One week in, it’s clear that it was worth the wait for the winter sports postseason.

The girls’ hockey playoffs have been palpitating and other sports are on the brink of crowning state champions.

Here’s a glimpse:

Girls’ hockey

Falmouth celebrates a goal during Saturday’s marathon South Region semifinal loss to Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland. Michael Hoffer / The Forecaster

Falmouth’s girls’ hockey team had quite a ride in the South Region playoffs. The Navigators, ranked fourth, started out with a decisive 5-1 home win over No. 5 York in the quarterfinals last Wednesday, as Trinity Grenier and Kate Kinley both scored two goals.

“We’ve come so far,” said Kinley, who last week was named a semifinalist for the Becky Schaffer Award, given to the state’s outstanding senior player. “At the start of the year, I didn’t even think we’d do very well. We weren’t great at the start, but we’ve grown and come together. Our practice has paid off. I’m impressed with our progress.”

“We netted five (goals) and that’s about the most we’ve scored this year,” said Navigators coach Rob Carrier. “We had a lot of puck possession. We made sure we got quality scoring chances and got shots to the net and tried to find some rebounds and that paid off. The girls executed the game plan beautifully and things aligned for us for tonight.”

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Falmouth then went to top-ranked Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland for the semifinals Saturday and came within seconds of springing a major upset. After falling behind early, the Navigators drew even on a goal from freshman Amelia Brann. After giving up a power play goal early in the second period, Falmouth got goals from Grenier and Kinley to take a 3-2 lead to the third period, where Brann scored to provide some insurance. Cape/Waynflete/SP got a goal back, but as time wound down, the Navigators appeared poised to advance. Then, with just 7.1 seconds remaining, Cape/Waynflete/SP got the tying goal, and after the teams played through three eight-minute, “sudden-victory” overtimes, Cape/Waynflete/SP scored 10 seconds into the fourth OT for a 5-4 victory, ending Falmouth’s season at 9-6-1.

“It was exciting from start to finish,” Carrier said. “The overtimes amped everything up. To be honest, I thought we’d have a good first period. We’d practiced well and played well against York. I think we caught (Cape/SP/Waynflete) off-guard a little bit, then they came back to life in the second and third periods. The biggest difference was our fatigue and Cape’s depth on offense. We can’t run the same kind of lines they do. They wore us out even though we tried to slow the game down.

“We’re trying to put things in perspective. I wasn’t sure where we’d end up this year. To play this well was unexpected. A lot of girls are sad that the season is over and how it ended after we came so close to extending it. It’ll take a couple days to look back and come away realizing how much we accomplished.”

Falmouth graduates Kinley, along with four other seniors, but the younger Navigators got great experience this winter and will be hungry to make another playoff run next season.

“I’m not sure how our numbers will look,” Carrier said. “For the girls coming back, I’m sure this will serve as great motivation for next year.”

In the North Region, Yarmouth/Freeport, ranked sixth, was eliminated by No. 3 Mt. Ararat, 4-0, in the quarterfinals to wind up 6-9.

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Greely, after a 3-13 season, opted out of the postseason.

Indoor track

The Western Maine Conference indoor track championship meet was held last weekend at the University of Southern Maine. Freeport’s girls tallied 90 points and came in second behind York (167). Lucy Riggs was first in the junior 200 (28.98 seconds). Sadie Grogan won the junior 55 hurdles (10.47). Greely (80 points) placed third. Abigail Jacobson won the junior 55 (7.96). Elle Jowett took the senior 400 (1 minute, 2.04 seconds). Olivia Marsanskis won the open pole vault (10 feet). The Rangers also were first in the open 4×200 relay (1:55.56). Yarmouth (32) was seventh. Tessa Dougherty finished first in the junior 400 (1:09.59). NYA (8 points) came in 11th.

In the boys’ meet, also won by York with 161.5 points, Yarmouth (74) was third. Frazier Dougherty was first in the senior 55 (6.85) and senior 400 (52.66). Owen Gillan took first place in the senior 200 (24.47). The Clippers open 4×200 relay team finished first in 1:37.47. Freeport (52.5 points) came in fifth. Henry Horne won the senior high jump (5-8). Enoch Boudreau was first in the open pole vault (10-6). NYA (19) was 10th. Justin Corporon won the junior 55 (6.8). Greely (18) finished 11th.

Falmouth’s boys tallied 45 points to come in eighth at Saturday’s Southwestern Maine Activities Association championship meet at the University of Southern Maine. South Portland was first with 142. Kaleb Barrett won the senior triple jump (40-1).

