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A little Lee-way helps Cheverus stay perfect

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: January 24th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

 

By Michael Hoffer
Special to MBR

PORTLAND—The potential team for the ages proved to be too much for the individual superstar Friday evening at Keegan Gymnasium.

The Cheverus Stags continued their perfect defense of their Class A crown by holding South Portland junior standout Keegan Hyland in check and rode a 14-0 run to start the second half to an emphatic 60-41 victory over the Red Riots.

South Portland was hampered by the loss of junior Matt Lee, who hurt his knee prior to gametime and couldn't play. Although the Red Riots put forth a solid effort, they simply couldn't counter Cheverus' nonpareil defense or the transcendent play of Stags' senior Mick DiStasio and junior Indiana Faithfull.

“(Matt) was stretching out right before the game and he felt a pop in his knee,” said South Portland coach Phil Conley. “Tough luck for us. He'll go to the doctor tonight.”

A year ago, South Portland came to Cheverus and left with a stunning 68-47 victory. The Stags were able to rebound and win the Class A title. This winter, Cheverus has been close to invincible, capturing its first 12 league decisions in addition to winning the Portland High Holiday tournament.

The Red Riots had only lost to visiting Westbrook and had won 12 games behind Hyland's wizardry, backed up by a strong supporting cast.

Friday night, South Portland made things interesting for awhile, but ultimately, the Stags were just too strong, deep and hungry.

Just 29 seconds into the game, Red Riots' junior Spencer Bowring hit a 3-pointer to put his team on top. After Faithfull fed junior Lenny Cummings for a dunk, junior Connor Hasson made a layup and Hyland buried a 3-ball to put South Portland on top 8-2. Cummings and Hasson traded hoops to make it 10-4 before the hosts exploded for seven straight points to take their first lead.

After senior Dan Foster made a 3-pointer, DiStasio converted a layup and Foster buried a jumper. The Red Riots went back on top 13-11 on a 3-pointer from junior Jon DiBiase, but senior Peter Foley tied the game with a layup. With 7.5 seconds to go in the first, South Portland took a 15-13 lead on a Hasson layup.

Cheverus would seize control in the second period.

Faithfull tied the game with a layup, then put his team up 17-15 with another layup after a steal. The Red Riots tied the game on a Hyland jumper, then went up 20-17 on a Hyland 3-ball, but that would be their high-water mark.

With 5:35 to play in the first half, the Stags pulled even and turned the tide for good when junior Kyle Randall buried a 3. Thirty-five seconds later, Cummings tipped home a missed shot to put the hosts ahead to stay. Faithfull followed with a pair of foul shots, DiStasio canned a 3-ball, then made a layup for a 29-20 lead. After Bowring ended the 12-0 run with a layup, Foley tipped home a shot at the horn to put Cheverus ahead 31-22 at the break.

The Stags then put the game away coming out of the half.

A layup from Cummings got things started. DiStasio followed with a 3-pointer. After Cummings made a layup, DiStasio did the same. DiStasio then stole the ball and raced in for a jam. With 5:28 to go in the third period, Faithfull scored on a layup after a steal, was fouled, and made the free throw for a 45-22 lead, capping a 14-0 run to start the half and a 28-2 surge since South Portland enjoyed a 20-17 advantage.

“I thought Cheverus' run at the start of the third period when we didn't answer, that was the difference in the game,” Conley said. “Other than that, I thought we played pretty even with them.”

A pair of foul shots from Hyland ended the run. Hyland then hit a leaner and junior Brian McHugh scored on a rebound layup, but Foley scored on a rebound layup to give the Stags a 47-28 advantage heading for the final period.

Cheverus then went ice cold, but South Portland couldn't put together enough solid possessions to make a serious run.

A steal and layup by Hyland, two free throws from DiBiase, a foul shot from Hyland and a pair of free throws from sophomore Vukasin Vignjevic pulled the Red Riots within 12, 47-35, with 4:26 to go, but DiStasio returned to form, hitting a 3-ball, then, after a Hyland layup, DiStasio made another 3-pointer for a 53-37 lead. Junior Ryan Curit made a pair of free throws for the visitors, but DiStasio rose to the occasion one more time with a 3-point bomb for a 56-39 lead with 2:18 to play.

