YORK – For one seven-minute span to start the second quarter, Falmouth High found its offense.

On a night when defense dominated at both ends, it was enough for the Yachtsmen to build a lead it hung on to for a 44-37 victory between two of the top boys’ basketball teams in Western Class B.

Paced by Alex Cattell’s 14 points, Falmouth improved to 7-0 despite scoring just 12 points in the second half — only three in the third quarter. York dipped to 5-2, struggling through a 16-of-56 shooting night.

“You’re always fortunate to get out of here with a win,” said Falmouth Coach Dave Halligan. “Our defense kept us in the game and gave us a chance to win.”

Falmouth put together a superior 20-7 edge in the second quarter, mixing 3-of-4 shooting on 3-pointers, good interior passing, Cattell’s ability to get to the free throw line and defense that forced York into 2-of-12 shooting. Matthew Packard hit two 3s early in the quarter, sandwiching a transition 3-pointer by Ryan MacDonald to give Falmouth a 21-14 lead.

“We got some shots to fall and when the shooters are on, that opens up some other stuff,” Halligan said.

Interior baskets by 6-foot-5 center Jack Cooleen and 6-5 Charlie Fay followed, and by halftime Falmouth was in control, 32-17. Cooleen finished with seven points and at least four blocks of inside shots by York’s big inside threat, 6-6 Aaron Todd, who scored 10 points on 5-of-15 shooting.

“Mentally we just weren’t ready to play in the first half and that’s got to be on me. I’ve got to prepare them better,” York Coach Randy Small said.

York played extremely tenacious defense throughout the second half and when James McCafferty knocked down consecutive 3-pointers to cut the lead to 35-31 early in the fourth quarter, the large crowd got into the game for the first time.

Falmouth responded when Cooleen got loose underneath for a three-point play and Matt Kingry made his only shot, a circus flip over his head while driving past the basket. Kingry was also instrumental in holding Liam Langaas to seven points.

York, which never got its transition game going and took just four free throws (Falmouth was 12 of 19 at the line) didn’t get closer than seven points the rest of the way, despite Falmouth making just 2 of 8 free throws in the final 2:28.

The teams will meet again Feb. 7 at Falmouth.

“We’ve got to get better and this team will,” Small said. “That’s the great thing about basketball. You get 18 chances. This is going to be good medicine for us.”