Varsity Maine – Press Herald Mon, 27 Feb 2017 19:03:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 It’s a grin-grin situation for correctional facility’s basketball team Sun, 26 Feb 2017 09:00:00 +0000 AUGUSTA — Ten years ago, A.R. Gould boys’ basketball coach Chad Sturgis often got the same response from schools when he asked if they would play his team.

“Really?” they’d say.

“Most teams wouldn’t play us,” Sturgis said. “It was like the ‘Gridiron Gang.’ ”

That’s because Sturgis’ players are technically inmates. The A.R. Gould School is the educational component at Long Creek Youth Development Center, a juvenile corrections facility in South Portland. But the Bears have come a long way from those days. On Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center, A.R. Gould competed in its first regional championship game, losing 69-33 to Greenville High in the Class D South final.

However, you wouldn’t know they’d just suffered a lopsided loss from their smiles.

“It was pretty good – felt cool,” Issak Aliyow said with a grin. The senior captain scored 16 points for the Bears, who finished with a 17-4 record.

“I told them, ‘No matter if we win or lose, we’re still the best Bears team to go out in history. We’ve got a plaque that the school has never had.’ ”

“We’ve got to build a trophy case now,” Sturgis said. His players laughed.

Another senior captain, Tyrese Collins, accepted their plaque as regional runners-up during the postgame awards ceremony. He held it high with a wide smile to wild applause.

While A.R. Gould isn’t your typical high school, the Bears don’t lack support. Spectators cheering them on included their families, teachers and guards, as well as fellow and former inmates.

“It means a lot to me,” Collins said. “I realized we had a lot of talent and could make it a long way. I pushed everybody as hard as I could.”

“Guys like Tyrese need basketball,” Sturgis said. “He needs a positive incentive to work during the offseason. He’s been great all year long. It’s important for everybody to have a change of pace and have something like that. If you don’t have that, all you have is negatives to reinforce behaviors.”

While Greenville accepted its trophy, the Bears watched from their bench with blank stares, occasionally cracking a smile when fans wrapped their arms around them, hugging them from behind. On Collins’ lap sat his son – a 2-year-old with springy blond curls. His mom, Susan, kissed Collins’ cheek.

“It gave him so much self-confidence – it just makes him shine,” she said. As for her reaction to the loss? “My heart sank. (Tyrese) is trying to cheer up his team.”

The team never moped or stopped patting each other on the back – behavior Sturgis said is typical for the team. Despite initial reluctance from schools to play games behind the locked doors at Long Creek, he has received many compliments and letters noting the players’ positivity and politeness in the past five years.

“They’re a terror on the court, but they’re smiles win or lose,” Sturgis said. “They’ve dealt with a lot of adversity their entire life – it’s no different from the day-to-day struggle they go through. It’s good that they know that there is a bunch of people who support them.

“They’re disappointed, but they know that they weren’t expected to be here. You’re talking about a bunch of kids who have never played together. Eleven days of practice before your first game against a team who has been playing together potentially since grade school.”

The Bears’ success has united the school. As Greenville pulled farther ahead during Saturday’s game, Sturgis had his players look behind them at their fans.

“Hey, you’re down 20 right now and these people are still clapping for you,” Sturgis told them. “Hey, you’re down 30 and they’re still clapping.”

Keegan Gaouette and Ibe Mokeme were among the more vocal spectators – clapping and standing up after every good play by the Bears. Mokeme occasionally flashed a thumbs-up to the A.R. Gould players.

Gaouette initially hesitated to talk about their association with the school.

“We’re locked up with them,” Gaouette revealed. “To see how far we’ve come – it just shows how much pride we have about who we are.”

“Some of the kids haven’t been to a place like this with this many people watching,” Mokeme said. “Win or lose, I’m still proud of my boys.”

Before games, players get to substitute their beige and gray uniforms for their blue warmups, which Sturgis said facilitates the feeling of a “real high school.” The team typically celebrates wins with meals from McDonalds, but on Saturday they were headed to China Buffet to cap off their season.

“It changed everything – it has created a real community,” Sturgis said. “Everybody is worth a second chance.”

]]> 0 Collins, one of the captains for A.R. Gould, is comforted by his mother, Susan Collins of South Portland, after a loss to Greenville in the Class D South boys' basketball final Saturday in Augusta. "(Basketball gives) him so much self-confidence," she said. "It just makes him shine."Sun, 26 Feb 2017 16:47:59 +0000
Boys’ basketball: Greely beats Falmouth, wins Class A South Sun, 26 Feb 2017 02:23:36 +0000 The unbeaten Greely boys’ basketball team used a workmanlike effort to defeat undermanned Falmouth 47-26 the Class A South final Saturday night at Cross Insurance Arena.

Senior forward Ryan Twitchell pounded the offensive glass relentlessly, grabbing 11 offensive rebounds. His own rebounds led directly to 11 of his team-high 13 points, and he finished with 17 rebounds.

“It’s not about that fancy stuff. It’s about working hard every play,” Twitchell said.

Greely (21-0) will face Messalonskee (16-5) in the state final Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. Greely’s last appearance in a state final was in 1998, when it won its third Class B title in four years. Messalonskee will be making its first state championship game appearance.

Twitchell was named the regional tournament’s outstanding player.

“Ryan’s been really great for us all year, but I came to him today and really challenged him because we gave up 18 offensive boards to York the other night,” said Greely Coach Travis Seaver. “I wanted him to absolutely dominate the glass and Ryan did.”

Matt McDevitt had 11 points for Greely. The senior standout got his team off to a quick start with four points in the opening minutes. When sophomore Zach Brown (nine points) hit an open 3-pointer, Greely was in front 10-2.

“It was a goal of ours. We wanted to come in and set the tone early,” said Seaver.

No. 2 Falmouth finishes 15-6, with three losses to Greely.

“They’re seniors on a mission and that’s a completely different animal,” Falmouth Coach Dave Halligan said of Greely. “If you’ve been here before and didn’t quite get there, then you’re going to work and not let anything get in your way. We won the whole thing last year, so we’ve been on both ends of it. We understand.”

Falmouth played without senior point guard Colin Coyne, who averaged 18.4 points per game. Coyne suffered a serious ankle sprain that involved ligament and bone damage in the regional semifinals.

Without Coyne, the defending Class A champions struggled to score.

Freshman Michael Simonds assumed the point guard role and scored 11 points for Falmouth, which shot 27 percent (10 of 37) and made just 1 of 12 3-point attempts.

“Putting Michael into that position isn’t really fair to him, but he stepped up and did the best that he could,” Halligan said.

Greely also didn’t shoot particularly well (33 percent overall, 2 of 14 on 3-pointers), but Twitchell’s extra chances provided a comfortable cushion and guards Shane DeWolfe and Jordan Bagshaw ran an offense that committed only five turnovers.

Greely was also the top seed last year but lost in the semifinals to a physical, aggressive Brunswick squad.

“These seniors have put in a lot of time and effort,” Seaver said. “Part of that is just getting to be a tough team, and tougher players. That comes with experience and maturity, and I thought the guys did that tonight.”

CORRECTION: This story was updated on Feb. 27 at 11 a.m. to correct Messalonskee’s record.

]]> 0's Ryan Twitchell sneaks past Emmett Hamilton of Falmouth during the Class A South boys' basketball final Saturday night at Cross Insurance Arena. Twitchell led top-ranked Greely to a 47-26 victory.Mon, 27 Feb 2017 10:59:18 +0000
Boys’ basketball: Greenville overpowers A.R. Gould, claims Class D South title Sun, 26 Feb 2017 01:51:38 +0000 AUGUSTA — Nick Foley scored 25 points to lead top-seeded Greenville to a 69-33 win over A.R. Gould in the Class D South boys’ basketball final Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.

Conner DiAngelo added 13 points, while Devon Boone chipped in with 12 for Greenville (20-1), which moves on to play Machias (20-1) for the Class D state championship next Saturday at Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

The Lakers jumped out to a 16-3 lead after the first quarter and led 33-12 at halftime.

Isaak Aliyow led second-seeded A.R. Gould (17-4) with 16 points, while Tyrese Collins added 10.

]]> 0 Sat, 25 Feb 2017 20:53:00 +0000
Girls’ basketball: Monmouth tops Old Orchard Beach in Class C South final Sun, 26 Feb 2017 01:38:51 +0000 AUGUSTA — Third-seeded Monmouth Academy rode a record-setting performance at the free-throw line to the Class C South girls’ basketball championship at the Augusta Civic Center on Saturday night.

The Mustangs sank 30 of 38 foul shots to roll to a 65-25 win over No. 4 Old Orchard Beach in their first trip to the Class C regional final. They had won Western Class D titles in 1991, 1998, 1999 and 2000.

Monmouth Academy will play North champion Dexter for the state championship Saturday at Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

“This is great,” said Monmouth Academy guard Tia Day, who received the Robin Colcord Award as the Class C South tournament’s most valuable player. “It’s great, especially with this group of girls. We are such great friends, (and) so many of us have put in so much extra work.”

The Mustangs sank 25 of 32 free throws during the first three quarters to open a 50-20 lead. Monmouth sank 5 of 6 free throws in the fourth quarter to eclipse the tournament’s record of 28 made free throws set by Hall-Dale in 1981.

“We’ve been doing a lot of competition in free throws,” Day said. “Free throws are very important to us.”

Abbey Allen led Monmouth with 17 points. Julia Johnson, a sophomore reserve followed with 12 points. Hannah Anderson added 11 points. Day scored 10 points.

Emily Greenlee led the Seagulls (12-8) with nine points.

Monmouth Academy held a 27-14 lead at the end of the first half.

The Mustangs got off to a great start, pulling into an 8-0 lead less than five minutes into the game.

It took the Seagulls a while to leave the starting gate. They missed all eight of their shots and committed eight turnovers during the first quarter.

“We had no flow,” Old Orchard Beach Coach Dean Plante said.

“We got into foul trouble early. We were apparently overly aggressive, I don’t know.”

Monmouth Academy (18-3) sank only two of its 13 shots during the first quarter, but it sank 5 of 8 free throws to build an early 10-2 lead.

Old Orchard Beach got untracked offensively in the second quarter. The Seagulls opened with an 8-2 run, moving to within a point of the Mustangs when Samantha Donnell hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to make it 12-11 with 3:25 left in the first half.

The Mustangs finished the first half with a 13-4 run, sinking 7 of 8 free throws in the process to move back into a comfortable lead.

“We got out of our flow early and never got into sync,” Plante said. “We couldn’t use (the) combinations we wanted to because we were in foul trouble.”

Monmouth took a 30-point lead at the end of the third quarter by outscoring Old Orchard, 23-6. The Mustangs made 11 of 13 free throws in the third.

“Hats off to Monmouth,” Plante said. “They were the better team tonight.”

With 1:59 left in the game, Johnson, a sophomore reserve, sank two free throws to set the tournament record for made free throws. She sank all 10 of her free throws.

]]> 0 Orchard Beach's Meghan LaPlante, left, boxes out Kaeti Butterfield of Monmouth as they go after a rebound during the Class C South championship game Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. Monmouth won, 65-25.Sat, 25 Feb 2017 22:59:01 +0000
Girls’ basketball: Brunswick stuns Greely, wins first regional title Sun, 26 Feb 2017 00:39:52 +0000 Wow. Just, wow.

Down 14 points early in the third period, Brunswick High dug in defensively and rode the all-around brilliance of Madeline Suhr to a stunning 54-51 upset of top-ranked Greely in the Class A South girls’ basketball championship game Saturday night at Cross Insurance Arena.

Suhr scored 22 points, hitting all eight of her shots – including five 3-pointers – and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the second-ranked Dragons to their first state-final appearance.

Her three-point play with 1:12 left gave Brunswick a 50-48 lead it wouldn’t lose.

“She’s amazing,” said Brooke Barter of the Dragons. “She, honestly, connects the team in a way that I didn’t think possible. She carries the team. She inspires us.”

Brunswick (18-3), which lost to Greely 61-46 in the regular season, will play Messalonskee (21-0) in the state championship game at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.

Greely (19-2) started slow but gained control in the second quarter, limiting the Dragons to two points. When Isabel Porter (19 points) hit her fourth 3-pointer of the game with 6:20 left in the third, the Rangers led 31-17.

“For a second we were a little worried,” said Suhr, named the tournament’s outstanding player. “But the defense kept turning the ball over to the offense and that turned into points. We got up there pretty fast.”

“Team defense. We contested their shots and got back to playing Brunswick basketball,” said Coach Sam Farrell. “Do what we do in practice. I don’t care who we play.”

The deficit was down to 36-32 entering the fourth after Barter put in her own offensive rebound. Greely pushed the lead to six twice, but each time the Dragons responded. The lead changed five times in the last three minutes, with Barter (eight of her 14 points in the fourth) and Suhr leading Brunswick’s charge while Anna DeWolfe (11 of her 16 points in the fourth) paced Greely.

The Rangers took their last lead with 1:51 left on a 12-foot leaner from the right by freshman Brooke Obar. The Dragons turned the ball over but following a timeout, Suhr made a steal. She came down the court, converted a layup and was fouled. Suhr missed her four previous foul shots but this time was pure with the shot and Brunswick led 50-48 with 1:12 left.

“I was definitely telling myself not to miss it,” said Suhr. “I knew that was a very important free throw.”

DeWolfe came down and hit one foul shot but missed the second with Suhr rebounding. Both teams traded turnovers before Sabrina Armstrong hit two foul shots with 14.5 seconds left to make it 52-49. DeWolfe hit two foul shots with 10.9 seconds left but the Dragons broke the press, leading to two foul shots by Barter with 3.3 seconds remaining to clinch it.

“We didn’t execute and make some shots we typically make,” said Rangers Coach Todd Flaherty. “And they made a lot of shots … They hit shots when they had to. Give credit to them.”

Brunswick won despite 27 turnovers. But the Rangers only scored 11 points off those turnovers and Brunswick scored 18 points off 19 Greely turnovers.

“I still can’t believe we won that game,” said Barter. “It’s incredible.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0's Sabrina Armstrong drives to the basket against Brooke Obar of Greely during the Class A South girls' basketball final Saturday at Cross Insurance Arena. Brunswick upset the top-seeded Rangers, 54-51.Sun, 26 Feb 2017 12:19:03 +0000
Saturday’s high school roundup: Vinalhaven ends 34-year drought Sun, 26 Feb 2017 00:02:00 +0000 AUGUSTA — It appeared all 1,200 residents of Vinalhaven made the trip to the Augusta Civic Center on Saturday to watch their girls’ basketball team play in the Class D South championship game.

They were rewarded handsomely, as the second-seeded Vikings earned their first regional title in 34 years, beating No. 5 Forest Hills, 61-45.

“It’s huge having everyone on our backs supporting us,” said Vinalhaven junior Gilleyanne Davis-Oakes, who won the Patricia Gallagher award as the tournament’s outstanding player.

Vinalhaven (17-4) will face Shead in the Class D state championship game Saturday at Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. Forest Hills finishes its season at 12-9.

Forest Hills double-teamed Davis-Oakes in the low post in the first quarter and held her to two points. Her teammates, led by Paige Dennison, took up the slack as they raced to a 14-2 lead.

Davis-Oakes finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Ashlyn Littlefield scored 18 points and Dennison had 11. The Vikings led from start to finish but broke the game open with a 14-0 run early in the second half that pushed the lead to 43-16.

Forest Hills, which upset No. 1 Rangeley in the semifinals, was led by seniors Caitlin Logston and Patricia Lessard. Logston, who entered the game 28 points shy of 1,000 for her career, finished with 24 points and 14 rebounds. Lessard had 10 points and seven rebounds.


NEW ENGLAND QUALIFIER: Cody Craig of Skowhegan won his weight class for the fourth year in a row and Bradley Beaulieu earned his third straight title in the New England qualifier at Marshwood High School.

The top three wrestlers in each weight class qualified for the New England championships next weekend in Providence, Rhode Island.

Craig pinned Noah Dumas of Cony in the 106-pound final, and Beaulieu earned a 2-0 decision over Ethan Boucher of Mountain Valley at 138 pounds.

Robert Hetherman of Mt. Ararat/Brunswick was chosen as the meet’s outstanding wrestler after beating Ellsworth’s Trent Goodman in the 170-pound final, 4-2.

Other champions were Leo Amabile of Massabesic at 113, Alex Fogarty of Oceanside at 120, Caleb Austin of Mountain Valley at 126, Samson Sirois of Skowhegan at 132, Austin Shorey of Noble at 145, Peyton Cole of Ellsworth at 152, Sam Anderson of Sanford at 160, Ryan Fredette of Winslow at 182, Nolan Potter of Wells at 195, Matthew Carroll of Massabesic at 220 and David Gross of Bucksport at 285.

]]> 0 Sat, 25 Feb 2017 20:52:10 +0000
Boys’ basketball: Wells upsets Yarmouth in Class B South final Sat, 25 Feb 2017 21:44:45 +0000 Wells High was beaten soundly by top-seeded Yarmouth twice in the boys’ basketball regular season. When it counted most, however, the Warriors found a winning formula.

No. 3 Wells scored inside against the taller Clippers, kept Yarmouth’s outside shooting in check and pulled off a 41-38 upset in the Class B South championship game Saturday afternoon at Cross Insurance Arena.

“We came in here better mentally, and then we just put it on the floor and played great,” said Wells center Deandre Woods, who scored a game-high 16 points. “We’re seniors, we’ve been in these spots a lot.”

Wells will play for Class B state championship for the first time since winning back-to-back titles in 1983-84. Wells Coach Troy Brown played on the Warriors’ last championship team, and noted that he was “the 12th man on a 12-man team.”

“My kids are relentless,” Brown said. “They never stop playing.”

Wells (16-5) will play Mt. Desert Island (18-3) in at 7:45 p.m. Friday at the Augusta Civic Center. Four of the Warriors’ starters were key members of the football team that beat MDI 44-0 to win the Class C state championship in November.

Woods and regional tournament MVP Cameren Cousins (13 points, 12 rebounds) led the Warriors with a strong inside presence against Yarmouth, outplaying the Clippers’ big-man tandem of Nolan Hagerty (six points, five blocks) and Alek Medenica (14 points, eight rebounds).

“They came out with more confidence tonight, especially Woods knocking down some shots early, which were shots he did not even look for the first couple games we played,” said Yarmouth Coach Adam Smith.

Yarmouth (18-3) made 10 3-pointers in a 91-63 win at Wells and got 36 points from Medenica in a 69-52 home win.

“We were trying to shut them down the whole time,” Cousins said. “On offense, we wanted them to get in foul trouble, to get into them and get us to the line.”

Cousins made 7 of 10 free throws. Wells was 12 of 18 as a team. Yarmouth made 3 of 6 free throws.

Wells had a surprising 23-14 lead at the half, in large part because Yarmouth was 1 of 12 on 3-point attempts and Medenica was held to 3 points.

Yarmouth was also hurt by an early injury to senior sharpshooter Gibson Harnett. While driving the baseline, Harnett pump-faked and got two Wells players in the air. They came down on top of him, causing a gash on the top of Harnett’s head.

Harnett was taken to the hospital. He returned to the arena with about three minutes remaining but remained in street clothes.

