Sam Skop, a senior center for the Falmouth boys’ basketball team, admitted to some nerves coming into the Class A South quarterfinal Saturday night against Westbrook.

But once the game started, he looked pretty comfortable. So did the rest of the Yachtsmen.

Second-seeded Falmouth scored the first seven points and pulled away from seventh-seeded Westbrook for a 61-33 win at the Portland Expo.

Skop led Falmouth with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Colin Coyne and Sean Walsh each scored 13 points.

But it was Falmouth’s defense that set the tone. Westbrook (10-9) missed all 10 of its shots in the first quarter – the Blue Blazes didn’t get a field goal until Bailey Sawyer scored inside with 6:17 left in the half – and never got untracked.

Asked if his young team suffered from tournament jitters, Westbrook Coach Dan Legage said that might have been an issue. “But I don’t want to take away anything from what they did,” he said of Falmouth. “They had something to do with it.”

Falmouth (15-4) will play third-seeded Cape Elizabeth in the semifinals at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Cross Insurance Arena. The Yachtsmen beat Cape Elizabeth twice in the regular season, the first time by three points, the second time by two.

“It’s a huge relief right now, the first playoff game,” said Skop. “I was pretty nervous before the game. It’s nice to get it off our chest and it’s nice to get the first tournament win.”

Dave Halligan, the veteran coach at Falmouth, said this team’s senior leadership was evident at the start. “They’ve been through it,” he said. “They know what to expect.”

Walsh said that helped. “We knew what to expect,” he said. “We’ve played here before and we just played our game.”

Halligan also credited his team’s defense, which forced 15 turnovers. The Yachtsmen didn’t shoot the lights out early, either, leading just 12-1 after one. “We didn’t score a whole lot, we scored enough,” he said. “But our defense was tremendous in the first quarter.”

Falmouth got untracked in the second quarter. Skop scored eight points, many on backdoor cuts, and Colin Coyne, Thomas Coyne and Walsh each hit long 3s. It was 33-12 at the half.

Thomas Coyne finished with only nine points but also had six assists and a couple steals. Falmouth had 14 assists on its 21 baskets.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

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