Falmouth 59 Westbrook 39

W- 11 6 9 13- 39
F- 16 13 13 17- 59

W- Hethcoat 7-1-15, Taylor 3-0-7, Dunphe 3-0-6, Eugley 2-0-4, Lombardo 1-0-2, Omar 1-0-2, Pierce 1-0-2, Doolittle 0-1-1

F- Coyne 6-0-14, Morrill 5-1-11, Stowell 5-0-11, Dilworth 3-2-10, Armstrong 3-0-6, Simonds 3-0-6, Cameron 0-1-1

W (1) Taylor 1
F (5) Coyne, Dilworth 2, Stowell 1

W- 20
F- 10

W: 2-6
F: 4-11


PORTLAND—If you want to know just how deep and balanced Falmouth’s boys’ basketball team is, chew on this:

Saturday evening, in a Class A South quarterfinal round contest against upstart Westbrook at the Portland Exposition Building, Navigators senior standouts Brady Coyne and Jack Stowell combined for a modest 25 points.

And Falmouth still won going away.

The top-ranked Navigators got a tremendous effort across the board and while the ninth-seeded Blue Blazes did all they could to stay in the game, it simply wasn’t to be.

Falmouth took the lead for good with the game 10 seconds old and was up, 16-11, after one quarter before going ahead, 29-17, at halftime, but with Stowell in foul trouble and Coyne stymied by a balky knee, Westbrook got as close as seven points, 29-22, in the third period.

And then, the Navigators hit another gear, as senior Zach Morrill, juniors Judd Armstrong and Lucas Dilworth and sophomore Chris Simonds all played key roles in helping break it open.


Falmouth closed the third on an 11-2 run and the game was never in doubt in the fourth quarter as the Navigators pulled away for a 59-39 victory.

Coyne led the way with 14 points, Morrill and Stowell each contributed 11 and Dilworth finished with 10 as Falmouth improved to 17-2, ended Westbrook’s season at 7-12 and advanced to meet No. 5 Fryeburg Academy (11-9) in the Class A South semifinals Wednesday at 7:45 p.m., at the Expo.

“The first tournament game is always hard,” said longtime Navigators coach Dave Halligan. “Westbrook’s a team we really didn’t want to play because their record didn’t tell their story. Even their losses were close. They’re a good, senior-led team. It showed tonight, but we learned from our experience with them before and learned what worked and what didn’t.”

Clear favorite

Falmouth was dominant from start to finish this season, losing only at Class AA powers Portland and South Portland and winning 16 times by an average of 25 points. The Navigators scored at least 80 points on five occasions.

Westbrook struggled early, starting 0-3, 1-5 and 2-7, but the Blue Blazes hit their stride in the second half of the season, then upset No. 8 Morse, 56-36, in Tuesday’s preliminary round in Bath.


Falmouth and Westbrook played back-to-back games late in the regular season, with the Navigators taking a 66-54 home decision behind Stowell’s 24 points, then winning at the Blue Blazes 24 hours later, 57-44, as Coyne led the way with 20 points.

The teams had met twice previously in the tournament, with Falmouth eking out a 48-47 overtime victory in the 2015 Western A quarterfinals, then winning by a 61-33 margin in the 2016 Class A South quarterfinals.

Saturday, the Navigators did what top seeds are supposed to do, even though valiant Westbrook refused to go quietly.

Falmouth junior Judd Armstrong and Westbrook sophomore Aiden Taylor go up for the opening tip in the Navigators’ 59-39 victory in Saturday’s Class A South quarterfinal. Hoffer photos.

Just 10 seconds in, Coyne set up Stowell for an open 3-pointer and Falmouth was off and running.

Blue Blazes senior standout Tyler Hethcoat scored his first points on a jumper, but Stowell drove for a layup. After a Hethcoat free throw, Stowell set up Coyne for a fastbreak layup.

Hethcoat got a jumper to rattle home, but Stowell fed Coyne, who hit a 3 for a 10-5 lead.


The Blue Blazes got their first non-Hethcoat basket, a layup from sophomore Aiden Taylor (set up by Hethcoat), but Morrill and Dilworth scored on successive putbacks to make it 14-7,

Back came Westbrook, as junior Ben Eugley scored on a putback, then Hethcoat made a layup, but with a second left and Falmouth inbounding under the Blue Blazes’ basket, Dilworth threw a perfect length of the court pass to Morrill, who dribbled once and laid the ball in for a 16-11 advantage after eight minutes.

“A fast start was important,” Morrill said. “To play as a team was great. It’s beautiful basketball when we play together and move the ball.”

The Navigators opened things up a little bit more in the second period.

Falmouth junior Judd Armstrong plays keep-away from Westbrook senior Braiden Pierce.

After junior Kolbyn Dunphe scored on a putback for Westbrook, Coyne made a leaner, then Armstrong drove and made a layup. Dunphe countered with a floater, but Coyne made a contested bank shot.

After Dunphe set up junior Micah Lombardo for what proved to be the Blue Blazes’ final points of the half, a layup with 5:18 to go, Simonds banked home a shot, Armstrong fed Dilworth for a 3 from the corner and Stowell drove for a layup with 3:53 remaining.


