Sports – Press Herald Tue, 20 Feb 2018 05:13:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Monday’s NHL roundup: Capitals move back into first in Metropolitan Division Tue, 20 Feb 2018 02:56:46 +0000 BUFFALO, N.Y. — Alex Ovechkin scored his league-leading 35th goal, and the Washington Capitals reclaimed the top spot in the Metropolitan Division with a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Monday.

John Carlson had a goal and assist and Philipp Grubauer stopped 32 shots in a game Washington led 2-0 after two periods.

Evgeny Kuznetsov sealed the victory by scoring into an open net with 26 seconds remaining, and the Capitals ended a four-game trip at 2-1-1 and bounced back from a 7-1 loss at Chicago on Saturday.

Washington improved to 34-18-7 for 75 points, moving one ahead of the idle Pittsburgh Penguins.

Kyle Okposo spoiled Grubauer’s shutout by having Scott Wilson’s shot from the high slot deflect in off him with 7:18 remaining to cut Washington’s lead to 2-1.

Evander Kane then closed the scoring with a goal with 4 seconds left in a final period in which Buffalo managed 17 of its 34 shots.

Backup goalie Chad Johnson stopped 27 shots.

The Sabres dropped to 2-7-1 in their past 10 home games.

Washington’s first two goals had to be reviewed.

WILD 5, ISLANDERS 3: Matt Cullen and Tyler Ennis scored in Minnesota’s three-goal second period, and the Wild won at New York.

Jason Zucker added two goals for the Wild, who have earned at least a point in six of their past seven games.


TRADES: Washington acquired defenseman Michal Kempny from Chicago for a conditional third-round draft pick.

The 27-year-old Kempny had a goal and six assists in 31 games for Chicago this season.

• The Philadelphia Flyers  acquired goaltender Petr Mrazek from the Detroit Red Wings for two conditional draft picks.

Flyers GM Ron Hextall made the move a day after losing his second goalie to injury in less than 10 days. Starter Brian Elliott had core muscle surgery last Tuesday and is expected to miss up to 6 weeks. Backup Michal Neuvirth was injured in Sunday’s win at the New York Rangers. The team didn’t update his status before making the trade.

Mrazek was 8-7-3 with a 2.89 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage this season for Detroit. He’s 72-58-20 with a 2.60 GAA and a .912 save percentage in 166 appearances in six seasons for the Red Wings.

The Flyers sent a conditional fourth-round draft pick in 2018 and a conditional third-round draft pick in 2019 to Detroit.

BLACKHAWKS: The team says four fans ejected from Chicago’s United Center for making racist taunts against a black player, Devante Smith-Pelly of the Capitals, during Saturday’s game have been banned from attending Blackhawks home games.

]]> 0 goalie Philipp Grubauer makes a glove save during the second period Monday against the host Buffalo Sabres.Mon, 19 Feb 2018 22:53:35 +0000
Bruins, Rask bounce back for 2-1 OT win against Calgary Tue, 20 Feb 2018 02:47:17 +0000 CALGARY, Alberta — After a blip in Vancouver, the Boston Bruins got right back to business.

Brad Marchand scored his 22nd goal 3:36 into overtime to give Boston a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Monday, less than 48 hours after the Bruins lost 6-1 to the Canucks.

“We ran into a hot goalie in Vancouver. Their goalie played great tonight, but we were resilient,” Marchand said. “We were much better in the defensive zone and had a better game overall.”

David Pastrnak also scored for Boston (36-13-8), which moved within one point of Tampa Bay for first place in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference. The Bruins, who are 12-1-2 in their last 15 road games, have two games in hand on the Lightning.

Boston has lost only three times in regulation in the last 28 games (21-3-4).

“It starts at the top with leadership, and just having that constant belief we can do it, we can get the job done regardless of who we’re playing against,” Riley Nash said.

After TJ Brodie’s turnover deep in the Flames end, Nash’s pass sprung Marchand on a breakaway and he made no mistake, slipping the puck through the pads of rookie goaltender David Rittich for the ninth overtime goal of his career.

“(Nash) made a phenomenal defensive play,” Marchand said. “I knew that they had three guys low and I just tried to get out of the zone. He made a great play to get it up.”

Brodie accepted the blame.

“Tonight was on me,” the Calgary defenseman said. “I tried to pass to Johnny (Gaudreau). I could have passed it to (Sean Monahan), I could have shot it. It’s one of those things that looking back now, I definitely could have done something different.”

Matthew Tkachuk scored for the Flames (30-21-9), who fell to 1-3-4 in their last eight home games. They began the day one point out of third place in the Pacific Division.

“It’s like any slump — the harder you try, the more you grip the stick, the worse it is,” Brodie said. “It’s not like we’ve been playing bad at home. We’ve gotten chances. It’s just one of those things where a bounce here and there, we could be talking about the same record as the road.”

With the teams meeting for the second time in six days, Calgary was territorially outplayed by a wide margin in the first period but Rittich kept the Flames in it.

Calgary tied it 1-all at 5:28 of the second, scoring on the power play. Monahan’s shot was stopped by Tuukka Rask, but as the puck lied at the feet of Zdeno Chara in the crease, Tkachuk knocked in his 22nd goal.

Rittich was starting his fourth game in a row, with veteran Mike Smith (lower body) still sidelined. Rittich was pulled Saturday night after giving up four goals on 15 shots.

“Huge bounce-back for Rittich,” Flames Coach Glen Gulutzan said. “That team is a hard team to beat. You look across the league, not many teams are beating them. You can’t really beat them without goaltending and we got it tonight and it gave us a chance.”

The 25-year-old Czech goalie was especially sharp in keeping the score even at 1.

A minute after Calgary tied it, Rittich slid across the crease to get a glove on Marchand’s backhand out of midair after he was set up by Patrice Bergeron.

Late in the second, Rittich stabbed out his glove to rob Ryan Spooner on a breakaway. In the third, the goalie stared down Pastrnak on a breakaway and acrobatically got the toe of his left pad on a dangerous chance.

Rittich finished with 30 stops but fell to 6-3-3.

“It’s frustrating,” said Tkachuk, who has 14 goals in his last 22 games. “They’re a really good team. Didn’t give us many chances at all. The ones that we did get, we’ve got to capitalize.”

Rask also was coming off a shortened outing in his previous start, pulled after giving up four goals on eight shots in the first period against Vancouver.

This time, he made 28 saves to improve to 24-10-4.

Boston struck first at 5:59 when Michael Frolik coughed up the puck along the sideboards in his own end and Pastrnak pounced on it, quickly firing a shot past Rittich on his blocker side.

]]> 0's Brad Marchand, right, celebrates his winning goal in overtime Monday at Calgary.Mon, 19 Feb 2018 22:52:01 +0000
Major league notebook: MLB places limits on player visits to mound Tue, 20 Feb 2018 02:23:26 +0000 NEW YORK — Major League Baseball imposed stricter limits on mound visits by players in an effort to speed games but decided against 20-second pitch clocks for 2018.

After more than a year of negotiations, the Major League Baseball Players Association refused to agree to the changes but also signed an agreement that it will not oppose the rules.

The amendments to the playing rules announced Monday include a general limit of six mound visits per nine-inning game without a pitching change, whether by a manager, coach or player.

To assuage players’ concerns about sign stealing, MLB will install new telephone lines from dugouts to video replay rooms. MLB said the lines will be monitored, and a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press all conversations on the lines will be recorded. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because that detail was not announced.

MLB has the right to make playing rules changes absent an agreement with one year notice and made proposals during the 2016-17 offseason for a pitch clock and more restrictions on mound visits.

“I am pleased that we were able to reach an understanding with the players association,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “My strong preference is to continue to have ongoing dialogue with players on this topic to find mutually acceptable solutions.”

Union head Tony Clark noted the sides technically did not reach a deal.

ORIOLES: Chris Tillman agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract according to a person with knowledge of the deal. Tillman was 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 19 starts and five relief appearances last year.

GIANTS: The team finalized a two-year deal with left-hander Tony Watson that includes a player option for 2020 and guarantees the former All-Star reliever $9 million.

NATIONALS: A person with knowledge of the deal says 40-year-old reliever Joaquin Benoit has agreed in principle to a $1 million major league contract for the 2018 season.

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Girls’ basketball: No. 1 Brunswick overwhelms Falmouth Tue, 20 Feb 2018 02:10:49 +0000 Top-ranked Brunswick moved one decisive step closer to defending its Class A South girls’ basketball championship with a 74-25 victory against ninth-seeded Falmouth in a quarterfinal Monday night at the Portland Expo.

The Dragons grabbed control early, improved in the second quarter and played their best basketball in the third.

“They know what it takes to work hard. They’re used to playing during this week, which is different because we don’t have school, and they’ve played in these buildings so they’ve gotten used to it,” said Coach Sam Farrell.

Charlotte MacMillan scored 17 points and Marley Groat added 12 in a balanced offense for the Dragons.

Fellow starters Rian Sachs (9 points), Sabrina Armstrong (9) and Alexis Guptil (8) contributed at both ends. MacMillan, Groat, Armstrong and Emily Larochelle (8 points) each made two 3-pointers.

“We’re pretty good at finding the open people and moving the ball really well, and getting it to them,” MacMillan said.

“We’re all about (working) together and everyone doing multiple things.”

Brunswick (19-0) will face fourth-seeded York (11-8) in the semifinals at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Cross Insurance Arena.

Falmouth (6-14) was slowed by having two players injured and two more sick since its preliminary win at Morse. Grace Soucy, its leading scorer and senior captain, was unable to play after being diagnosed with mononucleosis.

Allison Cunningham (7 points) and Karley Piers (4 points) did provide some second-half energy and hustle off the bench for Falmouth.

“I was just super proud of the girls for getting here,” said Falmouth Coach Dawn Armandi. “I think they deserved to be here and it’s two years in a row (they have) been back here, and Falmouth hasn’t done that in seven years.”

The Dragons were superior in all facets in the first half, outscoring Falmouth 37-12, forcing 14 turnovers and getting 3-point baskets from five players and scoring from six.

MacMillan had the hot hand early in the second quarter, scoring nine points in 1:20, starting with a four-point play.

But the Dragons weren’t satisfied and began striving for improvement even before reaching the Expo’s basement locker room.

“They weren’t too happy with some of the things we did in the first half,” Farrell said.

“They were talking to each other the whole way down, fixing things we weren’t doing right. They were coaching each other up.”

The defense immediately forced another slew of turnovers.

“Our defense is a key component to everything we do,” Armstrong said.

Brunswick’s full-court pressure and a quick-strike offense resulted in 17 points in less than 3:22, with Groat scoring seven.

Brunswick led 60-20 after three quarters and rested its starters for most of the fourth.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0, 19 Feb 2018 22:32:12 +0000
Monday’s Olympics roundup: No surprise, U.S. and Canada to battle for gold in women’s hockey Tue, 20 Feb 2018 01:36:48 +0000 GANGNEUNG, South Korea — The Americans played their way back into the only women’s hockey game that matters: a showdown with Canada for the Olympic gold medal.

The U.S. is back in the title game for a third straight Olympics after shutting out Finland 5-0 on Monday in the semifinals. They will face their archrival on Thursday, and the Americans will be trying to win their first gold since 1998 when women’s hockey made its Olympic debut.

“Definitely the rivalry has been there since I think I was born, so everyone’s looking forward to that,” said 22-year-old Dani Cameranesi.

Cameranesi scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Americans past Finland. Gigi Marvin started the scoring, and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Hilary Knight scored during a power play 34 seconds apart in the second period.

Canada is a four-time Olympic champion and has won the last five games against the U.S.

Jennifer Wakefield scored twice in Canada’s 5-0 semifinal win over the Russian team.

WOMEN’S ALPINE SKIING: After another weather-related change to the schedule, Mikaela Shiffrin has dropped Wednesday’s downhill.

With winds expected to increase later in the week, organizers shifted the combined from Friday to Thursday.

Skipping the downhill allows Shiffrin to avoid back-to-back races and focus on the combined, where she will contend for gold. Her attempt to medal in five events didn’t go as planned. She dropped two events because of schedule changes and finished a surprising fourth in the slalom, her best event.

WOMEN’S FREESTYLE SKIING: Canada’s Cassie Sharpe gave her country its first medal in the halfpipe, posting the top two scores in the final Tuesday.

France’s Marie Martinod added a second silver to go with the one she captured in Sochi, and American Brita Sigourney slipped past teammate Annalisa Drew on her final run for bronze.

BOBSLED: Justin Kripps and Alexander Kopacz of Canada and Francesco Friedrich and Thorsten Margis of Germany will share the two-man gold medal after both teams made their way down nearly four miles of ice in exactly the same time: 3 minutes, 16.86 seconds.

MEN’S SPEEDSKATING: Havard Lorentzen of Norway won the 500-meter gold medal in an Olympic record time of 34.41 seconds to beat Cha Min-Kyu of South Korea by 0.01 seconds.

SKI JUMPING: Robert Johansson nailed a leap of 136 meters with the final jump to give Norway victory in large hill team ski jumping and its 11th gold.

]]> 0, 19 Feb 2018 22:26:48 +0000
Sports Digest: Virginia remains atop men’s college basketball poll Tue, 20 Feb 2018 01:28:17 +0000 COLLEGES

Virginia strengthened its hold on No. 1 in the AP Top 25 in men’s basketball and Duke jumped back into the top five after a pair of impressive wins.

The Cavaliers earned 42 of 65 first-place votes in the poll released Monday. That’s 12 more than last week, when they reached No. 1 for the first time since the Ralph Sampson era.

The top four were unchanged, with No. 2 Michigan State earning 19 first-place votes after rallying from 27 points down to beat Northwestern. Third-ranked Villanova got the other four first-place votes after a victory at No. 4 Xavier.

Fifth-ranked Duke jumped seven spots after beating Virginia Tech and Clemson despite playing without injured top freshman Marvin Bagley III.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: LSU is back in the AP Top 25 for the first time in four years while UConn and Mississippi State continue to lead the poll.

The Tigers came back into the poll Monday for the first time since Feb. 17, 2014, entering at No. 24. LSU has won six of its past seven games to move into third in a very competitive SEC. That includes wins over Tennessee, Georgia and Texas A&M, who are all ranked.

UConn remains the unanimous No. 1 team. The Huskies (26-0) received all 32 first-place votes from a national media panel.


DUBAI CHAMPIONSHIPS: Former champion Agnieszka Radwanska lost in the first round of the event in the United Arab Emirates for the first time in nine years.

Daria Kasatkina of Russia beat Radwanska 7-5, 6-4 in two hours.

Radwanska, who reached No. 2 in the rankings in 2012 after winning in Dubai and finishing runner-up at Wimbledon, endured a frustrating 2017 after a foot injury and a virus scare.


NFL: The Minnesota Vikings hired Todd Downing as a senior offensive assistant, bringing him back to his hometown team after he served as offensive coordinator of the Oakland Raiders last year.

Downing will begin his 18th season in the NFL, the first five of which were with the Vikings as an intern, systems analyst and quality control coach.


FA CUP: Manchester City’s pursuit of a quadruple ended with a surprising 1-0 loss at third-division Wigan.

Wigan beat City in the 2013 FA Cup final, and this time Will Grigg’s late goal was enough for the League One side to pull off another upset in the fifth round.

]]> 0 Mon, 19 Feb 2018 20:31:09 +0000
Girls’ basketball: York holds off Kennebunk Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:35:17 +0000 A couple of days ago, Coach Steve Freeman took Nina Howe aside and told her she had to take control of the York High girls’ basketball team.

Howe, a sophomore guard and the lone returning starter, obviously listened.

Howe scored 23 points Monday night to lead the fourth-ranked Wildcats to a 44-31 victory over fifth-seeded Kennebunk in the Class A South quarterfinals at the Portland Expo.

It was an exceptional defensive effort by the Wildcats, who held Kennebunk scoreless for a span of 16 minutes, 28 seconds to take control of a tight game.

“She was impressive,” Freeman said of Howe. “I told her she was the one we wanted (with) the ball in her hands. She came out and it was obvious she was going to take charge.”

York (11-8) will play top-ranked Brunswick in the semifinals at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Cross Insurance Arena.

Howe also had a big hand in York’s defensive effort. Several of her baskets came directly off steals that resulted in layups.

York held an 11-7 lead with 2:01 remaining in the first quarter following the second of back-to-back baskets by Emily Archibald of Kennebunk (10-9) when the Wildcats shut down the Rams.

Kennebunk didn’t score again until 1:42 remained in the third period, when Archibald converted a coast-to-coast layup following a defensive blocked shot. That ended a 19-0 run by the Wildcats.

Leading 24-7 at the half, York got a 3-pointer from Lauren Leroux (10 points) to start the third period, a driving basket by Howe and then a foul shot from Jackie Tabara to make it 30-7.

Asked if that was the longest scoring drought his team had ever been through, Kennebunk Coach Rob Sullivan said he couldn’t remember any others like that.

“It was unbelievable,” he said. “I think there were times during the stretch where we were making mistakes, we were making mental mistakes. There were also times we did some good things.”

But nothing fell for the Rams, who committed 13 turnovers and went 0-of-12 shooting in the drought, missing at least two breakaway layups.

“They executed our defensive game plan better tonight than any game we played all year,” said Freeman. “Pressure the ball, double the ball when it got in Archibald’s hands and helpside D.”

Howe said the Wildcats worked on their defense all week:

“We talked, we helped helpside, which we’ve been practicing all week,” she said. “We did a good job. We moved our feet. Just played total defense.

“We’ve been focusing on defense for so long now and I think putting that into action now, it definitely had a big impact on the game.”

Kennebunk cut into the lead once it broke the drought.

“They kept fighting and they kept playing,” said Sullivan.

With Archibald, a freshman guard/forward who scored 16 points, scoring inside and Samantha Creech, a junior guard who scored 10 points, hitting from the outside, Kennebunk cut the deficit to 10 twice in the final 3:30.

But the Wildcats hit 5-of-7 free throws in the final minute to advance.

]]> 0 High guard Nina Howe drives after stealing the ball, as Kennebunk's Ellen Neale pursues, during a Class A South girls' basketball quarterfinal Monday at the Portland Expo. (Photo by Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer)Mon, 19 Feb 2018 21:13:17 +0000
Swimming: Cony girls win second straight Class A title Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:01:34 +0000 ORONO — Through eight events in the Class A girls’ state swimming and diving championships Monday, Scarborough was tied with Cony after coming from behind.

“The meet was really tight and we needed a shot in the arm,” said Cony Coach Jon Millett, who moved stalwart swimmer Gabby Low from the 400-yard free relay to the third leg of the upcoming 200 free relay.

Nice shot in the arm.

Low gave Cony the lead in her leg and the Rams won the relay – the best race of the day. They then stayed atop the team standings and captured their second straight state title in the meet at the University of Maine.

Cony won five individual events and two relays to total 280 points. Scarborough, with 259 points, was the runner-up for the second time in three years.

Falmouth finished in third (226.5), followed by Kennebunk (218), Bangor (214) and Cheverus (163).

Low, after helping the 200 free relay team, jumped in the pool for the next event, winning the 100 backstroke in a state-meet record time of 56.28 seconds.

“I just felt really relaxed and smooth the whole race,” Low said.

Low, a junior, was named the meet’s Most Outstanding Performer.

Along with her meet record and her part in the 200 free relay, she won the 100 butterfly (55.38) and swam the butterfly leg in the winning 200 medley relay (1:53.38).

“She’s put in the hard work and she’s getting what she deserves,” Millett said.

Cony sophomore Cecilia Guadalupi also collected four golds with wins in the 50 freestyle (24.75) and 500 freestyle (5:12.43), and legs in the same winning relays.

Another Cony junior, Talia Jorgenson, won the 100 freestyle (54.89), ahead of Lewiston junior Brooke Cloutier (55.66).

Scarborough featured one individual champion, senior Hannah Griffin in the 200 individual medley (2:11.58), ahead of Caroline Arpin of Cheverus (2:16.35). Griffin was also second in the 50 freestyle (26.03) and anchored the winning 400 freestyle relay (3:44.35). All three times were school records.

“We swam really well,” Scarborough Coach Eric French said. “We did what we could. We’re not upset at all.”

South Portland senior Molly Mawhinney won the 100 breast stroke in 1:09.18, with Lewiston’s Cloutier getting another second-place (1:09.31).

Messalonskee High senior Kenzie Burton won the 200 freestyle (1:58.53), leading from the start.

Bangor junior Ella Stone won the diving (415.45), followed by Sophia Ham of Falmouth (360.6) and Taylor Nguyen of Falmouth (318.60).

Relays, as always, played a big role. Both Cony and Scarborough had to figure where to put their best swimmers.

“We both knew we couldn’t stack all three,” French said.

Scarborough conceded the medley relay to Cony and easily won the last race, the 400 free relay.

That put the spotlight on the 200 free relay.

“We knew if we were going to have a chance against them, we had to put together one of our best relays,” French said, teaming Griffin with Jane Greenberg, Charlotte Pratt and Morgan Porter.

Cony countered by adding Low to the team of Talia and Amanda Jorgensen, and Guadalupi.

The Rams led after the first leg but then trailed by 0.86 seconds after the next leg. Low dove in and gave Cony a 0.28-second lead.

“I knew we might be a little bit behind,” Low said. “All I thought about was swimming my race and that my team needed this.”

Guadalupi held off Griffin as the Rams won by 0.34 seconds (1:40.61, to 1:40.95).

Victories helped Cony but so did the little depth it had, especially with Talia Jorgensen’s three sisters – Tessa (fifth, backstroke; 13th, 200 IM); Amanda (ninth, 50 free), and Tara (11th 100 breast stroke). Also, Haley Gagne placed ninth in the 200 free.

