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Focused, with title in sight

Sport: Hockey (Boys)  Posted: March 8th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Focused, with title in sight
York has shrugged off a boring wait to reach the Class B hockey state final today.
By RACHEL LENZI, Staff Writer

2007 Press Herald file

For 2 1/2 weeks, the York hockey team grew stagnant. After its final regular-season game in mid-February, the Wildcats needed to figure out a way to stay focused.

"That was very difficult," York Coach Michael Vessey said. "Trying to practice day after day, without playing any games, the kids get bored, the coaches get bored, and it's very difficult to keep focus."

But once the Wildcats got onto the ice to play tournament hockey, the monotony broke quickly. Two playoff wins later, the Wildcats are exactly where they wanted to be -- playing for the Class B state championship at 1 p.m. today against Winslow at the Colisee in Lewiston. Biddeford will face Lewiston at 6 p.m. in the Class A title game in a rematch of last year's state championship game, also at the Colisee.

York will face Winslow five days after a 3-2 double-overtime win against Leavitt and three days after a 4-3 win over Greely for the Western Maine championship.

"We've built some momentum coming off those two wins and we know we're going to have a tough game, but I think we'll be ready," Vessey said.

Like the Wildcats and Black Raiders, Biddeford and Lewiston will wrap up a stretch of three games in six days.

"It's been so fast, I don't think you have time to think about it," Lewiston Coach Norm Gagne said. "It's one day after another. I guess it's so fast that you don't have time to think about it, that we just prepare for each opponent and put a few tinkerings in the game plan, and hopefully it's enough to make things work."

Winslow and York played to a scoreless tie Jan. 5, the third meeting between the teams in the past three years.

"It's either been a one-goal game or a tie," Vessey said. "We expect it to be a good battle."

CLASS A: Biddeford looks to wrap up an undefeated season, while Lewiston Coach Norm Gagne looks to lock up lucky No. 7 -- as in seven state championships.

It's a rematch of last year's state championship game won by Biddeford, 4-2.

"It's like they say, deja vu all over again," Biddeford Coach Jamie Gagnon said. "Lewiston has a talented young goalkeeper in the net and that's the only difference. They're the same team, but a year older and a year more experienced."

The Blue Devils return seven seniors from last year's squad, including Travis Roy Award semifinalists Jon Roy and Jordan Bourgoin, and the senior class is stronger, smarter and determined to have a successful finish.

"This is their fourth time in a state championship game," said Gagne, whose team will shoot for Lewiston's 21st hockey championship. "If experience is anything, they'll be up to the challenge."

Biddeford, meanwhile, lost only one player from last year's team, and this year's team is nearly identical to the Blue Devils --a team boosted by seniors, including Travis Roy Award semifinalists Nick Reny and Tony Dube, who arejust as mature and as hungry for a second state title.

"It will be an uphill climb," Gagnon said. "We have to do what we can do to set the tempo."


CLASS A WHO: Biddeford (23-0) vs. Lewiston (19-3-1) WHEN: 6 p.m. WHERE: The Colisee, Lewiston HOW THEY GOT HERE: Biddeford will play for it second straight state championship and aims to conclude an undefeated season against Lewiston in a rematch of last year's title game. Lewiston is in its fourth consecutive state championship game but hasn't won the title since 2002. KEYS TO VICTORY: Biddeford needs to set the tempo early and stay out of the penalty box. Just as important, the Tigers need to quickly adjust to a rink that's not their own, even though Biddeford may have just as many fans in attendance as Lewiston, which has skated at the Colisee most of the season. Biddeford boasts one of the state's top lines, as well as one of the state's best defensemen, but the Tigers will need contributions from their entire lineup in order to successfully defend their state championship. Lewiston needs to contain Biddeford's key offensive players, capitalize on special teams, and play well in front of freshman goalie Cam Poussard. The key for both the Blue Devils and the Tigers is to play consistently and play near-flawless hockey. Both teams are very similar and thrive on capitalizing on mistakes by the other team.

# Tony Dube, senior goalie: A Travis Roy Award semifinalist, Dube has established himself as a big-game goalie -- in three playoff games he's allowed three goals and stopped 79 shots in three postseason games.
# Brian Dumoulin, junior defenseman: Dumoulin has size, speed and skill, and can contribute offensively and defensively. Dumoulin is Western Class A's second-leading scorer entering the final (12 goals, 45 assists).
# Jordan Bourgoin, senior forward: One of Lewiston's two Travis Roy Award semifinalists, Bourgoin and Jon Roy have combined for 42 goals and 55 assists.


CLASS B WHO: York (17-4-1) vs. Winslow (16-5-1) WHEN: 1 p.m. WHERE: The Colisee, Lewiston HOW THEY GOT HERE: York will play in its first Class B championship game and enters with a nine-game winning streak, while Winslow is in its first title game since 2005. KEYS TO VICTORY: Composure will be key for York, which gave up two power-play goals against Greely in the Western Maine final. The Wildcats will have to make the most of their offensive opportunities. Once the Black Raiders get a lead, they have to protect it. Against Gardiner, Winslow held a two- goal lead early in the game before winning in overtime on Jesse Cullivan's goal. Winslow also will need a stellar performance from goalie Jesse Little, who will play in his first state championship game.

# Andy Ohlson, senior forward: Ohlson, one of Western Class B's top scorers, creates opportunities and is aggressive to the net. He averages nearly a point a game.
# Sean Bourgeois, forward: Bourgeois emerged as Winslow's top forward with 19 goals, including two in the postseason.
# Jesse Little, sophomore goalie: Little earned the starting job just after the new year and has faced some of the state's top teams. He made 24 saves in a 0-0 tie with York in January.

Staff Writer Rachel Lenzi can be reached at 791-6415 or at:

Tradition drives Lewiston seniors

Sport: Hockey (Boys)  Posted: March 8th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Tradition drives Lewiston seniors

By Justin Pelletier , Assistant Sports Editor, Online
Saturday, March 8, 2008

LEWISTON - "To you from failing hands we throw the torch; Be yours to hold it high."