“He is the guy who stretches the floor for us, and when he went out it handicapped us tremendously as an inside-out game. We just did not have that outside threat or presence. It made it very difficult for our bigs to get off,” Smith said.

With the 6-foot-6 Hagerty taking a turn at point guard, Yarmouth had a strong third quarter and took a brief lead on a Medenica 3-pointer. The game was tied 27-27 entering the fourth quarter.

Wells regained control with a 9-2 run. Cousins made 5 of 6 free throws and Woods scored inside.

Medenica and Hagerty then combined for a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to 36-35.

Wells reserve Matt Sherburne made two free throws with 41 seconds left. A Medenica 3-pointer missed and Cousins got the rebound and was fouled. He made the first and missed the second, but Owen Berry retrieved the loose ball near the free-throw line. He was fouled and made both free throws for a 41-35 lead with 11.6 seconds left.

Najee McQueen (9 points) hit a 3-pointer for Yarmouth with 6 seconds left, but Wells was able to get the ball inbounds and run out the clock.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0 Cousins of Wells puts a shot up past Jonathan Torres of Yarmouth after grabbing an offensive rebound the Class B South boys' basketball regional final Saturday at Cross Insurance Arena. (Staff photo by Derek Davis/Staff Photographer)Sun, 26 Feb 2017 18:58:57 +0000
Girls’ basketball: Gray-NG heads back to Class B state title game Sat, 25 Feb 2017 19:34:40 +0000 Bri Jordan woke up Saturday morning feeling good. Confident, in fact.

And she showed it Saturday afternoon at the Cross Insurance Arena.

Jordan, a sophomore guard, scored 16 points to pace a second-half surge that carried top-ranked Gray-New Gloucester to a 46-32 victory over sixth-seeded Lincoln Academy in the Class B South girls’ basketball championship game.

She had seven points in the third quarter when the Patriots took control.

It was Gray-New Gloucester’s second consecutive Class B South title, both wins coming over the Eagles. The Patriots (20-1) will play Houlton (20-1) in a rematch of last year’s Class B state title game at 6 p.m. Friday at the Augusta Civic Center.

“It feels unbelievable,” said Skye Conley, a senior center for the Patriots. “We’ve all put in so much work, been playing AAU together since fifth grade, going to clinics together. To accomplish this really took a total team effort.”

Jordan was presented the Mike DiRenzo Award, given to the tournament’s outstanding player/sportsperson.

“To expect Bri to score 16 … I wouldn’t have expected that,” said Coach Mike Andreasen. “Maybe eight to 10. For her to give us 16 and work as hard as she did (defensively, guarding Lincoln Academy star Brie Wajer), she was fabulous for us.”

The Patriots struggled early against Lincoln Academy’s matchup zone, trailing 8-5 after one quarter. But their man-to-man defensive pressure wore down the Eagles and helped open up the offense.

The Eagles (15-6) shot just 24 percent for the game, missing all nine 3-point attempts, and never got into any kind of rhythm.

“They just simply put the clamps on us,” said Lincoln Academy Coach Kevin Feltis. “Give all the credit to them.

“It’s a tiring game out there. They put the clamps on you and make you do things you don’t want to do.”

Still, Lincoln Academy led 17-15 early in the third quarter after an offensive rebound basket by Kortney McKenna. A Jordan 3-pointer from the top of the key with 5:57 left in the third put the Patriots ahead 20-17. They wouldn’t trail again.

After Wajer (11 points) scored inside for Lincoln Academy to pull within three, the Patriots scored the final eight points of the third quarter – a basket by Grace Kariotis, a jumper by Jordan, a steal and layup by Jordan, and two foul shots by freshman Jordan Grant – to take a 32-21 lead into the fourth.

“It was good that the kids didn’t panic,” said Andreasen. “The game the other day (against Lake Region), in the third quarter I saw something in the kids’ eyes I hadn’t seen all year. There was some panic. That day they were able to defensively regroup.

“Today we were able to offensively regroup.”

Jordan, who fouled out with 3:50 remaining, hit a 3-pointer to start the fourth to make it 35-21. Lincoln Academy got no closer than 12 as Grant scored six in the fourth and Izzy DeTroy added four.

“I woke up this morning having confidence in myself and my team,” said Jordan. “I felt better than I have all year.”

Like her coach, Jordan said a key was that the Patriots didn’t panic when they struggled offensively.

“When we’ve been down before, we’ve kind of struggled coming back,” she said. “This game, we just opened up together as a team and played a good team effort.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0 Gloucester players celebrate their victory over Lincoln Academy in the Class B South regional final Saturday at Cross Insurance Arena. The Patriots will play for the state championship on Friday. (Staff photo by Derek Davis/Staff Photographer)Sat, 25 Feb 2017 17:02:54 +0000
Boys’ basketball: Portland wins AA North title Sat, 25 Feb 2017 03:49:22 +0000 AUGUSTA — In a game loaded with well-known players, it was unheralded Portland sophomore Simon Chadbourne who stepped to the forefront Friday night in the Class AA North boys’ basketball final at the Augusta Civic Center.

A slender reserve, Chadbourne made his first four 3-point attempts, including two in the third quarter when top-ranked Portland pushed a one-point lead to 11 en route to a 66-53 win against No. 2 Edward Little.

“Tonight he made them and all the credit goes to him. He shot and he made them,” said Portland Coach Joe Russo. “Simon got us going. Simon got us in the game. Simon gave us confidence and everybody fed off Simon.”

Defending state champion Portland (18-2) advances to the state final at 9 p.m. next Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center against South Portland (17-3). It will be a rematch of last year’s first Class AA final, won by Portland in double overtime.

Portland and South Portland split during the regular season, with Portland winning the season opener 61-54 at South Portland, and the Red Riots taking the rematch in the penultimate game of the season at the Expo, 74-69.

“Match made in heaven,” Russo said. “I think you couldn’t ask for a better matchup in terms of excitement.”

Chadbourne finished 4 of 4 from the floor for 12 points. Charlie Lyall added 11 points. Griffin Foley led Portland scorers with 14 points, and junior point guard Terion Moss had eight points and was named the regional MVP.

Chadbourne’s fourth 3-pointer was a third-quarter buzzer beater, coming shortly after drawing an offensive foul on Edward Little’s C.J. Jipson, who specializes in doing that to other players.

“I kind of just get left open, and when I’m open I have to hit my shots, and that’s kind of what I did tonight,” Chadbourne said. “They focus on Terion, Griffin and Charlie, and I’m just wide open and they find me.”

“We know about Simon. Simon’s our secret little weapon. We know he can shoot,” said Lyall, Portland’s senior center. “Teams don’t cover him. He’s skinny. He’s not super tall. But he can shoot.”

Lyall scored all of his points in the second half, with three baskets coming after offensive rebounds. He controlled the paint along with Clay Hardy (seven points).

“I think I play my best basketball in the playoffs,” Lyall said. “I feel like this is when I come alive and I was angry. This was not going to be my last game, was pretty much what was going through my head.”

Lyall’s signature play was at the defensive end, when he blocked successive shots to ignite a fast break converted by Foley that finished a quick 7-0 run for a 51-36 lead with 5:52 remaining.

Moss started the run with a three-point play in transition and Hardy scored on a fast break with an assist from Moss.

“In practice we’re running at 94 feet, and we’re taught to just keep pushing it and pushing it and taking it right to (the basket),” Hardy said. “We play fast.”

Edward Little (18-2), which beat Portland 76-70 in the regular season, didn’t get closer than 12 the rest of the way.

“They scored but they earned every basket,” Russo said. “We played great individual and team defense.”

The first half was a hard-fought, back-and-forth contest. Edward Little got the early jump behind Samatar Iman (21 points), a quick 6-1 guard. Portland looked in a bit of trouble down 13-7 with Moss on the bench.

The Bulldogs responded with three straight 3s to close the quarter, the first by Foley and then two straight from Chadbourne to take a 16-13 lead. Chadbourne’s second 3-pointer was a buzzer-beater after Pedro Fonseca pushed the ball up the court and dished it off to the trailing shooter.

Portland held a 24-23 lead at halftime as both team’s defenses locked down on the top scoring threats. For Portland’s defense, Foley guarded 3-point specialist Darby Shea (seven points), Fonseca slowed Iman, and Hardy kept Jarod Norcross Plourde (12 points) in check.

“We were just keying in on defense, making sure we watched the backdoor cuts because we know they like to do that a lot,” Hardy said. “My goal was to lock Plourde up and to limit him to under 10 because he’s a great offensive player. He’s big for them on the boards.”

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0, ME - FEBRUARY 24: Portland's Terion Moss goes in for a shot during the third period of their game against Edward Little Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 during the Class AA North basketball regional finals at the Augusta Civic Center in Augusta, Maine. (Staff photo by Joel Page/Staff Photographer)Sat, 25 Feb 2017 19:47:14 +0000
Boys’ basketball: South Portland rallies to win AA South title in OT Sat, 25 Feb 2017 02:46:24 +0000 When Thornton Academy built a nine-point halftime lead and maintained it midway through the third quarter of the Class AA South boys’ basketball final, the Trojans had figured out a way to handle South Portland’s pressure.

But the Red Riots figured out a way to come back.

South Portland rallied to tie the game, then pulled away in overtime for a 71-61 win Friday night at Cross Insurance Arena.

The top-seeded Red Riots upped their defensive effort and hit clutch shots in the end.

“We weren’t rotating as well as we do,” South Portland Coach Kevin Millington said of his defense early on. “But, really, Thornton’s great … We just had to grind. That’s all.

“They’re warriors, these guys. Been that way all year.”

South Portland (17-3) will play Portland in the state championship game for the second straight year, at 9 p.m. next Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.

Ansel Stilley led South Portland with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Ruay Bol – the Vinall Trophy winner as the tournament’s top player – scored 18 points and Riley Hasson added 17, eight of them in overtime.

Hasson made the big play in regulation, with 1:27 left and South Portland down 58-55. He drove, spun and hit a turnaround jump shot while being fouled, and his free throw tied the game.

“Things like that, I kind of throw it up in practice, kind of as a joke,” Hasson said of the jumper. “I put it up and it went in.”

David Keohan scored 21 points for second-seeded Thornton (17-3), including seven in the first quarter.

South Portland beat Thornton during the season with a lot of pressure. The Trojans were ready this time, working the ball up for layups.

“They pressed and we handled their press,” Trojans Coach Bob Davies said.

Thornton took a 30-21 halftime lead, shooting 48 percent.

South Portland went back to a half-court defense in the second half, but Thornton guard Austin Boudreau (17 points) hit four 3-pointers in the third quarter. He didn’t score after that, as South Portland put Liam Coyne on him and made sure he had help.

The Red Riots finished the third quarter with an 11-2 run to close within 46-45. Stilley, at 6-foot-2, was huge underneath, grabbing eight rebounds in the second half.

“(Thornton) was hurting us inside and we needed that,” Millington said.

The game went back and forth in the fourth quarter. The Trojans had their chances but missed their last three free throws – including two after Hasson’s tying three-point play.

Thornton got into foul trouble. Guard Evan Christensen fouled out at the end of regulation and Keohan fouled out in overtime.

In overtime, the Red Riots went right to Hasson and he sank a 3-pointer for a 61-58 lead. Keohan made a layup but Stilley answered with a putback. Then the Trojans turned the ball over when Hasson drew a charging foul, and Hasson drove in for a layup at the other end.

“With that kid, he’s such a winner,” Millington said. “He might not be the best shooter in the world, but if you got one shot to make that’s important, he’s going to make it every time. He loves the moment.”

Moses Oreste added six points and seven rebounds, and Edward Buckley had seven points.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

Twitter: KevinThomasPPH

]]> 0, ME - FEBRUARY 24: South Portland senior Ansel Stilley (#24) and senior Moses Oreste (#10) celebrate with classmates after leaping into the stands after beating Thornton Academy in the Class AA South boys basketball regional final. (Staff photo by Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer)Sat, 25 Feb 2017 19:48:08 +0000
Girls’ basketball: Oxford Hills tops Deering in overtime to win AA North title Sat, 25 Feb 2017 01:42:03 +0000 AUGUSTA — Top-seeded Oxford Hills sank all nine of its free throws in overtime to capture the Class AA North girls’ basketball championship Friday night with a 46-41 win against No. 3 Deering at the Augusta Civic Center.

Jadah Adams, a sophomore center, and Julia Colby, a freshman guard, scored 13 points apiece to lead the Vikings (19-1) to their first regional final since they played for the Class A championship three years ago.

Deering’s Tasia Titherington, a senior guard who led all scorers with 21 points, received the Red McMann Award as the regional’s most valuable player.

The Vikings will play defending state champion Gorham (20-0) next Saturday night in Augusta.

“(Deering) battled all year and I’m just happy we played them tough,” Oxford Hills Coach Nate Pelletier said. “(If we) play them 10 times, we may win five. We just got lucky twice with them.”

In their regular-season meeting, Oxford Hills won 37-34 when Colby’s shot from midcourt beat the final buzzer.

“We played them tough during the regular season,” Deering Coach Mike Murphy said. “Both teams don’t give an inch, obviously. I’m proud as hell of the effort we had.”

The Vikings built a 16-7 first-quarter lead, mainly on the inside play of Adams. She scored their first 10 points and dished off to Colby after an offensive rebound for a 3-pointer that made it 15-5.

Deering rallied in the second quarter, however, closing to within three points. Titherington led the charge by sinking 7 of 9 free throws and driving the left baseline for a hoop with less than a minute left in the first half to cut the deficit to 21-18.

Adams, meanwhile, was assessed a technical foul and a blocking foul with 1:44 left in the half. Saddled with three fouls, she sat out the rest of the first half and the first four minutes of the second half.

Deering opened the third quarter with a 9-2 run to move into a 27-23 lead. Titherington then completed a three-point play to make it 30-24, but Maighread Laliberte cashed in a rebound and Erin Eastman hit a 3-pointer just before the buzzer, leaving Deering with a 30-29 lead.

The teams combined for only seven points in the fourth quarter, when Oxford Hills took a lot of time off the clock by running a delay offense.

The Vikings turned the ball over twice, and one of those turnovers led to a fast-break basket by Mandy Mastropasqua that tied the score at 33-33 with 1:40 left. Deering missed two hurried shots in the final 10 seconds of regulation.

Adams, who hadn’t scored a point since the first quarter, completed a three-point play in overtime to snap a 35-35 tie and give the Vikings the lead for good.

]]> 0's Tasia Titherington drives to the basket while being guarded by Krystin Paine of Oxford Hills during the first quarter of the Class AA North final Friday in Augusta. Oxford Hills beat Deering 46-41 in overtime.Fri, 24 Feb 2017 22:54:40 +0000
Girls’ basketball: Gorham holds off South Portland for second straight Class AA South title Sat, 25 Feb 2017 00:30:30 +0000 Championship games are not always decided by star players.

On a team with Emily Esposito and Mackenzie Holmes – two of the state’s top five players – Michelle Rowe carved her name into Gorham High’s championship lore Friday night.

Rowe made three game-changing plays in the final 50 seconds to help top-ranked and undefeated Gorham hold off second-seeded South Portland 46-44 in the Class AA South girls’ basketball championship game at Cross Insurance Arena. Rowe, a junior forward, made a steal with the score tied, hit two foul shots to break the tie and then assisted Esposito on what turned out to be the winning basket.

“Michelle made three championship plays at the end,” said Gorham Coach Laughn Berthiaume. “She did a number of different things for us at the end to really help us win that game.”

The win was defending Class AA state champion Gorham’s 41st in a row and lifted the Rams (20-0) into the state championship game against Oxford Hills at 6 p.m. next Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.

“This means everything,” said Esposito, a senior guard who is going to Villanova. “I was thinking about this game this morning and thought if we won, it would be sweet. Then I thought if we lost … I couldn’t even think about that, I got sick to my stomach. I couldn’t fathom losing.”

Esposito, who led the Rams with 17 points, was named the winner of the Edward “Red” McMann outstanding player/sportsman award for the second consecutive year. She suffered an injury to her right knee in the game’s final second after a collision with South Portland’s Meghan Graff but said afterward, “I’m OK.”

The win didn’t come easily. South Portland’s defense was exceptional, forcing 19 turnovers. And the Riots came out hitting 3s to build an early eight-point lead. An 8-0 run late in the second quarter pushed South Portland into a 26-22 halftime lead.

Then …

“We know how important the first three minutes of the third quarter are,” said South Portland Coach Lynne Hasson. “And they owned the first three minutes. And that hurt us.”

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Kaylea Lundin and Esposito put the Rams ahead. South Portland got its last lead at 29-28 on a foul shot by Katie Whitmore with 5:41 left.

With contributions from Courtney Brent and Holmes (12 points, seven rebounds), Gorham built a 42-36 lead with 5:04 remaining. But South Portland came back.

A jumper by Lydia Henderson and four consecutive foul shots by Eva Mazur (15 points, five steals) tied it at 42 with 3:09 left.

Then Rowe made her steal in front of the Riots’ bench with 50 seconds left. “Just got in the passing lane and got lucky, I guess,” said Rowe. She was fouled on her shot and calmly swished both free throws for a 44-42 lead with 44.2 seconds left.

“It’s just a free throw and I shoot it every day,” she said. “This one’s no different from any other one.”

After a South Portland miss, the Rams had the ball at midcourt following a timeout. Rowe inbounded the ball and passed to Esposito for a layup that made it 46-42 with 23 seconds left.

“It’s pretty exciting,” said Rowe. “To be able to do this two years in a row is something not many teams get to do.”

]]> 0 celebrates after beating South Portland 46-42 in the Class AA South girls' basketball regional final Friday at Cross Insurance Arena.Fri, 24 Feb 2017 23:54:48 +0000
Boys’ basketball: Messalonskee prevents Oceanside repeat in Class A North Fri, 24 Feb 2017 21:19:43 +0000 AUGUSTA — Oceanside Coach Matt Breen said he tried to find a silver lining with his team trailing by 10 at halftime of its Class A North boys’ basketball final Friday against Messalonskee.

“In the regular season when we played them, we were down 13 at the half and we came back (to win),” Breen said. “The worrisome part was we just could not get anything to drop. And that continued.”

While fifth-seeded Messalonskee ramped up its game behind senior guard Nate Violette’s 14-point third quarter, No. 3 Oceanside’s starters couldn’t get a single basket. The Eagles rolled to a 61-40 win at the Augusta Civic Center to claim the school’s first boys’ basketball regional title.

“Throughout the week, Coach (Peter McLaughlin) would stop us at practice and have us look at the wall and say, ‘Hey, you know what I hate about this place? There’s no banner up there for boys’ basketball,'” said Violette, who finished with a game-high 21 points. “So there’s going to be one there now.”

Messalonskee (16-5) will return to the ACC for the state final at 2:45 p.m. next Saturday against the winner of Saturday’s South final between Greely (20-0) and defending state champion Falmouth (15-5).

Violette was named the outstanding player of the regional. James Kouletsis contributed 13 points and 12 rebounds, and Griffin Tuttle added 10 points and six rebounds.

Oceanside (17-4), the defending North champion, was in trouble immediately.

