Friday, December 20, 2019

JSMS basketball shows strong effort against Durham

By Matt Pascarella

The Jordan-Small Middle School (JSMS) girls and boys basketball teams hit the court against Durham at Durham Community School on Monday, December 16th.

Login Desrochers
JSMS had high intensity right from the start. They got rebounds and took multiple shots on basket. JSMS blocked shots. The girls passed well and went after the ball. The game started close, but soon JSMS pulled away. It was layup after layup in the first half as JSMS had a significant lead at the buzzer.

Half: 17-8, JSMS

The girls continued their aggressiveness at the start of the second half. They maintained their lead as they took many shots on basket and continued to go hard after the ball. High scorers: Macie Ennis, #13 and Alexis Redmond, #31.

Final: 36-18

“I told them we work very hard in practice on plays and passes, and I don’t want to sell ourselves short...and if we did the stuff in practice here today, we would win this game,” stated Coach Anthony Hovey. “They were passing and the shooting was good.”

JSMS came out strong and scored almost immediately. They passed and went hard after the ball. For much of the first half, the game was very close. The boys took shots on basket and got a few turnovers. Login Desrochers, #11, sunk a sweet three pointer before the first half buzzer.

Half: 15-12, Durham

JSMS started the second half with hustle. They worked hard and came back from being down to being six points from the lead. Desrochers sunk another three pointer in the fourth quarter. With 1:16 left in the game, it was 32-25, Durham. JSMS got a couple turnovers and really worked to turn the game around, but unfortunately, Durham took this one: 32-28. High scorers: Desrochers and Noah Mains, #34.

“In practice we look great, but when we come out to games, we don’t execute the same way and in that first half it showed. The second half was much better. These boys know how to play, they are just having trouble executing,” said coach Jim Beers.

Girls seventh grade travel team gives it all against Gorham

Lexi Redmon

By Matt Pascarella

The seventh-grade girls basketball played Gorham at XL Sports World in Saco on Sunday, December 15th.

Gorham jumped to an early lead, but Windham was right behind, as they got rebounds and made good passes. The Lady Eagles took shot after shot at the basket and played hard, as they went after the ball and got a few turnovers. Chloe Edwards #26 sunk a three pointer at the buzzer.

Half: 24-11 Gorham

Windham continued to put in a great effort in the second half. They got rebounds and took multiple shots on the basket. They worked to get turnovers and did well as they guarded their opponents and went hard after the ball. Lexi Redmon #23 sunk a foul shot and Edwards sunk another three pointer.

Final: 53-19, Gorham

“What went really well was them not giving up,” remarked coach Ryan Edwards. “They played really hard. They take away just trying to learn and get to that next level. I see them really, really trying.”

Windham swim team shows their strength in home opener

By Matt Pascarella

The Windham swim team took on Kennebunk in the first home meet of the season on Saturday, December 14th at Saint Joseph’s College in Standish.

As the swimmers warmed up, I could see they all had high intensity and were ready to compete.
Evan Desmond
At the start of the meet, the Eagles were fast in the lanes, jumping out to early leads (which they held on to) in many of the races. Windham pressured in every race.

In the girls 200-yard freestyle, Windham junior Rosie Haibon finished first with a time of 2:30.32.
In the boys 200-yard freestyle, junior Sebastian Anghel finished second with a time of 2:08.09; and junior Griffin Black finished third with a time of 2:12.68.

Senior Katharyn Lucas finished first in the girls 200-yard IM (individual medley) with a time of 2:41.47. She also took first in the girls 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:21.82.

In the boys 200-yard IM, senior Evan Desmond finished first with a time of 2:22.13.

Every time the Eagles hit the water, they swam with force, and showed strength and agility. They had excellent control and paced themselves in the longer races. Every swimmer was in the zone and concentrated on doing their best.

In the girls 50-yard freestyle, freshman Hannah Heanssler grabbed the top spot with a time of 29.11 seconds.

In the boys 50-yard freestyle, senior Jamie Louko took first with a time of 26.41 seconds.
Senior Hannah Maurais finished first in the girls 100-yard freestyle with a time of 1:05.63.
Windham nabbed the top spot in the girls 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:58.14.
In the same race, the boys also grabbed number 1 with a time of 1:42.32.

In the girls 400-yard freestyle relay, Windham finished first with a time of 4:30.88.
In the boys 400-yard freestyle relay, Windham took the top spot with a time of 3:51.79.