“I felt we played very well at times,” Brown said. “I thought (Mick) just drilled them and that showed immense amounts of character.”

DiBiase made two free throws with 2:01 to play for South Portland's final points. The Stags then closed it out as senior Joe Dadiego made a layup and Faithfull made two foul shots to account for the 60-41 final score.

“They killed us last time,” Brown said. “We subtly reminded them of it. It's our home court. I was pleased for the most part. I thought everyone played very well. That's what we do. That's our team defense. It doesn't matter who we play. We just had a week of finals. That means we had one hour of practice. We haven't worked on our zone offense the way we should have. I thought we played terrible zone offense until the end, when we lit it up.”

DiStasio had 23 points to lead all scorers. Faithfull added 11 and Cummings had 10. Foley finished with six points, Foster had five, Randall three and Dadiego two.

Hyland led South Portland with 17 points, far under his average of nearly 30 per contest.

“He's an awesome player.,” DiStasio said, of Hyland. “He's probably the best in the league. The most prolific scorer. Defensive pressure was our key. Playing physical was big. These are the best games. That's what we want. I wish we could play those games every night.”

DiBiase was next with seven points, Hasson had six, Bowring five, Curit, McHugh and Vignjevic two apiece.

“I can't fault our effort,” Conley said. “My guys gave me everything they had. They battled. We'll take what we see on the tape and work and get ready.”

In spite of the plucky showing, Lee's absence was certainly felt.

“It was sort of disappointing,” DiStasio said. “We want all the best players to be out there. He's obviously one of their best players. We just played our game. We had trouble with the zone at first and we made some bad passes. We found our spots and spread the ball around.”

“Obviously, Lee's presence makes them a much better team,” Brown added. “Would it be enough? We'll find out the next time.”

South Portland (now 12-2) hopes to get back on track Tuesday when it hosts Portland. The Red Riots are in the midst of a brutal closing stretch. They welcome Cheverus next Friday in a rematch, then play Deering and Portland again to finish things off.

“I think the character we have in the locker room will make us ready to play every game,” Conley said. “We'll take the challenge of  a tough stretch and we'll be ready to play. You couldn't ask for a better atmosphere. The crowd is great. That's why you work in the summertime when its 90 degrees, to play games like this. Cheverus is a great team, the defending champ. We'll be ready next time.”

Cheverus (13-0) hosts Massabesic Saturday, goes to Thornton Academy Tuesday and South Portland Friday, then finishes at Portland and at home versus Deering.

“It's exciting,” DiStasio said. “These are all exciting games. TA will be a big one. It will be fun playing (former teammate Ian) Barwise. Hopefully that will go well.”

Lady Vikings suffer second loss

Sport: Basketball (Girls)  Posted: January 23rd, 2009 by Tom Nolette

SKOWHEGAN - The Oxford Hills girls' basketball team picked up its second loss of the season at Skowhegan 58 to 51.
     "We started out fairly slow and were down 14 to 4 real quick," said Head Coach Nate Pelletier.

Traip can't catch Cape

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: January 23rd, 2009 by Tom Nolette

KITTERY, Maine — The Cape Elizabeth High School boys basketball team took a big lead early over Traip Academy and never looked back, beating the Rangers 59-42 on Friday.

Five and a half minutes into the game, an Alex Bowe 3-pointer put the Capers up 17-4, and they enjoyed a lead of at least seven points the rest of the way.

A little Lee-way helps Cheverus stay perfect

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: January 23rd, 2009 by Tom Nolette

A little Lee-way helps Cheverus stay perfect

By Michael Hoffer
Special to MBR

PORTLAND—The potential team for the ages proved to be too much for the individual superstar Friday evening at Keegan Gymnasium.

The Cheverus Stags continued their perfect defense of their Class A crown by holding South Portland junior standout Keegan Hyland in check and rode a 14-0 run to start the second half to an emphatic 60-41 victory over the Red Riots.

