Friday, February 23, 2024

WHS savors resurgence in varsity basketball this season

By Matt Pascarella

WHS Varsity Boys

Windham High School’s varsity boys’ basketball closed the regular season with a record of 16-2 and are the top-ranked team in AA North. They face off against fourth-ranked Lewiston Thursday, Feb. 22 at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland.

The WHS boys’ team is coached by Chad Pulkkinen and is assisted by George McCrillis, junior varsity coach Geoff Grigsby and first team coach Noah Estey.

The varsity team includes freshmen Colin Janvrin and Allegra Kawaya; sophomores Adrian “AJ” Moody and Tyrie James; juniors Joseph Blige, Conor Janvrin, Grant Coppi, Braycen Freese and Creighty Dickson and seniors Blake McPherson, Quinton Lindsay, Erik Bowen, Ryan Smyth, Noah Mains, Beni Ninziza, Matthew Searway, and Paolo Ventura.

“We’re feeling amazing,” said Moody. “Our strengths right now are how tight we are, not getting down so much on each other; some things we need to work on are our help side defense and once we figure that out, we’re locking in and fighting for our spot to get our names on that [championship] banner. All of us are so excited.”

Windham is progressing and guys are ready to go. Pulkkinen said he likes that his team was playing its best basketball by the end of the season. He still doesn’t think they’re there, which means there’s still room for growth. The players have done film study and self-reflection as a team on where they can improve. Their goal is always to be better the next day, at the next practice.

Pulkkinen said the team understands the playoffs are not going to be an easy road; it’s win or go home.

WHS strengths are court connection, ability to understand one another, players know what value they bring to their team, effort has always been top notch.

The team’s weaknesses are little defensive things and improving some of those small details, but being healthy allows for improvement.

The bye week as the top playoff seed gave Windham a chance to get healthy and focus on improvement in time for their first semifinal game.

“Feeling good, confident, said Lindsay. “Ball movement, unselfish [are strengths]; some weaknesses defensively help side and talking are the two major things.”

WHS Varsity Girls

The girls were ranked sixth in AA North and finished the year with a record of 7-12. They fell to third-ranked Bangor in the quarterfinals at Bangor High on Friday, Feb. 16, 35-27.

The girls’ team is coached by Brody Artes, JV coach Gretchen Anderson and Gary Fifield.

The WHS girls’ varsity team includes freshmen Denali Momot, Isabella Vassoler, and Mackenzie Delewski; sophomores Neve Ledbetter, Viktoria Richardson, Addison Caiazzo, Kendra Eubanks, Marley Jarvais, Brianna Duarte and Chloe Delewski; junior Stella Jarvais and senior Mallory Muse.

“The Windham girls' basketball team has had a good season considering a number of obstacles that have stood in our way including injuries and sickness at inopportune times,” said Artes. “What stands out regardless of these obstacles is the hard work and character that the girls have brought [to] each game and practice throughout our season. They are a great group of student-athletes both on and off the court and I am proud of the efforts of this very young team during this season.”

Entering the playoffs, Artes said Windham looked to defend at a high level like they had all year, using its athleticism to neutralize teams. They played really good basketball for the last four weeks of the season and their defense was the driving force behind their late-season surge. Offensively, Artes said they needed a few players to step up and contribute and to make shots.

“We came into the game with nothing to lose. We worked our hardest out there,” said Duarte. “We could have [taken] a few more shots, we worked hard on driving to the hoop more than we usually do.”

Muse thought this was the best defensive game all year. Their momentum on defense led to their success on offense. Communication was great and everyone kept composure and Windham stayed with Bangor all game.

“I think we could have been more aggressive, offensively,” said Marley Jarvais. “Bangor is a very good team and has always been a good competitor so either way it would’ve been a good game in the end.”

