PORTLAND – Dave Halligan didn’t like the way his Falmouth boys’ basketball team played over the second half of the regular season. The Yachtsmen had gotten away from the team defense that was their trademark earlier in the season.
They weren’t as intense as they should have been.
Tuesday night, that intensity returned. And the Yachtsmen showed everyone just how good they can be.
Top-ranked Falmouth ran off 30 consecutive points spanning the second and third quarters and humbled No. 4 Mountain Valley 58-22 in a Western Class B semifinal at the Cumberland County Civic Center. Leading 19-13, the Yachtsmen scored the last 18 points of the second quarter and first 12 of the third.
“We knew we had to keep it close,” said Mountain Valley Coach Tom Danylik. “And at 19-13, we felt good about where we were. Then we fell apart for about four minutes, and all of sudden they were up 20.”
Falmouth (19-1) will play second-seeded York (18-1) in the regional final at 3:45 p.m. Saturday. The teams split during the regular season, Falmouth winning 71-51 on Jan. 3, York victorious 65-39 on Feb. 5.
“Defense,” said Halligan. “We locked in and ran off 30 because of our defense. The second half of the season we were sort of coasting along, a lot of easy games, and we were sort of getting away with mistakes.
“Then that game with York sort of brought us back to reality. We knew that to be successful in the tournament you can’t have any lapses. It’s got to be team defense. And that’s the difference tonight, the fact that we played team defense. It was always one more guy there, one more guy there, one more guy there.”
Mountain Valley went more than 18 minutes without scoring a basket, missing 21 consecutive shots. “It felt like 45,” said Danylik.
And over that time, Falmouth disrupted everything the Falcons tried to do, forcing 15 turnovers.
“At the beginning of the season when we were the revelation, when we were going so well, we were playing such intense defense,” said Tom Wilberg, a senior forward. “And we kind of got away from that. Tonight we got back to it. It’s all about defense.
“You’ve got to feed off the defense. That’s what we did.”
Falmouth forced five turnovers in a span of seven possessions during its second-quarter surge. Freshman Tom Coyne hit back-to-back 3-pointers, each off a cross-court pass from Grant Burfeind, as the Yachtsmen stretched their lead to 37-13.
“We just ran into a buzzsaw,” said Danylik. “That’s a great team.”
Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: