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Tough Clough ready for Houlton showdown

Sport: Basketball (Girls)  Message Board

Posted: February 26th, 2015 by Tom Nolette

Maranacook's senior guard bring tenacious defense and outside shooting to the Black Bears' lineup..READFIELD — The word nervous hasn’t had a chance to enter Sarah Clough’s vocabulary so far this week. Perhaps things will change for the Maranacook senior guard as Saturday’s Class C state championship game against Houlton draws near. But still basking in the glow of being on the first girls team in the school’s history to win a regional title, Clough is just grateful to have high school basketball in her life for another week. “I’m definitely taking it all in,” she said. “It’s weird to think this is my last week of ever playing high school basketball. It’s awesome, because it’s the farthest we’ve ever come. So it’s nice just to think that Friday will be my last practice, Saturday will be my last game and we made it as far as we could. I’m just really excited.”Clough is one of the reasons the Black Bears have had unprecedented success this season...

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Forest Hills' Fab Four ready for finals

Sport: Basketball (Boys)  Message Board

Posted: February 26th, 2015 by Tom Nolette

Heading into the Class D title game Saturday, the Tigers' seniors have combined for 3,579 career points. JACKMAN — Ryan Petrin, Brandon Ouellette, Tanner Daigle and Matt Turner have a chance to make dreams a reality Saturday at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. After winning the Western Class D boys basketball championship last Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center, Forest Hills’ version of “the fab four” will be looking to cap off an undefeated season if they can find a way to get past Fort Fairfield in the state finals. “This year has been awesome,” Petrin said. “Ever since the beginning we knew we had a chance to go 18-0 and it’s happened. “…Hopefully we can just have a perfect season.” Others have contributed along the way for the Tigers, but it is their four senior stars that have carried them to a state championship appearance. When they take the court Saturday it will be a moment nearly a decade in the making...

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New team but Portland boys seeking same result

Sport: Basketball (Boys)  Message Board

Posted: February 26th, 2015 by Tom Nolette

With four new starters, the Bulldogs are one win from a second straight Gold Ball..Portland High boys’ basketball coach Joe Russo watched closely as his players went through a shot-faking drill at practice earlier this week. It’s a drill the Bulldogs have done all season, but this time Russo was looking for a crisper effort. After all, Portland is preparing for its biggest game of the season. “I really want a good ball fake,” said the veteran coach. “Hampden is long and has good defenders.” Amir Moss faked a shot and drove to the basket. “Nice,” said Russo. Moments later, in another drill, Russo was quick to point out the importance of protecting the ball on the dribble. His target was Terion Moss, Amir’s brother, who, in his freshman season, has been impressive at point guard. Moss’ high dribble caught Russo’s attention. “Hampden is going to eat you up if you do that,” admonished Russo...

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Thornton Academy girls fighting for more than a Gold Ball

Sport: Basketball (Girls)  Message Board

Posted: February 26th, 2015 by Tom Nolette

The Trojans' family includes a 12-year-old and a coach's wife battling diseases..SACO — Coaches and players often refer to their teams as families, with close-knit bonds being forged through competition. For the Thornton Academy girls’ basketball team, those bonds have resulted in unprecedented success. The Trojans (19-2) will play in the Class A state championship game Saturday for the first time in school history. Thornton, which ended the four-year championship reign of McAuley in the Western Class A final, will play Lawrence (20-1) at 3:05 p.m. at the Augusta Civic Center. “It’s all everyone is talking about,” said Ashley Howe, a junior forward. “We walk down the halls at school and everyone is wishing us good luck.” But it’s not only competition that has brought the Trojans close this year. When they break each huddle, be it in practice or a game, they yell, “Family,” as a way of remembering who they are playing for...

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Cheverus boys' hockey skates into regional semis

Sport: Hockey (Boys)  Message Board

Posted: February 26th, 2015 by Tom Nolette

PORTLAND—It would have been understandable if the Cheverus boys' hockey team got caught looking ahead Wednesday afternoon, but these Stags learned a year ago that you always have to take care of business in the playoffs. Even against a foe you beat by 10 goals a few weeks ago. In last year's quarterfinals, Cheverus was stunned by Noble/Wells and with a potential rematch just 45 minutes away, the second-ranked Stags weren't about to experience a letdown when they faced No. 7 Lake Region/Fryeburg/Oxford Hills in a Western Class A quarterfinal at Troubh Arena. It took just 24 seconds for the Stags to take the lead for good on a goal from senior captain James Kane and that opened the floodgates. By the time the first period was over, the lead was 5-0, thanks to subsequent goals from senior Quintin Farr, junior Chris Vallee, senior Alex Libby and senior Nick Noyes...