Messalonskee raced to a 16-2 lead, with two inside hoops from Cole Wood, 3-pointers by Violette and Griffin Tuttle and a defense that shut down the Mariners’ strong desire to drive into the lane.

With Violette on the bench because he had two fouls, Oceanside trimmed the margin to 24-14 by halftime. The Mariners made frequent trips to the free-throw line and played better interior defense but still struggled offensively, shooting 2 for 15 in the first half.

“There was a time where we missed four out of five foul shots and then we missed a layup in transition,” Breen said. “Those are big plays when you’re struggling, but we just weren’t able to get it going tonight.”

Unlike the regular-season meeting, Oceanside didn’t get rolling in the third quarter, prompting Breen to go with an all-reserve lineup.

“It was just one of those things where we were stagnant and everyone was struggling and you’ve got to try something,” Breen said.

Amos Anderson made the Mariners’ first 3-pointer and fourth basket of the game with 2:02 left in the third quarter.

Jack Lombardo and Trevor Reed (3-pointer) also scored for Oceanside, but the subs couldn’t keep pace with Violette, who made two 3s. The first became a four-point play with a foul shot, and the second beat the buzzer to give Messalonskee a 46-26 lead after three quarters. The lead maxed at 59-31.

Oceanside senior captains Sam Atwood and Nate Raye, the two returning starters from the regional championship team, and starter Michael Norton Jr. were held to seven combined points. Cooper Wirkala led Oceanside with 16 points.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0, ME - FEBRUARY 24: Messalonskee coach Peter McLaughlin and the Eagles bench celebrate after time ran out in the Class North championship game on Friday Feb. 24, 2017 at the Augusta Civic Center. (Staff photo by Joe Phelan/Staff Photographer)Fri, 24 Feb 2017 19:05:31 +0000
Nordic skiing: Mt. Blue, Maine Coast Waldorf defend titles in Class A and C Fri, 24 Feb 2017 18:55:53 +0000 WATERVILLE — John Wooden, the Hall of Fame basketball coach at UCLA, created an entire pyramid of success.

Clair Polfus, coach of the Mt. Blue Nordic team, prefers something a bit more simple.

“We have a three-point philosophy,” she said, and proceeded to list each point.

1. Smile.

2. Ski hard.

3. Pass the person in front of you.

Oh, and for championship meets, there’s an addendum.

Glitter. Dab some above each cheek bone like football eye black to allow sunlight to sparkle off a radiant face.

“That’s like the extra special jet fuel that pushes them down the trail,” Polfus said.

Friday morning at Quarry Road Trails, no other team covered the trails faster than the school from Farmington, whose boys and girls each won a second straight Class A Nordic state championship.

Seniors Tucker Barber and Julia Ramsey took home individual honors in Friday’s freestyle competition after each won Thursday’s classical race over the same 5-kilometer rolling course that included two loops with a steep hill near the end.

“It was a lot faster,” Barber said after finishing in 15 minutes, 8.0 seconds to lead a Mt. Blue contingent that also placed third (Isaiah Reid), fifth (Nolan Rogers) and 15th (Samuel Smith). “But still hot, though.”

Indeed, morning temperatures climbed above 50 degrees for a second day as zinc oxide and sunglasses replaced hand warmers and balaclavas. Mt. Blue’s two-day total score of 41 points easily outdistanced that of runner-up Falmouth at 109. Oxford Hills was third at 127, followed by Leavitt (142), Deering (143), Portland (206), Fryeburg Academy (216) and Greely (337).

Barber sported a dab of yellow glitter under his left eye and blue glitter under his right. He said he regretted not wearing the stuff Thursday.

“The girls are all into it,” he said. “It’s hard to turn down that much enthusiasm. I figured it’s the last state race of my career, might as well make it glittery.”

Caleb Niles of Deering was second with a time of 15:13.4.

“The snow was pretty good at first,” said Niles, whose team required a ghost skier to fill out its score, “but as it got worn down from everybody skiing on it and the sun hit it, it got a little bit sloppier.”

The girls’ race started an hour after the boys, at 11 a.m. Ramsey completed two circuits in 18:57.6 to win Class A and Morse High sophomore Jenny Wilbraham was second in 19:05.0. Meghan Charles was third, Gretchen Huish seventh and Grace Andrews 11th to give Mt. Blue a freestyle score of 22 and a two-day total of 35 points. Runner-up Deering finished with 88 and Fryeburg Academy was third at 101, followed by Leavitt (184), Falmouth (234), Camden Hills (249), Oxford Hills (252), Greely (292) and Edward Little (313).

“Going up all these hills twice (Thursday) and having to do it another time (Friday), you start to feel the burn,” Ramsey said.

On Thursday, the fastest individual times belonged to Barber and Ramsey. On Friday, a pair of Class C skiers earned that distinction.

Waynflete senior Willson Moore skated through two loops in 14:39.4, with Maine Coast Waldorf teammates Tucker Pierce (14:45.4) and Nick Neveu (15:04.4) taking second and third, all three in times quicker than that of Barber.

“That was definitely my goal coming in (Friday),” said Moore, who was third overall in classical, first in Class C. “In the past, I’ve been stronger in classic, but over the end of this season, I’ve started putting in better performances in skate.”

Completing Maine Coast’s scoring were Dylan Wu (13th) and Eli Gundersen (14th) for a freestyle total of 32 and a two-day score of 51 that resulted in the small New Gloucester school’s fifth consecutive state title. Fort Kent was second at 96, followed by Telstar (125), Orono (154) and six other teams.

Maine Coast junior Olivia Skillings turned in the fastest time for any girl on Friday, 18:26.9, nearly a minute ahead of Class C runner-up Isabelle Jandreau (19:23.3) of Madawaska. Louise Ahearne (third), Fiona Libby (eighth) and Wilson Haims (12th) completed the scoring for Maine Coast, which extended its Class C Nordic winning streak to seven years.

“We’re a really close-knit team, which makes such a huge difference,” Skillings said. “And our coach (John Tarling) keeps it really fun and relaxed, so everyone actually enjoys what they’re doing instead of being like, ‘Oh shoot, I have to go race again.’ “

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or:

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

]]> 0 Andrews and Julia Ramsey, teammates from Mt. Blue High, embrace after Ramsey won the Class A Nordic ski freestyle state championship at the Quarry Road trails in Waterville Friday. (Staff photo by Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer)Fri, 24 Feb 2017 18:49:40 +0000
Nordic skiing: Maranacook sweeps Class B team titles Fri, 24 Feb 2017 17:39:02 +0000 CARRABASSETT VALLEY — The conditions were soft as temperatures soared into the 50s by the start of the Nordic ski races Friday morning at at the Sugarloaf Outdoor Center.

But Maranacook High skied tough, sweeping the girls’ and boys’ titles at the Class B Nordic state championships for the first time since 2009.

The Maranacook girls ended Yarmouth’s six-year reign, scoring 43 points to the Clippers’ 55 in the two-day event. The two teams tied during Friday’s 5-kilometer freestyle race, but Maranacook held the overall edge after winning Thursday’s classic race. Freeport was third with 111 total points.

In the boys competition, Maranacook had 45 to Freeport’s 60. Yarmouth was third with 128 points.

Yarmouth’s Grace Cowles won the girls’ freestyle race in a 17 minutes, 11.3 seconds. Yarmouth’s John Lane won the boys’ race in 14:07.

“We had individuals who won both races, and in the girls’ championship we tied (Maranacook) in the (freestyle). You can’t do much better than that,” said Yarmouth Coach Bob Morse. “And we had four girls in the top 10. That’s amazing.”

For the Maranacook girls, it was a hard-fought victory that required individuals to dig deep – and the team to dig deep into the lineup. They got a lift from freshman Maura Taylor, who placed third among the Black Bears skiers and seventh overall (18:07.4).

Junior Laura Parent led Maranacook with a second-place finish in the freestyle (17:15.1) and a first place finish in the classical on Thursday.

Abigail Despres, the second skier in for the Black Bears, placed fourth in the freestyle (17:56.6) and Madison Taylor finished 12th (18:48.4) for a team total of 25 points Friday.

“This is the first time I’ve ever raced in a T-shirt, but we are pretty good skiing in adverse conditions,” Parent said of the soft snow. “I thought it was tough. I know I’m strong in classical, but I knew I had to ski really well today. We’ve been working super hard for this title for years.”

After Parent the squad has shared scoring duties swapping places through the season, said

Maranacook Coach Steve DeAngelis sweeping the girls’ and boys’ state titles was special.

“We knew we’d be good,” said DeAngelis, now in his 34th year coaching Maranacook. “But last year the girls put four in the top 10 and we still didn’t win.”

In the boys race, Maranacook again got a lift from a freshman. Carter McPhedran, Maranacook’s fourth skier, placing eighth in the freestyle (15:26.5).

“That’s hard for a freshman to do. And he’s (a skinny) guy,” DeAngelis said. “We ended this season with a lot of kids improving.”

The boys team was led by Zach Holman, who took second in the freestyle (14:16.7) after winning the classical race on Thursday.

Mark McLaughlin was Maranacook’s third scorer in the freestyle, taking seventh overall (15:24.4).

“A day like this is hard if you don’t have people to support you,” DeAngelis said. “You have to want to do it for the team. These teams have supported each other all season.”

]]> 0 Fri, 24 Feb 2017 18:45:59 +0000
Athletes of the Week, Feb. 24 Fri, 24 Feb 2017 09:00:50 +0000 GIRLS

Caitlin Tycz

Caitlin Tycz, Brunswick swimming: The senior set a state record in the 200-yard freestyle at 1:50.35 and a Bowdoin College pool record of 53.67 in the 100 butterfly at the Class A state meet. Tycz also swam on the winning 200 freestyle relay. She qualified for All-America in the butterfly for the fourth straight year.


Emma Gallant, Cheverus track: The freshman won the 200 meters (26.48 seconds) and 400 (58.86) at the Class A state indoor track championships. She also finished third in the 55-meter dash (7.48).

Olivia Tighe, Cape Elizabeth swimming: A sophomore, Tighe won back-to-back events, the 100 butterfly and 100 freestyle, and swam on two state-record relays to lead the Capers to their first Class B title. She was Performer of the Meet.

Tasia Titherinton, Deering basketball: The senior guard helped lift the Rams into the Class AA North final, scoring 18 points, nine in the final quarter, in a 46-40 win over Edward Little. She also scored 17 points during a 51-47 quarterfinal win over Lewiston.


Sam Rusak

Sam Rusak, Scarborough track: The senior won three events to lift Scar-borough to its seventh Class A indoor state title in nine years. He won the 200 meters in 22.99 seconds, the high jump (6 feet) and capped the meet by establishing a state record in the pole vault (16 feet, 3 inches).


Bradley Beaulieu, Marshwood wrestling: The senior became a four-time state champion and was named outstanding wrestler of the Class A meet after pinning all three opponents, including North regional champ Noah Lang of Camden Hills in the 138-pound final.

Riley Hasson, South Portland basketball: Stepping in at point guard for the first time in his career because of an injury to Deandre White, the junior scored 12 points with 10 rebounds and four assists in a 78-53 win over Scarborough in a Class AA South semifinal.

Shane Moore, Cheverus swimming: A senior, Moore set a meet record in the 50-yard freestyle (21.28 seconds) and won by two seconds in the 100 free (46.64) to help the Stags win their fifth straight Class A state title. Moore also swam on the winning 200 free relay and was named Performer of the Meet.

]]> 0, 23 Feb 2017 21:59:11 +0000
Thursday’s high school roundup: Greely wins finale in boys’ hockey Fri, 24 Feb 2017 04:08:19 +0000 FALMOUTH — Greely jumped out to a three-goal lead in the first period and likely earned home-ice advantage for the first round of the Class B South boys’ hockey playoffs with a 4-1 win Thursday over Kennebunk at Family Ice Center.

Andy Moore and Jake MacDonald each had a goal and an assist, and Quinn Molloy and Jackson Williams also scored for Greely (12-6).

Brendan Whitten scored in the third period for Kennebunk (11-5-1).

The teams are expected to meet again Tuesday in a regional quarterfinal at Family Ice Center.

CAPE ELIZABETH 4, YORK 4: Ben Ekedahl scored a power-play goal with 1:33 left in regulation to help the Capers (12-5-1) end the regular season with a tie against the Wildcats (15-2-1) at Dover Ice Arena.

Joe Graziano’s short-handed goal gave York a 4-2 lead with 3:34 left, but Phil Tarling answered 21 seconds later with his second goal of the third period.

Tom Carr and Dalton McCann also scored for York. Sean Agrondia was the other goal scorer for Cape.

WINDHAM/WESTBROOK 6, MARSHWOOD/TRAIP/SANFORD 4: Tanner Smith and Derek Corbett each scored twice, and the Eagles (6-12) overcame an early three-goal deficit against the Hawks (4-14) at USM Arena.

Cam Morrison and Jack Gresh also scored during a four-goal second period as the Eagles turned a 3-1 deficit into a 5-3 lead.

Henry Honkonen collected two goals and two assists, as he and linemates Jarid Tomblin and Evan Cole combined for all four Marshwood goals.


FOREST HILLS 33, RANGELEY 29: Caitlin Logston scored 12 of her team’s first 19 points and finished with 17 as the fifth-seeded Tigers (12-8) upset the No. 1 Lakers (16-4) in a Class D South semifinal at the Augusta Civic Center.

Rangeley, the defending regional champion, was 0 of 14 from 3-point range. Forest Hills led 25-23 after three quarters and held on despite not making a field goal in the fourth quarter.

VINALHAVEN 66, TEMPLE 49: The second-seeded Vikings (16-4) used an 11-0 run in the third quarter to break open a close game against the third-seeded Bereans (14-6) in a Class D South semifinal.

Vinalhaven’s Gilleyanne Davis-Oakes finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Ashlyn Littlefield added 15 points, and Cheyenne Bickford got 10 of her 12 points in the third quarter.

Kiara Carr scored 17 points for Temple.

]]> 0 Thu, 23 Feb 2017 23:28:29 +0000
Boys’ basketball: Unbeaten Winthrop knocks off NYA Fri, 24 Feb 2017 03:04:57 +0000 AUGUSTA — Undefeated Winthrop likes to put on pressure.

North Yarmouth Academy handled it for a while, but eventually the Ramblers ran away with this game and beat the Panthers 52-29 Thursday night in a Class C South boys’ basketball semifinal at the Augusta Civic Center.

After leading 10-9 in the first quarter, the Ramblers scored the first 10 points of the second, grabbed a 26-11 halftime lead and were never threatened.

“We couldn’t get into an offensive rhythm,” NYA Coach Jason Knight said.

NYA’s 6-foot-3 freshman center, Te’Andre King, was the Panthers’ only offensive threat, scoring 19 points. Guard Jacob Hickey led Winthrop with 16 points and 6-8 center Cam Wood added 15.

Top-seeded Winthrop (20-0) moves on to the South final at 8:45 p.m. Saturday against No. 3 Madison (17-3). Fourth-seeded NYA finishes at 15-5.

Winthrop’s Jacob Hickey gets smashed between North Yarmouth Academy defenders Jake Malcom, left, and Davis Newell in the first quarter. Staff photo by Amber Waterman Thomas

Winthrop has a habit of winning by a lot. Entering Thursday’s game, the Ramblers’ average victory margin was 23.

Thursday’s game was close for a quarter. Both teams played swarming defense, with the Panthers paying particular attention to Hickey. The Ramblers worked the ball inside to Wood – or Wood put back rebounds. He scored seven of his points in the first quarter.

“They didn’t have an answer for Cam,” Winthrop Coach Todd MacArthur said. “With his size and his presence, we need him.”

NYA countered with King, whose inside drives kept the Panthers close.

“Te’Andre has been a huge addition to our team,” Knight said. “The first quarter, we played well.”

But Winthrop’s persistent pressure got to NYA. The Panthers made eight turnovers in the second quarter and shot 1 of 8 (a King layup).

“Defense is what we hang our hats on,” MacArthur said. “I don’t think, offensively, we played very well. But, defensively, that’s something special, when you hold a team like that under 30.”

North Yarmouth Academy’s Jake Malcom attempts to block Cameron Wood’s shot in the first quarter. Staff photo by Amber Waterman Thomas

Making matters worse for NYA was senior guard Haven Cutko getting into foul trouble. He fouled out with 5:56 left in the third quarter. Eventually, four Panthers would foul out.

“My point guard is on the bench with fouls. That makes it hard to get some rhythm going and get into an offensive flow,” Knight said. “That’s a large credit to Winthrop, Coach MacArthur and their defense. They’re very aggressive.”

Hickey did not score a basket in the second quarter, but he drew fouls, hitting 8 of 8 free throws.

Senior forward Jake Malcom scored eight points for NYA.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

Twitter: KevinTHomasPPH

]]> 0 by Amber Waterman Thomas North Yarmouth Academy's Jake Malcom attempts to block a shot by Cameron Wood of Winthrop in the first quarter of the Class C South semifinal on Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center.Thu, 23 Feb 2017 23:16:27 +0000
Boys’ basketball: No. 1 Yarmouth rolls by Oak Hill in Class B South semifinals Fri, 24 Feb 2017 01:59:22 +0000 Perfect? Just about.

Top-seeded Yarmouth came out fast and never let up, overpowering fourth-seeded Oak Hill 79-49 in a Class B South boys’ basketball semifinal Thursday night at Cross Insurance Arena.

The Clippers scored five seconds into the game, put up 30 points in the first quarter and forced 31 turnovers in advancing to the regional championship game for the second consecutive year.

“To come out on this floor with that kind of play in the first eight minutes was more than I could have expected,” said Yarmouth Coach Adam Smith. “I knew I was going to get the effort. I just didn’t know how well we would jell and play on this floor in the semis.

“The energy was so good, and in high school guys will feed off that energy. I think it affected Oak Hill and made us rise in our game a little bit. It was a perfect situation for us.”

Yarmouth (18-2) will play third-seeded Wells (15-5) in the regional championship game at 2:45 p.m. Saturday at CIA. The Clippers beat the Warriors twice in the regular season, 91-63 and 69-52.

Oak Hill finished 11-9.

The Clippers were on their game from the opening tip, which was converted into a 3-pointer by Gibson Harnett. They never let up, harassing the Raiders, breaking up passes and hitting shots.

It was 30-7 after one quarter, with Yarmouth recording an assist on 10 of its 14 baskets.

“That’s one of our better first quarters this year,” said junior forward Nolan Hagerty. “Shots were falling, we were playing great defense, we were everywhere, hands up. Just like we practiced.”

Oak Hill Coach Thomas Smith called two timeouts in the first quarter to try to slow the Clippers, but the Raiders couldn’t get a handle on the flow of the game. “I think they were a little shell-shocked,” Smith said of his players.

He added that Yarmouth’s size – Hagerty is 6-foot-6, Alek Medenica 6-7 – was a huge difference, as were turnovers. The Raiders had 20 in the first half. “I thought it was more than that,” said Oak Hill’s Smith.

Oak Hill had worked on closing off the inside to Yarmouth. But the Clippers shot so well from the outside – they were 6 of 14 on 3-pointers – that strategy didn’t work.

