After a year without, the 2021 spring sports campaign has been a great success for all involved.

And the best is yet to come.

For the first time since the winter season in 2019-20, high school sports will feature a full postseason and whether your sport is tennis, baseball, softball, lacrosse or track, there is much to look forward to in the days to come.

Here’s an overview:

Tennis

The team tennis playoffs were getting underway at press time.

Cape Elizabeth’s girls’ squad earned the top seed in Class B South after a 10-1 campaign and hosted No. 8 Freeport (6-6) in the quarterfinals Wednesday. The Capers twice beat the Falcons by 5-0 scores in the regular season.

The Cape Elizabeth boys finished the regular season 4-7 and wound up sixth in Class B South. The Capers opened with a quarterfinal round match at No. 3 Greely (8-4) Wednesday. The Rangers beat Cape Elizabeth twice this year, 5-0 and 3-2.

In Class A South, the reigning regional champion Scarborough girls finished 10-2 after closing with wins over Bonny Eagle (5-0) and Gorham (3-2). The Red Storm, ranked fourth, blanked No. 13 Deering, 5-0, in the preliminary round Tuesday and hosted No. 5 Windham (10-3) in the quarterfinals Thursday. The teams didn’t play this season.

South Portland, ranked 10th, finished 4-9 after a 5-0 loss to Cheverus in the preliminary round.

Scarborough’s boys’ team finished 6-6 after wins over Bonny Eagle (5-0) and Gorham (4-1). The Red Storm, ranked seventh in Class A South, downed No. 10 Marshwood, 4-1, in Tuesday’s preliminary round and advanced to meet second-seeded Thornton Academy (11-1) in the quarterfinals Thursday. Scarborough lost both regular season meetings against the Golden Trojans, 5-0 and 3-1.

South Portland, ranked ninth, wound up 4-9 after Tuesday’s 3-2 preliminary round loss to No. 9 Windham.

Looking ahead, the semifinals will be held Saturday, on the courts of the higher seeds. The regional finals are Wednesday of next week in Lewiston and the state matches are also in Lewiston on Saturday, June 12.

Baseball

South Portland’s Finn O’Connell makes a diving attempt to catch a base hit by Scarborough’s Nic Frink during the Red Storm’s 1-0 victory Tuesday. Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Portland Press Herald

Scarborough’s defending Class A champion baseball team took a 14-1 record into Wednesday’s regular season finale against visiting Thornton Academy, the only team the Red Storm had lost to this season (see pressherald.com/forecaster-sports/ for game story). Scarborough swept a doubleheader at Bonny Eagle Saturday (15-3, in six innings, and 6-1), then held off host South Portland Tuesday, 1-0, to extend its win streak to eight games. Against the Scots, Ben Seguin had three hits and five RBI and Ryan Gambardella earned the victory in the opener, while Mason Porter and Peter O’Brien added two hits apiece. In the nightcap, Ryan Kelly earned the win, striking out nine, Nic Frink had three hits and the Red Storm broke it open with four runs in the top of the seventh. Against the Red Riots, Joe Townsend threw a three-hit shutout, shortstop T.J. Liponis made a pair of critical defensive plays and O’Brien’s RBI double was the difference. Scarborough was ranked first in the Class A South Heal Points standings heading into its finale.

South Portland enjoyed a 3-1 home win over Thornton Academy last Thursday, then fell to 10-4 and sixth in Class A South with a 1-0 home loss to Scarborough Tuesday. In the victory, Bradley McMains threw a three-hitter and Connor Dobson had a run scored and an RBI. In the setback, Andrew Heffernan was the hard-luck loser, only allowing one run. He struck out seven. The Red Riots closed with a doubleheader at Biddeford Wednesday.

In Class B South, Cape Elizabeth took an 8-7 record into Wednesday’s finale at York. The Capers were coming off a 5-4 home win over the Wildcats Friday. Gabe Harmon had three hits and scored the winning run. Cape Elizabeth was ranked fifth in the region at press time.

The baseball playoffs begin with play-in games Saturday. The preliminary round is Tuesday of next week, the quarterfinals next Thursday and the semifinals Saturday, June 12. All of those games will be played on the fields of the higher seeds.