“Without that, we don’t win the meet,” Millett said.

For Scarborough, Porter scored a second and third (200 and 500 freestyle); Greenberg a third and fourth (50 and 100 freestyle); Emma MacDonald a third (200 IM) and sixth (500 freestyle) and Pratt a third (100 freestyle).

Falmouth was paced by Mae Causey (third in the 100 butterfly, fourth in the 50 freestyle), and Kennebunk was led by Isabel Harms’ second and fourth (500 and 200 freestyle).

Another laudable performance was turned in by Cheverus senior Sophia Kruse, who entered with the 41st-fastest 100 free time (1:04.97), and then placed seventh (57.77).

]]> 0, Maine—02-19-2018 —Cony's Gabby Low competes in the 100 yard butterfly during the girls Class A swim championship in Orono on Monday. Low won with a time of 55.38. Kevin Bennett photo Orono, Maine—02-19-2018 —Cony's Gabby Low competes in the 100 yard butterfly during the girls Class A swim championship in Orono on Monday. Low won with a time of 55.38. Kevin Bennett photo Cony High's Gabby Low competes in the 100 butterfly during the girls' Class A swimming championships in Orono on Monday. Low won the race in 55.38 seconds and was named the meet's Most Outstanding Performer. (Kevin Bennett photo)Mon, 19 Feb 2018 20:40:59 +0000
Indoor track: Flaker breaks two boys’ state records Mon, 19 Feb 2018 23:56:06 +0000 GORHAM — Five state records fell Monday at the Class A indoor track state championships in a meet marked by young talent, as sophomore Jarett Flaker powered Scarborough to its third straight boys’ crown, while Cheverus sophomore Emma Gallant lifted her team to a tie with Scarborough for the girls’ title.

Flaker broke state records in the 55 and 200 meters and just missed a third record in the 400 as the Scarborough boys won with 79 points, ahead of Deering (66) and Thornton Academy (47).

The Cheverus girls were leading going into the final 800-meter relay, but Scarborough placed second in that event to tie the Stags with 67 points. Gorham finished third with 41.

“We only have one senior, 11 girls, and nine of them competed here. That’s pretty good for a small team,” said Cheverus Coach Steve Virgilio, whose squad won the Class A outdoor title last year but had never won an indoor championship.

The Stags were fueled by Gallant and freshman sprinter Victoria Bossong. Gallant was second in the 55 (7.34 seconds) behind Scarborough’s Molly Murnane (7.23), and won the 200 (25.94) and 400 (57.80). Her time in the 400 broke the record of 57.88 set by Brunswick’s Clare Franco in 2008.

Bossong finished third in the 55 (7.39) and second in the 200 (25.96) and 400 (58.51).

Gallant said she was only thinking about getting the lead in the 200 and 400 and scoring as many points as possible.

“I love training with Victoria and racing against her,” Gallant said. “I’m excited to see what we can do outdoors. I think we will do a lot.”

Westbrook junior Nyagoa Bayak improved on her own state record in the high jump, clearing 5 feet, 8 inches. Her previous record was 5-7.

Bayak was hoping to push the record to 5-10 after clearing 5-9 at the Dartmouth Relays in January (Maine state records can only be set at the state championships). But she had to run back and forth between events, as she also won the triple jump at 36-51/2.

“Last year, 5-8 was a barrier, but once I cleared it I didn’t think about it after that,” Bayak said. “It will be that way with 5-10. It’s such a mental game. But I know I can jump it.”

Gorham’s 3,200 relay team of Kate Tugman, Iris Kitchen, Meadow Fortier and Anna Slager also set a record with a time of 9:43.02, erasing the mark of 9:45.51 set by Scarborough in 2006.

South Portland senior Juliana Selser was another double winner, in the 800 (2:21.12) and mile (5:12.15).

In the boys’ meet, Flaker won all three of his events by a sizeable margin.

“I just was thinking about my form and staying focused,” Flaker said. “After running at bigger meets last year – at nationals and New Englands – I’m not as nervous this year. Coach said my 200 was the best he’s seen me run all year.”

Flaker won the 55 in 6.50, erasing the 2013 mark of 6.53 set by Denzel Tomaszewski of Wells. His time of 22.32 in the 200 broke the 12-year-old state record of 22.65 set by Colby Brooks of Edward Little and was an all-time Maine best, beating the time of 22.35 by McKenzie Gary of Mt. Ararat at the New Balance Indoor Nationals in 2011.

In the 400, Flaker dipped under 50 seconds for the first time, finishing in 49.87.

Afterward, Flaker looked ahead to the New England Championships in Boston, where he hopes tougher competition will help push him to an all-time Maine best in the 55. Tomaszewski still holds that record – 6.46.

“He did these things without running on a banked track. When he does, he’ll go even faster,” said Scarborough Coach Derek Veilleux. “He’s a special athlete. And he likes competition.”

Westbrook senior Dominic Creenan and Mt. Ararat sophomore Lisandro Berry-Gaviria also won two events each. Creenan won the 55 hurdles (7.78) and long jump (22-0), while Berry-Gaviria won the mile (4:22.72) and 2-mile (9:58.80).

Deirdre Fleming can be reached at 791-6452 or:

Twitter: FlemingPph

]]> 0 High sophomore Jarett Flaker sets a state record of 6.50 seconds in the 55 meters during the Class A indoor track and field championships Monday at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham. (Staff Photo by Joel Page/Staff Photographer)Mon, 19 Feb 2018 20:15:47 +0000
Skiing: Cape Elizabeth boys, Yarmouth girls lead Class B Alpine meet Mon, 19 Feb 2018 23:05:35 +0000 MARS HILL — Ian Geikie of Cape Elizabeth won the boys’ giant slalom and two teammates also finished in the top seven as the Capers built a big lead on the opening day of the Class B Alpine state championships at Big Rock Mountain.

Geikie’s two-run total of 1 minute, 26.20 seconds was 1.67 seconds faster than runner-up Curtis Gauvin of Mountain Valley. Killian Lathrop placed fourth and Duncan Geikie was seventh as the Capers scored 34 points, well ahead of Yarmouth (62), Fort Kent (69) and 10 other schools.

Yarmouth leads the girls’ standings with 36 points after the Clippers placed four skiers in the top 15 – led by runner-up Margaret Elder (1:28.48). Emi Ruth (eighth), Madeline Marston (11th) and Emma Marston (15th) also scored for the Clippers.

Shelby Cowin of Greenville won the girls’ race in 1:26.89.

Yarmouth is trailed in the standings by Fort Kent (53), Spruce Mountain (61) and Maranacook (66).

]]> 0 Mon, 19 Feb 2018 22:42:42 +0000
Source: Red Sox agree to terms with slugger J.D. Martinez Mon, 19 Feb 2018 22:58:22 +0000 J.D. Martinez and the Boston Red Sox have, at long last, come to an agreement.

The slow dance between the free agent slugger and the power-deficient team wrapped up Monday when they settled on a $110 million, five-year contract.

A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press about the deal, speaking on condition of anonymity because it was subject to a successful physical and had not been announced. Martinez has the right to opt out of the contract early and become a free agent again.

Speculation that Martinez and the AL East champions would wind up together had been swirling ever since he became a free agent in November.

Boston was seeking to add power to a lineup that hit an AL-low 168 home runs last season. The 30-year-old Martinez has changed his swing to improve his launch angle and become one of the top home-run threats in the majors.

The move helps the Red Sox counter the huge deal their biggest rivals pulled off in December. The New York Yankees, who finished two games behind AL East champion Boston last year, acquired NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton – who led the majors with 59 home runs – in a trade with Miami. The 6-foot-6 Stanton joins a lineup with 6-7 Aaron Judge, the AL home run leader.

“We’re not conceding first place to anybody,” chairman Tom Werner said earlier in the day.

“I think it’s good for the rivalry. The Yankees have a very strong team and we have a very strong team, too,” he said. “If we’re healthy, I think we have the best pitching staff – starting pitching, ending with (Craig) Kimbrel – I think we’ve got the best pitching staff in the American League.”

Players say they’re looking forward to the challenge of facing the Yankees lineup.

“It doesn’t matter who you’re facing,” reliever Matt Barnes said. “You’ve got a guy who was the MVP and a guy that hit 50 home runs or however many Judge hit. You start throwing balls … and missing spots, it doesn’t matter, it’s the big leagues. They’re going to hit balls in the gap and balls over the fence.”

Martinez hit .303 with 45 homers and 104 RBI last year for Detroit and Arizona, which acquired him on July 18 for three prospects. He had 29 homers and 65 RBI in 62 games with the Diamondbacks, and hit a record-tying four home runs in a game.

Martinez started a combined 112 games in right field last year. He figures to become the primary designated hitter for the Red Sox, which would turn Hanley Ramirez into a platoon player at first base with Mitch Moreland.

The righty-swinging Martinez, who began his big league career with Houston in 2011, has played only seven career games at Fenway Park, batting .444 (12 for 27) without an RBI. He figures to knock in plenty of runs when he takes aim at the Green Monster in left field.

Martinez was among several prominent free agents still available over the weekend. Eric Hosmer is in the process of finalizing a $144 million, eight-year deal with San Diego while third baseman Mike Moustakas and pitchers Jake Arrieta and Alex Cobb are among the stars looking for places to play.

]]> 0 Martinez, right, who hit 45 home runs and drove in 104 runs last season, has agreed to a five-year, $110-million deal with the Red Sox, according to a source.Mon, 19 Feb 2018 21:06:53 +0000
Girls’ basketball: Greely rolls to 83-40 quarterfinal win Mon, 19 Feb 2018 21:14:41 +0000 Anna DeWolfe and Camille Clement took turns scoring in bunches, and their Greely girls’ basketball teammates turned up the defensive intensity Monday.

The result? The Rangers proved too much for Leavitt in the Class A state tourney – again – and rolled to a quarterfinal win at the Portland Expo, 83-40.

DeWolfe made six straight shots and scored 14 of her game-high 29 points in the second quarter. Clement, a freshman in her first playoff game, had 14 of her 28 points in the third quarter on 5-of-5 shooting.

“We know if we share the ball we’re a lot harder to guard,” said Greely Coach Todd Flaherty.

Leavitt lost to Greely 58-36 in a 2016 semifinal. Last season it was 75-36 in a quarterfinal. So the Hornets knew what to expect. Handling it was harder.

Greely forced 16 first-half turnovers and scored 76 points in three quarters.

“They’re obviously a great team and when you have that many players that can play at that type of intensity, it’s not real surprising,” said Hornets senior Sophia Gilbert (12 points).

Taylor White scored 16 points for Leavitt (9-10).

No. 2 Greely (17-2) will face No. 3 Marshwood (18-1) in a 10 a.m. semifinal Wednesday at the Cross Insurance Arena in another playoff rematch. Greely beat Marshwood 46-35 in a semifinal last year.

This season Marshwood hasn’t lost to a Class A team. Greely’s losses were to Class A South top seed Brunswick (without DeWolfe) and AA South No. 1 South Portland.

“They’re formidable. We’ve kind of had our one eye on them all year,” Flaherty said.

Marshwood has a combination of size, athletic ability and depth that can cause matchup problems for Greely, essentially a five-guard lineup.

“They play with a lot of intensity, they go deep in their bench, but we’re going to play our game, focus on ourselves and play the way we play,” DeWolfe said.

Against Leavitt, the Rangers took an 18-3 lead when the left-handed Clement knocked down a 3-pointer, and promptly stole the ball and scored.

“She’s not afraid at all,” said Flaherty of Clement. “I was kind of expecting something like what we saw today. She doesn’t play like a freshman, that’s for sure.”

DeWolfe is a three-year starter and has committed to Fordham. She can and often does take over a game but “was definitely deferring early on,” Flaherty said.

That helped Clement and Brooke Obar (10 points, six assists) get in the flow and Julia Martel chased long rebounds and harassed on defense.

But when DeWolfe kept finding herself open, she obliged. Her personal 14-point spree capped by back-to-back 3-pointers extended the lead to 49-15.

“I think that’s most important to get everyone involved and keep the energy up,” DeWolfe said. “But just take it if you’re open and be confident when you’re shooting.”

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0's Becca Fogg and Greely's Emma Spoerri wrestle for the ball during a girls' basketball Class A South quarterfinal Monday at the Portland Expo. (Photo by Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer)Mon, 19 Feb 2018 18:56:37 +0000
Boys’ basketball: Boothbay rallies from 16 down, stuns Waynflete Mon, 19 Feb 2018 21:05:24 +0000 AUGUSTA — Boothbay boys’ basketball coach I.J. Pinkham has won more than 600 games and is a member of the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame, so he’s seen a little of everything.

But his Seahawks gave him one of his most improbable victories and produced one of the biggest upsets in this year’s tournament Monday.

Sixth-seeded Boothbay trailed third-ranked Waynflete by 16 points in the second quarter before charging back in a Class C South quarterfinal, closing with a 17-5 run to stun the Flyers 65-64 at the Augusta Civic Center.

Waynflete’s Diraige Dahia goes up for a shot guarded by Boothbay’s Steve Reny. Photo by Brewster Burns

“We’ve been down before and we knew we couldn’t get it all back at once,” said Pinkham. “We got back in the game, hung in there, and the kids did really well in the second half.”

A Kyle Ames 3-pointer gave the Seahawks their first lead, 62-61,with 1:17 remaining. The winning basket came with 17.6 seconds remaining when Elijah Gudroe set up Hunter Crocker for a layup that broke a 63-63 tie.

“They were guarding Kyle heavily because he made a bunch of 3s, so I snuck in there,” said Crocker.

Waynflete freshman Dominick Campbell was fouled with 4.8 seconds remaining and made the first of a 1-and-1 opportunity, but the second shot was off target.

The Flyers got a reprieve when the rebound went out of bounds off Boothbay, but they were unable to get off another shot, turning the ball over.

Boothbay’s Steve Reny (behind) and Waynflete’s Diraige Dahia attempt to retrieve a loose ball. Photo by Brewster Burns

The Seahawks (15-5) advanced to meet second-seeded Winthrop in the semifinals at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Waynflete (15-4) appeared unstoppable in the first half. Nine players scored and the lead reached 30-14 and 32-16. It was 42-29 at the break.

Boothbay began its comeback in the third quarter. Ames, who picked up his fourth foul midway through the quarter but remained in the game, hit a pair of 3-pointerss and a Steve Reny layup pulled the Seahawks within four points.

The Flyers took a 54-48 lead to the fourth quarter and immediately stretched it to 11 behind a 3-pointer from Askar Houssein and a layup from Musaid Mohammed. But Boothbay got the next 11 points to draw even at 59 on a foul shot by Gudroe with 2:17 to go.

Boothbay’s Hunter Crocker and teammate Nick Simpson, right, battle for a rebound with Waynflete’s Dominick Campbell. Photo by Brewster Burns

A Christian Brooks jumper put Waynflete back on top, but Ames answered with his fifth and final 3-pointer.

“I was a little lucky on that one,” Ames said. “I just let muscle memory take over.”

Reny added a free throw before a jumper by Diraige Dahia set the stage for Crocker’s winner.

Reny finished with a game-high 21 points for Boothbay, Ames added 18 and Crocker finished with 17.

The Flyers were paced by 12 points from Houssein and 11 from Dahia, but they turned the ball over six times in the fourth quarter and missed 6 of 9 foul shots.

“It’s a shock,” said Waynflete Coach Rich Henry.

“I think you have to tip your cap and say Boothbay did a great job. Coach Pinkham is an institution and he was able to get his kids to respond and react to our pressure very well. Then the ball started to bounce their way.”

]]> 0's Kyle Ames kills off the last few seconds to secure a 65-64 victory over Waynflete in a Class C South boys' basketball quarterfinal Monday afternoon at the Augusta Civic Center.Mon, 19 Feb 2018 22:40:20 +0000
Swimming: Cape Elizabeth girls repeat as Class B champions Mon, 19 Feb 2018 20:54:26 +0000 BRUNSWICK — Halfway through the Class B swimming and diving state championship meet Monday, things looked bleak for the defending champion and heavily favored girls of Cape Elizabeth.

A disqualification for leaving early in the opening 200-yard medley relay wiped out 32 points in a meet they were seeded to win by 31 over Greely, and the Capers were missing one of their two qualifying divers.

A 48-point deficit seemed a lot to make up, but Cape Elizabeth had one big glimmer of hope: Olivia Tighe hadn’t yet dipped a toe in Bowdoin College’s Leroy Greason Pool.

“It was a little anxious because I felt like I couldn’t do anything,” said Tighe, a junior. “A lot of it felt out of control, but we had a team talk and we were like, ‘Listen guys. We can come back from this. This isn’t impossible. We are the best swimmers in the state. We can do this.’ “

After Tighe swam in the next three events – the 100 freestyle, 500 freestyle and 200 freestyle relay – a pool record and two state records had been broken and the Capers had surged into the lead.

They held it through the final 400 free relay – anchored by Tighe to a 15-second victory – to win their second straight state title. The final margin over Greely 351-335, with Mt. Desert Island beating out Morse for third, 223-213.

Camden Hills was fifth at 161, followed by Yarmouth (153), John Bapst (152), Ellsworth (141), Belfast (117) and 12 other schools.

“They definitely felt pressure at the beginning,” said Cape Elizabeth Coach Ben Raymond. “To see how hard they worked to come back, I think they feel really good about it, and they should.”

Tighe’s time of 50.23 seconds in the 100 free erased a 9-year-old pool record set by a swimmer from Amherst College, as well as the 3-year-old state mark of 51.02 set by MDI’s Leila Johnston. Tighe followed with a 25-second victory in the 500 free (5:03.21), then anchored the 200 free relay to a state record of 1:36.20, teaming with sophomore Caroline Mahoney and juniors Hope Campbell and Alicia Lawrence.

“Two state records in the span of three events, that’s impressive,” Raymond said. “I think that energized the team a lot. They know how hard she works.”

According to seeding, Greely appeared poised to pick up 32 points in the penultimate event, the 100 breast stroke, and take a lead of two points into the concluding relay. The Rangers had three breast strokers ranked among the top 16, whereas Cape had only junior Madeleine McCormick, seeded 14th.

McCormick, though, won her heat by shaving four seconds off her previous best time and placed seventh overall in 1:14.61. Raymond immediately thought of Charlotte Sawyer’s improbable victory in the consolation breast stroke heat back in 2013, which clinched a Cape Elizabeth state title.

“I’ve been working hard all season, so it was really gratifying to have a really good swim,” said McCormick, who also placed seventh in the 200 individual medley from a 13th seed.

Instead of a two-point deficit, the Capers carried a 10-point lead into the 400 free relay, and Lawrence, Mahoney, Campbell and Tighe left no doubt, finishing within .3 of the state record three of them helped set last year.

“All we were saying,” Tighe said, “was, ‘Safe start. Safe start.’ For us, the biggest thing was just winning the meet.”

Performer of the meet honors went to Tighe for the second year in a row. Morse sophomore Olivia Harper also won two events and was part of the winning 200 medley relay.

After winning the 100 butterfly in 56.35, Harper lowered her own state record in the 100 backstroke to 54.64. That time surpassed a five-year-old pool record set by a collegiate swimmer from Hamilton.

Harper’s twin sister, Hailey, won the 100 breast stroke in 1:07.82.

Other individual winners were Greely junior Julia Bisson in diving with 396.30 points, Lawrence in the 50 free at 23.79 seconds, Mahoney in the 200 free at 1:53.67 and George Stevens Academy senior Ava Sealander in the 200 individual medley at 2:09.89.

“Their third and fourth swimmers had awesome meets to make up for that mistake at the beginning,” Greely Coach Rob Hale said of the Capers. “They got in a hole and they responded. All of them responded.”

Thirteen Capers earned points in individual events: juniors Tighe, McCormick, Lawrence, Hope Campbell, Casey Concannon, Maria Smith and Corinne Wight; sophomores Mahoney, Bella Eremita, Christian Pinette and Milo Cook-Sharp; and freshmen Emma Frothingham and Zoe Evans.

“Not just our top swimmers, but all the middle swimmers really had great days,” said Raymond, whose team lost the 2016 state meet to Greely by seven points in part because of a Cape Elizabeth false start in the 50 free. “We didn’t really talk about (the DQ). We just focused on what’s next, not on what already happened. You can’t do anything about that.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or:

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

]]> 0, 19 Feb 2018 20:08:31 +0000
Girls’ basketball: Marshwood breezes in Class A South quarterfinals Mon, 19 Feb 2018 19:31:56 +0000 Steve Freeman, the Marshwood High girls’ basketball coach, was nervous entering the third-ranked Hawks’ Class A South quarterfinal Monday against No. 6 Lincoln Academy,

“I didn’t like the 3-6 matchup,” he said of the seedings. “It happened to me 20 years ago or so (when he was the girls’ coach at Traip Academy). We were the three seed and we lost to a six seed by about 24 points. I hadn’t seen a lot of them. So I was nervous.”

His players sure weren’t. The Hawks came out fast and never slowed, running away from the Eagles 74-24 at the Portland Expo.

Marshwood forward Grace Verrill and Lincoln Academy guard Joy Hedrick wrestle on the floor for the ball. Staff photo by Carl D. Walsh

Marshwood scored the first four points, then quickly pulled away. The Hawks had a 10-point lead in the first four minutes, led by 21 after one quarter and 32 at halftime.

“We talked about jumping on them early, talked about forcing the pace,” said Freeman. “I don’t think they wanted to run with us and I think that turned out to be true.”

Marshwood (18-1) will play second-seeded Greely at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the semifinals at Cross Insurance Arena. The teams didn’t meet in the regular season but Greely defeated the Hawks 46-35 in the semifinals a year ago.