“They are really quick and they can shoot,” said Oak Hill’s Smith.

Harnett scored 12 points in the first quarter, then Medenica scored 12 in the second as Yarmouth opened a 44-21 halftime lead. Medenica led Yarmouth with 23 points (in just 15 minutes), while Harnett had 19. Hagerty also had a strong game with nine points, nine assists, seven rebounds, six steals and two blocked shots.

Yarmouth showed great teamwork as well, assisting on 23 of its 32 baskets.

“You don’t know when that’s going to happen,” said Yarmouth’s Smith. “We work on it and work on it in practice. Tonight, everything worked for them, and when it clicks, it goes throughout the team, that unselfish play and style.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0, MAINE - FEBRUARY 23: The Yarmouth boys basketball team celebrates as they take an early lead that they'd never relinquish vs. Oak Hill in the Class B South boys basketball semifinal at the Cross Insurance Arena, Wednesday, February 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer)Thu, 23 Feb 2017 23:01:13 +0000
Boys’ basketball: Madison dethrones Waynflete Fri, 24 Feb 2017 01:48:56 +0000 AUGUSTA — Third-seeded Madison stayed steady down the stretch Thursday night to pull out a 53-47 victory against seventh-ranked Waynflete in a Class C South boys’ basketball semifinal at the Augusta Civic Center.

Madison (17-3) will play top-ranked Winthrop (20-0) at 8:45 p.m. Saturday at Augusta. The last time the Bulldogs played for a regional title was in 1986.

The loss ended the Flyers’ reign as regional champions. The game marked their sixth consecutive appearance in the semifinal.

“It was a game of inches,” Waynflete Coach Rick Henry said. “The kids played really well. It was one of those games where you lose and you think you played pretty well. My kids can walk out of here with their heads held high because of what they accomplished.”

In the fourth quarter, the score was tied or the lead changed hands eight times before Sean Whalen completed a three-point play to send Madison into a 50-47 lead with 1:53 remaining. Whalen, who had 11 points, sank two free throws with six seconds left to nail it down.

“We just kept our composure, played tough and took care of the basketball down the stretch,” Madison Coach Jason Furbush said.

The Flyers (15-6) started off strong.

After Mitchell Jarvais of Madison opened the scoring by hitting a 3-pointer after 10 seconds, the Flyers ran off the next dozen points to take a 12-3 lead with two minutes left in the first quarter. But the Bulldogs finished the quarter with a 6-1 run to cut into Waynflete’s lead.

“We came out tight at the start of the game, kind of nervous and we settled for shots we don’t typically shoot,” Furbush said. “We settled for a lot of 3s and didn’t take much time off the clock.”

The Flyers nursed a three-point lead for most of the second quarter, but the Bulldogs finished the half with a rush, ending it with a 10-3 run. Jarvais, who had 16 points, sent them into a 32-28 lead when his fourth 3-pointer of the game beat the buzzer.

The Bulldogs maintained a five-point edge for most of the third quarter.

With 1:59 left, Asker Hussein of Waynflete converted an offensive rebound while colliding with Alex Morales of Madison, who was an assessed a technical foul after saying something to one of the officials following the play. Jack Meahl sank one free throw. On the resulting possession, Christian Brooks hit a shot from the right corner to make it 39-39.

“I tried to pick it up and be more of a leader in the fourth (quarter) because I would have felt very bad if (the technical foul) had been a deciding factor in the game,” Morales said. “I tried to be more of a leader just to try and make up for that.”

With 4:12 left to play, the Flyers took a 42-39 lead when Hussein, who scored 11 points, drove left for a layup and sank a free throw.

Morales, who had a game-high 18 points, hit a 3-pointer and put in a fast-break layup to send the Bulldogs into a 44-42 lead with 2:50 left.

Waynflete moved into a 45-44 lead when Brooks, who scored a team-high 13 points, converted a three-point play with 2:37 left.

Justyn Stinson, a sophomore reserve, sank a 3-point shot from the left to propel Madison into a 47-45 lead with 2:10 left.

Meahl scored a fast-break layup to tie it with 1:56 left, but the rest of the game belonged to the Bulldogs.

]]> 0 Brooks, left, of Waynflete and Mitch Jarvais of Madison battle for a loose ball during their Class C South boys' basketball semifinal Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center. Madison won, 53-48.Thu, 23 Feb 2017 22:09:25 +0000
Wrestlers will battle for spots in New England championships Fri, 24 Feb 2017 01:14:32 +0000 The state’s top high school wrestlers will face off Saturday for the right to represent Maine at the New England championships March 3-4 in Providence, Rhode Island.

The fourth annual New England qualifier meet will be held at Marshwood High. Each eight-man weight class is filled by wrestlers who placed in the top four at last Saturday’s Class A and Class B championships.

Wrestling on three mats begins at 9:30 a.m., with the finals expected to start around 4 p.m.

The most intense bouts are often the consolation finals that determine the third and final qualifying spot in each weight class.

Four-time state champion Cody Craig of Skowhegan (106 pounds) has the chance to become the first to win four New England qualifier titles. No other senior enters as a three-time winner.

Five other wrestlers are returning New England qualifier champs. Returning to the same weight class are 200-win wrestlers Caleb Austin of Mountain Valley at 126 pounds and Robert Hetherman of Mt. Ararat/Brunswick at 170. Marshwood’s four-time state champ, Bradley Beaulieu, won qualifying titles at 126 as a sophomore and 132 last season. He’s now at 138 pounds. The Ellsworth tandem of Peyton Cole (152) and Trent Goodman (170) were the 138 and 160 champs last season.

Austin could be challenged by Class A champ Chris Solo of Deering, while a bout between Hetherman and Class B champ Goodman could be the marquee final.

At 132 pounds, four-time champion and current Class B winner Danny Buteau of Oak Hill will have a tough battle ahead against a deep Class A group that includes champ Samson Sirois of Skowhegan, runner-up Jake Martel of Noble and Marshwood’s Kyle Glidden.

At 160 pounds, Sanford’s Sam Anderson, who placed third at 182 last season, is coming off an impressive win at the Class A meet. Dirigo’s Bryce Whittemore is the Class B titlist. He placed third at 152 last year.

Host Marshwood has 10 wrestlers in the meet, including brothers and state champions Matthew Thompson at 120 pounds and James Thompson at 195.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0 Thu, 23 Feb 2017 20:49:07 +0000
Boys’ basketball: Wells rallies, edges Spruce Mountain Fri, 24 Feb 2017 00:58:50 +0000 When the game is on the line, Wells boys’ basketball coach Troy Brown knows which player he can count on most.

With his team down by a point and 17 seconds left in a Class B South semifinal Thursday night against Spruce Mountain, Brown called a timeout and set up a play for Owen Berry.

“(Owen) is a gamer,” Brown said. “I thought we’d have a better opportunity of getting him to the rim if we weaved one time, and he could try to turn the corner. But he didn’t even turn – he just took it.”

Berry, a senior forward, hit a jumper in traffic with 8.8 seconds left, giving No. 3 Wells a 53-52 win over the second-seeded Phoenix at Cross Insurance Arena.

The victory sends the Warriors (15-5) to their first regional final since 1984, when Brown played on a team that won back-to-back state championships. Wells will play top-seeded Yarmouth on Saturday.

“Being a senior, I didn’t want this to be the last game,” said Berry, who scored 15 points. “I wanted the ball.”

Spruce Mountain, which defeated Wells 59-51 during the regular season, ended its season at 16-5. The Phoenix made 11 3-pointers and set a tournament record for most 3s in two straight games with 23. The previous record of 21 was set by Mountain Valley in 1994.

“We’ve got some great shooters – I don’t put the shackles on them,” Spruce Mountain Coach Scott Bessey said. He smiled before adding, “I would have liked one more.”

Caulin Parker set the tone early. The 6-foot-2 senior forward opened the game with a 3-pointer and hit another a minute later to give the Phoenix a quick 6-2 lead. Parker finished with 14 points, including four 3s.

“Boy they can shoot – holy smokes,” Brown said. “We came in tonight knowing we had to defend the 3.”

Wells answered with 3-pointers by Tyler Dewey and Berry and took an 11-10 lead on a three-point play by Berry. Austin Darling scored four straight points for the Phoenix, but a 3-pointer by Berry and a Matt Sherburne jumper put the Warriors ahead 16-14 after one quarter.

Spruce Mountain outscored Wells 20-7 in the second quarter, getting seven points from Darling to grab a 34-23 lead.

Darling was held scoreless in the second half, however.

“He’s quick, just very good. We were trying to keep him in front,” Berry said. “Our defense was starting to get stops..”

Tyler Dewey gave the Warriors the spark they needed with three 3-pointers in the first three minutes of the second half. The senior guard finished with 12 points – all from 3s.

“I don’t think they were ready for him,” Brown said. “That gave the kids whatever it took to say ‘Hey, we’re definitely not done.'”

Andrew Shaw connected on three 3-pointers in the third quarter to keep Spruce Mountain ahead, 47-40. But the Warriors opened the final quarter with seven straight points to tie the score. After a 3-pointer by Parker, Wells tied it again with a free throw by Cousins and a layup by Deandre Woods.

Dempsey then gave Wells a 51-50 lead with a free throw, before a Parker layup with 25.7 seconds left put Spruce Mountain back in front.

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or:

Twitter: TaylorVortherms

]]> 0 players celebrates after their 53-52 win over Spruce Mountain in a Class B South boys' basketball semifinal Thursday at Cross Insurance Arena.Thu, 23 Feb 2017 23:03:34 +0000
Girls’ basketball: OOB shuts down No. 1 Richmond Thu, 23 Feb 2017 22:27:43 +0000 AUGUSTA — A tight Old Orchard Beach defense hampered unbeaten Richmond and its inside game. The Bobcats needed other weapons. They had none.

Old Orchard Beach dominated the second half and beat top-seeded Richmond 38-24 in a Class C South girls’ basketball semifinal Thursday afternoon at the Augusta Civic Center.

The Seagulls trailed 17-14 with 3:56 left in the first half but took over from there.

Old Orchard Beach went on a 23-0 run over the next 16 minutes and 31 seconds, tying the game before halftime and jumping ahead 37-17 with 3:25 left in the fourth quarter.

“We played very good defense,” said junior forward Meghan LaPlante, who is listed on the roster at 5-foot-9 but plays as if she’s much taller.

LaPlante led OOB with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

No. 4 Old Orchard Beach (13-8) will play in the South final at 7 p.m. Saturday against No. 3 Monmouth Academy (18-3).

Richmond, which beat the Seagulls twice during the regular season, finished at 19-1.

Guard Mackenzie Abbott led Richmond with nine points, but the Bobcats’ 5-9 center, Sydney Underhill-Tilton, who averaged 17.5 points a game, was held to five, all in the first half.

“We focused on double-zero (Underhill-Tilton) a lot,” junior point guard Brianna Plante said. “She is a great player and we doubled down on her.”

When Underhill-Tilton did get the ball, she had LaPlante and 6-2 center Maggie Strohm swarming her.

“We knew coming in that she was probably going to be double-teamed,” Richmond Coach Mike Ladner said. “We needed to make our outside shots.”

Not only did the Bobcats miss from the outside, but in a tightly officiated game – 22 fouls in the first half – Underhill-Tilton got into foul trouble. She picked up her fourth foul with 4:48 left in the third quarter and left the game. She returned with 5:38 remaining in the fourth and fouled out two minutes later.

“That stuff doesn’t get called during the regular season with two officials,” Ladner said. “But kudos to the officials; they did a good job. It’s a tighter game, that’s all.

“She got in foul trouble and our offense usually runs through her. When she’s not there, it makes it tough. It forces us to shoot from the outside, and we couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn from the outside today.”

Richmond shot 16 percent, including 1 of 15 in the second half.

Meanwhile, the Seagulls were heating up. They shot 40 percent, and of their 12 field goals, five were 3-pointers from four players – Emily Greenlee, Samantha Donnell, Kaitlyn Cote and Plante (two).

Richmond senior guard Meranda Martin said this was a different Old Orchard Beach team than the one the Bobcats beat by 15 points last month.

“They were a lot stronger than they were during the regular season. Give them kudos,” Martin said. “They made their shots and in the third quarter we couldn’t make anything.”

Old Orchard Beach, which survived a schedule that included Class B opponents, will play Monmouth for the first time this year.

“We play a tough schedule,” Coach Dean Plante said. “The regular season is a bit of a grind but it helps in the long run. Maybe we’re built for the postseason.”

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

Twitter: KevinThomasPPH

]]> 0 Orchard Beach lost twice to Richmond during the regular season, but the third time was the charm for the Seagulls, who defeated the No. 1 seed Thursday to reach the Class C South final.Thu, 23 Feb 2017 22:42:18 +0000
Nordic skiing: Mt. Blue, Maine Coast Waldorf take early leads Thu, 23 Feb 2017 21:30:55 +0000 WATERVILLE — After the boys of Maine Coast Waldorf had completed their classical race on Day 1 of the Class C Nordic state championships Thursday at sunny Quarry Road Trails, they offered a bit of advice to the female members of the team.

“They told me to use less kick (wax) so I could have a stronger glide,” said junior Olivia Skillings. “What happened to them is that they had too much kick and couldn’t pick up speed on the downhills.”

It wasn’t as if the Maine Coast boys had gone off the tracks in their race. They placed four skiers among the top eight to take a commanding lead in the two-day event that concludes with Friday’s freestyle race. Still, the Maine Coast girls took heed and did even better.

Led by Skillings, they swept the top four places Thursday and are poised to win their seventh straight Class C Nordic title Friday.

“We’ve been blessed,” Maine Coast Coach John Tarling said. “We’ve had good, dedicated parents and skiers who are committed. They want to improve and they work at it. It doesn’t happen in a vacuum, that’s for sure. It takes a lot of energy.”

With temperatures cresting 50 degrees and abundant sunshine, conditions were prime for snow angels but less than ideal for fast times. And finding the right wax combination? Good luck.

“It was a tricky day,” Tarling said. “The conditions are so varied. You really have to have a good combination of skis that have glide but have enough kick to get up the hills, because there’s a lot of striding on this course.”

About 250 skiers from Class C and Class A slogged around the two-lap course – a total of 5 kilometers – going off at 15-second intervals through rolling hills for two kilometers before climbing what the locals call “Hero’s Hill,” and then coming down into the stadium area before taking a second lap.

“In your mind, you know you have that massive hill right at the finish,” Mt. Blue senior Tucker Barber said. “So you obviously have to go hard when you can, but you’ve got to know that at the end, you’ve got that guy waiting for you.”

Barber turned in the day’s fastest time, regardless of class, at 17 minutes, 56.2 seconds. As the Sassi Memorial champion, he was particularly interested in seeing how he stacked up against two of the best skiers from Class C, seniors Willson Moore of Waynflete and Tucker Pierce of Maine Coast. Moore and Pierce skipped the Sassi – an all-comers race in Rumford in late January – in favor of an Eastern Cup event in Vermont.

Moore won the Class C race Thursday with a time of 18:41.2. Deering senior Caleb Niles, the runner-up in Class A, finished in 18:28.5.

“I like it when we get to race together,” Barber said. “It helped me that the (Class) C people were here. I pictured them in front of me, even though it was intervals.”

Barber led a 1-3-6-7 finish for the Cougars, the defending Class A champion. Mt. Blue’s total of 17 points was considerably ahead of second-place Falmouth at 60. Oxford Hills was third with 63, followed by Deering (71), Leavitt (72), Portland (95), Fryeburg (111) and Greely (172).

Pierce, who has been under the weather this week, dropped to third behind teammate Nick Neveu, with Dylan Wu taking sixth and Eli Gundersen eighth to give Maine Coast 19 points in the Class C boys’ standings. Fort Kent is in second at 55, followed by Telstar (63), Orono (83), Waynflete (105), Boothbay (106) and four other schools.

Behind Skillings in the Class C girls’ race were teammates Louise Ahearne, Fiona Libby and Wilson Haims, giving Maine Coast a score of 10. Orono is second with 40, followed by Madawaska (86), Waynflete (90), Monmouth (115) and seven others.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been in a race this warm,” said Libby, a senior. “Two years ago, we were in Presque Isle and it was negative 30. This is 80 degrees warmer.”

Ahearne was only six seconds behind the 23:14.0 turned in by Skillings. Three girls from Class A managed to go faster, with Mt. Blue senior Julia Ramsey edging Deering senior Ewa Varney by less than two seconds in 22:53.3.

Varney started seven minutes later than Ramsey, and so was able to hear splits along the course to judge her speed in relation to Ramsey’s.

Near the finish, however, Varney accidentally poled against her boot instead of the snow and wobbled slightly before catching her balance.

Meghan Charles of Mt. Blue was third in 23:11.3. The Cougars also placed fourth and fifth to rack up 13 points to second-place Deering’s 40. Fryeburg is third at 54, followed by Leavitt (88), Falmouth (120), Oxford Hills (122), Camden Hills (136), Greely (151) and Edward Little (159).

The Class B Nordic meet got under way Thursday at Sugarloaf Outdoor Center, where Maranacook leads Freeport’s boys by 14 points and Yarmouth’s girls by 12. Zach Holman of Maranacook and Yacob Olins of Freeport were the two fastest boys, and Laura Parent of Maranacook and Grace Cowles of Yarmouth were the two fastest girls.

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or:

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

]]> 0 - ME - FEBRUARY 23, 2017 Mt. Blue High School's Julia Ramsey, rubs snow on her face to cool down after finishing the girls 5k classic during the Class A and C high school nordic championships at Quarry Road Recreation Area in Waterville on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. (Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans/Staff Photographer)Fri, 24 Feb 2017 13:56:33 +0000
Girls’ basketball: Gray-NG survives Lake Region scare Thu, 23 Feb 2017 21:24:14 +0000 Trailing by a point entering the fourth quarter Thursday, Mike Andreasen had a simple question for his top-ranked Gray-New Gloucester girls’ basketball team.

“Coach said to us, ‘Do you want to go home or do you want to keep playing?'” said center Skye Conley. “That woke us up a bit.”

Gray-New Gloucester clamped down defensively in the final period to rally past fifth-seeded Lake Region 33-29 in a Class B South semifinal at the Cross Insurance Arena.

The Patriots held the Lakers to three points in the final quarter and pulled ahead in the final 2:09 to advance to the regional final for the second consecutive year.

“We have four seniors,” said Andreasen. “They didn’t want this to be their last game.”

Gray-New Gloucester (19-1) will play sixth-ranked Lincoln Academy in the Class B South final for the second consecutive year. The Patriots won last year, 45-30. Lake Region finished 13-7.

This was a tight game throughout. Gray-New Gloucester’s biggest lead was six (21-15, which was the halftime score) and Lake Region’s biggest lead was three (10-7 early in the second).

The Lakers made a run in the third quarter, scoring the first six points to tie the game at 21. Then they moved ahead 26-23 on a 3-pointer by Kristen Huntress with 1:09 left in the third. Two foul shots by Conley with 14 seconds remaining pulled the Patriots within 26-25 entering the fourth – only the second time this year Gray-New Gloucester trailed going into the fourth.

