Falmouth’s boys’ hockey team shows off the Dudley Cup after Saturday’s 4-1 win over Greely. The Yachtsmen won the Cup for the first time in four years. Michael Hoffer / For The Forecaster

The winter sports season, short but ultimately sweet, has come and gone, but if you’re in need of a high school sports fix, you’re in luck.

The spring sports season will begin on time and even better, will include a postseason.

In the meantime, volleyball is in the midst of its short indoor season.

It’s a lot to keep track of, but here’s an attempt to make sense of it all:

Boys’ basketball

Falmouth’s boys’ basketball team left little doubt that had there been a Class A state tournament this year, it would have been the favorite to win the Gold Ball. Last week, the Yachtsmen closed by beating previously undefeated South Portland twice to finish the year 7-1. The second victory came at the Red Riots, 52-48, and featured 20 points and nine rebounds from Jack Stowell and 14 points from Brady Coyne.

“There isn’t much of a difference between our two teams, honestly,” said Stowell. “Both teams played well. It was a good experience this year. We’ve learned things we can use along the way. Our future looks bright. I can’t wait.”

“It was another good high school basketball game,” said longtime Falmouth coach Dave Halligan, who plans to return in 2021-22. “What I really appreciated was that the refs worked hard, the kids worked hard. It was as game-like as you can get. There weren’t fans here, but the kids have pride. These were a couple good games to remember. We always like to win the last game of the year and we did. It just feels better that way.

“I hope the guys remember this year, learn their lessons and hopefully we’ll get better. We’ll miss the seniors. They’re good kids, not just good basketball players. The younger guys got experience this year and we played good teams.”

Yarmouth enjoyed an excellent 8-2 campaign and showed not just talent, but heart and resiliency as well. After downing visiting Cape Elizabeth, 57-47, last Tuesday (Peter Psyhogeos led the way with 23 points), the Clippers let a 15-point fourth quarter lead slip away in an agonizing 74-66, overtime loss at Greely. Will Cox scored 19 points and Psyhogeos added 18 before fouling out, but Yarmouth was held scoreless in a 5-minute, 34-second stretch and that proved fatal.

“Greely’s a winning program,” said Yarmouth coach Jonas Allen. “They know how to win. They know how to deal with success and how to deal with adversity. That’s who they are. We’re still working on that. When it mattered, their winning DNA was stronger than ours. We fell apart. There’s no way to sugarcoat that. We looked like we’d lost in overtime and when you look like you’d lost, you lose.

“The only thing we can do right now is look in the mirror. If we’re going to build a winning tradition at Yarmouth, this is the kind of game we have to learn from. We’ll see if we come back with resolve and resiliency. We’ll learn a lot about ourselves in the next 48 hours.”

Sure enough, the Clippers answered in the affirmative Saturday, as they closed with an emphatic 64-31 home win over Greely, snapping a 10-game skid at the hands of the Rangers. Psyhogeos again led the way with 15 points, while Matt Waeldner added 14 and Cam Merrill had 13.

“In a lot of ways, our two losses this year were as important as our eight wins,” said Allen. “The biggest difference this year compared to the previous two seasons was the way the boys in our program responded to adversity. Our four seniors, Will Cox, Cam Merrill, Camden Rollins and Blake Venden, were true character guys. They always put the team’s needs before their own and they were never negative even when things were not going their way. These guys left their mark on this program in a remarkable way. They are leaving the program in much better shape than they found it and we’ll always be grateful to them.”

Greely finished 3-8 after splitting with Yarmouth. In the 74-66 overtime home win, Tim Walker went off for 35 points and Luke Gabloff added 19 points on his 18th birthday.

“I just wanted to come in and shoot and help us get a win,” Walker said. “I was feeling it in warmups and I had a good game.”

“This year, we’ve had some games slip away from us and this one felt like it was slipping away from us in the third quarter, but we flipped the switch and we all turned it up,” Gabloff said. “We got aggressive, got to the foul line, got easy points. I thought we had momentum going into overtime.”

“We needed a win like this,” added Rangers coach Travis Seaver. “We needed to win together. It’s great to hear the guys hooting and hollering after a win. It was good to claw back. We haven’t put four quarters together, so it was good to see the guys put some good minutes together. Coming back from 15, I don’t care if it’s this year, past years, it’s a good accomplishment. The guys played tough.”

