BOX SCORE

Greely 57 Falmouth 52

G- 16 9 13 19- 57
F- 12 6 16 18- 52

G- Bagshaw 6-10-24, Gabloff 2-4-9, Bernheisel 3-2-8, Butler 3-1-8, Lawrence 1-3-6, Walker 0-2-2

F- Simonds 9-2-25, Coyne 4-0-11, LeFevre 2-0-6, Hamilton 2-0-4, Hanrahan 1-2-4, McKee 1-0-2

3-pointers:
G (5) Bagshaw 2, Butler, Gabloff, Lawrence 1
F (10) Simonds 5, Coyne 3, LeFevre 2

Turnovers:
G- 25
F- 21

FTs
G: 22-30
F: 4-8

FALMOUTH—If you think that Greely’s boys’ basketball team isn’t capable of winning another state title this winter, you might want to guess again.

The Rangers, the three-time defending Class A champs, might have been hard-hit by graduation and may have lost their season opener, but Tuesday evening, at a familiar foe they’ve dominated in recent years, they reminded everyone that the road to the title still goes through Cumberland/North Yarmouth.

Greely led host Falmouth most of the way and while senior standout Logan Bagshaw did his thing, he had plenty of help as the Rangers did just enough to prevail.

Bagshaw scored 11 first quarter points and that, combined with Yachtsmen foul trouble, allowed Greely to open up a 16-12 lead.

Falmouth went on a 6-0 run to start the second period, thanks to five points from its senior star, Michael Simonds, but the Rangers scored the final nine points of the first half, capped by a pair of free throws from sophomore Timmy Walker, to take a 25-18 advantage to the break.

Two Bagshaw free throws put Greely up by 11 early in the third quarter, but by period’s end, the Yachtsmen drew back within four, 38-34.

That set up a dramatic finish.

The Rangers appeared home free when Bagshaw made two foul shots with 2:53 on the clock, but he would foul out and Falmouth rallied behind the sharpshooting of Simonds, whose 3-pointer with 51.5 seconds remaining made it a four-point game, 53-49

Greely refused to buckle, however, as senior Jakob Bernheisel made two free throws and despite a late 3 from Yachtsmen sophomore Brady Coyne, one free throw apiece from senior Andrew Lawrence and junior Luke Gabloff, who was stellar on defense all evening, allowed the Rangers to enjoy a 57-52 victory.

Greely won its 10th game in a row over Falmouth, improved to 1-1 on the season and in the process, dropped the Yachtsmen to 0-2.

“This is a huge rivalry and coming over here is a huge adventure,” said Rangers’ coach Travis Seaver. “No matter the score, it always seems like it’s a game at the end. We knew it would be tough.”

Bouncing back

Falmouth and Greely are two of the most tradition-rich, successful boys’ basketball programs in the state and they’ve combined to win the past four Class A state titles.

Last year, the Rangers ousted the Yachtsmen, 64-48, in the Class A South Final, then three-peated by virtue of a 62-45 win over Lawrence in the state game.

Graduation has hit Greely hard, however, and the Rangers appear a little more vulnerable than in years past. Greely opened with a 63-51 home loss to York Friday.

Falmouth came into the year with high hopes, but the Yachtsmen started with a 54-50 loss at Kennebunk.

Last winter, in the teams’ lone regular season meeting, Greely beat visiting Falmouth, 46-29, to make it nine in a row in the series.

Tuesday, in front of a raucous crowd, the Yachtsmen sought their first win over the Rangers since Jan. 10, 2015 (60-51 in Cumberland) and their first in Falmouth since Dec. 20, 2014 (55-52), but Greely found a way to make it 10 in a row in the series.

The Yachtsmen started fast when Coyne sank a 3 37 seconds into the game.

After Bernheisel got the Rangers on the board by getting a short jumper to rattle home, senior Emmett Hamilton’s leaner made it 5-2.

After Bagshaw scored his first points, on a finger roll off the glass, Simonds was called for his second foul.

Falmouth got a layup after a steal by Coyne, but Bagshaw tied the score with a 3, then with 2:28 to go in the frame, Greely went on top for the first time when Gabloff converted an old-fashioned three-point play, making a runner in the lane while being fouled then adding the and-one free throw, to make it 10-7.

Junior Ethan McKee got two points back for the Yachtsmen with a putback, but Bagshaw made two free throws.

With 1:50 left in the quarter, Coyne made another 3, but Bagshaw hit a fadeaway jumper, then Bagshaw converted a runner for a 16-12 advantage after eight minutes.

In the first period, Coyne had eight points, but Bagshaw scored 11.

Simonds returned to the floor for the second quarter and Falmouth erased the deficit and took the lead for the final time.

After Simonds made a layup after a steal, junior Vincent Hanrahan sank a free throw before a long 3 from Simonds put the Yachtsmen on top, 18-16, with 5:04 to go before halftime.

That lead lasted all of 48 seconds, as Gabloff hit two free throws to snap a 4-minute, 16-second drought.

With 3:02 remaining in the half, Bagshaw set up Bernheisel for a reverse layup and Greely was back on top for good.

Late in the second period, Bagshaw sank a 3 and Walker’s two free throws extended the lead to seven, 25-18.

The only bad news for the Rangers was Bagshaw picking up a second foul with 1:55 on the clock, then being whistled for a third with just 7.5 seconds remaining.

In the first half, Bagshaw led all scorers with 14 points.

The teams would go back-and-forth in the third period.

After Bagshaw set up senior Nick Butler for a transition layup, Simonds countered with a layup, snapping Falmouth’s 6:15 drought and Greely’s 11-0 run.

The Rangers shook that off and got a driving layup from Bernheisel and a pair of Bagshaw free throws to go ahead, 31-20, with 6:20 to play in the quarter.