She said it was the WHS players’ relationships with each other were positive and that in past years it’s been more separated. The coaches made a big difference too. Jarvais said the team may have not had a record they wanted but they gave each other positive encouragement and motivation to go and work the next practice to get better. <

Swimming team excels in Class A State Swimming and Diving Championships

By Matt Pascarella

The Windham High School’s boys’ and girls’ swim team competed in back-to-back Class A State Swimming and Diving Championships at Bowdoin College in Brunswick against schools from all over the state with the boys’ meet held on Monday, Feb. 19 and the girls’ meet on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

Windham junior Lukas Hammond competes
during the Class A Swimming and Diving
State Championships on Monday, Feb. 19
at Bowdoin College in Brunswick.
“The kids swam really well,” said Windham swim coach Peter Small. “Even in some cases where we didn’t see fast times, we saw a lot of personal best times across the board and that’s what you want. The big takeaway for me is even in those races where we didn’t, we saw technical improvement. The beauty of a sport like swimming is we can actually quantify improvement from day one to the end. We were turning over really quickly ... we were riding high in the water; we were grabbing the water better than we ever have; all those things we kind of put an emphasis on we saw come today. I love the way this group bonds, they’re a group that works hard together ... they’ve jelled all year and I love that.”


Windham finished in 13th place.

Junior Lukas Hammond finished 26th in the 50-yard freestyle with a 26.58 second time.

“To qualify for states was exciting,” said Hammond. “It meant one more race for us to swim. We swam great, the focus was to just go have fun and show everyone what we’d been practicing for weeks. During the 200-free relay we placed two places higher than expected from our preliminary rankings which was amazing.”

The team of senior Joey Somma, junior David Daignault, sophomore Wyatt Washburn and Hammond placed 13th in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:53.48.

In the 400 freestyle relay Somma, freshman Sawyer Stone, Washburn and Hammond finished 11th with a time of 4:34.86 minutes.


Windham finished 16th with a score of 44.

Junior Sarah Inman came in fifth in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:51.83. She also finished ninth in the 200 freestyle with a 2:12.86 time.

“This is my third year [qualifying for states],” said Inman. “To me it doesn’t matter about qualifying, it just matters how much hard work I put in.”

Inman is satisfied overall with how she did.

“I did what coach Small and Simonson wanted,” said Inman. “They wanted me to start off fast and get faster – see the competition, beat the competition and that’s what I did.”

Junior Morgan Farley finished 13th in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:12.30 and 14th in the 50 freestyle with a time of 28.31.

In the 100 freestyle, senior Grace Theriault finished 18th with a 1:04.30 time.

Sophomore Martina Jefferson finished 18th in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:14.47.

The relay team of senior Riley Small, Jefferson, senior Mackenzie Gaudette and junior Diletta Galloni finished 18th in the 200 relay with a 2:17.04 time.

“I think it went really well,” said Riley Small. “We came together as a team for our last meet, and we all have worked so hard, we all deserved to be here. Our sportsmanship was good, we had a number of new best times and I think everyone’s mindset has improved throughout the season. We all had confidence in ourselves, and it showed in the pool.” <

Friday, February 16, 2024

Windham Unified basketball earns win over South Portland through teamwork

By Matt Pascarella

In just their second home game of the season Windham’s Unified basketball team of Colby Schmid, Jack Shirley, Dani Iaconeta, Jacob Smith, Zachary O’Brion, Davic Ntibandetse and Mary Jean stayed ahead of the Red Riots late in the game on Friday, Feb. 9 to pull out a 58-51 victory, which they achieved through passing and a combined effort with every member of the team scoring at least once.

Windham sophomore Zachary O'Brion gets some air as he
drives for a layup during a Unified basketball game against
South Portland at home on Friday, Feb. 9.
“We were very aggressive,” said Windham unified basketball head coach Anne Blake. “They kept their energy up and they really worked hard on getting those rebounds – that’s what we’ve been trying to teach them in practice, and they finally put it together. The other thing we’ve been working hard on in practice is stopping, aiming, then shooting. They put it all together today. Passing the ball [still needs work] especially on breakaways.”

Windham grabbed rebounds right from the start of the game. Schmid and O’Brion then both hit three-pointers. The game was quickly tied, but Windham’s passing allowed them to get out in front of South Portland.

