Luke Claflin, right, of York battles for a rebound with Falmouth’s Charlie Fay in Thursday’s boys’ basketball game at Falmouth. The Yachtsmen stayed unbeaten by knocking off the previously perfect Wildcats by 20 points.
By Tom Chard
FALMOUTH - The Heal point standings rank Falmouth and York as the two best boys' basketball teams in Western Class B.
Their performances before their showdown Thursday reflected the same thing.
But after the so-called showdown which wasn't a showdown at all, but rather a clinic by Falmouth, there's no doubt about the pecking order at the top.
After a slow start by the Yachtsmen (they trailed 9-2), they took charge and ran over the Wildcats 71-51 before a packed gym.
This battle of unbeatens was expected to be close as both teams had played an almost identical schedule with similar margins of victory.
But after Falmouth settled down after the opening minutes, it started to pull away. Falmouth's frontcourt outplayed the Wildcats' big men. The Yachtsmen's backcourt had the same success.
Last year's Western Maine finalists were quicker and more aggressive.
Three players took turns controlling the game. Jack Simonds, a 6-foot-5 sophomore, scored 10 of his 16 points in the first quarter. Simonds hit back-to-back 3-pointers at the end of the quarter to tie the game at 13-13 and then give Falmouth the quarter lead at 16-15.
Freshman point guard Tom Coyne came off the bench to score nine of his 14 points in the second quarter as Falmouth (7-0) outscored the Wildcats 22-12 in the quarter. Grant Burfeind chipped in with seven points in the quarter. Falmouth led 38-27 at halftime.
Leading 19-17 at the start of the second quarter, Falmouth went on a 15-6 spurt. Coyne had six straight points at the start.
The scoring margin was even greater in the third quarter, 23-10. Falmouth used an 11-4 run.
Burfeind took charge with 10 of his game-high 20 points. Charlie Fay, a 6-5 senior, added 14 points, three blocks and two thunderous dunks. Fay had nine rebounds and Simonds had eight.
"We have a lot of weapons," said Fay.
"We never know who's going to be hot. We came into the game ready and played our stuff. The outcome was a product of how we played."
Said Coyne: "We ran our plays well, hit our shots and played defense. We have to keep working hard because we play them again."
York gets another shot at Falmouth in just over a month at York.
"We're not thinking about that now," said York Coach Randy Small.
"We have a lot of work to do. We want to keep improving. Falmouth is an excellent team all around. They beat us in all phases of the game. They outhustled us and made their shots."
Aaron Todd, the Wildcats' 6-7 senior center, had 14 points. For most of the game, Todd was bottled up by Fay and Simonds, who had help from their teammates.
Both teams missed their first few shots as early nerves played a factor. Burfeind scored on a drive at the 5:55 mark to make it 2-0. Zach Leal followed with a 3-pointer for York that ignited a 9-0 run. Todd made a three-point play and Adam Bailey hit a 3 from the side.
Falmouth got its offense untracked, sparked by Simonds.
"The shots started falling and we got back into the game," he said.
Falmouth said winning the Maine Red Claws Christmas Tournament at the Portland Expo helped get ready for York.
The Yachtsmen's key wins in the tournament were over Portland and Susan Wagner High of Staten Island, N.Y.
"Anytime you play top competition, it definitely helps," said Coyne.
"It helped us prepare for York which is a good team," said Simonds of the tournament.
Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:
Jack Simonds of Falmouth goes up for a shot against York’s Adam Bailey in Thursday night’s game. Simonds had 10 of his 16 points in the first quarter.
Grant Burfeind of Falmouth heads to the basket after coming up with a steal against York’s Adam Bailey. Burfeind had 20 points.
Tom Coyne came off the bench to score nine of his 14 points in the second quarter for Falmouth.