CAPE ELIZABETH — In a first half that featured two physical half-court defenses and plenty of missed shots, Falmouth High’s flashy guard, Thomas Coyne, had only two points.

No panic.

Coyne drove his way to 20 second-half points, leading the Yachtsmen to a 44-42 win over Cape Elizabeth in a key Class A South boys’ basketball game Tuesday night.

Falmouth leads the South with a 14-3 record with one game to go – at home Thursday night against Greely (14-3).

“Tough stretch to end the season,” Coyne said.

Cape Elizabeth dropped to 13-4 with its second loss to the Yachtsmen.

Falmouth led 14-8 at halftime and built an 11-point lead early in the fourth quarter.

But the Capers charged back and had a chance to win. With Cape inbounding the ball in its half of the court with 0.8 seconds to go, Finn Bowe got off a desperation 3-pointer that was off.

Bowe led Cape Elizabeth with 22 points, also with 20 in the second half.

Neither Coyne nor Bowe could break loose in a low-scoring first half.

“Two good teams – two good defenses – going at it,” Falmouth Coach Dave Halligan said. “Each possession was important.”

Coyne had no points in the first quarter and only one basket in the second, on a putback.

“We knew they play good defense,” Coyne said. “We just had to keep playing through it and not worry about the points.”

Falmouth shot only 19 percent in the first half but rebounded its misses (14 offensive rebounds in the game). Cape Elizabeth shot only 21 percent.

“That first half – where did that come from?” Capers Coach Jim Ray said. “We were tight.”

Part of that tightness was three missed foul shots at the end of the half.

In the second half, Coyne, a 6-foot-1 senior, began driving aggressively, hitting jumpers or drawing fouls.

The Capers’ 5-foot-11 guard, Marcus Donnelly (12 points), also began driving. His jumper late in the third quarter closed Falmouth’s lead to 30-25.

But Coyne got the ball one more time. He got his defender in the air and drew a foul on a 3-point shot. He hit all three free throws – part of his 11-of-11 night from the line – for a 33-25 lead.

“Big-time players take over in big-time situations,” Halligan said.

Walsh and Colin Coyne gave Falmouth balance; Colin Coyne scored 11 points and Walsh had nine on three 3-pointers. His 3-pointer gave Falmouth a 36-25 lead to start the fourth.

“They don’t quit. We knew that,” Halligan said.

The Capers had chances. Down 42-39, they threw the ball away. Falmouth went up 44-39, but Bowe’s 3-pointer made it 44-42 with 15 seconds left.

Falmouth missed a free throw and Quinn Hewitt rebounded for the Capers. The Yachtsmen had two fouls to give and used them, leaving Cape Elizabeth with the ball and 0.8 seconds left.

One more shot, a miss, and Falmouth remained atop the South.

Sam Skop had 12 rebounds for Falmouth and Matt Wulbrecht grabbed 11. Justin Guerette had 12 rebounds for Cape Elizabeth.


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