Natalie Herbold led Marshwood with 14 points and Miranda Montgomery had 10. They combined for 15 in the first quarter, which ended with Marshwood ahead, 25-4.

“That’s what we talked about all week, getting ahead early, playing hard and putting them out of the game,” said Herbold.

Marshwood forward Miranda Montgomery passes beneath the basket, as Lincoln Academy’s Kaitlin Feltis guards from behind. Staff photo by Carl D. Walsh

As impressive as the Hawks were offensively, their defense was exceptional. Marshwood forced 35 turnovers, 13 in the opening quarter.

“Our defense did a great job,” said Montgomery. “We talked through the screens and made sure everyone was covered.”

Lincoln Coach Kevin Feltis knew what to expect. The teams scrimmaged in the preseason and he followed the Hawks all season.

“They’re aggressive, super athletic with plenty of speed,” said Feltis. “We struggled to get the ball into the post. They overplayed it well and we didn’t do a good job taking care of the basketball.”

Marshwood also showed plenty of depth as well. Fourteen players scored and the pace never slowed. “Everyone came in and contributed,” said Herbold. “Which was cool.”

Lincoln Academy guard Madison York passes the ball while guarded by Marshwood’s Grace Verrill. Staff photo by Carl D. Walsh

Nathalie Clavett scored eight for the Hawks. Kara Anderson and Jordyn Beers each had seven.

“Typical Marshwood box score,” said Freeman. “We usually spread it out.”

Lincoln Academy was hampered by early foul trouble but simply couldn’t handle Marshwood’s full-court pressure. Time and again the Hawks got easy transition baskets off turnovers.

It was 8-3 when Marshwood went on 17-1 run to close the first. Herbold began it when she stole the ball at midcourt, went in for a scoop layup from the left, drew the foul and hit the free throw. Angelina Bisson hit two 3-pointers in the run and the Hawks were never challenged.

“We wanted to jump on them early,” said Freeman. “The girls executed our game plan as well as you could ask.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0 guard Nathalie Clavette drives past Lincoln Academy's Alison York, left, and Isabelle Sawyer during a girls' basketball Class A South quarterfinal at the Portland Expo on Monday. (Photo by Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer)Mon, 19 Feb 2018 19:33:29 +0000
Maine ranger returns to black bear den and finds a gift to the world Mon, 19 Feb 2018 18:30:11 +0000 While on a timber inspection in Carthage last fall, Maine Forest Service Ranger Erik Ahlquist located what appeared to be a black bear den.

This week, he returned to the site with biologists from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and this is what they found.

The department studies black bears in Maine and you can read their assessment of the population here. Their assessment notes that female black bears give birth when they are in their winter dens and cubs weigh about 12 ounces at birth.

The forest service’s social media posts didn’t say how many cubs they found or whether they woke up mom.

Maine Forest Service Ranger Erik Ahlquist holds a bear cub in Carthage. Photo from Maine Forest Service Facebook page



]]> 0, 19 Feb 2018 19:41:44 +0000
Monday’s high school roundup: Hall-Dale avoids upset against Traip Academy Mon, 19 Feb 2018 18:02:28 +0000 AUGUSTA — Determined not to be another high-seed casualty in the Class C South boys’ basketball tournament, Hall-Dale found its rhythm in the second half Monday night.

Jett Boyer made a pair of 3-pointers in the final two minutes, and the No. 1 Bulldogs held off eighth-seeded Traip Academy for a 68-58 quarterfinal win at the Augusta Civic Center.

Boyer finished with 11 points for Hall-Dale (18-1), which will face No. 5 Richmond in the semifinals Thursday night.

After earlier losses by No. 3 Waynflete and No. 4 Dirigo, the Bulldogs trailed 38-30 at halftime but opened the second half with a 19-6 run to seize control. Alec Byron (20 points) made a layup in transition, and Hall-Dale never looked back.

Ashtyn Abbott chipped in 17 points.

Charlie Driscoll led Traip (10-10) with 20 points.

A.R. GOULD 58, PINE TREE ACADEMY 45: Ernest Lorange scored 12 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter as the third-seeded Bears (15-4) pulled away from No. 6 Pine Tree Academy (9-9) in a Class D South quarterfinal in Augusta.

Pine Tree led 18-9 after one quarter and 27-22 at halftime, but A.R. Gould (15-4) edged ahead 40-38 going into the fourth quarter. Lorange made 10 of 13 free throws in the final eight minutes to help the Bears advance to a semifinal Wednesday morning against Valley.

Alex Shoureas added 12 points and Malakai Brimage finished with 10 for the Bears. Lorange and Brimage accounted for all of their team’s points in the fourth quarter.

Pine Tree was paced by Alex Schlisner with 17 points. Evan Owen and Jared Tamaleaa each scored 12.


RANGELEY 55, PINE TREE ACADEMY 28: Second-seeded Rangeley rode defense and balanced scoring to a win over No. 7 Pine Tree Academy in a Class D South quarterfinal in Augusta.

Natasha Haley scored 23 points and Brooke Egan added 15 for the Lakers (17-2), who will play No. 3 Temple (12-7) in a semifinal at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Adriana DePalma scored 11 points for the Breakers (5-14).

Rangeley started a little slow but found its rhythm in the second quarter to open a 28-15 lead by halftime.


GREELY 4, YARMOUTH 1: The Rangers (14-2) took a 3-0 lead in the first period and defeated the Clippers (9-6-2) in Yarmouth.

Jackson Williams and Andrew Moore each scored a power-play goal midway through the first period to put Greely up 2-0. Jake MacDonald made it 3-0, then added another goal in the third.

Cooper May scored for Yarmouth in the second period.

Karsten Bourgoine recorded 20 saves for Greely. Dan Latham stopped 26 shots for Yarmouth.

YORK 8, GARDINER 3: Jacob Martin scored twice and Mark Engholm, Andrew Bertolini and Dalton McCann each contributed a goal and an assist to lead the Wildcats (12-5) to a win over the Tigers (3-14) in Dover, New Hampshire.

]]> 0 Schlisner of Pine Tree Academy goes to the basket in front of Rangeley's Brooke Egan during a Class D South quarterfinal Monday in Augusta. Rangeley won, 55-28.Mon, 19 Feb 2018 22:43:27 +0000
UMaine athletic director leaving for post in Denver Mon, 19 Feb 2018 17:32:51 +0000 University of Maine Director of Athletics Karlton Creech will leave Orono to become the vice chancellor for athletics and recreation at the University of Denver, UMaine announced Monday.

Creech has been the AD at Maine since February 2014. He served previously in athletic administrations at the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State.

“I’d like to thank the University of Maine for the incredible opportunity to serve as director of athletics,” Creech said in a press release. “My years in Orono have been some of the most rewarding of my career and I look forward to following the continued success of the Black Bears.”

An interim AD will be named and a national search will be launched to fill the position, according to University of Maine President Susan J. Hunter.

“We understand that this is an opportunity for Karlton to take his talents to a new level of athletics leadership, and we wish him well,” Hunter said in the release. “The University of Maine takes seriously its role as the state’s only Division I program, and its responsibilities to Black Bear fans near and far.

“We will build on the leadership and fundraising that have effectively advanced UMaine Athletics in the last four years, and will continue to dedicate ourselves to excellence in athletics leadership that will best serve Maine.”

Creech begins his new position on May 1.

]]> 0 Creech has served as athletic director at the University of Maine for four years. He is leaving to take a post at the University of Denver. (Michael C. York photo)Mon, 19 Feb 2018 22:41:19 +0000
Tom Caron: Pedro Martinez playing key role in Red Sox camp Mon, 19 Feb 2018 16:51:56 +0000 Pedro Martinez is seeing an increased role under Alex Cora, who has been keeping things loose.

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Pedro Martinez has been a major presence in the early days of Boston Red Sox spring training. He’s been a hands-on resource for new manager Alex Cora and pitching coach Dana LeVangie, working with pitchers young and old.

He’s spent the last few days with Rick Porcello, a veteran who went from a Cy Young Award-winning season in 2016 to a major league-leading 17 losses in 2017. Martinez has also worked closely with younger pitchers like Eduardo Rodriguez.

One common message that has come from the Hall of Famer is you need to learn how to keep the pressure of pitching in Boston from interfering with your preparation.

He believes Cora is going to help the team have more fun after winning back-to-back division titles but losing first-round playoff series both years.

“I think they have a sort of loose clubhouse,” Martinez said. “They have a younger manager who realizes that music goes on, that fun is part of the game. He’s been there. He’s also a fun guy to be around, so I think they’re going to relate to that kind of attitude more and more and more.”

Martinez has been far more involved in the early days of camp under Cora. He has a close relationship with LeVangie, who was the bullpen coach when Martinez was pitching for Boston. They built a relationship based on trust then, a relationship that continues today. Martinez admitted he feels more liberated at this camp, welcomed by this staff to pass on his wisdom.

He’s not alone. Derek Lowe was in camp over the weekend, and Mike Lowell arrived Monday to work with young third baseman Rafael Devers. They are all former champions who succeeded in Boston and had fun doing it. Fun seemed to be in short supply over the past few seasons at Fenway.

“I’m actually one of the older coaches that is going to be with them,” Martinez said, “but I also understand fun, and I love the fact that everybody has to have fun. The season is definitely too long, and they need to have fun in order for them to enjoy it the entire season.”

Martinez believes a new, relaxed attitude will help the Sox in the coming season. He believes there is a concerted effort to try to avoid the pressure that can make Boston such a tough place to play.

He has already seen a different attitude from David Price, a one-time Cy Young Award winner who seemed to be extremely unhappy pitching for Boston in 2017.

“I don’t remember the last year I saw David Price running outside, interacting with the people, exchanging words,” said Martinez. “(He’s been) really smiling a lot. The entire rotation has been running together around the fields where the kids can see them up close and actually ask them for an autograph. I don’t remember seeing all that last year.”

Price was hamstrung by injuries in 2017, and was publicly reprimanded for an altercation with Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley during the season. He has admitted he “could have handled things better” last season, an admission that has impressed Martinez.

“He’s trying,” Martinez said. “He really is. And I hope the fans realize that and embrace it. Because he’s really looking forward to being different. And I think the postseason had a lot to say with how the fans responded to him doing his job when he was a little bit healthier.”

More than anything, Martinez believes the elbow injury Price suffered last spring led him to a disappointing season on and off the field. Price seems healthy here in Florida, and if he can pitch well he could quickly become an important part of the team in 2018.

“Now he’s healthy, now he’s going to try to go out there and not only do it on the field but also to embrace the fans,” Martinez said. “I’m actually encouraging the fans to embrace him. Go approach him. He’s a nice kid. They just don’t know him well enough.”

Tom Caron is a studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.

]]> 0 Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale, right, speaks with former Red Sox hall of fame pitcher Pedro Martinez during baseball spring training Wednesday in Fort Myers, Fla.Mon, 19 Feb 2018 22:44:31 +0000
Team LeBron edges Team Steph, 148-145, in All-Star Game Mon, 19 Feb 2018 14:14:25 +0000 LOS ANGELES – LeBron James and Kevin Durant swarmed all over Stephen Curry in the final seconds, preventing the NBA’s best shooter from finding even a patch of open air to launch a tying 3-pointer.

Defense? In an All-Star Game?

That was just one of the many exciting surprises created by a big change to the league’s midseason showcase. After James and Curry got to draft their own teams, this exhibition really seemed to matter to basketball’s best.

And LeBron picked a winner.

James scored 29 points and hit the go-ahead layup with 34.5 seconds to play, winning his third All-Star Game MVP award while his team rallied to win an uncommonly entertaining edition of the event, beating Team Stephen 148-145 Sunday night.

For the first time in 67 All-Star games, the league abandoned the traditional East-West format used since 1951, instead allowing the two captains to pick their sides. That twist turned a sometimes staid event into the world’s richest pickup game, and the intrigue was reflected on the Staples Center court, where a real basketball game broke out.

“I think the format was great,” said James, who added 10 rebounds and eight assists in front of LA fans salivating at the still-remote possibility of the Lakers landing the superstar as a free agent this summer.

“The great thing about our commissioner (Adam Silver), he’s absolutely OK with trying something new, to change the format, and it definitely worked out for everybody,” James added. “It worked out not only for the players, not only for the league, but for our fans, for everybody. It was a great weekend, and we capped it off the right way.”

Both teams played real defense for long stretches and contested many shots, with LeBron’s group even picking up full-court late in the first half.

And after an entertaining dunk contest won by Donovan Mitchell and a record-setting effort by Devin Booker in the 3-Point Shootout, the All-Star weekend ended with a recent novelty for the main event: a thrilling finish.

“The game was so good,” said a grinning Durant, who scored 19 points in his ninth All-Star Game. “It was so competitive. It was the best one I’ve been a part of.”

Team LeBron rallied from an 11-point deficit with six minutes to play, finishing the game on a 25-11 run. James tied it at 144-144 on a step-back 3-pointer with 1:31 to play.

LA native DeMar DeRozan hit one free throw to put Team Steph back ahead, but LeBron claimed the lead with his layup after some sharp passing by his teammates. DeRozan then made a turnover on an attempted pass to Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Russell Westbrook broke out for a layup with 10.7 seconds left.

Team Steph had one last chance, but even the usually unguardable Curry couldn’t elude James and Durant, who forced him to give up the ball to DeRozan, who couldn’t score over Durant’s arm in his face.

“That was great defense by myself,” said a grinning Durant, who scored 19 points in his ninth All-Star Game. “I’m patting myself on the back.”

Curry finished with 11 points on 4-for-14 shooting.

“Two tall giants out there not letting me shoot,” Curry said with a laugh when describing the last play. “Tried to make a play, and it just didn’t work out.”

The All-Stars’ shooting percentages and final scores were way down from recent seasons, reflecting the effort on the floor. The relaxed All-Star vibe was still at Staples, however: Curry chowed down on a box of popcorn on the bench during the third quarter, and the stars made time and room for plenty of good-looking dunks and alley-oops.

“They put on a show, but they gave the crowd something to root for rather than just wilding with dunks and lobs,” said Paul George, who scored 16 points for Team LeBron.

Each member of the winning team made a cool $100,000, a distinct raise from previous seasons in another attempt to make things more interesting.

“It was better,” said Team Steph’s Klay Thompson, who scored all 15 of his points on 3-pointers in his fourth All-Star Game. “At the end, it was 100 percent. Throughout the game, it was probably 70, but guys were competitive and they really wanted to win that game.”


TEAM STEPHEN: DeRozan and Damian Lillard led with 21 points apiece. … Jimmy Butler didn’t play after being selected for the fourth time. … First-time All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns was outstanding. The Minnesota forward with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

TEAM LEBRON: Kyrie Irving had 13 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Detroit’s Andre Drummond added 14 points on 7-of-7 shooting. … Three first-time All-Stars suited up. Washington’s Bradley Beal scored 14 points, Miami’s Goran Dragic had two and Indiana’s Victor Oladipo got seven.


The All-Star weekend began with strong statements by James, Curry and other superstars about their determination to keep speaking out on issues of social injustice and racial tension despite criticism .

It was a topic of discussion throughout the weekend with Commissioner Adam Silver praising current and former players for speaking on issues important to them. But it was all in the background when the players went to work on court.


The All-Star Game featured no Lakers or Clippers, who share Staples Center during the regular season. But several All-Stars have Los Angeles roots, including area natives Paul George, Westbrook, DeRozan, James Harden and Thompson. George and James are coveted as offseason signings by Lakers fans, but there was no reprise of the “We want Paul!” chants for the Palmdale native after Saturday’s All-Star practice.


LeBron lost four of his original selections to injuries, including Cleveland teammate Kevin Love, Kristaps Porzingis and John Wall. Anthony Davis represented his fellow New Orleans All-Star, DeMarcus Cousins, by wearing Cousins’ No. 0 jersey to start the game.


The All-Star weekend was held in Hollywood for a record sixth time. A partial list of celebrities attending the game: Jack Nicholson, Beyonce, Rihanna, Snoop Dogg, Chadwick Boseman, Chance the Rapper, Jimmy Kimmel, Michael B. Jordan, Chris Rock, Ludacris, Common, Spike Lee, Cardi B, Andy Garcia, Dave Chappelle, DJ Khaled, Tracy Morgan, Sean Combs, Odell Beckham Jr. and pregame host Kevin Hart, who lobbed roast-style jokes at the All-Stars with mostly blah results. After a much-criticized pregame national anthem from Fergie, N.E.R.D and Migos performed an energizing halftime show.


The 68th NBA All-Star Game will be in Charlotte on Feb. 17, 2019. North Carolina was scheduled to host the 2017 All-Star Game, but lost it in July 2016 because of the state legislature’s Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, which is considered by many to be discriminatory. Hornets owner Michael Jordan got a standing ovation when he appeared at center court alongside Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and Clippers owner Steve Ballmer to reveal the logo for next year’s game.

]]> 0 Press/Chris Pizzello Team LeBron's LeBron James, of the Cleveland Cavaliers, holds the MVP trophy after his team defeated Team Stephen at the NBA All-Star basketball game on Sunday in Los Angeles. Team LeBron won 148-145.Mon, 19 Feb 2018 09:16:17 +0000
Sports Digest: Team LeBron rallies to win NBA All-Star Game Mon, 19 Feb 2018 04:29:45 +0000 BASKETBALL

James leads All-Star win, scoring 29 points

LeBron James made a go-ahead, finger-roll layup with 34.5 seconds left and finished with a game-high 29 points to lead Team LeBron to a 148-145 victory against Team Stephen in the NBA All-Star Game at Los Angeles.

James, who was named the All-Star game MVP for the third time, gave his team a 146-145 lead with the layup and Russell Westbrook added a layup to complete the scoring.

“We got stops when we needed to,” Westbrook said.


SCHNEIDER SEVENTH: Sanford native Rachel Schneider led the first 1,100 meters and finished with a personal best but it was not enough in Sunday’s women’s 1,500-meter race at the USATF Indoor Track and Field Championship in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The 26-year-old Schneider, a former All-American at Georgetown University, finished seventh in the race. Shelby Houlihan, a 2016 Olympian and the favorite entering the race, won in four minutes, 13.07 seconds. Houlihan’s Bowerman Track Club teammate Colleen Quigley was second in 4:13.21 The top two finishers qualified for the IAAF World Indoor Championships, to be held in Birmingham, England, March 1-4.

Houlihan also won the 3,000, sweeping the two distance races for the second straight year.

Schneider’s time of 4:16.71 bettered her previous best in the indoor 1,500 meters by just over one second.

Schneider entered the race with the season’s fastest indoor mile time by an American woman.

Christian Coleman broke the world indoor record in the 60 meters in 6.34 seconds Sunday to win his first U.S. title in the final event of the championships.

Coleman ran a world-best a month ago at the Clemson Invitational, but the mark was not recognized because electronic blocks were not used.

This time there was no doubt when he put on an extra burst about midway through the run, pulling away from former champion Ronnie Baker, who finished with a personal best of 6.40.


ABN AMRO WORLD TOURNAMENT: Roger Federer overpowered Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-2 in less than an hour Sunday in the final at Rotterdam, Netherlands, to earn his 97th career title.

Federer extended his domination over the player once dubbed “Baby Fed” for the similarities in their playing style, registering his seventh victory in as many meetings.

QATAR OPEN: Petra Kvitova continued her remarkable comeback by beating Garbine Muguruza 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the final at Doha for her 13th straight win and second consecutive title.

It was Kvitova’s sixth win over a top-10 player in 2018.

ARGENTINA OPEN: Top-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria beat Slovenia’s Alijaz Bedene 6-2, 6-4 on Sunday to win in Buenos Aires for the second time in three seasons.

NEW YORK OPEN: Top-seeded Kevin Anderson won the inaugural tournament at Uniondale, beating No. 2 seed Sam Querrey 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (1) for his fourth career title.


FA CUP: Eight-time winner Tottenham was held 2-2 by English third-tier team Rochdale at Rochdale, England, in the fifth round of the competition.

“It was an amazing game and an amazing event for us,” Rochdale Manager Keith Hill said of his bottom-of-the-table team. “We took the opposition on and we know how good they are.”

– News service report

]]> 0 Sun, 18 Feb 2018 23:31:36 +0000
NHL roundup: McDavid’s hat trick propels Oilers Mon, 19 Feb 2018 03:42:47 +0000 DENVER — Connor McDavid had his third hat trick of the season, and the Edmonton Oilers beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 on Sunday to snap a six-game losing streak.

McDavid now has 11 goals in the last nine games and two hat tricks. His first two goals tied the game, and his last one was into an empty net at 18:34 of the third.

He has five goals in two games against the Avalanche this season.

Ryan Strome also scored and Cam Talbot had 24 saves for the Oilers, who snapped Colorado’s 10-game home winning streak.

The Avalanche got goals from Tyson Jost and Alexander Kerfoot, and Semyon Varlamov had 36 saves, but Colorado couldn’t take advantage of the return of Nathan MacKinnon.

MacKinnon missed eight games with a left shoulder injury suffered in Vancouver on Jan. 30. He was second in the league in scoring when he was injured. He entered Sunday tied for 16th with 61 points.

He had a chance to tie it late, but his shot with less than four minutes left hit the post. Moments later, McDavid sealed it with his team-leading 26th goal.

PENGUINS 5, BLUE JACKETS 2: Riley Sheahan scored two goals in the first period and rookie Tristan Jarry made 35 saves in Pittsburgh’s victory at Columbus.

Jake Guentzel had a goal and two assists, and Brian Dumoulin and Zach Aston-Reese also scored for the Penguins. They have won five straight and 10 of their last 12. The win in front of a sellout crowd at Nationwide Arena moved them past Washington into first place in the Metropolitan Division.