Across the Montreal Canadiens locker room, every player who wears the Bleu, Blanc et Rouge learns quickly the origin of that saying (Flanders Fields), who wrote it (John McRae), and the simple reason for its existence there (tradition).

The Lewiston High School hockey team hasn't gone so far as to paint that saying onto their locker room walls just yet.

But tradition is something to which they are very familiar.

"Four state championship games in a row is amazing," forward Matt Letourneau said. We know we have a tradition here, and we're proud of that."

Since 1960, Lewiston has never gone more than seven years without winning a state hockey championship, and even that happened only once (1995-2002).

"I don't want to leave high school having gone to four state championship games without winning one," Letourneau said. "I'm sure no one else does, either."

This is Year 6. More importantly to this year's six seniors, this is the fourth consecutive season the team has reached the state final. The Devils are 0-3.

"We definitely want to stop that streak," Lewiston defenseman Justin Nadeau said. "We don't want to reach that seven-year streak again, either. This time, for all of the seniors, we want to win to make up for the last three years we've been there."

To change the end result, the seniors figured, perhaps they needed to change their initial goals.

"Usually, our goal was to win Eastern Maines, and then take our chances in the state game," forward Jon Roy said. "This year, from the beginning, it was all about winning a state championship."

From the beginning of the season, Lewiston coach Norm Gagne has been a big proponent of his senior class, of their abilities not only to win, but to lead.

"They've really understood what it's all about, not only on the ice, but in the locker room," Gagne said. "Being able to speak up at the right times, and then go out and back up what they're saying."

The season began in fine fashion, but hit a minor speed bump later on. Come playoff time, though, Lewiston became, well, Lewiston.

With two of the four senior captains playing on one forward line (Roy and Jordan Bourgoin), and two more on another (Casey Poussard and Letourneau), the team has gone from one top line to two, making it tough for any opponent to defend.

On defense, two seniors (Justin Nadeau and Andrew Marden) help patrol the blue line in front of freshman goalie Cam Poussard.

Cam Poussard, meanwhile, typifies his non-senior teammates.

"I get more pumped up than anything," Poussard said. "We all want to help the seniors get over the top and finally win one."

With such an explosion of teams (31 Class A teams at last count) in recent years, for the Blue Devils to have reached the Eastern Maine final seven consecutive years, and to have been to the state final in five of those seven, is remarkable.

The seniors hope this time, they can bookend that run with another state final victory.

Dumoulin a catalyst for Tigers

Sport: Hockey (Boys)  Posted: March 8th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Dumoulin a catalyst for Tigers

By Justin Pelletier , Assistant Sports Editor, Online
Saturday, March 8, 2008

As a sophomore, Brian Dumoulin towered over his teammates.

His talent allowed him to stickhandle around them with relative ease, too.

Conventional wisdom - not to mention several top junior coaches and general managers - told Dumoulin to bolt after his team won the Class A state title last year.

What more did he have to prove, they said.

But Dumoulin chose differently.

"We were as excited to have him back in the locker room as we were to have him back on the ice," Biddeford coach Jamie Gagnon said. "He's that kind of kid."

The Biddeford Tigers couldn't be happier. This season, with an older, wiser and physically more overpowering Dumoulin, Biddeford is 23-0 and back in the championship game. The tall, puck-moving defenseman is second only to teammate Nick Reny in Western Class A scoring with 57 points (Reny has 58).

His 45 assists lead all of Class A, and his ability to control a game from the blue line is invaluable to the Tigers.

"He can push the play up the ice, but he also plays a sound defensive game," Gagnon said.

All season, coaches have tried, and failed, to control him. Two teams - St. Dom's and Kennebunk - managed to keep him mostly in check. The Saints lost to Biddeford 2-1 on a goal with five seconds left in regulation, and the Rams suffered the same margin of defeat in Wednesday's Western Class A final, though in overtime.

Lewiston, which bore the brunt of Dumoulin's abilities in last year's title game, will have to keep its eye on him Saturday night.

"I'm not going to tell you my game plan, of course," Lewiston coach Norm Gagne this week as he cracked a smile, "but I hope it's going to work. Basically, we have to play a tight game."

On the other end, Gagnon this week saw what happened when a team keyed on Dumoulin.

Of course, the Tigers still won, with Dumoulin a central piece in the winning goal.

"That's an example of how poised he can be," Gagnon said. "His personality off the ice helps in that regard, because he's able to stay patient and still be selective in the chances he takes on the ice."

This time, the state final will be Dumoulin's last high school game.

And he'd like nothing more than to go out on top.

One more time

Sport: Hockey (Boys)  Posted: March 8th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

One more time

By Justin Pelletier , Assistant Sports Editor, Online
Saturday, March 8, 2008

LEWISTON - Neither Lewiston nor Biddeford can seem to shake that feeling of "been there, done that."

It's easy to understand why Biddeford would want to remember. Last year, the Tigers capped their season with their first Class A state title, and second overall.

They haven't lost since, and now sit at 23-0 in league play.

"It's great to be undefeated, but it would be even better to win a state championship," Biddeford coach Jamie Gagnon said. "That's been more of the focus this year."

The Blue Devils, meanwhile, nearly equaled Biddeford, losing just three regular-season games. They now sit at 19-3-1.

"They have a team where there isn't a lot of drop-off between the first, second or third lines," Gagnon said.

Last year's loss was Lewiston's third consecutive loss in the Class A state title game. In order to turn that result around, the coaching staff knows the team needs to change its attitude.

"I think we're going to be a little better prepared this year," Gagne said. "I hope we're going to have a little bit more composure. That three- or four-minute span in the second period last year, where we got a couple of penalties and they got two power play goals, that was the game."

By the numbers, the teams have been equal in their respective divisions. Through 23 games (including playoffs), Lewiston has four players with more than 40 points. The Tigers have four with 37 or better, and two - Brian Dumoulin and Nick Reny - with more than 50.

"I think on offense, both teams can roll two lines," Gagne said.

