It wasn’t a pretty game, but Falmouth High boys’ basketball coach Dave Halligan has been around long enough to know pretty games don’t always get you to the state final.

“Our offense, we generate off our defense. It was an ugly game tonight, but we stayed in the game defensively,” Halligan said.

A strong defensive effort was the key as Falmouth pulled away from Marshwood in the fourth quarter for a 48-32 win in the Class A South final at the Portland Expo on Saturday evening.

Top-seeded Falmouth (19-2) will take on North champ Nokomis (20-1), the No. 1 team in the Varsity Maine poll, next Saturday at Cross Insurance Arena.

No. 3 Marshwood ends the season at 14-6.

“Our goal in this game was to come out hard on defense and control the game, and that’s what we did. That’s how you win,” said Falmouth guard Brady Coyne, who scored nine points, grabbed six rebounds and was named the tournament’s most outstanding player.


The Navigators outscored Marshwood 14-4 over the final six minutes and held the Hawks to 27.9 percent shooting. Marshwood made just 12 of 43 shots, including 1 of 13 from 3-point range.

“We didn’t shoot the ball well, and they forced us into some tough shots. They contested a lot of shots,” said Marshwood Coach Bobby Pratt.

When the Hawks tried to get the ball inside, they were met by big man Chris Simonds or Judd Armstrong, who had four blocks to go with six rebounds. With Simonds and Armstrong leading the way on the boards, Falmouth outrebounded the Hawks, 36-22.

“Judd Armstrong, he was SMAA Class A Defensive Player of the Year. He’s a fantastic defender. He’s got length. He’s very active. And obviously (Chris) Simonds is long and tall and big on the inside as well,” Pratt said.

The Navigators were in control early, leading 13-2 late in the first quarter and 22-10 midway through the second. But the Hawks rallied. Andrew Perry sank all three of his free throws after getting fouled on a desperation 3-pointer as the first half expired, cutting Falmouth’s lead to 24-20 at the break and giving the Hawks some momentum.

Perry led Marshwood with 16 points.


“We felt good at the half, especially because we didn’t play very well at first, but our finish was better. Unfortunately, we just didn’t make the shots,” Pratt said.

Coyne said the Navigators used the end of the first half as momentum, too.

“That kind of fueled us up. When that happened, we were like, all right, it’s time for us to finish the game and take what’s ours,” Coyne said.

Forty-seven of Falmouth’s 48 points came from the starting five. Armstrong led a balanced offense with 11 points. Zach Morrill added 10 points and nine rebounds.

“They stop one, and somebody else is going to step up,” Halligan said. “We bent, but we didn’t break.”

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