (handle) it, and he proved it today.”

Pendergast made 15 saves.

“Our guys executed well, and their goalie came up with (some) big saves,” Fournier said. “He definitely kept them ahead in the game.”

Max Gramins finished with four goals for the Dragons. Ben Palizay had a goal and two assists, Alex Eno chipped in with a goal and an assist, and Josh Dorr and Henry Doherty also scored.

Alex Rivet paced Lewiston with four goals. Pat Racine and Jayden Wilson each finished with a goal and an assist, Tanner Cortes and Sam Payne got the other goals, Gunnar Wade was credited with two assists, and Dennis and Garrett Poussard each had one assist.

]]> 0 Wed, 14 Jun 2017 22:23:34 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Scarborough turns back Thornton in Class A South final Thu, 15 Jun 2017 00:29:08 +0000 SCARBOROUGH — In its Class A South boys’ lacrosse semifinal against Gorham, Scarborough almost fell victim to an upset because it didn’t adjust when Gorham focused its defense on the Red Storm’s top scorer, Sam Neugebauer.

Scarborough Coach Joe Hezlep made changes for the regional final, anticipating the same strategy from Thornton Academy.

The adjustments paid off, as Marco Manfra pumped in a career-high nine goals to power top-seeded Scarborough to a 20-16 win and earn a return trip to the state championship game as the Red Storm try to win back-to-back titles.

Scarborough plays last year’s runner-up, Brunswick, at 10 a.m. Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.

“Marco was really ready (today),” said Hezlep. “(Thornton) shut down (Neugebauer), like Gorham did. Against Gorham, we didn’t handle it very well. We made some adjustments and had some guys really step up and make some plays early. It got us off to a lead we absolutely needed.

“Marco, he’s kinda like our do-it-all guy. He doesn’t score a ton. He’s more of a distributor. But when (Neugebauer) isn’t able to throw the ball in the net, someone has to step up.”

Manfra, a junior attack, scored six times as the Red Storm (12-2) raced to a 7-0 advantage just 11:07 into the game. Four of the goals were in transition when Manfra was left open in front of the net.

Manfra left the game for 91/2 minutes in the third quarter because of a lower-body injury but came back at the start of the fourth.

“Man, we came out firing (in the first quarter),” said Manfra, who also recorded two assists. “We were really revved up to go and we were really ready for this game.”

Hezlep warned his team during a timeout with 4:50 left in the first quarter and the Red Storm leading 6-0 that the Trojans (13-2) would not give in easily. The regular-season meeting between the teams wound up an 18-17 Scarborough win.

Thornton cut the lead to 8-5 by the end of the first quarter and stayed within reach by outscoring the home team 3-0 in the third quarter for a 15-12 deficit. But a two-minute, locked-in penalty on Thornton helped give the momentum back to Scarborough.

Cam Thibault (three goals, one assist) and Neugebauer (two goals, one assist) scored in an 11-second span during the man advantage – the second goal coming with one second left on the penalty. That started a four-goal barrage in the first 2:12 of the fourth quarter as Scarborough pushed its lead to 19-12.

“We certainly didn’t get too many man-up looks today and we almost completely squandered that one,” said Hezlep. “But the guys wanted to get out there and get after it and make plays.”

Manfra capped the four-goal spurt and then added his ninth tally a little more than two minutes later for Scarborough’s biggest lead, 20-12, with 6:47 left.

“They killed us the whole first half in transition,” said Thornton Coach Ryan Hersey, whose team was trying to make it to its first state championship game. “We didn’t get back fast enough and we were leaving Marco wide open in front of the net. He had a field day there.”

“Eric Murray and (Reece Lagerquist) were doing a good job getting the ball up field and dumping it off to me and letting me do what I do best,” Manfra said. “They were doing their job and it was just clicking.”

Marc Guerette finished with four goals and two assists for Scarborough.

Wyatt LeBlanc (two goals, two assists), Noah Edborg (three goals, one assist), John Giroux (two goals, two assists) and C.J. LaBreck (three goals) led the Trojans.

]]> 0 Manfra scores one of his nine goals Wednesday during Scarborough's 20-16 win over Thornton Academy in the Class A South championship game Wednesday. (Staff photo by Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer)Wed, 14 Jun 2017 22:32:55 +0000
Girls’ lacrosse: Messalonskee edges Windham in overtime Wed, 14 Jun 2017 23:53:40 +0000 WATERVILLE — The way Lydia Dexter saw it, the final play of the Class A North girls’ lacrosse final was set up so perfectly, how could she not score?

“It was the most perfect pass I think I’ve ever received. I didn’t have to do much,” said Dexter, a Messalonskee co-captain. “I just saw the shot and put it in. Thank God for Kaitlyn Smith on that one.”

As the first overtime neared its finish, Dexter took Smith’s pass and fired a high shot from the left of the Windham net. Dexter’s shot was true, and her goal with 6.5 seconds left gave Messalonskee a come-from-behind 7-6 win.

It’s the third consecutive regional title for Messalonskee (14-1), the defending state champion. The Eagles will play Massabesic on Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland in a rematch of last year’s state final.

Second-seeded Windham finished the season at 12-3.

Goalie Gaby Languet holds up the Class A North girls’ lacrosse trophy as Messalonskee edged Windham 7-6 in overtime. Photo by Jeff Pouland

“I thought we had opportunities and outshot them, we just didn’t put it in there. I’m very proud of the effort. Our kids played phenomenal,” Windham Coach Matt Perkins said.

Windham went ahead in the final minute of the first half and led 6-4 with 11:17 remaining after Kaitlyn Roberts scored. Messalonskee got a goal back with 8:42 left when Ally Turner scored, and Turner took advantage of a free-position opportunity to tie the game with 1:24 left. Turner finished with four goals, all in the second half.

“In the beginning of the game, sometimes I get so worked up I just shoot it. I told myself I needed to relax and do my thing,” Turner said. “It’s really important for me to fake before I shoot. That’s what I’ve been taught, move the goalie before you shoot it. That was the key for me to start putting goals in. I focused, and I faked and shot.”

Windham called a timeout with 47.5 seconds left to set up a final scoring chance. Mya Mannette held the ball in the left corner, waiting until there was 17 seconds left to begin the attack. Windham was unable to get off a shot, however.

Messalonskee took a 2-0 lead on a pair of Lauren Pickett goals in the first six minutes. After that, Windham was the more aggressive team for much of the game.

Holly Spencer’s goal with 10:12 left in the first half got Windham on the board, and Eliza Palow tied the game with 2:07 remaining.

The Messalonskee High School girls’ lacrosse team celebrates its 7-6 overtime win over Windham High School in the Class A North Final at Thomas College in Waterville on Wednesday. Photo by Jeff Pouland

“The draw is a big part of the game, and we just couldn’t win the draw. They’re scrappy on the draw. When they’re winning the draw, it’s hard to get the ball and score,” Dexter said.

Alanna Joyce’s breakaway goal on a shot over the right shoulder of Messalonskee goalie Gaby Languet with 29.1 seconds left in the first half, gave Windham a 3-2 lead. Joyce scored again at 20:20 of the second half to give Windham a two-goal cushion.

“I thought we did a good job controlling the ball. Give credit to Messalonskee. They did a really good job adjusting,” Perkins said.

]]> 0's Ally Turner tries to get a shot off as Windham defenders converge in the first half of the Class A North championship game Wednesday at Thomas College. Messalonskee won in overtime, 7-6.Wed, 14 Jun 2017 23:05:32 +0000
Girls’ lacrosse: Yarmouth makes it five in a row Wed, 14 Jun 2017 23:52:30 +0000 YARMOUTH — Top-seeded Yarmouth capped an impressive run through the Class B North girls’ lacrosse tournament Wednesday night, capturing the title with an 18-2 victory against third-ranked Oceanside.