The X-factor all season for Biddeford has been its power play. The Tigers clocked at 36.6 percent with the extra skater. They scored five times on the power play against Scarborough in the Western Class A semifinals, and their lone goal in regulation against Kennebunk on Wednesday came on a 4-on-3.

"It comes down to, we have to stay out of the box," Gagne said. "That's what killed us last year."

On the other end of things is, of course, goaltending.

Perhaps the greatest single reason Biddeford is even playing in the title game is senior Tony Dube, who was spectacular against Kennebunk with 40 saves.

Last year, he made 18 in the third period of the championship game as Lewiston tried to come back.

"We need to try to get traffic in front and get to him early," Gagne said.

Lewiston starts freshman Cam Poussard, who, two days before the big game, was as calm as could be.

"My biggest concern, obviously, is (Brian) Dumoulin, (Nick) Reny and (Cam) Madore," Cam Poussard said. "But I feel that if I'm on top of my game, that I can shut them down."

The last time Gagne started a freshman between the pipes in a state title game? Trapper Clark at Waterville.

"I'm hoping that that's going to come back and work again," Gagne laughed.

Gagne also pointed out this week that the last team to defeat Biddeford in a league game was, in fact, Lewiston, a 5-4 game at the Colisee last season.

In that game, the Devils scored five goals. In each of their playoff wins, Lewiston has scored exactly five goals.

Not that anyone is superstitious, or anything.

Top-ranked Colby hosts NESCAC tournament

Sport: Hockey (Boys)  Posted: March 8th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Top-ranked Colby hosts NESCAC tournament
WATERVILLE -- The Colby College men's ice hockey team hosts the New England Small College Athletic Conference semifinals for the first time this weekend. Senior forward T.J. Kelley won't be around in future seasons, but he hopes this becomes a trend for the Mules.

"Playing at home for us is such an advantage. It's great for the senior class to have one last chance at it, and be at home," Kelley, who was named NESCAC Player of the Year on Thursday, said. "You get to sleep in your bed, eat the food you want, just kind of do your own routine. To be able to play in front of our fans . . . the fans are great."

The tournament begins today at Alfond Rink when the top-seeded Mules (15-8-1) take on No. 6 Trinity (13-10-2) at 1 p.m. No. 2 Middlebury (17-6-2) plays No. 4 Amherst (14-8-3) at 4 p.m. Today's winners will play for the conference title at 1 p.m. Sunday.

"I think we've had some good buzz on campus," Colby head coach Jim Tortorella said. "We have 70, 80, 100 alumni who have contacted us for tickets."

Colby lost at Trinity, 2-1, on Feb. 15. Since then, the Mules are 4-0 and have outscored opponents 16-4 in four games. Colby is 10-3-0 at home this season, and all three losses were by one goal.

In preparing for today's game, the Mules focused more on what they do well rather than Trinity's strengths.

"We're spending a lot of time, and purposely spending a lot of time, worrying about what we do well. And trying to play that way, rather then to spend a lot of time saying 'Trinity does this. Trinity does that, and we've got to do this.' " Tortorella said. "That's no disrespect to any team we're going to play, I just think we have to spend more time worrying about how we can control things, not worrying about how our opponent can."

Kelley leads the conference with 19 goals and 24 assists for 43 points. Despite missing five games with an injury, Colby's Josh Reber is second in the league in scoring with 10 goals and 24 assists. In his return to the lineup in a 4-1 quarterfinal win over Wesleyan, Reber, who missed the regular season game at Trinity, had a goal and an assist.

Defensively, the Mules are led by Arthur Fritch (9-17-26) and Joe Rothwell (4-12-16). Freshman goalie Cody McKinney has allowed just 15 goals in the last 11 games, and ranks second in the league with a 2.22 goals against average and fourth in save percentage (.923).

Trinity has the top penalty kill in the conference, stalling opponent's power plays 87 percent of the time. Matthew Crum leads the Bantams with nine goals and seven assists.

Wes Vesprini made 24 saves in Trinity's 2-1 win over Colby. A freshman, Vesprini (2.25 gaa, .929 save percentage) was a second team all-conference selection, and has split time in the Bantams' net with sophomore David Murison (2.92, .892).

Despite the loss to Trinity earlier this season, the Mules are confident.

"If we play our game, I don't think we have to worry about them, I think," Kelley said.

n n n

The Colby women's ice hockey team is in Middlebury, Vt., this weekend for the conference semifinals. The No. 4 Mules (14-8-3) will face top-seed Middlebury (19-2-3) at 1 this afternoon. Defending champion Amherst (18-3-4) will face Trinity (18-4-3) at 4.

Colby has won six of its last seven games. Junior forward Becky Julien was named to the NESCAC second team this week, and leads the Mules with 18 goals and 14 assists for 32 points. Laura Anning has 17 goals and 12 assists for Colby.

Lacey Brown has seen most of time in net for Colby, and boasts a 1.95 goals against average and a .937 save percentage.

Annmarie Cellino leads Middlebury with 12 goals and 29 assists. Anna McNally has 19 goals for the Panthers.

Travis Lazarczyk -- 861-9242



Sport: Hockey (Boys)  Posted: March 8th, 2008 by Tom Nolette


Staff Writer

The Winslow and York hockey teams are a lot a like -- both are strong in net, play good defense and like to hit -- so it was no surprise when they played a scoreless game in first meeting this season, Jan. 5 at Sukee Arena.

The two teams meet again today, only the stage is a bit bigger: The Class B state title game. The game, which starts at 1 p.m., will be played in the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.

Not much separated the teams this season; in fact, not much separated them over the last three. Winslow blanked York 1-0 in the 2005-06 season. The Wildcats returned the favor last season, winning by the same razor blade-thin margin.

Three years, three games, two combined goals.

Next goal wins?

"This is the one I wanted," Winslow coach Corey Lessard said. "This is the one the team wanted. We kind of feel we have some unsettled business."

"The last game was a great game for both sides, so we're all ready for a real intense game," added York senior captain defenseman Dan Powers. "They had a lot of depth and are really strong through three lines. They were really, really deep, but we kept up with them. They stayed moving with us the whole game, back and forth. We're expecting a fast-paced game."

