After a year without, winter sports postseason action is about to return in abundance.

The girls’ hockey playoffs are underway, basketball will start its preliminary round of the tournament this weekend and other sports will soon hold conference and state meets.

There’s much excitement to come, but before we get there, let’s take a look back at the week that was:

Girls’ hockey

The Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland girls’ hockey team celebrates after its dramatic 5-4 overtime win over Lewiston last week. Derek Davis / Portland Press Herald

The Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland girls’ hockey co-op team had itself a final week of the regular season to remember and wound up earning the top seed for the South Region playoffs. Cape/Waynflete/SP, which got to the state final two years ago, finished 11-2-2 after beating visiting Lewiston (5-4, in overtime) and host York (3-0). Against the Blue Devils, in a rematch of the most recent state final, Cape/Waynflete/SP got early goals from freshmen Libby Hooper and Catie Lee, but trailed, 4-2, entering the third period, where freshman Hartson Masunic scored to provide life before freshman Marina Bassett scored to force overtime, where Bassett played the hero, finishing after a great individual move to end it.

“I saw the goalie was on the other side, so I skated around and put it in,” Bassett said. “It feels awesome.”

“We showed a lot of resilience,” said Cape/Waynflete/South Portland coach Bob Mills. “It’s a really fun team. The girls have a deep desire to win. Having just beaten Cheverus 48 hours ago, it was really good for the coaches to see that amount of drive.”

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In the win over York, Lee, Hooper and Becca Good all scored once. Cape/Waynflete/South Portland hosted No. 8 Portland/Deering (2-15) in the regional quarterfinals Wednesday. Cape/Waynflete/South Portland beat Portland/Deering in the regular season meeting, 10-2, back on Dec. 4. Portland/Deering won the lone prior playoff meeting, 3-2, in the 2018 South Region semifinals.

“We just have to play like we have been and hope for the best,” Mills said about his team’s title hopes. “Cheverus and (third-ranked) Scarborough are very tough and (No. 5) York is playing very well. We just have to keep at it.”

Scarborough finished 9-5-1 and third in the South Region following a 3-0 home loss to Lewiston and a 3-0 win at St. Dom’s. The Red Storm hosted No. 6 Biddeford (4-7-1) in the quarterfinals Wednesday night. Scarborough won 6-0 at the Tigers Dec. 27. The teams split two prior playoff meetings, with the Red Storm taking the most recent, 2-0, in the 2018 South Region quarterfinals.

The semifinal round will be Friday or Saturday on the home ice of the higher seed. The regional finals are next Wednesday at Troubh Ice Arena in Portland and the state final will also be at Troubh Ice Arena this year on Feb. 19.

Boys’ hockey

On the boys’ side, the South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport co-op team was 9-4 and third in the Class A Heal Points standings after a 4-3 win at Windham and a 4-2 home loss to reigning state champion Lewiston. Cullen Adams and Ian Wright had the goals in the setback. South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport visited Portland/Deering Thursday and travels to undefeated Edward Little Saturday.

Scarborough was 8-6 and fifth in Class A following losses at Thornton Academy (2-1) and Bangor (7-3). After going to Falmouth Thursday, the Red Storm visit Lewiston Saturday.

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In Class B South, Cape Elizabeth was 7-2-1 and second to reigning champion Greely after last Saturday’s 8-1 home win over York. The Capers hosted Gorham Thursday and go to Cheverus/Yarmouth Saturday.

Cape Elizabeth’s Nick Laughlin was named the Class B South January Defenseman of the Month by the league’s coaches after scoring six goals and adding 10 assists in the month.

The boys’ hockey regular season ends Feb. 23, with playoff action commencing Feb. 26.

Boys’ basketball

Local boys’ basketball teams are looking to round into title form as the regular season winds down.

South Portland already has the top spot in the Class AA South Heals locked up. The Red Riots improved to 16-1 after beating visiting Bonny Eagle (56-47), host Noble (72-32) and visiting Gorham (51-39). In the win over the Scots, JP Estrella had 20 points and Jaelen Jackson added 18. Against the Knights, Jackson led the way with 20 points and Estrella finished with 15. The same tandem dominated against the Rams as well, as Jackson scored 20 points and Estrella added 19. South Portland closed the regular season at home versus rival Portland Thursday (see theforecaster.net/sports for game story), then will look to make a run at its first state championship in 30 years.

Scarborough started the year 0-10 and fell to 1-14 after a 65-59 home loss to Massabesic last Thursday, but improved to 3-14 after beating visiting Noble (64-39) Saturday and host Cheverus (51-42) Monday. In the setback, Rowan MacDonald scored 19 points, Liam Garriepy finished with 13 and Reid Deniso added 11. Against the Knights, MacDonald scored 20 points, Garriepy tallied 15 and Deniso added 13. In the win over the Stags, the Red Storm took a 13-0 lead after one quarter, then held on for dear life down the stretch, as MacDonald led the way with 20 points.