“It was very stressful having it a one-possession game most of the game,” said Conley, who led the Patriots with 12 points. “We knew we had to keep trying to play our game, try to get some momentum going our way.”

Lake Region controlled the tempo in the third as the Patriots struggled to get anything going.

“Ball movement was good in (the third),” said Lakers Coach Paul True. “I thought we played a little more inside-out, which helped create more opportunities near the basket and on the perimeter.”

Those opportunities vanished in the fourth quarter as the Patriots held the Lakers to one basket – a 3-pointer by Chandler True with 5:28 remaining – that tied the game at 29.

Gray-New Gloucester only scored eight points in the fourth, but that was enough because of its defense. Conley gave the Patriots a 30-29 lead with a foul shot with 2:09 remaining. Then she blocked a shot on Lake Region’s next possession. That set up a sneak-away layup by Brianna Jordan (four of her seven points in the fourth) off an in-bounds play at half-court, giving Gray-New Gloucester a 32-29 lead with 51 seconds left.

Conley then got the rebound of a Lake Region inside miss. Alicia Dumont hit one foul shot with 18.8 seconds left to seal it.

“We just happened to make a few more plays than them,” said Andreasen. “It’s that simple.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0 builds on the Gray-New Gloucester bench during the closing seconds of the Patriots' Class B South semifinal win over Lake Region at Cross Insurance Arena on Thursday. (Photo by John Ewing/Staff Photographer)Thu, 23 Feb 2017 20:46:52 +0000
Girls’ basketball: Monmouth ousts Boothbay in Class C South Thu, 23 Feb 2017 20:53:47 +0000 AUGUSTA — After his team played Boothbay twice during the regular season, Monmouth Academy Coach Scott Wing had a good read on the Seahawks during their Class C South girls’ basketball semifinal Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center.

Wing knew which players his team needed to stop, and his group followed the game plan to the letter as the third-seeded Mustangs beat the second-seeded Seahawks, 39-30.

“Today was just a picture-perfect execution of our defensive game plan,” Wing said. “For a bunch of 5-6, 5-7 girls to take away their inside game was pretty awesome, but they paid attention in practice and executed everything we wanted to do.”

The Mustangs (17-3) advanced to the regional final for the first time since 2008. They will play Old Orchard Beach at 7:05 p.m. Saturday in Augusta.

Boothbay, the defending regional champion, finished 18-2.

The key for Monmouth was shutting down Boothbay’s inside game, featuring 6-1 sophomore Faith Blethen and 5-11 junior Page Brown.

“We definitely slowed offensively,” said Boothbay Coach Tanner Grover. “I don’t know if it was our lack of execution, Monmouth’s defense or unfriendly rims, but we definitely had a poor offensive night, however you want to spin it.”

Against the Mustangs’ sagging man-to-man defense, the Seahawks sank only 15 of 56 shots (27 percent).

“They played off of our non-shooters and focused on our scorers inside,” Grover said.

“Monmouth’s a good team. The had a good (defensive) scheme and they stuck with it.”

The Mustangs shot slightly better, sinking 37 percent of their shots (10 of 27). Much of their scoring edge came from the foul line, where they sank 16 of 20 free throws (80 percent).

“As a team, we’re about 68, 69 percent (shooting free throws), which is pretty good when you consider all of the kids who shot free throws during the year,” Wing said.

Monmouth held a 19-14 lead at halftime.

Tia Day, a junior guard who scored 21 points, hit back-to-back 3-pointers to help the Mustangs open a 13-8 lead less than two minutes into the second quarter. Two free throws from Abby Ferland and another outside shot by Day stretched the lead to 19-12.

Boothbay rallied in the third quarter, and the Seahawks carried a 25-23 lead into the fourth. With 4:12 remaining, the Seahawks still held a 27-26 advantage, but they were unable to sustain their momentum.

The Mustangs went into the bonus with 3:39 left and took advantage at the free-throw line.

Brown led Boothbay with 12 points.

During the regular season, the teams split two games. On Dec. 22, the Seahawks won 44-37 in Boothbay Harbor. On Jan. 21, the Mustangs downed the Seahawks 49-36 in Monmouth.

]]> 0's Page Brown, left, and Monmouth's Abbey Allen scramble on the floor for a loose ball as other players close in during a Class C South semifinal Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center. Boothbay won, 39-30. (Photo by Joe Phelan/Staff Photographer)Thu, 23 Feb 2017 19:24:57 +0000
Girls’ basketball: Lincoln Academy heads to Class B South final Thu, 23 Feb 2017 20:16:44 +0000 Brie Wajer sparked the Lincoln Academy girls’ basketball team to a berth in the Class B South final for the second straight year – and did so while scoring her 1,000th career point Thursday.

Wajer scored 24 points and pulled down six rebounds for the Eagles in a 62-52 semifinal victory over Poland at Cross Insurance Arena. No. 6 Lincoln Academy (15-5) will play top-seeded Gray-New Gloucester for the regional title at 1 p.m. Saturday at CIA.

“We pulled out the win – that’s the biggest thing,” said Wajer, a senior guard. “The 1,000 points was obviously the icing on the cake.”

No. 7 Poland, which upset second-seeded Wells in the quarterfinals, ended its season at 12-8. Nathalie Theriault led the Knights with 18 points and Sarah Moody scored 13.

Despite trailing by double-digits several times, Poland always found a way to climb back into the game.

“It’s a big task coming back from 14 – especially with that Wajer girl making every shot,” said Poland Coach Michael Susi. “I thought we played her as best as we humanly could. She did not get an easy basket all night.”

Theriault, a junior guard, opened the game with a steal, which she turned into a three-point play. While charging the basket, Theriault collided with Lincoln Academy’s Dorothy Hodous, who was taken to the hospital after a hard fall.

Seven minutes later, the Eagles lost Kaitlyn Feltis to a knee injury for the remainder of the game.

Theriault continued her quick start, scoring eight points in the first three minutes. Moody, a junior guard, added another basket from behind the arc for the Knights’ biggest lead of the game at 11-4 with 4:30 left in the first quarter.

But Poland got into foul trouble early – committing 11 fouls in the first quarter – and had to sit starters Theriault, Jessica Seeley and Morgan Brousseau for much of the first half.

“It’s a different game if we don’t lose three starters to foul trouble,” Susi said. “We’ve got to play smarter in those situations.”

Cagney O’Brien, who scored 14 points, kicked off a 14-point run for Lincoln that would last into the second quarter. Wajer scored nine points in the first quarter to help the Eagles end the quarter ahead 14-11.

Moody ended the Knights’ scoring drought with a 3-pointer that cut Lincoln’s lead to 18-14. But the Eagles then scored another 10 consecutive points that increased their lead to 28-14 with 3:00 remaining in the half. Freshman Eleanor Mathews hit a 3 at the buzzer for Lincoln, which entered halftime up 35-23.

Halfway through the third quarter, Wajer drove into traffic and threw up a shot. The ball bounced off the backboard and through the net for a 41-32 lead, triggering wild cheers from spectators. The game was paused to recognize Wajer’s 1,000-point milestone.

“I said to her, ‘Nice job getting to 1,000, let’s go get the win,'” said Lincoln Coach Kevin Feltis.

The Knights stuck with the Eagles in the second half, outscoring them 14-11 in the third quarter to enter the final eight minutes down just 46-37. A Moody 3-pointer to start the fourth cut Lincoln’s lead to 46-40. It was the closest the Knights would get to closing the gap.

“Those kids are scrappers – they don’t give up,” Majer said of Poland. “They’re going to be great in the future.”

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or:

Twitter: TaylorVortherms

]]> 0 Academy's Brie Wajer pushes the ball up the court against Poland's Alexandria Grondin during a Class B South semifinal Thursday at Cross Insurance Arena. Wager scored her 1,000th career point in the Eagles' 62-52 victory. (Staff photo by John Ewing/Staff Photographer)Thu, 23 Feb 2017 20:27:10 +0000
Boys’ basketball: No. 1 Greely escapes York’s upset bid Thu, 23 Feb 2017 02:22:27 +0000 Greely’s Matt McDevitt said after a pair of overtime games during the regular season that those tight contests were good preparation for playoff basketball.

Perhaps they were.

The top-seeded Rangers gave up an 11-point halftime lead Wednesday night against No. 4 York but didn’t panic, pulling out a 59-54 win in a Class A South semifinal at Cross Insurance Arena.

“When they got close, we started playing with our confidence again and got it back,” said McDevitt, who scored 16 points.

Top-seeded Greely (20-0) will face defending state champion Falmouth (15-5) in the regional final Saturday night. Falmouth, the No. 2 seed, lost senior point guard Colin Coyne to a broken leg in a 43-38 semifinal win Wednesday against Cape Elizabeth.

Greely has beaten Falmouth twice this season – 55-54 in overtime at Falmouth, and 61-44 at home in the regular-season finale.

No. 4 York (12-8) lost twice to Greely in the regular season, by 26 and 19 points. But behind the 3-point shooting of Reid Hogan (25 points, six 3s), the Wildcats came back from a 37-24 hole early in the third quarter and took a 41-40 lead on a scoop shot by Payton Small with 6:48 to play.

McDevitt answered with a 3-pointer and Greely never trailed again, though York twice missed free throws that would have tied the game.

“They were a different team this time. They came to play,” McDevitt said.

York was victimized by at least eight offensive foul calls. The last, with Greely leading 54-48, caused Hogan to foul out with 49 seconds remaining and brought York Coach Randy Small to his knees.

“We didn’t do anything wrong tonight,” Small said. “Everything we started on Saturday morning, from film work to preparation to game planning to execution, they did it to perfection tonight. Some things happened that were just out of our control.”

After McDevitt’s 3, Greely got key hoops from Ryan Twitchell (14 points) and Shane DeWolfe. York answered with two bullish inside baskets by Jackson McCarty.

Jordan Bagshaw (15 points) made a steal near midcourt and turned it into a three-point play with 3:41 left to put Greely ahead 50-46.

On the next possession, York ran its offense precisely for nearly a minute, but Greely continually cut off the lanes and covered shooters. With Hogan bottled up (one point in the fourth quarter), a shot in the paint by Trevor LaBonte (14 points) was blocked by McDevitt.

“I really think our defense stepped up in the second half, especially on Hogan,” Bagshaw said.

Greely led by at least four the rest of the way.

“Obviously those overtime games and close games are character builders, and they helped us down the stretch,” said Greely Coach Travis Seaver.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0, MAINE - FEBRUARY 22: Greely captain Matt McDevitt dives for the ball along with York captain Trevor LaBonte during second half action of a Class A South boys basketball semifinal at the Cross Insurance Arena, Wednesday, February 22, 2017. (Staff Photo by Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer)Wed, 22 Feb 2017 22:46:02 +0000
Boys’ basketball: Oceanside stops Cony Thu, 23 Feb 2017 01:47:28 +0000 AUGUSTA — Third-seeded Oceanside remained under control until the very end to pull out a 67-61 win against seventh-seeded Cony in a Class A North boys’ basketball semifinal Wednesday night at the Augusta Civic Center.

The defending regional champions sank four free throws in the last two minutes to seal their victory over the upset-minded Rams.

The Mariners (17-3) will play No. 5 Messalonskee (15-5) for the regional title Friday afternoon.

Cony (11-10), which used its full-court pressure defense to roll to a 60-48 win over No. 2 Hampden Academy in the quarterfinals, pushed Oceanside to the limit.

“They run a lot of guys at you,” Oceanside Coach Matt Breen said. “We tried to rotate guys in and tried to use our timeouts to make sure my guys had enough legs at the end. We emphasize conditioning and it paid off tonight.

“They like to cause chaos. In the first half we did a bad job of guarding the basketball. We made some adjustments at halftime. To hold that team to 21 points in the second half was pretty good.”

Cony held leads of 20-17 after one quarter and 40-38 at halftime.

Freshman guard Simon McCormick’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer put the Rams ahead at the end of the first quarter. The Rams hit six 3-pointers in the second quarter to open up a 40-32 lead before Oceanside closed the half with six straight points.

The score was tied or the lead changed hands seven times in the third quarter, which ended with the Mariners ahead 53-50.

Mike Norton put in an offensive rebound and Sam Atwood sank a free throw early in the fourth to make it a six-point game, but the Rams reeled off the next six points. Then Oceanside answered with six straight points in less than a minute to take the lead for good.

Jordan Roddy, who led the Rams with 24 points, hit his fourth 3-pointer of the game and drove the lane for a layup to pull his team back to within a point with 2:50 left. But Cony didn’t score another point.

“They made plays and we didn’t at the end,” Cony Coach T.J. Maines said.

Norton paced Oceanside with 24 points. Atwood followed with 14, and Nate Raye and Cooper Workala each had 13. Austin Parlin scored 10 points for Cony.

The Mariners are headed back to the regional final despite the loss of seven players from last season’s championship team.

“I knew we had a chance to be good,” Breen said. “Our leadership has really stepped up and the younger kids came along a lot faster than I expected.”

]]> 0's Nate Parlin defends Nate Raye of Oceanside during a Class A North semifinal Wednesday at the Augusta Civic Center. Oceanside won, 67-61.Wed, 22 Feb 2017 22:36:20 +0000
Wednesday’s high school roundup: Semifinalists named for Mr. and Miss Basketball Thu, 23 Feb 2017 01:40:48 +0000 Emily Esposito of Gorham, and the Greely tandem of Matt McDevitt and Jordan Bagshaw are among the Miss and Mr. Maine basketball semifinalists.

The awards honor the top high school seniors in the state, taking into account skill, leadership, respect for the game and sportsmanship. Three finalists for each award will be announced next week, and the winner will be announced March 10 at the Maine McDonald’s Senior All-Star banquet in Bangor.

Esposito, who has committed to play at Villanova, led Gorham to the 2016 Class AA title and is a three-time Maine Sunday Telegram All-State player. Gorham has won 40 straight games heading into the Class AA South final Friday against South Portland. Other Miss Maine semifinalists announced Wednesday are Katie Butler of Bangor, Megan Peach of Dexter, Jordyn Reynolds of Edward Little, Morgan Dauk of George Stevens, Emi Higgins of Hermon, Rylee Warman of Houlton, Sophia Holmes of Messalonskee, Emily Lagerstrom of Presque Isle and Emma Alley of Stearns.

McDevitt, a 6-foot-7 forward, and Bagshaw, a guard, are both captains for Greely, the top seed in Class A South and one of only three undefeated boys’ teams in the state. Other Mr. Maine semifinalists are Cheverus guard Jack Casale, Falmouth guard Colin Coyne, Medomak Valley forward Cam Allaire, Mason Cooper of Lawrence, Riley Swanson of Mt. Desert Island, Nate Desisto of Orono, Justin Thompson of Schenck and Jacob Hickey of Winthrop.


MESSALONSKEE 70, HAMPDEN ACADEMY 31: McKenna Brodeur and Sophie Holmes each scored 16 points and the top-seeded Eagles (20-0) routed the No. 5 Broncos (12-8) in a Class A North semifinal at the Augusta Civic Center.

Messalonskee built a 39-19 halftime lead with the help of 12 points from Brodeur, who also played a big role in shutting down Hampden’s 6-foot-4 center, Bailey Donovan. Donovan was held to four points after she scored 21 against Lawrence in the quarterfinals.

The Eagles made 16 of 26 shots in the first half and ended the half with a 15-0 run.

Ally Turner contributed 14 points for Messalonskee.

NOKOMIS 45, SKOWHEGAN 32: Sidney Moore scored 20 points and the third-seeded Warriors (16-4) limited No. 2 Skowhegan (15-5) to 23 percent shooting in a Class A North semifinal victory.

Olivia Brown added 10 points for Nokomis. Annie Cooke led Skowhegan with 12 points.


MESSALONSKEE 64, SKOWHEGAN 55: James Kouletsis made a tying basket with time running out in regulation, and the fifth-seeded Eagles (15-5) pulled away in overtime to beat the eighth-seeded Indians (11-10) in a Class A North semifinal at the Augusta Civic Center.

Skowhegan, which stunned previously undefeated Medomak Valley in the quarterfinals, was on the verge of another upset with a five-point lead in the final minute of regulation. But a three-point play by Dawson Charles and a 3-pointer by Nate Violette put Messalonskee in position to tie it in the closing seconds.

Violette finished with 25 points, and Kouletsis and Chase Warren each scored 13 for Messalonskee.

Skowhegan’s Cameron Barnes scored 27 points. Garrett McSweeney added 12.


PORTLAND/DEERING 3, BIDDEFORD 2: Dominic Tocci’s goal with 2:22 remaining gave the Bulldogs (10-7-1) a win over the Tigers (10-8) in a regular-season finale at Biddeford Ice Arena.

Biddeford took a 2-1 lead on Brady Crepeau’s second goal of the game with 8:56 remaining, but Walter Lewandowski tied it just 23 seconds later.

Joe Herboldsheimer also scored for Portland, which is expected to host a Class A South quarterfinal next week as the No. 4 seed.

SCARBOROUGH 5, SOUTH PORTLAND/FREEPORT/WAYNFLETE 1: Eric Murray dished out three assists and the Red Storm (10-7-1) scored three goals in the third period to pull away from the Red Riots (7-11) at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

Cam Smith had a goal and an assist, and Skylar Pettingill, Brett Rockey, Wyatt Palmer and Sam Neugebauer added a goal apiece for Scarborough, which led 2-1 going into the third.

Gus Lappin scored for South Portland off an assist from Max Winson.

YORK 6, GREELY 2: Julius Lundgren had two goals and an assist to lead the Wildcats (15-2) over the Rangers (11-6) at Family Ice Center in Falmouth.

Ryan Sullivan and Andrew Moore tallied third-period goals for Greely.

WATERVILLE 8, OLD TOWN/ORONO 7: Matt Jolicouer’s power-play goal with 41 seconds left lifted the Purple Panthers (17-1) to a win over the Coyotes (14-2-2) in Waterville.

]]> 0 Wed, 22 Feb 2017 23:23:41 +0000
Boys’ basketball: A bittersweet win for Falmouth Thu, 23 Feb 2017 01:06:01 +0000 The Falmouth boys’ basketball team relied on its youth Wednesday night to defeat Cape Elizabeth 43-38 in a Class A South semifinal at the Cross Insurance Arena.

After losing senior guard Colin Coyne to a season-ending injury, Mike Simonds and Sam Manganello – a freshman and a sophomore – stepped up, both scoring 12 points for the second-seeded Yachtsmen (15-5).

Falmouth will play top-ranked Greely – which won both of their regular-season meetings – in the final at 8 p.m. Saturday at the CIA.

“Colin going down definitely hurt us, so I had to step up and try to help my team,” Simonds said. “We can play through anything.”

Andrew Hartel led third-seeded Cape Elizabeth (12-8) with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Jacob Allen contributed 10 points.

“They amped it up and we didn’t,” Capers Coach Jim Ray said. “We didn’t string enough together.”

Coyne – a four-year starter who Falmouth Coach Dave Halligan called the team’s “heart and soul” – suffered a broken leg two minutes into the game. He limped off the court into the locker room before heading to a hospital.

“It was just a freak thing, just unfortunate circumstances,” Halligan said. “We just had to play together as a team.”