Although the similarities are palpable, experience in big games separates the state title hopefuls.

Winslow is a 10-time state champion, winning its first in 1978 and last in 2000. York has never played for a state title.

Still, the Wildcats, like the Black Raiders, feel good about their chances because they are rich with seniors. York skates 10 seniors while Winslow has eight on its roster. York coach Michael Vessey flatly rejected the notion that experience in state title games would factor into today's game.

"I've got 10 seniors and a lot of these guys have been to the Western B championship," he said. "They have a lot of tournament experience and are used to tournament play. They'll be fine."

Senior center Andy Ohlson, who averaged nearly a point a game, is one of York's more dangerous forwards. Furthermore, the defensive-oriented Wildcats received steady play from senior goalie Andrew Loane and Powers. Loane finished with a 2.20 goals against average this season. Ohlson centers the Wildcats' top line that also features left wing Devin Zucker and right wing Paddy Murphy.

"Our defense is solid," said Vessey, who skates three lines. "We're tough to defend against. We don't have a lot of scoring. There's not a lot of difference between the top line and bottom line. But we can shorten the bench if we have to."

The Raiders expect a tight, good-hitting game.

"They are a real physical team and are really defensive," said Winslow senior defenseman Derek Lizzotte, who watched York upend Greely in the Western B final Wednesday in Lewiston. "It should be low scoring."

"They like to hit," added Winslow senior forward Sean Bourgeois. "The last time we played it was extremely physical. It was a game of hitting and who could stay out of the penalty box."

Winslow enters the showdown coming off an exhilarating 5-4 overtime victory over Gardiner in the Eastern B championship game Tuesday night in Orono. The Raiders trailed 4-3 with under a minute to play before Grant scored to force overtime. Jesse Cullivan won it 26 seconds into overtime.

Winslow senior captain forward Chad Guptill said the team didn't change much in practice this week.

"We worked on the regular breakouts and power plays, just going over the basics to make sure we're ready," he said.

In other action at the Colisee, Biddeford (23-0-0) and Lewiston (19-3-1) will play for the Class A title at 6 tonight.

Bill Stewart -- 623-3811, ext. 515


Moose in must-win situation

Sport: Hockey (Boys)  Posted: March 8th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Moose in must-win situation
HALLOWELL — Maine Moose Super Elite coach Glenn Carey was optimistic — even surprisingly so — but the Moose are in a position where they need to realize Carey’s optimism to extend their season.

The Moose dropped a 6-3 decision to the Exeter Freeze on Friday night in the first game of the best-of-three International Junior Hockey League semifinals at the Kennebec Ice Arena. Maine was within striking distance in the third period, but ran out of gas after taking seven minor penalties in the second period.

“You’ve got your best players out there trying to kill your penalties,” Carey said. “My third line doesn’t get a lot of ice time when we get penalties, and that’s where we got tired.”

That fatigue became a real problem early in the third period with the Moose trailing 3-2 but enjoying a 5-on-3 advantage for 55 seconds. Carey took a timeout to give his power-play unit a quick rest, but the Moose got off only one shot on the two-man advantage, and Exeter’s Jeremy Tufts created a penalty which led to a goal by Brady Martin and a 4-2 Exeter lead.

Exeter pushed that lead to 5-2 on a crazy-bouncing shot by Dave McCormick before Ingmar Sterling scored for the Moose with 4:21 left. That was the last goal until Tufts put in an empty-netter with 18.6 seconds to go.

Carey said fatigue wouldn’t be a concern for his team today if his players got to bed early on Friday and stayed out of the box during the game. But the Moose will still need to do something about limiting Exeter’s scoring opportunities, as Exeter had a 44-31 advantage in shots on goal. Moose goalie Ray Quattrucci made several stops on one-on-one breakaways to keep the score down.

“We’re going to win tomorrow, and we’re going to force this to Sunday, and we’re going to win Sunday,” Carey said after the game. “We’re getting our guys back from suspension tomorrow, and I’m very confident that we’re going to come back and it’s going to be a different result tomorrow.”

The teams were tied 1-1 after the first period as Brandon Burbank scored for Exeter and Shane Degrace found the net for the Moose.

Maine made it 2-1 when Winthrop native Nate Frechette sent in a pretty top-shelf goal with 5:50 left in the second period.

But the Freeze tied the score 65 seconds later on a goal by Juho Kauppinen, and went ahead for good when Tufts set up Martin for a power-play goal with 14.1 seconds to go in the period.

n n n

The Maine Moose Elites also dropped the first game of their best-of-three semifinal, 4-0 to the Montreal Blacknights. Shamus Foster scored two goals for Montreal and the Moose fell into a 3-0 hole in the first period.

“They’ve played together all season long; our guys are just getting back,” Moose coach Chad Foye said. “It took us probably a period to get back into the flow and the quickness of the game.”

The shot differential was almost the same as the Super Elite game — in this case 45-30 in favor of Montreal.

“They’re goalie came up really big,” Foye said. “We’ve got to get more rebounds. We didn’t get any goals, and it was because we didn’t take advantage of rebounds that were there for us.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243


(Manchester Essex)Hornets are going to the Garden on Tuesday

Sport:   Posted: March 7th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Hornets are going to the Garden on Tuesday
By Richard Slate
Staff writer

SALEM — What are you doing at 2:30 p.m. this Tuesday?

If you're the Manchester Essex girls basketball team, you're going to the TD Banknorth Garden to play in the Division 4 state championship game.

The No. 9 Hornets (16-8) advanced thanks to a heart-stopping 59-56 overtime win over No. 3 Mt. Alvernia (20-5) in front of a standing-room only crowd at Salem State's O'Keefe Center. They'll now meet the South winner — Millis/Cohasset — for the state title. Manchester Essex has won seven in a row and 10 of its last 11 games.

"I don't know what to say, I'm just so proud of them," said Manchester Essex head coach Lauren Dubois afterwards. "They deserve it. They believed in themselves the whole game and that's what matters. It's amazing to see how far they've come. They play so well as a team."

