The winter fun has begun and there’s plenty of drama to come.

The first couple weeks of the new sports season have featured strong play from local athletes and the good times figure to continue.

Here’s a glimpse at what’s occurred so far, as well as a look at what’s upcoming.

Boys’ basketball

South Portland’s Geremi Baez drives to the basket during the Red Riots’ 66-65 win over Bonny Eagle last week. John Ewing / Portland Press Herald

South Portland’s boys’ basketball team has dazzled out of the gate, winning its first six games against a challenging slate.

The Red Riots opened by downing host Gorham (62-39), then defeated visiting Deering (74-62), visiting Massabesic (77-52), host Greely, the three-time defending Class A champion (81-43), visiting Bonny Eagle (66-65) and host Scarborough (54-39). Against the Scots, in a playoff rematch, South Portland let a 19-point lead slip away, but went ahead to stay on a late 3-pointer from Pamba Pamba. Pamba had 15 points and Cade Carr led the charge with 22 points.

“When (Bonny Eagle) went on that run, it was tough, but we showed our resiliency and came out with a win and that’s a great message,” Carr said. “Our strong senior presence is big this year. They’re a good team and they made a run, but we knew if we played our best, we were better, and we stepped it up.”

“Tonight, mental toughness was a big factor,” said Pamba. “Bonny Eagle can come back, but we closed it out.”

“I can’t say enough good things about (Bonny Eagle),” added South Portland coach Kevin Millington. “Probably the worst thing we could do is beat Bonny Eagle in the regular season. It might have been better to lose.”

In the win at the Red Storm, the Red Riots led just 21-19 at halftime, but a 23-point third quarter broke it open. Geremi Baez had 19 points and Carr added 11.

“It was a dogfight,” Baez said. “We knew how good they are. At the end of the day, we know how good we are too. We just have to get that motor on and focus.”

“I don’t think we’ve played that well,” Millington said. “You know when you see the best version of yourself. We play like it for a few minutes, but we need to get to 32 (minutes).”

South Portland looks to improve to 7-0 Thursday of next week when it hosts Thornton Academy.

Scarborough won four of its first six games. The Red Storm started by downing host Massabesic (60-49) and visiting Cheverus (64-58). After falling at Sanford (72-66), Scarborough held off visiting Portland (52-48) and won at Gorham in a playoff rematch, 53-44, before losing at home to South Portland (54-39).

Against the Rams, Brian Austin led the way with 21 points. Austin had 21 points against the Red Riots as well, but it wasn’t enough.

“I’m proud of how my kids battled,” Red Storm coach Phil Conley said. “(South Portland’s) supposed to be the best team in the state and we’re a young team, so to cut it to 11, that’s good mental toughness.”

The Red Storm play at Bonny Eagle Monday.

Cape Elizabeth started with losses at Yarmouth (46-43) and at Waynflete (61-52) and after a 35-31 home win over Freeport, fell to 1-3 with a 61-39 setback at Greely. Will Bowe had 11 points against the Rangers. The Capers face Falmouth in a countable game at the Portland Expo Holiday Tournament Saturday, then go to York Thursday of next week.

Greater Portland Christian School began the season 0-5 and looks to get in the win column at A.R. Gould Jan. 6.

Girls’ basketball

Kayla Conley of Scarborough goes up for a basket during a recent game. The defending Class AA South champion Red Storm split their first six games this winter. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

On the girls’ side, South Portland opened with victories over host Gorham (60-44), host Deering (64-21) and visiting Massabesic (76-42). After a 48-47 home loss to two-time defending Class A champion Greely, the Red Riots beat host Bonny Eagle (55-37), then got a measure of revenge from last year’s playoff ouster with a 45-33 victory at Scarborough. Against the Scots, Ashlee Aceto had 17 points and Maggie Whitmore added 16. In the win over the Red Storm, Whitmore led the way with 16 points and Aceto added 15.

“There was some talk about what we could have done better last year, but that’s in the past,” Aceto said. “We’ve grown as a team. We have different players now. We pushed through and kept our energy up.”

“We need to get better,” South Portland coach Lynne Hasson said. “We might be winning, but we’re not playing the way we should. We’ll get there.”

The Red Riots are at Sanford Friday, then go to Thornton Academy Thursday of next week.