Final scores:
Women: Windham 88   Kennebunk 62
Men: Windham 80   Kennebunk 80

“Overall I think they did really well; individually we’re watching technique across the board,” stated Coach Pete Small. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome.”

Friday, December 13, 2019

Windham/GNG wrestling team show improvement at tournament

Jason Hart
By Matt Pascarella

The Windham/Gray New Gloucester (GNG) wrestling team travelled to York High School on Saturday, December 7th to compete in the 18th annual Sullivan Memorial Duals wrestling tournament. The tournament featured eight schools: York, Portland, Cheverus, Lincoln Academy, Wells, Windham/GNG, Noble and Gardiner. The schools were put into two pools and wrestled in rounds. The highest scoring school would wrestle in the final championship match.

Windham/GNG wrestled class B state champs, Wells, in round one. Windham/GNG was aggressive and lunged after their opponents. They got several good take towns and worked hard to pin Wells; they battled and didn’t let up for even a second. Windham/GNG persevered and kept their elbows off the mat and their heads up, which made it harder for them to be pinned. After a solid effort, Wells won the match 52-15.

Gardiner continued intensity and laid out opponents. They were aggressive and moved quickly, going for the pin. Windham/GNG did well holding their opponent down and got a couple wins from sophomores Peter Peterson and Owen McDuffie. GNG Freshman Jason Hart was quick to pin his opponent (really quick) and Hart grabbed his first high school win.
“It felt really good,” said Hart. “I was a little bit nervous, but I was feeling good.”

No lack of intensity during this match as Windham/GNG kept their heads up and worked to keep their shoulders off the mat. Windham/GNG pressured. After a day of wrestling, Windham/GNG was quick to turn the tables and went after their opponent for the pin or got the point(s). They went toe-to-toe with Noble and in the end lost by only one forfeit.

“Heading in to today I knew it would be very possible we’d be wrestling some tough teams like Wells and Noble,” observed coach John Nicholas. “Last week [in the preseason match] I thought we did well, but I wanted to see improvement from week to week, and I did; we had more pins, the kids were aggressive, I thought their conditioning was better. If we stick to the process and the kids work hard, I think we’re going to be there, right at the end.”

Jordan-Small Middle School ‘B’ team showcased skills in season opener

Noah Campbell
By Matt Pascarella

The Jordan-Small Middle School boys basketball ‘B’ team played their home opener against Poland on Friday, December 6th.

The boys started slow in the first half, but soon found their momentum. Jordan Small got rebounds, passed the ball well and had solid teamwork. They took several shots on basket, went after the ball with intensity and put multiple points on the scoreboard.

Half: 33-9, Poland

Jordan Small continued to get rebounds at the start of the second half. They gave a team effort and took more and more shots on basket, which enabled them to light up the scoreboard even more before the final buzzer. Jordan Small was aggressive and went after the ball and worked to be first to the ball.

Ashton Golebiewski, #32, had a great steal from a Poland player and then took that ball right to the hoop and scored. Noah Campbell #51 made a great shot and then sunk a foul shot. Jordan Small only got better offensively as the game progressed; they got several turnovers against Poland and increased the number of shots they took on basket and the number of points scored per quarter.

Final: 62-24, Poland

“We started slow, but we were moving the ball really well, we were setting good solid screens,” remarked coach Ryan Roderick. “Could have been a different game [if more of Jordan Small’s shots fell]. But, first game, we saw a lot of positives, plenty to work on, we’ll take it from there.”

Friday, December 6, 2019

Basketball “Turkey Training” and canned goods equal a win/win for the community

AJ Moody, Lucas Arntz, Mason Arbour, Jack Henry and Tyrie James
By Matt Pascarella

During a time of year that circles around food, it’s important to remember that some people need a little help. The sixth-grade boys basketball travel teams collected canned goods and players dropped off an overflowing laundry basket of canned goods to the Windham Food Pantry just before Thanksgiving.

Each team member brought in at least one canned good for what coach Pat Moody dubbed, ‘Turkey Training.’ The boys used the canned goods in place of cones to help them work on different basketball skills. the beginning of the season, Turkey Training “came up as a community service project and at the same time, integrated into our practices,” explained Moody. “It’s the timing of the year; there are families that struggle. It’s also a time where families think about those less was a brainstorm that I came up with.”

Administrative assistant, Colete Gagnon, and Rene Daniel, general assistance and welfare administrator for the town of Windham, both work at the Food Pantry.

