Mother Nature was able to wreak havoc with the schedule a couple of days last week and into this week as well, but the winter sports season continues to chug along and with the postseason just a few weeks away, every day takes on more importance.

Here’s a look back at the week that was and a glimpse at what’s on tap:

Boys’ basketball

Portland’s Pepito Girumugisha shoots during the Bulldogs’ 44-41 victory at Falmouth Friday. Michael Hoffer / For The Forecaster.

Portland’s boys’ basketball team improved to 10-3 after wins last week over visiting Windham (57-43) and host Falmouth (44-41). Against the Eagles, Pitia Donato led the way with 15 points, eight rebounds and four steals and Jeissey Khamis added 13 points. In the win over the Navigators, Remijo Wani had a game-high 23 points and scored the go-ahead points in the final minute, Kevin Rugabirwa added 11 points and Wani and Kennedy Charles, who also made a memorable defensive play with the game on the line, each hit two clutch free throws late.

“I just tried to tune (the student section) out, do my routine and knock down my free throws,” Charles said.

“We started the game pretty slow, but thankfully we picked it up,” said Wani. “Throughout the year, we’ve been in a lot of close games, so we’re comfortable. We were able to pull it out.”


“I’m pleased with how we hung in there because we fell apart for a lot of the game,” added longtime Portland coach Joe Russo, after earning his 457th victory with the program. “You always play the next play. That’s our motto. There’s a theory that you have to learn to win. You have to learn to keep your composure and have confidence. We’re learning.”

The Bulldogs (ranked first in the Class AA North Heal Points standings at press time) hosted Lewiston Tuesday hoping to avenge an earlier loss, go to Bangor Friday, then welcome Edward Little Tuesday of next week.

“Lewiston is a big game because they beat us,” Russo said. “Lewiston will come at us. We have to handle the ball and score points. We have to get above the 50-point mark. We haven’t shot great, but we can shoot the ball. We’re still learning to be calm and cool with offensive basketball. I love this team. I love our effort, how we communicate and how we get along. I’m having a lot of fun with these guys.”

Cheverus was 9-4 and fourth in the region following a 65-58 win at Edward Little and a 75-52 home loss to Oxford Hills last week. In the victory, Silvano Ismail had 26 points, Leo McNabb added 15 and Gio St. Onge finished with 12. Against the Vikings, Ismail had a team-high 20 points. After going to Windham Tuesday, the Stags are at Lewiston Saturday.

Deering fell to 0-12 and ninth in Class AA North following losses last week at Lewiston (66-49) and South Portland (74-40). Against the Blue Devils, Evan Legassey had 20 points and Mogga Yanga added 18. The Rams were at Edward Little Tuesday, host Oxford Hills Friday and visit Windham Tuesday of next week.

In Class C South, Waynflete was 6-6 and 10th after a 53-52 home loss to Lake Region and a 52-46 victory at Hall-Dale last week. Matt Adey had 16 points in the setback. In the win, Connor Ford led the way with 19 points and Cole Isherwood scored the go-ahead basket. The Flyers hosted Traip Academy Tuesday, go to St. Dom’s Thursday and visit Boothbay Saturday.


Girls’ basketball

Cheverus’s Emma Lizotte, left, and Olivia Conroy fight for a rebound during Saturday’s loss at Oxford Hills. Brewster Burns / Sun Journal

On the girls’ side, Deering is surging. After losing their first nine games, the Rams extended their win streak to three last week by downing visiting Lewiston (46-31) and South Portland (50-43). Against the Blue Devils, Maya Gayle and Nyabhana Lia each scored 15 points. In the win over the Red Riots, Gayle had 20 points and Lia added 15. Deering (3-9 and sixth in the Class AA North Heals) hosted Edward Little Tuesday, goes to undefeated Oxford Hills Saturday and welcomes Windham Tuesday of next week.

Reigning Class AA champion Cheverus won its 11th straight game last Wednesday, 50-21, over visiting Edward Little, as Emma Lizotte scored 26 points and blocked six shots, while Maddie Fitzpatrick added 14 points. Saturday, the Stags fell to 11-2 with a 61-50 loss at Oxford Hills. Fitzpatrick scored 21 points, but the Vikings made 11 3-pointers and Cheverus couldn’t keep up.

“They’re a great shooting team,” said Cheverus coach Billy Goodman, about the Vikings. “They’re great on offense. I’ve told everyone who will listen to me how good they are. If you shut two players down, two others will score. There’s a lot of scoring ability on that team. It’s probably one of the most potent teams I’ve gone against in 20 years.”