In the finale, a 64-31 loss at Yarmouth, Greely was paced by the SMCC-bound Gabloff, who had 18 points.

“We’ve gotten younger guys experience,” Seaver said. “Our other goal was to give the seniors an opportunity to be on the floor and enjoy their time. We take great pride in any opportunity to be on the floor and get better. We’ve done that.”

Freeport wound up 3-7 after closing with a pair of losses to Gray-New Gloucester, 62-54 in Gray and 71-60 at home. Colby Arsenault scored 22 points and Blaine Cockburn added 16 in the first game. In the second loss, Arsenault led the team with 25 points.

North Yarmouth Academy’s season ended on March 5. The Panthers went 6-3.

Girls’ basketball

Greely’s Camille Clement drives on Yarmouth’s Katelyn D’Appolonia during the Rangers’ season-ending victory Saturday. Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Portland Press Herald

On the girls’ side, Greely ended the season on a nine-game win streak and finished 11-1 after closing with victories at Massabesic (78-47), at Yarmouth (44-36) and at home over Yarmouth (61-35). Against the Mustangs, Camille Clement had 31 points and Mollie Obar added 20. In the first win over the Clippers, Clement had 20 points and Obar 19. In the finale, Obar made four first half 3-pointers and wound up with 14 points, Chelsea Graiver added 13 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals and Clement erupted for 21 seconds half points and finished with 26, including the 200th 3-pointer of her illustrious career (she later added a 201st and 202nd).

“A big part of my game, especially with two very good players around me in Mollie and Camille, is getting them the best shots I can so we can succeed,” Graiver said. “When I do that and we’re sprinting up the floor getting fastbreaks, that helps us as a team. We did that in the second half, running and getting good shots.”

“We just kind of took over and we moved the ball really well and played unselfish,” Obar said. “Overall, it was a really good game. Given our situation and not having a tournament, this is a really good end to the season. It was a good last game and everyone got to play.”

“We realized that this is it and we had to leave it all out there and do it for each other,” Clement said. “I’ll never play with these girls again, which is odd to think about. That gave us an extra spurt of energy.”

“We definitely finished strong,” added Greely coach Todd Flaherty. “Yarmouth’s a very good team. I’m very impressed with our two wins over them. Beating Falmouth was big too and Massabesic had a good record.

“We’ve got a nice pipeline of players coming up. The younger players learned how to win, how to play well. I’m looking forward to having a couple months off, then getting back to it this summer.”

Falmouth won five of its final six games to wind up 5-5. The Yachtsmen closed by defeating a pair of traditional Class AA South powers, visiting Gorham (55-34) and visiting South Portland (50-34). Against the Rams, Sloane Ginevan had 27 points and Anna Turgeon added a double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds). In the win over the Red Riots, Ginevan capped her exceptional season with 23 points.

Yarmouth extended its win streak to nine games last week with a 37-18 win at Cape Elizabeth (Margaret McNeil led the way with 10 points), then finished 9-2 after losing at home to Greely (44-36) and at the Rangers (61-35). In the first setback, Katelyn D’Appolonia scored 12 points and McNeil added 10. In the second, D’Appolonia led the team with 10 points.

“It wasn’t our day,” lamented Clippers coach David Cousins, after the second Greely loss. “We wish it was a different outcome today, but we ran into a great team. It felt like a little bit of a letdown after our first loss the other night.

“I can’t complain. It was a really good year. The kids stepped up and proved they’re one of the better teams in the state. We had some tremendous wins. The kids stayed with it the whole time even though there were peaks and valleys. They powered through it and stayed on course. The program looks strong the next few years.”

Freeport finished 4-6 after closing with a pair of wins over longtime nemesis Gray-New Gloucester, 44-27 at home and 41-35 in Gray. In the first victory, Rachel Wall scored 18 points and Mason Baker-Schlendering added 17. In the win at Gray, the Falcons’ first since Jan. 22, 2005, Wall scored 20 points in her swan song. Megan Driscoll added 11 points.