The Clippers (15-0) outscored their three playoff opponents 54-10 to capture their fifth consecutive regional championship.

For the third straight spring, Yarmouth will meet Kennebunk (12-2) for the state championship. The game will be held Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.

“We’ve been practicing really hard and our goal this season was to get back to the state final,” said Yarmouth Coach Dorothy Holt.

“These girls have worked so hard for this – in the heat, in the rain – all year, so today was just trying to take care of business.”

Yarmouth defeated Kennebunk in the 2015 state final before losing to the Rams in a bid to repeat last season.

“The fact that they got the best of us last year is a motivating factor that is going to push us to play even better,” said Eva Then of Yarmouth.

“We’re just so excited to play them again.”

The teams met once in the regular season, a late May game that saw Yarmouth come away with a 7-3 victory.

“That game was a slugfest,” said Holt. “It was pouring rain and on grass.

“Kennebunk is a very good team. It’s going to be anyone’s game.”

Against Oceanside, the Clippers scored the first 12 goals, including taking a 10-0 lead into halftime.

“We just moved the ball really quickly and the fast break was working really well,” said Then.

“Meredith (Lane) was winning the draws and we were able to work the ball to where we wanted it.”

Then led the way, pouring in five of her six goals before halftime.

“Eva just was on fire tonight,” said Holt. “That took 11 players on the field working together and supporting her so she could do her thing. They set her up and boy, did she see the back of the net tonight.”

Lane, Kirsten Thomas, Emma Marston and freshman Ehryn Groothoff all scored twice for Yarmouth.

Greta Elder, Abby Thornton and Ella Antonini each added a goal. Gretchen Barbera, a senior captain and standout defender, scored the first goal of her career for the Clippers.

“It was so awesome to see Gretchen score,” said Then, “because she’s one of our best defenders.

“We were all so happy for her when she was able to put that in with a nice lefty shot.”

Yarmouth shut out the Mariners for the first 32 minutes of the game until freshman attack Nichole Ladd was able to find the net.

Senior attack Julia Barbour added the other Oceanside goal with just under six minutes remaining during a man-up advantage.

]]> 0 Wed, 14 Jun 2017 22:50:47 +0000
Baseball: Bangor shuts out Mt. Ararat for fourth straight regional title Wed, 14 Jun 2017 23:16:28 +0000 AUGUSTA — The key to the Bangor baseball team’s success is simple to pitcher Peter Kemble.

“Pitching and defense,” said Kemble, a senior for the Rams. “Can’t lose if they don’t score.”

Kemble struck out 12 batters in Wednesday’s Class A North championship at Morton Field, guiding the fourth-seeded Rams to a 3-0 victory over No. 7 Mt. Ararat (for their fourth straight regional title.

Bangor (15-4) will play Falmouth (18-1) at 2 p.m. in Saturday’s state championship game at Morton Field – a rematch of last year’s Class A final that the Rams won, 5-0. They have won the past three state titles.

“They’re a good defensive team. They don’t make a lot of mistakes,” Mt. Ararat Coach Bob Neron said. “We were trying to score early, take the pressure off of our pitching so our defense could relax a little bit. But it never got to that.”

The Rams haven’t allowed a run in three playoff wins.

On Wednesday, Zach Cowperthwaite drove in all three Bangor runs.

Bangor got on the board in the bottom of the second inning. With runners on second and third and one out, Cowperthwaite hit a ground ball to second, which scored Noah Missbrenner.

Cowperthwaite drove in his other two runs with a double in the fourth.

The Eagles (11-9) came close to scoring in the top of the fifth by capitalizing on rare mistakes by Bangor.

Mt. Ararat loaded the bases with one out following a Kyle Brennan single and two Bangor errors. Hunter Lohr then hit a soft line drive to shortstop Zach Ireland, who made the catch and threw to second baseman George Payne for the third out.

“(Ireland has) done that all year long,” said Bangor Coach David Morris. “In that situation, we were hoping they would do something on the ground. But he got that in the air and really set his feet and made a good throw to second base.”

Kaileb Hawkes had two hits for Mt. Ararat, which snuck into the regional final as a seventh seed by notching upset wins over No. 2 Brewer and No. 3 Edward Little by scores of 3-2 and 4-2 in the quarter and semifinals. The Eagles lost to both of those teams in the regular season and fell to Bangor 10-0 on May 12.

“We would have liked to have made it to the next game but we’re not disappointed,” Neron said, noting his team ended its 2015 season 1-15.

“Edward Little and Brewer – those were not easy games, and we expected this to be the same way.”

Bangor has totaled 12 Class A titles. The Rams upset top-ranked Oxford Hills 7-0 in the semifinals, rectifying a 5-2 loss to the No. 1 seed in the regular season.

“There’s definitely a lot of resiliency over there,” Morris said of Mt. Ararat. “We knew they weren’t just going to back down and that it was going to be a battle.”

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or at:

Twitter: TaylorVortherms

]]> 0 Wed, 14 Jun 2017 21:32:08 +0000
Girls’ lacrosse: Massabesic returning to Class A state championship game Wed, 14 Jun 2017 23:00:18 +0000 WATERBORO — With 10 seconds remaining in the half Wednesday night, Massabesic goalie Lydia Wasina stopped a Marshwood shot.

It was the only time her service was required in the first half.

Behind a stifling defense and three goals from Maddie Drain, the top-seeded Mustangs beat second-ranked Marshwood 6-2 to win the Class A South girls’ lacrosse championship.

Massabesic (15-0) will face Messalonskee (14-1), a 7-6 overtime winner in Class A North against Windham, on Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland in a rematch of last year’s state title game.

“I thought it was going to be a really close game but we held them,” said Drain. “They’re a great team but I thought we did really well holding them for as long as we did.”

Massabesic led 5-0 at halftime after outshooting the Hawks 14-5 and forcing 11 turnovers.

Eighteen minutes elapsed before Marshwood (11-4) even attempted a shot, and then only from free position. It sailed wide.

“Our defense was really strong,” said attack Josie Ring. “We knew we had something special when we came out of that locker room.”

Massabesic and Marshwood met in late April in South Berwick and the Mustangs prevailed, 9-3.

On Wednesday, they jumped ahead 1-0 less than two minutes into the game on a goal from free position by Morgan Pike.

“You always want to break the ice early,” Massabesic Coach Brooks Bowen said. “It’s not imperative. I mean, the game is very long but it just feels good on the sideline to have that first one in. The jitters seemed to subside a little bit.”

By contrast, Marshwood didn’t avert the shutout until Olivia Melton converted a feed from Luci Albers with 7:16 remaining and Massabesic ahead 6-0. Marin Smith added the final goal from free position with less than a minute to play.

“We played hard,” Marshwood Coach Bernie Marvin said. “Our defense played great. Goaltending was excellent. Our transition was fine. But our unforced turnovers were pretty devastating.”

Marshwood finished with 19 turnovers to Massabesic’s seven. Goalie Skyler Amsden kept the Hawks in contention with 12 saves. Wasina finished with three.

After Drain cut through the middle to score her first goal seven minutes into the game, she and Ring scored in a 27-second span to give Massabesic a 4-0 lead before the midway mark of the first half.

Taylor Manning made it 5-0 from Hallie Benton with 38 seconds left in the half. Pike and Cailyn Forrester each had two assists.