Soon, Windham began to build a decent lead over the Red Riots. The crowd went wild, and the gym roared with excitement every time one of the Unified players scored.

The Eagles’ defense was spot on with a block that prevented a scoring opportunity for a South Portland opponent.

Despite Windham’s big lead, South Portland held firm and was not far behind. Windham led 36-28 at the half. Halftime featured a dance break, which many got into.

“It went really good,” said Windham senior Dani Iaconeta. “We hustled out there and tried to get the ball. I can’t believe we won [the] ... game – that was my birthday wish. We tried to get open and my teammates did really good; we did awesome. We need to try to get more rebounds.”

The game had tightened up in the second half and eventually a mere four points separated the two teams.

The game was tied, 48-48, but Windham players snagged some rebounds and pulled away just enough, while its defense held off South Portland. Shirley tossed in a sweet buzzer beater to increase the lead in the final seconds.

“I thought it was fun and my best friend [Shirley] was in the game with me,” said Windham senior Jacob Smith. “What went well was that we played better as a team this game than we have in the other games; we passed a lot more. Listening to what our coaches tell us [needs work].” <

Windham’s indoor track and field teams perform well in regional competition

By Matt Pascarella

Windham’s indoor track and field boys’ and girls’ teams turned in stellar showings while competing at the regional competition against schools from all over Southern Maine on Saturday, Feb. 10 at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham. Windham’s girls finished second with a score of 121 while the Windham boys’ team finished eighth with a score of 69.

Windham sophomore Nick Verrill clears 5-10.00 feet in the
high jump during the indoor track and field regional
competition at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham
on Saturday, Feb. 10. PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA

“The opportunity at the ... Indoor track and field Championships validated the detailed work that the Lady Eagles team had put in all season,” said Windham girls’ coach Jeff Riddle. “What the team needed to do to contend for a top team finish was for each relay team to surprise the field and make the podium, no matter if they were entered into slower heats or the fast ones; and each relay team did just that and more. These relay results were well beyond what we forecasted so are the perfect example of how the ladies have fully elevated their mindset and our program. All five relay teams were able to [make the] podium. Beyond that, each player's individual contributions in their events led us to our second-place overall result, a first time for our program.”

Sophomore and state qualifier Nealie Morey came in second in the 55-meter hurdles with a finals time of 9.50 seconds. Originally, Morey hadn’t qualified for this event, but was able to get in.

“When you have a certain amount of people that can go in the event and they don’t fill it, they [take] people who were close,” said Morey. “I just went in there and was trying to go as fast as I could. It feels good to support my team in ways that I didn’t think I was going to and contribute those points.”

Morey finished first in the triple jump with a 32-02.25 foot distance.

Also in the triple jump was sophomore Myla Vercoe, another state qualifier, finished fifth with a distance of 31-02.25.

In the 55-meter dash senior and state qualifier, Khalysa Hammith finished second in the finals with a time of 7.55. She also finished second in the long jump with a 15-07.00 distance.

Junior Ava Gerrity finished first in the long jump with a distance of 16-02.75 and was second in the triple jump with a 34-02.75 distance.

Senior Beth Bearce finished fourth in the 600 with a 1:36.08 time.

Both Bearce and Gerrity are state qualifiers.

Sophomore Addison Shanholtz got a personal record in the pole vault with a height of 7-00.00 feet.

“I was thinking I want to try and do my best, but no matter what I did,” said Shanholtz. “I was working my hardest to have fun and enjoy it while I can. I’ve worked really hard ... jumping [with] a different pole was helpful.”

According to Shanholtz, everyone has worked hard to benefit the team.


In the 55-dash, sophomore and state qualifier Karl Longstreth finished second with a time of 6.75, a new school record. He also finished second in the 200 with a 23.92 time.

In the 55-hurdles, sophomore Mason Arbour finished fourth with a time of 8.48. He finished first in the triple jump with a 39-11.00 distance and qualified for the state competition.

“I like being around this team,” said Arbour. “Overall, our team did really good, and everything just clicked. I think everybody is looking good for states.”

