The temperature is finally climbing, and spring sports are on their way – but winter’s not far behind yet, and the memories of basketball and hockey games, track and wrestling and swim meets remain fresh. Both Westbrook and Gorham can look proudly on their cold-weather athletes this year, as both high schools posted some successes.

The Blue Blazes girls basketball team struggled this year, finishing 4-14 and missing the postseason. The boys team finished 5-13 and outside the playoffs as well, but closed out their run with a pair of big wins over Windham and neighbor-rivals Gorham, so they go into the off-season on a high note.

The track team – especially the girls – returned some solid individual results. At SMAAs, for instance, Courtney Arsenault, running in the junior division, took third in the 55-meter dash and fourth in the 200. Danielle Breunig, also in the junior division, took third in the 800-meter, and the 4×200-meter junior relay team, consisting of Arsenault, Breunig, Alexa Lynham and Kelsey Cavanaugh took third. Reilley Joyce placed third in the junior long jump, while Genna Alhilfi won the junior shot put.

In the senior division, Brittney Arsenault and Katheryn Berry took first and third, respectively, in the 400-meter. At States, Brittney Arsenault took first in the 400 once more, in a time of 1:01.53.

On the wrestling mat, Brandon Conley took second at the East A Regionals, competing at 145 pounds. Max Storm took third at 120, Kyle Hanson fourth at 152 and Brandon Lajoie fourth at 195. Storm went on to capture fourth in his weight class at States.

And in the pool, Molly Sweet took fourth at States in the girls 100-yard butterfly, while for the boys, Greg Violette took second in both the 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke.

GORHAM

Over in Gorham, both basketball teams reached the playoffs, the No. 9 boys finishing their season in the prelims at 8-11 and the No. 5 girls dropping out in the quarterfinals at 14-6.

On the track, Kristin Benson finished second at States in the junior girls 200-meter and Sophia Swiatek took first in the shot put. Jon Gray placed fourth in the 800-meter and Travis Grant finished third in the 55-meter hurdles.

Abe Eaton took fourth for the Rams in the 170-pound weight class at wrestling States.

In the water, Timmer Sposato finished fourth at States in the 200-yard freestyle, and Tim Smith placed second in the 50-yard and fourth in the 100-yard freestyle.

But of course, the big story for the Rams was the hockey team’s trip to the state finals. To get there, head coach Jon Portwine’s squad had to upend reigning title-holders Greely to win the West, and though they fell in the last battle to Messalonskee, they nevertheless compiled a season to happily look back on.

Gorham’s Molly Merrifield watches a free-throw fall in a game against Windham in late January.Westbrook freshman Anthony Morrison in a game against South Portland in early December.Westbrook’s Alisha Aube drives against a Windham defender in a matchup on Jan. 3.Gorham’s Cory Nadeau on the attack against Westbrook.Westbrook’s Curtis Knapton fends off a Gorham defender in an early-January home game.


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