It’s not quite time to start crowning winter sports champions, but it’s getting closer.

The flip of the calendar from January to February means that the most exciting time of the year is upon us and that every game has even more meaning.

Here’s a glimpse at the action that closed the old month and a look ahead to what’s on tap:

Boys’ basketball

Yarmouth’s Matt Gautreau shoots over Freeport’s Conner Smith during the Clippers’ victory last week. Derek Davis / Portland Press Herald

Don’t look now, but Yarmouth’s boys’ basketball team, the reigning Class B state champion, is hitting its stride. The Clippers, who started 4-4, extended their win streak to six games by virtue of recent victories at Freeport (45-39) and at home over Gray-New Gloucester (57-54), Greely (59-36) and Spruce Mountain (47-38). Against the Falcons, Evan Hamm had 16 points, Matt Gautreau added 15 and Stevie Walsh finished with 10 while Liam Hickey stepped up defensively in the absence of Justin Dawes, who was out sick.

“It’s a rivalry game and the intensity was high,” said Gautreau. “We play well through adversity. We have a lot of state champions on this team.”


“I knew Justin was one of the bigger guys on the team and he’d guard their big guy (JT Pound), so I knew I’d have to do that,” Hickey said. “I tried my best to guard him.”

“(Freeport’s) game plan was amazing, but our guys kept pushing and defensively, we just committed to one stop at a time,” added Yarmouth first-year coach Ilunga Mutombo.

In the win over the Patriots, one of the top teams in Class A South, Hamm scored 19 points and Walsh added 13. Walsh then went off for 28 points (including 16 in the third quarter) and Gautreau added 19 against the Rangers.

“We love our fans,” Walsh said. “They came out in big numbers today. That’s so helpful. We haven’t lost a game at home all year and that’s partially due to them bringing the energy every single time.”

“I feel like the energy of the crowd was great tonight,’ Gautreau said. “Coach gave us a great game plan and it was great motivation for us.”

“It was such a special night,” added Mutombo. “We’ve hyped ourselves up for this. We knew both towns would be here. We knew we had to play hard. I told them to seize the moment.”


In the win over the Phoenix, the Clippers closed on a 12-2 run and prevailed behind 14 points apiece from Gautreau and Hamm and 11 from Walsh.

“We’ve been really hot lately and we’ve been motivated to come out and play, especially at home,” said Gautreau.

“There wasn’t any panic,” Hamm said. “We knew we had to just take our time and look for the open guy.”

“We decided we weren’t going to lose that game,” said Walsh. “We called timeout, talked things over, then came out and attacked.”

“We have heart and desire and the guys wanted it,” Mutombo added. “We made an adjustment where we just set screens for each other. We committed to doing something extraordinary. Looking for the best shots.”

Yarmouth (10-4 and second to Oceanside in the Class B South Heal Points standings) hosted Cape Elizabeth Tuesday, welcomes Lake Region Friday, visits Wells Monday and goes to Poland in the regular season finale Wednesday of next week.


“I think we still have more room to grow,” Mutombo said. “We want to keep pushing each other to keep getting better as a team. We have yet to hit our peak and when we do, it’s going to be something to see.”

In Class A South, Falmouth, the reigning champion, was 10-4 and first after downing visiting Brunswick (54-48) and host Westbrook (36-24) and losing at Class AA South power Thornton Academy (57-37). Against the Dragons, Chris Simonds scored 18 points, Paul Dilworth added 13 and Lucas Dilworth had 12. The Navigators held the Blue Blazes scoreless in the first quarter and got eight points from Judd Armstrong and seven from Paul Dilworth in that victory. In the setback, Simonds had a team-high 15 points. Falmouth was at Mt. Ararat Tuesday, hosts Biddeford Friday and Westbrook Tuesday of next week, then closes the regular season at Kennebunk Feb. 9.

Greely was 6-7 and sixth in Class A South after a 59-57 home win over Wells and a 59-36 loss at Yarmouth. In the victory, Hayden MacArthur had 19 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, and Tyler Pettengill added 12. Against the Clippers, Seamus Raftice had 16 points and Pettengill 12.

“Give those guys (Yarmouth) credit,” Rangers coach Travis Seaver said. “They’re a totally different team than we played two weeks ago. They responded.”

Greely hosted Fryeburg Academy Tuesday, goes to Wells Friday, welcomes Poland Saturday, hosts Freeport Monday and closes at Gray-New Gloucester Wednesday of next week.