In the high jump, sophomore and state qualifier Nick Verrill finished first with a height of 5-10.00.

“I think the warmups were pretty good,” said Verrill. “We’ve been training really hard ... for this and states. I think the whole team is doing pretty good. We just have to keep the form and practice.”

Senior Marcus Tillery finished sixth in both the 55-dash with a time of 6.71 and the 200-dash with a time of 23.89, along with qualifying for the state competition.

In the 55-hurdles, junior and state qualifier Carter Engelman finished eighth with an 8.36 time. He came in third in pole vault with a height of 12-00.00.

Senior Jinqi Li finished eighth in the pole vault with a height of 9-06.00.

In the 1-mile open run, junior Andrew Young finished with a time of 5:01.49 in 12th place.

“I'm really proud of these boys,” said Windham boys’ coach Paula Pock. “They all work exceptionally well together and are constantly focused on improving. Overall, the boys had a great day with almost every athlete meeting their seed or getting a personal best. Next week, the team will be competing in states, and we hope to continue setting personal bests through pushing each other to improve.” <

Friday, February 9, 2024

Windham varsity basketball squads post victories against Edward Little

By Matt Pascarella

Tuesday, Feb. 6 was Senior Night for Windham’s varsity boys’ and girls’ basketball teams and it turned out to be a night to remember for players and fans. The girls fought hard and won 34-27, while the boys also battled in a tight game and held off Edward Little, 60-56.

Windham seniors Noah Mains (top left, Matt Searway,
Blake McPherson, Quinton Lindsay, Beni Ninziza
(middle left), Mallory Muse, Erik Bowen and Ryan
Smyth (bottom middle) gather before their final 
home varsity basketball games against Edward Little
Seniors Blake McPherson, Quinton Lindsay, Eric Bowen, Beni Ninziza, Matthew Searway, Noah Mains, Ryan Smyth, Paolo Ventura and Mallory Muse were each presented with a small gift as a thank you for their dedication to Windham Athletics throughout high school.

Bowen and Muse received the Windham Youth Basketball Little Eyes Upon You Awards presented by Maine Optometry. This honor goes to a senior that demonstrates commitment to the youth in their community. Both Bowen and Muse said it felt really good to know they are looked up to and are making a difference.


“We knew it was going to be tough tonight,” said varsity boys’ basketball coach Chad Pulkkinen. “Our mindset was to recognize the seniors and make it about them tonight, play our absolute tails off and not worry about their record, just worry about playing our best basketball. Some things we need to improve on are just simple things defensively, some things that can help make those possessions a little harder for the other team. We talked about it a little bit and what they’ve been able to create as a group; and what they’ve been able to build for community involvement ... hats off to our guys to be able to battle night-in and night-out.”

The boys made Windham High School history when they earned their 15th win of the season over Oxford Hills on Friday, Feb. 2. They are undefeated at home with Tuesday’s game being their 16th victory of this season.

Edward Little jumped to an early lead, but Windham defense kept their score low and Windham offense hit some three-pointers in the first quarter. Soon the game was tied at 21. Edward Little pulled away 31-27 at the half.

Searway hit three three-pointers in the second half and the game remained close. Windham eventually pulled out in front to put some distance between the teams.

“The whole team works hard and works together as a team,” said Searway. “Every night we have a person that steps up. I was lucky enough to have open shots and I was lucky enough to hit them tonight. The community that is here for us is amazing and we can feel that energy. We want to cherish every moment; we went out and executed. We moved the ball well, defensively, we ... ran the floor pretty well, got a lot of transition points ... the way we can control the pace of the game is how we can win some of these; tonight was definitely electric.

According to Quinton Lindsay, Windham players knew this game was going to be a dog fight and they wanted to get everyone in the game because they are a family. Mentally Windham had to lock in on defense, get their shooters rattled and rebound. They need to talk more on defense.

Four points separated the teams with 1:18 left but Windham persevered to earn the “W.”


Windham defense kept Edward Little to a small number of points in the first half, but Windham struggled to have their shots fall. Edward Little led 11-7 midway through the game.

