FREEPORT — It might take Freeport’s girls’ basketball team a little while to get going, but once

Karli Chapin of Cape Elizabeth denies a pass to Freeport’s Rachel Wall during a WMC girls basketball game at Freeport on Thursday. (Ben McCanna / Portland Press Herald)

Caroline Smith gets in gear and gets her teammates involved, look out.

Thursday evening, the Falcons hosted Cape Elizabeth in a rematch of last year’s Class B South semifinal, and they couldn’t gain any separation in the first half. The second half was a different story, as Smith did a little of everything and post players Mason Baker-Schlendering and Rachel Wall were too much for the Capers in a 40-23 Freeport victory.

The Falcons improved to 3-0.

“Our attention to detail was better in the second half,” said Falcons Coach Seth Farrington. “Our effort was great. I think we’re progressing well.”

Cape Elizabeth’s smothering defense, led by Karli Chapin, forced six turnovers in the first quarter,

Freeport’s Caroline Smith looks for an opening against Emily Supple of Cape Elizabeth. Smith scored 15 points to lead the Falcons to a 40-23 WMC win on Thursday. (Ben McCanna / Portland Press Herald)

and the Capers held a 10-8 advantage after Emily Supple set up Isabel Berman for a late layup.

Berman added two foul shots with 5:29 remaining in the first half, but Cape Elizabeth (1-2) didn’t score again before the break and the Falcons closed on an 8-0 run, capped by a long jumper from Smith that put her team ahead to stay and a putback from Baker-Schlendering.

The Capers snapped a 6:15 scoring drought early in the third quarter, but Smith twice scored after steals. She also set up a teammate with a behind-the-back pass for a shot that didn’t go in, but the play energized the Falcons and their partisan crowd.

“We talk a lot about energy and effort, and obviously, it wasn’t our best scoring game, so we had to find other ways to get into the game,” said Smith.

Later in the quarter, Baker-Schlendering scored twice in close and blocked a pair of shots on the same defensive possession to help Freeport extend its advantage to 32-19.

“Getting blocked shots gets a great reaction from the crowd,” said Baker-Schlendering. “Our size advantage is big for us. A lot of our plays are based on that.”

Cape Elizabeth never drew closer than 12 points from there, and the Falcons allowed just four points in the final quarter.

“We have everyone back, and this is probably the most tight-knit group I’ve ever coached,” Farrington said. “I think we can put our 14 student-athletes against anybody.”

Smith scored 15 points. Wall added 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Baker-Schlendering finished with eight points, 10 rebounds and six blocked shots.

Cape Elizabeth was paced by eight points from Berman and seven from Alison Gerety, but missed its share of close shots and free throws.

“Our emphasis was on the first four minutes of the third quarter,” said Cape Coach Chris Casterella. “If we could have maintained a four- or six-point game, it would have been a different story, but once we gave them breathing room, we couldn’t recover.

“I do feel good because the kids are working hard and we stayed with a very good team for awhile.”

Comments are not available on this story.