South Portland was hampered by the loss of junior Matt Lee, who hurt his knee prior to gametime and couldn't play. Although the Red Riots put forth a solid effort, they simply couldn't counter Cheverus' nonpareil defense or the transcendent play of Stags' senior Mick DiStasio and junior Indiana Faithfull.

“(Matt) was stretching out right before the game and he felt a pop in his knee,” said South Portland coach Phil Conley. “Tough luck for us. He'll go to the doctor tonight.”

A year ago, South Portland came to Cheverus and left with a stunning 68-47 victory. The Stags were able to rebound and win the Class A title. This winter, Cheverus has been close to invincible, capturing its first 12 league decisions in addition to winning the Portland High Holiday tournament.

The Red Riots had only lost to visiting Westbrook and had won 12 games behind Hyland's wizardry, backed up by a strong supporting cast.

Friday night, South Portland made things interesting for awhile, but ultimately, the Stags were just too strong, deep and hungry.

Just 29 seconds into the game, Red Riots' junior Spencer Bowring hit a 3-pointer to put his team on top. After Faithfull fed junior Lenny Cummings for a dunk, junior Connor Hasson made a layup and Hyland buried a 3-ball to put South Portland on top 8-2. Cummings and Hasson traded hoops to make it 10-4 before the hosts exploded for seven straight points to take their first lead.

After senior Dan Foster made a 3-pointer, DiStasio converted a layup and Foster buried a jumper. The Red Riots went back on top 13-11 on a 3-pointer from junior Jon DiBiase, but senior Peter Foley tied the game with a layup. With 7.5 seconds to go in the first, South Portland took a 15-13 lead on a Hasson layup.

Cheverus would seize control in the second period.

Faithfull tied the game with a layup, then put his team up 17-15 with another layup after a steal. The Red Riots tied the game on a Hyland jumper, then went up 20-17 on a Hyland 3-ball, but that would be their high-water mark.

With 5:35 to play in the first half, the Stags pulled even and turned the tide for good when junior Kyle Randall buried a 3. Thirty-five seconds later, Cummings tipped home a missed shot to put the hosts ahead to stay. Faithfull followed with a pair of foul shots, DiStasio canned a 3-ball, then made a layup for a 29-20 lead. After Bowring ended the 12-0 run with a layup, Foley tipped home a shot at the horn to put Cheverus ahead 31-22 at the break.

The Stags then put the game away coming out of the half.

A layup from Cummings got things started. DiStasio followed with a 3-pointer. After Cummings made a layup, DiStasio did the same. DiStasio then stole the ball and raced in for a jam. With 5:28 to go in the third period, Faithfull scored on a layup after a steal, was fouled, and made the free throw for a 45-22 lead, capping a 14-0 run to start the half and a 28-2 surge since South Portland enjoyed a 20-17 advantage.

“I thought Cheverus' run at the start of the third period when we didn't answer, that was the difference in the game,” Conley said. “Other than that, I thought we played pretty even with them.”

A pair of foul shots from Hyland ended the run. Hyland then hit a leaner and junior Brian McHugh scored on a rebound layup, but Foley scored on a rebound layup to give the Stags a 47-28 advantage heading for the final period.

Cheverus then went ice cold, but South Portland couldn't put together enough solid possessions to make a serious run.

A steal and layup by Hyland, two free throws from DiBiase, a foul shot from Hyland and a pair of free throws from sophomore Vukasin Vignjevic pulled the Red Riots within 12, 47-35, with 4:26 to go, but DiStasio returned to form, hitting a 3-ball, then, after a Hyland layup, DiStasio made another 3-pointer for a 53-37 lead. Junior Ryan Curit made a pair of free throws for the visitors, but DiStasio rose to the occasion one more time with a 3-point bomb for a 56-39 lead with 2:18 to play.

“I felt we played very well at times,” Brown said. “I thought (Mick) just drilled them and that showed immense amounts of character.”

DiBiase made two free throws with 2:01 to play for South Portland's final points. The Stags then closed it out as senior Joe Dadiego made a layup and Faithfull made two foul shots to account for the 60-41 final score.

