Danny Casale of Freeport, right, dribbles around Camden Folsom of Brunswick, during a basketball game Thursday in Brunswick. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

BRUNSWICK — What a difference 48 hours can make.

On Tuesday night, the Freeport boys basketball team handled Brunswick ease, rolling to a 23-point victory. Two nights later, the teams met again, and the Falcons also prevailed.

But this one was much, much closer, as the Falcons came away with a 47-44 victory. They ended the game on a 7-0 run to grab the victory.

“I think the biggest factor was just coming off the bus, we haven’t played an away game yet and it’s something to get used to with going straight from the bus to warmups,” said Freeport junior guard Blaine Cockburn, who finished with five points. “We definitely lacked some energy in the beginning but found our game as the game went on.”

For the Dragons, it was a big improvement from Tuesday’s performance. Brunswick standout senior forward Evan Kilfoil attests that to the energy and effort that the team brought Thursday.

“Honestly, our intensity and effort was lacking on Tuesday, and we brought it (Thursday),” said Kilfoil, who finished with a team-high 14 points, including a loud breakaway dunk in the fourth quarter. “I think we were just getting our feet wet last game and our spirits were on another level (Thursday).”

It was the first game for the Dragons on their home floor in over a year. 

Colby Arsenault of Freeport, left, looks to inbound a pass over Evan Kilfoil of Brunswick during a game on Thursday in Brunswick. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

“We’re definitely more comfortable here and feel confident in our game here,” said Kilfoil. “But it’s still just basketball and we’re ready to go on any floor we play on.”

The players are still getting used to the lack of fans in attendance. Kilfoil said he doesn’t try to let it bother him.

“It’s hard creating the energy that the Brunswick crowd always creates,” said Kilfoil. “We just have to make our own energy on the floor and on the bench instead.”

It was a tight game all the way through. In the fourth quarter, the teams traded baskets. After a Cody Larson chasedown block and a Kilfoil slam gave the Dragons a 44-40 lead with just over two minutes to go, the Falcons clamped down on defense and ran their offense through Arsenault. 

After a Colby Arsenault 3-pointer and a Brunswick turnover, a Tony Casale (12 points) layup with 55 seconds to go gave the Falcons a 45-44 lead, one they wouldn’t give back.

“We got some experience of learning how to finish down the stretch, and especially considering we didn’t play our best game tonight I think we finished the game strong,” said Cockburn.

The Dragons got a good look on a Larson mid-range jumper, but it fell just short with 10 seconds remaining, forcing the Dragons to foul.

A pair of Arsenault free throws iced the game with a few seconds remaining.

Blaine Cockburn of Freeport calls out a play as he dribbles the ball up the court during a basketball game against Brunswick on Thursday at Brunswick High School. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

Freeport lacked a little energy early in the game, and it showed on the scoreboard. After a pair of Elias Thomas free throws made it 6-4 Falcons early in the first, the Dragons went on an 11-0 run. 

The Falcons were forced to play from behind practically all game, something they didn’t have to do Tuesday.

“We started to take care of the ball and make our shots, we didn’t force anything to turn the ball over,” said Cockburn. 

The Falcons clawed their way back throughout the second quarter, and eventually knotted the game at 20 apiece before a Quinn McCaffrey steal and deep 3-pointer at the buzzer gave Brunswick the lead and momentum going into halftime. 

Freeport forward Arsenault took over in the second half. Arsenault finished with 19 points, with 14 coming in the second half alone.

Sophomore Thomas Harvey added 13 for the Dragons.

“Definitely a better performance than Tuesday, we have to clean some things up by our direction tonight was good, we’ll be better next week,” added Kilfoil. 

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