PORTLAND — Having been blown out by York in its next-to-last game of the regular reason 11 days ago, top-ranked Falmouth may have came into the Western Class B boys’ basketball tournament with some doubt.
If so, it didn’t last long.
Using its customary balanced offense and stifling defense, Falmouth cruised to a 58-30 win over No. 8 Maranacook in a quarterfinal Saturday at the Portland Expo.
Falmouth (18-1) next plays Mountain Valley (13-6) at 9 p.m. Thursday at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
The Yachtsmen took a 13-4 first-quarter lead and kept up the pressure. Maranacook (9-11) shot 1 of 15 in the quarter, and the one basket, by 6-foot-8 Kyle Boucher, came with 38 seconds left.
“We wanted to get off to a good start,” said Falmouth coach Dave Halligan. “There are always tourney jitters in your first game. We had some at the beginning.”
Boucher finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks, a strong effort despite being surrounded by Falmouth’s big men, a pair of 6-5 players in Charlie Fay and Jack Simonds. Throw in 6-4 Justin Rogers, and Boucher, who will play at Maine Maritime Academy, didn’t have much room to maneuver.
“That was the plan,” said Halligan of his defense that had man-to-man and zone components.
“Coach Halligan’s own little recipe,” said Fay.
The Yachtsmen had the edge in numbers — number of scorers, number of offensive looks and overall height.
Falmouth had four players in double figures, led by Fay with 15 points. He added 12 rebounds, two blocks, two steals and another dunk.
“I liked that,” Halligan said of the balance. “And Jack Simonds wasn’t one of them, and he’s one of our top scorers.”
Grant Burfeind finished with 13 points, Tom Coyne had 12 and Tom Wilberg 11.
Halligan also liked the defense that held the Black Bears to 12-of-42 shooting.
“We’ve been living off our defense all year,” he said. “Their big guy was the only guy in double figures. We wanted to limit his touches. We had three guys around him. He was still tough to block out. A lot of his baskets were putbacks.”
Falmouth got good looks throughout.
“We played really well as a team,” said Burfeind. “We have a lot of good scorers that on any given night, anyone can get hot. We had a week to prepare for them. We’re playing well, but we have to keep building on it in practice and continue to work hard in games.”
Falmouth was manhandled by No. 2 York the way it manhandled the Wildcats in January.
“The loss against York really motivated us,” said Fay. “We realized we could be beat and that we weren’t invincible.”
“They wore us down a bit,” said Maranacook Coach Rob Schmidt. “Falmouth is very good defensively. We didn’t do a good job getting behind their zone.”
Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: