The winter sports season had some fits and starts, but did it ever end in style.

While COVID still impacted the schedule, by season’s end, it was full speed ahead and after an abbreviated 2021 campaign with no postseason, every sport got to crown a champion this time around.

And there was no shortage of triumph to go around.

Yarmouth’s boys’ basketball team rallied to stun Ellsworth and win an exhilarating Class B state final, the Clippers’ first championship in a decade. Falmouth also made it to states, but had no answers for Nokomis in the Class A Final. Greely got to the semifinal round, while Freeport and North Yarmouth Academy were ousted in the preliminary round.

Greely’s girls’ team, led by a top talent, went on an unexpected run all the way to the Class A state final, where the Rangers finally met their match against Skowhegan. NYA nearly got to states as well, but dropped a heartbreaker to eventual champion Hall-Dale in the Class C South Final. Falmouth reached the semifinals, Yarmouth was beaten in the quarterfinals and Freeport went out in the preliminary round.

On the ice, two-time reigning Class B champion Greely boys weren’t able to three-peat, losing to eventual champion Brunswick in the regional final. The Cheverus/Yarmouth co-op team was beaten in a semifinal round five-overtime marathon. The South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete squad reached the state semifinals, while Falmouth lost in the state quarterfinals.

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On the girls’ side, Falmouth took care of York in the quarterfinals, then had top-ranked Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland on the ropes in the semifinals before giving up the tying goal with 7 seconds left and finally losing in a four-overtime epic. The Yarmouth/Freeport co-op team lost in the quarterfinals.

Local indoor track, swimming, skiing standouts brought home an abundance of hardware at their state meets.

Northern edition team state champions

Freeport Falcons boys’ Alpine skiing, Class A
Greely Rangers girls’ indoor track, Class B
Yarmouth Clippers boys’ basketball, Class B
Yarmouth Clippers girls’ Alpine skiing, Class B
Yarmouth Clippers boys’ Nordic skiing, Class B

Northern edition team regional champions

Falmouth Navigators boys’ basketball, Class A South
Greely Rangers, girls’ basketball, Class A South

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Northern edition individual state champions

Indoor track
Enoch Boudreau, Freeport, Class B boys’ pole vault
Frazier Dougherty, Yarmouth, Class B boys’ 400
Elle Jowett, Greely, Class B girls’ 55
Elle Jowett, Greely, Class B girls’ 200
Elle Jowett, Greely, Class B girls’ 400

Swimming
Brian Brogan, Freeport, Class B boys’ 50 freestyle
Brian Brogan, Freeport, Class B boys’ 100 freestyle
Audrey Cohen, Greely, Class B girls’ 100 breaststroke
Audrey Cohen, Greely, Class B girls’ 50 freestyle
Matt Desmond, Greely, Class B boys’ 200 freestyle
Patrick Gill, Falmouth, Class A boys’ 50 freestyle
Cole Gorsuch, Falmouth, Class A boys’ 100 backstroke
Cole Gorsuch, Falmouth, Class A boys’ 100 butterfly
Abby Hollis, Greely, Class B girls’ 100 backstroke
Jillian James, Falmouth, Class A girls’ diving
Will Porter, Falmouth, Class A boys’ 500 freestyle
Charter Sasseville, Greely, Class B boys’ 100 backstroke

Skiing
Brooke Boone, Yarmouth, Class B, Alpine giant slalom
Andrew Christie, Falmouth, Class A Alpine slalom
Andrew Christie, Falmouth, Class A Alpine giant slalom
Owen Redfield, Yarmouth, Class B Nordic freestyle
Joey Rouhana, Falmouth, Class A Nordic classical
Joey Rouhana, Falmouth, Class A Nordic freestyle

Michael’s top five stories/moments

5 Abundance of skiing excellence

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Falmouth’s Andrew Christie won the Class A state title in both the slalom and giant slalom at last month’s state meet. File photos.

Forecaster Country made up for lost time on the slopes and trails this winter, capturing multiple team and individual titles. On the Alpine side, the Freeport/Brunswick boys captured the Class A championship, while the Yarmouth girls were first in Class B. Yarmouth’s boys won the Class B Nordic crown. Individually, Falmouth boasted a pair of multiple champions, as Andrew Christie won the Class A boys’ Alpine slalom and giant slalom and Joey Rouhana was first in the Class A Nordic classical and freestyle. That wasn’t all, as Brooke Boone helped Yarmouth’s girls’ to the Class B Alpine title by winning the giant slalom and Owen Redfield led the Clippers boys to the Class B Nordic crown by placing first in the freestyle.