Artemi Panarin and Alexander Wennberg scored for Columbus.

FLYERS 7, RANGERS 4: Travis Konecny broke a tie late in the second period and Alex Lyon made 25 saves in relief to help Philadelphia win at New York.

Claude Giroux and Jori Lehtera scored in the third to finish off Lyon’s first NHL win. Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist allowed all seven goals.

Andrew MacDonald, Scott Laughton, Brandon Manning and Nolan Patrick also scored for Philadelphia. The Flyers have won six of seven.

Kevin Hayes, Rick Nash, Mats Zuccarello and Peter Holland scored for New York.

DEVILS 3, HURRICANES 2: Taylor Hall scored on a rebound with 22 seconds left in overtime to lift visiting New Jersey past Carolina and extend his NHL-best points streak to 11 games.

Keith Kinkaid stopped 40 shots, and Nico Hischier and Pavel Zacha added goals for the Devils. Teuvo Teravainen and Jeff Skinner scored for Carolina.

MAPLE LEAFS 3, RED WINGS 2: Auston Matthews scored with 30.2 seconds left to give Toronto a win at Detroit.

Matthews snapped a high shot into the roof of the net from a sharp angle for his 27th goal of the season.

James van Riemsdyk and Mitch Marner also scored for Toronto, and Curtis McElhinney made 27 saves.

Anthony Mantha and Henrik Zetterberg scored for Detroit.

]]> 0 center Jordan Weal carries the puck with Peter Holland of the Rangers in pursuit during Philadelphia's 7-4 victory Sunday in New York.Sun, 18 Feb 2018 22:57:31 +0000
Golf roundup: Bubba Watson ends title drought, wins Genesis Open Mon, 19 Feb 2018 03:03:30 +0000 LOS ANGELES — Bubba Watson ended two years without winning with his third victory at Riviera.

Watson seized control Sunday with two par putts as everyone around him was dropping shots, then pulled ahead by holing a bunker shot on the par-3 14th hole. He closed with a 2-under 69 for a two-shot victory in the Genesis Open over Kevin Na and Tony Finau, and more tears on the 18th green. It was his first victory since he won at Riviera two years ago and rose to No. 4 in the world.

Watson showed up this year at No. 117, coming off a year filled with so many doubts that he says he discussed retirement with his wife on a dozen occasions. If anything, the only talk of retirement should be whether to settle down off Sunset Boulevard. He joined Ben Hogan and Lloyd Mangrum as three-time winners at Riviera.

Na hit a wedge close to perfection from the worst angle on the reachable par-4 10th hole for a birdie and two-putted for birdie on the 11th to briefly take the lead. He fell back with consecutive bogeys from the trees and shot 69. Finau lurked all day. His last chance was an eagle putt on the 17th that stopped inches short of the hole.

Patrick Cantlay had a one-shot lead going to the back nine until he ran into tree trouble on the 12th and 13th holes. The UCLA alum could do no better than pars the rest of the way for a 71 to tie for fourth with Scott Stallings (68).

Phil Mickelson was within one shot of the lead when he hit a 4-iron from a deep bunker on the 15th hole to just right of the green. But he went after birdie and watched the ball roll 20 feet down the hill, leading to bogey. He shot 68 and tied for sixth.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Joe Durant birdied the final two holes – and got some help from Steve Stricker – to win the Chubb Classic at Naples, Florida.

Durant shot a 5-under 67 for a four-stroke victory over Stricker (70), David Toms (65), Lee Janzen (68), Billy Mayfair (64) and Tim Petrovic (64).

Tied with Durant with two holes left, Stricker dropped a stroke back when Durant birdied the par-5 17th. On the par-4 18th, Stricker hit into the water and made a double bogey for a three-shot swing.

LPGA: Jin Young Ko of South Korea, playing in her first event as an LPGA Tour member, closed with a 3-under 69 to complete a wire-to-wire victory in the Women’s Australian Open at Adelaide.

Ko led by four shots going into the final round. Hyejin Choi (67) pulled within one shot at the turn, but Ko made birdie on No. 9 and pulled away with two more birdies to win by three shots over Choi. Hannah Green (69) of Australia was alone in third, another stroke back.

Ko became the second player to win a title in her first start as a member of the tour, the first since Beverly Hanson in 1951.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Joost Luiten of the Netherlands won the inaugural Oman Open at Muscat for his first victory in nearly 17 months.

The 32-year-old Dutchman closed with a 4-under 68 to finish on 16-under 272, two shots ahead England’s Chris Wood (69). The win moved Luiten into the top 10 in the Race to Dubai.

]]> 0 Sun, 18 Feb 2018 22:04:07 +0000
Danica Patrick’s swan song marred by wreck Mon, 19 Feb 2018 02:51:49 +0000 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Danica Patrick and Aaron Rodgers brought a dose of A-list attraction to a pit road scene that was more fitting for a red carpet. The starry-eyed sweethearts were mobbed by fans and media clicking away for a snapshot of some PDA that would surely spawn headlines. Then the moment came: Rodgers, a full foot taller than his new girlfriend, put his hands on Patrick’s shoulders and leaned in for a good-luck kiss.

Patrick’s final NASCAR race at the Daytona 500 captured her career to perfection. She had photojournalists embedded with her, a hunky celebrity NFL QB boyfriend by her side, social media buzzing – and a crumpled Chevy towed to the garage that put a premature end to her race.

Patrick smooched her boyfriend and then kissed her NASCAR career goodbye when she was caught up in a wreck in Sunday’s race.

Her final win-loss record was a dud: 0 for 191 in the Cup series.

“I hope they remember me as a great driver and that I was a woman and it was really cool to watch and be there for,” Patrick said.

Her NASCAR farewell fittingly came on the sport’s biggest stage – in front of 101,000 fans at Daytona.

Patrick was in good spirits as she approached her car that had been swallowed by mobs of onlookers and security guards barking orders that made it futile to find a spot near the scrum. She posed for pictures with her family and Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers quarterback, who was all smiles in a tight blue T-shirt and jeans before the race and watched from the pits.

“Who’s that girl with Aaron Rodgers?!” one fan cracked.

Funny, but all eyes at Daytona were on Danica.

She finished 35th on Sunday in the first leg of the ballyhooed “Danica Double.” She’ll make a return in May to IndyCar and race the Indianapolis 500 before she calls it quits on her racing career.

“When she first started at 10, I knew about two months into it, I told my wife she’s going to change racing. I could see it,” said Patrick’s father, T.J.

Patrick was a driver at peace with her decision and ready to transition into the next chapter of her life.

She tweeted , “Ready to go!!!!!!” with a green heart emoji hours before the race. On Instagram, it was a photo of her eyes peering through her race helmet with the caption, “Going to have to keep my eyes wide open today in the race. These cars and guys are going to do crazy things.”

Sure enough, Patrick was collected in a multi-car accident.

“I’m just sad that it ended that way,” she said.

]]> 0 PATRICKSun, 18 Feb 2018 21:51:49 +0000
Sunday’s college roundup: UMaine swept in baseball Mon, 19 Feb 2018 02:44:03 +0000 Baseball: The third-ranked Red Raiders open a 10-0 lead and complete a four-game sweep to open the season by defeating the Black Bears, 21-6.

LUBBOCK, Texas — Josh Jung had four hits, including a three-run homer during a six-run eighth inning, as Texas Tech, ranked third nationally, completed a four-game sweep to open the baseball season with a 21-6 victory against Maine at Rip Griffin Park.

Texas Tech scored nine runs in the second to take a 10-0 lead. Gabe Holt drove in four runs, including an RBI triple, in the inning for the Red Raiders.

Maine responded with six runs in the third. After a throwing error and a bases-loaded walk, Cody Riley hit a two-run double and Jonathan Bennett followed with a two-run single to make it 10-6.

Jung’s homer in the eighth put Texas Tech up 18-6.

Maine will play a four-game series with Ohio University starting Friday in Emerson, Georgia.


(19) WICHITA STATE 76, (5) CINCINNATI 72: Landry Shamut scored 19 points, and Wichita State (21-5, 11-3 American Athletic) beat Cincinnati (23-4, 12-2) at Highland Heights, Kentucky, to snap the nation’s longest home-court winning streak at 39.

(22) MICHIGAN 74, (8) OHIO STATE 62: Jordan Poole scored 12 of his 15 points in the first half to help Michigan (22-7, 11-5 Big Ten) take the lead and it never trailed in the second half against Ohio State (22-7, 13-3) at Ann Arbor, Michigan.

(12) DUKE 66, (11) CLEMSON 57: Gary Trent Jr. hit three foul shots with 1:31 left to put visiting Duke (22-5, 10-4 Atlantic Coast) ahead for good against Clemson (20-6, 9-5).


(1) CONNECTICUT 106, TEMPLE 45: Katie Lou Samuelson scored 27 points and UConn (26-0, 13-0) continued to roll through its American Athletic Conference schedule with a rout of Temple (10-16, 2-11) at Hartford, Connecticut.

(2) MISSISSIPPI STATE 76, (17) TEXAS A&M 55: Victoria Vivians had 26 points and 10 rebounds, and Mississippi State (28-0, 14-0) wrapped up its first Southeastern Conference regular-season championship, beating Texas A&M (20-8, 9-5) at Starkville, Mississippi.

(4) LOUISVILLE 67, NORTH CAROLINA 57: Asia Durr scored 19 points to help Louisville (27-2, 13-1 Atlantic Coast) rally past North Carolina (14-13, 4-10) at Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

(5) NOTRE DAME 89, BOSTON COLLEGE 55: Jessica Shepard and Jackie Young led five players in double figures with 18 points apiece as visiting Notre Dame (25-2, 13-1 Atlantic Coast) beat Boston College (7-20, 2-12) for its 10th consecutive victory.

(8) SOUTH CAROLINA 81, KENTUCKY 63: A’ja Wilson scored 29 points and South Carolina (22-5, 11-3 Southeastern) had assists on 21 of 26 baskets against Kentucky (13-15, 5-9) at Columbia, South Carolina.

MINNESOTA 93, (10) MARYLAND 74: Freshman Destiny Pitts scored 20 points, hitting 6 of 11 from 3-point territory, and sophomore Gadiva Hubbard had 22 points as Minnesota (21-6, 10-4 Big Ten) beat Maryland (22-5, 11-3) at Minneapolis.

]]> 0 Sun, 18 Feb 2018 21:53:00 +0000
Major league notebook: Hosmer agrees to 8-year deal with Padres Mon, 19 Feb 2018 01:59:38 +0000 PEORIA, Ariz. — Just the thought of free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer joining the downtrodden, youthful San Diego Padres sent a morning jolt through the spring training clubhouse.

Hosmer reached a preliminary agreement on an eight-year contract with the San Diego Padres, pending a physical. A person with direct knowledge of the deal confirmed the tentative deal, speaking on the condition of anonymity Sunday because there had been no formal announcement of Hosmer’s potential signing.

It would become official once he passes a physical early in the week. While the final position players reported Sunday – most were already in spring camp – ahead of Monday’s first full-squad workout, Hosmer wasn’t expected in the desert until at least Monday.

Hosmer, who spent his first seven major league seasons with Kansas City, would receive a reported $144 million.

The 28-year-old Hosmer batted a career-high .318 in 2017 and matched his best from the previous season with 25 home runs.

RED SOX: Boston finalized its contract with infielder Eduardo Nunez, a one-year deal with a player option for 2019.

Nunez gets a guaranteed $6 million, according to multiple reports, including $4 million this season and a $2 million buyout. Nunez can reportedly exercise a $4 million option for 2019.

The 30-year-old batted a career-high .313 with 33 doubles and 12 home runs over 114 games last season between San Francisco and the Red Sox, who acquired him in a trade on July 25.

YANKEES: Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury says the team has not approached him about waiving his no-trade clause.

There has been speculation that the Yankees would like to move some of the money due Ellsbury, who has three years remaining on a $153 million, seven-year contract.

Ellsbury, 34, enters spring training as the odd man out in the outfield after losing his center field job last year to Aaron Hicks.

ANGELS: Los Angeles signed veteran slugger Chris Carter to a minor-league deal and longtime outfielder Chris Young to a one-year contract.

Carter played for the New York Yankees last season, batting .201 with eight homers. The first baseman is only one season removed from leading the NL with 41 homers for Milwaukee.

Young spent last season with Boston, batting .235 with 25 RBI in 90 games. He also has played for Arizona, Oakland and the Mets and Yankees.

]]> 0 to a person with a knowledge of the deal, free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer will join the San Diego Padres an eight-year, $144 million contract.Sun, 18 Feb 2018 21:38:26 +0000
Kimbrel balancing the personal and the professional Mon, 19 Feb 2018 01:57:09 +0000 FORT MYERS — There’s a lot weighing on Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel.

His daughter, Lydia Joy, was born in November with heart defects that he’s chosen not to specify publicly. She’s needed multiple surgeries and will need another at the end of this month, which will cause Kimbrel to step away from spring training for some time.

Kimbrel fought back emotions when talking about Lydia Joy Saturday at JetBlue Park.

“I mean I love baseball,” he said. “I love my family, but I also love baseball. … I’m here to work. I’m here to focus. I’m here to get better. But when I leave the ballpark, my heart and mind are definitely at home. God gave me this ability to be able to hopefully change other people’s lives and change my own family’s life. It is tough. But God has a plan for us and (we) have to trust him.

“Things are going good. I can be very grateful for that.”

Kimbrel’s contract is up after this season, and he has a chance to enter free agency at 30 years old while holding the best ERA in MLB history. He’ll enter this season with a 1.80 ERA.

“I’d like to (stay with the Red Sox),” he said. “I’ve enjoyed my time here in Boston. Been a part of two winning teams and hopefully three after this year. You never know where life is going to take you. I learned that a lot this offseason in dealing with my daughter. So I’m just going to take each day for what it is.”

Still looking for work this spring are over 100 free agents. Kimbrel is keeping an eye on what happens.

“It’s definitely something that’s raised the eyebrows of a lot of guys,” he said. “Honestly I think it might be a good thing, too. For guys to get a better understanding of how this business works. To see it firsthand and to understand it and knowing a lot of guys who are without jobs and knowing how good of players they are.

“I think sometimes you take a step back and you pay attention to the things and details that are going on. I think it’s definitely brought the awareness to a lot of guys. Guys start thinking and talking about things a lot more which can be a good thing as well.”

Kimbrel shouldn’t have to worry. The relief market was the one that moved quickly in the offseason.

Wade Davis, 32, received a three-year, $52 million deal from the Colorado Rockies and Brandon Morrow, 33, signed for two years, $22 million with the Chicago Cubs. Both relievers are older, have concerning injury histories and lack the pedigree of Kimbrel.

“I think, if he looks at the market, what happened this year with relievers, he’s in a good place,” Red Sox Manager Alex Cora said.

The final piece of the puzzle for Kimbrel: How will his new manager use him?

Cora made headlines this winter when he said he’d like to use Kimbrel in a more versatile role to get the most out of the flame-throwing right-hander.

Kimbrel said in January he would be open to having a conversation about it.

Saturday, Cora explained exactly what he was talking about.

“People think it’s a big adjustment,” Cora said. “But if you start looking at the numbers you don’t lose too many saves if it’s the way you want to use him. We’re not talking about the lower third of the lineup. We’re talking the middle of the lineup, eighth inning, certain situations – what I feel is game on the line.

“We’ll sit down and talk about it and he’ll understand where we’re coming from. And as long as he’s healthy he’ll do it.”

Even without knowing specifics, Kimbrel seems to be coming around to Cora’s thinking.

“I think I’ll be used in positions I need to be used in,” Kimbrel said. “I think I’ll be closing out a lot of games and getting us out of some tough spots when needed to.”

Kimbrel’s average velocity has climbed each year, and last season he came in at 99 mph. He also finished with a 1.43 ERA and a 9.00 strikeout-to-walk rate, the best of his career.

Another season like that and the Red Sox might have to make history if they want to lock up Kimbrel to a long-term deal.

Especially if he proves he can pitch in any role.

“I think in ’16 I came in and struggled in (non-save situations), then last year I kind of turned it around,” Kimbrel said. “There’s always going to be non-save situations. At home there’s not always going to be a save situation. It’s a pretty stat but at the end of the day it’s about winning and losing games.”

]]> 0 Sox closer Craig Kimbrel, one of the most dominant relievers of all time, could become a free agent after this season, though he says he'd like to stay in Boston.Sun, 18 Feb 2018 21:00:02 +0000
Class B girls’ swimming: Two sports keep Greely girls on move Mon, 19 Feb 2018 01:24:44 +0000 CUMBERLAND — Greta Van Curan and Maggie McCormick will compete for Greely High in the Class B swimming and diving state championship meet Monday at Bowdoin College in Brunswick.

It won’t be their only state meet of the week.

On Saturday at Bates College in Lewiston, McCormick, a junior, placed second in the pole vault – at 9 feet – to help Greely win the Class B indoor track title.

On Thursday and Friday at Mt. Abram in Greenwood, Van Curan, a senior, will race in giant slalom and slalom at the Class A Alpine ski meet.

In age of increasingly younger sport specialization, Van Curan and McCormick are throwbacks. They’re not just multisport athletes, they’re in-season multisport athletes.

“It’s unusual,” said Rob Hale, the Greely swim coach in his third decade leading the Rangers. “They’re both outstanding students with great time management. I haven’t had a male be able to do this. They’re not as good at time management, for the most part.”

Twice before Hale had a dual-sport athlete on his team, most recently five years ago when Gwen Sawyer won an indoor track state title in the shot put and also qualified for the swimming state meet. He’s never had two on the same team and never had a dual athlete who scored in both the swimming state meet, and medaled or scored in her other winter sport.

McCormick is seeded 16th in the 50-yard freestyle and 23rd in the 100 free. Swimmers with the fastest 16 times earn points for their team.

Van Curan is seeded fifth in the 50 free and 100 backstroke. At last week’s Western Maine Conference Alpine meet at Shawnee Peak, she was fifth in giant slalom and 10th in slalom.

“I knew Greta swam previously,” Hale said. “I’ve been bugging her for three years but she’s turned me down. Skiing is in the family blood. So I gave up and then she showed up on her own this year.”

Van Curan, who swam in middle school and for a club team before that, said she thought two sports in the same season would be too much. But as a senior she decided to give it a whirl.

“I said if it’s too much, I’ll just stop,” she said. “But it didn’t end up being too much and I loved it, so I continued to do it.”

A typical day for Van Curan is catching the bus after school to Lost Valley in Auburn, running gates with the ski team until 6 p.m., returning to Cumberland, grabbing her swim gear from her car and hopping in the pool for practice. Hale holds afternoon and night practices.

“It’s the right way to go,” Van Curan said, “being cold and then jumping in the warm pool. I feel like skiing’s more of a leg sport and swimming’s more upper body so it doesn’t transfer a lot, but it can’t hurt to do both. Getting in shape is getting in shape.”

Van Curan was accepted in an early decision to Tufts University, where she plans to major in engineering. McCormick, who has another year of high school, is in Greely’s International Baccalaureate program.

“Which is a very, very heavy course load for academics,” said John Lane, the pole vault coach at Greely.

Not every school embraces the concept of multiple sports within the same season. Greely’s policy requires both coaches to agree.

McCormick said she joined at the behest of friends. She also plays field hockey in the fall and Van Curan plays lacrosse in the spring.

“There were some stressful parts,” McCormick said, “but there’s been really great support from coaches and family, and the teams. It’s almost at the end and I’ve survived it.”

The rest of this week’s school vacation will allow McCormick to explore possible college options. Until this week, her plate has been rather full.

Dual-sport athletes for the first time in the same season on the same team surely traded tips about scheduling and time management, right?

“Actually,” McCormick said, “we haven’t talked about it.”

Of course. They’ve been too busy.


Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH


CORRECTION: This story was updated at 8:04 a.m. on Feb. 19, 2018, to correct the name of Greely’s indoor track coach. It was updated at 12:38 p.m. to correct the attribution on a quote by John Lane, the pole vault coach at Greely.

]]> 0 Van Curan, left, and Maggie McCormick of Greely are two-sport athletes – this winter alone. In addition to swimming, Van Curan is an Alpine ski racer and McCormick is a pole vaulter.Mon, 19 Feb 2018 12:41:39 +0000
Olympic roundup: Austrian skier dominates again Mon, 19 Feb 2018 01:11:36 +0000 PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Two events, two gold medals for Marcel Hirscher.

Hirscher, a 28-year-old Austrian, has a good chance to leave the Olympics with one more.

Hirscher won the men’s giant slalom Sunday, finishing in 2 minutes, 18.04 seconds and beating Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway by 1.27 seconds – the largest victory in the event at an Olympics in 50 years. He also won the Alpine combined last Tuesday and still has the slalom – his best event – to come.

“At the moment, I’m pumped,” Hirscher said.

Oystein Braaten of Norway also was excited after winning the men’s ski slopestyle, edging an American, Nick Goepper, for the gold.

“First run, I did what I planned to do, what I wanted to do as well as I could, and it held up against all the great runs today,” Braaten said. “Just being a part of a final like this was amazing.”

Norway won its fifth cross-country skiing gold of these games, taking the men’s 40-kilometer relay. Oleksandr Abramenko was the winner of the men’s aerials, giving Ukraine its first medal of these games and just its third gold ever at the Winter Games.

In a photo finish in the biathlon 15-kilometer mass start, Martin Fourcade edged Simon Schempp to win his second gold medal of the games. And in the last medal event of the night, Nao Kodaira won the women’s 500-meter speedskating title in an Olympic record.

