BANGOR — The talk of a state title began when these Falmouth High seniors were in grade school.

Friday night, they realized their dream.

Refusing to crack under unrelating pressure from defending champion Camden Hills, Falmouth rallied late in regulation, then pulled away in overtime to win the Class B boys’ basketball state title with a 72-65 victory at the Bangor Auditorum.

Stefano Mancini of Falmouth contended with foul trouble to score 27 points. Tyler McFarland, who finished with a game-high 32 points for Camden Hills, fouled out with 8.3 seconds left in regulation.

Falmouth (21-1) won it with a 10-3 run in overtime. Ryan Rogers scored to give the Yachtsmen the quick lead. Keegan Pieri then hit a 3-pointer, the Windjammers’ only points of the overtime, but it was all Falmouth after that.

Mancini scored on a drive, and Rogers on a breakaway off a heady over-the-shoulder pass from Sam Horning to make it 68-65.

“That was the dagger,” said Falmouth Coach David Halligan.

Mancini hit the final four points from the foul line.

“It’s everything I thought it would be,” said Mancini of the state title. “It was a team effort.”

That it was. John Roberts, Rogers, Horning and Jack Cooleen picked up their games when Mancini went to the bench with his fourth foul with 4:38 left in the third quarter.

He returned with 4:44 remaining in regulation and soon drilled a 3-pointer, his fifth of the game, that gave the Yachtsmen a four-point lead with 3:57 remaining.

But Camden Hills (19-2) scored the next six points, or more accurately McFarland scored the next six  to give his team a 60-58 lead.

Roberts then converted a three-point play to put Falmouth up by one. Pieri, who finished with 18 points, hit a short jumper to make it 62-61, but Roberts was fouled on a rebound putback, which was McFarland’s fifth.

“That was huge, when he got his fifth foul,” said Halligan.

Roberts made 1 of 2 and Pieri missed a halfcourt heave at the buzzer. On to overtime.

Mancini scored 16 points in the first half despite sitting at the end of the second quarter.

“Stef has been doing it for us all season,” said Halligan.

Down 19-15 after one quarter, Falmouth outscored the Windjammers 17-7 in the second. Falmouth led until midway in the fourth.

“I thought we settled for too many outside shots in the second quarter,” said Camden Hills Coach Jeff Hart. “They were in foul trouble and we should have taken it inside. We did in the second half.”

In the end, Camden Hills didn’t have its best player on the floor.

“My big man should have been out there,” he said.

Rogers scored 14 points for Falmouth. Horning and Roberts added 11 apiece.

 

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

[email protected]