FALMOUTH — The Falmouth boys’ basketball team was coming off its first loss of the season and was fired up to knock South Portland from the ranks of the unbeaten on Monday.

It took all 32 minutes, but the Yachtsmen were able to do just that.

Falmouth led much of the night, but didn’t put South Portland away until senior Sean Dilworth made a pair of foul shots with seven seconds left to give the Yachtsmen a 62-60 win.

“We were super excited for tonight,” said Dilworth. “We got to play a really good team and we took better care of the ball than we did (in Saturday’s loss at Deering).”

Falmouth came out sizzling from 3-point range, making three of its first five attempts. Brady Coyne made two 3s and Jack Stowell one as the Yachtsmen took an 11-4 lead.

South Portland came right back with an 8-0 run. Dominant big man J.P. Estrella scored on a putback, and showed impressive range with a 3-pointer and Mayen Ayuel added a 3 to give the Red Riots a 12-11 lead. The Yachtsmen then responded and took a 17-15 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

Neither team led by more than four points in a back-and-forth second, that culminated with 3-pointers from Stowell and Coyne that gave Falmouth a 31-27 halftime lead.

Early in the third quarter, a Dilworth layup put the Yachtsmen up by nine, but again, the Red Riots rallied. Jaelen Jackson’s 3-point shot just before the horn tied it, 49-49.

In the fourth quarter, the game was tied three more times, 54-54, on a Ayuel 3-point shot, 56-56, on an Ayuel leaner, and 60-60, when Estrella tipped home a miss with 1:13 remaining.

Falmouth then milked the clock under 10 seconds before Dilworth was fouled. He calmly sank both attempts.

“I was thinking that I had to take (the ball) to the hoop, hopefully get some contact and go to the line,” Dilworth said. “I just tried to block out everything at the line. I made the first one and the second one was easy after that.”

South Portland had a chance to win it at the horn, but a long 3-pointer from Owen Maloney was no good and the Yachtsmen improved to 6-1.

“Playing a team like South Portland is how you get better,” said Falmouth Coach Dave Halligan. “You make a mistake and they make you pay for it.”

Coyne scored 19 points and Stowell 16 for Falmouth. Big men Ethan McKee and Vinnie Hanrahan were strong as well for the Yachtsmen, although Estrella managed to finish with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Ayuel led the Red Riots (6-1) with 21 points and Jackson added 16.

“I knew that Falmouth shoots really well and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, so I went into this game knowing they could make us pay for being a new team that hasn’t been able to practice much,” said South Portland Coach Kevin Millington.

The teams play again Wednesday night in South Portland.


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