Scarborough split its first six outings. The Red Storm held off host Massabesic (70-66), lost at Cheverus (48-44), downed host Sanford (46-26), lost at Portland (45-35), won at Gorham (52-35) and fell at home to South Portland (45-33). Against the Rams, Kayla Conley and Bella Dickinson each scored 13 points, Madison Blanche added 12 and Lindsey Fiorillo finished with 10. Against the Red Riots, Conley and Fiorillo each had 10 points.

“Credit to South Portland, they’re good defensively and we struggled shooting,” Red Storm coach Mike Giordano said. “We need to find that extra shooter who can get us another 10, 12 points. South Portland’s a team you want to measure yourself against because I think they’re best team in the South. We learned we can play with them.”

Scarborough is at Bonny Eagle Monday.

Cape Elizabeth was 2-3 at press time. After a 27-18 home setback to Yarmouth, the Capers beat visiting Waynflete, 37-20. After a 40-23 loss at Freeport and a 44-32 loss at Falmouth, Cape Elizabeth downed visiting Poland, 49-25. Isabel Berman had 10 points against the Yachtsmen and led the way with 16 points in the victory over the Knights. Karli Chapin added 10 points versus Poland. The Capers return to action Thursday of next week at home against York.

Boys’ hockey

The South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport co-op boys’ hockey squad opened with a 4-3 loss to St. Dom’s, then blanked Portland/Deering (5-0), Bangor (3-0) and Yarmouth (3-0) and settled for a 1-1 home tie versus Biddeford. Cullen Adams, Austin Gross and Deven Hannan had the goals and goalie Liam McGibbin made 24 saves in the win over the Clippers. Dylan Hannan had the goal in the tie. SP/Waynflete/Freeport goes to Scarborough Monday.

Scarborough opened with a 4-1 home win over Gorham, fell at Lewiston, 5-1, then improved to 2-1 with a 4-3 home victory over Edward Little. Against the Red Eddies, Dawson Gendreau scored his third goal with a second left. The Red Storm host SP/Waynflete/Freeport Monday, then go to Portland/Deering Thursday of next week.

Cape Elizabeth started with losses at Brunswick (3-1) and at home to Thornton Academy (6-2) and defending Class B champion Greely (6-1), then got in the win column Saturday by downing visiting Leavitt, 6-2. Against the Rangers, Gavin Simopoulos had the goal.

“We’re looking for little victories to move us in the right direction,” said Capers’ coach Jake Rutt. “Nothing is won in December. All I care about is  how we play at the end of the year.”

Cape Elizabeth hosts Presque Isle Saturday and goes to Cheverus Thursday of next week.

Girls’ hockey

Scarborough’s girls’ hockey team won its first seven games, then lost to Lewiston, 2-0. The Red Storm then improved to 9-1 by downing Portland/Deering (3-2) and Edward Little (6-0). Maya Sellinger had two goals and Lillian Finley one against Portland/Deering. In the win over the Red Eddies, Evelyn Boardman and Meghan Donovan each scored twice. Scarborough hosts the Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland co-op team Monday and goes to York Thursday of next week.

Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/SP was 6-0-1 at press time after last week’s 6-1 victory over Falmouth. The squad welcomes Traip/York/Marshwood Saturday and has a showdown at Scarborough Monday.

Indoor track

Scarborough and South Portland competed against each other, as well as Cheverus, Deering and Portland in a season-opening SMAA indoor track meet Saturday.

Defending Class A state champion Scarborough won the boys’ meet and South Portland finished second.

In the girls’ meet, won by the Red Riots were first and the Red Storm placed second.

Swimming

In the pool, Cape Elizabeth’s defending Class B champion girls’ swim team defeated Scarborough, 126-56, to begin the season, then downed Bonny Eagle (126-31).

The Scarborough boys opened with a 90-77 win over Cape Elizabeth, the defeated Deering, 128-29.

Cape Elizabeth’s boys won their second meet, 111-19, over Bonny Eagle.

Scarborough’s girls won their second match, 121-41, over Deering.

South Portland swept Sanford in its first match, as the boys prevailed, 98-32, and the girls were victorious, 89-75. The Red Riots were then swept by Greely, as the boys lost, 102-57, and the girls were defeated, 109-60.

Wrestling

The Portland/South Portland co-op wrestling team began the season 6-6 in dual matches.

Scarborough dropped its first eight dual matches.

At Saturday’s Greater Portland Cup tournament at Deering, Portland/SP defeated Scarborough, 48-30.

Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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