There’s definitely no lack of high school sports activity as February gives way to March.

And that’s a very good thing.

The winter sports season is still scheduled to come to an end next Saturday, March 13.

Volleyball, which never had an indoor season this fall, has begun a shortened season which will go into April.

The spring sports season, which never got underway for as much as a single practice a year ago, is primed to begin on time and could come as close to normalcy as anything we’ve seen since March of 2020.

It’s a lot to take in and here’s an overview:

Boys’ basketball

Yarmouth’s Cam Merrill goes up for a shot during last week’s victory at Freeport. Brianna Soukup/ Press Herald photo.

Falmouth’s boys’ basketball team entered the week undefeated, but the Yachtsmen weren’t able to play last week, as games against Portland and Gorham were postponed. Falmouth (4-0) will return to action Friday at home versus Deering, then will play at the Rams Saturday (see pressherald.com/forecaster-sports/ for game story). The Yachtsmen close the season the following week with a pair of games against South Portland.

Yarmouth improved to 5-1 with wins last week at Freeport (57-35) and at home over the Falcons (43-26). In the first game, Will Cox scored seven first quarter points to help the Clippers build a 15-2 lead, then Peter Psyhogeos took over from there, scoring 17 points as Yarmouth pulled away.

“It was a big game for us, so we came out ready,” Cox said. “We remembered (losing twice to Freeport) last year.”

“Our defensive intensity led to some easy baskets in transition,” Psyhogeos said. “We run our offense in practice every day and preach getting good shots.”

“This group of kids has bought in in a way we haven’t experienced yet,” said Yarmouth’s third-year coach Jonas Allen. “They’re unselfish. They understand that energy is the key. When you challenge them, they fully respond. We’ve focused on character-building and what you saw tonight is the result of that. The kids get all the credit.”

In the second victory, Psyhogeos had a game-high 14 points, while Cole Snyder added 10. The Clippers host Lake Region Thursday, go to Cape Elizabeth Saturday, then close with a home game against the Capers and a pair of games versus Greely.

“We’re building a foundation for a future of Yarmouth basketball and this year is another chapter,” Allen said. “The guys know they can build something historic if they leave their print on this program. They’re buying into something even bigger than this year.”

Greely suffered its fourth straight loss to start the year last Tuesday, 56-50, in overtime, at Cape Elizabeth, but the Rangers rebounded to beat the visiting Capers in a rematch, 70-60, before knocking off visiting Gray-New Gloucester, 60-46, to improve to 2-4. Max Cloutier had 16 points in the overtime setback. In the win over Cape Elizabeth, Luke Gabloff scored 18 points and Tim Walker added 17. Gabloff scored 21 more points against the Patriots, while Ben Hirsch added 17 and Walker produced 16. Greely hosted Edward Little Tuesday, goes to the defending Class AA champion Red Eddies Thursday, visits Lake Region Monday, then closes with a pair of games against Yarmouth.

Freeport fell to 2-4 after two losses last week to Yarmouth (52-35 at home and 43-26 on the road). In the first setback, Colby Arsenault and Blaine Cockburn both scored 10 points, but the Falcons were done in by 22 turnovers.

“Yarmouth plays hard and they’re well-coached,” Freeport coach Bill Ridge said. “They executed a lot of good things. When we made adjustments, it only took them a possession or two to sort things out and continue their run. In the first quarter, we didn’t make shots we should have. We got decent looks, but they weren’t falling. As the game wore on, you could sense frustration start to build.”

In the second game, Arsenault had 11 points and Cockburn added 10. The Falcons looked to get back on track Tuesday at Mt. Ararat. After hosting Cape Elizabeth Thursday, Freeport finishes with a pair of games against Gray-New Gloucester.

“I don’t have any complaints,” Ridge said. “It’s a unique season, but the guys are taking it seriously. They’re working hard and they’re great teammates to each other. They’ve stayed focused.”

North Yarmouth Academy was 4-2 at press time after losses last week to visiting Waynflete (53-37) and host Morse (62-36) and a victory over visiting Richmond (47-31). Chris Hamblett scored 17 points against the Flyers and had 24 points in the victory, while Bryce Poulin added 12 points and 12 rebounds. The Panthers were at St. Dom’s Tuesday, go to Waynflete Wednesday (see pressherald.com/forecaster-sports/ for game story), host St. Dom’s Friday, then finish at home against Lisbon March 11.