“We’re doing a lot of good things,” Seaver said. “I know it didn’t look like it tonight, but we’re a much better team than we were two months ago and I expect we’ll be a better team two weeks from now. We hope to hit our stride.”


Freeport fell to 4-11 and 11th in Class A South after narrow losses to visiting Yarmouth (45-39), Cape Elizabeth (43-41) and Spruce Mountain (48-45) and at York (57-44). Against the Clippers, JT Pound had 20 points, but the Falcons fell short.

“They finished their putbacks late, but we had opportunities early,” said Freeport coach Tyler Tracy. “We were all over the offensive board but couldn’t put the ball in the hole. Sometimes, that’s the difference.”

In the loss to the Capers, where the Falcons led a 14-point halftime lead get away, Pound had a team-high 18 points.  Connor Slocum had 10 points against the Phoenix, who won a 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds remaining. At the Wildcats, Pound had 18 points. Freeport, which needs some wins to make the playoffs, was at Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday, visits Greely Monday and closes at home versus Fryeburg Academy next Wednesday.

“I love this team,” Tracy said. “They’re grinding and getting tougher. They compete harder and harder every night. I keep telling them we’re due for a big (win). It’s tough to lose and it’s easy to get down when you do, but they fight when the ball goes up.”

In Class C South, North Yarmouth Academy was 5-9 and 12th following a 56-43 win at Sacopee Valley and a 56-45 home loss to top-ranked Dirigo. In the victory, Moses Semuhoza had 19 points, Nate Oney added 15 and Cal Nice had 14. Against the Cougars, Semuhoza had a team-high 17 points and Colin Roderick added 11. The Panthers were at Old Orchard Beach Tuesday, then host Traip Academy Friday, Monmouth Academy Monday and Sacopee Valley in the finale Wednesday of next week.

Girls’ basketball


Falmouth’s Emily Abbott races up the floor during last week’s home loss to Thornton Academy. Michael Hoffer / For The Forecaster

On the girls’ side, NYA improved to 14-0 and first in the Class C South Heals after victories last week over visiting Sacopee Valley (62-19) and at Dirigo (85-32). Against the Hawks, Sarah English had a double-double of 28 points and 16 rebounds, while Graca Bila added 14 points and Angel Huntsman had 11. Bila then had 21 points, Charlotte Harper-Cunningham 17 and Ella Giguere 14 in the win over the Cougars. Huntsman added 11 assists. The Panthers were home versus Old Orchard Beach Tuesday, then go to Traip Academy Friday, visit Monmouth Academy Monday and close at Sacopee Valley Wednesday of next week.

In Class A South, Greely fell to 7-6 after losses last week at Wells (49-43) and Yarmouth (48-34). In the loss to the Warriors, Sophia Ippolito led the way with 13 points and Grier Wright added eight. Against the Clippers, Ippolito had 17 points, but Greely turned the ball over 20 times and didn’t score a point the final six minutes of the game after pulling within two.

“The girls played hard,” Greely coach Todd Flaherty said. “We just didn’t make enough layups and free throws. We missed too many. We just need to find a way to score more points.”

The Rangers (fourth in Class A South) were at Fryeburg Academy Tuesday, host Wells Friday (see our website for game story), visit Poland Saturday, go to Freeport Monday, then close the regular season at Gray-New Gloucester Wednesday of next week.

“We’re still kind of a mystery,” Flaherty said. “We have to play with desperation from the get-go. We’ve got some tough games ahead of us. If we can play well down the stretch, we can go into the tournament loose and play our best.”

Falmouth had a five-game win streak snapped last Tuesday at Brunswick (42-37), the top team in Class A South, then fell to 9-5 Friday after a 66-46 home loss to Thornton Academy, the top-ranked team in Class AA South. Against the Golden Trojans, Emily Abbott had 14 points and Anna Turgeon added 12, but the Navigators couldn’t keep up with one of the state’s best teams.

“(Thornton Academy’s) such a great team,” said Falmouth coach Dawn Armandi. “We wanted to go out there and make it a game, but we were out-sized. They’re a great shooting team. I would have liked it to be less than 20 (points), but we battled.”

The Navigators (fifth in Class A South) hosted Mt. Ararat in a pivotal contest Tuesday, go to Biddeford Friday and Westbrook Tuesday of next week, then close at home versus Kennebunk Feb. 9.

“We need to win out,” said Armandi. “Mt. Ararat is a must-win for us. I’ve said to the girls along that we have to trust the process because all these games are quizzes leading up to the final. As long as we’re ready by February, I’ll be happy. I believe in this group.”