Sean Walsh – a senior captain who scored 11 points for the Yachtsmen – said Simonds and Manganello “really stepped up.”

“They’ve been really good since they were young,” Walsh said, “and they really proved that today.”

Hartel opened the scoring with a free throw, which Allen followed with a steal and a layup to give the Capers a 3-0 lead. Ben Simonds – Mike Simonds’ older brother – put Falmouth on the board with a layup. After another Hartel basket, Jack Bryant made it 5-5 halfway through the opening period with a three-point play.

Mike Simonds put the Yachtsmen up 7-5 for their first lead, but the Capers ended the period on top, 9-7.

It wouldn’t last long. Falmouth opened the second quarter with three 3-pointers for nine unanswered points – with Mike Simonds hitting two and Walsh contributing one. The Yachtsmen outscored Cape Elizabeth 15-5 in the period to enter halftime up 22-14.

A minute a half into the second half, Cape Elizabeth kicked off an eight-point scoring run capped by an Allen layup and 3-pointer that made it 22-22.

Manganello scored twice for the Yachtsmen – their only four points that quarter – before the Capers put up another three points to cut Falmouth’s lead to 26-25 entering the final period.

In the first minute and a half of the fourth quarter, Hartel and Quinn Hewitt scored on layups to give Cape Elizabeth its first lead of the half at 29-26. Manganello made two free throws to pull Falmouth within a point.

After a Hartel jumper for the Capers and a Bryant free throw for the Yachtsmen, Manganello made it 31-31 with a layup.

With 4:31 left, he added a free throw that gave the Yachtsmen the lead for good.

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or

Twitter: TaylorVortherms

]]> 0 players Nikko DePatsy, Dex Dremann, Jack Bryant and Ben Simonds celebrate their win over Cape Elizabeth in a Class A South boys' basketball semifinal Wednesday at Cross Insurance Arena.Wed, 22 Feb 2017 22:55:57 +0000
Alpine skiing: Falmouth boys, Camden Hills girls win Class A state titles Wed, 22 Feb 2017 21:29:42 +0000 GREENWOOD — Between the first and second slalom runs of the Class A Alpine state championships Wednesday, sophomore Gibson Scott told Falmouth Coach Tip Kimball he planned on winning the race.

At the time Scott stood in third place, a quarter of a second behind co-leaders Axel Lindsay of Greely and Devon Lathrop of Cape Elizabeth.

Was Kimball encouraging?

“No way,” he told Scott. “Take that right out of your head right now.”

Scott already knew all about Falmouth’s infamous 2012 collapse at the state meet because his older brother was on the team that snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Scott called it the team that choked. Kimball refers to it as “the meltdown team.”

“I’ve heard stories all about it,” Scott said. “One, two, three, four, they all went down.”

So on Wednesday afternoon at Mt. Abram, Scott eased back on the throttle and maintained his standing in third place. Freshman Angus Christie finished sixth and junior Owen White was eighth to help Falmouth clinch its first Alpine title since 2013. Freshman Nick Shapiro (20th) rounded out the scoring for Falmouth, which had a two-day total of 80 points.

Cape Elizabeth moved up from third to take runner-up honors at 144, followed by Greely (161), Oxford Hills (179) and 12 other teams.

“We all decided we were going to ski conservatively today because we knew other teams were going to be going all out to make it,” White said. “We decided to let them take the risks and we just would stay upright.”

The strategy proved wise on a balmy afternoon that saw 18 boys and 22 girls either fail to finish or miss a gate and be disqualified. With temperatures approaching 50 degrees, no wind and sunshine interspersed with clouds, conditions on the Boris Badenov trail resembled those of early spring rather than mid-February.

“That wasn’t an easy course,” said Lindsay, a Greely senior who the event with a two-run time of 1 minute, 19.79 seconds, to Lathrop’s 1:20.16. “We had a lot of weird turns. That hairpin, you had to come at it a little bit differently. The flush was almost set parallel. The fall line’s coming straight down and then all of a sudden, there’s a big jamming turn and it goes off this way. It’s pretty tough to do that.”

Christie said a thorough inspection of the course with Kimball prior to the second run made a difference.

“We took a long time at some of the key gates and I think that really helped us,” Christie said. “Tip kind of told us what to do and we all nailed them.”

Cheverus sophomore Annesley Black remained unbeaten this winter by winning the girls’ slalom. Her combined time of 1:24.40 was nearly three seconds better than that of runner-up Jeannette Cunningham, a Greely senior.

After forging a lead of nearly two seconds in the morning run, Black downshifted in the afternoon.

“I still wanted to go fast, but I didn’t go as hard on the second run,” she said. “It was a little bit softer and the snow was kind of spraying in the goggles, making it hard to see.”

Camden Hills won its first Class A Alpine title despite placing only one skier, junior Audrey Heriz-Smith, among the top 20. Heriz-Smith was fifth.

Seniors Ella Simon (25th), Renaissance Lyman (28th) and Zoe Zwecker (32nd) completed the Windjammers’ scoring for a two-day total of 164 points.

“The strength of our team is consistency,” said first-year Camden Hills coach Robin Payson. “We have girls who are able to put two solid runs together. We might not be taking up a lot of the individual podium spots, but because we have the depth, our fifth and sixth seed girls at states finish much higher up in the results than their start position.”

Greely, which started the day in fourth, leapfrogged Cape Elizabeth and Falmouth to earn runner-up honors with 182 points. Hampden Academy and Edward Little tied for third at 244.

Cape Elizabeth, which opened the day within nine points of the lead, tumbled to sixth and needed to use a ghost skier for a score of 285 after three girls missed gates or skied off course. Falmouth fell from third to fifth with 264.

There were no such implosions for the Falmouth boys. The ghosts of 2012 proved an effective warning.

“I think I put the fear of God into them about the meltdown team,” Kimball said. “We were not going to let that happen again, or try. I could tell they got it.”

CLASS B: Spruce Mountain came from fourth place after the giant slalom, winning the slalom at Black Mountain to edge Yarmouth for the girls’ championship, 90-91, with Maranacook finishing third at 106.

Fort Kent’s boys successfully defended their Alpine title, 87-94 over Mountain Valley. Maranacook, in first after Tuesday’s giant slalom, was third at 112 and Yarmouth was fourth at 162.

Nathan Delmar of Maranacook and Allison Acritelli of Spruce Mountain were individual slalom champions.

The Nordic championships are scheduled for Thursday and Friday, with Class B at Sugarloaf Outdoor Center, and Classes A and C at Quarry Road Trails in Waterville.

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or:

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

]]> 0, 22 Feb 2017 22:37:56 +0000
Girls’ basketball: No. 1 Greely gets past pesky Marshwood Wed, 22 Feb 2017 21:06:01 +0000 It wasn’t the fluid offensive flow the Greely High girls’ basketball team is known for, but the result was the same.

Top-seeded Greely fought through a tough challenge from fourth-seeded Marshwood and a rare average performance from guard Anna DeWolfe to win their Class A South semifinal Wednesday, 46-35 at Cross Insurance Arena.

“It’s tough to shoot in this big arena,” said Greely Coach Todd Flaherty. “Hopefully this was an adjustment game and we can shoot better on Saturday. I think we’re going to have to.”

Greely (19-1) will make its third straight trip to a regional final when it takes on second-seeded Brunswick (17-3) at 6 p.m. Saturday at CIA. Greely beat the Dragons 65-46 in their third game of the season.

The Rangers lost to York in a Class A thriller last season and won the Class B title in 2015.

Greely entered the game averaging 64.9 points, with a low of 54. The Rangers didn’t put the game out of reach until midway through the fourth quarter when they put together a slow 6-0 run.

Brooke Obar led Greely with 13 points. Marshwood (15-5) held DeWolfe to 10 points on 3-of-15 shooting and also kept her from getting loose in the open court. Greely did not have a fast-break point.

“That’s a big part of our game and they were able to take the transition away, but we were able to adjust,” Obar said.

“Fortunately we haven’t had to deal with that all year,” Flaherty said, noting the consistency of DeWolfe. “She did struggle today. They did a nice job on her. I was kind of counting on the fact that the other players could pick her up, and obviously they did.”

Marshwood starts four sophomores and brings freshman Angelina Bisson and sophomore Noelle Barette off the bench for offensive spark.

The Hawks’ youth and a 21-point loss to Greely in the regular season made Marshwood a significant underdog.

The Hawks apparently didn’t get the memo. Despite shooting 24 percent for the game, they trailed only 21-18 at the half and 36-29 with 5:35 to play after an Alicia Richards 3-pointer. Marshwood had a 36-31 rebounding advantage and held the normally efficient Rangers to 28.3 percent shooting.

“The game plan we put out there for them, for a young team, they couldn’t have executed it better,” said Marshwood Coach Steve Freeman.

Marshwood also struggled offensively, making just 12 of 50 shots, with most of the attempts coming from mid- to short-range. Natalie Herbold led the Hawks with eight points.

Greely made six 3-pointers overall and 9 of 10 free throws in the fourth quarter (14 of 17 in the game).

“A couple of our shots fall and a couple of their 3s don’t, and it’s going down to the wire,” Freeman said.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0's Courtney Thim guards the lane against a driving Anna DeWolfe of Greely during a Class A South girls' basketball semifinal Wednesday at Cross Insurance Arena. (Staff Photo by Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer)Wed, 22 Feb 2017 18:44:18 +0000
Girls’ basketball: Brunswick tops York in Class A South semifinal Wed, 22 Feb 2017 19:54:25 +0000 The Brunswick High girls’ basketball team took an early lead over York, then relied on defense Wednesday to advance to the Class A South final for the first time since 2010.

Madeline Suhr had 19 points, six rebounds and three steals to lead the second-seeded Dragons to a 43-35 victory at Cross Insurance Arena.

Brunswick (17-3) will play top-seeded Greely in the final at 6 p.m. Saturday at CIA.

“Defensively, we really tried to clog up what they do,” said Brunswick Coach Sam Farrell. “I feel like we got them out of their flow.”

Maddie Cogger led the third-seeded Wildcats (13-7) with 12 points.

Brunswick benefited from a height advantage and outrebounded the Wildcats 30-26 – 22-16 on the defensive boards – and blocked eight shots. Suhr had four blocks.

“We just used our length. They were trying to go inside, which is our strength,” Farrell said. “We contested everything.”

After Sabrina Armstrong opened the game with two baskets for Brunswick, Reilly Smedley and Nina Howe answered to make it 4-4. Suhr came back with a layup and a 3-pointer to put the Dragons ahead by five, and they never relinquished the lead.

Brunswick ended the first quarter up 11-8. Aidan Sachs and Suhr each scored four points in the second quarter to keep the Dragons ahead, but Cogger’s 3-pointer at the buzzer cut Brunswick’s lead to 21-19 at halftime.

“That girl is a heck of a player. She hits a good shot – that’s what she does,” Farrell said of Cogger. “We should have picked her up sooner.”

Suhr said the Dragons weren’t rattled by the close halftime score.

“We had a good mentality,” Suhr said. “We knew they had a couple shooters and we just shut them down. That’s pretty much it.”

Brunswick outscored York 10-5 in the third quarter, then held the Wildcats scoreless for the first five minutes of the fourth.

York lost Howe – a freshman guard and one of the Wildcats’ top scorers – to an injury in the first minute of the final quarter. She was carried to the bench, where she remained for the rest of the game, icing her right knee.

“I believe she was going in for the layup, and she sort of twisted sideways and fell on it,” Smedley said. “She grabbed it right away.”

Smedley said Howe’s injury left the team “a little shaken up.

“Nina is definitely a huge part of our offense, and she’s usually in all 32 minutes of the game,” Smedley said. “That was definitely a loss, but other girls stepped up.”

York put up 11 points in the final three minutes – six on Delaney LaBonte 3-pointers. LaBonte, Smedley and Howe all finished with six points for the Wildcats. For the Dragons, Sachs scored 11 points and Armstrong had six.

Brunswick has never won a state title, but Farrell said this team is special.

“They’re just a tight-knit group – probably the most coachable group I’ve had,” Farrell said.

“They don’t react emotionally, they just react mentally as basketball players.”

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or:

Twitter: TaylorVortherms

]]> 0 High's Rosalie White, Alexis Guptil, Madeline Suhr, Aidan Sachs and Brooke Barter celebrate their win over York in a Class A South girls' basketball semifinal at Cross Insurance Arena on Wednesday. (Staff photo by Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer)Wed, 22 Feb 2017 19:41:40 +0000
Boys’ basketball: A.R. Gould heading to D South final Wed, 22 Feb 2017 17:14:03 +0000 AUGUSTA — A.R. Gould senior Tyrese Collins has emerged as one of the most dynamic players in this year’s Class D South boys’ basketball tournament.

The 5-foot-5 guard has been scoring seemingly at will, inside and out. Wednesday morning, Collins scored 15 of his 27 points in the third quarter as the second-seeded Bears pulled away from No. 5 Valley en route to a 76-61 semifinal victory at the Augusta Civic Center.

The win sends A.R. Gould (17-3) to the regional final Saturday against top-seeded Greenville.

Collins led the South Portland school, housed in the Long Creek Youth Development Center, with 36 points in a quarterfinal win over Temple Academy.

“It all begins with confidence and my teammates,” Collins said. “I give it to my teammates and I get open.”

Collins has had plenty of help. Senior center Gage Barton scored 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, and Issak Aliyow added 15 points.

Valley (12-8) stayed close behind seniors Austin Cates (17 points, eight rebounds) and Nathan Ames (11 points), and sharp-shooting sophomore Joey Thomas (14).

“They’re really quick,” Valley Coach Curtis Miller said of A.R. Gould. “They get out on the fast break and push the ball. I thought we did a pretty good job getting back but they stepped out. They beat us in the half-court, too, dribble-drives and kicking it.”

The Cavaliers never led. They closed within 40-33 on an Ames 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer, and tied the game at 44 when Cates scored eight points early in the second half and Brandon Thomas completed a three-point play.

But then Collins went to work. He connected on a foul-line jumper, a free throw, a 3-pointer from the top of the circle, a jump shot in the lane and a 3 from the left side to make it 55-46.

“Speed and confidence, it’s as simple as that,” A.R. Gould Coach Chad Sturgis said of Collins. “He’s extremely fast and he’s extremely confident in what he does well, and he tries to avoid anything he does poorly.”

Valley trailed 61-51 entering the fourth quarter and cut the lead to 63-55 on a 3 from Keegan Farnham and a free throw by Cates. Collins answered with a nifty behind-the- back assist – one of his five in the game – to Aliyow on a fast break.

The regional final is the farthest the Bears have ever advanced. Next up is a rematch against a Greenville team that blew them out by 40 points in the quarterfinals last season.

“I think we have a good shot,” Collins said. “We can do anything we put our minds to.”

GREENVILLE 55, SEACOAST CHRISTIAN 35: Conner DiAngelo scored 15 points to lead the Lakers (19-1) into the regional final.

Sky Archer and Caleb La Croix each had 14 points for fifth-seeded Seacoast Christian (12-8).

]]> 0 Gould's John Clement is pressured by Joey Thomas of Valley during a Class D South boys' basketball semifinal Wednesday at the Augusta Civic Center. A.R. Gould won, 76-61.Wed, 22 Feb 2017 18:45:25 +0000
Boys’ basketball: Portland headed back to regional final Wed, 22 Feb 2017 04:14:12 +0000 AUGUSTA — Portland High’s boys’ basketball team may have been rusty after a 13-day layoff, but the Bulldogs’ defense looked primed and ready to go.

Portland shut down Oxford Hills in the first half and went on to a 56-36 victory Tuesday night in a Class AA North semifinal at the Augusta Civic Center.

The Bulldogs took a 12-6 first-quarter lead and outscored the Vikings 10-0 in the second quarter to take control.

Terion Moss scored 14 points and Manny Yugu added 10 for Portland. Cole Verrier scored 11 points for Oxford Hills.

Top-seeded Portland (17-2), the defending state champion, advanced to the regional final at 8:45 p.m. Friday against No. 2 Edward Little (18-1).

No. 5 Oxford Hills is done at 13-7.

Portland met the Red Eddies once in the regular season, losing 76-70 at Edward Little on Dec. 22.

Against Oxford Hills, it took a while for the Bulldogs to break out offensively.

“No matter how many years I do it, the first game you play in the tournament is always nerve-wracking,” said Portland Coach Joe Russo, now in his 27th season. “We didn’t play great. Some of that was nerves … and 13 days off.

“But I can’t remember when we had a pretty first game. You struggle with your rhythm.”

Russo also credited the Vikings’ game plan.

“Oxford Hills did some things to change the tempo – slowing things down at the beginning, then pressing at half court – that made it worse for us. They kept us off balance.”

Oxford Hills played solid defense in the first half, packing in its zone while challenging shooters. But the Vikings could not score.

Oxford Hills got the game’s first basket – a Verrier 3-pointer – but made only one more basket in the first half, shooting nine percent (2 for 21).

“That was the worst basketball quarter I’ve coached in 35 years,” Oxford Hills Coach Scott Graffam said of the second quarter. “I don’t think I’ve ever been shut out in a quarter. … That was pretty much the game.

“(Portland) defends like crazy because they’re so quick and strong. Good defensive teams are going to make you take shots you’re not comfortable with. That’s what they did.”

While Charles Lyall defended the paint, Pedro Fonseca, Griffin Foley and Clay Hardy-Lindsey worked inside and out, contesting shots. Moss was everywhere, making steals and fast breaks. On offense, Moss helped the Bulldogs keep their turnovers down and prevent the Vikings from coming back.

“Portland is a good team. They have all the pieces,” Graffam said. “They have a kid (Moss) who can absolutely handle the ball like a magician.”

Moss completed a bizarre series of plays to end the first half.

With 2.2 seconds left, Oxford Hills turned the ball over, but Portland heaved it down the court and out of bounds. The Vikings then tried a long inbounds pass, but it hit the scoreboard, giving Portland the ball at midcourt. The Bulldogs inbounded, and Moss hit a long 3-pointer.

On defense, Moss said the Bulldogs worked on “fighting off screens and talking.”

Oxford Hills began hitting shots in the fourth quarter but got no closer than 40-29.

“We played pretty good, but we could have done better,” Moss said. “Hopefully next game, we’ll come out with a lot of intensity.”

]]> 0 Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:07:10 +0000
Boys’ basketball: South Portland cruises past Scarborough Wed, 22 Feb 2017 02:36:35 +0000 A 13-day layoff between the end of the season and the playoffs? No problem.

An injury to one of its starters? Next man up.

There wasn’t much that could deter the South Portland High boys’ basketball team Tuesday night as it breezed into the Class AA South championship game with a 78-53 victory against Scarborough at Cross Insurance Arena.

Top-seeded South Portland (16-3), last year’s state runner-up, will meet second-seeded Thornton Academy (17-2) in the regional final at 8 p.m. Friday at the CIA.

The fifth-seeded Red Storm (7-13) went into the game with a ton of confidence, thanks to winning six of their last eight regular-season games after an 0-10 start, then beating fourth-seeded Bonny Eagle in the quarterfinals.

But South Portland gave the Red Storm no chance, extending a 16-5 lead after the first quarter to 41-20 at halftime. Scarborough, which lost twice to South Portland in the regular season, never got closer than 20 after that.

