Dan Legage’s boys struggled this winter, going 2-16. The team dropped their first two games (60-32 to Bonny Eagle and 79-32 to Kennebunk), before picking up their first win, against Morse (83-71). It was some time before they notched their second victory: Indeed, it wasn’t until their final matchup of the season that they emerged on top once more. That game, a four-point win over Biddeford, avenged a one-point loss to the Tigers during the midseason.
Westbrook ended the winter in 12th place in A South, a few slots back from the playoffs. The team says goodbye to seniors Abier Manyiel, Devon Ezzy and Thomas Lok. That small complement of three seniors suggests the team was young this year, and they were. Next year is likely to produce more success as the group gains experience.
Head coach Diana Manduca is in the process of rebuilding the Lady Blazes’ program, and the squad managed just four wins this winter: over Morse (42-38), over Fryeburg (47-39), over Falmouth (53-39) and over Biddeford (51-46). Westbrook came close against a handful of other teams, too, including Leavitt, to whom they lost by just one (40-39).
Four seniors say goodbye to the team: Michaela Russell, Abigail Symbol, Avery Tucker and Mikayla Van Zandt.
Greg Leclair’s boys (a co-op with Windham) were young this time around, and missed the playoffs for it. W/W tallied four wins on the winter, vs. 14 defeats. The team beat up on Lawrence/Skowhegan/MCI 10-1 after dropping their first three games, then 4-2 again later in the winter. They capped their run with a pair of heartening wins, one over Lake Region/Fryeburg/Oxford Hills 1-0 and another over Marshwood/Traip/Sanford/Noble 4-2, but that’s where their road ended.
Five seniors conclude their high school careers this year: Sean White, Jake Jeffrey, Derek Corbett, Chandler Chenard and Greg Simpson.
Boys Indoor Track
The Gentlemen Blazes took ninth at SMAAs and seventh at States. Mahamed Sharif and Cam Holloway led the charge at both events: Sharif excels in the middle distances especially – he went on to compete at New Englands and Nationals in that area – and Holloway in the hurdles. Sharif won the 800 at States, and Holloway the 55 Hurdles.
Girls Indoor Track
The Westbrook girls finished 12th at SMAAs and ninth at States.
Westbrook’s three senior captains—Sopa Mongu, Hope Higgins and Nyagoa Bayak—all recorded great seasons. Mongu, a shot-putter, ended her season (and her career) with a personal best of 29-01. Higgins closed her high-school run with a personal best in the Triple Jump of 31-06.75, as well as a sixth-place finish at States in the Shot Put with a throw of 33-01.
Bayak, as has been well-documented, won the Triple Jump and the High Jump at States, and the High Jump at New Englands; she took fifth in the Emerging Elites Triple Jump at Nationals and second in the Championship High Jump. Her six-foot leap at States is a Maine record.
Westbrook logged a fantastic season on the unified courts. The Blazes won the huge majority of their games in the regular season, and earned the No. 2 seed for the playoffs. Westbrook rested through the prelims on a bye, then defeated Oak Hill in the quarters and Lewiston (58-42) in the semis. That earned them a shot in the South Regional Final against Morse, whom they ousted 77-68. In the State Championship, alas, the Blazes succumbed 58-54 to North Reps Madison.
Peter Grant’s kids finished 12th at Regionals and 19th at States. Henri Kuntz took third at the former meet, and Zach Davis took fourth, as did Gabriella Taylor and Nicco Pappalardo. Kuntz took third at States, too, where Davis and Pappalardo also competed, but without reaching the podium.
Adam Birt can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME
Freshman Tyler Hethcoat saw good playing time for a young Blazes squad this winter.
Michaela Russell closes her career as a Lady Blaze.