Freeport won three straight games last week, 59-41 at Yarmouth, 53-30 over visiting Cape Elizabeth and 41-34 at Spruce Mountain. Against the Capers, Angel Pillsbury had 14 points, Maddie Cormier 11 and Mia Levesque 10. In the win over the Phoenix, Emily Groves tallied 12 points and Sydney Gelhar had 11. Monday, the Falcons improved to 8-7 and seventh in Class B South after a 53-40 home win over York. Pillsbury had a team-high 19 points, Groves added 14 and Isabelle Orlando had 13. Freeport hosted Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday, welcomes Greely Monday and closes at Fryeburg Academy Wednesday of next week.

In Class B South, Yarmouth was 5-8 and seventh following a 59-41 home loss to Freeport, a 41-32 setback at Gray-New Gloucester and a 48-34 home win over Greely, which snapped a four-game skid. Cate King and Neena Panozzo shared top-scoring honors in the loss to the Falcons with 11 points apiece. Against the Patriots, King led the way with 11 points. In the victory, Maya Hagerty had 13 points, while Panozzo and Delia MacDonald added 11 apiece.

“We all just really wanted this win,” Panozzo said. “We came together tonight. We’d been struggling, but we know we’re capable of beating a top team. It was good to show we could do it.”


“We’ve had a tough schedule,” said Yarmouth’s first-year coach Tom Panozzo. “We’ve had a few good quarters, then we make mistakes. We’ve worked hard in practice to correct those mistakes and it made a big difference tonight.”

The Clippers were at Cape Elizabeth Tuesday, play a makeup game at Spruce Mountain Thursday, host Lake Region Friday, then welcome Wells Monday and Poland Wednesday of next week to wrap up the regular season.

“From here on out, we’ll work hard and play like we did today,” Neena Panozzo said.

“We’re a young team, but if we keep learning and playing smart, we have a lot of potential,” said Tom Panozzo. “We just have to prepare and know we can (win). We want to be at our best in February.”

Boys’ hockey

Greely’s Tyler Haight sends the puck away from Cheverus/Yarmouth’s Andrew Cheever during Cheverus/Yarmouth’s 6-4 victory last week. Michael Hoffer / For The Forecaster

Falmouth’s boys’ hockey team improved to 8-2 and first in the Class A Heals after shutout wins last week at Fryeburg Academy (10-0) and Bangor (6-0). The Navigators go to Lewiston Wednesday, visit Marshwood Saturday and welcome St. Dom’s Tuesday of next week.


South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport was 5-6 and fifth in Class A following a 5-1 home victory over Thornton Academy Saturday. Roan Hopkins had two goals and Richard Gilboy, Seth Cloutier and Hewitt Sykes added one goal apiece. SP/Waynflete/Freeport hosts Edward Little Thursday, visits Bangor Saturday and plays a makeup game at Lewiston Monday.

In Class B South,  Cheverus/Yarmouth extended its win streak to eight and its unbeaten streak to nine after victories last week over visiting Greely (6-4) and at York (7-4) and Monday at Kennebunk (3-1). Against the Rangers, Cheverus/Yarmouth got goals from David Swift, Ian O’Connor, Brian Connolly, Ben Moll, Evan Hankins and Quinn McCoy and nearly let a 5-1 lead slip away before prevailing.

“We have to play a full 45 minutes,” Connolly said. “We have a good team this year. We pride ourselves in practice on sharing the puck. We’re playing as a team and it’s working for us.”

“Greely just came at us hard,” said Cheverus/Yarmouth coach David St. Pierre. “We didn’t execute the way we needed to and that’s something we need to learn from. We buckled down defensively after the second period. We took care of pucks and put them in safe places. We held them at bay and gave ourselves a chance to win.”

In the win over the Wildcats, Truman Peters scored twice and had a pair of assists and McCoy scored once and added three assists as Cheverus/Yarmouth scored three times in the third period to pull away.

“We had scoring up and down the lineup and a strong third period to close it out,” St. Pierre said.


Cheverus/Yarmouth (9-2-1 and third in the Class B South Heals) hosts defending Class B champion Brunswick in a pivotal contest Wednesday (see our website for game story), then goes to Greely Saturday.

“There are a lot of good teams, but if we play our game, we should be fine,” Connolly said.

“We’re at the halfway mark and we have a lot of tough games coming up,” St. Pierre said. “Any league opponent will be tough for us. We look forward to the second half and we’ll keep building.”