“Our defense isn’t nearly at the full strength we could be,” said Emma Desrochers, who anchored a stellar back four for Massabesic that included Madeline Beauchesne, Kaylee St. Laurent and Abi Chaves.

“There’s a lot of improvement still happening and a lot we still need to work on. But we kept our feet moving, we saw their cuts, we were able to anticipate and we just got after it.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

]]> 0's Maddie Drain gets held up near the net by Marshwood defenders during Wednesday's Class A South girls' lacrosse championship. Massabesic advanced to the state title game with a 6-2 win. (Staff photo by Ben McCanna)Wed, 14 Jun 2017 21:38:30 +0000
Girls’ lacrosse: Kennebunk rallies to defeat Falmouth for Class B South title Wed, 14 Jun 2017 22:10:17 +0000 KENNEBUNK — Falmouth High came out with energy, an impressive offense and confidence.

It was good enough for a halftime lead.

“We came out strong and played great,” Falmouth Coach Kait Johnson said.

But Kennebunk High is the top seed for a reason. The Rams took all that Falmouth could give, then countered.

Kennebunk dominated, scoring six unanswered goals and beating the second-seeded Yachtsmen 9-6 in the Class B South girls’ lacrosse championship game Wednesday.

It was the third straight time Kennebunk (12-2) defeated Falmouth (10-4) in the regional title game.

The Rams will play Yarmouth (15-0) for the state championship Saturday. It’s their third consecutive meeting in the final: Yarmouth won in 2015, Kennebunk last year.

Kennebunk will show up with a composed team. The Rams trailed 5-2 late in the first half Wednesday. They scored again before halftime but needed to regroup.

“They have a really good defense so it was definitely hard to find the holes or where their weak spot was,” said Leah Dumas, who scored two goals in the second half for Kennebunk.

“Once we were able to relax at halftime, we were able to reset and finally able to find the holes.”

Katherine Koch drove through the Yachtsmen for a score, closing to 5-4 with 23:35 left. Five minutes later, Dumas rolled around the crease and shot, tying the game.

“The second half, they scored the first two goals and we mentally just crumbled,” Johnson said. “We couldn’t come back.

“Kennebunk played a strong game. They’re a great team but definitely a beatable team. We saw that in the first half. We were moving the ball quickly … The second half, we just got caught on our heels.”

Falmouth had its chances. Led by Sydney Bell, the Yachtsmen won 13 of 17 draws.

“That was killing us,” Kennebunk Coach Annie Barker said. “We knew we weren’t going to win the draw against Sydney. She had possession all the time.

“Our defense tightened up a little bit. Got some knockdowns. Got some turnovers.”

The Rams’ defense was strong. Mia Murray, Elizabeth Cain, Mia Banglmaier and Gabrielle Fogg created steals.

“We stayed composed,” said Fogg, a senior captain. “I kept telling my team to stay calm. No stupid checks. Make safe passes.”

Kennebunk got a break when Bell was penalized and the Rams were a player up. With the advantage they scored two goals – from Fogg (her second goal) and another Dumas crease-roll. Kennebunk led, 7-5.

Hallie Schwartzman made it 8-5 but Falmouth got some life on Devon Sarazin’s score with 4:33 left. The Yachtsmen, with their draw dominance, had a chance. But Briannagh Beaudette scored for the Rams and goalie Mallory Burchill made a point-blank save.

The Rams were champs again.

“We’ve been here before. It helps,” Barker said. “This is the third year for some of my players. They know what it takes.”

Erin Gorton and Banglmaier scored the other goals for the Rams, both in the first half.

Falmouth’s 5-3 halftime lead came on two goals from Olivia Stucker, plus scores from Kayla Sarazin, Christina Oakes and Bell.

Kennebunk and Yarmouth faced each other during the regular season, on May 25, with the Clippers winning, 7-3.

Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at:

Twitter: KevinThomasPPH

]]> 0 players charge the field as the clock runs out with Kennebunk defeating Falmouth in the Class B South girls' lacrosse championship on Wednesday.Wed, 14 Jun 2017 21:04:54 +0000
Baseball: Falmouth tops Cheverus, returns to Class A state title game Wed, 14 Jun 2017 20:41:10 +0000 STANDISH — Cam Guarino has won many games for the Falmouth High baseball team.

None compared to his dominance Wednesday.

Guarino turned in a marvelous performance to lift top-ranked Falmouth to a 4-1 victory over second-seeded Cheverus in the Class A South championship game at St. Joseph’s College.

After giving up a first-inning single, Guarino set down 16 straight batters to help the Yachtsmen win their second consecutive regional title.

“I think that’s the best I’ve seen him pitch in four years,” said Falmouth Coach Kevin Winship. “He commanded the strike zone, he had control of all three pitches. He threw them all for strikes. Again, I think that’s the best I’ve ever seen him pitch.”

Falmouth (18-1) will play Bangor (15-4) in the state championship game at 2 p.m. Saturday at Morton Field in Augusta. It’s a rematch of last year’s final, won by the three-time defending champion Rams.

“It means everything to get another shot at it,” said Guarino, a senior left-hander who was pulled in the seventh inning after throwing 66 pitches, making him available to pitch in the state final.

Guarino said his game plan was to throw strikes and be efficient, and he certainly was. He only struck out three but pounded the strike zone. He threw 17 first-pitch strikes to the 21 batters he faced.

“He’s probably the best pitcher we faced this year,” said Cheverus Coach Mac McKew. “Tip your hat to him.”

Guarino gave up a two-out single to Jared Brooks in the first inning, then breezed through the next five innings.

“I made them swing at stuff they were uncomfortable with and they hit a lot of groundouts,” said Guarino.

“It was definitely one of the best games of my life.”

Falmouth, meanwhile, came up with clutch hits. All four runs scored with two outs.

An RBI single by Garret Aube gave the Yachtsmen a 1-0 lead in the second inning.

Then Falmouth scored twice in the third. With the bases loaded, No. 8 hitter Ike Kiely chopped an infield grounder to third and beat the throw to first as Reece Armitage scored. Marcus Cady then drew a bases-loaded walk.

Cady also made a nice catch in left field when he went back to track down a long fly ball by Chandler Hartigan in the fourth.

“We talked about guys who aren’t necessarily in the spotlight coming up with something big, and Marcus did that for us,” said Winship.

Max Fortier made it 4-0 with an RBI double in the fourth, driving in Armitage, who singled with two outs.

The Stags (17-2) didn’t have a threat against Guarino until the seventh.

Jack Casale led off with a single and advanced on a wild pitch. Maxx St. John reached on an infield single, and Casale scored on an errant throw.

Winship then brought in Robbie Armitage to close it out.

The Stags loaded the bases, but Armitage got the final out with a strikeout. He threw his glove high into the air and waited for his teammates to mob him.

“It feels great,” said Aube. “Hopefully we can get the next one.”

CORRECTION: This story was updated at 9:23 a.m. on June 15, 2017 to correct the player who scored for Cheverus.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0 players celebrate at the mound after defeating Cheverus, 4-1, in the Class A South final at St. Joseph College on Wednesday. (Staff photo by Derek Davis/Staff Photographer)Thu, 15 Jun 2017 10:00:54 +0000
Softball: Fryeburg rallies to shock Wells in regional final Wed, 14 Jun 2017 01:26:41 +0000 STANDISH — It was stunning, improbable, but only to those who weren’t standing in the Fryeburg Academy dugout Tuesday night.

Held to two hits in the first six innings, trailing by three runs entering their final at-bat against top-ranked Wells, the third-seeded Raiders scored four runs on six hits to defeat the Warriors 6-5 in the Class B South championship game at St. Joseph’s College.

