The 2022-23 winter sports season featured high drama and best of all, there wasn’t a mask to be found.

The basketball campaign was terrific from start to finish, as the South Portland boys made a stirring run to a surprise repeat state title. Scarborough upset Gorham in the Class AA South quarterfinals, then lost to the Red Riots in the semifinals. Cape Elizabeth won its preliminary round game, then gave top-ranked Oceanside a scare before falling in the Class B South quarterfinals.

On the girls’ side, Scarborough knocked off South Portland in the AA South quarterfinals, then lost to top-ranked Thornton Academy in the semifinals.

On the ice, the Cape Elizabeth boys won the Class B championship for the first time since 2006, while the South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete co-op squad made a memorable run all the way to its first-ever Class A state final, which it lost to Thornton Academy. Defending Class A champion Scarborough’s repeat bid was ended by South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete in the state quarterfinals.

On the girls’ side, the Cape Elizabeth/South Portland/Waynflete co-op team returned to the playoffs, but lost to York in the South region quarterfinals.

On the track, Scarborough’s boys won yet another title while the Red Storm girls finished second in Class A.


In the pool, Cape Elizabeth continued its dynasty, as both the boys’ and girls’ teams won Class B crowns. The Scarborough boys won a repeat championship in Class A.

Cape Elizabeth continued to excel in Alpine skiing as well, as the boys’ team rode Logan Schwartz’s brilliance to a second-place finish in Class B.

While everyone is eager to get on to spring and (hopefully) warmer weather, let’s take one look back at the best performances and best stories of the wonderful winter that was.

Southern edition winter state champions

Cape Elizabeth Capers boys’ hockey, Class B
Cape Elizabeth Capers boys’ swimming, Class B
Cape Elizabeth Capers girls’ swimming, Class B
Scarborough Red Storm boys’ indoor track, Class A
Scarborough Red Storm boys’ swimming, Class A
South Portland Red Riots boys’ basketball, Class AA

Southern edition winter individual champions


Indoor track

Adam Bendetson, Scarborough, Class A boys’ two-mile
Caroline Fallona, Scarborough, Class A girls’ 55
Emerson Flaker, Scarborough, Class A girls’ 400
Parker Killiard, Scarborough, Class A boys’ 200
Nate Murray, Scarborough, Class A boys’ shot put


Cookie Mahoney, Cape Elizabeth, Class B girls’ 200 individual medley
Cookie Mahoney, Cape Elizabeth, Class B girls’ 100 freestyle
Cormac McKenney, Cape Elizabeth, Class B boys’ 100 butterfly
Cormac McKenney, Cape Elizabeth, Class B boys’ 100 breaststroke
Graham Plourde, Cape Elizabeth, Class B boys’ 200 individual medley
Lucy Shaw, Cape Elizabeth, Class B girls’ 200 freestyle
David Steinbrick, Cape Elizabeth, Class B boys’ 100 freestyle
David Steinbrick, Cape Elizabeth, Class B boys’ 200 freestyle
Hope Taylor, Cape Elizabeth, Class B girls’ 500 freestyle
Ethan Schulz, Scarborough, Class A boys’ 100 freestyle
Ethan Schulz, Scarborough, Class A boys’ 200 freestyle
Evan Wardrop, Scarborough, Class A boys’ 100 backstroke


Logan Schwartz, Cape Elizabeth, Class B boys’ Alpine slalom
Logan Schwartz, Cape Elizabeth, Class B boys’ Alpine giant slalom


Michael’s top five stories

5) Scarborough steals the show on the track again

Caroline Fallona was a top sprinter this winter for the Scarborough girls’ indoor track team. File photo.

Another year, another state championship for Scarborough’s boys’ indoor track team and this time, the girls’ squad nearly accomplished the same feat. The Red Storm boys won their seventh consecutive crown and their 11th in the last 12 postseasons, beating runner-up Brunswick by 22 points, as Adam Bendetson (two-mile), Parker Killiard (200) and Nate Murray (shot put) all enjoyed first-place finishes. Scarborough’s girls, meanwhile, wound up just 4.5 points shy of Bangor and finished second. The Red Storm got wins from Caroline Fallona in the 55 and Emerson Flaker in the 400 and Fallona teamed up with Amelia Caruso, Bailey Stoddard-Baugham and Julia Black) to capture the 4×200 relay.