Manchester Essex was once again led by its potent inside-outside combination of freshman guard Lizzy Ball (20 points, 14 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals) and senior center Dani Ciccone (22 points, 19 rebounds). Said Dubois about her dynamic duo, "those two stepped it up, they made their free throws at the end. There was a lot of pressure and they put them in. They also made the right decisions when it mattered."

The unsung hero of the game and for this whole magical tourney run (four wins) was junior forward Elsa Keefe, who posted 13 points and 11 rebounds. Keefe scored nine of the Hornets 16 points in the fourth quarter, each point more vital than the last.

"I felt like they lost track of me and I kept making my shots in the fourth," Keefe said.

The Mustangs were paced by superb senior guard Michelle DeRoma, who was simply unstoppable with a game-high 27 points and 25 rebounds. After only scoring eight points through the first three quarters, she had 12 in the fourth and all seven of Mt. Alvernia's points in the extra session. Mt. Alvernia senior point guard Olivia Joyce (13 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals) was the other star but she fouled out with 1:01 left in overtime, sealing her team's fate.

Facing a Mt. Alvernia squad that featured six seniors (including four starters), the Hornets (three seniors, one who starts) came out tentative as the Mustangs 2-3 zone gave them fits offensively. Mt. Alvernia led 14-8 after the first quarter.

The Hornets played great defense in the first half but couldn't finish on the other end. They shot 6 of 32 from the field for the half, as the Mustangs took a 22-17 lead into halftime. DeRoma's shot was off in the beginning but she was a force in the first half on the boards as she had seven points and 11 rebounds. Ball led the Hornets with eight and Ciccone was the next highest-scorer with three.

Dubois must have stressed taking it to the basket during the break as the Hornets totally switched their game-plan in the second half. When asked what her coach told the team at the half, Ball replied: "to play our game, we weren't doing that in the first half."

On the floor that translated to rather than sitting back and settling for tough jumpers, Manchester Essex started to go to the hoop with authority. As a result, they outscored Mt. Alvernia 16-11 in the quarter and entered the fourth tied at 33. Even after picking up her third foul, Ciccone continued her tournament trend of heating up in the third quarter as she scored nine.

The fourth had myriad momentum swings and important plays. DeRoma couldn't miss in the fourth as she hit three 3-pointers, including one that put the Mustangs up 47-41. Keefe went on a 5-0 burst herself, including a rebound and put-back of a free-throw miss. Mt. Alvernia took a 49-48 lead with under a minute left but couldn't hold on as the Hornets forced a 24-second violation.

However, Manchester Essex didn't take advantage as they lost the ball and Mt. Alvernia gained possession. In one of the key plays of the game, the Hornets tied up DeRoma after the next inbounds pass to regain it. From there, they worked it inside to Ciccone, who was fouled with 6.4 seconds left. After missing the first, she nailed the second to tie it at 49. The Mustangs couldn't get a shot off before the final buzzer.

The overtime session fittingly belonged to Ball (5 points) and Ciccone (5 points), who teamed up to score all 10 in the frame. Ball had an extremely tough night at the free-throw line (6 of 20) but she made three of her last five down the stretch in the fourth and overtime. Mt. Alvernia saw two players foul out in overtime: senior center Mary O'Donnell and Joyce.

Manchester Essex jumped ahead right away, grabbing a commanding 56-51 lead with 1:46 left. A DeRoma 3-pointer cut it to two (58-56) but Ball made 1 of 2 from the line to ice it.

Amidst a sea of celebrating fans and parents, Ciccone was almost speechless. "It feels so amazing, I can't even believe it. It showed everyone that this team has worked so hard over the last few months."

Keefe saluted Ciccone, who has had an unbelievable postseason with four straight double-doubles. "I love her, I'm so happy for her being a senior and we're going to the Garden."

Dubois noted, "Dani wants this more than anybody wants this. DeRoma is a fantastic basketball player. (Junior forward) Jen Bishop (9 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals) was guarding her and she did a fine job but DeRoma still found ways to get open.

The whole game was back and forth, that was a great team. We battled back and showed tremendous heart. The girls really believe in themselves."

Richard Slate is a sportswriter for the Glocuester Times, he can be reached at rslate@gloucestertimes.com

Girls Basketball

Division 4 North Final

Manchester Essex 59, Mt. Alvernia 56 (OT)

at Salem State

Mt. Alvernia: Keeley 2-0-4, Warren 1-0-2, DeRoma 7-9-27, Maher 2-2-6, Joyce 4-5-13, O'Donnell 2-0-4. Totals 18-16-56

Manchester Essex: Ball 7-6-20, Dumont 0-2-2, Keefe 6-1-13, J. Biggar 1-0-2, Ciccone 8-6-22. Totals 22-15-59

Halftime: Mt. Alvernia 22-17

3-pointers: MA, DeRoma 4

Records: MA 20-5; ME 16-8

Knights in Div. 1 South final

Sport:   Posted: March 7th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Knights in Div. 1 South final
March 07, 2008

Sandwich’s Ellery Gould, left, tries to console an inconsolable Morgan Kendrew of Barnstable after the Blue Knights defeated the Red Raiders 61-51 in an MIAA Div. 1 South girls basketball tournament game at Mashpee High School. Both girls hold their respective school's career scoring marks for eihter boys or girls, with Kendrew setting the Barnstable record Thursday.Cape Cod Times

MASHPEE — In a rare gem of a matchup that featured the all-time leading scorers from their respective schools, Sandwich's Ellery Gould proved the belle of the ball in spoiling the party for Morgan Kendrew and her Barnstable teammates last night.

Gould came through with a stellar game at both ends of the court, leading the 10th-seeded Blue Knights to a 61-51 upset of the third-seeded Red Raiders in the Division 1 South Sectionals girls basketball semifinals before a packed house at the Mashpee High gym.

Sandwich (15-6) moves on to face New Bedford in the South final tomorrow at 6 p.m. at UMass-Boston. Barnstable completes its outstanding season at 18-5.

Gould, who set the Sandwich scoring mark for boys and girls earlier this season, came through with 26 points while turning in a solid defensive effort against Kendrew.

