The early trends have been positive on the winter sports front, and while COVID continues to make life challenging, we’re certainly in a better place than a year ago.

With more than three weeks in the books, here’s a glimpse at where things stand:

Boys’ basketball

Falmouth’s Lucas Dilworth goes for a layup during a home win over Marshwood earlier this winter. Ben McCanna / Portland Press Herald

Local boys’ basketball teams have had their share of triumph in the early going.

Yarmouth was unbeaten at press time. The Clippers’ toughest test came in the opener, when they held on to edge visiting York in overtime, 55-54, behind 32 points from Peter Psyhogeos and 19 from Matt Waeldner.

“We were optimistic and came out and worked hard in overtime,” Psyhogeos said. “We knew if we got stops defensively, the offense would take care of itself.”

“Our saying in practice is ‘chemistry and toughness,’ and we stuck to that and found a way to win,” Waeldner said. “That’s what you have to do sometimes when things are getting sloppy. This is big. York’s a tough team.”

Advertisement

The Clippers then defeated host Lake Region (50-38) and Mt. Ararat (53-29) before improving to 4-0 with a 62-48 home win over Westbrook last Wednesday. Against the Lakers, Psyhogeos had a team-high 20 points. In the win over the Eagles, Waeldner scored 17 points and Psyhogeos added a dozen. Against the Blue Blazes, Psyhogeos led the way with 22 points, while Waeldner added 13 and Nate Hagedorn had 10 off the bench.

“It’s great having everyone involved,” Psyhogeos said. “We still have a lot to work on, but it’s great to see so many guys contribute and hit big shots. We have seven seniors, but a lot of younger guys are contributing.”

“I feel like we’re doing great, but it doesn’t mean anything right now,” Hagedorn said. “We have to keep working hard and keep our intensity up.”

“Being 4-0 doesn’t matter,” Yarmouth coach Jonas Allen added. “We’re thrilled, of course, but we’re moving on and talking about getting better tomorrow morning at practice. We truly try to get better every time we come into the gym. Our approach won’t change from 2021 to 2022.”

The Clippers were at Wells Tuesday, host Fryeburg Academy Thursday, welcome Greely Saturday (see theforecaster.net/sports for game story) and play host to Leavitt Tuesday of next week.

Falmouth and Greely have each lost just once to date.

Advertisement

The Navigators started with decisive wins over visiting Biddeford (84-40), host Kennebunk (91-69) and visiting Marshwood (64-46) before running into Class AA favorite South Portland and they lost on the road, 58-41. Lopsided victories over visiting Brunswick (93-55) and host Mt. Ararat (93-52) followed. Jack Stowell had 24 points against the Tigers and 32 versus the Rams, while Brady Coyne added 30. In the win over the Hawks, Stowell scored 21 points and Lucas Dilworth came off the bench to add 14.

“Communication and discipline on offense got us going,” Stowell said. “When the team plays well, we feed off each other.”

“We’ll get better,” longtime Falmouth coach Dave Halligan said. “I like what I’ve seen so far. I like the attitudes. Once we share the ball, we’ll be really special.”

The Navigators had no answers for South Portland big man extraordinaire J.P. Estrella, who had five dunks as part of his 20 points. He also grabbed 15 rebounds.

“Players like him don’t come along very often,” Halligan said. “He’s special. He’s a rim-protector, the type of player every team would love to have on their side. Bigs usually develop later and he’s developed by leaps and bounds. He’s a special player, a game-changer.”

Coyne had 14 points and Stowell a dozen in the defeat. Against the Dragons, Stowell went off for 29 points, Coyne finished with 25 and Judd Armstrong added 21. Coyne and Stowell then each had 28 points in the win over the Eagles which improved the Navigators to 5-1. Falmouth hosts Gorham Thursday (see theforecaster.net/sports for game story), welcomes Morse Saturday and plays at Greely Tuesday of next week.

Advertisement

Greely, meanwhile, held off visiting Fryeburg in the opener (69-63), eked out a 62-61 win at Brunswick, defeated host Gray-New Gloucester (62-57), then beat visiting Gorham at the buzzer (52-51). Andrew St. Hilaire scored 28 points and Timmy Walker added 19 versus the Raiders. In the win over the Patriots, Dee Martin Coyne led the way with 18 points. Coyne then scored at the horn to beat the Rams. He had a team-high 14 points. Last Wednesday, the Rangers fell from the unbeaten ranks with a 69-55 home loss to York. Greely couldn’t hold an early 9-0 lead and was done in by a third quarter Wildcats’ run. St. Hilaire scored 18 points in defeat.