The Yachtsmen then chipped away and got back in it.

First, Hamilton scored on a leaner.

Then, after Gabloff was called for his third foul, Simonds sank a 3 to make it 31-25.

Bagshaw made a layup for Greely, but senior Josh LeFevre answered with a 3 and after a Butler putback, LeFevre made another 3 and Simonds pulled up and drained a 3-ball to cut the deficit to a single point, 35-34.

That’s as close as Falmouth would get, however.

The Rangers got a little momentum back with 1:14 on the clock, as Gabloff sank a 3 to make it 38-34 Greely heading for the final stanza.

Where the Rangers did just enough to prevail.

Just eight seconds into the fourth period, Lawrence buried a clutch 3.

After Gabloff was whistled for his fourth foul, Butler’s corner 3 made it 44-34.

Hanrahan got a point back at the line, ending a 4:49 drought, and after Lawrence made a free throw, a Simonds floater cut the Yachtsmen’s deficit to 45-37 with 4:23 on the clock.

Greely didn’t fold, as Butler made a free throw and after Simonds hit a leaner in the lane, Bagshaw sank two free throws, then with 2:53 to go, Bagshaw hit two more foul shots for a 50-39 advantage.

But Falmouth wasn’t done.

Simonds started the rally with a long 3, then he hit two free throws to make it 50-44 with 2:18 left.

Lawrence got a point back at the line for the Rangers, but Coyne fed Hanrahan for a layup to cut the deficit to five with 1:48 to play.

After Bagshaw made two free throws, Bagshaw fouled out with 1:06 left.

The Yachtsmen tried to take advantage, as Simonds buried a 3. After Walker missed two free throws, Simonds had a look at a 3 to make things even closer, but he was off target.

With 32.4 seconds to go, Bernheisel calmly drained two foul shots, but 11 seconds later, after Simonds missed a 3, but collected the rebound, he fed Coyne for a 3 which made it a one-possession contest, 55-52.

Greely was then able to run 12 seconds off the clock before Lawrence was fouled with 9.5 seconds remaining. Lawrence missed his first attempt, but made his second to essentially ice it and after Coyne missed a layup, Gabloff got the rebound and was fouled with 1.2 seconds remaining.

Gabloff then made one more free throw to bring the curtain down on the Rangers’ 57-52 victory.

“I was nervous (after fouling out), but I was confident in the guys that they’d stay strong and we came out with the win,” Bagshaw said. “It’s awesome to beat Falmouth. Their senior class always beat us in middle school, so beating them means everything to us. We came out strong after losing to York. Everyone on the team worked as hard as they could and that’s why we came out with a ‘W’ at the end. Our hard work on defense translated into offense. We had steals lead to transition buckets. Everyone worked hard and played key roles. A lot of teams overlook our younger guys. They underestimate our guys and they come out and play hard.”

“This is a huge win for us,” Gabloff said. “(Falmouth’s) a tough team. They have really good ball-handlers. It’s a good bounce-back for us. It’s something we really needed. We knew we had to be strong with the ball, get fouls and hit free throws. Overall, we did well at the end.”

“The way we changed from the way we played Friday to tonight in a tough environment, to see that growth early in the season is something we were looking for,” Greely coach Travis Seaver added. “That first game was a good eye-opener for us. To lose the way we did, not playing well, that was tough. I give credit to our seniors. They stepped up tonight. We had a game plan and we knew what we wanted to do, get the ball baseline to baseline. Sometimes, we were successful at doing that. We had to buckle down and get to the free throw line. We made it interesting, but guys did a good job.”

Greely was paced by 24 points from Bagshaw, who also had five assists before fouling out.

“I trust him,” said Seaver. “It’s no secret we’re better with him on the floor. We changed matchups a little bit to try to gain minutes with him. He did a good job playing through it.”

Gabloff had nine points and five rebounds, but just as importantly, he took a program record-tying five charges.

“I’ve always taken pride in taking charges,” Gabloff said. “I have to give credit to  (former teammate) Mikey Coppersmith. He taught me that.”

“Luke stepped up huge tonight,” Bagshaw said. “He’s played a huge role this year. Those charges changed the game.”

“Credit to Luke,” Seaver added. “He does a great job getting into space. He reads it well.”

Bernheisel had eight points, as did Butler. Lawrence added six points and six rebounds and Walker finished with two points.

The Rangers overcame 25 turnovers and hit 22-of-30 foul shots.

Falmouth got 25 points, five assists, five rebounds and four steals from Simonds, who came on strong late.

Coyne added 11 points, LeFevre had six (to go with five rebounds) off the bench, Hamilton and Hanrahan scored four apiece and McKee had two.

The Yachtsmen enjoyed a 26-23 rebounding edge, but made just 4-of-8 free throws and committed 21 turnovers.

“We dug a hole for ourselves like we did in our first game,” said longtime Falmouth coach Dave Halligan. “We’re not making shots or getting to the foul line. We didn’t get to the rim. We settled for shots. We didn’t get the ball inside. We had a size advantage, but we didn’t use it. We’re not sharing the ball.”

Rounding into form

Falmouth travels to Biddeford Friday, seeking its first win.

“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves,” said Halligan, who admitted after the game he couldn’t remember an 0-2 start in his tenure. “It’s a long season. We have to figure it out in practice. We have to go back to work.”

Greely, meanwhile, is at Fryeburg Academy.

“We need to do this every game against every team,” said Gabloff. “In practice, we have to get better. Practices have to be harder than games. I believe we can still be a championship-caliber team.”

“This sets the bar high for us,” said Bagshaw. “We have to play like this every night in order to win.”

“This is a big step for us,” Seaver added. “This shows that we still have a long way to grow, but that growth is possible. I love this team. We have a lot of upside. We know what we need to get better at.”

Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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