There would be no more scoring from there and while Stowell was whistled for his third foul, a charge, with 3.2 seconds to go, Falmouth still held a 29-17 lead at the break.

Coyne led all first half scorers with nine points and Stowell added seven, but Hethcoat’s seven points kept Westbrook within hailing distance.

The Navigators then pulled away in the third period, but not before Westbrook made a push.

Taylor opened the second half with a 3 and Hethcoat converted a leaner to cut the deficit to 29-22, but after Halligan called timeout, Dilworth made two free throws and after Hethcoat drove for a layup, Falmouth got four straight easy hoops, as Coyne drove for a layup, Dilworth set up Armstrong for a layup off an inbounds set, Coyne fed Simonds for a layup and Armstrong set up Morrill for a layup and a 39-24 advantage.

“We were out of sync and we needed to control the tempo again,” Halligan said. “We had to be patient on offense and stay in control.”

Eugley countered with a layup, but with time winding down, Coyne drained an NBA-range 3-pointer for a 42-26 lead heading to the fourth.


Where Falmouth quickly ended any lingering doubt.

Falmouth senior Zach Morrill is stymied by Westbrook sophomore Aiden Taylor.

Just 13 seconds in, Coyne fed Stowell for a layup. Taylor countered with a jumper, but Morrill made a free throw and after Hethcoat found Dunphe for a layup, Coyne set up Morrill for a layup and Morrill scored on a putback to make it 49-30 with 5:59 to play.

Hethcoat drove for a layup, but Dilworth’s 3 from the corner stretched the lead to 20 points.

After Hethcoat scored on a runner, Stowell drove for a layup and Stowell fed Simonds for a layup to push the lead to 56-34 with 3:58 on the clock.

Senior Connor Doolittle got a point back at the line for Westbrook, but Dilworth set up Armstrong for a layup.

After senior Braiden Pierce made a layup and junior Ahmed Omar added another layup for the Blue Blazes’ final points, a free throw from junior Finn Cameron closed out Falmouth’s 59-39 victory.


“We let up a little bit in the third quarter, but we regrouped and played our basketball and played the game our way,” Morrill said.

“The big court and the atmosphere at the Expo is different,” Coyne said. “We just needed to get a win under our belt here. Starting off the way we did is how we should start every single game. Basketball’s a game of runs. I think that Westbrook knew some of the plays we were going to do, but we had time to prepare for them.”

Coyne not only had 14 points, he also had three assists and three steals. Morrill had a solid effort with 11 points and eight rebounds.

“Chris and I take extreme pride in rebounding and playing strong defense,” Morrill said.

Stowell also had 11 points, as well as four rebounds and three assists, despite having to sit much of the second half with foul trouble. Dilworth came off the bench and had 10 points and three assists. Armstrong (five assists, three rebounds and a pair of steals) and Simonds (seven rebounds, two steals) added six points apiece and Cameron finished with one.

“Everyone can score, so as an opponent, you have to watch out for all of us because you never know who will score and when we’ll score,” Coyne said.


“It was a team effort,” Halligan said. “They were going to try to take away our scorers, so we needed other guys to step up.”

The Navigators had a 37-28 edge on the glass and while they only made 4-of-11 free throws, they only committed 10 turnovers.

Westbrook got 15 points and five rebounds from Hethcoat in his swan song. Taylor had seven points and blocked three shots, Dunphe finished with six points, five rebounds and three assists, Eugley had four points and four rebounds, Lombardo, Omar and Pierce (four rebounds and two assists) all had two points and Doolittle contributed one.

The Blue Blazes made just 2-of-6 foul shots and turned the ball over 20 times.

“We competed,” Westbrook coach Bryan Hoy said. “We came out and played well in the third quarter. We didn’t have a great first half, kind of got off to a slow start and then they put us away in the fourth. Falmouth’s just really good. If they have other guys score, they’ll be tough to beat because Brady and Jack will get theirs.

“We had a lot of issues with COVID earlier in the season, but we were still competitive even when we had to play JV guys. We played hard and that goes a long way. It’s a great experience for the younger guys because we’ll probably be back here next year. The seniors laid the foundation for us moving forward. We have a lot of guys coming back, so I’m optimistic.”


New challenge

Unlike its familiarity with Westbrook, Falmouth didn’t meet the Raiders this season.

The Navigators are 2-0 all-time versus Fryeburg Academy in the tournament, downing the Raiders in the 1982 Western B preliminary round (64-36) and again in the 2005 Western B quarterfinals (40-20).

Fryeburg Academy impressed in its quarterfinal Saturday, defeating fourth-ranked Gray-New Gloucester by a 66-55 margin.

“There’s always pressure, but we don’t worry about that,” Coyne said. “We just have to play hard like we did tonight. If we control the ball and play hard-nosed defense, we should be alright.”

“We’re taking it game-by-game,” Morrill said. “We don’t overlook anybody. There have been some unpredictable results in the tournament. You never know what a team will throw at you. I’m excited. It’ll be fun.”

“The key is getting better,” Halligan added. “Experience from a close game is huge. At this point, every team is good. We’ll have a quick learning curve. We’ll try to watch some film and put a game plan together and see what happens.”

Michael Hoffer can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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