There have been numerous games postponed in recent weeks, but the winter sports season continues to chug along with the promise of the postseason drawing ever closer.

Even with a lighter slate, the results have been memorable and that figures to continue as the regular season dwindles.

Here’s a look back at the week that was:

Boys’ basketball

South Portland’s Owen Maloney goes up for a shot during the Red Riots’ loss to Thornton Academy Tuesday night. Brianna Soukup / Portland Press Herald

South Portland’s boys’ basketball team beat host Bonny Eagle (59-44) last week for its 10th straight win to start the season as JP Estrella went off for 35 points, but Tuesday evening, the Red Riots suffered their first loss, 58-53, to visiting rival Thornton Academy. Estrella had 23 points and 17 rebounds, and Joey Hanlon hit a late 3 and added a pair of free throws to get South Portland within one, but the Golden Trojans made free throws down the stretch to avenge an earlier loss this winter and drop the Red Riots to 10-1.

“It was a good game,” said South Portland coach Kevin Millington. “(Thornton’s) a good team. South Portland-Thornton’s going to be a good game no matter what. I think they outplayed us both times (this year), but we got a few breaks down there. We didn’t get enough of them tonight.

“The guys competed, so it’s only over when the buzzer sounds. Two years ago, we had two overtime games out of the three, then two wars this year. If we play again, I won’t expect it to be any different. They have some tough kids and they won’t back down. They have a championship pedigree with their (state champion) football kids.”

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The Red Riots go to Deering Friday, host Massabesic in a makeup game Saturday, then visit Scarborough Monday.

“We have to play better,” Millington said. “We really haven’t played well. We haven’t gotten in the rhythm we need to get into. We need to find it. I think we’ve made some strides and there were glimmers tonight, but we need to keep pushing. It’s all about playing our best basketball in the tournament. If we improve because this lit a little fire, it’s worth it. We’ll see how the guys respond.”

Speaking of Scarborough, the Red Storm (0-7) hasn’t played a game since Jan. 8 and had games at Noble and Gorham and at home versus Massabesic postponed due to COVID complications. Scarborough was scheduled to return to action Thursday at Gorham. The Red Storm hosts Lewiston Friday and welcomes South Portland Monday.

Cape Elizabeth’s Evan Reeves goes way up but can’t corral the ball for a dunk during Monday’s win over Freeport. Reeves would get his dunk later in the contest, a 78-57 Capers’ victory. Contributed / Lisa Mims

Cape Elizabeth continued its up-and-down season with recent wins at Traip Academy (69-25) and at home over Freeport (78-57) to improve to 6-5. In the win over the Rangers, Evan Reeves led the way with 17 points, while Jake Frame and Sam Lombardo each added 15. Against the Falcons, the Capers made 10 3-pointers and were paced by Will Bowe (28 points) and Frame (17), while Reeves added a rousing slam dunk.

“That (dunk) felt good,” Reeves said. “I’d been trying to get one.”

“We’re tough to beat when we share the ball,” Bowe said. “We’re trying to find that consistency that we need.”

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“It’s about quick decisions and ball movement,” added Capers coach Jeff Mitchell. “That’s how we try to keep it really simple. If the guys make quick decisions, the ball will be moving and we’ll expose the defense at some point. We stress that every day in practice and it’s good to see it in game mode.”

Cape Elizabeth host Greely Friday and welcome Lake Region Tuesday of next week.

“Being healthy is really important,” Mitchell said. “Every team is going through the same thing. I think if we’re healthy by February and continuing ‘we versus me,’ we’ll be fine. We spent a lot of time on the road the first half of the season. Now, we’ve got six out of eight at home. That’s comforting.”

With the basketball tournament set to begin Feb. 12 and COVID showing no signs of relenting, there are concerns, but last week, Maine Principals’ Association director Mike Burnham said that the postseason will go on as scheduled.

“I think we are moving forward, cautiously optimistic,” Burnham said. “The overall philosophy is for all of our winter activities to have a postseason.”

Those plans include for the tournament to look pretty close to normal from a fan environment perspective as well. The Augusta Civic Center, Cross Insurance Center in Bangor or the Portland Exposition Building, all of which host regional tournament games, are planning to operate at full capacity. Masks will be required for spectators in Augusta and Bangor, while those at the Expo above the age of 5 will be required to mask inside as well as show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.