“I thought we played really good defense in the half court,” said Windham varsity girls’ basketball coach Brody Artes. “Holding a team to 11 points in a half is great; just a matter of us getting going a little quicker on offense ... missed some free-throws in the first half. We were a little slow to get going. I think we let their pressure get to us a little bit. At halftime we adjusted and ... came out with more of an assertion to score. I think it was a good second half for us; I think there were some nerves there for sure; we got over it.”

In the second half, more Windham shots fell. They rebounded and soon had the lead. Their defense kept Edward Little to five points in the third quarter.

Windham really turned up the heat in the fourth quarter and pulled away from the Eddies significantly. Muse hit a three-pointer before the final buzzer.

“Our defense was pretty solid,” said Muse. Throughout the game we picked up off each other’s energy. We had really good looks at the basket. I think we just need to play our hardest; whenever ... we play our hardest, we play our best.” <

Windham Youth Basketball competes in back-to-back-to-back Southern Maine Hoops Championship games

By Matt Pascarella

Windham Youth Basketball Association had three teams compete in championship games at the Maine Basketball Academy in Portland on Saturday, Feb. 3 during the Southern Maine Hoops League Championships. It is quite an achievement to reach this level and all the teams worked incredibly hard during the season and in these championship games. Windham’s sixth grade girls lost, 29-8, to Scarborough; while Windham’s fifth grade boys won, 37-18, against Mount Ararat to claim the title; and Windham’s fifth grade girls fell to Oxford Hills, 30-16.

Windham's Fifth Grade boys' team won the Southern Maine
Hoops League championship by beating Mount Ararat on
Saturday, Feb. 3 at Maine Basketball Academy in Portland.
Front (L-R) are Bentley Rubino, Liam Wood, Preston 
McLean, Max Inzerillo, Lucien Kri, Joel Delewski,
Tate Ammons, Henri Sirois, and Ethan Bonnvie. Back
(L-R) Coach Chris Inzerillo, Coach Joe McLean and Coach
Sixth grade girls

The girls started out with good defense and kept Scarborough’s baskets to a minimum. Scarborough grabbed turnovers which helped them pull away.

Windham was quick to get rebounds and Eliya Krainis had a breakaway layup. Elsa Pearson sunk two consecutive foul shots. At the half, Scarborough led 14-6.

In the second half, Windham got several turnovers and took shots at basket. Their hustle showed they were going to battle until the final buzzer. They kept up defense, but fouled Scarborough a bit.

The score only tells half of the story.

“We went 12-0 up until today; we’ve qualified for the Rhode Island tournament,” said assistant coach Dana Magee. “Keeping up with [Scarborough’s] aggressive defense [went well]. I think playing more [high caliber] teams [could have helped us flip the score].”

Windham will also play in the Waterville tournament toward the end of the month.

“It felt awesome [to make it this far],” said Krainis. “Our defense went well; we definitely locked them down ... we still need to work on rebounds and offense. I think we played great, and I love this team.”

Fifth grade boys

After winning the tip-off, it was Joel Delewski who scored. He later sunk a three-pointer.

Windham had solid defense, nabbed rebounds and got several turnovers. Windham gave it all for the entire game. They led 20-2 midway through.

Windham’s defense limited Mount Ararat’s shots, though Mount Ararat slowly increased their score. The Eagle’s moved the ball well and kept a strong pace.

“It feels good because we had to work hard throughout the season,” said Delewski. “We really ... built up our team very well. We started off good and defense went well ... that led us to the win. Hard work, effort and practicing [got us to this point].”

According to coach Joey McLean it took the boys showing up ready to practice week-in and week-out. The title game defense was the best they’ve played all season. Its “Help” defense limited points in the first half, boxing out, doubling down when needed, it was a thing of beauty and well executed by Windham. They’ve really improved over the season; and went undefeated in the league.

Fifth grade girls

Possession was gained by Windham early on; they fought hard for the ball, and it showed. They had multiple shots at the basket.

“Hustling and passing is what helped get [us] to this point,” said Ella Higgins. She said collaborating went well; they needed better defense to flip the score.

