The yells and whoops and hollers from the Falmouth High girls’ basketball locker room in the basement of the Portland Expo were loud, long and joyous.

As they should have been.

Falmouth, which returned just one starter from a team that won two games last season, and which has no seniors on its roster and starts two freshmen, upset second-seeded Kennebunk 44-35 in the Class A South quarterfinals Monday. The seventh-seeded Yachtsmen took a 13-1 lead in the first quarter and showed remarkable poise in holding off the taller, more experienced Rams to advance to the regional semifinals for the first time since 2009.

Falmouth will play No. 3 Marshwood at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Expo. The Hawks survived a scare Monday, beating neighboring rival York, 58-53.

Here’s the question: Was Falmouth’s win really an upset?

“Seedwise, yeah,” said Falmouth junior guard Allison Cunningham, who hit eight foul shots in the fourth quarter. “But when we play like that, as a team, we’re a really good team. The way we played, I think we deserved to win.”

“We’re small in numbers, small in age,” said freshman Sloan Ginevan. “But I think when we all work together, we can beat anyone.”

Falmouth defeated Kennebunk in its season opener and Marshwood in its regular-season finale. The Yachtsmen were competitive in many other games, losing two close games against No. 5 Brunswick (by four and five points) and to No. 6 York by six points. They also lost to Class AA Massabesic by two points.

That’s impressive for a team that was expected to be in rebuilding mode. But Coach Dawn Armandi, who returned after taking a year off following the birth of her second child, Phoebe, saw something special in this team.

Freshmen like Ginevan and Anna Turgeon, who led Falmouth with 18 points, have grown considerably throughout the year.

“They have their (freshman) moments,” said Armandi. “Like any other kids. They played huge today. I’ve been putting, unfortunately, pressure on them all year long – your age is not an excuse. You’re important to this program and we need you to do well. And they’ve stepped up.

“We got a special group going on right now. And the best part is they’re all coming back.”

As disappointed as he was, Kennebunk Coach Rob Sullivan realized how well Falmouth played. “They work really hard, they come out with great energy,” he said. “They played hard and played with poise, certainly beyond their years.”

Every time the Rams made a run, the young Yachtsmen responded. Kennebunk pulled within two late in the second quarter before Turgeon nailed a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the top of the key.

That play started at the opposite end of the court with 4.8 seconds left. Cunningham passed ahead to Cameron Birks, who turned and found Turgeon.

“I didn’t exactly see the clock or see where I was,” said Turgeon. “I just knew I need to get this shot up. I just shot it and ‘Bang.'”

Kennebunk got within three late in the third quarter on an Emily Archibald drive. But Falmouth scored the next seven points – a 3-pointer by Turgeon and two baskets from Lauren Welch – and it was a 10-point lead entering the fourth.

There, Cunningham hit 8 of 13 foul shots to enable Falmouth to move on. Marshwood is next, and given that Falmouth split with the Hawks in the regular season, anything seems possible.

“They’re a great team,” said Armandi. “They’ve got a lot of height. They’re older. It’s not going to be easy. But if we do what we did tonight, which was execute, and did it one possession at a time and one stop at a time, we have a chance.”

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