4)  Local swimmers lap the competition 

Cape Elizabeth’s Cookie Mahoney won two events and led the Capers to another Class B girls’ swim title. File photo.

Three local swim teams took home state titles and there were an abundance of solid individual showings as well. Cape Elizabeth swept Class B for the second consecutive winter. The boys got first-place performances from David Steinbrick in the 100 freestyle and 200 free, Graham Plourde in the 200 individual medley, Cormac McKenney in the 100 butterfly and the 100 breaststroke and from their 200 medley and 400 free relay teams. The Capers girls continued their recent domination by getting wins from Cookie Mahoney in the 100 free and 200 IM, Lucy Shaw in the 200 free, Hope Taylor in the 500 free and their 200 free and 400 free relays. Not to be outdone, Scarborough’s boys won Class A for the second straight season, as Ethan Schulz won the 100 free and 200 free and Evan Wardrop won the 100 backstroke, while the Red Storm swept the relays.

3) South Portland hockey enjoys finest season


The South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete co-op boys’ hockey team went to the state final for the first time this winter. File photo.

The South Portland boys’ hockey program has been around for nearly four decades, but until this winter, had never played for a state title. This year’s squad, which also featured players from Freeport and Waynflete, didn’t appear destined for a deep postseason run when it hung around the .500 mark most of the way, but the Red Riots hit their stride late in the regular season and as the No. 5 seed for the Class A playoffs, embarked on a memorable and historic run. First, South Portland avenged last year’s painful double-overtime playoff ouster by downing reigning champion Scarborough in the quarterfinals. Then, the Red Riots shocked top-ranked Falmouth, which was riding a 17-game win streak, in the semifinals. When South Portland took a 2-0 lead after one period in the state final against Thornton Academy, it was on the brink of shocking the world, but the Golden Trojans rallied for a 5-3 victory, leaving the Red Riots just one win shy of a first title and with a lot to be proud of.

“It was a really good run,” said longtime South Portland coach Joe Robinson. “In the middle of the season, it wasn’t looking good, but we turned it on at the right time and had a good run in the playoffs. We gave it our best shot.”

2) South Portland boys go back-to-back

Jaelen Jackson and his South Portland boys’ basketball teammates soared to another state title. File photo.

South Portland’s boys’ basketball team, meanwhile, had won a title before, as it snapped a three-decade drought last winter, but the Red Riots weren’t supposed to do it again, due to the graduation of big man extraordinaire J.P. Estrella and Owen Maloney, who is now playing at the University of Maine. Sure enough, South Portland stumbled at times, losing twice to preseason favorite Thornton Academy and at home to Gorham, but the Red Riots finished the regular season on a six-game win streak, then dispatched Sanford and Scarborough to get back to the Class AA South Final, where they solved Thornton Academy in emphatic fashion. South Portland then matched up against Portland in the state final and rode a 20-2 run to a 52-42 victory, as Ben Smith led the way with 19 points, Jayden Kim added 13 and Jaelen Jackson capped his stellar career with 12 points to help the Red Riots go back-to-back for the first time since 1979-80.

“I’d say this (year) is almost better because no one thought we’d be able to do it,” said Jackson. “It feels good to be able to come back and do this again. I never doubted it, to be honest. I knew we’d play our best at the end of the year. When we closed with some big wins, I felt good with the momentum we had.”

1) Cape hockey returns to the pinnacle

Cape Elizabeth’s boys got to finally raise a championship trophy this winter. File photo

Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ hockey team knew a thing or two about a long title drought. Despite being consistent contenders year after year, the Capers’ last Class B crown came in 2006, so this winter, the squad set out to do something about it. Cape Elizabeth lost just twice during the regular season, ended on an 11-game win streak, then defeated Cheverus/Yarmouth and York to reach the state game for the first time in 17 years. There, Messalonskee proved to be a worthy foe, but two goals apiece from seniors Nick Laughlin and Sebastian Moon and another strong effort from goalie Charlie Garvin were just enough to produce a 4-3 victory and the Capers were back were they belong. On top.

“It means a lot,” said Laughlin. “It’s a great feeling. A lot of fun. We just got better and better as we grew older. I think it was just our maturity that made the difference. (Messalonskee) kept fighting. Congrats to them. They’re a great team.”

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

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