BOX SCORE

Falmouth 64 Marshwood 46

M- 9 8 12 17- 46
F- 11 14 25 14- 64

M- Perry 7-0-17, Sullivan 5-3-16, Thim 2-0-5, Singer 2-0-4, Wozny 2-0-4

F- Stowell 8-3-21, L. Dilworth 6-0-14, Morrill 5-2-13, Coyne 2-4-9, Armstrong 3-1-7

3-pointers:
M (7) Perry, Sullivan 3, Thim 1
F (6) L. Dilworth, Stowell 2, Coyne, Morrill 1

Turnovers:
M- 15
F- 9

FTs
M: 3-6
F: 10-12

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FALMOUTH—If you think you’ve held the Falmouth boys’ basketball team in check, you’d better hope the clock reads zero.

Because if it doesn’t, it’s only a matter of time until the high-flying Navigators come to life.

Friday evening, Falmouth hosted Marshwood in an early-season showdown of unbeaten teams and the Navigators, who easily eclipsed the 80-point mark in each of their first two contests, only scored 25 first half points.

But 16 minutes still remained and eventually, Falmouth hit its stride.

The Navigators struggled much of the first quarter, but junior Lucas Dilworth came off the bench and sparked a rally that led to an 11-9 advantage after eight minutes, a lead that Falmouth eventually extended to 25-17 at the break.

The Hawks were very much in the game early in the third period when they trailed just 29-25, but the Navigators closed the frame on a 21-4 run and easily cruised home to a 64-46 victory.

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Senior Jack Stowell overcame a slow start to score a game-high 21 points, Dilworth added 14 and unheralded senior Zach Morrill finished with 13 as Falmouth improved to 3-0 and in the process, dropped Marshwood to 2-1.

“Marshwood’s a very good team,” said longtime Navigators coach Dave Halligan. “They have a championship pedigree. They worked hard, but once we slowed down and ran our stuff, we were fine.”

Sizzling start

Falmouth, which got to the Class A South Final in 2019-20, then went 7-1 in limited action a year ago, has been putting the ball in the basket with regularity early this winter, beating visiting Biddeford, 84-40, in the opener, then rolling at Kennebunk Tuesday, 91-69.

Marshwood stole headlines this fall, winning state titles in both boys’ soccer and football, something which had only been done by a school once before (Yarmouth, 2010). Several athletes from both of those squads are playing basketball and the Hawks hope to make noise on the hardwood too. Marshwood started with home wins over Mt. Ararat (50-36) and York (51-48).

Falmouth swept three meetings two years ago, prevailing at home (49-41), in South Berwick (53-46) and in the Class A South quarterfinals (59-38).

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Friday, the Navigators took awhile to hit their stride, but still managed to win with relative ease.

A 3-point shot from Morrill opened the scoring and after Morrill added a foul shot, Stowell scored on a runner for quick 6-0 lead, but the Hawks would rally with a run of their own.

A 3-pointer from senior Trevor Wozny got the visitors on the board and junior Andrew Perry added a 3 to tie it before a free throw from senior Aidan Sullivan gave Marshwood a 7-6 lead.

That would prove to be the Hawks’ highwater mark, as a driving layup from junior Judd Armstrong put Falmouth on top to stay, ending a 3-minute, 49-second drought, and Dilworth came off the bench to drain a 3. Junior Jason Singer made a late layup for Marshwood, but the Navigators held an 11-9 advantage after eight minutes.

Falmouth then threatened to open it up in the second quarter, but the Hawks stayed within hailing distance.

A free throw from Armstrong opened the frame, then Dilworth made a layup after a steal and Stowell hit a runner in the lane to make it 16-9 and force Hawks coach Bobby Pratt to call timeout.

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Marshwood answered on a driving layup from senior Danny Thim, but Morrill converted an old-fashioned three-point play (putback, foul, free throw) and senior Brady Coyne set up Morrill for a layup and a double-digit, 21-11, advantage.

“I didn’t recognize what we were doing in the first quarter and that was the message,” Halligan said. “Once we started getting the ball to the right people in the right places, the game came to us.”

After Perry countered with a layup, Wozny knocked down a jump shot to cut the deficit to six, but Stowell drove and finished with a reverse layup.

The Hawks again drew within six on a layup from Perry with 40 seconds to go, but just before the horn, Stowell found Dilworth for a layup and Falmouth held a 25-17 halftime lead.

