Falmouth sophomore Sloane Ginevan drives on Cheverus junior Lillie Singleton during the Stags’ 51-35 victory Friday. Michael Hoffer / For The Forecaster

BOX SCORE

Cheverus 51 Falmouth 35

F- 5 14 11 5- 35
C- 22 5 9 15- 51

F- Ginevan 6-4-16, Means 2-0-5, Turgeon 2-0-5, Christman 2-0-4, Birks 1-0-3, Welch 1-0-2

C- Fitzpatrick 8-5-23, J. Kratzer 2-0-6, E. Lizotte 2-2-6, J. Lizotte 3-0-6, Kelly 2-0-5, Jordan 1-0-2, Storey 1-0-2, Singleton 0-1-1

3-pointers:
F (3) Birks, Means, Turgeon 1
C (5) Fitzpatrick, J. Kratzer 2, Kelly 1

Turnovers:
F- 23
C- 15

FTs
F: 4-9
C: 8-16

PORTLAND—Last week, Cheverus’ girls’ basketball team jump-started its season by rallying from a 19-point deficit to shock Portland.

Friday afternoon at Keegan Gymnasium, the Stags nearly let a 17-point lead slip away against a promising young Falmouth team, but as it did in last week’s win, Cheverus turned to the brilliance of freshman sensation Maddie Fitzpatrick to emerge victorious.

The Stags appeared primed to run the Yachtsmen out of the gym when they scored 17 unanswered points to end the first quarter for a 22-5 lead, but Falmouth, behind its sophomore standout Sloane Ginevan, who had to sit much of the first period with foul trouble, sparked a rally and by halftime, thanks in large part to Ginevan’s 10 points, the Yachtsmen were back within eight, 27-19.

Ginevan and sophomore Anna Turgeon kept the pedal to the medal in the third quarter and Falmouth eventually drew within a single point, 31-30, on a jump shot from sophomore Justine Means.

But Fitzpatrick countered with five points in a 14-second span to turn the tide and Cheverus took a 36-30 lead to the fourth period.

There, Fitzpatrick scored eight more points and the Stags gradually pulled away to prevail, 51-35.

Fitzpatrick had a game-high 23 points, nearly finished with a double-double and helped Cheverus make it three wins in a row as the Stags improved to 3-1 and handed the Yachtsmen their second loss in as many games in the process.

“(That Portland) game turned our season around,” said Cheverus coach Billy Goodman. “I haven’t been with these girls a long time, but I know they won’t give up. I know the fight that’s in my team.”

Bright future

With no tournament to play for this year and with rosters heavy with underclassmen, Cheverus and Falmouth can only gear up for the 2021-22 campaign, while making the most of their limited opportunities this winter.

The Stags, who lost to Windham in last year’s Class AA North quarterfinals, opened with a 60-53 home loss to Portland, then erased a 21-2 deficit and shocked the host Bulldogs, 45-41.

“That was awesome,” Fitzpatrick said. “We were way down, but we came together and we didn’t quit.”

Wednesday, in Falmouth, Cheverus rolled to a 73-41 win, as freshman Emma Lizotte scored 15 points.

The Yachtsmen, Class A South semifinalists a year ago, began this season Wednesday with a loss to Cheverus, despite 17 points from Ginevan.

That contest was the first-ever countable meeting between the teams.

Friday, the Stags appeared poised to dominate Falmouth again, but the Yachtsmen rallied  and for awhile, made things very interesting.

After a sluggish start, Cheverus opened the scoring on an old-fashioned three-point play from Fitzpatrick (putback, foul, free throw). After senior Lauren Welch set up freshman Maddy Christman for a layup to get Falmouth on the board, senior Jillian Lizotte got a long shot to rattle in for the hosts, but Turgeon countered with a 3 to tie it, 5-5, exactly midway through the opening stanza.

The Yachtsmen wouldn’t score again in the frame, however, and Ginevan, Turgeon and senior Cam Birks all picked up their second foul, helping the Stags run off 17 straight points to seemingly lock up the victory.

A 3-ball from junior Julia Kratzer put Cheverus on top for good.

After a steal and a foul, Fitzpatrick made two free throws, Fitzpatrick hit a 3 from the corner, junior Maeve Kelly knocked down a 3-pointer, Emma Lizotte made a jump shot, junior Hayley Jordan scored on a putback and with 6.9 seconds showing, a jumper from Jillian Lizotte made it 22-5.

In the first quarter, Fitzpatrick scored eight points and Falmouth turned the ball over 10 times.

The Yachtsmen would take much better care of the ball in the second period and Fitzpatrick was shut out, allowing the visitors to rally.

With 7:15 to go before halftime, Christman scored on a runner to end the 17-0 run and Falmouth’s 4-minute, 45-second scoring drought.

Senior Madison Storey answered with a jumper for the Stags, but Ginevan knocked down a jump shot for her first points, Ginevan made a layup, then Ginevan sank two free throws with 4:09 to go in the half, pulling the Yachtsmen within 11, 24-13.

Emma Lizotte got two points back for Cheverus with a putback, but Ginevan made a layup after a steal, Welch converted a leaner and after an Emma Lizotte free throw, Ginevan made a pair of foul shots and at the half, the Stags’ lead was a little less comfortable, 27-19.