The Stags (third in the Heals) hosted Windham Tuesday, have a showdown at undefeated Thornton Academy Wednesday (see our website for game story), go to Lewiston Saturday, then welcome Oxford Hills in a rematch Tuesday of next week (see our website for game story).

“Hopefully, we’ll keep getting better,” Goodman said. “We still have a month to fix it. TA can score like Oxford can, then we have Oxford again. I like this tough schedule. We know what we have to work on and it’s up to the coaching staff to make the girls better.”


Portland fell to 2-10 after losses last week at Windham (48-30) and at home to Falmouth (54-50). Emma Shaw and Lucy Tidd each had seven points against the Eagles. In the loss to the Navigators, Shaw had 14 points. The Bulldogs hoped to snap a seven-game skid Tuesday at Lewiston. Portland (eighth in Class AA North) hosts Bangor Friday and goes to Edward Little Tuesday of next week.

In Class C South, Waynflete fell to 2-10 and 13th after a 56-29 setback at Lake Region and a 58-24 home loss to reigning state champion Hall-Dale last week. Lucy Hart led the Flyers with 15 points against the Lakers. In the loss to the Bulldogs, Lauren McNutt Girouard finished with 10 points. Waynflete was at Traip Academy Tuesday, visits St. Dom’s Thursday and hosts Boothbay Saturday.

Boys’ hockey

South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport’s Roan Hopkins scores a goal during last week’s overtime loss to Scarborough. Derek Davis / Portland Press Herald

The Cheverus/Yarmouth boys’ hockey team beat host Gorham, 4-2, Saturday for its fifth straight victory as it improved to 5-2-1 on the season. After hosting Greely Thursday (see our website for game story), Cheverus/Yarmouth (second in the Class B South Heals) goes to York Saturday.

South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport fell to 4-6 and sixth in Class A after a 4-3 overtime home loss to reigning Class A state champion Scarborough last Thursday. Roan Hopkins scored twice and Tobey Lappin also put the puck in the net, but the Red Storm tied the game in the third period, then won it in OT.

“It was a tough one,” South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport coach Joe Robinson lamented. “Our forecheck was great and we had them hemmed in most of the game, but we didn’t get enough quality shots. When you play good teams, it’s every shift and we had some mistakes that cost us. It’s frustrating. I can’t fault the guys. It’s not that they didn’t try or didn’t work, it just didn’t go our way tonight.”


South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport goes to Lewiston Wednesday, then welcomes Thornton Academy Saturday.

“We’re right in the thick of it,” said Robinson. “We’ve got to get some wins for sure. We have to get the puck in the net more. We’re competitive. We’ll be alright. Our work ethic and our attitudes are good.”

Girls’ hockey

On the girls’ side, Cheverus improved to 13-1 and first in the South Region Heals after handling host Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland (9-0) and visiting York (5-1) last week. In the first victory, Mikayla Talbot, Maddie Doherty and Elle Cooney all scored twice. Against the Wildcats, five different players scored. The Stags host Mt. Ararat Wednesday, go to Kennebunk Saturday and welcome Falmouth Monday.

Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland had its four-game win streak snapped with a 9-0 home loss to Cheverus, then improved to 8-6 and second in the South Region with a 6-0 home victory over Falmouth. Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland goes to Penobscot Wednesday and visits York Saturday.

Portland/Deering fell to 1-10 and seventh in the South Region after an 8-2 home loss to Gorham and a 4-3 loss at Biddeford. After welcoming York Tuesday, Portland/Deering is at Yarmouth/Freeport Wednesday, visits Falmouth Friday and goes to Edward Little Saturday.


Indoor track

On the track, in a city meet held Saturday at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham, Portland’s girls tallied 140.5 point to finish first by three points over South Portland, winning it on the last relay. Cheverus (56 points) finished third and Deering (45) was fourth.

In the boys’ competition, won by South Portland with 192 points, Portland (110) was second, Cheverus (56) came in third and Deering (38) was fourth.


In recent swimming action, Cheverus competed against Massabesic, Sanford and Windham. The Stags’ boys were second and the girls came in third.

Deering-Portland was swept by Cape Elizabeth, with the boys falling 94-39 and the girls losing, 102-70.

Waynflete’s girls downed Freeport, 76-44, while the Flyers boys lost to the Falcons, 46-36.


Cheverus’ girls’ Alpine ski team came in fourth at a recent league slalom meet at Pleasant Mountain. Maddy Marcisso placed eighth individually with a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 29.12 seconds. The Stags boys didn’t score as a team. Reis Stamaris came in fifth individually (1:17.1).

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]

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