“(Their comeback) was quick,” Greely coach Travis Seaver said. “When you come out of the locker room (for the second half) and they hit you in the gut, that completely changed the game in 90 seconds. They did a good job.”

After hosting Freeport Tuesday, the Rangers (4-1) get a rematch at York Thursday, then visit Yarmouth Saturday and host Falmouth in a showdown Tuesday of next week.

“There’s no way we were going 18-0, so all we can do is learn from this,” Seaver said. “The nice part is we have a lot of upside and a lot of things to improve on. The hope and goal is that we’ll improve before February.”

Freeport started with losses at Gray-New Gloucester (67-62) and at home to Morse (46-45), then improved to 1-2 after a 49-41 home win over Fryeburg Academy. Colby Arsenault had 15 points in the loss to the Patriots. Against the Shipbuilders, Blaine Cockburn led the way with 14 points. In the victory, Arsenault had 15 points and Keigan Shea added 10. The Falcons were at Greely Tuesday, visit Lake Region Thursday, host Poland Saturday and welcome Mt. Ararat Tuesday of next week.

North Yarmouth Academy split its first four outings, starting with losses at St. Dom’s (58-54) and at home to Poland (72-68), then downing host Seacoast Christian (60-17) and visiting Traip Academy (50-44). Logan Welch had 18 points in the opener, but the Panthers lost to the Saints for the first time since 2008. Against the Knights, Welch led the way with 21 points. Welch and Elliott Oney both scored 14 points in the victory over Seacoast Christian and Joaquim Bila had 11 points and eight steals, Welch added 10 points and Bryce Poulin finished with nine points and 10 rebounds in the win over the Rangers. NYA welcomes Seacoast Christian Saturday, then goes to Waynflete Tuesday of next week.

Advertisement

Girls’ basketball

Yarmouth’s Amelia Skillin fights for possession during a home win over Lake Region earlier this season. Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Portland Press Herald

On the girls’ side, NYA was a perfect 5-0 at press time, having downed visiting St. Dom’s (82-23), host Poland (54-26), Seacoast Christian (81-25) and Traip Academy (73-33), and visiting Waynflete (52-5). In the opener, the Panthers got 15 points from Charlotte Harper-Cunningham, 14 from Gracia Bila and 11 apiece from Angel Huntsman and Madilyn Onorato. Against the Knights, Harper-Cunningham led the way with 17 points, while Huntsman added nine points, 10 assists and five steals. In the win over Seacoast Christian, Sarah English had 16 points and 14 rebounds, Huntsman added 14 points and 12 assists, Erin Reid finished with 12 points and Bila wound up with 10. Against the Rangers, Harper-Cunningham had 19 points, while Huntsman finished with a dozen points and seven steals for NYA, Bila had 10 points, and English added six points and 10 rebounds. In the win over the Flyers, in which NYA didn’t allow a single point in the first or fourth quarters, Bila led the way with 11 points, Harper-Cunningham had 10 and Huntsman finished with six points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. The Panthers host Seacoast Christian Saturday.

Falmouth, behind the efforts of junior standouts Sloane Ginevan and Anna Turgeon, won its first three outings: 49-33 at Biddeford, 71-38 over visiting Kennebunk and 51-37 at Marshwood. Against the Rams, Ginevan had 27 points, four assists and six steals; Turgeon added 14 points, seven rebounds and three steals; and Maddy Christman had 11 points and 10 rebounds. In the win over the Hawks, Ginevan led the way with 20 points, while Katie Lozoraitis added 11. The Navigators then let an early 10-point lead slip away and lost at home to Mt. Ararat, 48-46, last week to fall to 3-1. Ginevan had 22 points and Turgeon added 21, but it wasn’t quite enough.

“We had a lot of easy shots that just didn’t fall and credit to (the Eagles), they hit the big shots at the end when they needed to,” Falmouth coach Dawn Armandi said. “We just didn’t have depth tonight.”

The Navigators go to Gorham Thursday, visit Morse Saturday and play host to Greely Tuesday of next week.

“We’ll get back at it,” Armandi said. “This was a good learning experience, but this game didn’t matter. What matters is what we do in February.”

Greely won its opener, 51-43, at Fryeburg Academy, then lost to visiting Brunswick (54-40), beat visiting Gray-New Gloucester (64-45), fell at Gorham (61-39), then improved to 3-2 last Wednesday after a 54-48 victory at York. Chelsea Graiver had 22 points at the Raiders. Sophia Ippolito scored 15 points in the loss to the Dragons. Against the Patriots, Graiver had 28 points.