“Playing on the bigger court, we were able to spread out more,” said Ruay Bol, who scored 18 of his 22 points in the first half and finished with 10 rebounds for the Red Riots. “We had room to move. I found the holes and the guys were getting me the ball.”

Bol scored 14 points in the second quarter in a variety of ways – fast-break layups, offensive rebounds, a runner in the lane and a 15-foot jumper.

“When he gets that look in his eye, there aren’t many people who can stop him,” said South Portland Coach Kevin Millington. “If he can get to the rim and he’s finishing, it’s tough for anyone.”

The Riots were missing point guard Deandre White, who was injured in practice during the layoff following the regular season. But Riley Hasson moved from shooting guard and filled the void.

In addition to 12 points, 10 rebounds and four assists, Hasson orchestrated a quicker game for the Red Riots.

“(Riley) created such a fast pace. We got layups up the floor, scoring so fast off (Scarborough’s) scores,” Millington added. “With our depth, it’s tough for other teams when that happens.”

Scarborough Coach Phil Conley, a former Red Riots coach, said his team couldn’t keep up.

“South Portland is a very good team with a lot of weapons, both inside and outside,” said Conley. “We hoped to slow them down a little bit, but they started out fast.”

Nick Discatio (13 points, eight rebounds) and Reece Lagerquist (13 points, seven rebounds) paced Scarborough. Jaquan Seme came off the bench to score eight points and grab six rebounds.

]]> 0 Portland's Edward Buckley scores on a fastbreak in front of Scarborough's Reese Lagerquist in the Red Riots' 78-53 win in the Class AA South semifinals Tuesday.Wed, 22 Feb 2017 11:45:20 +0000
Boys’ basketball: Edward Little stops Windham, 55-44 Wed, 22 Feb 2017 02:32:35 +0000 AUGUSTA — Edward Little briefly lost its lead in the third quarter, then clamped down on defense and finished off a 55-44 victory over Windham in a Class AA North boys’ basketball semifinal Tuesday night at the Augusta Civic Center.

“They’ve worked really hard all year on being a good defensive team,” said EL Coach Mike Adams. “You’ve got to win in the quarter court. You’ve got to defend in the quarter court and score in the quarter court.”

No. 2 Edward Little (18-1) advances to the regional final Friday night against top-seeded Portland. Portland beat Edward Little 70-43 in the regional semifinals last season.

Windham, which did not make the playoffs in 2016, finishes with a 13-7 record.

When Mike Gilman hit a 27-foot 3-pointer to give Windham a 33-32 lead in the third quarter, Edward Little’s advancement was in question.

Samatar Iman (13 points) answered with his own 3, and over the next 10 minutes Edward Little outscored the Eagles 17-6.

“We were very careless with the basketball,” said Windham Coach Chad Pulkkinen. “We had 16 turnovers, and against a good team in a playoff game, especially a semifinal in our division, it’s going to be very hard to win.”

Edward Little opened a 49-39 lead with 1:09 remaining when Tyler Morin (10 points) made both free throws after an intentional foul.

Those free throws were preceded by two technical foul shots made by Jarod Norcross-Plourde (16 points) after Windham’s Nazari Henderson was whistled for bouncing the ball moderately hard following a Windham turnover.

“That’s a tough call to make, but I’m not a ref so it’s not my call,” Pulkkinen said. “But it definitely changed momentum.”

Nick Curtis scored 14 points for Windham, which struggled to find offense for much of the game after a good first quarter. Gilman finished with 11 points.

The game was tied 12-12 after a first quarter that saw both teams make two 3-pointers and display a willingness to push the pace.

Edward Little forged ahead in the second quarter. While the Eagles were turnover-prone, EL’s Darby Shea found the range.

Shea, held scoreless when Windham handed Edward Little its only loss (60-58 in Windham), drained three 3-pointers in about two minutes, each from well behind the arc. Norcross-Plourde worked inside for another six points, helping EL take a 29-21 halftime lead.

]]> 0 Tue, 21 Feb 2017 23:01:44 +0000
Boys’ basketball: Thornton Academy stops Gorham Wed, 22 Feb 2017 01:18:32 +0000 The Thornton Academy boys’ basketball team was so dominant on the defensive end early in its Class AA South semifinal against Gorham that even surrendering 33 points in the final quarter couldn’t doom the Trojans.

Behind the strong defensive start, second-seeded Thornton was able to hold on for a 56-49 win at Cross Insurance Arena and will play for the regional title Friday against No. 1 South Portland.

The Trojans (17-2) surrendered just two points in the first quarter and only 16 through three quarters.

“Our team defense was really solid for the most part, especially early,” said Thornton Coach Bob Davies. “For the entire first half and most of the third quarter, our guys did a really great job being where they were supposed to be and rotating to help. Late in the third and in the fourth, we lost track of that and they hit some shots to stay in it, but defensively, the first half was just a great team effort.”

Thornton took control early, using a smothering defense to jump out to a 12-2 advantage by the end of the first quarter. John Fogg scored five of his 13 points, while Evan Christensen controlled the glass with five rebounds.

“It’s good to get some momentum going early,” said Davies. “If you play that type of basketball, you’re going to give yourself a chance to win.”

The margin was 23-10 at halftime, and then Christensen came to life offensively in the third quarter, scoring seven points as Thornton continued to shackle the sixth-seeded Rams (5-15) while pushing its lead to 30-16.

Jackson Fotter fueled Gorham’s furious comeback attempt, scoring 21 of his 25 points in the fourth.

“He had a really good game,” said Davies. “He’s a very good basketball player. He made some big 3s and did a good job getting to the hoop, and he really kept them in it.”

Fotter finished the fourth quarter knocking down seven of his 11 shot attempts, which included an impressive 4-of-5 showing from beyond the 3-point line to pace the 33-point attack.

Fotter was countered by Austin Boudreau, who got 14 of his 20 points in the final eight minutes.

“He gives them an offensive piece – a major offensive piece who knows how to score and create offense for himself or others,” said Gorham Coach Mark Karter. “We knew they had a mismatch against us with him and Christensen, and for most of the night we handled it pretty well, but he found a way to beat us.”

Boudreau also had five assists and three steals. David Keohan chipped in nine points and six rebounds, and Christensen had seven points and nine rebounds.

Cameron Holmes joined Fotter in double figures for Gorham, finishing with 11 points.

]]> 0 Christiansen of Thornton Academy tries to creates some room to get off a shot against Gorham's Jason Komulainen during their Class AA South semifinal Tuesday night at Cross Insurance Arena. Thornton advanced to the regional final with a 56-49 win.Wed, 22 Feb 2017 11:42:06 +0000
Tuesday’s high school roundup: Camden Hills, Falmouth in position for Alpine titles Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:43 +0000 GREENWOOD — Devon Lathrop of Cape Elizabeth and Annesley Black of Cheverus won Class A giant slalom titles, and the Falmouth boys and Camden Hills girls grabbed leads in the team competition during the first day of the Alpine state championships Tuesday at Mt. Abram Ski Resort.

Lathrop posted the fastest second run in the boys’ race to make up a four-tenths of a second deficit over Falmouth’s Gibson Scott, finishing with a combined time of 1 minute, 33.26 seconds. Scott placed second (1:34.12), followed by Greely’s Axel Lindsay (1:34.23) and Falmouth’s Angus Christie (1:34.42).

Owen White (13th) and Peter Alexander (23rd) were the other scorers for Falmouth, which takes a 43-66 lead over Oxford Hills into Wednesday’s slalom.

Black also was behind after the first run but had the fastest second run for a total of 1:46.02, just ahead of Fryeburg Academy’s Brooke Juneau (1:46.43). Caroline Burns (1:48.39) of Oxford Hills, Caroline Paclat (1:50.37) of Cape Elizabeth and Audrey Heriz-Smith (1:51.51) of Camden Hills rounded out the top five.

Seven teams were within 45 points in the girls’ standings: Camden Hills (74), Cape Elizabeth (83), Falmouth (96), Greely (104), Hampden Academy (117), Mt. Blue (118) and Edward Little (119).

CLASS B: Yarmouth placed four girls among the top 12 in giant slalom to take the lead in the Class B Alpine championships at Black Mountain in Rumford.

Shellby Cowin of Greenville won the event by more than four seconds with a two-run time of 1:34.39, but Margaret Elder (1:38.45) took second place for Yarmouth and was supported by Emi Ruth (eighth), Cate Ralph (11th) and Emma Marston (12th). That gave the Clippers 33 points, ahead of Maranacook (52), Fort Kent (54) and Spruce Mountain (56).

Nick Newman of Mountain Valley won the boys’ giant slalom by more than five seconds (1:34.42) over Maranacook’s Nathan Delmar (1:39.57). John Watt of Greenville finished third (1:41.74).

Maranacook holds a narrow lead with 50 points, followed by Fort Kent (52), Mountain Valley (59), Greenville (61) and Yarmouth (81).


CAPE ELIZABETH 3, YARMOUTH 2: Peyton Weatherbie broke a 1-1 tie 7:32 into the second period and the Capers (12-5) held on for a victory over the Clippers (7-10-1) in Yarmouth.

Jeb Boeschenstein and Hans Croft also scored for the Capers, and Peter Haber made 28 saves

Yarmouth got goals from Cooper May and Bill Jacobs.

SOUTH PORTLAND/FREEPORT/WAYNFLETE 6, WINDHAM/WESTBROOK 1: Mitchell Adams scored two goals and set up another as the Red Riots (7-9-1) beat the Eagles (5-12) at Troubh Ice Arena.

Gus Lappin, Dylan Houle, Ian Young and Deven Hannan also scored for the Red Riots.

Dylan Francoeur tallied an unassisted goal for the Eagles.

BRUNSWICK 6, MARANACOOK/WINTHROP 1: Jacob Doring scored four goals, including two in a span of 18 seconds in the second period, and the Dragons (3-12-1) handled the Black Bears (0-18) at Kents Hill.

Michael Deveaux added two goals and two assists, and Michael Eno had three assists.

LEWISTON 7, WATERVILLE 3: Alex Robert recorded a hat trick as Lewiston (17-1), the top-ranked team in Class A North, beat the visiting Panthers (16-1), who are ranked No. 1 in Class B North.

]]> 0 Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:14:29 +0000
Girls’ basketball: Deering tops EL to reach regional final Tue, 21 Feb 2017 22:28:30 +0000 AUGUSTA — With Amanda Brett providing an emotional and physical boost, Deering earned its first trip to a girls’ basketball regional final since 2011 by beating second-seeded Edward Little 46-40 in Tuesday’s Class AA North semifinal at the Augusta Civic Center.

Brett, a senior center, was diagnosed with a fractured left femur Jan. 3. She had not played or practiced for eight weeks, but was cleared to play Monday. Brett scored seven points and was pivotal in the fourth quarter.

“My adrenaline kind of overtook the tiredness that I was feeling and I was just so excited for the girls, how well we did today,” Brett said. “I knew we could do it and I hope to do it Friday and then the following weekend.”

No. 3 Deering (13-7) will play No. 1 Oxford Hills (18-1) at the Augusta Civic Center in Friday’s regional final at 7:05 p.m. Oxford Hills beat fifth-seeded Bangor 69-36.

Tasia Titherington scored nine of her 18 points in the fourth quarter. She made 9 of 11 free throws and Deering was 15 of 19 as a team.

Brett played sparingly in the first half but was on the court for most of the fourth quarter. She stymied Red Eddies center Jordyn Reynolds, who scored just two of her 16 points in the fourth quarter.

Brett secured rebounds at both ends and made 5 of 6 free throws down the stretch.

“The rebounding, her foul shooting at the end, we needed that,” Titherington said.

The Rams made seven first-half 3-pointers to take a 25-21 halftime lead and closed the victory making 10 of 13 fourth-quarter free throws.

Delaney Haines had three 3s, Ashleigh Mathisen made two 3s, and Titherington and Sydney Giroux each made one.

Titherington was the only Deering player to score from inside the arc in the first half, with a layup and two free throws.

In the second half, Deering didn’t make a 3-pointer but never trailed.

Edward Little (14-5) tied the game 31-31 on a runner by Piper Norcross with seven minutes to play.

Brett and Titherington responded.

Brett made two free throws. Titherington converted a three-point play. Then Titherington scored inside with an assist from Brett for a 38-31 lead.

“They went to man-to-man and we knew we had to attack the hoop more,” Titherington said.

Two 3-pointers by Grace Fontaine got Edward Little within three points but Titherington and Brett each went 3 for 4 at the line in the final minute to secure the win.

OXFORD HILLS 69, BANGOR 36: The top-seeded Vikings (18-1) raced to a 23-2 lead after one quarter and overpowered the fifth-seeded Rams (9-11) in a Class AA North semifinal.

Julia Colby paced a balanced attack for Oxford Hills with 15 points. Katie Butler scored 10 points for Bangor.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0 Wed, 22 Feb 2017 14:31:01 +0000
Girls’ basketball: Gray-NG advances to Class B South semifinals Tue, 21 Feb 2017 22:18:16 +0000 Top-seeded Gray-New Gloucester lived up to its billing while rolling to a 57-24 win against No. 8 Freeport in a Class B South girls’ basketball quarterfinal Tuesday afternoon at the Portland Expo.

The Patriots, the defending regional champions, will play No. 5 Lake Region at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Cross Insurance Arena.

It was Gray-New Gloucester’s third win of the season over the Falcons. Freeport (12-8) stayed within hailing distance for most of the first half, but an 8-0 run just before halftime enabled the Patriots (18-1) to open a 13-point lead.

“They were a team all year who hadn’t played any zone (defense) and they came out and played zone,” GNG Coach Mike Andreasen said. “It was a high–level zone, where they were allowing us to put the ball in the corner and we obliged (them) early on, so our offense was bad. They threw some wrinkles at us and it had its effect.”

The first quarter ended with the Patriots clinging to a 10-9 lead. But Freeport missed all eight of its field-goal attempts in the second quarter and sank just 2 of 7 free throws.

“We just didn’t finish the shots we needed to finish in the open floor, and free throws hurt us,” said Freeport Coach Michael Hart.

Gray-New Gloucester led 24-11 at halftime, and Freeport had to come out of its zone.

“If you don’t keep pace in a zone, you can’t play (it) from behind,” Hart said. “We felt we had to continue to pull out into the full court and try to make something happen.”

The Patriots ended the third quarter with eight straight points to open a 36-19 lead. They finished the game with a 15-1 run.

Andreasen said the game was much closer than the score indicates.

“This was not a 33-point game,” he said. “It was more like a 10- or 12-point game.”

Nine players scored for the Patriots, with Skye Conley putting in a game-high 10 points.

“It’s so hard to shoot in the Expo,” Andreasen said. “It’s not a shooters’ gym. Both teams were missing shots they normally make, so it got to be a game of putbacks and foul shots.”

Gray-New Gloucester sank 16 of 19 free throws and held a 28-20 edge in rebounding.

Despite the lopsided loss, Hart said the girls on his team learned a lot from their tournament experience.

“Anytime you come out and play and just being here in this environment makes a big difference,” he said. “Some of these kids had never been here and didn’t know what to expect. Now they know.”

]]> 0 Gloucester's Grace Kariotis and Freeport's Taylor Rinaldi and Taylor Dostie, right, watch a loose ball during their Class B South girls' basketball quarterfinal Tuesday at the Portland Expo. (Staff photo by Jill Brady/Staff Photographer)Wed, 22 Feb 2017 14:29:31 +0000
Girls’ basketball: Old Orchard Beach holds off Madison Tue, 21 Feb 2017 21:14:48 +0000 AUGUSTA — Despite committing 32 turnovers and being held without a field goal for the final 4:38, Old Orchard Beach found a way to hold on in a Class C South girls’ basketball quarterfinal Tuesday at the Augusta Civic Center.

The No. 4 Seagulls made enough free throws down the stretch and played strong defense to take a 45-41 win over No. 5 Madison.

The Seagulls (11-8) will meet top-seeded and undefeated Richmond in the semifinals at 4 p.m. Thursday.

The teams combined for 54 turnovers, with Madison (14-6) giving up the ball 22 times.

“I think both teams play pretty aggressive, pressing, and under these circumstances, it adds to it,” Old Orchard Coach Dean Plante said of the sloppy play. “We knew it was going to be close. We played in the preseason. We have had a pretty friendly rivalry going with Madison for years. They’re a class act.”

The Seagulls led eight points in the third quarter before the Bulldogs cut the deficit to one entering the fourth. Down 40-36 midway through the fourth, Madison tied the game on baseline jumpers from Sydney LeBlanc and Ashley Emery.

With just under 40 seconds left, and OOB leading by two, LeBlanc had a layup go in and out. Samantha Donnell made a free throw and Bri Plante sank a pair of foul shots to ice the win for Old Orchard Beach.

Emily Greenlee paced the Seagulls with 15 points. Plante scored eight of her 11 points in the second half, and Meghan LaPlante added 14 points.

“The girls found a way. Meghan LaPlante was big for us in the first half, and I thought Bri Plante took over the second,” Plante said.

Madison Coach Al Veneziano said the Bulldogs got what they expected from the Seagulls defensively, a tough 2-3 zone and some pressure. Madison just couldn’t make shots consistently.

“Tough defensive game, and we didn’t seem to get the offense flowing. I thought we had some good shots, we just seemed too rough. That happens sometimes in a tournament game,” Veneziano said.

Coach Plante said a focus off OOB’s defensive attention was Madison senior Maddy Wood, who was held to four points, all on foul shots.

“You tell me that before the game, I tell you we win,” Plante said. “I thought we did a nice job of taking Wood out of her game. Our goal was to make other people score.”

Madison knew it had to limit the Seagulls’ perimeter chances, and it did, holding OOB to three 3-pointers. But the Seagulls’ inside game wore down the Bulldogs.

“We knew we couldn’t give 3-point shots up. I was pretty happy with that. They can shoot the 3 and they can bury you out there if that happens,” Veneziano said.

Sydney LeBlanc led Madison with 12 points, while Lauren Hay added nine.

]]> 0 Orchard Beach players celebrate after beating Madison 45-41 in a Class C South girls' basketball quarterfinal Tuesday at the Augusta Civic Center.Wed, 22 Feb 2017 14:31:16 +0000
Girls’ basketball: Top-ranked Gorham cruises past MGA Tue, 21 Feb 2017 20:57:16 +0000 It took a while – maybe a lot longer than anyone anticipated – for top-ranked Gorham to shake off the rust of an 11-day layoff, but once the Rams got going they eased into the Class AA South girls’ basketball final.

Using a tenacious defense to set the tone early, unbeaten Gorham defeated Maine Girls’ Academy 53-23 Tuesday afternoon at Cross Insurance Arena. Mackenzie Holmes, a 6-foot-2 sophomore center, led the defensive effort with 10 blocked shots to go along with 10 rebounds and 14 points.

“You’ve got to make sure if the baskets are hard to come by that you’re making it difficult for the other team as well,” said Gorham Coach Laughn Berthiaume. “And I thought we did that.”