Higgins put Windham on the scoreboard. Unfortunately, Oxford Hills got a few turnovers and pulled away.

Windham had momentum and passed well, got rebounds and added to their score. Lily Nickel sunk a foul shot; Higgins scored again.

Oxford Hills led 14-9 partway through.

Windham was not about to give up and this was a closer game than when it started. However, Windham shots weren’t falling. Kelenese Dickson sunk a foul shot.

“These teams have improved since the beginning of the year and they’re just going to get stronger,” said head coach Chris Sargent. “It was a tough loss and we’re just going to keep battling – we’re not done yet, the sky’s the limit. We came up a little short, there’s still room for improvement and ... we’ve got to stay focused. Help side defense, getting better quality shots and rebounds.” <

Friday, February 2, 2024

Varsity cheerleading squad earns big boost at multi-school competition

By Matt Pascarella

After an impressive fourth-place finish in their previous competition, Windham’s varsity cheerleaders took on Bonny Eagle, Gorham, Sanford, Thornton Academy, Noble, Scarborough, Massabesic, Deering, Marshwood, South Portland, Biddeford and Portland at Noble in North Berwick on Saturday, Jan. 27 and placed fourth out of 13 teams at the Southern Maine Activities Association cheerleading competition with a score of 63.9 – almost a full 10 points higher than the previous week.

Windham varsity cheerleaders Lily Woodcock, a freshman,
left, and junior Ella Roberts take a high vantage point during
the Southern Maine Activities Association cheering
competition on Saturday, Jan. 27 at Noble High School.
“I think this week’s performance was a huge improvement from last week,” said Windham varsity cheerleading coach Amber Direnzo. “Last week's score was 54.2 and we also got fourth out of 11 teams. We did a lot of work cleaning up the routine and using our feedback from our first competition to make adjustments for this week. I don’t think I had a full expectation coming into today, but they did so great last week that I was hoping they’d improve upon last week and I think that they did. They hit their first stunts more solidly. And also, the express-up didn’t hit last week and it hit today. They did so great, I’m so proud of them. The opening stunt ... the toss, all their formations, all looked really good.”

Direnzo said their tumbling wasn’t as synced up as last week, but that’ll come with more practice because she knows the team can do it.

“Our stunts and technique definitely went up and I’m looking forward to seeing that reflect in our scores,” said Windham junior Ellieana Archibald. “We’re here to prove that we’re better than last year and improving from our last competition. Having our fans there and our parents really helped; the energy was just crazy today. I think just a few of our stunts need to be fine-tuned; we need to get them in shape and that’s it. I’m so proud of my team, I feel like we blew each other’s expectations out of the water, so it’s just a great feeling. [Our goal was to] keep improving ... and I think we met that goal today.”

The crowd was electric, and the gym roared every time a new school took to the mat. Schools cheered for each other, and the environment was very supportive of all the teams.

“My goal was to have the most energy and I think we accomplished that,” said Windham junior Ella Roberts. “All of the stunts hit, and we were all very happy at the end; and I think we accomplished almost everything on our goal list. Before you go on, it can be really nerve wracking; I was really worried about the express-up, and we hit it and that just made the whole routine work better, because we were all so happy. Tumblers proved themselves and they did so well; we knew we did good. Things that need a bit of work are we need some more tumbling; we could have tighter stunts and tighter motions.”

Windham’s performance was full of stunts, which is when they go up in the air. One of the more advanced stunts they did was an express up which is when they start on one leg and switch legs as they ascend. The performance also featured flips, jumps, a pyramid, and a lot of enthusiastic cheering. The team was very hyped, and everyone had a lot of spirit.