For her part, Kendrew — needing 16 points to set her own school's boys-girls record — accomplished the feat late in the contest and wound up with 25 points. And each super senior showed her poise at the foul line, with Kendrew going 9-for-10 and Gould 10-for-12.

"Gould was tremendous and they couldn't miss a shot," said Barnstable coach Nancy Freeman. "They were the better team."

Except for a brief 19-16 lead in the second quarter, Barnstable trailed throughout. But the Red Raiders shaved a 15-point deficit down to six, 55-49, with a minute and a half to go. Sandwich quickly regained its poise, forced Barnstable to foul, and drained six straight free throws to put it out of reach.

The Blue Knights were a sizzling 24-for-28 at the foul line. Barnstable was a very respectable 21-for-30.

Sandwich's strategy was obvious: Put aggressive man-to-man pressure on Barnstable's offensive standouts, Kendrew and Jill Lyon, and hope to contain them. They did — just barely. Lyon, despite missing a couple of minutes with a bloody cut over her right eye, wound up with 22 points as she and Kendrew accounted for all but four of Barnstable's points.

"Man-to-man has been our bread and butter all year," said Sandwich coach Marty Cosgrove, whose team split with Barnstable in the regular season. "We decided not to press; they're too dangerous a team for that."

Sandwich's Amy Jordan also had a big night at the charity stripe, going 11-for-12 in compiling 17 points.

The Blue Knights blew out to an 11-2 lead and were up 15-11 after one quarter.

Barnstable took that brief 19-16 lead before the Blue Knights ran off 11 in a row and went to the intermission with a 28-22 edge.

Sandwich increased the margin to 44-32 after three stops, holding Kendrew to one point in the third quarter.

Lyon and Kendrew tried to bring Barnstable back but the deficit was too great. "We needed another two minutes," said Freeman.

"We came in with a lot of confidence," said Gould, who now has 1,524 points, with at least one more game to go. "We knew if everyone played well that we could do it."

Kendrew, who topped Tania McIntyre's record on a lay-up with three minutes to go, received a standing ovation when her achievement was announced to the crowd in the closing seconds.

"My real goal since I was very young was to reach 1,000," said Kendrew. And once the all-time mark was within reach? "I just went for it," she said with a smile — after a teary-eyed finish to a spectacular career.

Reading 5, CM 2: Rockets have a blast against CM

Sport:   Posted: March 7th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Reading 5, CM 2: Rockets have a blast against CM

By James Schneider
Globe Correspondent / March 7, 2008

LOWELL - It's safe to say Reading was underrated by the Super 8 selection committee.    

The fifth-seeded Rockets, who posted the best record in Eastern Mass. during the regular season, cruised to a 5-2 victory over top-seeded Catholic Memorial last night at Tsongas Arena, dominating throughout to hand the Knights their first loss of the season against a Massachusetts team.

"I said this at the committee meeting," said Catholic Memorial coach Bill Hanson. "I thought Reading should have been the No. 1 seed."

Reading senior Pat Kiley gave the top-ranked Knights fits, scoring once and adding three assists. The Rockets went 0-3 in last year's Super 8, losing by a combined score of 15-5. They now stand 2-0.

"I think that's what got us going for the Super 8, after going 0-3 last year," Kiley said. "We knew we had a lot to prove, and we weren't going to get there by just showing up."

Pat Greene put the Knights ahead 1:23 into the game on CM's first shot. The senior forward took a loose puck along the right boards, brought it toward the middle of the ice, then flicked a backhander over Jeff Wyer's left shoulder.

But the Rockets (22-1) were quick to respond. Fifty-five seconds later, Garrett Collins found Kiley alone on the right side of CM's blue line with a long, cross-ice pass. The senior forward skated uncontested before firing a shot between goalkeeper Tom Conlin's pads to even the score.

After the teams traded scoring opportunities, Reading took the lead when Quinlan Junta fired a weak shot from the right of the net that found its way between Conlin's pads. The junior goalie looked toward the ceiling in disbelief after the Rockets took a 2-1 lead.

Reading increased its lead to 3-1 early in the second period. Collins ripped a one-timer from just inside the blue line on the Rockets' first power play, and the puck whizzed by Conlin's left shoulder and into the top corner of the net.

"He can shoot it," said Reading coach Peter Doherty. "If he gets a shot off, it's got a chance of going in."

The Knights (15-2-3) cut into the deficit a little more than a minute later when Mike Collins beat Wyer. But it was the last puck to get by the junior, who finished with 34 saves.

With just under 20 seconds left in the period, Kiley got free for a breakaway. Conlin poked away the first attempt, but Rob Toczylowski was there to stuff the puck home, giving the Rockets a 4-2 advantage going into the final period.

The Rockets withstood a barrage of shots in the third until, with just 2:22 left, Mike Lozzi knocked in a rebound of a Kiley shot. The partisan Reading crowd roared as the puck hit the back of the net, solidifying the victory.

Reading next plays Waltham, while Catholic Memorial faces BC High. Both games are at Tsongas Sunday.

"They're just a better hockey team than us right now," Hanson said.

Perhaps now the committee agrees.

Boxers advance to final; Wellesley upsets Bishop Feehan

Sport:   Posted: March 7th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Boxers advance to final
Wellesley upsets Bishop Feehan

By Brendan Hall
Globe Correspondent / March 7, 2008

Bob Boen waited more than two decades on Brockton's bench before becoming head coach this season. Replacing a legend, he hasn't skipped a beat.
more stories like this.

The Boxers (21-2) downed Framingham, 72-59, last night in Taunton to advance to their first Division 1 South final since 2003. In halting the Flyers (16-7), the Boxers got steady guard play from Kyle Gerry and Shawn Yard (11 points each) and solid post work from Louis Montes (14 points) and Jarrod DeVaughn (17 points, nine rebounds).

Boen, an assistant under Victor Ortiz for 23 years, was deferential about the team's success. He said he never imagined DeVaughn would have such success defending Framingham's star guard, Dan Guadagnoli, who was held to 9 points and didn't make a field goal until the fourth quarter.