Falmouth’s girls had 18 points and finished 14th. (Gorham won with 131.833 points.)

The Class A state meet is Monday at USM.

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Swimming

Greely’s girls won last weekend’s North Division Southwesterns championship, scoring 290 points, 20 better than runner-up Cape Elizabeth. Audrey Cohen was first in the 200 individual medley (2 minutes, 13.66 seconds) and 100 freestyle (52.88 seconds). Abby Hollis won the 100 backstroke (58.66). The Rangers also won the 200 freestyle (Emma Cyr, Holly Moss, Mia Raley and Katie Hankinson, 1:49.98) and 400 free (Hunter Maxham, Emma Richard, Hollis and Cohen, 3:47.07) relays. Falmouth (97 points) came in seventh. Katrina Waite won the 50 free in 25.25. Jillian James took the diving title with a score of 407.95 points.

In the boys’ meet, won by Cape Elizabeth with 301 points, Greely (197) was third. Falmouth (143) finished fifth. Patrick Gill was first in the 50 free (21.12). Cole Gorsuch won the 100 backstroke (52.88).

In the South Division Southwesterns, Yarmouth’s girls won the title with 233 points. Alexandra Ericson was first in the IM (2:10.76) and first in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.45). The Clippers also won the medley relay (Piper Priddy, Ericson, Daisy Brewer and Ali Miller, 1:59.56). Freeport (39) was 10th.

In the boys’ competition, won by Kennebunk with 232 points, Yarmouth (116) finished fifth. Freeport (94) placed sixth. Brian Brogan won the 50 free (22.22) and 100 free (48.44).

The swim state championship meets are next week.

Skiing

Greely’s girls’ Nordic ski team celebrates after winning the Western Maine Conference title. Contributed photo

Falmouth’s boys won the SMAA Alpine ski title last week. The Navigators tallied 46 points, 28 better than runner-up Windham. Andrew Christie won the giant slalom with a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 21.93 seconds and was also first in the slalom (1:33.55).

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Falmouth’s girls had 79 points and were third behind Windham (50) and Marshwood (68). Celia Geci was fourth in the GS (1:26.38) and fourth in the slalom (1:47.8).

The WMC Alpine boys’ title was won by Freeport with 84 points. Yarmouth (149) was fifth. The Clippers were paced by GS champion Asher Lockwood (1:24.2). Greely (236) finished sixth.

The girls’ crown was taken by Cape Elizabeth with 79 points. Freeport was runner-up with 97 points. Yarmouth (98) was third. Brooke Boone was the champion of the GS (1:27.9) and the slalom (1:43.27). Greely (183) placed sixth. Ruth Weeks was second in the GS (1:29.8).

At last week’s WMC Nordic championships, Yarmouth’s boys came in first. Owen Redfield was second in the individual combined pursuit. Freeport finished second and was led by individual combined pursuit champion Sam Robinson. Maine Coast Waldorf/NYA was fourth. Greely placed sixth.

Greely’s girls took home the title. Sylvia Harvey was second and Alex Collins fourth in the individual combined pursuit standings. Yarmouth finished third. MCW/NYA placed fourth with Emma Haims coming in third in the combined pursuit. Freeport was fifth.

The skiing state meets are next week.

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Boys’ hockey

Boys’ hockey’s regular season still has a week to go.

South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport was third in the Class A Heal Points standings at press time at 10-5 following a 3-1 loss to Portland/Deering and a 6-1 victory over previously unbeaten Edward Little. Dylan Hannan had two goals and two assists in the win. SP/Waynflete/Freeport hosts Thornton Academy Thursday, visits Scarborough Saturday and welcomes Biddeford Tuesday of next week in the finale.

Falmouth was 6-7-1 and fourth in the region after a 7-3 home win over Scarborough last week. The Navigators go to St. Dom’s Wednesday, visit Bangor Saturday and go to Scarborough Tuesday of next week.

In Class B South, two-time reigning champion Greely remained atop the standings after a 1-0 loss at Leavitt and a 6-1 home win over Gorham last week. Evan Dutil scored twice in the victory. The Rangers welcome York Wednesday and Cape Elizabeth Thursday, go to Kennebunk Saturday and play host to Leavitt Tuesday of next week.

Cheverus/Yarmouth was 9-4 and third in Class B South following home wins over Kennebunk (8-3) and Cape Elizabeth (3-2) last week. Wyatt Header had the game-winner versus the Capers, while Brian Connolly and Kevin Connolly also scored. Cheverus/Yarmouth welcomes Gorham Thursday, goes to Kennebunk Monday and hosts York Tuesday of next week.

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

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