PORTLAND — Just under three weeks ago, Falmouth was routed by York. In retrospect, it might have been the best thing to happen to the Yachtsmen.
“We needed that loss,” said Jack Simonds. “We were going through the motions. We picked it up in practice after that.”
There was no going through the motions Saturday.
Falmouth went full tilt from the start and beat York 67-46 to win the Western Class B boys’ basketball title at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
Falmouth (20-1) will play Medomak Valley (19-2) for the state title at 9 p.m. Friday at the Civic Center. The Yachtsmen will seek their second state title in four seasons.
Simonds led a balanced offense, hitting five 3-pointers and finishing with 19 points.
“That’s what we’ve done all season,” said Falmouth Coach Dave Halligan. “We have six or seven guys capable of scoring in double figures. That’s what makes us a dangerous team. You can’t concentrate on one player. This is what Jack’s capable of. He’s a special player.”
Simonds’ shooting and point guard Grant Burfeind’s ability to blow by the top of the defense to score or pass off were keys.
“We thought we could get to the rim against them,” said Halligan. “York is big and strong. The Civic Center court is big. That worked in our favor.”
Burfeind finished with 15 points, and freshman reserve Thomas Coyne scored 11.
“We were really motivated,” said Burfeind. “Losing to them the last time left a sour taste. Personally, I wasn’t going to lose this game. I knew I could take York off the dribble. That was the plan, then dish to our big men.”
One was Simonds, a 6-foot-5 sophomore with a sweet stroke.
“It was awesome seeing him hit those big shots early. When one of our guys gets in a zone, we let them go to work,” said Burfeind.
Trailing 3-2, Falmouth went on a 13-4 run to close the first quarter. Tom Wilberg hit two from the line to start the spurt. Simonds scored and added his first 3-pointer.
He hit two more 3s in the second quarter as Falmouth outscored the Wildcats 17-10 to lead 32-17, capped by Coyne driving for a layup just before the buzzer.
Falmouth limited York’s front line. Aaron Todd got going at times, as did Zach Leal, but Falmouth matched York’s size.
“Defensive intensity was key,” said Simonds, who guarded Todd. “We knew if we held down their two top players we would win the game. I just tried to limit his touches as much as I could.”
Near the end of the third quarter, Simonds hit a 3 from one corner after a basket by Burfeind, then sank another 3 from the other side. The Yachtsmen led 52-26 after three quarters.
“If I hit my first shot, I gain confidence and I just roll with it,” said Simonds.
“I’ve never seen Falmouth shoot like that,” said York Coach Randy Small. “Our kids played hard. You have to take your hat off to Falmouth. They got hot. We have no excuses. We wish them the best of luck in the state championship game.”
Todd, who led York (19-2) with 18 points, won the Pierre Harnois Trophy as the tournament’s top player/sportsman.
Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: