For the second straight year, the South Hope Christian School Royals swept playoff games in the Athletics for Christian Education League semifinals in both volleyball and basketball at Calvary Baptist Church.

The South Hope volleyball team, winners of 85 straight matches heading into Saturday’s match with Oxford Hills Christian Academy, made it 86 as the Royals earned a berth in the ACEL state championship game by sweeping the best-of-three semifinal playoff series from the Pioneers 25-19 and 25-21.

The South Hope volleyball team will serve for its fifth straight state crown this weekend when it will face Grace Baptist School of Portland for the ACEL title. The game will start at 3 p.m. at the Lisbon Falls Baptist Church.

The South Hope basketball team also pulled out a convincing 87-36 victory over Coastal Christian School of Waldoboro in their semifinal game. The Royals will also compete for a state championship Saturday, march 6 when they will face defending state titlist South Liberty. South Hope also fell to South Liberty in last year’s ACEL title game. This year’s final game will start at 4:30 p.m. also at the Lisbon Falls Baptist Church.

The following is a recap of the South Hope volleyball and basketball squads’ semifinal victories:


The first game opened evenly as the squads dueled to an early 5-5 tie. Then Pioneer Lucy Giguere served wide to give the Royals the point and the ball. Kaitlyn Kee then strode to the service line and served up four straight points, with help from Rachel Pease’s tap over the net, and from the Pioneers, who hit the ball out of bounds and long on successive points, the Royals led 10-5 Royals.

At that point Tanya Brown’s tip went out of bounds, but on the next point, with Emily Pelton serving, Darcy Finnemore returned the ball to the feet of Giguere, who could not dig the ball. The Royals then went on a 9-5 run, which featured two spikes by Kee to give the Royals a 20-11 advantage.

Now it was South Liberty’s turn to go on a run, an 8-3 burst to be exact. It began with a spike by Pelton to take the point and the ball, and included a service winner by Pelton. South Hope played with some indecision, put a serve or two into the net, and returned the ball long at one point. All that put the Royals ahead 23-19 score, causing South Hope coach Fawn Adolphsen to call a timeout.

Pelton’s next serve went long and Tanya Brown tapped in the winner on the following point to help South Hope take the game 25-19.

The second game saw a similar beginning, with back-and-forth action resulting in a 10-10 tie on a Brown spike for the Royals  Finnemore then took the ball and served six consecutive points to build a 16-10 lead for South Hope.

The hardy Pioneers fought back with a 7-4 run to make the score 20-17 Royals. Then Finnemore returned a winner for South Hope, and two points later the Pioneers’ Pelton drilled her serve into the net to make the score 22-18 for South Hope, and the Royals had the ball. But on her second point, Pease tapped the ball out of bounds, and it was time for Christian Wadsworth to serve with her team trailing 23-19.

A four-hits call gave the point and the ball to the Royals with a quadruple match point. However, with Finnemore serving, Julianna Smith returned a winner, and it was now 24-20 Royals with the Pioneers’ Abby Daggett serving. The first point was taken by the red, white and blue, but on the second Samantha Wadsworth returned the ball long to give the game and the match to the Royals 25-21.


Sam Pease scored 33 points en route to a triple-double and Scott Marshall and Caleb Pease each tossed in 14 points as South Hope rolled over the Coastal Christian 87-36.

From the outset of the game, Sam Pease played like a man possessed, scoring 19 points in the first half, to go along with nine rebounds, four assists and two steals, to lead the Royals to a 34-19 halftime lead.

In the third quarter, the Royals broke the game open, outscoring the Rams 29-6 in that frame. CCS  could manage only two field goals by Billy Jones and two free throws by Mason Vermilion, as the Royals’ high-powered offense rolled on to certain victory, leading by a score of 63-25 at the end of the quarter.

The fourth quarter featured Caleb Pease with 11 points to lead a 24-11 attack that increased the margin of victory to 51 points.

Also scoring for the Royals were Nathan Young with nine points; Mike Kee, eight; Sam Wadsworth, five; and Eli Chadwick and Tristan Gagne, both with two apiece.

Scoring for the Rams were Jones with 23 points; Jonah Cronkhite, six; Tony Lombardo, three; and Jeremiah Dickinson and Vermilion, each with two.

Along with his 33 points, Sam Pease hauled down 26 rebounds and dished out 15 assists to complete the triple-double.

The Royals move on to the finals against their North Division rivals South Liberty Pioneers. It is a rematch of last year’s championship game, in which the Pioneers eked out a 67-64 victory. South Liberty has beaten the Royals this season by margins of 10 and 35 points.

Sherwood Young contributed to this story.

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