The Yachtsmen docked in Freeport Thursday evening, and with Jack Simonds – who ultimately totaled a game-high 29 – at the helm, built a gargantuan first-quarter lead, 31-2. Play evened out somewhat as the action progressed, and both Brendan Qualls and Jack Davenport posted double-digit performances for the Falcons, but Falmouth nevertheless ran away with the W, 76-33.

The win bumps No. 3 Falmouth – squeezed in A West between No. 2 South Portland (13-3) and No. 4 Gorham (12-4) – to 13-3 on the year. Freeport, B West’s last-place outfit, drops to 0-16 this season.

The Yachtsmen tallied 28 unanswered points to open the game, an immediate and intimidating assault liable to deflate any opponent’s morale. Qualls finally put Freeport on the scoreboard as the first quarter neared its conclusion, but the Falcons found themselves stuck struggling to catch up, and their hopes of succeeding slim.

“We’ve been getting off to slow starts all year,” said Reid. “I still haven’t really cracked the code yet, on how to change that. For us, a lot of it’s still mental. We don’t prepare well enough mentally to compete with a team like Falmouth, and it obviously showed tonight.”

In the second and third quarters, though, they dug up something of a groove: Freeport added 11 to Falmouth’s 12 during the eight minutes before the break, then outscored the Yachtsmen 15 to 14 in the eight minutes after it, resulting in perfect numerical balance.

It was a Pyrrhic victory, faced as they were with almost certain defeat, but to win a battle while losing the war remains laudable, if not satisfying.

A combination of factors allowed the Falcons to even out the play in the middle stretch. Their shooting sharpened, and they drained a battery of long balls – Qualls, Davenport and Eli Fox each added a three in the third, for instance.

Moreover, the team tied up loose ends.

“Little things,” said Reid. “Execution. When we did get good looks in the zone, we were ball-faking, we were getting into gaps, and the continuity was there with offense.”

Finally, Falmouth changed their approach. Simonds didn’t disappear from the court entirely, but he perhaps rested more minutes than he otherwise would have, and his squad altered their defensive setup.

“Their defense changed a little bit,” said Reid. “I think we had a little bit more success against their man vs. their 1-2-2.”

The final quarter saw the Yachtsmen retake firm control of the action, though. On a bevy of threes of their own, Falmouth notched 19, while their adjustments on defense effectively shut down Freeport all over again, limiting them to just five. 76-33 the final.

Falmouth hosts Cape Elizabeth (13-2 in B West) on Tuesday, Feb. 3, then closes their regular-season schedule at Kennebunk (5-11 in A West) on Thursday the 5th. Freeport, meanwhile, travels to Kennebunk on the 3rd and hosts Yarmouth (13-3 in B West) on the 5th.

“It’s been very inconsistent, to be honest with you,” said Reid of the Falcons’ development this season. “At times, we make good progress and we head in the right direction, and then…we take two steps backward.

“It’s tough to really gain momentum that way. So we still have some work left to do, and we have some opportunities left this season that we’ll take advantage of.”

Connor Dostie wheels around, into a jumper for Freeport against Falmouth Thursday night.Eli Fox lets loose a high-angled jumper against visiting Falmouth.Jack Davenport tries for two underneath against visiting Falmouth. Davenport had 11 in the Falcons’ loss to the Yachtsmen.Freeport’s Nate Pelletier gets air over a Yachtsmen defender.Nate Cyr skirts a Falmouth defender Thursday night in Freeport’s 76-33 loss.

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