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“We didn’t have a healthy roster early in the season and we were losing some tough games, but it’s turned around,” MacDonald said. “Anytime we lost, we just went back to practice and worked our tails off and I think that showed tonight.”

“This is a big win for these kids to beat a good Cheverus team,” Scarborough coach Phil Conley said. “We played our best all-around game, offensively and defensively. Cheverus can put the ball on the floor and they have great shooters. I knew they’d make a run at us, but we held our own.”

The Red Storm (seventh in Class AA South) closed the regular season at home versus Deering Thursday.

“We’re playing better basketball at the right time,” Conley said. “We have two games left and I love the way we’re playing heading into the playoffs. I’m proud and happy for these guys.”

In Class B South, Cape Elizabeth closed on a four-game win streak and improved to 11-7 after downing visiting Fryeburg Academy (56-47), host Poland (68-47) and visiting Old Orchard Beach (90-59). In the win over the Raiders, Evan Reeves had 15 points, Jake Frame scored 14 and Will Bowe and Owen Tighe added 10 apiece. Against the Knights, Tighe led the way with 20 points and Bowe added 18. In the win over the Seagulls in Monday’s finale, Bowe scored 27 points and Frame finished with 18, on six of the Capers’ 3-pointers.

Cape Elizabeth was ranked sixth in the region at press time and will host a first-round playoff game.

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The boys’ basketball playoffs begin early next week with the Class AA quarterfinals and Class B South preliminary round being played on the courts of the higher seeds.

Girls’ basketball

On the girls’ side, Scarborough dropped a 45-44 decision at Massabesic last week, then bounced back to down host Noble (48-36) before improving to 13-4 Tuesday with a 45-34 home victory over Massabesic. In the loss, Lindsay Fiorillo had 16 points. The Red Storm (second behind Gorham in the Class AA South Heals) closed the regular season at Deering Thursday (see theforecaster.net/sports for game story).

South Portland was 5-12 and fifth in Class AA South following a 59-51 home win over Noble and a 66-16 loss at Gorham. In the victory, Ava Bryant had a team-high 18 points and Ruth Boles added 10. In the setback, Boles and Bryant each scored six points The Red Riots closed the regular season at home versus Portland Thursday.

In Class B South, Cape Elizabeth finished its regular season 2-13 after a 41-38 win at Fryeburg Academy and losses to visiting Poland (29-20), at Old Orchard Beach (50-27) and at home to Gray-New Gloucester (36-20). In the victory, Olivia Manning had 14 points and Meghan Conley added 12. Against the Knights, Manning scored 10 points. In the loss to the Seagulls, Manning had seven points, while Juliet Moore and Ashley Ryer each added six. Against the Patriots, Emily Supple had a team-high nine points. The Capers were ranked 13th in the region at press time and will have a preliminary round playoff game on the road next week.

The girls’ basketball playoffs begin early next week with the Class AA quarterfinals and Class B South preliminary round being played on the courts of the higher seeds.

Indoor track

South Portland joined Cheverus, Deering and Portland for a regular season-ending Southwestern Maine Activities Association indoor track league meet last weekend at the University of Southern Maine. South Portland took the boys’ meet and the Red Riots girls were second to the Bulldogs.

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In the Western Maine Conference, Cape Elizabeth’s boys and girls were each eighth at a 12-team regular season-ending meet.

The WMC championship meet is Friday at USM. The SMAA championship meet will be held Saturday at USM.

The Class A and B state meets will both be held at USM this year on Feb. 21.

Swimming

Scarborough’s boys’ swim team beat Kennebunk last weekend, 122-49, as Ethan Schulz set a new program record in the 100 butterfly (52.3 seconds) and the Red Storm’s 200 medley relay team (Schulz, Jack Pillsbury, Yandy Placeres and Brennan Fravert) also set a new mark in 1 minute, 39.59 seconds. The Red Storm girls lost to the Rams, 80-72.

The state diving championships are Feb. 19 at South Portland. Cape Elizabeth will host the state swim meets, with the Class A boys and Class B boys competing Feb. 21 and the Class A girls and Class B girls competing the following day.

Skiing

Cape Elizabeth’s girls were first against Freeport, Greely and Gray-New Gloucester in a giant slalom meet Monday at Shawnee Peak. Dana Schwartz was the top individual with a combined two-run time of 1 minute, 6.85 seconds. The boys were also first, as Logan Schwartz won with a time of 1:03.55.

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The state Alpine championships are Feb. 17 and 18 and the Nordic state championships are Feb. 23 and 24.

Wrestling

Scarborough and Portland/South Portland will take part in the Class A South regional championship wrestling meet Saturday in North Berwick.

The Class A state meet is Feb. 19 in Topsham.

Cheering

Scarborough and South Portland took part in the cheering regional championships Saturday in Lewiston. In Class A South, the Red Riots posted a score of 72.30, good for fourth place (Bangor was first with 85.80). Scarborough (71.40) came in fifth.

The state meet is Saturday in Augusta.

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

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