“This was a resilient group,” said Freeport coach Seth Farrington. “It was exciting to win our last game. I’m just happy the kids got an opportunity to play this year. They earned it. We’ll obviously miss Rachel, but we’ll still have Megan and Mason. We’ll have a lot of spots open and a good eighth grade group coming up.”

NYA finished its terrific campaign 9-1 after beating visiting Waynflete, 44-30, and rolling at Lisbon, 83-13. Against the Flyers, Hannah Kenney had 11 points, Angel Huntsman added nine points and nine rebounds and Erin Reid had seven points and 14 rebounds. In the win over the Greyhounds, Reid led the way with 23 points and Huntsman added 21.

Boys’ hockey

Greely’s Brooks Williams pins Oskar Frankwicz of Cape Elizabeth into the boards during the Capers’ 5-2 win last week. Derek Davis / Portland Press Herald

Falmouth’s boys’ hockey team suffered losses last week at NYA (12-5) and Cheverus/Yarmouth (3-2), then finished on a high note with a 4-1 win over Greely in the Dudley Cup, which is normally played New Year’s Day. Owen Drummey scored all four goals and the Yachtsmen finished the season 5-6.

“This felt like a championship win,” Drummey said. “The seniors hadn’t won the Dudley Cup yet, so this was awesome. Every time we play Greely, it’s a fun battle to play against the kids next door. We’ve been behind before, but the leadership on this team knew what it took to battle back. We worked hard. It was a great win.”

“It’s a good rivalry and it was a good hockey game,” Falmouth coach Deron Barton said. “I’m happy for the kids. It’s been a weird season. Every game has been a challenge. To have it end like this is special.”

Greely, the two-time reigning Class B state champion, went 7-4 after a 5-4 home win over Gorham and losses to visiting Cape Elizabeth (5-2) and Falmouth (4-1). Against the Capers, Evan Dutil and Matt Kennedy scored, but it wasn’t enough.

“We were excited to have a game with Cape,” said longtime Greely coach Barry Mothes. “We’ve played them three times a year for several years. It seemed odd to not have them on the schedule. I’m glad we worked something out to play. Credit to Cape. They played well. They were quick and took care of the puck better than we did. They created their own breaks and that’s what happens when you work hard.

In the loss to the Yachtsmen Alex Wallace scored 16 seconds into the game, but the Rangers couldn’t strike again.

“We hung in there and we battled,” said Mothes. “We had some chances too, but Falmouth played a strong defensive game and their goalie made some big saves. It was a hard-fought high school hockey game that was fast-paced. I told the guys if that was going to be my last high school game, I’d rather have a game like that and deal with a loss than play in a lopsided game.

“I’m very thankful we could do anything at all this year. To play 11 games was great. Selfishly, I’d like another 10 or 12 or more. I feel with another month of practicing together, we’d be well-primed to get better. I’m proud of our effort. We won seven games and we played good hockey against good teams.”

The Cheverus/Yarmouth co-op team capped its first season at 5-5 after a 3-2 win over Falmouth, erasing a two-goal deficit, and a 2-0 loss to Portland/Deering. In the victory, Jackson Header, Callaghan Oliver and Matt Robichaud scored the goals.

The South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete co-op team finished 3-5-1 after closing with a 5-2 loss to Cape Elizabeth.

Girls’ hockey

The Yarmouth/Freeport girls’ co-op squad wound up 5-6 after closing with a first-ever win over St. Dom’s (6-4) and a victory over Falmouth (7-3). Against the Saints, Rosie Panenka scored four goals and assisted on another. In the win over the Yachtsmen, Lizzie Guertler had a hat trick and Sophie Smith added two goals. Panenka assisted on three goals. For the season, Panenka scored 13 goals and had 11 assists, Guertler scored nine times and added eight assists and Sadie Carnes had six goals and four assists. Those three made up the team’s top line.

“We won four of our last six games and we were just hitting our stride,” said Yarmouth/Freeport coach David Intraversato. “We have five seniors graduating and are returning 13, including seven freshmen. With no juniors, we will have the same 13 for the next two seasons which gives us an opportunity to be special. I’m very pleased we got to get a season in. We made adjustments and pulled it off.”

Falmouth finished 1-7 after losses to Yarmouth/Freeport (7-3) and Biddeford (1-0).