In the first half, Morrill led all scorers with nine points, while Dilworth had seven points and seven rebounds.

The Navigators then blew it open in the third period.

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Perry opened the second half with a 3-ball and after Coyne drove for a layup and his first points, Sullivan made a 3 to pull Marshwood within four, 27-23.

Then, after sophomore Chris Simonds made a nice save to keep possession alive, Coyne fed Morrill for a layup, but the Hawks answered, as after a steal, Wozny passed to Sullivan for a layup to make the score 29-25.

The Navigators then erupted on an epic run to end the frame.

Stowell got things going with a corner 3.

Coyne then sank a 3 of his own and just like that, the lead was 10.

Pratt called timeout, but it didn’t help, as Dilworth drove and banked a shot home and Stowell made two free throws to cap a quick 10-0 surge.

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The Hawks got a layup from Perry, but Armstrong hit a runner, Coyne made two free throws and Stowell drove for a layup after a steal for a 45-27 advantage.

Sullivan answered with a bank shot, but in the final minute, Stowell canned a long 3, then Morrill banked home a contested shot to make it 50-29 heading for the final stanza.

There, Falmouth put it away.

The Navigators didn’t let up as the fourth quarter began, getting two free throws from Coyne and after Perry scored on a floater and Wozny made a layup after a steal, Dilworth knocked down a 3.

Sullivan hit a 3 for the Hawks, but Dilworth made a leaner for a 57-36 lead with 3:16 left.

Sullivan hit two free throws, but Armstrong countered with a driving layup.

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After Perry made a 3 for Marshwood, Stowell converted a three-point play with a layup, foul and free throw.

Sullivan made one final 3 and Singer made a layup for the Hawks’ final points before a layup after a steal from Stowell brought the curtain down on Falmouth’s 64-46 victory.

“Communication and discipline on offense got us going,” Stowell said. “Marshwood’s a tough team defensively. We knew it would be a tough matchup, but we just had to run our stuff. When the team plays well, we feed off each other.”

Stowell was the game’s high scorer with 21 points. He also had seven rebounds and five assists.

“Jack can’t get his points fast enough,” said Halligan. “The game has to come to him.”

Dilworth excelled off the bench with 14 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals.

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“Lucas brings energy off the bench and defense for sure,” said Stowell.

“(Lucas is) a tough matchup because he can play guard and shoot the 3, but he’s probably our best rebounder,” Halligan said.

Morrill added 13 points and five rebounds.

“Zach didn’t play last year because he was injured, Halligan said. “He’s playing tentative right now, but this was his best game. Flashes of what he’s capable of doing.”

Coyne had nine points, six rebounds, three steals and three assists and Armstrong contributed seven points, four assists, four rebounds, two blocked shots and two steals.

The Navigators had a 37-25 rebounding advantage, made 10 of 12 free throws and only turned the ball over nine times.

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Marshwood’s effort was paced by Perry’s 17 points, four rebounds and four blocks and Sullivan’s 16 points and six boards.

Thim had five points, Singer four (to go with six assists) and Wozny four (to go with four assists and four rebounds).

The Hawks made just 3 of 6 free throws and committed 15 turnovers.

“I thought our effort in the first half was excellent, but it was a tough third quarter,” Pratt lamented. “We know how talented they are and we knew they’d get their points. We just had to do our best to slow them down, but unfortunately, they took it to us third quarter and we didn’t have an answer on either end of the floor.”

Heavyweight bout

The teams play again Jan. 14 in South Berwick.

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“(Falmouth’s) definitely top-tier and we want to compete with them, which I thought we did tonight for three quarters,” said Pratt. “This was a learning experience. We’ve got to get better. We know we’ll see Falmouth again, so that will be another measuring stick for us.”

Falmouth is back in action Tuesday, at Class AA favorite South Portland.

“I think we’re really good,” Stowell said. “I think we just have to keep working together and playing hard. Defense and communication are our big thing. I look forward to playing South Portland. It’s a tough matchup, but it should be a fun game.”

“We’ll get better,” Halligan said. “I like what I’ve seen so far. I like the attitudes. Once we share the ball, we’ll be really special. We’re going to learn if we make a mistake we’ll pay for it and that’s why we play these games. We’re looking forward to playing South Portland and I’m sure they are too. We’ll give it our best shot.”

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

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