“They killed us last time,” Brown said. “We subtly reminded them of it. It's our home court. I was pleased for the most part. I thought everyone played very well. That's what we do. That's our team defense. It doesn't matter who we play. We just had a week of finals. That means we had one hour of practice. We haven't worked on our zone offense the way we should have. I thought we played terrible zone offense until the end, when we lit it up.”

DiStasio had 23 points to lead all scorers. Faithfull added 11 and Cummings had 10. Foley finished with six points, Foster had five, Randall three and Dadiego two.

Hyland led South Portland with 17 points, far under his average of nearly 30 per contest.

“He's an awesome player.,” DiStasio said, of Hyland. “He's probably the best in the league. The most prolific scorer. Defensive pressure was our key. Playing physical was big. These are the best games. That's what we want. I wish we could play those games every night.”

DiBiase was next with seven points, Hasson had six, Bowring five, Curit, McHugh and Vignjevic two apiece.

“I can't fault our effort,” Conley said. “My guys gave me everything they had. They battled. We'll take what we see on the tape and work and get ready.”

In spite of the plucky showing, Lee's absence was certainly felt.

“It was sort of disappointing,” DiStasio said. “We want all the best players to be out there. He's obviously one of their best players. We just played our game. We had trouble with the zone at first and we made some bad passes. We found our spots and spread the ball around.”

“Obviously, Lee's presence makes them a much better team,” Brown added. “Would it be enough? We'll find out the next time.”

South Portland (now 12-2) hopes to get back on track Tuesday when it hosts Portland. The Red Riots are in the midst of a brutal closing stretch. They welcome Cheverus next Friday in a rematch, then play Deering and Portland again to finish things off.

“I think the character we have in the locker room will make us ready to play every game,” Conley said. “We'll take the challenge of  a tough stretch and we'll be ready to play. You couldn't ask for a better atmosphere. The crowd is great. That's why you work in the summertime when its 90 degrees, to play games like this. Cheverus is a great team, the defending champ. We'll be ready next time.”

Cheverus (13-0) hosts Massabesic Saturday, goes to Thornton Academy Tuesday and South Portland Friday, then finishes at Portland and at home versus Deering.

“It's exciting,” DiStasio said. “These are all exciting games. TA will be a big one. It will be fun playing (former teammate Ian) Barwise. Hopefully that will go well.”

Minutemen go to 13-0, Defeat Dexter on Senior Night.

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: January 23rd, 2009 by Tom Nolette

The Stearns High School Minutemen hosted the Dexter High School Tigers in Millinocket Friday Night at Wentworth Gym on Senior Night & Came away with a 66-46 win. Stearns was led by Senior Zach Sadlon, who had 17. Seniors Cory Barnett & Tyler Richards had 13 points apiece. Senior Charlie Osborne & Garen Manzo each had 6 points. Senior Andrew Rideout had 3. Seniors Jeremy Santerre & Brett Baker, along with Brandon McLaughlin & Josh MacDonald all had 2 points each for the 13-0 Minutemen. Dexter was led by Tim Gustin, who had 13. Chris Chambers & Kyle Gould had 8 points each, Tyler Clukey had 6, Andrew Lary 4, Devon Grant 3, and C.J. Giles & Billy Trivette 2 points each for the 2-10 Tigers. The Senior Members of the Stearns Team are: Cory Barnett, Charlie Osborne, Tyler Richards, Jeremy Santerre, Andrew Rideout, Zach Sadlon & Brett Baker. Stearns Next Game is Monday, January 26th @PCHS in Guilford. Tipoff is set for 7:00PM.

Score By Quarters:
Stearns -  6  29  52  66
Dexter - 11  21  34  46
JV Score: Stearns 61, Dexter 33. Stearns JV's 13-0

Knights maul Mustangs

Sport: Basketball (Girls)  Posted: January 23rd, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Either way, when Massabesic came to town Thursday night, the Noble girls had an extra spring in their step. It showed from the opening tip on, as the Knights cruised to a 55-27 win over the visiting Mustangs at Barry S. Moore Memorial Gymnasium.