"We knew we were going to do anything to stop him," Boen said. "DeVaughn was just to chase him wherever he went.

"We only took him out for about two minutes. We usually sub a lot more, but he was doing such a great job that he stayed in the whole game."

Brockton will take on BC High, a 59-44 winner over Newton North in Braintree last night, tomorrow at UMass-Boston at 8 p.m.

In a duel between the winners of the last three state championships, the second-ranked Eagles (20-3) relied on their two towering forwards, 6-foot-8-inch senior Jake O'Brien and 6-7 junior Ryan Sharry. Sharry led the defending champion Eagles with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while O'Brien contributed 17 points and seven rebounds.

The duo also stood tall defensively in the second half, blocking four shots apiece. The No. 3 Tigers (17-6) led, 27-25, at intermission, but a strong press from Sharry, O'Brien, and Matt Kelly held them to five field goals after the break.

Newton North's 6-7 sophomore, Greg Kelley, scored 24 points.

Hurley helps Wheaton to fifth place finish at NEWMAC Championship

Sport:   Posted: March 7th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Hurley helps Wheaton to fifth place finish at NEWMAC Championship
The Waldo Independent

Wheaton College's Matt Hurley from Belfast. PHOTO COURTESY OF WHEATON COLLEGE

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. — The Wheaton College men’s swimming and diving team came within nine points of fourth place during last weekend’s three-day NEWMAC Championship, as the Lyons finished fifth at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Wheaton either broke or tied four school records.

Wheaton College's Matt Hurley from Belfast. PHOTO COURTESY OF WHEATON COLLEGE
Freshman Eddie Gillie (Haverhill, Mass./Saint John’s Prep) twice eclipsed the program standard in the 500-yard freestyle on Friday, breaking a four-year-old record in the trials before finishing 4:52.86 in the finals. The Lyons had fifth-place relay finishes in the 200-yard free and 400-yard medley events. Freshmen Corey Best (Brentwood, Tenn./Ravenwood), Sam Dean-Lee (Rocky Hill, Conn./Xavier Hill), Zach Fichman-Klein (North Attleboro, Mass./North Attleboro) and Ben Sabol (Saint Petersburg, Fla./Shorecrest Prep) comprised the 200-yard free relay foursome, while Best and Dean-Lee joined seniors Matt Hurley (Belfast/Belfast Area) and Matt Jordan (Ellsworth/Ellsworth) on the 400-yard medley relay quartet.

Saturday, Hurley and Jordan each broke program marks, with Hurley notching a 50-yard breaststroke time of 27.57 during the 100 breast finals, which was 0.02 ticks faster than his two-year-old school record, and Jordan touching the wall in the 100-yard butterfly trials in 52.96. Hurley took fourth in the 100 breast in 1:00.13, which was 0.03 ticks off his three-year-old school mark, and he, Dean-Lee, Fichman-Klein and Jordan came in fourth in the 200-yard medley relay. Jordan took third in the 100-yard backstroke, while he, Dean-Lee, Gillie and Hurley were fifth in the 800 free relay.

On Sunday, Gillie tied a three-year-old school standard in the 200 fly in 2:00.29. Jordan posted a fifth-place result in the 200 back, while he, Dean-Lee, Gillie and Hurley were fifth in the 400 free relay

Streak's end weighs on Calais boys

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: March 7th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Streak's end weighs on Calais boys
By Ernie Clark
Friday, March 07, 2008 - Bangor Daily News

AUGUSTA, Maine — The reddened eyes and general sadness were to be expected, for nearly all of these players had never lost a game in a Calais varsity basketball uniform.

Not since the 2005 Eastern Maine Class C quarterfinals had the Blue Devils lost a countable game, a streak that produced back-to-back state championships and 63 consecutive victories.

That streak ended Wednesday night, when Winthrop avenged a state-final loss to Calais in 2006 with a 72-62 victory over the Blue Devils in this year’s championship game at the Augusta Civic Center.

"There’s some heavy hearts," said Calais coach Ed Leeman. "They’ve put a lot of time and energy into what we do, and some of the boys are really hurting.

"We’re all going to be hurting for a while, but that’s a part of any sports-related activity, that somebody’s going to win and somebody’s going to lose. We’ve been fortunate to this point to come out on the right end of most of those situations, but it happens. That’s a part of the game."

The Blue Devils never led after midway through the first quarter, and while Calais closed to within two points at 46-44 on a basket by senior forward Nathan O’Neill late in the third period and was within three early in the fourth quarter, Winthrop withstood the challenge and won by a comfortable margin.

"Coming into the year I don’t think a lot of people thought this team would be where they’re at right now," said Leeman. "I think we had a shot at Eastern Maine, and we played very well there, but I don’t know that people thought we’d be 19-0.

"There were a lot of close ballgames in there, and some of those came down to the last possession or the last two possessions and the kids did a nice job in those situations. Tonight it didn’t come down to that last possession. Winthrop outplayed us from the tap, and that’s the way it goes."

Calais will graduate six seniors, a contingent led by four-year varsity player Sam Bell, O’Neill and forward Rod Tirrell, most valuable player of this year’s Eastern C tournament.

But some key players will return next winter as Calais attempts to start a new streak. Junior forward Cal Shorey and junior guard Jordan Leeman both will be returning starters, while freshman forward Cam Shorey figures to play a more prominent role after serving as the team’s sixth man this winter. Sean Cavanaugh, a junior guard, also will be back after seeing considerable duty as the primary backcourt reserve.

"They not used to losing, but I’ve lost a lot of games in my time," said Leeman. "A lot of people made a lot of the streak, and it was a nice thing. But it’s over with now, and we’ll just go back and regroup for next year hopefully."

Ramblers tie 3-point mark

Winthrop made seven 3-point goals against Calais on Wednesday night, equaling a Class C boys basketball state final record shared by two other teams.

Washington Academy of East Machias made seven 3-pointers in a 67-66 loss to Winthrop in the 1992 state championship game, and Falmouth tied the mark in 1997 when the Yachtsmen topped Narraguagus of Harrington 83-56 to claim the first of their three consecutive state titles.

