January 14, 2013

High School Notebook: Portland keeps rolling along

From staff reports

The Portland boys' basketball team ran its record to 10-0 with a 63-47 win Friday night over South Portland.

click image to enlarge

Justin Zukowski drives to the basket Friday during Portland’s 63-47 win over South Portland. The Bulldogs are 10-0 and ranked first in Western Class A.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

The Bulldogs are one of two Class A boys' teams perfect through 10 games. The other is Hampden Academy, the defending Eastern Maine champion.

Could the two teams be on a collusion course for the state title in early March?

There's still a lot of basketball to be played, as both head coaches would quickly point out.

Asked if he would like his team to go 18-0 in the regular season, Portland Coach Joe Russo said: "Not necessarily"

Russo's concern is like that of other coaches of strong teams. When the wins start to mount late in the regular season, some teams have a tendency to play not to lose rather than to play to win. Veteran teams can handle the pressure of being unbeaten better than others. Coaches feel it's sometimes better to head into the tournament with at least one loss on your record.

Portland still has a way to go and will try to win each and every one. The Bulldogs have yet to play Deering or Westbrook They have two games with the Rams. Portland also has another game with South Portland.

Portland came out with a lot of energy against South Portland and maintained it. Russo is looking for that type of play the rest of the way.

THE CHEVERUS girls' basketball team had its two biggest tests of the season last week, winning at Scarborough in triple overtime on Tuesday, then losing a tight one to Deering at home on Friday.

The Deering game went back and forth, with the Rams finally shutting down the Stags in the final minute and scoring the final four points.

Both teams face another tough challenge Tuesday, with Deering (10-1) playing once-beaten Scarborough and Cheverus (9-1) hosting unbeaten McAuley.

And that's the way the coaches want it.

"That's what you want," said Cheverus Coach Richie Ashley. "You want to play, you want to get better. You want to be challenged and learn from adversity."

Deering's win Friday was fueled by its four starting seniors, each of whom scored in double figures. Alexis Stephenson, Marissa MacMillan, Chelsea Saucier and Keneisha DiRamio combined for all but six of Deering's 60 points.

"They played with a lot of heart," said Deering Coach Mike Murphy. "This was a good high school Class A game. Obviously that's a very good squad over there."

WHEN SCARBOROUGH'S girls' hockey team went into overtime Wednesday against Leavitt/Edward Little, it brought back memories of the previous Saturday, when the Red Storm lost their first game of the year in the final minute of overtime against York.

"Going into overtime, it was passing through my head," said senior forward Sarah Martens. "I wondered what would happen, if we would step it up after what happened last time."

In the final minute against Leavitt/Edward Little, Alyssa Hulst stole the puck in the Red Hornets' zone, and passed to Martens. She slid the puck over to Rachael Wallace, who scored with 37 seconds left to give Scarborough a 2-1 win.

The Red Storm, after a 2-0 victory Saturday against Brunswick, have the state's best record at 10-1-1.

DEERING SENIOR Genevieve Worthley approached advanced biology teacher (and swim coach) Angie Marcotte after class last week to ask if she could do the 100-yard freestyle at Friday's meet with Falmouth.

(Continued on page 2)

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