Chloe Coen had the final hit, a two-run single down the left-field line that gave Fryeburg the lead in an emotional game with huge momentum swings.

“I just didn’t want the season to end,” said Coen. “I didn’t want to let my teammates down.”

The Raiders (16-3) – the only team to beat Wells (17-2) in the regular season – will play Old Town (17-2) in the Class B state championship game at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Joseph’s.

Fryeburg will make its first state championship game appearance since 2012, when it completed a string of five consecutive regional titles.

“This means a lot,” said Coach Fred Apt. “We’re pretty excited to be going back.”

The game matched two of the best pitchers in the region – Anya Chase of Wells and Nicole Bennett of Fryeburg – but both teams had big innings.

Trailing 2-0 entering the bottom of the fifth, Wells scored five runs on six hits with Chase driving in two with a triple, and Sara Ring and Karissa Kenyon getting RBI doubles.

Fryeburg’s rally came in the seventh.

“I just wanted to get some good at-bats,” said Apt. “We wanted to make it close and then things just happened.”

Bennett led off with a single and was replaced by Alexandria Fraize as a courtesy runner. Fraize advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Makayla Cooper, who was later thrown out at third on a single by freshman Kaylee Emery.

But freshman Paige O’Connell singled in Emery, taking second on the throw home, and it was 5-4. Brooke Juneau, a sophomore, reached on an infield single, moving O’Connell to third, and then stole second.

Coen followed with a line shot down the left-field line that drove in two runs for a 6-5 lead.

“I just went into the box like it was any other inning,” said Coen. “I did what I was supposed to do.”

Wells Coach Kevin Fox said the rally was simply a matter of the Raiders getting hits.

“They did a good job of not giving up and got their bats going,” he said.

“That’s a good team. Those were two good teams there. … I couldn’t ask for a better team. Sometimes you do everything right and you still end up on the short end of things. That’s life sometimes.”

Wells got runners on second and third with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but Bennett got the final out with a called third strike – “Inside corner,” she said. “I knew it was a strike as soon as I let it go.” – and the Raiders joined in a joyous celebration on the infield.

“I told the girls coming down, we haven’t made it easy all year,” said Apt. “We haven’t made it easy on us, we haven’t made it easy on our opponents. We always battle back. And we always give it up a little, like we did in that (fifth) inning.

“I’m just so proud of this team.”

Correction: This story was updated at 11:49 a.m. on June 14 to correct a misidentified player in a photo caption.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0, ME - JUNE 13: Fryeburg Academy players celebrate after winning the Class B South softball regional championship against Wells. Fryeburg scored 4 runs in the top of the seventh inning coming back to win 6-5. (Staff photo by Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer)Wed, 14 Jun 2017 11:49:57 +0000
Baseball: Yarmouth heads to state title game for first time since 1995 Tue, 13 Jun 2017 21:18:33 +0000 STANDISH — Yarmouth High entered the Class B South baseball tournament as the ninth seed – exactly where the Clippers wanted to be.

“We love being the nine seed,” said pitcher Dom Morrill. “We can go and just play our game.”

And despite the seeding, that game is pretty good. The Clippers won their first Class B South baseball championship Tuesday, scoring four runs in the third inning and holding on to beat second-ranked York 5-3 at St. Joseph’s College.

Morrill pitched the final 21/3 innings in relief of starter Luke Waeldner, getting out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the fifth.

The win lifted the Clippers to their first state championship game since 1995, when they won the Class C state title.

“It’s like a dream come true,” said Jack Romano, a sophomore center fielder who had a two-run double in the third inning. “This team has been working so hard all year.”

Yarmouth (15-5) will play Old Town (16-3) for the Class B state championship at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Joseph’s College.

York (15-4) had its season bookended by losses to Yarmouth.

“When you run into (Yarmouth Coach) Marc Halsted and his kids, they put pressure on you,” said York Coach Chuck Chadbourne. “Our league is pretty darn good. That’s evident of what (Yarmouth) did in the tournament. There’s a reason they’re in it every year.”

It was 1-1 entering the fourth when the Clippers got four runs off York starter Andrew Rodrigues. Waeldner, Chris Romano and Gibson Harnett singled to load the bases with no outs. Jack Romano fell behind 0-2 but worked the count full and lashed a two-run double to left to give Yarmouth a 3-1 lead. James Waaler followed with a squeeze, scoring Harnett. Joe Coyne followed with a looping single to right-center, scoring Jack Romano to make it 5-1.

“That’s who we are. It’s my mentality, it’s the kids’ mentality,” said Halsted of the aggressive baserunning. “It’s the way Yarmouth kids are. They want to compete, they want to play for championships. They want to control the tempo. You can control the tempo in baseball.”

The Clippers didn’t score again. Chris Nielson, who had pitched only two innings all season for York, came in with strong relief pitching.

York got an RBI single from Rodrigues with one out in the bottom of the fifth and another run on a sacrifice fly by Trevor LaBonte. When Riley Linn walked to load the bases with two outs, Halsted brought in Morrill. Three fastballs later, the Clippers were out of the inning with a 5-3 lead.

“When I’m on the mound I honestly don’t even think, I just pitch,” said Morrill. “I get the ball back and I want to go. I just want to get back in the dugout.”

When it was over, the Clippers threw their gloves into the air and jumped all over each other on the infield.

“A big key to our success this year is that we have so much fun on the field,” said Jack Romano. “Everybody loves to be here and that’s the attitude that’s carried us.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0, ME - JUNE 13: Yarmouth players celebrate their 5-3 win over York at the Class B South baseball regional championship. (Staff photo by Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer)Tue, 13 Jun 2017 21:10:06 +0000
Mr. Baseball 10 finalists announced Mon, 12 Jun 2017 19:14:14 +0000 The 10 finalists have been announced for the Dr. John Winkin Award, also known as the Mr. Baseball Award, given annually to the top high school senior in the state.

The list includes Jared Brooks, a first baseman/pitcher from Cheverus; Alex Maxsimic, a catcher from Brewer; Trevor Labonte, a pitcher from York; Cam Guarino, a pitcher from Falmouth; Nate Howard, a pitcher/first baseman/outfielder from Erskine Academy; Zach Nash, a pitcher from Hermon; Dustin Crawford, a pitcher from Madison/Carrabec; Brandon Burnell, a pitcher from Sacopee Valley; Jackson Coutts, a catcher/pitcher/shortstop from Orono; Barrett Grant, a catcher from Searsport.

The award will be presented on June 23 at the Maine Senior All-star Games at Colby College. The C/D game will begin at 3:30 p.m., followed by the announcement of the award winner. The A/B game will start at 6:30 p.m.

Six of the players – Brooks, Labonte, Guarino, Howard, Coutts and Grant – are playing in regional championship games that begin on Tuesday.

]]> 0 Mon, 12 Jun 2017 15:14:14 +0000
Saturday’s boys’ roundup: Yarmouth blanks Cape Elizabeth, advances to regional baseball final Sun, 11 Jun 2017 00:54:01 +0000 CAPE ELIZABETH — Gibson Harnett threw a five-hitter, and ninth-seeded Yarmouth knocked off No. 4 Cape Elizabeth 2-0 on Saturday to advance to the Class B South baseball final.

It was the third straight playoff road victory for Yarmouth (14-5), which took the lead in the top of the first when Chris Romano led off with a single and eventually scored on a throwing error.

The Clippers added to their lead when Joe Coyne drew a bases-loaded walk in the third, scoring Luke Waeldner.

