FALMOUTH – Falmouth High graduated five starters from last year’s Western Class B boys’ basketball finalist.
Most programs would feel the loss. Not the Yachtsmen.
Tall, talented and deep, Falmouth moved to 3-0 with a 63-45 win over Greely in a Western Maine Conference game Thursday night.
Falmouth took a 24-7 lead after one quarter, including a 12-0 run.
Greely (1-2) cut it to 30-21 on back-to-back 3-pointers by Bailey Train, but Falmouth closed the half with a 9-0 run to lead 39-21.
Grant Burfeind, one of the three senior starters for the Yachtsmen, was a backup point guard to Matt Packard last season. The other senior starters are Tom Wilberg and Charlie Fay.
Jack Simonds, a sophomore starter, saw significant minutes in last year’s tournament. The rest, including junior starter Justin Rogers, were on the bench last season, played for the junior varsity or did both.
“We count on our senior leadership,” said Burfeind, who had 11 points. “That’s big for us, but we definitely have a lot of supporting players in the lower grades. Some of the seniors aren’t used to starting but they’re getting used to it. By midseason we should be really clicking.”
With a deep bench, Falmouth’s size, strong backcourt play and defensive pressure proved too much for the Rangers.
Simonds, a 6-foot-5 forward, had three baskets in the early run. Freshman Thomas Coyne then came off the bench to hit back-to-back 3-pointers; he led Falmouth with 14 points. Train led Greely with 16.
“We knew Greely would come out with intensity,” said Burfeind. “We wanted to match that and we did.”
Michael McDevitt had five of Greely’s seven points in the first quarter. Early in the second, McDevitt, a 6-7 junior, and 6-5 Charlie Fay of Falmouth were called for technicals after McDevitt drove through Fay to the basket. They went to the floor and came up shoving.
Greely Coach Travis Seaver chose not to play McDevitt the rest of the game. He said it wasn’t because of the technical.
“I think it’s important for Michael and for all of us to see how important he is on the floor,” said Seaver. “Michael is an important piece.”
McDevitt sat the rest of the game because, Seaver said: “He wasn’t being a smart player at the time. It’s a lesson.”
Said Burfeind: “We knew he was out but nothing was going to change with the way we played. We had a game plan and we were going to stick to it.”
Both teams cleared the benches in the fourth quarter.
Even though few current Falmouth players saw varsity time last season, they honed their skills against last year’s team in practice.
“Coach (Dave) Halligan used to tell us we’re going against the best team in the state,” said Burfeind.
Falmouth plays at Poland on Saturday. After the holidays, the Yachtsmen’s first game will be at home against York, another tall and talented team.
“We’ve heard about York,” said Burfeind. “We’re going to take it one game at a time. Our next game is Poland, and we’re going to practice like they’re the best team in the state.”
Greely lost to York on Monday. The Rangers play Fryeburg Academy on Saturday.
“It’s been a tough week,” said Seaver. “The most important thing is that we learn from our mistakes.”
Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: