There were fewer COVID-related postponements last week, which is a most positive sign.

Even better, the games that were played resulted in drama and even some history.

With just a couple weeks left in the regular season, the fun is just beginning.

Here’s a glimpse of the week that was and where locals stand in the big picture:

Boys’ basketball

Waynflete’s Nico Kirby makes a shot during last week’s win at North Yarmouth Academy. Brianna Soukup / Portland Press Herald

It was an up-and-down week for city boys’ basketball teams.

Portland lost at home to Cheverus last Tuesday, 46-42, then improved to 7-3 and second in the Class AA North Heal Points standings by holding off visiting Falmouth, 47-44, Friday night. In the setback, Spencer Cross scored 11 points and Wani Donato added 10 points and 13 rebounds. In the victory, Donato scored 16 points, Cross and Pitia Donato each added 10, and James Johnson hit some key free throws late to help the Bulldogs prevail.

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“This was important game for us to win,” Johnson said. “I thought it would be a tough game all around, but we were able to pull it out.”

“I think our free throws were big at the end,” Cross said. “We hustled the whole game. Even if we made some stupid plays sometimes, our hustle made up for it. This definitely boosts our confidence coming off our loss.”

“It seems right now like our script is to have a lead with a couple minutes to go, then have to focus on making on big play at the end,” added longtime Bulldogs coach Joe Russo. “Winning comes with experience and making good decisions and players playing with ice in their veins down the stretch. We’ve been in great games and competitive games and it’s more fun to win. It’s always better to win ugly than to lose pretty. Tonight, we survived by winning ugly. That takes some courage.”

Portland hosted Windham in a makeup game Monday (see theforecaster.net/sports for game story), goes to Lewiston Tuesday, visits Oxford Hills in a makeup game Thursday, then welcomes Bangor Friday before going to Windham Monday of next week and visiting Edward Little Tuesday of next week.

“Our schedule doesn’t get any easier,” Russo said. “Everybody’s tough. There’s no easy game on our schedule. Our bench has been a big for us. We need them and they’ll be critical. All those guys on the bench are good enough to play.”

Cheverus won at Portland, 46-42, then lost at Oxford Hills, 64-51, last week to fall to 4-5 and sixth in Class AA North. Silvano Ismail scored 20 points in the victory. The Stags were at Windham Tuesday, host Hampden Academy Wednesday in a makeup game, welcome Lewiston Saturday and play host to Oxford Hills Tuesday of next week.

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Deering fell to 2-8 and eighth in Class AA North after home losses to Lewiston (67-62) and South Portland (66-52) last week. Against the Blue Devils, Remijo Wani had 21 points and Max Chikuta added 13. In the loss to the Red Riots, Wani and Titayo Augusto both sored 16 points and Evan Legassey added 11. The Rams hosted Edward Little Tuesday, go to Lewiston Thursday and welcome Oxford Hills Friday.

In Class C South, Waynflete was 4-5 and ninth in the Heals following a 57-45 victory at North Yarmouth Academy and a 63-54 setback at Old Orchard Beach. In the win, Henry Hart scored 21 points, Matt Adey added 11 and Nico Kirby finished with nine, to go with 15 rebounds.

“We focus a lot on defense,” Hart said. “If you pride yourself on defense, the offense will come. We try to bring energy and get steals and bring that momentum to offense.”

“Being a smaller team, we’re quick,” Kirby said. “We brought energy from the start of the game and that can overwhelm other teams. We just focused on their shooters and where they were on the court. We had to stay calm and collected and that really helped us.”

“I’m pleased to see how things turned out,” added Flyers coach Rich Henry. “With the youth we’ve got and the opponents we’ve played, we’ve been in a meat grinder. It’s good to get a win against a rival, a very good team.”

In the loss, Kirby scored 13 points and Adey added a dozen. Waynflete was at Traip Academy Monday, hosts St. Dom’s Thursday, welcomes Freeport Saturday and plays host to Seacoast Christian in a makeup game Tuesday of next week.

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“We want to play our best basketball at the end,” Henry said. “It’s more than wins and losses. We want to be playing consistently toward the end.”

Girls’ basketball

Cheverus’ Lillian Singleton battles for a loose ball during the Stags’ 62-59 home win over reigning Class AA champion Oxford Hills Saturday. Jill Brady / Portland Press Herald

On the girls’ side, the big news last week was Cheverus coach Billy Goodman earning his 200th victory (see story). That win came at Portland last Tuesday, 48-29, as Emma Lizotte had 21 points and 21 rebounds, and Lillian Singleton added 12 points.

“We’re really excited for (Coach),” Lizotte said. “It’s been a good season so far and I’m really happy we as a group got him there. We shook off the nerves and came together as a team.”

“Our ability to come together as a team and do this for him is great,” Singleton said. “We knew about it coming in and we were prepared.”

Saturday, the Stags enjoyed an even bigger win, handing reigning Class AA champion Oxford Hills its first setback, 62-59, to improve to 9-1. In that one, Lizotte again led the way with 22 points and Hayley Jordan finished with 10, including the go-ahead basket.

“I think this was a great way for us to bounce back,” Jordan said. “It feels great. It shows we’re a competitive team and we won’t let adversity get to us.”

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“We really rallied together and we kept answering,” said Julia Kratzer, who added six points. “Having such a close-knit group really helps us.”

“Overall, this is one of the best wins I’ve been a part of,” Goodman added. “Oxford Hills is really good, but these girls didn’t play scared. They have fight I didn’t know they had and I love to see it. They really impressed me. This is why I love coaching high school.”