Gorham (19-0) will play second-seeded South Portland at 6 p.m. Friday. The Rams, who have won 40 consecutive games, defeated South Portland 44-31 in the second game of the regular season on Dec. 15. The teams also met in last year’s regional final, won by Gorham, 37-30.

The Rams hadn’t played since Feb. 10 and it showed early, especially on the offensive end, where they hit just 2 of 15 shots in the first quarter.

“I think that’s part of it,” said Gorham senior guard Emily Esposito, who scored 16 of her 18 points in the second half. “It’s two different worlds from practice to the actual game, and then coming into this type of atmosphere, in terms of depth perception and a completely different feel from our home gym.”

Holmes said it took at least a quarter for the Rams to get back into the groove.

“Like anything, when you’re off for that long, not playing at that intense of a level, it’s hard to just jump back into it,” said Holmes. “The first quarter, the first couple of quarters, we were just trying to get back into the flow of things, and once we did it was toward the end of the first half.”

But Gorham’s defense was exemplary throughout the game. The Rams forced 21 turnovers and held the Lions (8-12) to just 16 percent shooting (9 for 55).

MGA had only three baskets in the first half, which ended with Gorham ahead 22-8. That’s because the Rams went on an 8-0 run in the final 55 seconds, getting two baskets by Kaylea Lundin, two foul shots by Esposito and a jumper by Michelle Rowe, who played a strong game with eight points and eight rebounds.

“To shoot 3 for 27 in the first half was tough,” said MGA Coach Bill Goodman. “I’m not upset. The shots didn’t go in, but we kept at it, kept going.

“To get to the semis was pretty awesome. And I told the girls coming back (that) next year starts tomorrow.”

Esposito, who had four rebounds, four assists and three steals, got hot in the third quarter, scoring Gorham’s last nine points to extend the lead to 34-18.

“This is something we’ve been striving for this whole season,” said Holmes. “We really want to be a good defensive team and hold teams to a certain amount of points and push us to get even better.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0's Michelle Rowe drives the lane while being guarded by Hope Olson, left, and Catherine Reid of Maine Girls' Academy's during a Class AA South semifinal Tuesday at Cross Insurance Arena. Top-ranked Gorham won, 53-23.Wed, 22 Feb 2017 14:31:34 +0000
Girls’ basketball: Lake Region defense stifles Yarmouth Tue, 21 Feb 2017 20:36:28 +0000 The Yarmouth girls’ basketball team couldn’t stop Lake Region’s 3-point shooting or ability to get to the free-throw line in a Class B South quarterfinal Tuesday afternoon at the Portland Expo.

The No. 5 Lakers hit five 3-pointers in the first half and made 20 of their 29 foul shots en route to a 45-30 victory over No. 4 Yarmouth. Lake Region will play either top-seeded Gray-New Gloucester in Thursday’s semifinals.

Kristen Huntress led the Lakers (13-6) with 22 points – including two 3-pointers and 12 free throws.

“I haven’t played well when we’ve played Yarmouth, so I kind of set a goal for myself to have a good game against them,” said Huntress, a 5-foot-4 guard. “Without my teammates, I wouldn’t have been able to do that. They were finding me when I was open, and they were letting me hit those open shots.”

Cory Langenbach scored 12 points – all on 3-pointers – for Yarmouth (12-7), which was held to six points in the second and third quarters combined.

“We were really looking to use our post players because they’re a smaller team, and we were hoping to take advantage of that,” Yarmouth Coach Christina Strong said. “But we really could not get into a rhythm.”

Yarmouth swept Lake Region in the regular season by scores of 28-24 (on Dec. 13) and 32-23 (on Feb. 7). This time, Yarmouth grabbed an early 9-2 lead with the help of back-to-back 3s by Langenbach.

“We played them twice during the year, and we shot 16 percent from the floor,” Lake Region Coach Paul True said. “So, really, this was just about execution, making our shots and playing with confidence. I thought our kids did a great job of that tonight.”

Lake Region answered with a six-point run, capped by a Huntress 3-pointer. After an Alison Clark field goal for the Clippers, Lake Region’s Chandler True hit a 3-pointer in the final 20 seconds of the quarter to tie the score at 11-11.

From that point on, Yarmouth’s shots wouldn’t fall. Lake Region outscored Yarmouth 11-4 in the second quarter. All but two of those Lake Region points came from 3-pointers, with Melissa Bonenfant notching two and Huntress sinking one. The Lakers entered halftime up 22-15.

“In first half – after those two shots by Cory (Langenbach) – we went a little cold,” Strong said. “It was a big-time momentum game and I felt like, once it swung, it never came back.”

The second half featured more of the same. The Lakers held Yarmouth to two points in third quarter while Lake Region stretched its lead to 33-17.

“Everything went right,” Huntress said. “We spent so much time working on our game – we were prepared, and we went out and showed it.”

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or:

Twitter: TaylorVortherms

]]> 0 High's Sara D'Appolonia looks to pass around Lake Region defenders Kristen Huntress, left, and Chandler True during a Class B South girls' basketball quarterfinal Tuesday at the Portland Expo on Tuesday. Lak (Staff Photo by Jill Brady/Staff Photographer)Wed, 22 Feb 2017 14:29:35 +0000
Girls’ swimming: Cony claims first state title Tue, 21 Feb 2017 19:44:00 +0000 BRUNSWICK — For a school without a state championship, the Cony High girls sure knew how to take control of the state meet Tuesday.

Cony won or took second in 11 swimming events to more than overcome a lack of divers at the Class A championships at Bowdoin College.

The Rams led from start to finish and clinched the meet when freshman Cecilia Guadalupi, the fourth seed, led a 1-5-12 showing in the 100-yard breast stroke, rendering the concluding 400 freestyle relay into little more than a series of victory laps.

Talia Jorgensen, Gabby Low, Cecilia Guadalupi and her sister, Anne Guadalupi, cruised to an 8-second victory over runner-up Brunswick to cap a balanced 311-point performance.

“There wasn’t an event where we didn’t have a great swim,” Cony Coach Jon Millett said. “Every kid contributed. It was a team effort.”

Two-time defending state champion Brunswick, led by Performer of the Meet Caitlin Tycz, was second at 246. Cheverus edged Bangor for third, 214-213, followed by Falmouth (165), South Portland (130), Brewer (121), Westbrook (113), Massabesic (110) and Gorham (84).

Tycz set a state record in the 200-yard freestyle and lowered her own pool record in the 100 butterfly. Her 200 free time of 1:50.35 was nearly 8 seconds faster than that of runner-up Anne Guadalupi and broke a 2-year-old mark of 1:50.63 set by Leila Johnston of Mt. Desert.

“That was a good way to start the meet,” Tycz said, “because once you get a good race or two under the whole team’s bow, it really flows.”

Exactly what Cony was thinking in the opening 200 medley relay, with both Guadalupis teaming with Low and Molly Silsby for a 3-second victory in 1:51.27 that put the Rams in front for good.

Anne Guadalupi went on to win the 500 free (5:18.62), Jorgensen the 100 free (54.71), and Cecilia Guadalupi the 200 individual medley (2:11.87) and 100 breast (1:08.68).

“It was really exciting for me because I didn’t expect it,” said Cecilia Guadalupi, who was seeded second in the IM. “I guess I’ve improved a lot. We had a lot of supporters who came. It’s really a team process even for the ones who didn’t swim at states.”

Cony won the title with eight swimmers who scored. Jorgensen, Haley Gagne and Leah Allee also contributed individual points. Cony was second to Brunswick in the 200 free relay.

“We knew they had that core of real strong kids, and some kids to back that up, too,” said Brunswick Coach Dave Bright, happy with the runner-up plaque after significant graduation losses. “It was nice to keep it in the (Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference). It speaks well of our conference, that we’re 1 and 2.”

For the second straight year, Tycz won the 100 butterfly in a time (53.67) faster than the Class A 100 free champion. She was 4 seconds faster than runner-up Low of Cony but couldn’t quite match her state record time of 53.32.

Abby Longstaff of Cheverus also won two individual events, defending her titles in the 50 free (24.47) and 100 backstroke (58.02). The backstroke was the meet’s most competitive race, with Low coming within .16 of Longstaff in a race offering contrasting styles.

“I’ve never really been comfortable swimming on the surface,” said Low, who remained submerged for more than half the 25-yard length of the pool. “Underwater, I just feel so much faster.”

“I was pushing so hard,” Longstaff said. “Especially that last 25. I reached back and I was like, ‘Please, please, please! I’m 6 feet tall. Let me use it now.’ ”

Nina Greenwood of Cheverus emerged from a field of six to win diving with 314.30 points.

After the final relay, Anne Guadalupi lingered in the pool to share an embrace with fellow seniors Tycz of Brunswick and Bangor’s Hannah Wood, all three reluctant to leave and end their high school careers.

“We’ve all been swimming since freshman year, even before that, and we’re all going on to swim in college,” Guadalupi said. “It’s exciting to share that happiness with everyone else.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

]]> 0 Wed, 22 Feb 2017 14:31:13 +0000
Girls’ basketball: South Portland’s defense too much for Scarborough Tue, 21 Feb 2017 19:34:35 +0000 Lynne Hasson has always preached to her South Portland girls’ basketball players that the first few minutes of the third quarter can set the tone for what happens next.

Tuesday afternoon, the second-seeded Red Riots used those minutes to seize control of their Class AA South semifinal and then pulled away for a 43-27 victory over third-seeded Scarborough at Cross Insurance Arena.

The Red Riots forced four consecutive turnovers at the start of the third quarter and converted them into eight points to break open what was a three-point game at halftime. Then South Portland really clamped down, holding Scarborough scoreless in the fourth quarter to pull away for its 13th consecutive victory.

“We talked about that before the game,” said Hasson. “We really believe if we play our best defensive game, we’re tough to beat. And that’s what we did tonight.”

South Portland (17-2) will play top-ranked, undefeated and defending Class AA state champion Gorham in the regional final at 6 p.m. Friday. Gorham defeated the Red Riots 44-31 on Dec. 15.

The Red Storm, who defeated South Portland in the regular season, finished 16-4.

This was a defensive struggle for the most part, with each team working hard to shut down the other.

Scarborough pulled within 17-16 with 31 seconds left in the first half on a Sophie Glidden basket, but Meghan Graff hit a shot just before the halftime buzzer to make it 19-16.

Then, after the break, the Riots forced those four consecutive turnovers, leading to baskets by Eva Mazur (on a nice pass from Graff), Graff (on a nice pass from Mazur), Maggie Whitmore (on an offensive rebound) and Mazur again (on a short jumper).

“We always say coming out of the locker room at the half that the first three minutes of the second half are the most important minutes of the game,” said Graff, who led the Red Riots with 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists. “And we definitely made that obvious. We took over those first three minutes and it got us the momentum, it got us intensity on defense.”

Scarborough closed to within 32-27 with 1:21 left in the third quarter when Glidden (11 points, 15 rebounds) scored on an offensive rebound. But the Red Storm didn’t score again, missing their last 13 shots.

“They played really, really good defense,” said Scarborough Coach Mike Giordano. “We struggled to get any type of movement on the offensive end.”

The Red Riots forced 25 turnovers and held the Red Storm to 29 percent shooting (12 of 41) – 19 percent (5 of 26) in the second half.

“They just did a really nice job of making anything we wanted to do offensively uncomfortable all night,” said Giordano.

Whitmore added 11 points and six rebounds for the Red Riots, and Bela Cloutier scored seven points, hitting two big 3-pointers.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

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Girls’ basketball: Poland upsets Wells in Class B South Tue, 21 Feb 2017 19:00:42 +0000 Poland used a stifling man-to-man defense to pull off a 37-30 upset of No. 2 Wells in a Class B South girls’ basketball quarterfinal Tuesday at the Portland Expo.

The seventh-seeded Knights (12-7) will play No. 6 Lincoln Academy (14-5) at 1 p.m. Thursday at Cross Insurance Arena.

A switch in Poland’s defensive strategy caught the Warriors off guard.

“We’d seen them several times and we played them two weeks ago,” said Wells Coach Don Abbott, “and everything they put on film is mostly zone, zone, zone, and that’s what we practiced against most of the week. We were a little disjointed at the start.”

The Warriors ended the regular season with a six-game winning streak and recorded a 37-30 road victory over Poland on Feb. 7.

“We typically have played zone (defense) all year because we’re small. We’re tiny,” said Poland Coach Mike Susi. “We felt after the first time we played them we could really get out and pressure them.”

“Last game, we came out in a zone defense, and today we played man and put a lot of pressure on the ball,” said Poland’s Nathalie Theriault, a junior guard. “It was really beneficial. It sparked our offense.”

Poland held a 16-9 lead at the end of a first half that featured hard-nosed defensive performances by both teams.

The Knights hit 6 of 13 shots to build their lead despite making 13 turnovers in the first half. Wells was just 4 for 14 in the half and committed 18 turnovers.

Wells (13-6) climbed back into the game in the third quarter. Megan Schneider scored eight of her 15 points during the quarter and Wells took a 22-21 lead into the fourth.

“We had all the momentum in the world going into the fourth quarter, it looked like,” Abbott said, “and they stifled us a little bit.”

The Knights regained the lead early in the fourth when Sarah Moody hit her third 3-pointer. Moody led Poland with 13 points.

After Schneider sank one free throw, Theriault scored eight straight points and the Knights had a 34-24 lead.

“She got a couple of steals late that led to run outs, a couple of offensive rebounds, and we fed off of that,” Susi said.

Theriault finished with 11 points.

“For most of the girls who are starting and most of the girls who are on the team, this is their third trip (to the tournament),” Susi said, “and I don’t think they wanted to be denied.”

]]> 0, ME - FEBRUARY 21: Poland #10 Alexandria Grondin, center, celebrates with teammates after defeating Poland in the Maine Principals' Association State Basketball Tournament at the Portland Expo. (Staff photo by Jill Brady/Staff Photographer) Lexy Grondin, 10, leads the cheers as Poland's celebrates its victory over Wells. (Staff photo by Jill Brady/Staff Photographer)Wed, 22 Feb 2017 14:31:30 +0000
Girls’ basketball: Lincoln Academy cruises into semifinals Tue, 21 Feb 2017 16:58:43 +0000 Cagney O’Brien scored 22 points and Gabrielle Wajer added 19 to lead Lincoln Academy to a 60-39 victory over Mountain Valley in a Class B South girls’ basketball quarterfinal Tuesday at the Portland Expo.

“Our defense is what we’ve been working on most because we know we can score,” said O’Brien, a senior captain. “Our speed definitely helped us on our breakaway layups, and we had height underneath. It was a really good team effort.”

The sixth-seeded Eagles (14-5) will play No. 7 Poland, an upset winner over Wells, in a regional semifinal at 1 p.m. Thursday at Cross Insurance Arena.

“Cagney (O’Brien) got the ball in a position she could score, and that made the difference,” said Mountain Valley Coach Ryan Casey, whose team had a 15-game winning streak snapped. “Honestly, the game plan was to make sure Wajer didn’t get into the paint. Sometimes game plans don’t work.”

Emily Laubauskas and Abby Mazza led the Falcons with nine points each. No. 3 Mountain Valley finished at 16-3.

Ashley Russell helped give the Falcons a 6-4 lead halfway through the first quarter after intercepting two Lincoln passes and connecting with Mazza for two baskets. But Wajer sparked the Eagles by scoring seven points to give Lincoln a 13-8 lead by the end of the quarter.

Wajer opened the second quarter with a 3-point play to put the Eagles ahead by eight. Chelsea Allison gave the Falcons some momentum by scoring five points, including a 3-pointer, to cut Lincoln’s lead to 21-17 with four minutes left in the half.

From there, O’Brien led the Eagles’ offense. She scored nine points in the second quarter, helping Lincoln to a 32-27 lead at the half.

Mountain Valley came alive in the third quarter when Laubauskas, Emily Billings and Liza White combined for eight straight points, cutting the Eagles’ lead to 35-34.

But Wajer kicked off a six-point run with a basket and Kaitlyn Feltis scored four points to boost the lead back to seven. O’Brien finished the quarter with a 3-point play that gave Lincoln a 44-36 advantage.

The Eagles outscored Mountain Valley 16-3 in the fourth quarter to pull away and advance to the semifinals for the third consecutive year.

“We knew it was going to be a tough draw,” Casey said. “The biggest different tonight was there best players came out and played really well.”

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or:

Twitter: TaylorVortherms

]]> 0 Wed, 22 Feb 2017 14:31:21 +0000
Girls’ basketball: Forest Hills rallies past Pine Tree Academy Tue, 21 Feb 2017 15:41:18 +0000 AUGUSTA — Throughout their Class D South basketball quarterfinal Tuesday morning, the Forest Hills girls played defense with the attitude that anybody but Pine Tree Academy’s Alex Goodman could shoot. In the fourth quarter, that philosophy finally paid off for the Tigers.

Down seven points with 2:22 left in the third quarter, Forest Hills scored the next 18 points, holding the Breakers scoreless until there were just 20 seconds remaining. That defensive effort led to a 42-31 win for the Tigers.

No. 5 Forest Hills (11-8) advances to the semifinals against No. 1 Rangeley (16-3). No. 4 Pine Tree ends the season at 13-6.

In the third quarter, Goodman shook off the Tigers’ tight defense, and seemed determined to beat Forest Hills herself. She scored 10 of her 20 points in the third, and her basket with 2:22 left in the quarter gave the Breakers a 29-22 lead.

Forest Hills captain Caitlin Logston said her team never panicked when Pine Tree went on its run.

“I was just thinking we’ve still got it. We’ve been in games and scenarios where we’ve been down,” said Logston, who scored 25 points. “I just say, ‘Hey, come on. Let’s keep playing.’ We’ve all been doing a great job of staying in sync together. So what if we’re down seven points? We’re going to keep scoring.”

A pair of free throws by Patricia Lessard (15 points) gave Forest Hills the lead for good, 30-29, with 4:07 left. Logston then scored 10 of the Tigers’ final 12 points to cap the comeback. Logston and Lessard did a good job in the low post, scoring 40 of the Tigers’ 42 points and getting to the line.

“We talked about it quite often, it’s going to be a grind it out type of game. We’ve got to get the ball inside and draw fouls,” Forest Hills Coach Anthony Amero said. “We knew the foul count was going to be in our favor. Some of their key players weren’t on the court, so now we’re getting matchups … and we exploited that.”

Madison Cuddy drew the primary defensive assignment on Goodman through three quarters before Amero switched things up and put the smaller, quicker Demi Giroux on the Pine Tree standout. Giroux rewarded Amero with a late steal that all but sealed the win.

“That was the game plan the entire game. We were going to make the other people beat us. It’s kind of a nervous situation, because the Goodman girl is such a good player. She has seen double team, triple team, box-and-one, you name it, she’s seen those defenses the last two years,” Amero said.

Lessard had 10 rebounds, while Logston grabbed nine rebounds and had four steals.

]]> 0, ME- February 21: Forest Hill's Patricia Lessard, left, evades Pine Tree Academy players Stephie Kayumba (4) and Alexandra Goodman during game in Augusta on Tuesday, February 21, 2017. Caitlin Logston (44) is at right. (Staff photo by David Leaming/Staff Photographer)Wed, 22 Feb 2017 14:31:26 +0000