Greely ended up 0-10 after a 6-3 home loss to Brunswick in its finale. Emma Williams, Kerry Roberts and Carly Asherman had the goals.

Skiing

Falmouth’s boys’ and girls’ Alpine ski team captured the SMAA title last week. Contributed photo

Falmouth swept last week’s Southwestern Maine Activities Association Alpine championship meet.

The girls’ team featured slalom individual champion Celia Gecci (a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 52.18 seconds), who was also runner-up in the giant slalom (1:26.73). Madeline Jacobson was third in the GS (1:28.24) and fourth in the slalom (1:58.90). Patty Riley placed fifth in the slalom (2:05.99). Ella Holland was fifth in the GS (1:31.54) and 16th in the slalom (2:20.80). Audrey Holland came in 10th in the GS (1:35.20).

The boys’ squad was led by Ben Keller, who was runner-up in the giant slalom (1:25.06) and placed fourth in the slalom (1:47.49). Andrew Christie came in third in both the slalom (1:46.32) and the GS (1:25.19. Caleb Labbe finished seventh in the slalom (1:57.34) and 11th in the GS (1:34.18. Max Long was 13th in the GS (1:35.20) and 14th in the slalom (2:06.38).

Volleyball

Two-time Class A volleyball state champion Falmouth opened last week with a pair of straight set victories over Windham. Katie Phillips had 11 kills and 14 assists, Emily Charest had 14 assists and Annika Hester finished with nine kills in the first meeting. In the second, Hester had 11 kills, while Phillips added 17 assists and Charest finished with 15. The Yachtsmen were at Greely Tuesday and visit Cape Elizabeth Saturday.

Two-time Class B champion Yarmouth will play its first match Wednesday of next week when Bonny Eagle pays a visit.

Greely hosted Falmouth in its opener Tuesday and welcomes Brunswick Friday.

Spring sports

Baseball, softball, lacrosse, tennis and outdoor track got the green light last week for a normal season.

The Maine Principals’ Association, working with state agencies, announced Friday that it will be able to hold regional and state championships. They will be the first high school postseason tournaments held since the boys’ hockey state games in March of 2020.

The entire 2020 spring season was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic and while teams were able to play a modified regular-season schedule in the fall and winter of this school year, no regional or state championships were held.

“It’s a relief, almost,” said Mike Burnham, executive director of the Maine Principals’ Association. “We are certainly moving in the right direction.”

The MPA is able to offer championships because the state modified the risk levels in its Community Sports Guidelines earlier Friday. Sports that are considered “moderate risk,” such as baseball, softball, lacrosse and track, now will be able to include “in-person competitions between teams in different geographic areas within Maine.” Tennis is regarded as a “low risk” sport and is able to conduct competition against teams from other states.

A news release from the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, which oversees the Community Sports Guidelines, stated that “the Maine Principals’ Association has committed to aligning its guidance for school sports with this revised guidance for community sports.”

For spring sports, that means having an almost-normal season. Pitchers and catchers will begin practicing on March 22, with the rest of spring athletes starting practice on March 29. Competitions are scheduled to begin on April 15.

“Going into the spring and aligning with the Community Sports Guidelines, I believe we will have a full spring sports season, with some restrictions remaining,” Burnham said. “It will provide an opportunity for those activities and those kids to have a full season culminating in regional and state championships.”

Burnham said those “restrictions” will include wearing masks and remaining physically distanced. Fans will be allowed to attend outside games, once again adhering to statewide gathering limits and following COVID-19 safety protocols.

Last Friday, Gov. Janet Mills announced a change in the gathering limits that will become effective March 26. For outdoor activities, the gathering limit will increase to 75 percent of permitted occupancy. Beginning May 24, it will increase to 100 percent.

“This has been really difficult on the world, not just Falmouth, Maine, so I know it’s a bigger deal to gain some kind of normalcy to our lives and get it back,” said Mike D’Andrea, who was set to take over Falmouth’s baseball program last spring. “I’m happy for the baseball and spring sports kids, for all the student-athletes and their families, but I’m also really happy that we’re getting back to normal. We can see the light at end of tunnel with vaccinations. I think this is a step in that direction. It’s a baby step, but we’ll take it.”

Play ball!

Press Herald staff writer Mike Lowe contributed to this story.

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

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