Cape Elizabeth (13-5) had the bases loaded with no outs in the bottom of the third, but Marshall Peterson lined out to first baseman John Thoma, who stepped on the bag to double off Brendan Tinsman. Harnett retired the next batter to end the threat.

Harnett struck out four and retired 13 consecutive batters to end the game.

YORK 11, WELLS 6: Trevor LaBonte drove home the go-ahead run in the fourth inning and added a two-run double in the sixth as the second-ranked Wildcats (15-3) pulled away from No. 3 Wells in a Class B South semifinal in York.

York broke a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the fourth after the Warriors took advantage of two throwing errors to tie the game with three runs in the top of the inning. Riley Linn singled and eventually came home on LaBonte’s hit down the right-field line.

The Wildcats widened the lead to 11-4 with a six-run sixth, highlighted by LaBonte’s double and Shane Pidgeon’s two-run triple.

Andrew Skeats crushed a two-run homer over the left-field fence for Wells in the seventh inning.

MT. ARARAT 4, EDWARD LITTLE 2: Kyle Brennan hit three RBI singles and seventh-seeded Mt. Ararat (11-8) rallied to upset the third-seeded Red Eddies (14-4) in a Class A North semifinal in Auburn.

Edward Little grabbed a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single by Ian Brushwein, following a sacrifice fly by Tyler Blanchard.

Brennan tied it with an RBI single in the sixth, and the Eagles pushed across the go-ahead run on a fielder’s choice.

Brennan, who drove home the game’s first run in the first inning, added an RBI single in the seventh.

MONMOUTH ACADEMY 8, WINTHROP 4: Avery Amero pitched 61/3 innings of scoreless relief and the sixth-seeded Mustangs (11-7) pounded out 16 hits to beat the No. 2 Ramblers (11-7) in a Class C South semifinal in Winthrop.


SCARBOROUGH 6, GORHAM 5: Marco Manfra’s fourth goal, with 8:13 remaining, lifted the top-seeded Red Storm (12-2) over the fourth-seeded Rams (10-4) in a Class A South semifinal at Scarborough.

Gorham opened a 4-0 lead in the first quarter, but Scarborough, the reigning state champion, got the next five goals to take the lead in the third quarter.

Cam Thibault had a goal and an assist for the Red Storm, and Mark Guerette also scored. Scarborough goalie Dominic Joy made three saves.

Alex York led Gorham with two goals and an assist, and Carter Landry stopped 13 shots.

BRUNSWICK 12, CHEVERUS 8: Aiden and Christian Glover each scored three goals and the top-seeded Dragons (14-0) scored five goals in the third quarter to beat the fourth-seeded Stags (10-4) in a Class A North semifinal in Brunswick.

Max Gramins and Henry Doherty each added two goals for Brunswick, which led 10-5 after three quarters. The Dragons, seeking a fourth straight regional title, will host No. 2 Lewiston on Wednesday.

Max Coffin and Michael Hatch each scored three goals for Cheverus, and Sean Walsh made 14 saves.

FALMOUTH 16, YORK 4: Devin Russell and Jack Scribner each scored five goals as the second-seeded Yachtsmen (12-1) beat No. 3 York (9-5) in a Class B South semifinal in Falmouth.

Henry Farnham and Brendan Hickey each scored twice, and Louis Mainella and Nate Arrants added a goal apiece.

Liam Tucker was strong in goal with 14 saves.

CAPE ELIZABETH 18, WELLS 2: Owen Thoreck powered the offense for the top-seeded Capers (12-1) with five goals and three assists as they rolled past the fourth-seeded Warriors (10-1) in a Class B South semifinal at Cape Elizabeth.

Jackson Woods added four goals, Tate Perkins had two goals and two assists, and Noah Bates also scored twice.

Evan Whitten got both goals for Wells.

The Capers will host second-seeded Falmouth in the regional final Wednesday.

]]> 0 Sat, 10 Jun 2017 21:03:49 +0000
Saturday’s girls’ roundup: Portland ousts Thornton in Class A South softball Sun, 11 Jun 2017 00:45:57 +0000 Taylor Crosby doubled home Morgan Boyle and Sydney Gilbert to stake Portland to an early lead, and the second-seeded Bulldogs beat No. 3 Thornton Academy 4-1 in a Class A South softball semifinal Saturday.

Crosby’s hit gave Portland (16-2) a 2-0 lead in the first inning.

Thornton (14-4) got a run back in the top of the second when Olivia Paradis led off with a single and later scored on Sarah Casey’s sacrifice fly. Jess Brown answered with a two-run double in the bottom of the second.

Brown pitched a four-hitter as Portland reached its first regional final since 2004. The Bulldogs will meet top-seeded Scarborough at 7 p.m. Wednesday at St. Joseph’s College.

SCARBOROUGH 5, WINDHAM 0: Hunter Greenleaf hit a pinch-hit grand slam to break a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth, and the top-seeded Red Storm (18-0) beat the fourth-seeded Eagles (14-4) in a Class A South semifinal in Scarborough.

Laura Powell, Abbie Murrell, Samantha Carreiro and Isabella Dickinson each had two hits for Scarborough, while Lily Volk pitched a three-hitter with 13 strikeouts.

Alex Morang hit a double for Windham.

FRYEBURG ACADEMY 5, MORSE 4: Nicole Bennett hit a two-run homer and an RBI double, and the third-seeded Raiders (15-3) held off No. 7 Morse (13-6) in a Class B South semifinal at Fryeburg.

Mackenzie Buzzell scored three runs and belted a triple and a sixth-inning home run that made it 5-0. Makayla Cooper added two triples.

The Shipbuilders rallied for four runs in the seventh but stranded the tying run at second base when Bennett got a strikeout to end the game.

OCEANSIDE 8, ELLSWORTH 4: Lauren Hatch’s bases-loaded triple keyed a five-run first inning as the fourth-seeded Mariners (16-2) downed No. 8 Ellsworth (12-7) in a Class B North semifinal in Rockland.

Hatch laced her triple down the left-field line and scored when the ball was mishandled. Casey Pine started the rally with an RBI single.

Hannah Moholland doubled home Chloe Jones and Alexis Mazurek in the fourth inning for a 7-0 lead. Rachel Joyce drove home the final Oceanside run in the sixth.

Trinity Montigny rapped an RBI single as Ellsworth used a combination of Oceanside miscues to score three runs in the sixth and one in the seventh.

Jones earned the win, striking out 11. Mazurek finished with three hits, and Moholland and Joyce had two each.


FALMOUTH 13, LAKE REGION 12: Devon Sarazin scored six goals and Olivia Stucker had six assists as the second-seeded Yachtsmen (10-3) edged the sixth-seeded Lakers (8-6) in a Class B South semifinal at Falmouth.

Sydney Bell had two goals and two assists, and Chelsey Smithwick also scored twice for Falmouth.

Lake Region got five goals from Lauren Jakobs and four from Rachel Shanks.

Falmouth will travel to Kennebunk to face the top-seeded Rams in the regional final Wednesday.

YARMOUTH 16, ST. DOMINIC 6: Eva Then had four goals and an assist to power the top-seeded Clippers (14-0) past the fifth-seeded Saints (8-6) in a Class B North semifinal at Yarmouth.

Ella Antolini finished with three goals and an assist, Katie Waeldner had two goals and an assist, and Meredith Lane, Cory Langenbach, Greta Elder and Molly Wilson each had a goal and an assist.

Caroline Castonguay led St. Dom’s with four goals. Rileigh Stebbins and Emma Theriault also scored for the Saints.