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Girls’ basketball

On the girls’ side, Scarborough sat idle 10 days until hosting undefeated Gorham Tuesday, then produced a memorable victory, rallying from early deficits of 11-0 and 18-3 to prevail, 44-39, improve to 6-2 and give coach Mike Giordano his 300th victory (see story). Lindsay Fiorillo had 16 points and Caroline Hartley added 13.

“A week off obviously took its toll, but we hung our hat on our defense,” Giordano said. “We got our feet settled and the kids played a great game.”

The Red Storm welcome unbeaten Cheverus Friday, go to Lewiston Saturday and visit South Portland Tuesday of next week.

“We’re getting more confident and comfortable,” Giordano said. “If we play defense, we have a chance every night. The kids are believers.”

South Portland improved to 3-7 after a 43-32 home win over Bonny Eagle last week. Megan Dearborn led the way with 14 points. The Red Riots were supposed to go to Thornton Academy Tuesday, but that game was postponed. South Portland hosts Deering Friday, goes to Thornton Academy for the makeup game Saturday, then is home versus Scarborough Tuesday of next week.

Cape Elizabeth dropped to 1-6 last Friday with a 40-17 home loss to Traip Academy. Meghan Conley had a team-high six points. The Capers had their game at Freeport Monday postponed. They’re scheduled to return to action Friday at Greely. Cape Elizabeth goes to Lake Region Tuesday of next week.

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Boys’ hockey

On the ice, the South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete co-op team improved to 6-1 after a 6-2 victory over Cape Elizabeth last week. Cullen Adams had a hat trick and Tobey Lappin added a pair of goals. The squad hosted Scarborough Thursday and goes to Biddeford Saturday.

Scarborough (4-3) last played Jan. 8. The Red Storm was scheduled to return to action Thursday at South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete. Scarborough visits Greely Saturday.

Cape Elizabeth dropped a 6-2 decision to South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete last week and settled for a 5-5 tie at Falmouth Monday. The Capers (4-2-1) erased three different deficits at the Navigators and tied it on Dimitri Coupe’s second goal of the game. Connor Goss, Nick Laughlin and Alex Thayer also scored, while Will Depke stopped 22 shots.

“Coming off of two losses where we strayed from our identity, it’s good to get back to the way we play when we’re successful,” Cape Elizabeth coach Jake Rutt said. “I think there were a couple times in our O zone where we lacked focus and could have pucks on net with a little more purpose, but overall, I’m pleased with the level of compete these guys brought today.”

Cape Elizabeth hosted Lewiston Thursday and welcomes Portland/Deering Saturday.

“We just have to hem down on all facets of the game,” Rutt said. “There aren’t many things right now that I can point at and say I’m happy where it’s at. Our power play is doing a pretty good job and we’re getting an extra goal or two a game, but we have to manage the puck a little better and make the game a little easier on ourselves.”

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Girls’ hockey

On the girls’ side, Scarborough (5-1-1) last played a game two days after Christmas. The Red Storm, which has had eight games postponed in the interim, is scheduled to return to action Friday at Cheverus. Scarborough then visits Cape/South Portland/Waynflete Saturday and hosts Falmouth Monday.

Speaking of postponements, the Cape Elizabeth/South Portland/Waynflete co-op team hasn’t taken the ice for a countable game since Jan. 1. Last week, games versus Edward Little, York and Falmouth were postponed. Cape/Waynflete/South Portland (6-1-1) was scheduled to go to St. Dom’s Wednesday and host Scarborough Saturday.

“I’m keeping my fingers crossed we can play (Wednesday),” Mills said. “It’s really hard when I look at a box score to take it at face value because I know everybody is missing players. We think we have depth. We really like our chances. But are we going to be healthy and are we all going to be able to play when we get to the playoffs?”

Indoor track

Both Cape Elizabeth indoor track teams finished first at a recent Western Maine Conference meet which also included St. Dom’s, NYA and Traip Academy.

South Portland’s boys downed Windham and Thornton Academy, while the Red Riots girls were second to the Eagles.

Swimming

Cape Elizabeth’s powerhouse swim teams swept Gorham in their most recent meet, with the boys prevailing, 99-43, and the girls winning, 106-50.

South Portland swept Sanford last weekend, with the boys earning a 105-30 win and the girls prevailing, 108-39.

Press Herald staff writer Travis Lazarczyk and Morning Sentinel staff writer Drew Bonifant contributed to this story.

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

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