4 Many titles in the pool

Greely’s Audrey Cohen celebrates after setting a new state record in winning the 100 breaststroke at last month’s Class B state meet.

While this winter saw no shortage of skiing champions, swimming produced even more and while no local team was able to win a championship, nine individuals came in first in their respective event. Falmouth’s boys produced Class A champions in the 50 freestyle (Patrick Gill), 100 backstroke (Cole Gorsuch), 100 butterfly (Gorsuch) and the 500 free (Will Porter). The Navigators had a champion on the girls’ side as well, as Jillian James was first in Class A in diving. At the Class B state meet, Freeport’s Brian Brogan won the boys’ 50 free and 100 free and Greely had four champions, capturing five events, as Audrey Cohen was first in both the girls’ 50 free and 100 breaststroke, Matt Desmond won the boys’ 200 free, Abby Hollis took the girls’ 100 backstroke and Charter Sasseville was the champion of the boys’ 100 backstroke.

3) The five-OT marathon

On the night of March, 4, the Cheverus/Yarmouth boys’ hockey squad exceeded imagination when it played five overtimes in the Class B South semifinals versus Brunswick. Cheverus/Yarmouth, now in its second year as a co-op, started the year 0-2, but eventually hit its stride, winding up 12-5 and third in the region. After eliminating York, 5-1, in the quarterfinals, Cheverus/Yarmouth went to Brunswick for the semifinals and the teams would need far more than 45 minutes to determine a winner. Cheverus/Yarmouth had a 3-2 lead early in the third period, but the Dragons pulled even and Brunswick goalie Luke Patterson and Cheverus/Yarmouth goalkeeper Neal McQuarrie stopped every shot they faced the rest of regulation and through four, eight-minute, “sudden victory” overtimes. The Dragons finally broke through in the fifth OT to end Cheverus/Yarmouth’s terrific season, but even in defeat, Cheverus/Yarmouth could only marvel at what took place.

“It was insane, but it was a lot of fun,” Cheverus/Yarmouth coach Dave St. Pierre said. “Unfortunately, we just came out on the wrong end. It was a battle of two evenly matched teams. We went toe-to-toe and both teams left it all on the ice.”

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2) Graiver the Great sparks Greely’s run

Greely senior Chelsea Graiver celebrates after leading the Rangers to the Class A South title.

Greely’s girls’ basketball team wasn’t viewed as the favorite this winter and when the Rangers started the year 2-2, it appeared the modest expectations were spot on, but Greely got better as the season progressed, then, behind the sensational play of senior Chelsea Graiver, the Rangers roared all the way to the Class A state final. First, Graiver had 16 points and seven assists in a 49-27 quarterfinal round victory over reigning champion Marshwood. She then went off for 24 points and seven rebounds to help Greely hold off rival Falmouth, 52-47, in the semifinals. In the regional final, the Rangers upset top-ranked Brunswick, 38-35, avenging an earlier loss, as Graiver earned regional tournament MVP honors after scoring half of her team’s points, while adding seven rebounds and four assists. Greely fell short against Skowhegan in the state game, 60-46, but Graiver made big shot after big shot to keep her team in it and wound up bowing out with 32 points.

“I couldn’t ask for a better run to end my senior year, other than winning the Gold Ball,” Graiver said.

1 ‘Stevie Wonder’ leads Yarmouth to the Promised Land

Stevie Walsh celebrates Yarmouth’s victory over Medomak Valley in the Class B South Final. Six days later, Walsh would drain a game-tying 3-pointer late in the state game to force overtime and eventually help the Clippers to the championship.

Yarmouth’s boys’ basketball team enjoyed perhaps the finest season in program history this winter, winning the Gold Ball for the third time overall and for the first time in a decade, as the Clippers made big plays when they had to, with the biggest coming in the Class B state game against undefeated Ellsworth. Yarmouth trailed most of the way and despite a valiant rally appeared destined to fall just short when it was down, 44-41, with under 10 seconds to go. But out of a timeout, junior Stevie Walsh, better known as “Stevie Wonder,” got the ball in the corner, soared and hit the biggest 3-pointer of his life to force overtime. There, the Clippers dominated and behind 27 points from senior standout Peter Psyhogeos and 16 from senior point guard extraordinaire Matt Waeldner, prevailed, 59-52.

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

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