Greely´s victory with honor
After the girls´ state hockey championship game Saturday night, which Greely won 1-0 in overtime, the Greely and Scarborough players shook hands and then stood on their respective blue lines to receive their awards.
After Scarborough goalie Devan Kane was handed her medal, she made the unique gesture of skating over to the Greely players and shaking their hands again. Kane knew many of the players from youth hockey games. She heard a lot of compliments when they shook hands the first time.
"They were a good team to play against and I appreciated the nice things they said to me (after the game)," Kane said. "I just wanted to tell them great job."
When Greely received its medals, Paige Tuller made the same gesture, skating over to the Red Storm players.
"They had an amazing season," Tuller said. "They deserved (recognition), too."
NOW THAT GREELY has won back-to-back titles, is a three-peat possible? That will be a challenge with eight seniors leaving this team. However, there is a foundation with junior forward Sarah Kurland and sophomores Mary Morrison (defense) and Maura Perry (goalie) among the leading underclassmen.
In talking to girls´ basketball coaches before the tournaments began, they all stressed the importance of limiting turnovers. That was never more evident that in Camden Hills´ 55-39 upset of Oceanside in the Eastern Class B quarterfinals.
Oceanside, ranked second, had beaten Camden Hills twice in the regular season, the second time in the last game, 63-38, on Feb. 7. In that game, the Windjammers committed 22 turnovers.
Eight days later, Camden Hills committed only 12 turnovers -- a season-low, according to Coach Marty Messer.
While Jordan Knowlton had her usual standout game -- 23 points (10 for 11 at the foul line), 14 rebounds and four assists, Messer complimented the work of sophomore center Rachel Pease.
Pease had 14 points, 13 rebounds and five blocked shots while guarding Oceanside´s leading scorer, Kennadi Grover.
"Rachel is five or six inches taller than Kennadi and she really limited her offensive chances," said Messer, noting Grover scored only two points in the second half.
Now the seventh-ranked Windjammers face No.3 Nokomis in Wednesday´s semifinals. Nokomis beat Camden Hills 60-38 back on Jan. 5. "We´re hoping to turn another one around," said Messer.
BILL GOODMAN, the coach of top-ranked, unbeaten and two-time defending Class A state champ McAuley, said his team is taking nothing for granted. The Lions have dominated every opponent this year and have a great all-around game.
But Goodman knows anything can happen in a playoff.
"You´re talking to the coach of the team (Greely) that went 0 for 17 in 3-pointers against York in the Western Maine finals one year," he said. "And then the next year had 11 turnovers in the first quarter to fall way behind. I´m speaking from experience."
NO ONE in the Western Maine Conference was surprised that No.11 Wells upset No. 6 Gray-New Gloucester in the Western Class B preliminary round, earning a spot to play No. 3 Spruce Mountain (18-0) in the quarterfinals.
The Warriors, who don´t have a senior on the team, were expected to be one of the contenders this year, but struggled with consistency. Now they´re playing very well, led by forward Alison Furness.
"That team," said Chris Casterella, the coach at Cape Elizabeth, "that´s the team that everyone expected to see all year."
CHARLIE FAY and Grant Burfiend of Falmouth have teamed up several times this season for some crowd-pleasing plays.
They did it again Saturday in the Western Maine Class B quarterfinals against Maranacook at the Portland Expo. Late in the third quarter, Burfiend was just a little strong on a semi-breakaway layup, but not to worry. There was the 6-foot-5 Fay trailing to slam it down. The play provided some excitement in the one-sided game, won by the top-seeded Yachtsmen, 58-30.
Fay and Burfiend have worked the combination three or four times this season. Fay has had other dunks on breakaways.
"It´s nice to know there´s someone there when I miss," said Burfiend, who doesn´t miss often.
Fay, an outstanding lacrosse player as well, is good at following shots and has excellent timing.
"It came off the rim nicely," he said.
The DelGallo brothers from Gardiner increased their family´s collection of Class B state wrestling titles to eight.
Peter DelGallo, a freshman, pinned Kyle Bonti of Morse in the 106-pound final to run his record to 50-0. Danny DelGallo, a senior who also is unbeaten this season, won his third state title by scoring a second-period pin over Connor Winchenbach of Camden Hills in the finals of the 138-pound division.
Their older brother, Matt, won four state titles for Gardiner.
WHEN JARED JENSEN of Brunswick finished his 14-4 championship victory against Skowhegan´s Mikal Federici in the 170-pound weight class at the Class A Wrestling Championship, he appeared more relieved than excited.
"I just wanted to kind of get it over with. I knew it was probably my last match in Maine," said Jensen, adding that he had wrestled Federici four previous times. "There´s definitely some pressure being a returning state champion. You don´t want to lose."
It was Jensen´s third state title. Jensen is undefeated this season and his goal all year has been to improve on last year´s sixth-place New England finish (at 152 pounds).
"New England champion. That´s my goal. To win New Englands," Jensen said. "Next week I´ll travel to Marshwood and work out with those guys every day."
AS A SENIOR, Marshwood High 170-pounder Lucas Howarth obviously wanted an individual title. But when he wrapped up third place with an 8-0 win over Evan Fecko of Kennebunk he knew he´d done his part to help the Hawks win a second straight team title.
"All week in practice we´d talked about taking nothing for granted," Howarth said. "If you lose a semifinal or a first-round match you´re still wrestling for the team."
Howarth, Darren LaPointe (106), and Elliott Allen (113) each won two consolation matches to place third, with William Bellottie (126) finishing fourth. The quartet gathered an additional 35 points in the final two consolation rounds as Marshwood extended its lead from 31 points to an insurmountable 59 points entering the championships.
"After my second round match against Jared Jensen (a loss by pin) I was really down in the dumps and the only thing that kept me going was I had a team to compete for," Howarth said.
– Staff Writers Kevin Thomas, Mike Lowe, Tom Chard, Steve Craig and Paul Betit contributed to this report.