Winthrop senior guard Sam Leclerc had four 3-pointers against Calais, one shy of the Class C state final individual mark of five set by Matt Pokrywka of Penquis of Milo during the Patriots’ 58-45 championship game victory over Boothbay in 2000.

Ramblers’ junior guard Zach Farrington added three 3-pointers, including two within a span of 91 seconds midway through the first quarter that helped Winthrop erase two early deficits.

"Farrington in the first quarter hit a couple of threes to get us going," said Winthrop coach Dennis Dacus. "They got the juices flowing, they got us believing. Against a 63-0 team, you’ve got to believe a little bit."

Roy powers Lewiston past Panthers

Sport: Hockey (Boys)  Posted: March 7th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Roy powers Lewiston past Panthers
By BDN Staff
Friday, March 07, 2008 - Bangor Daily News

PORTLAND, Maine — Jon Roy scored his 24th, 25th and 26th goals of the season and added an assist and Cam Poussard made 32 saves Wednesday night as the Lewiston High School Blue Devils beat Waterville 5-2 in the Eastern Maine Class A hockey championship game at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

Top seed Lewiston, 19-3-1 and winner of five straight, plays undefeated Biddeford (23-0), a 2-1 overtime winner over Kennebunk in Wednesday’s Western Maine final, in Saturday’s 6 p.m. championship game at The Colisee in Lewiston.

Third seed Waterville finished up at 14-8-1 with three of those losses coming at the hands of the Blue Devils.

Roy broke a scoreless deadlock 6:54 into the second period and made it 2-0 1:13 later.

Zach Jochem cut the lead in half with his 12th goal 1:20 into the third period but Roy answered 3:09 later and Jordan Bourgoin extended the lead 4:25 later with his 16th goal.

Jochem pulled the Panthers within 4-2 with 2:51 remaining but Matt Letourneau added an insurance goal with 1:41 left.

Robbie Leeman had three assists for the Blue Devils with Bourgoin, Casey Poussard and Sam Cloutier adding one apiece.

Eric Aldrich, Ian Rowe, Shawn Lee and Brock LeClair had assists for Waterville and Nolan MacDonnell finished with 22 stops.

Hoops award finalists named

Sport: Basketball (Girls)  Posted: March 7th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Hoops award finalists named

By Jessica Bloch
Friday, March 07, 2008 - Bangor Daily News

Bangor High’s Jon McAllian and Aarika Ritchie of Lee Academy are among the six finalists for the Mr. and Miss Maine Basketball Awards.

The Maine Association of Basketball Coaches announced three boys and three girls as finalists Thursday. The winners will be revealed Friday, March 14, at a banquet the night before the 2008 Maine McDonald’s High School Senior All-Star Basketball Tournament.

Winthrop’s Sam Leclerc and Maranacook of Readfield’s Ryan Martin rounded out the list of boys finalists. Cony of Augusta’s Rachael Mack and Morse of Bath’s Jill Henrikson were the other two girls finalists.

The Mr. and Miss Basketball Awards, the state’s highest basketball honors, recognize the most outstanding male and female senior players for their efforts on the court as well as their contributions to their team and basketball in the state of Maine.

The list of six finalists includes three Eastern Maine tournament Most Valuable Player award winners. Five of the six finalists play for Eastern Maine schools.

McAllian, a 6-foot-5 guard who is headed to the University of Maine on a basketball scholarship, averaged 12.1 points per game and 3.7 assists per game in the regular season. He shot 40.3 percent from 3-point range and 88.9 percent from the free-throw line.

He was the MVP of the Eastern Maine Class A tournament and was a first-team Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference North Division all-star. McAllian was a junior on the Rams’ Class A state title team last year.

Leclerc, a 6-1 guard, put up huge numbers this season and Wednesday night in leading Winthrop to the Class C state championship.

He was named the Mountain Valley Conference Player of the Year for his 21.8 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 3.5 steals per game in the regular season. He poured in 28 points and added eight assists and seven rebounds in Wednesday’s 72-62 state title win over Calais. Leclerc, who was also the Western Maine tourney MVP, is undecided on where he will attend school next year.

Martin, a 5-9 guard, scored almost 1,900 points in his career while the Black Bears won two Class B state crowns. Also undecided on his plans next year, Martin averaged 25 ppg in the EM tourney and was the MVP for the second time in three years. He was the KVAC Class B Player of the Year.

Ritchie, a 5-foot-6 guard, was the Eastern Maine Class C tourney MVP this year. She helped the Pandas earn their third state championship in four years (two of which came in Class D). Ritchie was the EM Class D tourney MVP last year and was named to the Penobscot Valley Conference first team.

She averaged 15.6 points per game in the tournament and will play basketball at Colby College in Waterville next year.

Mack is also headed to Colby next year after a stellar career in which the 6-2 center was a member of two Class A state championship teams and three Eastern Maine Class A title teams. She averaged 13.3 ppg in the postseason and was an all-tourney team member as the Rams made it to the regional final.

Mack was named to the KVAC South first team.

Morse guard Henrikson, 5-9 guard who will play for Bowdoin College in Brunswick next winter, was also an all-tourney team member who averaged 25 ppg in the postseason. She was the KVAC South Player of the Year.

Ritchie and Henrikson were also named to the McDonald’s all-academic team. Ritchie was the Foul Shooting Competition Champion from the central region.

The all-star events will be held once again at Husson College in Bangor next weekend.

The awards banquet will begin at 7:15 p.m. Friday, March 14.

Saturday’s events begin at 8:30 a.m. with the state free-throw championship. The C/D girls game will start at 9:15, followed by a 3-point shooting competition at 10:30. The A/B girls game is set for 11, after which will be an awards presentation and halftime show.

The C/D boys game will begin at 12:45 p.m., followed by a slam dunk competition at 2 and then the C/D boys game at 2:30.

Ticket prices are $7 for adults and $5 for students, children and senior citizens. Tickets are good for all four games.

Net proceeds from the all-star games benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Maine.

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