Softball

Scarborough’s Mollie Verreault steals second during last week’s home loss to Windham. Brianna Soukup / Portland Press Herald

Turning to softball, Cape Elizabeth was on the brink of its first undefeated regular season in seven years heading into Wednesday’s finale at York. The Capers improved to 15-0 with a 12-0 (five-inning) home win over York Friday. Anna Cornell threw a two-hit shutout and struck out 11 and added three hits as well. Cape Elizabeth was ranked third in Class B South at press time.

In Class A South, three-time reigning state champion Scarborough finished its regular season 13-3 after an 8-2 home loss to Windham, a doubleheader sweep at Bonny Eagle (12-1 and 14-0, in five innings) and a 9-3 win at South Portland. Against the Eagles, the Red Storm dug an early hole and couldn’t dig out of it as they lost consecutive regular season games for the first time in 19 years.

“Windham deserved it,” longtime Scarborough coach Tom Griffin said. “They’re a good team. We changed our hitting a little bit, what we were trying to do, shortening up. It paid off, but it was too little, too late.”

In the first game against the Scots, Jordan Crosby had four hits and A.J. Swett and winning pitcher Jenna Giguere each added three. Against the Red Riots, Angelina Pizzella earned the win and had two hits, as did Alyssa Desveaux and Mollie Verreault. The Red Storm were second in the Class A South Heals at press time.

“Our first goal was to get to 10 wins and we did that,” Griffin said. “Finishing up 13-3 is a major accomplishment for this group.”

South Portland was 8-6 and 10th in Class A South heading into Wednesday’s regular season-ending doubleheader at Biddeford. The Red Riots beat visiting Falmouth (17-1, in five innings) last week before falling, 9-3, to visiting Scarborough Monday. In the victory, Mia Micucci struck out 14 and Elise Connor drove in three runs. Against the Red Storm, Julia Connors, Chloe Grant and Ella Nickerson all had two hits.

The softball playoffs begin with play-in games Saturday. The preliminary round is Tuesday of next week, the quarterfinals next Thursday and the semifinals Saturday, June 12. All of those games will be played on the fields of the higher seeds.

Boys’ lacrosse

Cape Elizabeth’s Gus Huffard races into the offensive zone after winning a faceoff during the Capers’ 16-5 win over Scarborough Tuesday. Michael Hoffer / The Forecaster

Cape Elizabeth’s juggernaut boys’ lacrosse team ended the regular season the way it began, simply unstoppable, as the Capers outscored the opposition, 199-47 this spring.

Cape Elizabeth closed with an 11-3 home victory over Kennebunk and an emphatic 16-5 win at Scarborough. Against the Rams, Colin Campbell and Keegan Lathrop led the way with three goals apiece. In the win over the Red Storm, faceoff specialist Gus Huffard scored 15 seconds into the game to set the tone and Keegan Lathrop and Tiernan Lathrop both scored four goals, while Archie McEvoy added three.

“I won the ball and saw my opening and I thought I might as well try,” said Huffard, of his first goal of the season. “It felt super nice to score. This was a big game, so to open the scoring was amazing.”

“We knew this would be a tough game,” Tiernan Lathrop said. “It was a fight, but we hit our shots and kept going. I knew we had talented guys who had been working hard in the offseason, especially during COVID, and all of us have been playing while other teams were sitting around, so we came into the season hot. We’re ready to get back (to the top).”

“The kids, to their credit, have been really focused for all the games,” added longtime Cape Elizabeth coach Ben Raymond, who now his 294 victories with the program. “We haven’t had a letdown. The seniors get everybody ready to play and focused and make sure we don’t take teams lightly. We take pride in being our best all the time.”

Despite their perfect record and dominance, the Capers won’t be the top seed in Class A South for the playoffs. In fact, they may not even be the No. 2 seed (Cape Elizabeth was ranked third at press time), but regardless, they’ll be the favorite when the postseason commences.

“We’re happy to play anywhere,” Raymond said. “We can’t get too wrapped up in Heal Points. We play the schedule we’re given and we try to beat everybody on the schedule. This is a special group of kids who have been committed to lacrosse for a long time.”

Scarborough finished its resurgent season 9-3 after its 16-5 home loss to Cape Elizabeth. Tae Delaware scored two goals, but the Red Storm fell behind 10-0 and couldn’t respond.

“It did not go the way we were hoping,” Scarborough coach Zach Barrett said. “Bottom line, they had better athletes tonight. That’s tough to overcome. I know the guys are disappointed. They expected a better result. They expected to match up better and play better, but Cape outplayed us and huge credit to them.”

Scarborough projects to be the fourth seed in Class A South.