Advertisement

“I think that really shows a lot of character in our team,” Graiver said. “We’re a young team, so getting off from the start is a little difficult right now, but we’ll get there.”

Ippolito led the way with 11 points in the loss to the Rams and in the win over the Wildcats, Graiver had 19 points. The Rangers were at Freeport Tuesday, host York Thursday, go to Yarmouth Saturday (see theforecaster.net/sports for game story) and travel to Falmouth Tuesday of next week.

Yarmouth opened with wins at York (47-42) and at home over Lake Region (51-29), then lost to visiting Mt. Ararat (36-33) before improving to 3-1 with a 48-21 victory at Westbrook. Against the Wildcats, Ava Feeley and Nora Schneider both scored a team-high 11 points. In the win over the Lakers, Feeley paced a balanced attack with 14 points, as nine different girls scored.

“We have a really young team with a lot of new players,” Feeley said. “Our bench is really deep and everyone works so hard in practice. Everybody trusts each other, which is big thing on a team. That’s really good for us. I love my teammates. They’re so awesome.”

“I love our balance,” said Clippers coach David Cousins. “It’s a good thing to have a team that’s deep, then you have to figure out minutes and put the girls in the right spots where they can succeed. Overall. after game number two, I’m very happy with this group.”

In the loss, Katelyn D’Appolonia had a team-high 11 points. In the win over the Blue Blazes, D’Appolonia and Catie King both scored 10 points. Yarmouth had a key home showdown versus reigning Class B champion Wells Tuesday (see theforecaster.net/sports for game story), goes to Fryeburg Academy Thursday, visits Greely Saturday and travels to Leavitt Tuesday of next week.

Advertisement

Freeport started with losses to visiting Gray-New Gloucester (49-42, in overtime) and at Morse (41-36) before downing host Fryeburg Academy (53-33) and falling at home to Brunswick (60-35). Against the Patriots, Sydney Gelhar led the Falcons with nine points. In the win, Mason Baker-Schlendering led the way with 16 points, Angel Pillsbury added 16 and Maddie Cormier finished with a dozen. Against the Dragons, Baker-Schelendering had a team-high 11 points. Freeport hosted Greely Tuesday, welcomes Lake Region Thursday, goes to Poland Saturday and plays at Mt. Ararat Tuesday of next week.

Boys’ hockey

Greely’s Evan Dutil chases the puck during a recent loss at Cape Elizabeth. Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Portland Press Herald

On the ice, two-time reigning Class B champion Greely started with a come-from-behind 3-2 overtime win over visiting Cheverus/Yarmouth, then lost at Cape Elizabeth (4-2) before downing host York (5-1) and Falmouth (6-3). In the opener, the Rangers were down, 2-0, heading to the third period, but goals from Mitchell Parent and Gage Cooney tied it, then Evan Dutil played the hero in overtime.

“I pushed the puck ahead, (the defenseman) pushed me over and I was able to corral the puck while down on the ground, got up and I like pulling it to my backhand and (the goalie) slid across,” Dutil said.

“It was a great season-opener,” longtime Greely coach Barry Mothes said. “It’s probably the most dramatic season opener I’ve ever had in my 28 years. It had a real playoff feel. It was just a great high school game. Great to have a big crowd. It’s been a long time since we’ve had an evening like this.”

Against the Capers, the Rangers dug a three-goal hole and couldn’t quite rally despite goals from Dutil and Rylan Haight.

“A lot of of things didn’t go well for us today,” Mothes said. “We’re not too deep to begin with and we’re a little undermanned right now.”

Advertisement

Against the Wildcats, Ryan Moore returned from injury and scored three goals. In the win over Falmouth, Dutil had a hat trick, while Moore scored once and added four assists. Greely visits Brunswick Wednesday and welcomes Kennebunk Saturday.

Cheverus/Yarmouth started with painful overtime losses at two-time reigning Class B state champion Greely (3-2) and Scarborough (4-3), then edged host Brunswick in overtime (4-3) before taking the “City Cup” Saturday night, 8-1, over Portland/Deering. Matt Robichaud had the decisive goal against the Dragons. In the win over Portland/Deering, Kevin Connolly led the way with a hat trick.

“The chemistry on this team is really strong,” said Cheverus/Yarmouth coach Dave St. Pierre. “There’s good, supportive energy in the locker room. I think that chemistry will carry us a long way.”

Cheverus/Yarmouth hosts Edward Little Thursday (see theforecaster.net/sports for game story), visits Leavitt Saturday and plays host to Brunswick Tuesday of next week.