Girls’ basketball

Yarmouth junior Katelyn D’Appolonia goes up for a layup during Friday’s 30-28 home win over South Portland. Ben McCanna / Press Herald photo.

NYA and Yarmouth’s girls’ teams were both undefeated at the start of the week.

The Panthers improved to 6-0 after sweeping host Waynflete (53-24), visiting Morse (47-24) and host Richmond (63-36) last week. In the win over the Flyers, Erin Reid had 14 points and Madilyn Onorato added 10. Against the Shipbuilders, Reid had 18 points and 14 rebounds, while Angel Huntsman added 14 points. In the win over the Bobcats, Graca Bila scored 17 points and Onorato added 14. NYA hosted St. Dom’s Tuesday (see pressherald.com/forecaster-sports/ for game story), visits St. Dom’s Friday, hosts Waynflete Tuesday of next week, then closes at Lisbon on March 11.

Yarmouth improved to 5-0 Friday after edging visiting South Portland, 30-28. The Clippers, Class B South finalists a year ago, who had a pair of scheduled games versus rival Freeport postponed earlier in the week, struggled against the defending Class AA South champion Red Riots, but Calin McGonagle made a couple of layups to tie it and then, with 18.4 seconds to go, Margaret McNeil inbounded the ball to Ava Feeley, who made an easy layup to produce the victory. McGonagle and McNeil each scored eight points.

“We were trying to get a last shot and it didn’t exactly go the way we planned it, but Ava made the awesome shot and we knew we had to get back and play great defense and it worked out well for us,” said McGonagle.

“It’s been a crazy season with scheduling and the like, but the kids are keeping it together,” said Yarmouth’s third-year coach David Cousins. “I’m very happy with the girls. From Day One, they came in with enthusiasm when it could have been tough, especially for the seniors. They’ve risen to the occasion.”

The Clippers go to Freeport Friday (see pressherald.com/forecaster-sports/ for game story), host the Falcons Saturday, then close by sandwiching games at Cape Elizabeth and Greely around a home game versus Greely.

“It’s amazing to be out here playing with the girls again,” said McGonagle. “It’s more than we even hoped for. We have some great younger girls. Yarmouth girls’ basketball is definitely on the rise. This group of girls is awesome. We hope to go undefeated and show what could have been. I think we can do it.”

“We want to get in as many games as we can,” Cousins said. “We want to make it enjoyable and a good experience for the seniors. At the same time, we’re competitive and we want to win. I have a lot of younger kids and they’re learning from the older kids. That’s a positive.”

Greely bounced back from its lone loss with three straight wins last week, 47-27 over visiting Cape Elizabeth, 60-42 at the Capers and 59-32 at Gray-New Gloucester, in a playoff rematch, to improve to 5-1. In the first Cape Elizabeth win, Camille Clement, who was named last week a semifinalist for the Miss Maine Basketball award, scored a team-high 17 points. Clement then scored 23 points in the second victory over the Capers, while Chelsea Gravier tossed in 14 and Mollie Obar, who was also named a Miss Maine Basketball semifinalist last week, added 12. Against the Patriots, Clement had 21 points and Graiver 13. The Rangers were at Edward Little Tuesday, host the Red Eddies Thursday, visit Falmouth Saturday (see pressherald.com/forecaster-sports/ for game story), then close with home games against Lake Region and Yarmouth and a game at Yarmouth.

Falmouth fell to 0-4 after losses last week to visiting Portland (51-40) and at Portland (43-31). In the first game, Anna Turgeon scored 22 points. Turgeon wasn’t available for the second game, but Sloane Ginevan scored 13 points as the Yachtsmen hung tough throughout.

“We’re competing and that’s the best thing to see,” said Falmouth coach Dawn Armandi. “We have a tough schedule, but the girls are working hard and they’re fighting. We’re getting there. We’re getting better every single day.”