“I think last year we hoped to have a good bounce-back season and those seniors were disappointed because they didn’t get a chance after working hard,” Barrett said. “The emotion from that just carried over and it’s been awesome. It’s a great group of guys. We’ve had great games. The guys want it bad. Now the fun begins. It’s important we go as deep as we can and the guys feel proud about it.”

South Portland finished the regular season 1-11 and was ninth in Class A South at press time.

The boys’ lacrosse playoffs begin with the preliminary round Saturday and Monday. The quarterfinals are Wednesday and Thursday of next week and the semifinals Friday and Saturday of next week. All of those games will be played on the fields of the higher seeds.

Girls’ lacrosse

Cape Elizabeth’s Charlotte Graham makes a move during last week’s loss at Yarmouth. Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Portland Press Herald

On the girls’ side, Scarborough finished 9-3 after a 16-13 win at Berwick and a palpitating 11-10 overtime loss at two-time reigning Class A champion Falmouth. In the victory, Natalie Bilodeau scored seven goals and Maegan Donovan had five assists. In the loss, the Red Storm dug an early 3-0 hole but roared back and even led by two with just over five minutes to go, but they couldn’t hold on. Scarborough had a great look in overtime, which was saved, then Falmouth went down and got the game winner. Darby Stolz led the Red Storm with five goals and goalie Kathleen Murphy dazzled with 15 saves.

“I’m so proud of our effort,” Scarborough coach Emily Field said. “We were really looking forward to this game. At the beginning of the season, seeing Falmouth would be our season-ender, I was like, ‘Oh, that’s going to be rough,’ but we’ve worked so hard this season and to come out and take them to overtime is huge.”

The Red Storm were ranked third in Class A South at press time and are ready to make a deep playoff run.

“We have confidence we can play with anyone,” Field said. “This season’s been so much fun. The girls are loving it. We’re not nervous going into these big games anymore because we know we can compete with anyone. I think we’ve got to just keep putting the pieces together. We’ve got to practice hard and work on our mental focus. Now’s the time to dial it in mentally and win.”

South Portland was 4-6 and ninth in Class A South after Tuesday’s 17-10 home loss to Thornton Academy. The Red Riots closed at Gorham Thursday.

Two-time reigning Class B champion Cape Elizabeth fell to 2-9 after losses at Yarmouth (13-5) and Greely (12-6). Charlotte Graham scored four goals against the Clippers, who pulled away in the second half.

“Normally we start a little slowly in the first half, then turn it on in the second, but today was the opposite for us,” Capers coach Alex Spark said. “We had a great first half, some great shots, some great defensive stints that lasted a long time when we held them. Credit to Yarmouth, they’re a great team and they moved the ball quickly today.

“The score may not show it, but we’ve come so far. Our team energy, our team chemistry, the support we have for each other. Those foundational things have come so far since our first game against Yarmouth. We had our heads down after the first game. After this game, we’re cheering each other on about what we did well.”

Graham, Claire McDonald and Laura Ryer had two goals apiece against the Rangers. Cape Elizabeth (ninth in the Class B state Heals at press time) closed at home versus Waynflete Thursday (see pressherald.com for game story) and will be a team no one wants to see in the playoffs.

“I think it’s got to be all 26 of us coming together and that includes starters, subs,” Spark said. “We’ll have to all push and support each other. It’s going to be a total team effort.”

The girls’ lacrosse playoffs begin with the preliminary round Saturday and Monday. The quarterfinals are Wednesday and Thursday of next week and the semifinals Friday and Saturday of next week. All of those games will be played on the fields of the higher seeds.

Track

The outdoor track state championship meets are Saturday. Class A will be held in Waterboro and Class B in Bath.

Last weekend, the Western Maine Conference held its championship meet in Naples. In Division I, Cape Elizabeth’s boys and girls each finished third behind York and Greely. Owen Patry won the boys’ 2-mile in 10 minutes, 7.61 seconds. Tori Hews took the girls’ 100 (13.27 seconds) and 200 (27.30). Hadley Mahoney won the girls’ mile (5:26.88) and 2-mile (11:56.51). The Capers also won the girls’ 4×100 relay, as Mae Rayner, Grace Gray, Marcella Hesser and Hews posted a time of 52.56.

South Portland’s boys and girls were both first in a meet against Cheverus and Noble.

Scarborough closed against Gorham and Marshwood. The Red Storm boys were first and the girls placed second behind the Rams.

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

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