Yarmouth will host Oceanside at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

MASSABESIC 4, GORHAM 1: Morgan Pike, Maddie Drain and Hallie Benton scored in the first half and Lydia Wasina made five saves as the top-seeded Mustangs (14-0) beat No. 5 Gorham (8-6) in a Class A South semifinal in Waterboro.

Josie Ring netted Massabesic’s final goal with six minutes left, before Gorham’s Celia Begonia countered 10 seconds later.

Paige Hume made 10 saves for Gorham.

]]> 0 Region's Olivia Deschenes, right, tries to keep her balance as she defends Falmouth's Sydney Bell during their Class B South semifinal Saturday in Falmouth. Bell collected two goals and two assists in Falmouth's 13-12 win.Sat, 10 Jun 2017 22:32:22 +0000
New England track championships: Brady sets meet record in shot put Sat, 10 Jun 2017 23:31:41 +0000 NORWELL, Mass. — Biddeford senior Matt Brady led a dominant performance by Maine throwers at the New England Interscholastic Track and Field Championships on Saturday at Norwell High School.

Brady set the meet record in the shot put with a throw of 64-feet, 33/4 inches, leading a Maine sweep of the top three spots. Orono’s Jake Koffman (59-0) and Brewer’s Austin Lufkin (54-7) finished second and third.

Koffman (190-1) and Lufkin were first and second in the discus, while Brewer’s Jacob McCluskey was third.

Brady’s throw broke the meet record of 64-21/4 set by South Portland’s Dan Guiliani in 2015.

“After my discus, I wouldn’t have expected this,” said Brady who placed sixth in the discus. “I was down on myself and upset, but I listened to some music and relaxed, which allowed me to reset. My first throw in the series helped me go for it, because I’ve seen too many good throwers foul out at meets.”

Thornton Academy’s Jason Montano finished fifth in the shot put.

Cheverus freshman Emma Gallant won the 200 meters, finishing in 24.81 seconds.

“I had no expectations that I would run this fast today,” said Gallant, who broke 26 seconds for the first time at the Class A state championships. “Last week, I had my best race of my life. I usually don’t think about seeding or the pressure coming until I arrive at the meet, and today I got in the blocks and thought about getting out and not letting anyone by me.”

In the 800, Mt. Desert Island’s Tia Tardy finished fourth in an all-time Maine best of 2:09.64.

“I was concerned about how much energy I had left, I didn’t feel right going out of my comfort zone, but I realized heading into the second lap that doing so was important, and the result was amazing,” Tardy said.

Thornton Academy’s Samantha Curran finished fifth in the shot put with a throw of 39-9.

“Overall this was a good day for me,” Curran said. “Always looking to throw better of course, but I’m happy with this.”

Traip Academy’s Evan Porter was fourth in the 300 hurdles in 38.41.

Mattanawcook’s Cayden Spencer-Thompson finished third in the long jump (23-03/4) and second in the triple jump (47-83/4). His mark in the triple jump was an all-time state best.

Messalonskee’s Tanner Burton finished third in the 110 hurdles (14.81), and Luke Laverdiere of Yarmouth placed sixth in the 1,600 with a time of 4:17.18.

]]> 0 Sat, 10 Jun 2017 23:28:06 +0000
Varsity Maine: Complete coverage of high school sports playoffs Sat, 10 Jun 2017 23:17:08 +0000 0 teammates Samantha Bogue and Meredith Bogue celebrate after Meredith scored all the way from first, with bad throws by Yarmouth players at each base, during semifinal action in Wells on Saturday, June 10, 2017.Tue, 13 Jun 2017 09:23:06 +0000 Class B tennis: Greely girls reclaim crown; Camden Hills boys repeat Sat, 10 Jun 2017 22:16:50 +0000 WATERVILLE — When Greely’s Katie Steinberg and her partner, Jordan Bryant, fell behind by three games in the second set of their No. 1 doubles match on a blustery Saturday afternoon at Colby College, Steinberg took a look at the scorecards of nearby courts and saw a lot of red numbers.

Those numbers meant Caribou was giving Greely all it could handle.

“We saw how things were going,” Steinberg said. “We knew we had to get our point.”

“You could feel the intensity building,” Greely Coach Ben Caswell said.

Steinberg and Bryant stormed back to win 6-1, 7-6 (5), and when senior Kathryn Pare completed her singles victory moments later, the Rangers were Class B girls’ tennis state champions for the third time in four years.

“It was definitely a hard win,” Pare said. “We didn’t know much about their team.”

Greely wound up with a 3-2 victory. Both teams finished 15-1.

In the boys’ final, Camden Hills won for the second year in a row, sweeping past Yarmouth 5-0, winning all five matches in straight sets. The Windjammers (16-0) had faced Cape Elizabeth the previous three years, but Yarmouth, a surprise regional champion as a No. 4 seed, knocked off the Capers 3-2 in the South final on Thursday.

“We were hoping to play Cape Elizabeth,” Camden Hills senior Colby Arau said. “They beat us freshman and sophomore year and we wanted to repay the favor.”

Arau won 6-0, 6-2 at No. 2 singles. Classmates Matt Morse (6-4, 6-4) and Josiah Krul (6-2, 6-0) also won in singles.

“I didn’t care who we were playing,” said Krul, who was awake until 2 a.m. Saturday morning following graduation. “Now I really feel like I graduated.”

The Camden Hills doubles lineup consisted entirely of underclassmen. Cooper Russell and Henry Cooper won at No. 1 and David Poutasse and Noah Heidorn won at No. 2, both by the score of 6-1, 6-3.

Saturday marked the first state championship appearance for Yarmouth (10-6) in eight years. Because of construction on the high school courts, the Clippers were forced to practice at a local elementary school that had only two courts.

“We really didn’t expect this spot, being in finals for state of Maine,” said Serbian exchange student Igor Nikolic, who had not played competitive tennis until this spring and rose from No. 3 on the Yarmouth ladder to No. 1. “This is a great end of year.”

Six of Yarmouth’s seven players are seniors.

“We’re athletic,” Coach Mark Marstaller said. “But I can’t say we’re athletic tennis players. Camden Hills, they were great.”

In the girls’ final, junior Izzy Evans at No. 1 singles gave Greely a 1-0 lead with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Gabrielle Marquis. Caribou tied it at No. 2 doubles and also won at No. 3 singles when senior Kelly Nicklaus outlasted Greely freshman Paige Evans, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (7).

“My freshman year, it was a lot easier,” said Izzy Evans, who spent her sophomore year in Spain. “Here, you looked around and all the matches were really tight.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or:

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

]]> 0, there was drama, but for Greely's No. 1 doubles team of Katie Steinberg, right, and Kaitlyn Thompson, there were also plenty of reasons for a celebratory hug. They fell behind in the second set against Caribou, but rallied to secure the Class B state championship for the Rangers, their third title in four years.Sun, 11 Jun 2017 16:13:10 +0000
Class C tennis: Waynflete boys extend streak, girls capture title as well Sat, 10 Jun 2017 21:22:43 +0000 WATERVILLE — Heat exhaustion and chills had set in, her team already had clinched a state title, but Waynflete senior Kiera MacWhinnie was determined to finish her tennis match.

After applying ice during a 5-minute medical break, she returned to the court and won the 10-point tiebreaker played in lieu of a third set to complete a 5-0 victory over George Stevens Academy on Saturday afternoon at Colby College.

As soon as the 6-1, 5-7 (10-3) match ended, MacWhinnie’s teammates stormed the court, enveloping her and Coach Linda Cohen in a group hug.

“It was a great moment for our team,” MacWhinnie said. “Everyone was excited for each other. You could feel the energy.”