The Yachtsmen sought their first win Wednesday when Deering paid a visit. The teams meet again Friday in Portland, then Falmouth hosts Greely Saturday. The Yachtsmen close the season with two games next week against South Portland.

“Tough competition is the best thing for us,” Armandi said. “The way we played makes me more excited for what’s to come. The girls are young and haven’t been in close games, so we just have to keep practicing hard every day.”

Freeport had a pair of games versus Yarmouth last week rescheduled. The Falcons took a 2-2 mark into Tuesday’s home game against Mt. Ararat. After going to Cape Elizabeth Thursday, the Falcons host Yarmouth Friday and play at the Clippers Saturday. A pair of games next week against Gray-New Gloucester bring the season to a close.

Boys’ hockey

Greely’s boys’ hockey team, the two-time Class B champion, improved to 5-0 after an impressive 7-3 win at Cheverus/Yarmouth Saturday. Six different players scored, led by Ryan Moore, who had two goals.

“Greely hockey’s the best,” Moore said. “We’re just happy to be playing. State championship or not, we’ll battle as hard as we can.”

“Our balance has been great,” longtime Rangers coach Barry Mothes said. “I thought we’d have some good depth, but we have even better depth than I thought. It’s fun to see different people contributing every game.”

Greely was at Edward Little Tuesday, hosts Brunswick Thursday, plays at defending Class A champion Lewiston Saturday in a battle of defending champs and closes with a home tilt versus Gorham and a contest against Falmouth.

“The goal is to go undefeated and to show everyone if there was a championship, we’d win it,” Moore said.

“It’s a great group of guys and I wish we had a couple more months together,” said Mothes.

Falmouth was 4-3 at press time after wins last week over visiting Gorham (6-0) and host St. Dom’s (7-2) and a 5-3 setback at Edward Little. Against the Rams, Aaron Higgins and Mitchell Ham both scored two goals. Higgins and Owen Drummey then had hat tricks in the victory over the Saints. In the loss, Drummey, Ham and Higgins each scored once. The Yachtsmen host Portland/Deering Wednesday, then close next week with games at Cheverus/Yarmouth and at home versus Greely.

The Cheverus/Yarmouth co-op team was 3-3 after a 6-2 home win over Brunswick and a 7-3 home loss to Greely last week. Six different players scored in the victory. In the setback, Jackson Header had two goals and Truman Peters added another, but Cheverus/Yarmouth couldn’t keep the relentless, explosive Rangers at bay.

“I think (the Rangers) play like they’re the champs,” said Dave St. Pierre, who is co-coaching Cheverus/Yarmouth this year with Marco Giancotti. “They have a mentality of how to compete and how to win and they demonstrated that again tonight. They have some skilled players and Barry’s a great coach. They’ve had some depth and high-end talent to help them sustain it.”

After hosting Gorham Wednesday, Cheverus/Yarmouth welcomes Cape Elizabeth Saturday, then closes with games at home against Falmouth and at Portland/Deering next week.

“It’s still a learning process for us, but we’re a much better team now than we were the first time (we played Greely) and we’re getting better all the time,” Giancotti said.

“We have to keep learning and growing and building our culture and set the stage for what we want to be next year,” St. Pierre said. “The boys have to learn to battle back and keep building. We just have to learn how to put it together and I can see us right there with (Greely).”

The South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport co-op team fell to 1-4 Saturday with a 4-2 home loss to Thornton Academy. After going to Biddeford Tuesday, the squad hosts Cape Elizabeth Thursday (see pressherald.com/forecaster-sports/ for game story), then welcomes Kennebunk Saturday before closing next week against Kennebunk and Cape Elizabeth.

Girls’ hockey

On the girls’ side, Falmouth fell to 0-3 after a pair of 8-0 home losses last week, to St. Dom’s and Cheverus. The Yachtsmen seek their first win Wednesday when Biddeford pays a visit. After going to Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland Thursday, Falmouth is at Portland/Deering Saturday, welcomes Greely Monday, then closes with games at Yarmouth/Freeport and at home versus Biddeford.

Greely fell to 0-6 after losses last week to visiting Portland/Deering (8-1) and at Yarmouth/Freeport (10-2). Lily Rawnsley had the goal in the first setback, while Carly Asherman and Kerri Roberts each scored against Yarmouth/Freeport.