“I felt we got timid and that’s partly my fault,” Goodman said. “Every time we pull back, we stop being aggressive and that’s my fault.”

Ginevan had 10 points in the second quarter to lead all scorers in the half.

Falmouth kept the pressure on to start the second half and almost came all the way back.

Ginevan opened the third quarter with a layup, Turgeon scored on a leaner, then Ginevan hit a short jumper with 6:05 to go to make it 27-25.

Fitzpatrick then began to reassert herself by driving through traffic for a layup, her first points since the first quarter.

“Maddie came out doing great, then she looked to pass instead of shoot because that’s the type of kid she is,” Goodman said.

After junior Lillie Singleton added to the lead with a free throw, Means drained a 3 to pull the Yachtmen within two.

After Falmouth wasn’t able to convert several opportunities to tie or take the lead, Emma Lizotte made a free throw.

The Yachtsmen then made it a one-point contest with 1:08 to go in the third, when Means made a jump shot, but they would get no closer, as Fitzpatrick put on a show.

First, with 54.9 seconds left, Fitzpatrick managed to bank home a shot despite being tightly defended.

Then, 14 seconds later, after a Falmouth turnover, Fitzpatrick drained a 3 in transition and the Stags took a 36-30 advantage to the final stanza.

“Our defensive end really helped us on offense,” Fitzpatrick said. “We trusted each other. We work on defense so much.”

“We executed great after halftime,” Goodman said. “At halftime, I told Maddie she needed to be aggressive because everyone else benefits from it. She did what she was asked. She became aggressive and that opened things up for everyone else.”

Cheverus gradually pulled away in the fourth period.

Fitzpatrick started the frame with a free throw, then scored on a putback to stretch the lead to nine.

After Ginevan answered by driving for a layup, ending the Stags’ 8-0 run, Fitzpatrick made it a 10-point game by making a layup while being fouled and adding the free throw.

A jumper from Jillian Lizotte, a 3-pointer from Kratzer and a short jumper from Fitzpatrick ended all doubt and made it 49-32 with 3:33 to play.

Down the stretch, Birks sank a 3 for Falmouth’s final points and a layup by Kelly accounted for the 51-35 final score.

“It’s been a big week for us,” Goodman said. “I’m proud of the girls. We’ve played Portland twice, scrimmaged and beat Greely and played Falmouth twice. We’ve had three good teams to play.”

Fitzpatrick put on a show, scoring 23 points, grabbing nine rebounds and adding three steals.

“It’s awesome,” Fitzpatrick said. “The team is so close and so enthusiastic. It’s so much fun to be a part of.”

She’s only four games into her freshman season, but whispers have already begun that Maddie Fitzpatrick could become one of the great players of recent vintage.

“I was lucky enough to coach (2012 Miss Maine Basketball) Alexa Coulombe (at McAuley), who filled the stat sheet and Maddie fills the stat sheet too,” Goodman said. “She’s coachable. She does the little things. She has a great attitude, whether things are good or bad, like (2014 Miss Maine Basketball Allie Clement, also from McAuley). Maddie’s a mix of a couple great players I’ve coached.”

Kratzer, Emma Lizotte (six rebounds) and Jillian Lizotte (six rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots) added six points apiece, Kelly had five, Jordan (eight boards) and Storey (four rebounds) two apiece and Singleton one (to go with three steals).

Cheverus had a 41-27 rebounding advantage and overcame 15 turnovers and 8-of-16 foul shooting.

Falmouth’s effort was spearheaded by Ginevan, who wound up 16 points. She also had five steals and four rebounds.

Means and Turgeon (12 rebounds, two blocked shots) had five points apiece, Christman added four (to go with six rebounds and a pair of blocks), Birks had three and Welch finished with two.

The Yachtsmen made 4-of-9 free throws and turned the ball over 23 times.

“I’m proud of the girls,” said Falmouth coach Dawn Armandi. “They kept fighting even though we were in foul trouble. I had three of my best players in foul trouble by the second quarter. We wanted to chip away one possession at a time. We’re better when we slow things down and don’t let the other team dictate tempo.

“Cheverus is such a great team. Maddie went on that run and that hurt us, but we played 100 percent better than what we showed the other day. We’d been in quarantine for 10 days. Unfortunately, we had just one practice, then we had to face Cheverus. We’re young and athletic and quick. We just have to get there mentally. ”

A new week

Falmouth is back in action Tuesday at home versus Portland. The Yachtsmen then go to the Bulldogs Thursday. Falmouth also has a pair of games remaining against Deering and South Portland and one versus Greely.

“Out of my 13 kids, 10 are freshmen and sophomores,” Armandi said. “We’re learning to play together and find what works best. I also want this year to mean something for our seniors.

“In my opinion, we have the toughest schedule and we’re playing in the highest division. It’s good for us. It shows us where we fit. We’ll compete against the best, then we’ll see what we can do next year.”

Cheverus looks to make it four victories in a row Tuesday when Deering pays a visit. The Stags go to the Rams Thursday and also have a pair of games remaining against both South Portland and Windham.

“I feel like we’re building a legacy here,” said Fitzpatrick. “We just want to keep this energy and enthusiasm through the rest of our games. We don’t want any more losses and we want to get better as a team.”

“Every game is a playoff game for us,” Goodman said. “That’s how we’re looking at it.”

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

Comments are not available on this story.