Hirscher led after the first run but saw Kristoffersen rise from 10th-fastest in the morning to having the quickest time in the second run.

“Wow, it was not so easy to be the absolute favorite in this discipline, then sitting up there as the leader from the first run knowing that Henrik ripped it,” Hirscher said. “I had no choice. I knew I have to give 100 percent and I had to go into this battle.”

Alexis Pinturault of France took the bronze.

Ted Ligety, the 2014 Olympic champion, was 15th in 2:21.25.

Braaten was the big star on the slopes despite most eyes being set on Gus Kenworthy, an American who came out as gay about two years after capturing the silver medal in Russia. Kenworthy failed to land any of his three runs and finished last.

“It didn’t work out for me, which is a bummer,” said Kenworthy, who had become a strong, steady voice in the LGBT community. “I would have loved to have landed a run for sure. Definitely disappointing.”

Alex Beaulieu-Marchand of Canada won the bronze.

CROSS-COUNTRY RELAY: The Norwegian team of Didrik Toenseth, Martin Johnsrud Sundby, Simen Hegstad Krueger and Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo won 1 hour, 33 minutes and 4.9 seconds.

That was good enough to beat the second-place Russian athletes by 9.4 seconds. France took the bronze.

Of the eight golds awarded in cross-country events, Norway has all but three. The Norwegians have won 11 overall medals in cross country, two off the record set by the Soviet Union in Calgary in 1988.

MEN’S AERIALS: Abramenko scored a 128.51 on his third and final jump, edging Zongyang Jia of China by just 0.46 points. Ilia Burov, an Olympic athlete from Russia, got the bronze.

WOMEN’S SPEEDSKATING: Kodaira’s 36.94 seconds made her the first woman to race under 37 seconds at sea level, bettering her mark of 37.07 set in November in Norway.

DINOS LEFKARITIS JR., the Bates College junior and lone athlete from Cyprus, didn’t finish his first run of giant slalom because of a fall. He was among a group of 21 men who received a DNF for not completing the first run. Another 10 failed to complete the second run.

Lefkaritis will compete in the slalom, with the first run at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, Eastern time.

]]> 0 Hirscher of Austria heads down the hill on his first run Sunday on the way to a dominating victory in the men's giant slalom.Sun, 18 Feb 2018 20:12:34 +0000
Commentary: Warriors have high praise for Celtics Mon, 19 Feb 2018 00:50:54 +0000 Three weeks ago, the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors engaged in a high-quality, intense affair that belied its regular-season status. The Warriors won, 109-105, but there was a growing feeling in the building and around the league that these teams could well meet again under warmer circumstances.

Since then, however, the Celtics are 5-4, the Warriors are 4-4, and both have fallen out of first place in their respective conferences. But the new conventional thinking is that Boston is being exposed while Golden State is just catching its breath.

The discrepancy in reaction is largely because the Warriors are loaded and happen to be the defending champions. But the Golden State representatives at the All-Star Game – and other All-Stars, too – don’t share that opinion of Boston.

“It’s a long year,” Kevin Durant said Saturday. “Kyrie (Irving) is asked to do a lot out there to score for that team, and as a point guard that can be tiring. But they’ve got a lot of young guys that are still figuring out their way. You’ve got Jayson Tatum, who’s learning, who’s been thrown into the position of playing on a team that’s trying to win a championship. That’s rare as a third pick, so he’s learning, and Jaylen Brown’s getting better. And then you’ve got Al Horford bringing his veteran leadership, and you’ve got Terry Rozier who’s playing great ball.

“You’ve got a lot of young players mixed with a couple of vets, so you’re going to have, like, ups and downs and learning experiences through it all. And you might lose a few games, but who cares? They’re getting better, and you can tell they’re going to be one of the teams that it’s going to be tough to beat them in the playoffs.

“They play extremely hard, they’re well coached, and you can tell they care about the game.”

Draymond Green had good perspective on the Celtics, charting their journey through the season’s first several months.

“They’re a very good team,” he said. “They’re young. This is their first year together. Obviously Kyrie is one of the few guys, if not the only guy, with championship experience, so it takes a little experience to kind of figure things out.”

Then Draymond dug in, saying, “I think they went from going into the season with Kyrie and Gordon (Hayward) and Al kind of expected to be really good. With young guys like Jaylen, Jayson Tatum, they were expected to be really good. Then Gordon went down, and then there were kind of no expectations for them, and they completely outplayed that. So then it’s a different thing. All of a sudden, everyone is gunning for you and that takes some adjusting to.

“So I think they’re just adjusting to it and they’ll be fine. Everyone hits that rough patch in the season, and I think that’s what they’re going through right now.”

Another of the four Golden State All-Stars, Klay Thompson, still thinks the Celtics are in this for the long haul.

“Obviously they have a great coach in Brad Stevens and an amazing scorer-slash-leader in Kyrie, and I’m very impressed with their young guys,” he said. “Tatum and Brown are making a huge impact, and to do that in their first and second years is incredible. And my guy (fellow Washington State product Aron) Baynes has also carved himself a nice little niche out there, and they’ve got another All-Star in Al Horford.

“So I’ve been impressed with Boston, and I won’t be surprised if they were there in June.”

Thompson is, however, a bit shocked at the teams’ records since that Jan. 27 “finals preview.”

“Yeah, it is very strange,” he said. “I did not see that happening, but that’s the toll of the NBA season. It’s long, and every team has incredible talent, so you can’t really relax. Tough stretches are just the nature of basketball. We’ll both be all right.”

Added Steph Curry: “There’s ups and downs. You have good stretches; you have bad stretches. For different reasons – Boston being kind of a brand new team that had a great start to the season, has hit a rough patch, but I’m sure will be better because of it.

“For us, we’ve been at this thing at this level for four years now, and we’re human. It’s really hard to keep that level of intensity. As high of a standard as we hold ourselves to, it’s really hard to achieve that every night.”

]]> 0 Irving, right, drives to the hoop during the Celtics' 129-119 loss to the Clippers on Wednesday. Boston is just 5-4 since facing the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 27.Sun, 18 Feb 2018 19:52:05 +0000
Commentary: Unless the medal table flips, the U.S. is a flop Mon, 19 Feb 2018 00:23:52 +0000 PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — It was perhaps the defining moment for the U.S. team at this Olympics.

Not Shaun White blitzing the halfpipe in a final run to win gold, a win that came with some baggage by itself. Or Chloe Kim delighting fans from two countries when she won her halfpipe, either.

No, it came Friday when – within 20 seconds of each other – Nathan Chen skated his way out of medal contention and Mikaela Shiffrin faltered in the slalom she had been expected to win handily.

And with it went any chance the U.S. had of redeeming itself in what’s shaping up as a frustrating Olympics for a team that had hopes of ending up near the top of the medal table.

The biggest team in the Olympics – 241 athletes – has been a flop, winning so few medals that you can count them on both hands.

Take away the new wave of snowboarding events and you can count them with one hand.

But if those waving the red, white and blue want a statistic that really stuns, consider this one:

Norway, a nation of 5.3 million people is leading with 26 medals or one for every 212,000 Norwegians.

The U.S., a nation of some 320 million people, has 10 medals or one for every 32 million Americans.

It could be worse. Russia, which won the medal count in Sochi four years ago, is still waiting for its first gold medal. But at least the Russians, who aren’t an official team here, have an excuse because some of their best dopers from Sochi were banned from these games. Even the partial Russian team has 10 medals, the same as the U.S.

The U.S. runs an extensive winter training program with millions of dollars spent every year to train top athletes just for this occasion. The U.S. Olympic Committee took in more than $300 million in 2016 alone, with a big chunk used to train elite athletes.

That’s a lot of money with very little to show for it. Through Sunday, American athletes are fifth on the medal list.

Take away the new sports added to the Olympics since 1992, and the U.S. would have a grand total of two medals.

The Associated Press had projected the U.S. to have 20 medals at this point, and Team USA has averaged 30 medals total over the last three Winter Olympics.

With the dismal performance has come dismal ratings for NBC, which paid $963 million for the events, up from $775 million for Sochi. While the Olympics still win the prime-time battle in the U.S., the total audience tuning in was down 16 percent Thursday night, with the viewership on NBC alone down 29 percent.

What should be more concerning to the network – and U.S. officials – is the lack of star power emerging in South Korea.

Shiffrin delivered gold in her first race but stumbled in the giant slalom, and will have to rebound in the combined and downhill to become a multi-medalist in these games. White, meanwhile, may be in his last Olympics and was tarnished by reports of a civil sexual harassment suit against him.

U.S. teenagers have a lot of potential. Kim dominated in the halfpipe and could be a favorite in future Olympics, and fellow 17-year-old Red Gerard won gold in men’s snowboard slopestyle.

The teen figure skaters Nathan Chen and Vincent Zhou finished fifth and sixth, but they were the biggest jumpers in the competition and could be back with more experience.

At the other end of the experience spectrum, former gold medalists Lindsey Vonn and Ted Ligety have so far failed to deliver.

Add in the lackluster performance of the U.S. hockey team – which lost 4-0 to Russia on Saturday – and the absence of any medals in (non-short track) speedskating, and there’s not a lot to cheer about.

The games could still be salvaged somewhat by some of the stars with more events left. Shiffrin has an outside shot at golds in the combined and downhill, and Vonn is one of the favorites in the women’s downhill. There’s a new Big Air event where Americans are competitive, and there may be a medal or two left in some of the outlying sports.

But the days when Eric Heiden could win five speedskating golds or American figure skaters could dominate appear over. Hard to believe, but the last medal for a U.S. woman figure skater was the silver Sasha Cohen won in Turin 12 years ago.

The rest of the world has caught up, yes.

But that’s little excuse, for what’s been a flop of Olympic proportions.

]]> 0 Chen ended up on the ice while performing during the men's short program in figure skating – symbolic of the fall that U.S. athletes have taken during these Winter Games.Sun, 18 Feb 2018 19:28:12 +0000
Indoor track: Scarborough sophomore has even veteran coaches astonished Sun, 18 Feb 2018 23:51:33 +0000 SCARBOROUGH — When Jarett Flaker sizes up his chances of breaking records at the Class A indoor track state championships Monday, he’s so low key he sounds like he’s talking about a homework assignment.

“I just focus on running faster times,” said Flaker, a Scarborough High sophomore. “I don’t get too stressed.”

Flaker has won every race he’s entered this winter. He has the fastest times in the state for his three events this season:

n He leads the state in the 55 meters with a time of 6.52 seconds, an SMAA record and faster than the Class A meet record of 6.60.

n He leads the state in the 200 with a time of 22.57 seconds, another SMAA record and faster than the Class A record of 22.65.

n And he leads the state in the 400 with a time of 50.57 seconds, less than a second off the state record of 49.78.

If Flaker breaks more than one Maine record at the state meet at the University of Southern Maine, it would be a rare feat for an underclassman.

“Actually I consider it difficult for a senior boy to set more than one state record,” said George Mendros, the track coach at Thornton Academy for 21 years.

Falmouth Coach Jorma Kurry, who has 25 years of experience, said it’s more difficult for underclass boys to break a state record than for underclass girls because boys physically mature later.

“I’d say it’s uncommon,” Kurry said. “Not many sophomores break any records on the boys’ side and not many kids break multiple records. Nobody comes to mind.”

State track and field records aren’t archived by the Maine Principals’ Association. It’s unclear if there’s been an underclassmen who has broken more than one record in the 50-year history of the Class A meet.

“I talked to (former Brewer coach) Dave Jeffrey and we can’t really remember a sophomore boy who had the potential to set multiple state records,” said Brewer outdoor track coach Glendon Rand.

Many believe Flaker could be the first.

“Jarett is an extraordinary Maine talent,” said John Folan, the track coach at Greely for 25 years. “I have yet to see a match for him in Maine.”

Flaker also set the Maine boys’ record in the 300 meters at the Dartmouth Relays on Jan. 5 with 35.23. He said he’s ready for Monday’s state meet.

“Last year I knew I would do decent but I didn’t know how well,” he said. “I’ve gotten used to the pressure.”

Being a member of three Class A state title teams in his first two years has helped.

Last year he was a member of two Class A track and field state championship teams. And at the Class A indoor meet he won the 55 (6.68) and finished second in the 200 (22.99), and also ran anchor on Scarborough’s winning 800-meter relay.

This fall he was a starter on Scarborough’s first Class A state football championship team, contributing at wide receiver.

He came into this track season with all kinds of new confidence.

“Football helped a lot,” Flaker said. “Lifting with the football team helped. I feel faster, stronger. And I’m faster out of the blocks. All year my coach has told me, ‘Don’t rush the process. Stay down, and drive and accelerate. Don’t pop up and try to get to top speed right away.'”

Flaker also has one more advantage. A new rule at the University of Southern Maine prevents high school runners from using spikes in regular-season meets, making it harder to get traction in the sprints. But at the state meet Flaker will wear spikes.

“He’s a lot stronger than a year ago,” said Coach Derek Veilleux. “He’s more mentally focused after the football season. The times he’s been running without spikes have been crazy.”

Deirdre Fleming can be reached at 791-6452 or:

Twitter: FlemingPph

]]> 0 Flaker of Scarborough enters the Class A indoor track state meet Monday with not only an undefeated season but the fastest time in Maine in three events – the 55, 200 and 400. He could set records in all three. And yes, he's a sophomore.Mon, 19 Feb 2018 08:02:58 +0000
Austin Dillon wins Daytona 500 Sun, 18 Feb 2018 23:40:27 +0000 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The No. 3 is No. 1 again at Daytona, on a day, in a race and at a place forever linked with the great Dale Earnhardt.

Austin Dillon won the Daytona 500 on Sunday night driving the iconic No. 3 Chevrolet that Earnhardt piloted for most of his career. Earnhardt was behind the wheel of No. 3 when he won his only Daytona 500 in 1998, and when he was killed in an accident on the final lap of the race three years later.

Dillon’s victory, in the 60th running of “The Great American Race,” came 17 years to the day after Earnhardt’s fatal crash.

Dillon wasn’t a factor in his Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet until the final lap in overtime when he got a push from Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. that helped him get to leader Aric Almirola. Dillon spun Almirola then whizzed on by to give Childress, his grandfather, another iconic victory in the beloved No. 3.

“My grandfather has done everything for me and everybody knows it,” Dillon said. “There’s a lot of pressure on me to perform because I’ve had a little bit of everything. But I like that pressure, the same with the No. 3, there’s a lot of pressure behind it, but I’m willing to take it and go with it.”

As for the aggressive move that wrecked Almirola? Dillon was doing what has to be done to win at Daytona.

“We just had a run and I stayed on the gas. It’s what it is when you’re at Daytona,” he said. “I just had more momentum when he was trying to block me and it turned him. Hate that for him, but it’s the Daytona 500. He should do the same thing to me in that position.”

Almirola, in his debut race for Stewart-Haas Racing, was devastated.

“My heart is broken. I thought I was going to win the Daytona 500,” Almirola said.

Childress was overjoyed.

“I just, the emotions just flowing, to be able to win, with the 3 car, having it in the winner’s circle, my grandson, 20 years after Dale won in ’98, so special,” Childress said.

The final scoring tower showed the No. 3 on top, then the No. 43 – two of the most seminal numbers in NASCAR.

Wallace, the first black driver in the Daytona 500 field since 1969, finished second in a 1-2 finish for Chevrolet and Childress’ engine program. Wallace drives the No. 43 car for Richard Petty and sobbed in his post-race news conference after his mother came to the front of the room to give him a hug. The two had a long embrace in which she told Wallace repeatedly “you finally did it.”

After another moment with his sister, Wallace sat at the dais sobbing into a towel. His finish is the highest for a black driver since Wendell Scott was 13th in 1966.

“Pull it together, bud, pull it together. You just finished second,” he told himself.

Wallace, from Mobile, Alabama, received a telephone call from Hank Aaron before the race, and Lewis Hamilton, the four-time Formula One world champion and only black driver in that series, tweeted his support to Wallace.

Denny Hamlin, the 2016 winner, finished third in a Toyota.

Ryan Blaney, who led a race-high 118 laps, faded to seventh after giving the win away in regulation. He wrecked Kurt Busch, the defending race winner, trying to reclaim his lead and the contact damaged Blaney’s Ford. It spoiled what should have been a Team Penske party – car owner Roger Penske had three contenders, all considered favorites Sunday, but all came up empty. Brad Keselowski wrecked early in the race racing for the lead and although Joey Logano finished fourth, it wasn’t the victory Penske expected from one of his drivers.

The day was also a bust for Danica Patrick, who made the Daytona 500 her final NASCAR race. With new boyfriend NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers cheering her on, Patrick was collected in an accident and finished 35th. The only woman to lead laps in the Daytona 500 and win the pole for this race then told a story about an exchange she had earlier in the week with four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon.

“He said his last Daytona didn’t go well, either, and I was like ‘Oh wow, I don’t remember that. I remember your career.’ So I hope that is how it is with me with everybody,” she said.

Meanwhile, on this celebratory day for Dillon and Childress, the late Earnhardt had a very large presence.

Dillon was 7 when Earnhardt won his Daytona 500 and was photographed alongside his brother with The Intimidator on that victorious day in 1998. Earnhardt credited 6-year-old Wessa Miller, a fan he met through the Make-A-Wish Foundation following the final practice for the race, for helping him get that elusive win. Miller gave Earnhardt a penny and told him she had rubbed it and that it would bring him good luck. The lucky penny is still on the dash of the car at the RCR museum.

Inspired by the good-luck coin, Dillon also had a penny in the No. 3 on Sunday.

]]> 0 Dillon celebrates on the track after winning the Daytona 500 on Sunday at Daytona International Speedway.Sun, 18 Feb 2018 21:54:19 +0000
Yarmouth ski coach retiring after 48 years in coaching Sun, 18 Feb 2018 23:22:57 +0000 NEW GLOUCESTER — The scene at Pineland Farms on Valentine’s Day was something to behold. Teenagers on Nordic skis wore pajamas, silly hats, a red sequined pantsuit. Emerging from the woods on the Oak Hill loop, Dipsy and Tinky Winky skied side by side.

“Isn’t this great!” Bob Morse said as he surveyed the Western Maine Conference’s annual Costume Race, where skiers mix and mingle, and nobody gets timed.

Morse, who ventured onto Maine’s high school skiing stage as a skimeister for Deering High in the early 1960s and remained a fixture for much of the ensuing decades, is finally gliding into retirement. He stepped away from teaching last spring at Harrison Middle School in Yarmouth after a half-century in education but agreed to continue as Yarmouth High’s Nordic coach for a 37th consecutive season, his 48th overall in coaching.

“We wanted to give ourselves some time to find somebody,” said Athletic Director Susan Robbins. “The kids just adore him. We have parents who have skied for Bob who have kids on the team now. We’re talking generations.”

Until 2016, the Maine Principals’ Association awarded skiing state titles to the team with the lowest combined score in Alpine and Nordic events. Under Morse, Yarmouth’s girls won 18 such titles to go with 14 for boys. The Clippers also won the 2016 Class B Nordic title for girls and next week will have a chance for another in Fort Kent.

“He’s really good with skiers, both beginners and people who take it more seriously,” said Yarmouth senior Sophia Laukli, who recently qualified for next month’s junior nationals in Soldier’s Hollow, Utah.

Morse, who turns 75 in September, gave up his head coaching duties in cross country last fall and in outdoor track a few years earlier. He taught math and science, and a bit of social studies in Yarmouth, mostly in sixth grade but also a few years at seventh and eighth.

“I have not seen many people in my life who are able to connect with so many people as Bob,” said Mike Hagerty, the Yarmouth boys’ soccer coach and a colleague who teaches seventh grade at Harrison. “Kids, especially, can see through when you’re not being genuine. And kids adore him. They adore him and respect him.”

Rich Smith, a fifth-grade teacher who coaches girls’ soccer at Yarmouth High, said Morse has the energy of an 18-year-old.

“I coached and taught alongside Bob for over 30 years,” Smith said. “His energy, sense of humor and passion are contagious. When you are around Coach Morse, he makes you feel like you can conquer the world and always with a smile.”

To Morse, that smile is just as important, if not more so, than the conquer part. One of his favorite recollections is not about trophies or titles but that time at a Christmas training camp at Black Mountain when he dropped a hint about a BCA (Bobcat Alert) during a lunch break and told his team not to worry unless they saw blue-tinged scat on the trails. He later planted some blueberry chocolates he received from L.L. Bean and feigned surprise when one of his girls screamed, “Morse! Morse! They’re here, those Bobcat things!”

Morse skied over, examined the small brown-and-blue blob and brought it to his nose. When he put it in his mouth, Julianna Lord, a senior who went on to win the skimeister title, yelled, “What are you doing?”

At that point the kids who had been in on the joke could no longer contain their laughter.

“We train hard and ski hard,” Morse said. “But when the dust settles, the memories we have are not always successes and failures.”

Laukli is the latest Morse skier to advance to national competition. Scott Loomis and Walt Shepard came closest, in cross-country and biathlon, respectively, to qualify for Olympic competition.

Yarmouth was the first Nordic team in Maine to employ the skating technique at a state championship meet and Morse has managed to keep pace with waxing’s evolution.

“He knows his skiing really well,” said Ted Hall, the former Yarmouth High principal who was on the MPA ski committee and had two sons under Morse’s tutelage. “He’s like a Zen master in the way that he can get kids to be skiing their best races at states. And he pays attention to all the kids. He gets the big picture.”

Hagerty, the boys’ soccer coach and teaching colleague, is a fellow Deering High grad whose children also had Morse as a teacher. Snowy trails, for Morse, simply became an extension of his classroom.