Cheverus (second to Oxford Hills in the Class AA North Heals) welcomed Windham Tuesday, goes to Hampden Academy Wednesday and plays host to Lewiston Saturday.

“For us, it’s all about mental and physical toughness,” Goodman said. “We’ve worked on that since November and the girls are doing great. We just have to keep working on our defense, our shooting and getting in shape.”

Deering was 2-9 and seventh in the region after a 66-28 loss at Lewiston and a 44-41 win at South Portland last week. In the setback, Nyabhana Lia had a team-high 10 points. In the victory, Lia led the way with 16 points, while Ariana Sibo added 10. The Rams were at Edward Little Tuesday, play host to Lewiston Thursday, go to Oxford Hills Saturday and play at Windham Tuesday of next week.

Portland fell to 1-11 and ninth after losses at home to Cheverus (48-29), at Windham (39-26) and at Falmouth (40-35) last week. Elizabeth Yugu had 10 points against the Stags and 16 versus the Eagles. Eliza Stein had a team-high 10 points versus the Navigators.

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“That’s kind of been the story of our season, we struggle to produce offense,” Bulldogs coach Abby Hasson lamented. “We’re really getting there on defense. Our intensity tonight was much, much better.”

Portland welcomed Lewiston Tuesday, goes to Bangor Friday and plays host to Edward Little Tuesday of next week.

“It doesn’t get any easier,” Hasson said. “(Class AA North) is tough this year. I think anything can happen. We just want to keep improving and keep working.”

In Class C South, Waynflete was 2-8 and 12th following a 58-18 home loss to NYA and a 36-29 home win over Fryeburg Academy. Lucy Hart scored 19 points in the victory. The Flyers hosted Traip Academy Tuesday, welcome St. Dom’s Thursday, go to Freeport Saturday and play host to Seacoast Christian Tuesday of next week.

Boys’ hockey

On the ice, the South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport co-op boys’ team was 6-3 and third in the Class A Heals despite losses last week at home to Scarborough (2-1) and at Biddeford (5-4). Cullen Adams had the goal and Jasper Curtis made 27 saves against the Red Storm. SP/Waynflete/Freeport hosts York Thursday and visits Lake Region Monday.

Portland/Deering was 0-6 and 13th in Class A heading into Monday’s home game against Scarborough (see theforecaster.net/sports) for game story). Last week, Portland/Deering played its first game in three weeks and lost to Cape Elizabeth, 6-0. Portland/Deering also hosts York this week, on Thursday.

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The Cheverus/Yarmouth co-op squad was 5-3 and fifth in Class B South following a 3-0 win at Gorham last Thursday. Ryan Franceschi, Wyatt Header and Andrew Cheever scored the goals, and John Wallace earned a shutout in net. Cheverus/Yarmouth is home against Falmouth Thursday (see theforecaster.net/sports for game story) and goes to Cape Elizabeth Saturday.

Girls’ hockey

Cheverus’ Lucy Johnson fights for possession of the puck during last week’s loss at Lewiston. Russ Dillingham / Sun Journal

On the girls’ side, Cheverus suffered a 2-1 loss at reigning state champion Lewiston last Monday, then improved to 10-2-1 with home wins over Scarborough (2-1) and Biddeford (6-0). Mikayla Talbot had the lone goal against the Blue Devils.

“We haven’t been tested much the last couple of weeks,” Stags coach Scott Rousseau said. “Tonight is the kind of game that we will get better because we were punished for our mistakes tonight.”

In the win over the Red Storm, Clare McDonald and Talbot scored the goals.

“It was a total team effort, in my opinion,” MacDonald said. “I played wing in my freshman year, so I fill in where I can.”

After visiting York Tuesday, Cheverus (second to Scarborough in the South Region) goes to the Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland co-op Saturday.

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Cape/Waynflete/SP was 7-2-1 and third in the South Region after an 8-1 win at Biddeford and a 4-2 home loss to Scarborough. The squad hosts Falmouth Thursday and welcomes Cheverus Saturday.

Portland/Deering dropped to 1-12 and eighth in the South after losses to visiting Mt. Ararat (9-1) and host Greely (8-3). Portland/Deering hosts York Wednesday and goes to Scarborough Friday.

Indoor track

In last weekend’s indoor track action, Portland’s girls were first in a four-team meet, beating Windham, Marshwood and Westbrook. The boys’ team was second to the Eagles.

Deering’s boys and girls were both third in a four-team meet.

Cheverus’ boys and girls were each third in a five-team meet.

Swimming

The Deering/Portland co-op swim team split its most recent meet, versus Scarborough, as the girls won, 110-52, and the boys lost to the Red Storm, 105-63.

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Cheverus swept Waynflete, with the boys prevailing, 71-54, and the girls winning, 87-41.

Skiing

City Nordic ski teams took part in the Maranacook Wave race Saturday in Readfield.

In the girls’ meet, won by Mt. Blue, Deering finished third, Cheverus fourth, Portland fifth and Waynflete 11th. Stags standout Annabelle Brooks had the third-fastest individual time (17 minutes, 49.5 seconds). The Rams were led by Megan Cunningham (fifth, 17:56.6).

Portland’s boys were fourth, while Deering came in 10th, Waynflete 15th and Cheverus 18th. The fastest individual was Portland’s George Theall, who was 15th in 16:05.9.

Press Herald staff writer Travis Lazarczyk and Sun Journal staff writer Nathan Fournier contributed to this story.

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

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