The Class C title was the first in three years for Waynflete, which also celebrated – in more muted fashion – a 10th straight boys’ title with a brisk 5-0 victory, also over George Stevens.

“It’s more expected for them,” said MacWhinnie, who plans to continue a swimming career in college.

“For us, we have six seniors and we won as freshmen, so it was great to be able to bookend our high school careers with two state titles.”

Senior Lexi Epstein and junior Molly McNutt also won singles matches for Waynflete. Seniors Randall Seder and Almu Canales provided the clincher with a 6-4, 6-3 victory at No. 2 doubles.

At No. 1 doubles, senior Sidara Cash-Sortwell and sophomore Chloe Fisher overcame a slow start to win 0-6, 6-4, 7-5.

A lefty and a righty, Cash-Sortwell and Fisher switched their service rotation after the first set so that neither would have to make their tosses into the bright sun.

The decade of dominance for the Waynflete boys (15-1) matched a feat first achieved a few hours earlier by the Class A champion Falmouth girls.

Brandon Ameglio, Thorne Kieffer and Jacob Greene won all but five games in singles.

Shuhao Lin and Nick Wagg at No. 1 doubles and John Van Dyke and Cooper Sherman at No. 2 doubles also won in straight sets.

Waynflete (15-1) lost only to Class A champion Falmouth this season.

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or:

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

]]> 0 Sat, 10 Jun 2017 17:45:37 +0000
Baseball: Cheverus shuts down Gorham Sat, 10 Jun 2017 21:15:49 +0000 Call it a mutual admiration society. Call it a winning formula.

Call it what you want. The combination of great pitching and defense is working for the Cheverus High baseball team.

Jack Casale gave up hits to the first two batters and just two more the rest of the way Saturday as second-seeded Cheverus beat third-ranked Gorham 5-1 in a Class A South semifinal.

The Stags (17-1) will face top-ranked Falmouth (17-1) in the regional final at 3 p.m. Wednesday at St. Joseph’s College.

The teams didn’t meet in the regular season. It will be Cheverus’ first trip to the final since losing to Scarborough in 2012.

Falmouth, the defending regional champion, beat Portland 4-3 in nine innings in the other semifinal.

Casale, a senior right-hander, had his fastball boring over the inside corner and was backed by an errorless defense.

“The type of style I pitch, the ball is going to get put in play and I have complete confidence in everyone in the field,” Casale said.

The defensive highlights were a long running catch by left fielder Cam Dube on a slicing fly ball after Casale’s only walk, and shortstop Griffin Watson’s backhanded stab in the hole followed by a strong throw to end the sixth with a runner at second.

“(Casale) throws a ton of strikes, he doesn’t walk a lot of guys, and it just makes life a lot easier behind him,” Watson said. “And he knows our whole defense (is) his support, so he’s not afraid to go after guys.”

“Defense and pitching gets it done at this time,” said Cheverus Coach Mac McKew. “It’s a simple formula, but it’s hard to execute.”

Because Casale (6-0, six complete games) threw only 87 pitches, he’ll be available Wednesday. Senior left-hander Jared Brooks, who pitched a one-hitter against Deering in the quarterfinals, is expected to start against Falmouth.

Cheverus also had timely hitting, especially from cleanup man Maxx St. John. His two-strike, two-out RBI double in the second put Cheverus ahead 2-1 and came after Brooks was walked intentionally.

“Adjusting swings in practice the other day, I really put in a lot of time focusing on hitting the outside pitch,” St. John said.

With two outs in the fourth and the score 3-1, Gorham walked Brooks to load the bases. On an 0-2 count, St. John slapped a two-run single to left.

“They wanted to make St. John beat them and he did,” McKew said.

Gorham (15-3), in its first regional semifinal in Coach Chuck Nadeau’s nine-year tenure, attacked in the first. Ben Nelson and Jason Komulainen had hard singles, and after a passed ball, Nelson scored on a long flyout by Kyle King.

Starting with a good play by third baseman Chandler Hartigan to end the first, Casale retired 10 straight and 14 of 15 before a sixth-inning single by King.

“When you get opportunities against a kid like Casale, you want to take advantage of them because you know you’re not going to get many,” Nadeau said. “And that proved to be true.”

Cheverus tied it in the second when Logan McCarthy scored on Justin Ray’s suicide squeeze.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0 third baseman Logan Drouin lunges to tag out Cam Dube of Cheverus, who was caught in a fourth-inning rundown Saturday. Cheverus won, 5-1.Sat, 10 Jun 2017 20:25:30 +0000
Baseball: Falmouth slips past Portland in 9 innings Sat, 10 Jun 2017 21:14:21 +0000 FALMOUTH — Marcus Cady, the No. 9 hitter in the order, was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday, giving top-ranked Falmouth a 4-3 victory against fourth-seeded Portland in a Class A South baseball semifinal.

Falmouth (17-1), the defending regional champion, will play second-seeded Cheverus (17-1) at 3 p.m. Wednesday at St. Joseph’s College for a trip to next Saturday’s state final in Augusta.

“I didn’t think it was going to hit me at first,” said Cady, who was hitless in three at-bats. “There was one out so basically I was trying to elevate (the ball), get it into the outfield and score the run.”

“It was a curveball that didn’t break,” Falmouth Coach Kevin Winship said. “It was a tough pitch. Unfortunately for them it hit our guy. Fortunately for us we got a run off it.”

Max Fortier led off the winning rally with a single. After he stole second, Griffin Aube was walked intentionally. After both runners moved up on Will Blum’s slow roller to shortstop, Don Tocci – who went the distance for Portland – hit Ike Keily to load the bases, bringing up Cady.

“That was a great high school baseball game between two good teams, and it was fun to be part of it,” Winship said.

For a time, the game looked like last year’s semifinal when Falmouth shut out Portland, 5-0.

The Yachtsmen led 3-0 after four innings.

Garrett Aube hit the second pitch from Tocci over the left-field fence to lead off the bottom of the first.

In the third, Colin Coyne made it 2-0 when he pulled a two-out homer down the left-field line.

With one out in the fourth, Fortier lined an opposide-field double into the left-field corner, moved up on a fly ball and scored when Blum lined a single to center.

The Bulldogs (12-5) managed one hit off starting pitcher Reece Armitage, but it was a big one.

With two outs in the fifth, Dom Tocci walked and Jake Knop followed with a homer over the center-field fence to make it 3-2.

After Armitage, who struck out 10 but walked seven and hit a batter, walked Nick Archambeault, Cam Guarino came on and struck out Tom Joyce to end the inning.

“Our job was to get Armitage’s pitch count up and get into their bullpen,” Portland Coach Mike Rutherford said. “Unfortunately they’ve got Cam Guarino there.”

Guarino, the state’s Gatorade player of the year, pitched 41/3 innings of two-hit relief.

Still, the Bulldogs were able to tie it.

Don Tocci led off the sixth with a double, went to third on a grounder and scored on an error.

“We stared down what I believe are the two best pitchers in the state,” Rutherford said. “It was two well-coached teams battling to the end. That’s how it should be.”

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Girls’ lacrosse: Marshwood slips past Thornton, 4-3 Sat, 10 Jun 2017 19:35:05 +0000 SOUTH BERWICK — Luci Albers finished with a goal and an assist Saturday as second-seeded Marshwood beat third-ranked Thornton Academy 4-3 in a Class A South girls’ lacrosse semifinal.

The Hawks (11-3) will play fifth-seeded Gorham or top-ranked Massabesic, who met Saturday night, for the regional championship Wednesday.

Albers scored what proved to be the winning goal with 4:25 to play after a penalty. She came from the left side and cut sharply to the middle for a point-blank shot, giving Marshwood a 4-2 lead.