“One of the things I love about Bob is he understands where athletics fall as part of your education,” Hagerty said. “They’re not more important than, but they are a large part of it. The lessons he’s able to teach through skiing or cross country are so vital. Some of the things we learned in sports stuck with us longer than anything we learned in the classroom.”

Hagerty said that as a young coach, he might have been a bit brash, thought he knew it all. Morse always reminded him of the importance of making it fun, that kids don’t care about your resume.

“Win or lose,” Hagerty said, “you want to make sure these kids look back on their athletic careers with enjoyment.”

At Yarmouth, thanks to the man with the distinctive white mustache, there has been plenty of winning but even more enjoyment.

Thirteen years have passed since Morse was inducted into the Maine Ski Hall of Fame. Only now, with four children and five grandchildren, is he ready to put down his poles. He expressed gratitude to his colleagues and to the ever-supportive Yarmouth Ski Club as well as to all the parents who entrusted their children to him. He jokes that his wife has a to-do list of projects over the past 50 years that never got done.

“It’s hard to let go,” Morse said, “but it’s also time to move on.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

]]> 0's been there for generations, teaching skiing and teaching life, and loving every moment. But now Bob Morse, the Nordic ski coach at Yarmouth High and a member of the Maine Ski Hall of Fame, is calling it a career at age 75.Sun, 18 Feb 2018 21:33:40 +0000
Red Sox officially sign infielder Eduardo Nunez Sun, 18 Feb 2018 15:21:13 +0000 The Boston Red Sox signed infielder Eduardo Núñez to a one-year deal with a player option for 2019.

Núñez, 30, hit .313 with 60 runs scored, 33 doubles, 12 home runs, and 58 RBI over 114 games between San Francisco and Boston last season. He set career highs in batting average, on-base percentage (.341), slugging percentage (.460), doubles, and extra-base hits (45).

To make room for Núñez on the 40-man roster, Boston designated right-handed pitcher Ben Taylor for assignment.

This story will be updated.

]]> 0 Red Sox's Eduardo Nunez celebrates his solo home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals in Boston, Saturday, July 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)Sun, 18 Feb 2018 10:23:34 +0000
Troy Murphy’s Olympics? ‘It’s been awesome’ Sun, 18 Feb 2018 09:00:00 +0000 Troy Murphy often talks about the good days and bad days of moguls skiing, how they go hand-in-hand. But last week he discovered that pretty much every day is a special one when you’re competing at the Winter Olympics.

“Oh it’s been awesome so far,” he said in a phone conversation from PyeongChang, South Korea. “Absolutely everything about it was worth it.”

Murphy, the 25-year-old Bethel native and 2010 Gould Academy graduate, finished 17th in the men’s moguls after having the fourth-best score in the qualifying round.

“You have some good days, some bad days,” he said. “That one (the first round of finals) just wasn’t my day … Just made a couple of mistakes and there’s no room for mistakes like that in this sport.”

Murphy’s journey to the Olympics was a long one, aided by not only his parents but the communities of Bethel, Gould Academy and Sunday River. They supported him financially through fundraising auctions and golf tournaments, allowing him to not only train year-round but compete on the world stage. Murphy entered the season ranked sixth in the world in men’s moguls.

Since walking wide-eyed into the opening ceremonies on Feb. 9 – “That was just super cool, walking in with everyone” – Murphy has made the most of his Olympic experience. He watched fellow Americans compete in luge, hockey (U.S. women vs. Canada) and downhill skiing (Mikaela Shiffrin in the slalom).

Family and friends made the trip – his mother Nancy and father Matt; his girlfriend, Shelby Caret; aunt Mary Grossman; and family friend Tom Holloran. After moguls finished, they all spent a day in Seoul, explored temples and visited coastal villages.

“It just felt right having them there,” Murphy said of his family. “They sacrificed just as much a I did to get here. It feels like it was only right and fair they were able to come. It was awesome to have them around, to see my first run, which they were super-stoked about. It was cool.”

The first run, where the top 10 scorers qualified for the first round of finals, produced Murphy’s best score of the season, 80.95. It was a near-flawless run and he executed his two jumps perfectly. “It was a really good run,” said Murphy. “I was feeling really good that day.”

When he finished that run, he pumped his fists and gave the television camera a big thumbs-up. Not so three days later. After finishing his second run, he anxiously watched the scoreboard to see if he would finish in the top 12 and advance to the second round of finals. “I knew it was not what I was going to need,” said Murphy.

It wasn’t a bad run – in fact, he had a better time – but his overall score, 72.72, wasn’t enough to advance and he finished 17th. His biggest mistake came on the second jump at the bottom, where he squatted when he landed and nearly hit his butt on the snow. He knows exactly what happened:

“I just didn’t have my flip right,” he said. “I was flipping a little bit slow so I had to pull in my knees. And when you pull in your knees, you kind of accelerate into the landing hill. So when I accelerated into the landing hill, I kind of over-rotated a little bit.”

And his landing was just off.

“It was tough,” said Matt Murphy. “But that’s the way it’s been from Day 1, coming on up through.”

Matt Murphy, who arrived home with Nancy at 11 p.m. Wednesday and was at work the next morning at Gould Academy, said the entire experience was surreal.

“I don’t know if it’s yet sunk in yet, to be honest,” he said. “I mean, who knows what Troy’s going to do? Is he going to go four more years? Looking back it’s still hard to believe we are where we are.”

Troy Murphy isn’t thinking about the 2022 Winter Olympics, to be held in Beijing.

“I haven’t gotten that far,” he said. “I’m still processing the event and I’ve got some more World Cup events.”

He leaves Monday for Japan and a World Cup date March 3, meaning he’ll miss the closing ceremonies. Two more World Cup races will follow in Switzerland and France before he comes back for the U.S. moguls nationals at Waterville Valley Resort in New Hampshire on March 20-24.

He’s also trying to schedule a trip home after that. “But that’s also the time of year I usually go to Alaska,” he said. “I’m going to try to see how I can make it all work out.”

He’d like to see all those who helped make his dream of competing in the Olympics come true.

“My qualifying run was awesome and I wanted more on that second day, to have a shot at the medals,” he said. ‘It just didn’t go my way. But I’m proud to have made it this far.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0 Murphy runs the course during the men's moguls qualifying at Phoenix Snow Park at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea on Feb. 9.Sun, 18 Feb 2018 04:00:00 +0000
Skiing in Maine: WinterKids Passport Program growing into outdoor adventures Sun, 18 Feb 2018 09:00:00 +0000 This season the popular WinterKids Passport Program turns 20.

WinterKids has the mission of “help(ing) children develop healthy lifelong habits through fun, outdoor winter activity.” On Tuesday, WinterKids was chosen as beneficiary of the 2018 TD Beach to Beacon 10K road race. The nonprofit will receive a $30,000 donation from the TD Charitable Foundation and can raise more through the race’s charity bib program.

WinterKids began in 1997 as a singular learn-to-ski program for fifth-graders sponsored by the statewide trade organization Ski Maine. A few years later, it spun into an independent nonprofit, offering school- and home-based outdoor education and programs to over 20,000 kids in Maine every year. The Passport Program also expanded over the years, adding sixth and seventh grade, and expanded from just downhill skiing to include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating and dog sledding.

Six years ago, WinterKids added a “FunPass” as a lead-in program to the Passport; a free, downloadable pass for kids in preschool-fourth grade to try snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. So in that way, the Passport Program is available to kids from preschool up to seventh grade.

“The Passport began in 1997 with an emphasis on skiing, but it’s grown into so much more. Skiing remains a major draw, but other activities have grown immensely in popularity,” says WinterKids Executive Director Julie Mulkern in a press release. “In 20 years, approximately 75,000 Maine kids have used the Passport to get outside and active in the winter.”

This year the Passport made the major step of adding four partners in New Hampshire: Attitash Mountain, Wildcat Mountain, High Meadow Farms and Labrie Family Skating at Puddle Dock Pond. The new partners offer a mix of downhill skiing, ice skating, and horseback rides.

The Passport Program is pretty straightforward, offering free and discounted access to outdoor activities in Maine for kids grade five through seven. For most skating rinks and downhill and Nordic areas, the passport nets a free youth ticket with the purchase of an adult ticket. Additionally, “Family Days” – there’s a calendar on the WinterKids website – at partner resorts offer further discounts.

In honor of the 20th anniversary, all WinterKids Passports are available for $20 this year. Also in celebration of the anniversary, a social media campaign around the #tbt (Throwback Thursday) hashtag has encouraged WinterKids alumni to post about taking part in the program over the past two decades.

WinterKids is also planning to launch a native mobile app this year, replacing the Passport booklet and serve to expand the program’s depth and reach. Via email, Mulkern noted that the app will “engage (families) in a wider array of outdoor winter activities, more often, with organizations and winter sports partners who make up a rich history and heritage in the Maine outdoors.”

The program is one that I watched with no small measure of jealousy as an adolescent skier. When the passport started for fifth-graders in 1997, I was making weekend day trips as a sixth-grader. As the program expanded, I perennially remained just a little too old to partake. I was lucky enough to have a father who spent years in (and still had connections to) the ski industry, so even in Maine’s middle class we were able to string together lots of weekend ski trips. But I was, and remain, super aware that ski equipment and lift tickets are not affordable for lots of Maine families, even with used equipment and at smaller resorts.

WinterKids is important not only as an entry point for families into healthy outdoor recreation – it’s also a way to ensure there are future generations who are interested in and invested in the sport. With 25 percent of Passport holders new to winter sports, the program is truly bringing new people to the Maine outdoors.

While the Passport Program could be considered WinterKids’ marquee program, it’s far from the only work they do. Their school programs (under the umbrella of their “Guide to Outdoor Active Learning,” or GOAL) integrate outdoor activity and learning into lesson plans for Maine preschools and elementary schools, and the annual “WinterKids Challenge” incentivizes classrooms to tackle these plans. The annual Welcome to Winter Festival, run in cooperation with Portland Parks, Recreation & Facilities, brings hundreds of Mainers to Payson Park for sledding, snowshoeing and ice skating.

Their biggest event and fundraiser is the Downhill 24, a 24-hour skiathon at Sugarloaf, which will occur on March 2 and 3. Teams of skiers (or individuals) raise pledges for participating, which go to benefit WinterKids.

On the hill, teams compete to get the fastest lap times and most runs on a trail over 24 hours, sharing a bib with a timing chip among members. At least that’s how things operated in the past. This year everyone participating gets a chip, and time on the mountain counts for 30 percent of each team’s points, along with fundraising, lap times and other on-hill activities.

Participating in the Downhill 24 last year was one of the highlights of my skiing career, and I look forward to raising money again this March.

Josh Christie is a freelance writer living in Portland. Along with his brother, Jake, he writes about great Maine destinations for outdoors enthusiasts. Josh can be reached at:

]]> 0 Sat, 17 Feb 2018 16:34:57 +0000
Birding: Records made to be broken in sighting birds Sun, 18 Feb 2018 09:00:00 +0000 Let’s take a look back at the year 2017 in terms of bird listing accomplishments.

In 2016, two birders shattered the list record for North America. John Weigel’s Big Year resulted in a list of 780 species, narrowly beating Olaf Danielson’s count of 778 species.

Those records were not broken in 2017 despite three impressive Big Years. Comparisons of North American Big Years is problematic now because the American Birding Association, the keeper of listing records for North America, redefined North America to include Hawaii. The decision is defensible on geopolitical grounds but makes little sense to me on biological grounds. Nonetheless, birders attempting to break the North American Big Year record will need to plan a trip to Hawaii, like the three top Big Year birders in 2017.

Yves Morell found 813 species with an additional four rarities that will require confirmation by a state or provincial rare bird committee before they can be counted. Brothers Ruben and Victor Stoll also found 813 species but only have three provisional species.

For the truly obsessed, the world Big Year beckons. In 2015, Noah Strycker identified 6,042 species, birding in over 40 countries. Noah’s record obliterated the previous world Big Year record of 4,341 species. Noah’s record did not last long. The Dutch birder Arjan Dwarshuis listed 6,852 species in 2016, nearly two-thirds of all the birds in the world. I am not aware of any 2017 Big Years that threaten that record.

Closer to home, Josh Fecteau of Kennebunkport set a Big Year record for Maine. His total of 317 species edged out the previous record of 314 species set by Doug Hitchcox.

Josh did not begin 2017 with the intention of doing a Big Year. Seeing Pink-footed Goose and a Great Gray Owl in January provided the impetus to bird intensively for the rest of the winter and spring.

Every year brings a few rarities to Maine and those species can make or break a Big Year. Vermilion Flycatcher, Fieldfare, Fork-tailed Flycatcher and Little Egret were among the rarest of the rare in 2017. Other unusual birds seen included Ross’ Goose, Red-billed Tropicbird, Black Vulture, King Rail, Connecticut Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler and Painted Bunting.

Josh reached the 250-species mark on May 18 and the 300-species mark on Aug. 29. A Summer Tanager seen on Nov. 1 is the species that broke the record. A Dovekie seen on New Year’s Eve was the 317th of Josh’s odyssey.

For most kinds of organisms, species diversity increases as one moves from the polar regions to the tropics. That pattern is evident by comparing Josh’s impressive Big Year total of 317 species to the current Big Day record, set in 2015 in Ecuador, of 431 species.

That Big Year record was set by a team of four international birders: Dusan Brinkhuizen, Tuomas Seimola, Rudy Gelis and Mitch Lysinger. The previous Big Day record was 354 species, conducted in Peru.

The Ecuadorian team felt that a Big Day in excess of 400 species was possible since Ecuador has over 1,700 species of birds. The challenge is how to sample the many habitats with the mere 12 hours of daylight.

The strategy was to thoroughly bird the Amazonian forests along the eastern slope of the Andes beginning at midnight. At dusk, the plan was to hop on a plane to the shore and bird the coastal regions after dark.

The day was Oct. 8, 2015. By 4:49 a.m. the list stood at 16 species with the fabled dawn chorus yet to come. By 8:45, the list had 195 species and grew to 329 species by 2 p.m. By the time the team reached the airport, they had 392 species, shattering the old record.

Surveying heron and seabird roosts on the coast and observing night-feeding shorebirds, the team added another 39 species. An amazing day.

Herb Wilson teaches ornithology and other biology courses at Colby College. He welcomes reader comments and questions at

]]> 0 Sat, 17 Feb 2018 16:43:45 +0000
How do you go winter camping? Two Windham men develop what they call the perfect pulk sled Sun, 18 Feb 2018 09:00:00 +0000 WINDHAM — For 15 years, Stephen Bailey and Jeff Anderson wilderness camped in the White Mountains. When they discovered the backcountry wilderness around Mt. Katahdin 10 years ago, it became their go-to outdoor escape in winter.

It was here that they designed what they consider the perfect winter camping sled.

Many backcountry winter campers use backpacks to carry in their gear, just as wilderness campers do in the summer. But in wintertime others use toboggans, or pulks, to tow their gear behind them as they travel across snow on snowshoes or skis.

Bailey, 43, and Anderson, 42, guide friends into the remote cabins around Mt. Katahdin in Baxter State Park, a trip that requires a 10-mile ski into untamed wilderness where there are no roads, no stores and typically no people.

“When you’re five miles into the woods you can’t mess around,” said Bob Turner of Windham, who’s joined them on these adventures.

“You don’t just go to the trading post and buy what you need. What you have out there with you is what you got.”

Turner said when you’re deep in the wilderness and it’s minus-20, it’s not ideal to have the sled you’re pulling come apart or roll over. Both happened in the early years of the Bailey-Anderson backcountry excursions.

Jeff Anderson, left, and Stephen Bailey, who are avid winter campers, show off the storage capacity of their sled. In remote areas, campers have to bring everything they need for survival, and pulling a sled can deliver them safely. Staff photo by Derek Davis

The first sleds Anderson and Bailey used to tow gear were typical plastic toboggans, the kind you see on neighborhood sledding hills full of children. But these were too shallow and kept flipping, dumping their gear in the snow.

Then Bailey and Anderson tried to design a camping sled using a smaller plastic sled that was deeper. They affixed a single pole to the front of the sled to hook onto a hip belt. This second version seemed to hold promise, so they built a dozen.

It proved another failed attempt.

“We were snowshoeing in, hauling the sleds on a brutally cold day,” Turner said. “And I started to see pieces of red plastic. And I thought, ‘I think there’s a problem.’ We ended up trying to tape up the front. We kind of limped in. It was quite an event. That put Jeff and Steve back into research and development.”

It was during one of the stops to repair the red sleds that Bailey realized what they needed: the heaviest sleds out there – the ones used by ice fishermen.

“When we took a break, Jeff and another guy started whittling sticks to put on the bottom,” Bailey said of the red sleds. “I’m watching this thinking to myself, there has to be a better way.”

When they got home, Bailey researched pulk sleds online and studied those used by explorers in places like Antarctica. He felt inspired and determined to design a winter camping sled that would endure over ice.

He found the “Jet Ice” sled made by Shappell for ice fishermen, who typically haul heavy augers, propane heaters and bait buckets onto frozen lakes. These sleds are made from rugged polyethylene. They are 5 feet long and a foot deep, and cost just $30.

Toboggans designed for winter camping expeditions in the European Alps or Arctic regions run as much as $300 to $600.

Bailey and Anderson’s model, all told, now costs just $50.

“It’s simple and strong, tried and true,” Bailey said. “It can run over snow and ice in any condition. We’ve been pulling these since 2014.”

Stephen Bailey, who devised a homemade winter camp sled with Jeff Anderson, demonstrates its use for hauling gear into the backcountry without mishaps. Staff photo by Derek Davis

Charlie Herson, a Registered Maine Guide, is another camper who has gone on these extreme-weather expeditions. Herson said it’s another world in the woods of Baxter State Park when it’s 30 below.

But Herson said the most recent sled design by Bailey and Anderson make a ski trek in such conditions “unbelievably effortless,” because the 80 pounds in the sled and 20 pounds on his back is evenly distributed.

The two polyvinyl chloride pipes, or PVC pipes, are rigid and attached to the sled at the front corners, at hooks drilled into the sled.

Rock-climbing webbing is woven through the hollow PVC pipes and attached to a homemade “seat,” which is also made of webbing.

“This is the secret sauce,” Bailey said of the webbing.

The webbing provides some shock absorption because it’s springy. And the “seat” keeps the sled from running into the skier when going downhill.

The webbed seat and two PVC poles are connected by a rock-climbing carabiner that’s hooked to a backpack, which helps distribute the weight.

“Some guys hook it to a waistband, but that wears on your hips,” Bailey said. “You’ll burn out. With a backpack you forget it’s back there.”

The crowning touch is the heavy plastic bin placed in the sled that holds most of the gear. It also doubles as a comfortable, dry bench during breaks.

“That gets a lot of envy from anyone who didn’t think of it,” Bailey said. “Because if you don’t have that, you’re sitting in a snowbank.”

The bin is full of all the necessary gear, such as a shovel, a hatchet, tarps to wrap an injured person, two to three small stoves to boil water, clothing, bedding, food and headlamps.

Anderson said he used to spend a lot of money on dry bags, the type brought on rafting trips, but when they discovered the bins, he never went back.

They use bungee cords threaded through hooks to tie down the bins and additional gear stored in the sled.

Bailey packs about 50 pounds of gear in the sled and just essentials in the backpack.

And since 2014 they’ve never had to redesign their sled.

“You’re not calling on a cellphone for help out there,” Bailey said. “Judgment and decision is the most important thing making it into the bin.”

Deirdre Fleming can be reached at 791-6452 or at:

Twitter: FlemingPph

]]> 0 Anderson, left, and Stephen Bailey, who are avid winter campers, show off one of the homemade camping sleds that they designed for their trips.Fri, 16 Feb 2018 20:04:49 +0000
No ‘I’ in team? This Olympian with Maine ties begs to differ Sun, 18 Feb 2018 09:00:00 +0000 If a medal isn’t a realistic possibility, the next-best honor at the Olympic Games might be carrying your country’s flag in the Opening Ceremonies.

Dinos Lefkaritis Jr., a junior at Bates College, did so a little more than a week ago inside the Olympic Stadium in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Lefkaritis led the athletes’ contingent from Cyprus into the stadium. Actually, he IS the contingent. An Alpine skier, Lefkaritis, 25, is the only Cypriot competing in these Winter Olympics.

Dinos LefKaritis Jr., coach calls him very humble and hard-working.

“I think it was the best moment so far,” he said of marching between representatives of Kyrgyzstan and Thailand. “It was an amazing experience.”

Lefkaritis raced in the men’s giant slalom Sunday – late Saturday for those of us in Maine – and plans to ski again in Thursday’s slalom.

He harbors no illusion of winning a medal. If Lefkaritis can finish somewhere in the top third of the roughly 100 skiers entered, “that would be the best result,” he said by phone Thursday from the Athletes Village. “But of course, every race is different. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.”

The population of Cyprus, an island in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, is roughly 1.2 million, a shade under that of Maine. Only one Cypriot has won an Olympic medal, a silver medal in 2012 by Pavlos Kontides in sailing.

“But they do pay attention in Cyprus for sure,” said Lia Riri, a native of Cyprus who works in Washington, D.C. “They have an affinity with the Olympic Games whether it’s winter or summer due to our descent from Greece and pride of Olympics.

“We don’t have the athletes that big countries have, but it’s an achievement even to have one person qualify and compete in the winter sports.”

Lefkaritis began skiing at the age of 5. He said Cyprus has four slopes and the snow is unpredictable. He didn’t get serious about skiing until he started racing, around 16, and soon realized he needed to travel more for training and racing.