“They were awesome; wicked nice kids and the coaches,” said Daniel. He estimated the teams brought in at least 60 pounds of food. The donations the teams collected will be used for the Christmas baskets the Food Pantry gives out.

Moody added he took a page from varsity boys basketball coach Chad Pulkkinen’s playbook, as every year the varsity players do different service projects. Moody wanted to start players earlier and give them that mentality of giving back to the community.

A resource where people can get what they need for free. Moody said it was “great for boys to see that there are people less fortunate and there are things they can do to help them out; a good life lesson.”

The whole team!
Players AJ Moody, Mason Arbour and Tyrie James described what it felt like to be able to help those in need in the community.

“Helping families in need to have a better Thanksgiving - it’s just good. Everyone of us on the team, it made us feel great inside and we really loved helping the people,” commented AJ Moody.

“It made me feel happy. I like giving people things they need, if it wasn’t for the food pantry, people would go hungry,” stated Arbour. “They don’t just give out food, they give out blankets, shoes, hats and t-shirts. It’s pretty nice,” stated Arbour.

“One of the things we saw was an African family that just moved to America,” explained James. They were in need of several items and were at the Windham Food Pantry getting what they needed. “It’s great to have a resource in Windham to help families out.

Varsity hockey shaping up to have a great season

By Matt Pascarella

Windham/Westbrook hockey recently added Bonny Eagle to the co-op team after the Massabesic/Bonny Eagle/Old Orchard Beach team disbanded. On Saturday, November 30, Windham/Westbrook/Bonny Eagle, now the Trailblazers, took on Mount Ararat in a preseason game at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham.

The Trailblazers started strong, going hard after the puck and took multiple shots on goal with concrete defense, keeping the puck towards the Mount Ararat side of the ice for most of the first period. The Trailblazers had intensity throughout the period; they moved the puck nicely. They scored three times before the first buzzer.

End of first period: 3-0, Trailblazers Trailblazers continued to pressure Mt. Ararat, passing well which led to more shots on goal. The boys did not let up and pressured the entire period.

End of second period: 3-1, Trailblazers

Trailblazer’s intensity never faltered, and they gave 100 percent to close out the game. Less than five minutes into the period, Trailblazers scored. With eight minutes left, they scored again.

Final: 5-2, Trailblazers

“A lot of the kids did some really nice things,” observed Coach Greg Leclair. “We brought in ten kids from Bonny Eagle and welcomed a handful of freshmen, so you’ve essentially got 14 new kids joining 14 returning kids. I think they jelled pretty well to start. It was nice to see the kids recognize that they had a bit of an upper hand and they created chances. I think as the kids get more familiar with each other and more comfortable with themselves, we’re going to give some teams some trouble and I think we’re going to be better than expected.”

Great games played by sixth grade girls basketball travel teams

Fifth-grader, Leandra Woodman
By Matt Pascarella

The fifth and sixth grade girls basketball travel teams played games against Greely and Saco on Sunday, December 1st at Westbrook High School.

Fifth Grade v. Greely
The girls started strong and jumped to an 8-0 lead in the first half. They passed the ball well and went after and got rebound and turnover opportunities. The Lady Eagles maintained the lead and went hard after the ball, capitalizing on any missteps by Greely.

Half: 16-4, Windham

Windham grabbed rebounds at the start of the second half. They continued to go after the ball with 110% effort. Windham had excellent shooting from the foul line and continued sinking baskets and adding points to the scoreboard. They took every opportunity to get the ball and the final score reflected their efforts.
Final: 24-19, Windham

“Their overall intensity contributed to the win,” stated Coach Ben Delewski. “They played as a team, going for every rebound – that’s what we practiced...being good teammates; we’re starting to come together.”

Sixth Grade v. Saco
The game was a close one from the start. The Lady Eagles moved the ball nicely and maintained a lead for most of the first half. Windham worked to be first to the ball and got rebounds and turnovers.

Half: 16-14, Saco

Windham wasted no time going after the ball and quickly took the lead, though Saco was not far behind. The Lady Eagles pressured with high intensity. With two minutes left, Windham had a three-point lead. The game was tied at 31 with 19.8 seconds left. Windham battled hard, but Saco was able to take this one, 33-31.

“That was just a great basketball game for these girls, they worked hard,” commented Coach Ray Fox. “At the end, our shot, we had, didn’t was a good ball game.”