“I really wanted it. I wanted that goal, and I knew where I wanted to put it and I just focused on putting it there,” said Albers.

“In a game like this when you go down 4-2, it feels like you’re down 20,” said Thornton Coach Craig Agreste.

Albers, a senior midfielder, assisted on the opening goal of the game, setting up Zoe Janetos with 16:25 remaining in the first half.

“Our talk in the locker room (before the game) was very pumped up. We were very amped for this, a chance to show that we can beat (Thornton Academy) twice,” said Albers.

Thornton (10-4) cut its deficit to 4-3 with 45.6 seconds to play on a goal from Erika Entz but were unable to gain possession again.

“You can’t ever be comfortable. A two-goal lead is the worst in sports,” said Marshwood Coach Bernie Marvin. “We couldn’t be comfortable because we knew (Thornton) would come flying down. It was a matter of time.”

Entz scored two goals for the Trojans.

“It’s always a one- or two-goal game either way (against Thornton),” said Marvin. “We have a similar style. They’re very well coached and their kids get after it like my kids do. I totally expected this.”

Marshwood (11-3) took a 2-0 lead with 2.6 seconds remaining in the first half. After a penalty with 7.1 seconds left, Paige Singer charged toward the net and fired a shot that bounced in front and over the right shoulder of goalie Dana Sirois.

“It’s a different game if (we) go in (to halftime) 1-0,” said Agreste. “Hats off to (Marshwood. They played better and they played hard. My girls played great and I’m very, very proud of them,”

The Trojans responded in the second half with more efficiency on offense. Alana Pettaway scored just over two minutes in to slice the Marshwood lead to 2-1.

The Hawks answered five minutes later on a terrific give-and-go between Reagan Nichols and Marin Smith. From the top of the perimeter, Nichols found Smith cutting middle, then cut middle herself as Smith faded up to the perimeter. Smith passed to the cutting Nichols, who scored to make it 3-1.

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Girls’ lacrosse: Kennebunk shuts down Cape Elizabeth Sat, 10 Jun 2017 19:20:58 +0000 KENNEBUNK — An adjustment late in the first half allowed the top-ranked Kennebunk girls’ lacrosse team to get the best of fourth-seeded Cape Elizabeth 9-6 in a Class B South girls’ lacrosse semifinal Saturday.

The Rams advanced to Wednesday’s regional final – their fifth straight – and will play second-seeded Falmouth, a 13-12 winner over Lake Region.

“(Assistant coaches) Joe (Schwartzman) and Joe (Bush) tightened the defense,” said Kennebunk Coach Annie Barker. “They had the girls sink in a little bit more.”

After making the defensive shift late in the first half, the Rams shut out the Capers over the final 28 minutes, including the entire second half.

“We scored off some cutters by getting their defense to move and shift,” said Cape Elizabeth Coach Alex Spark.

“They adjusted in the second half. They were tighter on our cutters and tighter on the ball. It was harder for us to get off our passes.”

A strong Kennebunk finish sent the teams into halftime tied 6-6.

After scoring the first two goals and opening a 6-3 lead, the Capers (8-6) saw their lead disappear when Kennebunk (12-2) took over in the final two minutes of the half.

The Rams rattled off three goals in less than a minute – with Erin Gorton scoring two of her three first-half goals and Gabby Fogg tying the game.

“They gained momentum off those quick goals,” said Spark. “We got caught standing back a little bit and it’s tough to come back after something like that.

“We continued to fight after that and our defense made turnover after turnover. We battled right until the end but Kennebunk is such a great program that took advantage of a few lulls in our defense. We couldn’t get it done on the attack when we needed to.”

Kennebunk also got first-half goals from Briannagh Beaudette and Katherine Koch.

Casey Kelley and Karli Chapin both scored twice in the first half for the Capers. Mariah Deschino and Susie Graham added a goal each.

Beaudette secured a loose ball in the offensive end off the opening draw of the second half and quickly unleashed a shot into the top left corner of the net for Kennebunk’s first leade.

She added another goal – the Rams’ fifth straight – less than two minutes later as Kennebunk took advantage of a man-up situation.

Hallie Schwartzman pushed the lead to 9-6 when she scored from Fogg with just under 12 minutes remaining, all but ending Cape Elizabeth’s best season under Spark.

“We put Cape back on the map this season, which is important to remember,” said Spark. “It’s emotional right now and we have a great group of seniors, so it’s weighing on our mind that we’re losing those six girls.

“The girls should be proud of how they played and what they did this season.”

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Boys’ lacrosse: Thornton gets past South Portland, 13-10 Sat, 10 Jun 2017 17:26:04 +0000 SACO — The Thornton Academy boys’ lacrosse team had a pretty simple assignment: Don’t lose to South Portland in the playoffs for the fourth straight year.

The second-seeded Trojans made sure, scoring five straight goals from the middle of the third quarter to the beginning of the fourth quarter to earn a 13-10 win Saturday in a Class A South semifinal. It was the ninth straight win for the Trojans (13-1), who will play top-ranked Scarborough for the regional championship on Wednesday. The Red Storm handed the Trojans their only loss of the season, 18-17 in overtime on May 2.

“For our seniors, we’ve got a couple boys (who have been) here for three years, (and) South Portland has ended their year every year,” Thornton Coach Ryan Hersey said. “We just said we can’t let our seniors go away with all four losses in playoffs against South Portland.”

The Red Riots (10-4) beat Thornton in the quarterfinals last year after victories in the semifinals the two previous seasons. But too many South Portland mistakes, dropped balls and the inability to contend with Thornton’s transition offense were too much this time.

“Its always a big battle between TA and SoPo in the playoffs,” South Portland Coach Tom Fiorini said. “It was a good game, a well-played game today. I am proud of my guys. … This year was their time. The ball rolled their way today. They played a good game today. My hat’s off to them.”

John Giroux led a third-quarter surge for Thornton immediately after a goal by South Portland’s Ross Myers brought the Red Riots to within 6-5 just 2:57 into the second half. Giroux scored from in close with 7:27 left in the quarter on a long cross-field pass from Thomas Levasseur, then got an unassisted goal 12 seconds later.

Noah Edborg, Giroux and Levasseur (four goals, one assist) scored to finish the 5-0 run and give Thornton its largest lead at 11-5.

David Fiorini converted for the Red Riots after deking a defender to end the surge.

“We were just going full speed and working through everyone on the team and getting it around (the offensive zone) and not stopping,” said Giroux, who finished with six goals and one assist.

A Fiorini goal started a run of four straight for the Red Riots, but Thornton answered when T.J. Pike (one goal, three assists) carried the ball from just inside midfield and passed to C.J. Labreck when the defense converged. Labreck’s shot beat South Portland goalie Quinn Watson (16 saves) for a 12-9 lead.

Less than two minutes later, with 2:25 remaining, Giroux scored again in transition.

“We won today with our transition offense,” Hersey said. “We out-transitioned them; we got probably 10 goals in transition, which was huge.”

Cooper Mehlhorn scored five goals for the Red Riots, but three of them were in the last half of the fourth quarter when his team trailed by four goals. Fiorini added two goals and three assists.

“We didn’t really focus on stopping (Mehlhorn),” Houde said. “We worked on bodying him up and keeping him in front (of the defense).”

Ean Patry made 11 saves for Thornton, many of them big ones early when the game was close.

]]> 0 Academy defenders Eli Arsenault (left) and Noah Edborg hold off South Portland's Caleb Rowland during Saturday's Class A South semifinal.Sat, 10 Jun 2017 23:11:02 +0000