He discovered Bates while searching for a way to combine academics and high-level ski racing. The Bobcats are a Division III school that competes in the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association alongside the likes of Division I skiing powerhouses Vermont, New Hampshire and Dartmouth.

“I’m really thankful for the team at Bates,” said Lefkaritis, who is studying both engineering and economics as part of a five-year program. “It was the perfect balance for me.”

Injuries cost Lefkaritis the two seasons of competitive skiing before he enrolled at Bates and he was still rehabbing during his freshman and sophomore years. His best carnival finish was 47th in giant slalom when Bates hosted the event last winter at Sunday River.

“Coming (to Bates) with an injury before made it a slower process,” Lefkaritis said. “I think I’m more positive for the next two years.”

An ankle injury over the summer along with the continued 18-month quest to qualify for his country’s lone Olympic spot – he beat out five other Cypriot hopefuls by achieving the highest ranking in FIS racing as of Jan. 22 – prompted Lefkaritis to put a hold on his studies at Bates. Had he not qualified for PyeongChang, he would have returned next semester. Now he plans to be back in September.

“He really is an incredible kid,” said Bates head ski coach Micaela Holland. “We’re so proud of him.”

Holland planned to watch the giant slalom with the remaining 19 members of the Bates Alpine team on their way back from a competition, the Williams Carnival, in western Massachusetts. It should be a little easier for Thursday’s slalom race.

“We’ll definitely be watching,” Holland said. “It’s actually school break, so campus will be closed, but we’ll all gather in one of the classrooms at Bates and cheer our faces off.”

Holland said Lefkaritis, who took the year off from school in order to concentrate on training and qualifying for the Games, stays in touch with the Bobcats.

“He’s very humble and very hard-working,” Holland said. “He’s at the Olympics and texting us, ‘Nice job at the Dartmouth Carnival!’ ”

Lefkaritis’ younger sister, mother and father are with him in South Korea. His father, who serves as president of the Cyprus ski federation, also marched in the Parade of Nations, as did a Cyprus coach.

“His dad is great,” Holland said. “His whole family, they’re incredible.”

The Lefkaritis family visited their son last year for the Bates Carnival and brought “suitcases” full of Cypriot food – cured meats, cheeses, candies – “so we could experience the world of Dinos,” Holland said. “They’re very supportive of Dinos and Bates in general.”

Dinos Lefkaritis Jr., an engineering and economics student at Bates College, competes in a race in Bulgaria. The Cyprus native described his college program as “the perfect balance for me.” Photo courtesy of Bates College

Holland said Lefkaritis will be wearing a Bates shirt beneath his racing suit. He is the school’s 12th Olympic athlete, and second Alpine skier, joining Australian Emily Bamford, who attended the school for two years and took part in the 2014 Games.

Competing in an event that includes Sochi gold medalist Ted Ligety of the United States and top Austrian and Norwegian skiers might be intimidating for some, but Holland figured Lefkaritis would be able to maintain his poise.

“It’s so cool for him to be the only Olympian representing Cyprus,” Holland said. “We’re just hoping he charges hard and whatever he can do, we’re going to be proud of him.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

]]> 0 by team officials, Dinos Lefkaritis carries the Cyprus flag in the Feb. 9 opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, where he is the island nation's only competitor.Sat, 17 Feb 2018 21:04:21 +0000
Sports Digest: Kidd, Nash head Basketball Hall of Fame finalists Sun, 18 Feb 2018 04:01:17 +0000  

Point guards could run the show in the next Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class, with Jason Kidd and two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash among the 13 finalists announced Saturday in Los Angeles.

Ray Allen, Grant Hill, Maurice Cheeks and Chris Webber also made the cut, but the two standout point guards are all but locks to headline the class, which will be unveiled during the NCAA Final Four in San Antonio.

Kidd ranks second in NBA history with 12,091 assists, and Nash is third with 10,335 assists.

Charles “Lefty” Driesell, Rudy Tomjanovich and Baylor’s Kim Mulkey made the final ballot as coaches. Katie Smith, Tina Thompson and longtime NBA official Hugh Evans are also finalists.

The 1953-58 Wayland Baptist University teams that won 131 consecutive games and four AAU national championships is the lone team finalist.

NBA: Rookie Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz put on a show in the slam dunk contest to cap off All-Star Saturday. Mitchell edged Larry Nance Jr. by two points, sealing his victory with a close approximation of the 360-degree spin dunk that Vince Carter used to win the 2000 contest.

· Devin Booker of the Suns won the 3-point contest with a record 28 points in the final round. He beat 2016 champion Klay Thompson of the Warriors and Tobias Harris of the Clippers.

· Lakers forward Channing Frye underwent an appendectomy Friday night in Cleveland and will be re-evaluated next weekend, the team announced.


PGA: Bubba Watson started with a tap-in eagle and finished with a 6-under 65 to build a one-shot lead in the Genesis Open at Los Angeles.

Watson was at 10-under 203 to lead UCLA alum Patrick Cantlay, who shot 69.

Tiger Woods did not make the cut of 2-over 144 after the second round was completed Saturday morning.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Joost Luiten returned to form after a mediocre 2017 as he moved into a three-way tie for the lead in the Oman Open at Muscat.

The Dutchman shot a second straight 6-under 66 to move to 12-under 204, where he was joined by Matthew Southgate (69) and Frenchman Julien Guerrier (66).

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Joe Durant birdied five of the last eight holes for a 9-under 63 to match Steve Stricker’s finish and take the second-round lead in the Chubb Classic at Naples, Florida.

Durant had a 14-under 130 total on TwinEagles’ Talon course for a one-stroke lead over Stricker.

LPGA: Jin Young Ko continued her domination of the Women’s Australian Open, shooting a 1-under 71 to increase her lead to four strokes after three rounds at Adelaide.


MAINE HALL: The Maine Baseball Hall of Fame is seeking nominations for induction in 2018. Please include either a resume or supporting documentation and send it to: Maine Baseball Hall of Fame, P.O. Box 1062, Yarmouth, ME 04096, email or fax to 846-3760.


NHL: Anze Kopitar and rookie Michael Amadio scored two goals each, and the Los Angeles Kings snapped a three-game skid with a 4-2 win over the Sabres at Buffalo, New York.

· Nick Ritchie scored in the 11th round of the shootout and John Gibson stopped seven straight shots in the Anaheim Ducks’ 3-2 victory over the Wild at St. Paul, Minnesota.

· Reilly Smith had two goals and an assist to lead the Vegas Golden Knights to a 6-3 win at home over the Montreal Canadiens.

· Olli Maatta scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.


XFINITY SERIES: Tyler Reddick took Dale Earnhardt Jr. to victory lane in a nail-biting series opener.

Reddick won at Daytona International Speedway in his debut race for JR Motorsports, the team in part owned by Earnhardt Jr. JR Motorsports has won five of the last nine Xfinity Series races at Daytona.

This one took five overtimes and a photo finish to decide. Reddick nabbed teammate Elliott Sadler at the finish line.

Ryan Reed was third and Kaz Grala fourth.


ABN AMRO WORLD TOURNAMENT: A day after ensuring his return to the top of the rankings, Roger Federer sealed a place in the final at Rotterdam, Netherlands by beating Andreas Seppi, 6-3, 7-6 (3).

The 36-year-old Federer will face Grigor Dimitrov, who advanced when David Goffin had to give up after being hit in the left eye by a ball.

QATAR OPEN: Petra Kvitova defeated top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki to reach the final at Doha and extend her winning streak to 12 matches.

Kvitova overcame Wozniacki 3-6, 7-6 (3), 7-5 in 21/2 entertaining hours, and will play Garbine Muguruza in the final. Muguruza advanced when her scheduled opponent, second-ranked Simona Halep, withdrew Friday because of a foot injury.

NEW YORK OPEN: Second-seeded Sam Querrey advanced to the final, winning the last four games to beat No. 4 Adrian Mannarino 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-3 on Saturday. Querrey advanced to face top-seeded Kevin Anderson, who beat fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori, 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (4) in the night match.

ARGENTINA OPEN: Top-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria beat Frenchman Gael Monfils 6-2, 6-1 at Buenos Aires to set up a final against Slovenia’s Alijaz Bedene, who topped local favorite Federico Delbonis 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 in the clay-court event.

– Staff and news service report

]]> 0 Sat, 17 Feb 2018 23:07:48 +0000
Saturday’s college roundup: Bowdoin falls to Amherst Sun, 18 Feb 2018 03:44:12 +0000 AMHERST, Mass. — Josh Chery put in the winning layup with five seconds remaining, and top-seeded Amherst survived with a 71-70 victory over No. 8 Bowdoin on Saturday in a NESCAC men’s basketball quarterfinal.

Bowdoin (15-9) led by as many as 10 points early in the first half but Amherst (17-8) roared back to take a 37-36 halftime lead.

The Polar Bears opened the second half on a 10-0 run but the Mammoths pulled even at 58-58 with 4:38 left.

Jack Simonds scored a game-high 25 points for Bowdoin.

ST. JOSEPH’S 84, NORWICH 68: Darian Berry scored 30 points while making 7 of 10 3-point attempts, and the Monks (16-9, 11-5 GNAC) got past Norwich (10-15, 7-9) in their regular-season finale at Standish.

Quinn Richardson-Newton added 12 points for St. Joseph’s.

WESTERN NEW ENGLAND 111, UNE 89: Reserve EJ Day scored 24 points to lead seven players in double figures, and the Golden Bears (11-14, 7-11 Commonwealth Coast) pulled away from the University of New England (12-13, 10-8) at Springfield, Massachusetts.

Daron Hoges Jr. led UNE with 15 points on five 3-pointers.

EASTERN CONNECTICUT 89, SOUTHERN MAINE 42: Jacob Collins had 16 points to lead five Warriors (21-3, 12-1 Little East) in double figures as they cruised past the Huskies (5-19, 3-10) in a season finale in Willimantic, Connecticut.

Southern Maine finished as the Little East seventh seed and will play at No. 2 Keene State in the conference quarterfinals.

(2) MICHIGAN STATE 65, NORTHWESTERN 60: Cassius Winston scored 17 points, and the Spartans (26-3, 14-2 Big Ten) erased a 27-point deficit to beat Northwestern (15-13, 6-9) at Rosemont, Illinois, and extend their winning streak to 10.

(3) VILLANOVA 95, (4) XAVIER 79: Mikal Bridges led an early 3-point shooting spurt that put Villanova in control, and the Wildcats (24-3, 11-3) beat Xavier (24-4, 12-3) at Cincinnati in a showdown for Big East lead.

SOUTH CAROLINA 84, (10) AUBURN 75: Frank Booker scored 19 points, and host South Carolina (14-13, 5-9 SEC) built a 26-point lead before holding on to defeat Auburn (23-4, 11-3), ending the Gamecocks’ six-game losing streak.

ARKANSAS 94, (21) TEXAS A&M 75: Jaylen Barford scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half to lead the host Razorbacks (19-8, 8-6 SEC) past Texas A&M (17-10, 6-8) for their fourth straight win.


ST. JOSEPH’S 80, NORWICH 48: Kelsi McNamara had 15 of her game-high 20 points in the first quarter, and the Monks (24-1, 16-0 GNAC) rolled past the Cadets (10-14, 7-9) at Standish to close the regular season with a 23rd straight victory.

Emily Benway added 17 points for St. Joseph’s, while Julia Champagne chipped in with 11.

BOWDOIN 77, WILLIAMS 35: The No. 2 Polar Bears (22-1) took a 22-4 first-quarter lead and rolled to past the seventh-seeded Ephs (12-13) in a NESCAC quarterfinal at Brunswick.

Kate Kerrigan had 16 points, five rebounds and four assists for Bowdoin, which faces No. 3 Tufts in a semifinal Saturday at Amherst, Massachusetts.

UM-AUGUSTA 65, SMCC 52: Caitlin LaFountain had 14 points for the second-seeded Moose (22-4) in their victory over third-seeded Southern Maine CC (19-9) in a Yankee Small College Conference semifinal at Concord, New Hampshire.

Amanda Brett had 14 points and 10 boards for the Seawolves.

EASTERN CONNECTICUT 62, SOUTHERN MAINE 54: Kristen Curley had 15 points and five rebounds for the Huskies (13-12, 9-5 Little East) in a loss to Eastern Connecticut (10-14, 7-6) in their season finale at Willimantic, Connecticut.

Southern Maine will be the third seed in the Little East tournament and will host No. 6 Keene State on Tuesday night.

UNE 61, WESTERN NEW ENGLAND 54: Olivia Shaw had 18 points and 14 rebounds, and the Nor’easters (20-5, 16-2 CCC) closed on an 11-0 run get past the Golden Bears (16-9, 12-6) at Springfield, Massachusetts.

Sam MacDonald added 15 points for UNE, which clinched the top seed in the CCC tournament and will host No. 8 Eastern Nazarene on Tuesday night.

(3) BAYLOR 88, KANSAS 51: Kristy Wallace scored 26 points, Kalani Brown added 20 and Baylor (25-1, 15-0 Big 12) beat Kansas (12-14, 2-13) at Waco, Texas.

(6) TEXAS 77, (21) OKLAHOMA STATE 62: Brooke McCarty scored 17 points to help the Longhorns (22-4, 13-2 Big 12) win at Oklahoma State (18-8, 9-6) for their seventh straight victory.


BOSTON COLLEGE 5, MAINE 0: Casey Fitzgerald and Logan Hutsko each had a goal and an assist as the Eagles (15-13-3, 15-5 Hockey East) dominated the Black Bears (16-11-4, 10-8-3) at Orono.

Joe Woll made 33 saves for the shutout. Jeremy Swayman and Rob McGovern combined to stop 28 shots for Maine.

COLBY 3, TUFTS 0: Nick O’Connor, Thomas Stahlhuth and Mario Benicky provided goals, Sean Lawrence turned 30 shots, and the Mules (12-10-2, 9-7-2 NESCAC) shut out the Jumbos (5-15-4, 4-11-3) at Malden, Massachusetts.

CONNECTICUT COLLEGE 7, BOWDOIN 3: Paul Capozzi scored twice, and the Camels (10-10-4, 9-5-6 NESCAC) used four second-period goals to beat the Polar Bears (8-16-0, 5-13-0) at New London, Connecticut.

Cody Todesco had a goal and an assist for Bowdoin.

UNE 6, WENTWORTH 3: Jeff Eppright scored and had two assists, and the third-seeded Nor’easters (19-4-3) jumped out to a 3-0 first-period lead in a win over the sixth-seeded Leopards (9-14-3) in a Commonwealth Coast quarterfinal at Biddeford.

UNE plays No. 2 Endicott in the semifinals Saturday.


BOSTON COLLEGE 3, MAINE 1: Erin Connolly, Caitrin Lonergan and Ryan Little scored for the Eagles (28-3-3, 19-2-3 Hockey East) as they cruised past the Black Bears (17-12-5, 11-9-4) at Orono. Brittany Kucera scored for Maine.

PLYMOUTH STATE 3, UNE 2: Sydney Linnick scored 13:15 into overtime, and the fourth-seeded Panthers (8-13-4) slipped past the No. 5 Nor’easters (9-9-7) in an NEHC quarterfinal game at Plymouth, New Hampshire. Katie Babineau and Carly Perreault scored for UNE.

BOWDOIN 4, TRINITY 1: The Polar Bears (12-8-3, 6-7-3 NESCAC) scored the final four goals to close their season with a victory over the Bantams (7-16-1, 3-12-1) at Brunswick.

Julie Dachille, Brooke Solomon, Tala Glass and Julia Surgenor provided the scoring.

COLBY 2, ENDICOTT 1: Carly Thomas scored 4:40 into overtime to lift the Mules (8-12-4) over the Gulls (18-5-2) at Waterville. Colby’s Natalie Maus and Endicott’s Maggie Leyo traded second-period goals.

CASTLETON 5, SOUTHERN MAINE 2: Aimee Briand had a goal and two assists as the Spartans (13-12-1) defeated the Huskies (8-17-1) in an NEHC quarterfinal at Rutland, Vermont.

Amanda Piknick scored both Southern Maine goals.


TEXAS TECH SWEEPS MAINE: The Red Raiders (3-0) had 13 hits and drew 10 walks as they rolled to a 12-1 win over the Black Bears (0-3) in the first game of a doubleheader at Lubbock, Texas. Texas Tech won the second game 12-5.

]]> 0 forward Eric Paschall shoots against Xavier guard Trevon Bluiett during the first half of the Wildcats' 95-79 victory at Cincinnati on Saturday.Sat, 17 Feb 2018 23:02:16 +0000
Boys’ basketball: Biddeford beats Brunswick at buzzer Sun, 18 Feb 2018 03:27:09 +0000 Zach Reali picked the perfect time to score his only basket.

With the game tied and time winding down, Reali, who entered the game after starting forward DeSean Cromwell fouled out, put in an offensive rebound at the buzzer to give second-seeded Biddeford a 50-48 victory over No. 7 Brunswick in a Class A South boys’ basketball quarterfinal Saturday night at the Portland Expo.

“I noticed my guy didn’t crash (the boards), so I went in and got it and put it up,” said Reali, a senior who finished with three points. “I’m just a role player, so I figured (when I went in) that I would do my role, like hand the ball off to the guards and set screens.”

Biddeford (16-3), which advanced past the quarterfinals for the first time since the 2003-04 season and for only the third time in more than 30 years, will play Westbrook at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Cross Insurance Arena.

“Kyle (Norton) did a real good job at waiting to take the last shot, a great job controlling the pace,” Tigers Coach Justin Tardif said. “He did a good job attacking the rim and Zach was in the right spot at the right time.”

Brunswick (12-7) made a furious comeback in the final minutes, finally making it 48-48 when Dawson Hebert scored on a layup after Kyle Hanson tipped a pass on a full-court press.

Colby Bucknam brought the Dragons within two points 10 seconds earlier with a three-point play. He had 25 points.

“I felt we executed our game plan perfectly by keeping the score in the 40s and not getting in an up-and-down (the court) game with Biddeford,” Brunswick Coach Todd Hanson said. “We just came up one possession short.”

Cody Saucier took over in the second half with 13 of his team-high 20 points, but it was Norton who helped extend Biddeford’s fourth-quarter lead.

Norton drained a 3-pointer and followed with a three-point play in a 41-second span to push the lead to 45-37 with 3:09 left.

The teams traded the lead three times early in the second half. A layup by Carter Edgerton and a basket down low by Saucier gave Biddeford a 28-25 lead.

Sam Sharpe cut the Tigers’ lead to 30-29 late in the third quarter, but Saucier split two defenders for a layup at the buzzer.

The first half was close throughout. Brunswick slowed the pace in the second quarter and picked out shots, turning a 16-14 deficit into a 23-22 lead.

Saucier made a foul-line jumper and a 3-pointer in a 27-second span midway through the quarter to put Biddeford up 22-17, but the Dragons closed the half with six straight points. Hanson broke a 3:35 scoring drought for his team with a top-of-the-key 3-pointer off Cameron Dunton’s handoff. Dunton then gave Brunswick its first lead since 6-5 midway through the first quarter when he hung in the air on a baseline drive and hit the layup while being fouled.

The early stages of the game was a battle of the big men, as Bucknam scored 10 of Brunswick’s first 12 points and Biddeford’s DeSean Cromwell got seven of his team’s first eight points.

Bucknam’s 15-foot baseline jumper tied the game at 14-14 before Saucier beat the first-quarter buzzer with a layup.

]]> 0 Sharpe of Brunswick drives to the basket between Carter Edgerton, left, and DeSean Cromwell of Biddeford during their Class A South quarterfinal Saturday night at the Portland Expo. Biddeford won, 50-48.Sat, 17 Feb 2018 23:14:48 +0000
Boys’ basketball: Westbrook ousts Kennebunk Sun, 18 Feb 2018 02:00:19 +0000 Zac Manoogian carried on the family tradition Saturday by leading third-seeded Westbrook to a 53-32 win over No. 7 Kennebunk in a Class A South boys’ basketball quarterfinal at the Portland Expo.

The fourth generation of his family to play basketball for the Blue Blazes, Manoogian scored 19 points as Westbrook defeated the Rams for the third time this season.

The Blue Blazes (13-6) will play Brunswick or Biddeford in a semifinal Wednesday night at Cross Insurance Arena.

Jeremiah Alado and Abier Manyiel each scored 13 points for Westbrook.

Cam Lovejoy led Kennebunk (11-8) with 19 points.

Manoogian took over the second quarter, scoring 12 points in less than five minutes to give the Blazes a 27-18 lead.

“The team does a good job of getting me open and finding me,” he said. “Even when they face-guarded me or played a triangle and two, (my teammates) did a good job of finding me.”

After missing their first five shots and committing seven turnovers to start the second quarter, the Rams got a driving basket from Kyle Pasieniuk and a Lovejoy jumper that beat the buzzer to close to within 27-22.

Kennebunk, buoyed by Lovejoy’s two 3-pointers, went on a 10-0 run to grab a 10-6 lead in the first quarter.

“He shot so well, (and) he kept us in the game offensively,” Kennebunk Coach Barrett Belanger said. “Even the shots he was making we’re not easy shots. They were making us grind it out every offensive possession. We just couldn’t get into a flow.”

Westbrook controlled the tempo in the second half. Running a patient offense, the Blazes ran time off the clock while gradually stretching their lead.

“We know that (Kennebunk) is kind of a rhythm team, (and) they rely a lot on the perimeter game,” Westbrook Coach Dan LeGage said. “We knew we had to control the tempo of the game, whether we went fast or slow.”

The Blue Blazes limited Kennebunk to 10 points in the second half.

“We did a better job defensively in the second half, adjusting to their double screens and getting out to make their shooters a little more uncomfortable,” said LeGage.