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Hartford hits late free throws, sinks UMaine men's basketball team

Sport: University Of Maine Basketball  Message Board

Posted: February 26th, 2015 by Tom Nolette

BANGOR, Maine — Zarko Valjarevic had hoped to celebrate “Senior Night” with a victory on Wednesday. Instead, the University of Maine did its best to celebrate the sharpshooting guard from Serbia. The University of Hartford made six of eight free throws in the final minute, spoiling the Black Bears’ plans with a 63-60 America East men’s basketball victory at the Cross Insurance Center. With Mark Nwakamma, the Hawks’ leading scorer, limited to only five minutes because of a knee injury, freshman forward John Carroll stepped in and scored a team-high 15 points and pulled down six rebounds. Hartford (14-14, 7-8 AE) got to the foul line in the late going and made them count to overcome coach Bob Walsh’s UMaine team (3-25, 2-13 AE). He cited the Black Bears’ inability to get stops down the stretch as the difference in the game…

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Rise of the Broncos: Hampden boys basketball program emerges among state's elite

Sport: Basketball (Boys)  Message Board

Posted: February 26th, 2015 by Tom Nolette

By Ernie Clark ..HAMPDEN, Maine — Things couldn’t have been going worse for the Hampden Academy boys basketball team last Saturday. A berth in the Class A state final was at stake, and a fast-breaking Lewiston squad was doing its best impersonation of the Los Angeles Lakers of “Showtime” days at the Broncos’ expense. Twenty-one consecutive points had turned an eight-point Hampden lead into a 13-point Lewiston advantage midway through the third quarter — a turn of events that might crack the resilience of any athlete, let alone 16- and 17-year-olds. But not this day, and not this team. Not only did Hampden withstand the onslaught, the Broncos reversed the game’s course within minutes. The team ended Lewiston’s run with 15 unanswered points of its own and outscored the Blue Devils 30-9 the rest of the way to secure a 65-57 victory and become the first Eastern Maine Class A boys basketball team to win four straight regional championships...

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Lewiston handles Windham

Sport: Hockey (Boys)  Message Board

Posted: February 25th, 2015 by Tom Nolette

LEWISTON — Alex Rivet gave an extra fist pump, looked for his teammates and then to the bench for a knowing nod from head coach Jamie Belleau. Favored, leading but laboring, the Lewiston High School Blue Devils needed Rivet’s tally at 7:50 of the second frame to establish some breathing room in their Eastern Class A quarterfinal matchup against Windham. Playing stout defense and scoring when necessary, the Blue Devils used Rivet’s goal and three more to earn a 4-0 win over the visiting Eagles at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Tuesday, setting up a semifinal rendezvous with Bangor High School in the Eastern A semifinals on Saturday. “I thought we pressed a little bit. I thought we tried to force some things in the offensive zone,” Lewiston coach Jamie Belleau said. “We were playing 95 percent of the game in the offensive zone, and that makes it hard. It’s not an excuse. We have to execute better, and I thought as the game...

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Dirigo AD Hutchins leaving to take international job with Lee Academy

Sport: Basketball (Boys)  Message Board

Posted: February 25th, 2015 by Tom Nolette

DIXFIELD — Michael Hutchins is moving on, but he’s surely not the retiring type. Dirigo High School’s athletic director gave his one-month notice this week. He’s leaving the school March 23 to help start a sister school to Lee Academy in Shanghai, China. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” Hutchins said. “It allows me to teach teachers, which is something I enjoy doing.” Hutchins, 63, spent 20 months at the latest stop in his 39-year career in education. He inherited a winning infrastructure, and nothing changed during his time in the Cougars’ athletic office. Every winter sports team at Dirigo either won a championship or played in a title game this season. Wrestling won its second consecutive Class C title. Cheerleading won Western Maine and finished second in the state. Nordic skiing captured a Mountain Valley Conference crown...

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Edward Little eliminates Lawrence/Skowhegan

Sport: Hockey (Boys)  Message Board

Posted: February 25th, 2015 by Tom Nolette

The Red Eddies rolled into the Eastern A semifinals with a 6-1 victory over the Bandits.

WINSLOW – Beating a team three times in a season is never easy. The Lawrence/Skowhegan co-op boys hockey team found out just how difficult it can be Tuesday evening at Sukee Arena, as the fourth-seeded Bandits (11-7-1) dropped a 6-1 decision to No. 5 Edward Little (10-9-0) in the quarterfinals of the Eastern Class A playoffs. The Bandits — who beat the Red Eddies 5-3 and 7-3 during the regular season — fell behind 3 minutes, 11 seconds into the contest and never caught up. The well-balanced Red Eddies got goals from Liam Benson, Dixon Dilodovico, Branden Dyer, Ryan Raby, Max Giard and Cade Chapman. Trey Michonski had the lone goal for Lawrence/Skowhegan, while Curtis Martin stopped 28 shots. “We came out and we were flat. The emotions before the game, I don’t know if they got to us or whatnot but we just didn’t bring it tonight,” Lawrence/Skowhegan coach Ted Fabian said...

