Brendan Horton shook his head after watching his South Portland High hockey team lose Thursday to Scarborough, 3-1. “That was terrible,” he said.

At least Horton could watch. He missed the Red Riots’ previous game because he was in Maine Medical Center, dealing with the effects of chemotherapy treatments.

For the second straight season, Horton’s hockey season has been interrupted in a dramatic way, as he again deals with cancer.

Horton, now a junior, is a three-sport athlete at South Portland, also playing football and baseball. His older brother, Zach, is a senior defenseman for the Red Riots.

Last season, a lump on Brendan’s left elbow turned out to be synovial sarcoma, a cancer found in the joints. After surgery to remove the tumor, Horton underwent radiation treatments before returning to the Red Riots for the playoffs.

Before this hockey season, another tumor was discovered, in Horton’s lung. He again underwent surgery and, this time, has to undergo draining chemotherapy treatments.

“It’s intense,” Horton said, “but worth it.”

He rejoined the hockey team and played six games, scoring the Red Riots’ lone goal against Falmouth on Jan. 14. Horton broke his hand in that game, but it’s the effects of chemotherapy that have sidelined him again — and sent him briefly to Maine Medical.

From his window at the hospital, he watched the team bus arrive at Portland Ice Arena. Now he can watch games in person.

Next year, Horton plans to lace up the skates again.

WHEN ST. DOM’S topped Scarborough 3-2 in a matchup of east and west girls hockey powers last week, Saints Coach Don Boucher was impressed with Red Storm freshman goalie Devan Kane, who made 32 saves.

“We outshot them (35-21) and their goalie did a phenomenal job,” Boucher said. “If they had an average goalie, we would have had seven or eight goals.

“She was all over. She comes out. She cuts her angles well. She moves well. She’s only a freshman, but she’s the real thing.”

Later in the week, St. Dom’s played Greely, and it’s safe to say that Boucher was also impressed with Rangers junior goalie Emma Seymour. She made 32 saves to keep Greely in the game, which the Saints won in overtime, 3-2.

CHEVERUS SENIOR point guard Joe Savino got his first start of the season Friday against South Portland. Savino ran the offense effectively, as the Stags had strong ball movement that gave them numerous scoring chances in a 63-46 win.

Coach Bob Brown said Savino has made steady improvement since the start of the season, thus earning the start.

Connor O’Neil, who was the starting point guard, moved to the other guard spot. Savino actually replaced forward-guard Cam Olson in the lineup.

With the Stags’ depth, 10 players see ample playing time. The top seven or eight players get the bulk of the minutes, but there’s enough talent so that whoever is out on the floor, the level of play pretty much remains constant.

That’s one aspect that makes the Stags (13-0) so strong. So far, they’ve answered every challenge.

Peter Gwilym, the team’s sixth man, said the Stags will continue to stay focused the rest of the year. The goal, he said, is to repeat as Class A state champions.

“We learned our lesson two years ago,” he said. “We ran the table in the regular season and then lost to Thornton Academy in the (Western Maine) semifinals.”

AFTER MT. ARARAT lost to Bangor 58-45 in a boys’ basketball game Friday night at Topsham, Coach Aaron Watson had this observation about Bangor, which is intent on returning to the Class A state final after missing it the last two years.

“Bangor was able to hit a lot of shots from beyond the arc (8 for 22) against our defense,” said Watson. “Going into the game, we wanted to try and make them beat us from the outside and that is exactly what they did. They move the ball very well around the perimeter, and they hit shots.

“They are going to be really difficult to beat if they can shoot well from beyond the arc. Our guys executed about as well as we could have defensively, and we hit a lot of shots through the first three quarters. The well kind of went dry in the fourth quarter though. I was very proud of the effort that we put out there.”

Bangor improved to 13-1, while the Eagles dropped to 9-5. Zach Blodgett led the Rams with 25 points. Josh Walker paced Mt. Ararat with 22.

Could Bangor and Cheverus be headed for a rematch of their 2008 state final, won by the Stags at the Cumberland County Civic Center? This year’s Class A final is at the Augusta Civic Center.

AFTER A SLOW START, Gorham’s Mia Rapolla put on a show in the second half of a 42-41 loss Friday night at Sanford.

Rapolla was just 1 for 9 in the first half but 7 for 11 in the second half, scoring 15 of her 18 points. She did much of her scoring with Sanford’s Taylor Flood close by.

“There was nothing I could do about it,” said Flood, who scored 15 points of her own. “She’s going to score her points. I was doing everything I could.”

Flood was often within inches of Rapolla when the Gorham senior took her shot.

“She’s a special player, there’s no question about that,” said Gorham Coach Laughn Berthiaume. “She can score, there’s no question about that, and everyone in the league knows that. So she’s the focus of everyone’s game plan.

“She’s doing a good job leading us. She’s our emotional leader and our leader on the floor.”

Even when Rapolla wasn’t scoring in the first half, she was collecting seven defensive rebounds to help keep the Rams close.

“She’s a very good rebounder,” said Berthiaume. “She anticipates the ball coming off the rim well. She’s actually got a pretty good all-around game.”

So where is Rapolla heading for college? The University of Massachusetts — to play lacrosse.

“As good a basketball player as she is,” said Berthiaume, “she’s a much better lacrosse player.” 

— Staff Writers Kevin Thomas, Tom Chard and Mike Lowe contributed to this report.