A year ago, Falmouth fell a game short of reaching the Western Class A final. This time there was no denying the Yachtsmen and Jack Simonds.

Simonds scored 42 points to lead third-seeded Falmouth to a 67-57 victory against second-ranked South Portland in the regional semifinals Friday night at the Cross Insurance Arena.

Falmouth (17-3) will play top-ranked Portland (18-2), the defending state champion, at 9 p.m. Saturday at the CIA.

The Yachtsmen spurted at the end of the first half, including Simonds’ 3-pointer that produced a 31-30 halftime lead. Falmouth then scored the first 12 points of the second half and South Portland (16-4) never caught up.

The Red Riots trailed 48-42 after three quarters but got closer. Falmouth then pulled away at the foul line.

Simonds, a 6-foot-6 center who also can play guard and forward, scored 21 points in each half. His 42 points tied the Western Class A tournament record set by Ken Rowe of Cheverus in 1976.

“We were confident we could beat South Portland,” said Simonds. “We had beaten them in a Christmas tournament game.”

A year ago, Falmouth, in its first season in Class A, lost to Bonny Eagle in the semifinals.

Of his record-tying performance, Simonds said matter-of-factly: “My teammates were getting me good looks.”

Simonds scored 10 2-pointers, two 3-pointers and was an impressive 16 of 18 from the line.

“Simonds was unbelievable,” said South Portland Coach Phil Conley. “I thought we did a pretty good job on him defensively in the first half. Overall he was fabulous.”

The left-hand shooting Simonds scored from straight on, on the side and in the paint. He also was able to take the Red Riots down low and draw fouls.

South Portland looked its best in the second quarter when its size started to take over. Falmouth countered it and its rally at the end of the half provided confidence.

The Yachtsmen led 43-30 in the third quarter before Jordin Jackson hit 1 of 2 from the line with 4:21 left – the first point of the half for South Portland. The Red Riots trailed by 13 late in the third quarter, then scored the final seven points. But Falmouth quickly regained control.

“We started to get good looks in the second half when we picked up the pace,” said Falmouth Coach Dave Halligan.

No other Falmouth player scored in double figures, but they didn’t need to with Simonds’ dominating performance.

Strong guard play by the Coyne brothers, Thomas and Colin, enable Falmouth to handle South Portland’s pressure and get the ball to Simonds.

Jack Fiorini led South Portland with 16 points. Jaren Muller scored all of his 15 in the first half.

Muller was called for a technical early in the third quarter and didn’t return. Kam Harper added 10 for the Riots.

“We didn’t rebound the ball well,” said Conley. “Our shots didn’t fall. You have games like that.”