“There was a lot of good energy,” said Windham senior Monica Lewis. “Our team has come super far since last season and we’re a lot stronger and everyone did their jobs. Our goal was to place higher than we did last week and [have] a stronger routine and try and fix the things that we could work on. Our stunts all hit, which was an improvement from last week and everyone’s energy. We did an amazing job and I’m proud of everyone for how far they’ve come.” <

Windham Middle School boys’ basketball teams split against Biddeford

By Matt Pascarella

The Windham Middle School boys’ seventh and eighth grade boys’ basketball teams took on Biddeford at home on Monday, Jan. 29 in one of the final games of the season. Windham’s eighth grade team had the lead going into the half and held back Biddeford to get a 39-33 win. Windham seventh graders fought hard against the Tigers, but fell 49-35, despite a push toward the end which closed a wide gap between the teams.

Windham eighth grader Boston Krainis drives to the basket
during a boy's middle school basketball game against
Biddeford at home on Monday, Jan. 29.
Eighth Grade

“I think we played well in spurts, and I think we were a little lost at times,” said Windham Middle School eighth grade boys’ basketball coach Adam Manzo. “They held it together and made some free throws down the stretch and made the plays at the end; it wasn’t our best game by any means, but sometimes you have to win ugly. They take on things and retain things really well, but at times it looks like we just forget what we learned. First quarter ... press went well; we rebounded the ball in the first quarter. They become both too selfish and too unselfish [and that needs work]. We pass the ball when we should just shoot the ball and sometimes, we don’t pass the ball when we should. They’ve been playing together for so long that sometimes they forget there are four other people on the floor and it’s ok to give that ball up.”

Windham jumped out to an early lead and grabbed rebounds and moved the ball effectively. They scored several times and their defense kept Biddeford practically scoreless early on.

Windham continued to take shot after shot, but in a low-scoring second quarter Biddeford’s turnovers helped them catch up, although Windham still maintained the lead, 18-11 at the first buzzer.

“The first quarter we moved the ball well, great teamwork,” said Boston Krainis. “Second quarter got a little sloppy, giving up offensive rebounds and third quarter was all right and then fourth quarter we turned it on, shots started falling, getting the lead up defense ... great game, overall.”

Krainis said defensive rebounds need work. Although, he thinks they’ve definitely improved since the start of the season.

Windham opened the second half with a basket. They continued to get rebounds. They fought for the ball and kept a comfortable lead.

Biddeford slowly creeped up and soon was within striking distance of turning this game around. Windham pressured and did not let that happen.

“We had good passes; the ball wasn’t moving as fast, but I feel we could have moved it a lot better,” said Werani Anthony. “We had a good game overall – shots were going up, layups were going up, our passes were good. I think we need better quarter vision on the court, because we had open plays in the paint a lot and couldn’t get the ball to them – other than that we played a pretty good game.”

Seventh Grade

A three-pointer by Dezi Grant put Windham on the scoreboard. Ryan Manning sunk a couple foul shots. Riley Gallagher sunk a three-pointer. Despite this, Biddeford pulled away in the first quarter.

Windham’s offense slowly picked up. Biddeford grabbed turnovers and ran up the scoreboard. At the half, Biddeford led 26-16.

Windham fought for the ball in the second half and never stopped trying. They got some rebounds and closed the points gap a little as they entered the fourth quarter.

“We played very hard; we were just getting beat by [Biddeford’s] size,” said Manning. “I think we need to get more rebounds. We did good offensively ... heading into the third quarter, coach really motivated us, and we really pushed it hard. Our offense [went well]; we ran a couple plays that got us baskets.”

Manning said they need to be more aggressive, especially if they want to flip scores. He thought they were a little soft during this game.

As the clock wound down, Windham grabbed rebounds and sunk several baskets. They had a push at the end, but it wasn’t enough.

“We didn’t pull it all together on a consistent basis,” said Windham Middle School seventh grade boys’ basketball coach Craig Dickson. “We weren’t pulling all the things we had learned together all at once. It’s a great bunch of kids but it’s hard, I just try to keep building their confidence and telling the kids to shoot [the ball]. I think they periodically demonstrated aggressiveness. Any time my guys can be tough and aggressive, the grit that it takes to win. We’ve been consistently working on dribbling and shooting – I don’t ever want to deter a kid from shooting. I’ve seen the progress – kids are getting better, their shooting more and their confidence is going up.” <