Yarmouth/Freeport lost at NYA, then improved to 2-4 with a 10-2 home win over Greely. Rosie Panenka scored three goals and added a pair of assists. After playing at Brunswick Friday, Yarmouth/Freeport is at St. Dom’s and hosts Falmouth and Portland/Deering to close the season next week.

Skiing

Falmouth’s girls’ Alpine ski team was first at a league meet last Wednesday. Celia Geci was the top individual, posting a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 4.24 seconds. The boys’ team came in second and had the second-place individual (Ben Keller, 1:01.44).

Two days later, both Yachtsmen teams were first, as Andrew Christie was boys’ individual winner (1:01.18) and Geci was second on the girls’ side (1:06.28).

Freeport’s girls were first and the boys second in a four-team league meet last week (Greely’s boys and girls both placed fourth). The Rangers produced first-place individual Liz Hanson (1:06.74). Maisy St. Cyr was the fastest female Falcon (1:08.46). Freeport’s Bobby Strong finished third in the boys’ race (1:07.79), while Greely was led by Turner Gamache (11th, 1:12.48).

In Nordic skiing, Falmouth’s Joey Rouhana won the Eastern States Championship 5K with a time of 11 minutes, 52.4 seconds. Eva Clement won the girls’ title in 15:05.9.

Yarmouth’s boys and girls won a four-team meet over Maine Coast Waldorf (which was second in both meets), Gray-New Gloucester and NYA (third in the girls’ meet, fourth in the boys’ meet) last week. Seamus Woodruff of MCW won the boys’ race in 15:03.03. Aksel Yeo paced the Clippers with a third-place showing (15:58.3). NYA’s top finisher was Eben Weislogel (14th, 17:36.2). In the girls’ meet, MCW’s Emma Haims was first in 17:23.8. Maddie Marston was the top Yarmouth finisher, coming in runner-up in 18:21.5. NYA’s top finisher was Emilia McKenney (18th, 27:34.9).

Freeport’s boys were first and the girls placed fourth in a five-team skate meet. Martin Horne was the top individual in the boys’ meet in 15:00.8. The Falcons girls featured individual runner-up Jane Dawson (17:54.3).

Volleyball

Yarmouth senior Margaret McNeill makes a return during a practice last week as the volleyball season has begun. Brianna Soukup / Press Herald.

Last Monday marked the first day for formal, indoor – stressing the word indoor – practices for Maine’s high school volleyball teams.

Volleyball teams can play a maximum of 10 matches between March 5-April 9, with a possible postseason among teams from the same geographic area or conference to end April 16.

Key COVID-19 rules and protocols include: no spectators, face masks being worn by all participants at all times, and arriving ready to play and staying out of locker rooms.

The normal indoor season was called off Sept. 1. At that time, Maine’s athletic, education and health leaders were being especially cautious about athletic participation impacting academics and deemed indoor volleyball too have an elevated risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Rest assured that two-time Class B champion Yarmouth is eager to play.

“I’m pretty excited we’ve got a season,” said Kaitlyn Bennett. “I was kind of thinking volleyball wouldn’t happen this season, so it’s a nice surprise.”

“I did play for a long time and I wanted to just have my last season,” said Avery Dube. “To see all these girls one more time, to play one more time and to know that it’s our last time.”

“Being back in the gym with the Yarmouth coaches is really special to me because they’re the ones who got me into volleyball,” Maggie Murray said. “Just to be back with the kids I’ve been playing with for four years, there’s something about the Yarmouth community.”

“I remained optimistic that we would get to what we’re seeing today,” added Clippers coach Jim Senecal. “And I am so happy it worked out that way.”

Spring sports

The Maine Principals’ Association has not officially set start dates for spring sports but, according to Executive Director Mike Burnham, is targeting traditional opening days: March 22 for baseball and softball throwing practices; March 29 for full team practices in all spring sports.

Burnham said all spring sports committees have met and designed their recommendations for play. Those will be reviewed by the MPA Sports Medicine Committee Wednesday before being sent forward to the MPA Management Committee and then state health agencies.

Press Herald staff writer Steve Craig contributed to this story.

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

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