NAPLES — The Lakers’ spring seasons are on the horizon now, but before those dawn, why not take a look back and review their winter accomplishments?
Sonny and Scott Davis’ squad, a relatively small contingent, nonetheless proudly bore the school’s banner to the slopes this winter. Gentlemen Lakers Jonathan Grant and Lucien Wallace competed at the Western Maine Conference Championship, held on Feb. 2 at Shawnee Peak, though neither progressed on to States. Lady Lakers Paige Davis, Molly Nichols and Liz Cole also skied at WMCs. Davis finished fourth in the Slalom and third in the Giant Slalom.
The three girls, as well as Karley Nichols, then went on to rep for Lake Region at Class A States, held on Feb. 21-22 at Mt. Abram, where Davis finished ninth in the Slalom.
John Mayo’s boys faced a rebuilding stretch after losing a dozen seniors from last year’s State Championship lineup. Still, the team put together a solid season, going 9-9 across their regular schedule to reach the playoffs ranked eighth in B South.
Initially, the Gentlemen Lakers needed a few games to find their footing: They began the winter on a three-game slide. In fairness, their first three opponents –Wells, Yarmouth and Lincoln – would’ve made a tall order for any team. They finally picked up their first win with a 52-44 defeat of Traip. The team also picked up Ws over Freeport, Waynflete, Sacopee Valley and more.
Come tournament time, however, the Lakers’ luck deserted them. A back-and-forth prelims battle vs. visiting Gray-New Gloucester ultimately went the Patriots’ way, 57-54, sending Lake Region to the sidelines till next winter.
The team was relatively inexperienced this season; 2016’s huge crop of graduates logged most of the Lakers’ court time in recent years. They do say goodbye to five more seniors this go-round, however: Tyler Walker, Elijah Grizzard Brown, Doug Mayo, Luke Porter and Luke Neal.
Paul True’s girls are a persistent threat, and they turned in another deep playoffs run this winter.
The Lady Lakers kicked off their schedule with a narrow win over Wells, followed by a narrow loss to Yarmouth. They would lose again to Yarmouth much later in the season, but among the traits that make True’s teams so dangerous is their adaptability: They may lose to you once, but if they do, they will no doubt correct their mistakes and dissect your strategies so as to eventually cut you down.
Freeport, for instance, bested the Lady Lakers midway through the regular season, 58-45; when the squads met again a month later, however, Lake Region claimed a clean victory, 64-49.
Similarly, when – after closing their regular schedule at 12-6 to enter the bracketing ranked fifth in B South – the Lakers drew No. 4 Yarmouth in the quarterfinals, they countered the Clippers adroitly, upending them 45-30 and moving on.
Alas, they then ran aground on mighty G-NG, the eventual State Champions. The Patriots had topped the Lakers 41-23 in the regular season, and while this second meeting proved significantly tighter, it nevertheless went G-NG’s way – 33-29 the final in a taut brawl.
Just two seniors retire this year: Kristen Huntress and Melody Millett. Both were critical to the Lakers’ successes. Thankfully, the team returns a healthy helping of younger talent next year. Expect them to, once again, be in the hunt.
Kaitlyn Hall’s cheering squad took ninth at the Class B South Championship; unfortunately, only the top six teams in the competition earned States berths. Just three seniors – Haley Bragdon-Clements (captain), Kristen Jackson and Lauren Williams – say goodbye this year, though. The team will thus return a plethora of experienced athletes to the floor next winter.
Mark Snow and Dana Caron’s kids battled admirably on the track in ’16-’17. On the boys’ side of the action, Devyn Hatch, Travis Corson, Cam Meserve, Tim Moore, Jarod Maher, Cody Doucette and Thomas Noble repped for the school at States, though none were quite able to reel in points for the team. Noble posted the strongest finish, grabbing eighth in the Shot Put with a throw of 39-00.50.
The girls team did hash some points, and ultimately finished 13th – roughly in the middle of the pack. Danica Chadwick, Meghan Boos, Catherine Christiansen, Emily Colson, Leoni Kohnen, Sam DeSouza and Hannah Chadwick all made the trip to States. Christiansen finished fifth in the 400, DeSouza third in the Shot Put and Hannah Chadwick third in the Triple Jump.
Christiansen went on to compete at New Englands, held at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Boston on March 4. Christiansen finished 23rd in the 600, in a time of 1:47.41. Nikki Merrill of Portsmouth, R.I. won the event in 1:35.102.
Adam Birt can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME
Laker Tyler Walker played his last high school game in this postseason matchup with G-NG.
Chandler True was a critical piece of the Lakers’ puzzle this season.