February 20

Western Class A boys’ basketball: Bonny Eagle slips past Falmouth

Dustin Cole’s clutch free-throw shooting helps the Scots pull out a 62-61 win.

By Kevin Thomas kthomas@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

With its stalwart senior point guard being covered well, Bonny Eagle needed contributions from others Wednesday night.

click image to enlarge

Dustin Cole of Bonny Eagle sails to the basket in front of Falmouth’s Tom Coyne, left, and Jack Simonds during their Western Class A boys’ basketball semifinal Wednesday night at the Cumberland County Civic Center. Cole scored 22 points, including 17 in the fourth quarter, to lead the Scots to a 62-61 win.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

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In the end, though, it was Dustin Cole leading the way again as the Scots beat Falmouth 62-61 in a Western Class A semifinal at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

The third-seeded Scots (19-1), seeking their first regional title since 1995, advanced to the final for the fourth straight year. They’ll play Saturday night against top-ranked Portland.

Cole scored 17 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, including 10 of 10 from the free-throw line.

“He came up big late,” Bonny Eagle Coach Phil Bourassa said. “Those were some big free throws.”

The game went back and forth, especially in the fourth quarter, which featured five lead changes.

Down 51-50, the Scots missed a shot. Cole crashed into the lane for the offensive rebound and was fouled. He hit both free throws for a 52-51 lead, and the second-seeded Yachtsmen (18-2) could never catch up.

Early on, Falmouth paid extra attention to Cole, fronting him with two defenders as he crossed midcourt. But Ben Malloy scored 20 points, nine in the first quarter, and 6-foot-1 Jon Woods battled the taller Yachtsmen underneath, scoring 10 points and helping the Scots to a 30-28 rebounding edge.

“I have confidence in my teammates,” said Cole, who still kept the offense in sync. “They stepped up and made shots.”

Falmouth tried to take advantage of its height, but Bonny Eagle’s defense was swarming.

“They were physical with us and kept us from going to the post,” Falmouth Coach Dave Halligan said.

When the Yachtsmen could, they went to 6-6 Jack Simonds (15 points) and 6-5 Nick Burton (six points), but guard Tom Coyne kept Falmouth going with 30 points (four 3-pointers).

After Cole’s go-ahead free throws, Simonds tried to drive on Woods. Both players fell but there was no whistle, and Bonny Eagle got the ball.

“A good non-call,” Bourassa said, noting Woods held his position.

Worse for Falmouth, Simonds tried to get the ball back from Cole and fouled out. Cole made the free throws for a 54-51 lead with 50 seconds left.

On Falmouth’s next possession, Cole tipped a pass and teammate Nick Dubay got it. He was fouled sank both free throws.

“We had to put pressure on them and not let them get in the post easily,” Cole said.

At 58-53, Cole stuffed a Coyne shot. While Coyne was on the floor, Cole talked to him and was whistled for a technical.

“I was just messing around with him,” said Cole, who knows Coyne well.

Coyne’s free throw and a Matthew Tseng putback closed Falmouth to within 58-56 with 13 seconds left.

But Cole kept making free throws and the Yachtsmen stayed out of reach. Coyne hit a 3-pointer as the game ended.

“They’re a very tough team,” Bourassa said. “They have length on us. They have shooters. And we got it done.

“Ben played well early. Other guys did some things. We attacked the offensive glass like we have all year.”

And then Cole kept the Scots’ season alive.

“We’re not ready for him to be done at Bonny Eagle,” Bourassa said.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or at:

kthomas@pressherald.com

Twitter: KevinThomasPPH

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