The South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport co-op started with a 3-1 home win over Falmouth, as Dylan Hannan, Tobey Lappin and Jake Udomsay scored the goals. South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport then earned a key 4-1 win at reigning Class A champion Lewiston before improving to 3-0 with a 5-0 blanking of Portland/Deering. The squad is back in action Wednesday at St. Dom’s and hosts Marshwood Saturday.

Falmouth was 2-3 after a 3-1 loss at South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport, a 5-2 home win over Biddeford, a 3-2 home loss to Bangor, a 2-1 home win over Thornton Academy and a 6-3 loss at Greely. In the victory over the Golden Trojans, Xavier Grenier scored the tying goal and Caden Barnard had the winner.

Advertisement

“Our captains brought energy in the locker room and got the team going and we were able to come back,” Barnard said. “Our defense was just heart. We knew we could do it the whole game.”

“Once we got the lead, we stayed defensive and made sure we kept guys back and that they didn’t have chances to go on rushes,” Grenier said.

“We needed that one,” added Falmouth coach Deron Barton. “We dominated the first period, had a letdown in the second and I told the kids, ‘This is how every game this year is going to be. It’s going to come down to has the biggest heart and who wants it the most,’ and that’s what happened.”

Nick Fischetto had two goals in the Dudley Cup loss to the Rangers New Year’s Day. The Navigators go to Edward Little Wednesday and visit Bangor Saturday.

Girls’ hockey

Yarmouth/Freeport’s Sophie Perow fights for the puck during last week’s overtime loss to Mt. Ararat. Andree Kehn / Sun Journal

On the girls’ side, Yarmouth/Freeport was 3-4 at press time, with a 6-1 home win over Brunswick and a 3-2 overtime setback at Mt. Ararat/Morse the most recent results. In the loss, Sadie Carnes and Rosie Panenka had the goals.

“Going through a loss like that together as a team is going to build our team chemistry,” Yarmouth/Freeport coach David Intraversato said. “We will regroup from it.”

Advertisement

Yarmouth/Freeport hosts York Saturday.

Falmouth beat Greely, 4-1, in the Dudley Cup New Year’s Day to improve to 4-2. Kate Kinley led the way with a pair of goals. The Navigators go to Cheverus Wednesday (see theforecaster.net/sports for game story), play host to Gorham Saturday and visit Scarborough Monday.

Greely fell to 3-4 with the 4-1 loss to Falmouth in the Dudley Cup. Lily Rawnsley had the Rangers’ goal. Greely hosts Brunswick Thursday.

Indoor track

Falmouth’s boys were second and the girls fourth at a season-opening SMAA indoor track meet at the University of Southern Maine. The Navigators’ second meet, against Biddeford and Portland, resulted in a runner-up showing by the boys and a third-place finish by the girls.

Swimming

Greely’s boys’ and girls’ swim teams are both off to impressive 4-0 starts this winter. After sweeping Waynflete (boys won, 39-27, and girls prevailed, 39-21), Windham (boys won, 41-3, and girls prevailed, 54-31) and Thornton Academy (boys won, 48-27, and the girls prevailed, 52-22), the Rangers enjoyed their most impressive triumph last Wednesday, sweeping reigning Class B champion Mt. Desert Island (with the boys winning, 55-39, and the girls prevailed, 62-32). Charter Sasseville, Audrey Cohen, Abby Hollis and Emma Richard were multiple event winners.

“It was great for our program to get a chance to compete against one of the two top programs in the state, with Cape being the other,” said longtime Greely coach Rob Hale. “We’re motivated to be mentioned in the same conversation with them and (this) helps.”

Advertisement

Freeport has returned as a stand-alone varsity program and the boys debuted in style with a 36-21 win over Bonny Eagle (the Falcons girls lost to the Scots, 79-41). Freeport was then swept by South Portland (with the boys falling, 82-38, and the girls losing, 92-31) and split with Westbrook (the Falcons boys prevailed, 52-31, and the girls lost, 51-35).

Falmouth and Yarmouth met in the season-opener, with the Clippers girls taking a 59-34 decision and the Navigators boys winning, 65-24.

Falmouth then beat Thornton Academy and Biddeford in a boys’ meet (with 131 points to 56 for the Golden Trojans and 15 for the Tigers), while the girls had 77 points to finish second to Thornton Academy (112). In their most recent outing, the Navigators split with the Brewer, as the boys won, 77-37, and the girls lost, 104-65.

Yarmouth went on to split with Cheverus (the girls won, 85-74, while the boys lost, 82-54), split with Kennebunk (the girls won, 95-71, and the boys lost, 91-39) and split with Edward Little (the girls won, 116-33, while the boys lost, 82-49).

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

Comments are not available on this story.