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Winslow boys rally past Hampden

Sport: Hockey (Boys)  Message Board

Posted: February 25th, 2015 by Tom Nolette

The Black Raiders will meet Waterville in the Eastern B semifinals after downing the Broncos 3-2 Tuesday.. WINSLOW — Neither an early deficit nor a hot goaltender could keep the Winslow boys hockey team from a postseason rematch with cross-town rival Waterville. The Black Raiders were frustrated throughout Tuesday night by a 40-save performance from Hamdpen Academy goalie Cole Benner, but persistence paid off as Jacob Trask’s goal with 2 minutes, 51 seconds remaining gave Winslow a 3-2 win at Sukee Arena in the Eastern B quarterfinals. The win sets up a semifinal matchup between Winslow and Waterville on Saturday at Sukee for the right to go to the Eastern B finals. “I’ve been coaching for over 20 years and I’ve never been more proud of a hockey team,” Winslow coach Andy Dube said. “A lot of grit coming back, playing hard through all three periods... 

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Skowhegan sends five wrestlers to New Englands

Sport: Wrestling  Message Board

Posted: February 25th, 2015 by Tom Nolette

Cony's Zeko Caudill looks to continue his strong season as well at the regional championships on March 6-7.. Skowhegan freshman Samson Sirois (113 pounds) made the most of a rematch opportunity at the New England qualifier last week. Sirois had lost a gut-wrenching decision against Scarborough’s Jeremy Sendrowski in the state championship finals. Ahead by a 3-1 score in the third period, Sirois was caught in a five-point move by Sendrowski and wound up losing 6-3. On Saturday, the two met again in the finals and Sirois came out on top with an 8-6 decision. “Jeremy and I are offseason roll partners (workout partners) and friends,” said Sirois. “I didn’t like losing to him at states, but I know he works hard year-round like I do. I was nervous going into the finals match but I knew I could beat him. He has a great chin whip and I knew I had to stay away from that.”...

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Gorham storms into semifinals

Sport: Hockey (Boys)  Message Board

Posted: February 25th, 2015 by Tom Nolette

Travis Mansir has two goals and three assists as the Rams finish off York 6-2 with a strong third period.. DOVER, N.H. — Gorham was ahead by a goal but gave one up late in the second period. Rams senior forward Travis Mansir knew what his team needed to do early in the third period against York. “We knew we needed the next one because if they had scored they would have tied the game and gotten the momentum,” Mansir said. “We just came out hard and I saw the opportunity and I put the puck in. I didn’t think I was going to score but the puck managed to get under the goalie and go in and that motivated the team and we just kept putting the puck in the net.” Mansir’s two-goal, three-assist effort led the Rams to a 6-2 win in a Western B quarterfinal game Tuesday at Dover Ice Arena. Mansir’s second goal came when he took advantage of a neutral zone mistake by No. 3 York (11-7-1) and pushed his way through two defensemen then shoved the puck past goalie Eric Lindbom 17 seconds into the third period...

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Noble/Wells asserts itself in third

Sport: Hockey (Boys)  Message Board

Posted: February 25th, 2015 by Tom Nolette

ROCHESTER — Noble/Wells has played its best hockey in the third period all season long. That was the case again on Tuesday night in the Knights’ postseason opener. Third-seeded Noble/Wells scored thrice in the third to turn a tight game into a rout, en route to a 6-3 win over No. 6 South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete (South Portland herein) in the Western Maine Class A high school hockey quarterfinals. “We come out strong in the first period, and for some reason we usually come out flat-footed in the second,” said Noble junior forward Dean Pratt, who notched a hat trick to add to his region-leading goal total. “But in the third, that’s usually when we pick it up, and I think that’s what happened here tonight. We came out strong and put it to them.”...

 

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Yarmouth fights off Greely's upset bid, off to semifinals

Sport: Hockey (Boys)  Message Board

Posted: February 25th, 2015 by Tom Nolette

YARMOUTH—Under normal circumstances, it would be pretty easy to overlook a playoff opponent that won only three games all season, but Yarmouth's boys' hockey team knew that its foe in Tuesday evening's Western Class B quarterfinal, the tradition-rich Greely Rangers, would be no pushover. And they weren't. But the Clippers, who surged in the second half of the season, weren't about to be upset. It took second-ranked Yarmouth all 45 minutes to escape the seventh-ranked Rangers at Travis Roy Arena, but the Clippers made the plays when they had to and kept their championship dreams alive...

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