Kimball rallies Rebels

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: January 23rd, 2009 by Tom Nolette

James Kimball netted four key free throws with less than a minute left in regulation to lift Telstar to a 58-55 victory over Monmouth in MVC boys' basketball action Thursday evening.

Dan Vaughn led the Rebels (3-10) with a game-high 21 points, 10 of which came in the 27-12 fourth-quarter run that sealed the victory. Telstar battled back from a 12-point deficit at the end of the third to post the win. Joel Putnam also contributed with 18 points.

Parker Ferland led the Mustangs (1-11) with a 19-point effort, while Robbie Neal added 13.

Falcons soar over 'Hawks

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: January 23rd, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Matt Laubauskas scored a game-high 18 points, poached six of Boothbay's 26 turnovers for steals and attacked the offensive glass for six of his 10 rebounds, to lead the Falcons (12-2) back from some first-quarter struggles.

Winthrop prevails in OT thriller

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: January 23rd, 2009 by Tom Nolette

And those were Thursday night's winners. Smithgall scored 10 of his 22 points after the end of regulation, and Winthrop sank all six of its field goal attempts in the second overtime to finally dismiss Hall-Dale, 85-78, in perhaps the game of the year in Mountain Valley Conference boys' basketball.

Winthrop tops Hall-Dale for thrilling double-OT win

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: January 23rd, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Playing at top speed from beginning to end, Hall-Dale and Winthrop put on a show with the Ramblers pulling out an 85-78 double-overtime win in a classic Mountain Valley Conference boys basketball battle.

Winslow braces for tough finish

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: January 23rd, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Don't be fooled by the combined record of Winslow's final five opponents. Yes, the teams the Black Raiders (7-6) play down the stretch entered the week a combined 31-32, but that's misleadin

Vose lifts Lynx past Old Town

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: January 23rd, 2009 by Tom Nolette

After starting the season 7-1, the Lynx endured five straight losses — including two in double-overtime and two others by one and two points.

Mattanawcook was on the brink of heartbreak again Thursday night, but senior guard Brady Vose tied the game with six seconds left in regulation and scored the first five points of overtime to lift the Lynx past Old Town 63-50 at MacKenzie Gymnasium.

Hyland Avenue Revival

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: January 23rd, 2009 by Tom Nolette

If there is one glaring characteristic of Hyland it would be his unmatched drive to be the best. In the offseason he pops out of bed at the wee hour of 5 a.m., perhaps tripping over the morning paper on his way to meet Cheverus assistant coach Dan Costigan for the first of what could end up being four sessions in the gym. His goal, 700 makes each day, takes a significant amount of time to accomplish. He works on his handle, his jay, and adds 40 minutes of conditioning without a basketball to the mix. Hyland slips away during study hall to shoot some more, heads to the South Portland Rec Center after school for a few hours to hone his skills, then returns after dinner for another few hours of work. He’s getting bigger, stronger, and working on just his 17th year, there is no reason to think he won’t grow another few inches, add a few more pounds to his sturdy 190.

Knights maul Mustangs

Sport: Basketball (Girls)  Posted: January 22nd, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Either way, when Massabesic came to town Thursday night, the Noble girls had an extra spring in their step. It showed from the opening tip on, as the Knights cruised to a 55-27 win over the visiting Mustangs at Barry S. Moore Memorial Gymnasium.

Kimball rallies Rebels

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: January 22nd, 2009 by Tom Nolette

James Kimball netted four key free throws with less than a minute left in regulation to lift Telstar to a 58-55 victory over Monmouth in MVC boys' basketball action Thursday evening.

Dan Vaughn led the Rebels (3-10) with a game-high 21 points, 10 of which came in the 27-12 fourth-quarter run that sealed the victory. Telstar battled back from a 12-point deficit at the end of the third to post the win. Joel Putnam also contributed with 18 points.

Parker Ferland led the Mustangs (1-11) with a 19-point effort, while Robbie Neal added 13.
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