“They’re the best defensive team in the league, so they don’t make anything easy,” Belanger said. “We’re young and we were just playing a little fast for what the environment was allowing.”

After the Rams closed to within 42-32 with five minutes left, Westbrook finished the game with an 11-0 run.

“We’ve been trending up the last two years,” said LeGage, in his third season as coach of the Blue Blazes. “Each year, they’ve taken another step, another step, and I’m proud of them.”

Belanger said his young team learned from its tournament appearance.

“We’re looking forward to the future because a lot of (my players) are coming back, so we chalked this up to an experience game,” he said. “Hopefully, we can get better.”

]]> 0 Alado, left, of Westbrook and Max Murray of Kennebunk fight for rebounding position during a Class A South basketball quarterfinal Saturday night at the Expo. Westbrook, the No. 3 seed, advanced with a 53-32 victory.Sat, 17 Feb 2018 22:27:58 +0000
Boys’ basketball: Gray-New Gloucester heads to semifinals Sun, 18 Feb 2018 01:27:37 +0000 Fifth-seeded Gray-New Gloucester used precision shooting Saturday, negating fourth-ranked Spruce Mountain’s transition game for a 57-34 victory in a Class B South boys’ basketball quarterfinal at the Portland Expo.

The Patriots (12-7) will meet top-ranked Wells (13-6) in a semifinal at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Cross Insurance Arena.

“The more you score the more we get them out of what they want to do, and we keyed on that transition, just trying to deny outlets so they can’t get that easy pass and deny that reversal right away,” Gray-New Gloucester Coach Ryan Deschenes said. “They caught a few open looks and they made them. They’re really good shooters but for the most part, we made them work extremely hard on offense.

“They have three guards who can shoot really, really well, so we keyed on that all week against their offense and what they like to do. We were just trying to take away what they were trying to do and that’s what (our) guys did really well. We had a great week of practice.”

Besides dropping seven 3-pointers on the Phoenix (13-6), Gray-New Gloucester was 12 of 15 from the foul line.

The Patriots’ offense was matched by the defense as Gray-New Gloucester built a 26-10 halftime lead.

Spruce Mountain, which was bolstered all season by perimeter shooting, failed to hit shots when needed.

“I thought we settled. I thought we settled a lot for things that we are comfortable doing,” Coach Scott Bessey said. “Things that we are not comfortable doing are the things that I think we needed to do.

“Settling for 3s I thought cost us a little bit. We didn’t get many things in transition. When transition opportunities were there, I thought we struggled to make the right decision. Didn’t get a lot of easy looks and the easy looks we did get, we missed. We had some bunnies that we typically make that didn’t go in.”

Bessey also said the Phoenix made “uncharacteristically” too many turnovers.

“I thought we turned the ball over on a lot of occasions where we typically didn’t during the season,” he said. “I thought when it came to confidence and a little bit of mental toughness, they had the edge.”

Zack Pomerleau (three 3-pointers) and 6-foot-5 center Hunter Colby each scored 12 points for Gray-New Gloucester. John Martin finished with 11.

“Before the game, I wasn’t shooting that well and I just didn’t want it to get in my head,” Pomerleau said. “I’m emotional player and if I let that stuff get in my head, I won’t do it.

“We planned a lot for their offense. We knew they were a high-tempo team … so we just practiced their half-court offense… and we just knew what was coming. So we just planned really well for this. We had our best defensive performance of the year.”

Senior Mason Shink led the Phoenix with nine points.

]]> 0 Pomerleau, who hit three 3-pointers and finished with 12 points for Gray-New Gloucester, finds room to pass between Mason Shink, left, and Nick Lombardi of Spruce Mountain during Gray-New Gloucester's 57-34 victory Saturday in a Class B South quarterfinal at the Portland Expo.Sat, 17 Feb 2018 21:16:02 +0000
Boys’ basketball: Huge runs lifts Medomak Valley past Skowhegan Sun, 18 Feb 2018 01:14:56 +0000 AUGUSTA — Medomak Valley blew open a one-point game with dominant third and fourth quarters to beat Skowhegan 63-31 in the Class A North quarterfinals Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.

Brent Stewart scored 16 points for No. 6 Medomak Valley, which went on a 35-2 run to pull away. Josh Goldrup added 13 points and Ryan Creamer had 11.

The Panthers improved to 12-7 and will play No. 2 Nokomis in the regional semifinals at 7 p.m. Wednesday. No. 3 Skowhegan is done at 11-8.

The Panthers didn’t try to hide it: This game meant a little extra.

It was the first game between the teams since last year’s dramatic A North quarterfinal, in which Skowhegan, then an eighth seed, shocked an undefeated and top-seeded Medomak Valley team, 54-53.

All of the Medomak Valley starters from that game are gone. But enough of the players who had to watch it unfold were back to know the value of another crack at the Indians.

“We all had last year in the back of our minds,” said Stewart, a senior. “We were feeding off of it.”

Coach Nick DePatsy downplayed the revenge angle, but a quick grimace when reminded of last year’s result said enough.

“We talked about it. We didn’t dwell on it,” he said. “I think they had it more in their mind than I did.”

Determined as they were, the Panthers’ hopes for vengeance were on hold as the game unfolded into a tight, back-and-forth contest, with Skowhegan pulling within 28-27 on a Marcus Christopher free throw with 6:18 remaining in the third.

The game was close – but not for long. Medomak Valley caught fire, Skowhegan ran out of answers and the Indians were quickly buried beneath an avalanche of Panthers points and their own mistakes.

The stats were staggering. Medomak Valley scored the next nine points, and after the Indians made it 37-29 on a Barnes layup with 38 seconds left in the third, the Panthers put up a whopping 26 straight points to blow the game wide open.

“We had to make a decision about trying to pressure the ball a little more, and they were able to get points in transition,” Indians Coach Tom Nadeau said. “We struggled to get stops, they hit shots. … We didn’t execute, we didn’t finish, we didn’t hit shots. … It didn’t go our way.”

Skowhegan didn’t make a field goal in the fourth (0 for 8) and went 1 for 13 with 12 turnovers during the 35-2 run, which took up 13:24 of game time.

“They were a lot better than us today,” Christopher said. “We weren’t tough enough today. … I think we were just trying to play too fast at times.”

Medomak Valley’s run began ordinarily enough, with Gabe Allaire hitting a shot, and Stewart following with a 3-pointer and a drive to make the score 35-27 with 4:06 left in the game.

There wasn’t a response from the Indians, however, and the Panthers, who were 6 for 9 from the field for the third quarter and 12 for 20 for the second half, kept attacking.

“When you’re on the court, you’re not really paying attention to the score. You’re just playing,” Stewart said. “But it makes everyone get a lot more hyped, and everyone gets going more.”

]]> 0 Sat, 17 Feb 2018 20:49:48 +0000
Wrestling: Wells repeats as Class B champion Sun, 18 Feb 2018 01:02:17 +0000 WELLS — When the Wells High wrestling team posed for a team picture after winning its second straight Class B state championship Saturday, senior Sean McCormack-Kuhman was standing in the top row with Coach Scott Lewia.

McCormack-Kuhman looked stoic at first, having just lost a 1-0 decision in the 285-pound class, but slowly a smile came, along with the realization of what the team had accomplished.

“It all came together, to win as a team,” McCormack-Kuhman said. “Even though I didn’t win it individually, I have to look past that and know I did what I had to do for the team, a piece of the puzzle.”

Five Wells wrestlers reached the championship finals, with Michael Wrigley finally winning an individual title in the 195-pound division – after runner-up finishes the previous two years – and Nolan Potter taking a second straight title at 220.

Wells won with 121 points, beating second-place Foxcroft Academy (105.5). Mt. View (73) placed third, with Dexter and Medomak Valley right behind (72.5) in a tie for fifth.

Other individual winners were Landon St. Peter (106 pounds) of Ellsworth, Codi Sirois (113) of Penobscot Valley, Caleb Weeks (120) and Tyler Beem (160) of Dexter, Zy Anthony (126) of Maine Central Institute (126), R.J. Nelson (132) of Foxcroft (132), Mark Ward (138) and Zachary Ward (145) of Mt. View, Elias Miller (152) of Medomak Valley, Zachary Wilson (170) of Piscataquis, Ryan Fredette (182) of Winslow and Seth Padelford (285) of Madison.

Fredette pinned all three of his opponents to win his fourth straight state championship.

Wilson was named the outstanding wrestler after earning the first title for his school.

In the 138-pound final, Mark Ward held off Oceanside’s Alex Fogarty, last year’s 120 champion, for a 9-8 victory.

Miller had the easiest day. After a first-round bye, he recorded two first-period pins.

Wells’ got runner-up finishes from Ryan Norton (113), Jonah Potter (182) and McCormack-Kuhman. Drew Peters (152) placed third and Nathan Curtis (170) placed fourth.

In the 120-pound class, Zoe Buteau of Lisbon/Oak Hill was attempting to become the first girl to win a state title. Buteau, the South region champion, lost her first-round match to Brandon Weston of Foxcroft, 6-5. Buteau won her next match but lost in the consolation semifinals.

Heading into the consolation finals, Foxcroft trailed Wells by 10 points. The Ponies had three wrestlers in the finals and four in the consolation finals.

“I thought we had a chance with the consolations,” Foxcroft Coach Luis Ayala said. “But we needed to win three (of the consolation matches).”

Instead, the Ponies lost their first three consolation finals, with only Jacob Diamond winning in the 145 class.

Heading into the championship finals, Wells led the Ponies 111-102.5.

“We’re like the Patriots. We can’t blow anybody out,” Lewia said. “Foxcroft gave us a run for our money.”

But Wells clinched it even before their final three wrestlers headed out to the mat.

Wrigley, who placed second at 160 as a sophomore and 170 as a junior, faced Dirigo’s Dalton Berry in the 195 final. He held for a 10-7 win.

“It felt great finally getting it, but it felt better to help out my team,” Wrigley said.

Next up was Nolan Potter, who recorded his 150th career win in the semifinals, then pinned Penobscot Valley’s Joe Tuulima in the final. Potter, like most of his teammates, also played on the Class D state champion football team.

“It’s been a pretty great year,” said Potter, who will play football for Bates College next year.

“I was very nervous going into this. This is just unreal. I’m so relieved.”

All the Wells wrestlers who placed in the top four were seniors except for Curtis, a junior, and freshman Jonah Potter.

“We pretty much did as I expected. It was a great day,” Lewia said. “Now, it’s time to rebuild.”

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

Twitter: KevinThomasPPH

]]> 0, 17 Feb 2018 21:21:39 +0000
Wrestling: Marshwood pulls off surprise title in Class A Sat, 17 Feb 2018 23:29:42 +0000 SANFORD — Marshwood High surprised the Class A wrestling field and defended its team championship Saturday at Memorial Gym.

It was Marshwood’s sixth Class A title in seven seasons and the 10th state title for Coach Matt Rix, who directed the Hawks to four Class B championships between 1989-99.

But unlike last season when the Hawks dominated all year and won by over 100 points, this victory was far from assured. Marshwood finished second in the South regional and was down to nine active wrestlers, with seven advancing to the state tournament.

“This one’s pretty special,” Rix said. “Everybody performed. Everybody placed. I told them if everybody gets a medal, we’ll win this.”

That’s exactly what happened. All seven Hawks placed in the top four to build 117 points. Longtime rival and South champ Noble (96) and North champion Nokomis (89) followed.

The Hawks had two individual champs. Liam Coomey was named the meet’s Most Outstanding Wrestler. He won the 126-pound title, beating North champ Michael Sprague of Erskine Academy in the semifinal and South champ Sam Martel of Noble in a 15-10 final.

The Hawks clinched the team win one bout earlier when Noble freshman Josh Cote won his match, 7-2. Noble knew entering the championship bouts it needed pins from its three finalists and for Marshwood’s three finalists to lose.

Coomey’s victory was the exclamation point and David Spinney added to the margin with his overtime win against Caleb Frost of Bonny Eagle at 138.

“I didn’t want it to be some type of excuse that we won just because someone else won for us,” Coomey said. “We wanted to win on our own terms.”

Marshwood went 7 of 7 in the opening round with seven pins. The consolation finals were also important. Sean Moriarty (113) and James Thompson (195) won by pin, and Carsen Goodwin (120) got an unexpected injury default victory against Richard Oberg of Skowhegan.

“Coach always says, ‘if we don’t win it’s in the past. That story ends and then it’s time to write a new story and make it a happy ending,’ ” Moriarty said.

Sanford helped close its historic Memorial Gym to high school wrestling by placing fifth. Senior Sam Anderson, won his second state title, taking the 170-pound class.

“It just feels like the perfect closing, the perfect ending,” Anderson said. “If you were to write a book, coming out on top, senior season, in front of the home crowd, it would be almost a fairy tale. I never would have thought it would happen as a freshman but as I progressed, and grew and grew up, it was in sight all the way.”

Oxford Hills’ 160-pound champion, Dawson Stevens, was another wrestler who appreciated being part of Memorial Gym’s ending.

“My first-ever first place, back in Pee Wees, back in 2008. I was 8 years old and got my first-ever first place here. And my dad got his second state championship here (in) his senior year,” Stevens said. “It’s kind of cool.”

Samson Sirois of Skowhegan won his 200th career match when he beat Ben Laurence of Mt. Ararat/Brunswick 5-0 in the 132-pound final.

“I knew I was going to get it if I won it and I really wanted to reach 200. That was one of my goals,” said Sirois, a two-time state champ. “And I achieved it.”

Another Skowhegan highlight was undefeated freshman Jake Craig taking the 106-pound title with a 22-7 win against Colby Frost of Bonny Eagle. It’s the fifth straight year a Craig brother won the 106 title and seventh straight year a Craig brother has won a state title. Three-time champ Tyler started the streak as a freshman, then Cody won four straight at 106 from 2014-17.

Other state champions were Alden Shields of Kennebunk (113), Noah Lang of Camden Hills (145), Quinton Richards (152) and James Boyd (220) of Nokomis, Zuka Mabior of Oxford Hills (182) and Jakob Peavey of Erskine Academy (285).

The top four in each weight class advance to next Saturday’s New England qualifier at Nokomis in Newport.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0, ME - FEBRUARY 17: Marshwood 126 lb wrestler Liam Coomey celebrates a victory over Noble's Sam Martel with coaches Pat Howard and Matt Nix during the Class A state wrestling championship in Sanford, on Saturday, February 17, 2018. (Photo by Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer) SANFORD, ME - FEBRUARY 17: Marshwood 126 lb wrestler Liam Coomey celebrates a victory over Noble's Sam Martel with coaches Pat Howard and Matt Nix during the Class A state wrestling championship in Sanford, on Saturday, February 17, 2018. (Photo by Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer) SANFORD, ME - FEBRUARY 17: Marshwood 126 lb wrestler Liam Coomey celebrates a victory over Noble's Sam Martel with coaches Pat Howard and Matt Nix during the Class A state wrestling championship in Sanford, on Saturday, February 17, 2018. (Photo by Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer) Marshwood High's Liam Coomey celebrates a victory over Noble's Sam Martel with coaches Pat Howard and Matt Rix during the Class A state wrestling championship at Sanford High on Saturday. (Photo by Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer)Sat, 17 Feb 2018 23:09:35 +0000
Boys’ basketball: Top-seeded Wells holds off Freeport in Class B South Sat, 17 Feb 2018 23:21:47 +0000 Top-seeded Wells kept its composure as No. 8 Freeport rallied and took the lead in the fourth quarter, beating the Falcons 52-45 in a Class B South boys’ basketball quarterfinal Saturday at the Portland Expo.

Wells (13-6) advances to play No. 5 Gray-New Gloucester in the semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Cross Insurance Arena. Freeport, making its first playoff appearance in 11 years, ends at 11-9.

Wells was just 9 for 22 from the foul line through three quarters, then went 11 for 14 in the fourth to seal the win.

“We’re a good free-throw shooting team, but we were terrible tonight,” Wells Coach Troy Brown said.

Added Wells forward Tyler Bridge: “I guess we will be practicing free throws at practice.”

Freeport, which beat Lisbon in the prelims, had a win over Wells in the regular season, 52-37 on Feb. 6.

After trailing for much of the first three quarters, Freeport took a 38-36 lead on Toby Holt’s basket with 5:12 left.

It was the Falcons’ first lead since the first quarter, and the first of four lead changes in the fourth.

Wells regained the lead when Cam Cousins (14 points, six rebounds) hit a baseline jumper and was fouled. He hit the free throw for a 39-38 lead.

Wells took the lead for good with 3:30 left when Cousins scored down low for a 41-40 advantage.

“I thought Cameren, coming out (after a timeout) and scoring those two baskets was huge,” Brown said.

The Warriors pushed their lead to 46-40 when Matt Sherburne hit a pair of free throws and then converted a three-point play with just over two minutes to play. Sherburne finished with 15 points, four rebounds and three steals.

Bridge led the Warriors with 16 points and six rebounds. He got Wells going in the third quarter when he scored eight straight points to stretch a four-point lead to 12. He scored on three offensive rebounds and a jumper.

“That’s the most important thing – coming out in the second half strong,” Bridge said “After halftime we wanted to keep the lead, so it was big.”

“Their zone was a little extended out on the wings, so Tyler (Bridge) had a free reign in the middle, and Cam was making some nice passes to him, because he’s going to draw a double-team from them,” Brown added. “Tyler got himself under control and made some nice little … pull-up jumpers.

“Earlier in the year, he might have tried to bull through there and lay one in and get a charge and come away with nothing.”

Gabe Wagner led Freeport with 16 points – 14 in the second half. Holt also had a good second half, scoring all of his 11 points.

]]> 0 Sat, 17 Feb 2018 20:52:54 +0000
Indoor track: Greely sweeps Class B state meets Sat, 17 Feb 2018 23:19:17 +0000 LEWISTON — There was a lot going through the minds of the Greely boys’ and girls’ indoor track teams as they pursued Class B state championships Saturday at Bates College’s Merrill Gym.

Powered by their formidable cadre of distance runners, the Greely girls won their second consecutive state title with 63 points, ahead of Brewer’s 54.8, and the Greely boys topped John Bapst, 68-54.

The dual victories were especially sweet for Greely twins Matt and Carolyn Todd, who each earned individual wins in the mile.

“The twins’ win was the goal,” said a grinning Carolyn Todd, who also won the 2-mile.

And the boys wanted a trip home in a bus completely full of state champions, unlike last year, when the Greely girls won their first Class B indoor title in nine years while the boys finished second. Traditionally, Greely state champions are greeted by Cumberland fire trucks for a celebratory ride through town.

“The fire trucks followed us last year because the girls won, but it didn’t mean anything for us. This year we wanted them there for us, too,” said senior Michael Gear, who ran the anchor leg for the 800-meter relay team that clinched the championship with a first-place finish.

Both meets were close throughout, with the route to a championship made more competitive by the presence of Brewer, which dropped down from Class A.

“I think our athletes had more of an individual mentality, rather than a team mentality after coming down from (Class) A,” said Brewer Coach Dan Juilli. “It’s hard to win in Class A with our school size. But Greely is a good team, they were tough to beat.”

The Greely boys took the lead with a 2-3-4 finish in the 2-mile. Freshman Sam Wilson moved up from the eighth seed to finish third (10 minutes, 36.04 seconds) behind junior Luke Marsanskis (10:32.81), and just ahead of senior Caleb Thurston (10:37.39).

The three ran well behind defending champion Luke Laverdiere of Yarmouth, who won in 9:35.31, as they pushed and repeatedly passed each other to maintain a good pace.

“I just wanted to beat Caleb, because he’s finished ahead of me all season,” Wilson said with a laugh.

Thurston nodded.

“We work together in meets. Coach told us we could go 2-3-4,” Thurston said. “It’s been a while since the Greely boys won an indoor state title. This was our chance.”

Greely opened the meet by winning the 3,200 relay by 8 seconds, with a time of 8:43.22. Then Todd captured the mile by 5 seconds with a big kick at the end, clocking 4:40.32, while Marsanskis took fourth (4:50.50).

Junior Nicolas Brown added a second-place finish in the high jump (6 feet, 0 inches), and senior Gavin Poperechny was fifth in the 55 hurdles (8.33).

The Rangers sealed their title with their victory in the 800 relay in 1:38.28, moving up from the fifth seed to finish ahead of Brewer (1:38.94).

“I don’t think the boys’ 800-meter relay has ever been that good in all my years coaching,” said Coach John Folan, in his 25th year at Greely. “That was the difference. They got it in their head they were going to win today. That’s what they told me this week.”

John Bapst senior Ben Cotton won two events, capturing the 55 (6.75) and the long jump (21-5 1/4). Hermon junior Zachary Beaton was another double-winner – in the high jump (6-2) and triple jump (42-9 1/4).

For the Greely girls, their distance runners and some talented jumpers cemented the win.

Todd won the mile (5:25.30) while sophomore Marin Provencher took third (5:33.92). In the 2-mile, Todd ran away from the pack, winning by 21 seconds in 11:59.47, while junior Julia Curran took third (12:24.01).

Greely also got a lift from senior Elizabeth Brown, who won the high jump at 5-2, and junior Maddy Irish, who took fifth in the triple jump as she improved by a foot (33-4 1/4).

Greely also won the 3,200 relay (10:18.05).

Old Town senior Oliviah Damboise also won two events – the triple jump (36-4 3/4) and pole vault (9-6).

Deirdre Fleming can be reached at 791-6452 or:

Twitter: FlemingPph

]]> 0 Todd of Greely races to victory in the mile at the Class B indoor track state championships Saturday at Bates College, helping her team win for the second year in a row.Mon, 19 Feb 2018 08:06:51 +0000