Spring Reviews: Windham

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Anna Cancelarich returns a ball in the Lady Eagles' end-of-season battle at TA.

WINDHAM – Spring is over; we’re into summer now. This is the perfect time, then, to recap the Eagles’ recent accomplishments. A number of Windham outfits logged outstanding seasons, including the softball and girls lacrosse teams.

Baseball
Brody Artes’s boys improved by a couple notches over their 2016 record. Last year, the Eagles went 5-11 and finished just outside the playoffs; this year, however, they went 7-9 – good enough for ninth in A South and a return trip to the postseason. 

It took Windham a couple games at the start of their schedule to work out the kinks; they dropped their season-opener, at home vs. South Portland, then fell to Noble a few days later. But the Eagles battled back to .500 from there, topping Marshwood and Biddeford. As the weeks passed, they also picked up Ws against Bonny Eagle, Massabesic, Deering, Scarborough and Sanford.

When Windham reached the first round of the bracketing, however, they found themselves on the road at the No. 8 Red Storm. This go-round ultimately belonged to Scarborough, who scabbled ahead to a 6-4 victory.

Boys Lacrosse
Pete Smalls’ contingent built a 5-7 regular-season record on wins against Portland, Bonny Eagle, Noble, Marshwood and – this one an 15-14 overtime thriller – Westbrook. 

The Eagles thus snuck into the playoffs ranked eighth in A North. But – since eighth is the bottom rung in the bracketing ladder – that meant they faced a hugely uphill fight in the first round, the quarterfinals, where they had to grapple the contender on the top rung, Brunswick. 

In short, the contest went Brunswick’s way, 15-7, sending Windham to the sidelines till 2018. The Dragons, of course, went on to win the State Championship.

Girls Lacrosse
Matt Perkins’s girls put up excellent numbers this spring, compiling a 10-2 regular-season record. The team’s only losses came against other elite programs – namely, Marshwood and Massabesic.

Ranked second in A North, the Lady Eagles charged hungrily into the first round of the tournament, the quarterfinals, where they devoured No. 7 Brunswick, 16-4. They then powered through No. 3 Lewiston in the semis, showing off their defense in a 6-1 W. 

Alas, in the Regional Final, they met Messalonskee, the one-seed, who emerged triumphant in a real nailbiter, 7-6.

Softball
Travis Demmons’s kids assembled another great spring, despite facing some adversity. En route to a 13-3 regular-season record, the Lady Eagles earned victories against a number of tough opponents, including Massabesic, Portland and Noble. Only Scarborough, Thornton and Gorham got the better of them – but of course, Scarborough got the better of literally everybody, and Thornton was, as usual, a very formidable opponent, one with a record to match Windham’s own.

Demmons & Co. entered the postseason ranked fourth in A South. They rested through the prelims on a bye, then rematched with Noble, again winning. That’s when they ran aground, however, falling to the category-five Red Storm.

Scarborough had mopped the floor with Windham only a few weeks prior, 15-0. No doubt the defeat served as a wakeup call to the Lady Eagles, who, to that point, had blown out nearly every opponent they faced.

When they engaged the Storm the second time around, then, Windham looked far readier, far more impressive, and between them the teams delivered exactly the sort of wrestling match any fan might hope for.

In the end, a Scarborough grand-slam provided the majority of the offensive output in the tussle. Undone 5-0, Windham returned to the sidelines till next year.

Boys Tennis
Gavin Glider’s outfit put together a middle-of-the-pack run, going 7-5 through the regular season to secure the seven-seed in A South. The Gentlemen Eagles opened their schedule with three consecutive wins – 4-1 over Biddeford, 3-2 over South Portland and 4-1 over Bonny Eagle – before suffering their first loss, 5-0 to Portland. They stumbled again after that, 5-0 to Gorham, before grabbing their fourth victory 3-2 over Cheverus. Their other Ws came against Massabesic, Marshwood and Westbrook.

In the tourney prelims, Glider & Co. dispatched No. 10 Biddeford 3-2; in the quarters, though, they drew second-ranked Falmouth, who quickly showed they had the Eagles’ number. Windham fell 5-0 to the Yachtsmen, ending quite a respectable season.

Girls Tennis
Jenna Willey’s girls turned in a 7-5 regular season, placing them in eighth come tourney time. They kicked off their schedule by blasting Biddeford 5-0, then slipped past South Portland 3-2 and the Maine Girls’ Academy 5-0. But they then dropped three in a row, to Portland, Gorham and Cheverus. 

Thankfully, they performed well above .500 through in the second half of the season, picking up Ws over Massabesic, Marshwood, Westbrook and Deering, while falling only to top-tier opponents TA and Scarborough.

In the bracketing prelims, Willey & Co. offed No. 9 Bonny Eagle handily, 4-1, but in the quarters ran into Thornton once more. The Lady Trojans dispatched Windham 4-1, concluding their spring.

Boys Outdoor Track & Field
Paula Pock’s boys finished middle-of-the-pack at States this year, in 12th, propelled primarily by the performances of Ben Breton (third in the 3200) and Alex Wilkins (third in the Long Jump and first in the Triple Jump).

Girls Outdoor Track & Field
Jeff Riddle’s girls took 17th at States this year. Lingdong Bol led the squad, fighting her way to third in the High Jump and fifth in the Triple Jump. The 4×400 quartet also impressed: Morgan Proulx, Amanda Turner, Hannah Langstaff and Abigail Clinch combined to secure fourth.

Adam Birt can be reached at abirt@keepmecurrent.com. Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME 

Anna Cancelarich returns a ball in the Lady Eagles’ end-of-season battle at TA.

Tyler Woolston carries for Windham vs. Massabesic, midseason.

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