Greely fell to 2-9 and eighth after losses last week at Cheverus/Yarmouth (6-4) and at home to Leavitt (9-0). Against Cheverus/Yarmouth, Charlie Moore had three goals and Finn Murphy also scored, but a late rally fell short.

“I’m really proud of the resiliency and character of the guys,” said longtime Rangers coach Barry Mothes. “We’ve had some challenges this year and it tests you and it’s tough, but everybody rallied. Considering the opponent, this was our grittiest, best, hard-working effort to crawl back.”

Greely welcomed York Tuesday and hosts Cheverus/Yarmouth Saturday.


“We’ve got tough games left and hopefully we can build on this,” Mothes said. “It’s a good group of guys who are working hard. We’ve had challenges and adversity, but we’re enjoying the process and we’re definitely getting better. We can be dangerous, but we have to get in (the playoffs) first and we need some things to go our way to get some more wins.”

Girls’ hockey

Yarmouth/Freeport’s Adelaide Strout scores the go-ahead goal in Saturday’s 4-2 win over Cheverus. Brianna Soukup / Portland Press Herald

On the girls’ side, Yarmouth/Freeport was 13-2-1 and first in the North Region Heals after a huge 4-2 home victory over Cheverus last week and a 2-0 home loss to Mt. Ararat Monday. In the win, Sadie Carnes and Celia Zinman scored early, but the Stags rallied to tie. Then, Adelaide Strout scored the winner with 1:33 left and Sophie Smith added an empty netter to clinch it.

“It was a great celebration,” said Amanda Panciocco, who had two assists. “We’re super-excited.”

“We’ve been working so hard for this game,” said Carnes. “There was a lot of emotion. It was pretty stressful when the game was tied, especially against a good team like (Cheverus). We kept our energy going and it got us back on top.”

“It’s a good confidence booster for us,” added Yarmouth/Freeport coach David Intraversato. “We preach trust, confidence and work ethic. Our work ethic was there today. This gives us a lot of confidence if we play them again.”


Yarmouth/Freeport then had a 29-9 shots advantage against Mt. Ararat, but was stymied.

“(Mt. Ararat’s) goalie (Emma Morrison) was on her game,” said Intraversato. “She played lights out. She shut us down, period.”

Yarmouth/Freeport goes to Lewiston Saturday, then closes the regular season at home versus Portland/Deering Monday.

“Our region is very tough,” Intraversato said. “We’re in a position to do great things.”

Greely fell to 0-16 and ninth in the North Region following a 7-1 home loss to Winslow Saturday. The Rangers go to Portland/Deering Wednesday and finish at home versus Edward Little Saturday.

Falmouth was 5-10-1 and fifth in the South Region following a 7-1 loss at Mt. Ararat, home wins over Gorham (4-1) and Portland/Deering (7-2) and a 5-1 loss at Cheverus. Trinity Grenier scored twice against the Rams. In the win over Portland/Deering, Audrey Farnham scored four times and Hope Melevsky added a pair of goals. The Navigators go to Winslow Thursday, then close the regular season at home versus Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland Saturday.


Indoor track

In indoor track action last week, Greely’s boys and girls swept a nine-team league meet. NYA’s boys and girls each finished ninth.

Freeport’s boys and girls swept a five-team meet. Yarmouth’s boys and girls both came in second.


In the pool, Yarmouth swept a meet against Cheverus over the weekend, with the boys prevailing, 46-30, and the girls winning, 67-20.

Freeport swept Westbrook, with the boys prevailing, 71-22, and the girls winning, 61-20.


Greely was swept by Cape Elizabeth, with the boys losing, 105-56, and the girls falling, 111-64.


Yarmouth’s girls were fifth, Freeport placed sixth, Greely was ninth, NYA/Maine Coast Waldorf came in 12th and Falmouth was 19th at the Sassi Memorial 5-kilometer classical race last weekend in Rumford.

In the boys’ competition, Yarmouth placed third, Freeport was fifth, Greely sixth, Falmouth 14th and NYA/MCW 18th.

On the Alpine side, Yarmouth’s Brooke Boone won a league slalom meet Monday with a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 40.55 seconds, but the Clippers were fourth as a team. Freeport came in first and was led by Rosie St. Cyr (third, 1:45.65). Greely was runner-up and was paced by Ruth Weeks (sixth, 1:49.27).

In the boys’ competition, Yarmouth took top team honors. Killian Marsh (third, 1:39.80) led the way. Freeport was second and was led by Bobby Strong (sixth, 1:44.69). Greely came in fifth and was paced by Calum Sheff (18th, 2:02.46).

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

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