Falmouth 48 Marshwood 32

M- 6 14 4 8- 32
F- 13 11 6 18- 48

M- Perry 5-5-16, Sullivan 3-0-6, Reuning 2-0-4, Singer 2-0-4, Wozny 0-2-2

F- Armstrong 5-1-11, Morrill 3-3-10, Coyne 3-2-9, Simonds 4-1-9, Stowell 4-0-8, Cameron 0-1-1

M (1) Perry 1
F (2) Coyne, Morrill 1

M- 8
F- 9

M: 7-11
F: 8-16


PORTLAND—What we suspected from day one is now official.

Falmouth’s boys’ basketball team simply has no peer in Class A South.

Saturday evening at the Portland Exposition Building, the top-ranked Navigators completed their impressive run through the region, never trailing and pulling away in the second half to eliminate a determined and tough third-seeded Marshwood Hawks squad.

Falmouth opened up a 13-6 lead in the first quarter, but the Hawks hung tough in the second and when junior Andrew Perry was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer at the horn, he made all three subsequent free throws to pull his team within just four, 24-20.

But the Navigators weren’t about to give it away and while the lead was just six points, 30-24, after three periods, Falmouth went on a run in the fourth and went on to a 48-32 victory.

While the Navigators settled for their third-lowest point total of the season, they got a balanced attack, led by 11 points from junior Judd Armstrong and 10 from senior Zach Morrill as they improved to 19-2, ended Marshwood’s season at 14-6 and advanced to the Class A state final where they will take on Nokomis (20-1) in a highly-anticipated showdown Saturday at 3 p.m., at the Cross Insurance Arena.


“It was ugly, but we were able to advance and move on,” said longtime Falmouth coach Dave Halligan, who won his ninth regional title (the program’s 11th) and his first since 2016. “It was the game I expected. I thought we were the two best teams in the region. They play hard-nosed defense and so do we.”


Falmouth opened the season with a 44-point victory over Biddeford and never looked back, going 16-2, losing only to Class AA powers Portland and South Portland (see sidebar for links to previous stories). After downing No. 9 Westbrook in the quarterfinals (59-39), the Navigators rolled past No. 5 Fryeburg Academy (70-34) in the semifinals Wednesday.

Marshwood lived up to billing as a top contender and after defeating No. 11 Biddeford (47-30) in the quarterfinals, sent No. 2 Greely home in Wednesday’s semifinal round, 46-34.

Falmouth beat Marshwood twice this winter, 64-46 at home Dec. 17 and 57-49 in South Berwick Jan. 24.

The teams had played just once before in the playoffs, two years ago, when Falmouth defeated the Hawks, 59-38, in the quarterfinals.


Saturday’s game was scheduled to be played Friday across town at the Cross Insurance Arena, but bad weather pushed it back a day and the teams remained at the Expo, where they had played their first two tournament games.

The Navigators didn’t have a cakewalk this time, but they took care of business nonetheless.

Armstrong got Falmouth off to a quick start with a layup after a steal just 35 seconds in and the Navigators were ahead to stay.

After senior Aidan Sullivan’s 3-point attempt to give Marshwood the lead was off-target, senior Brady Coyne raced in for a layup and after senior Chris Reuning missed a shot, Armstrong made another layup and Falmouth had a 6-0 advantage with the game barely two minutes old.

Perry got the Hawks on the board with a jumper with 5:21 remaining in the opening period, but Coyne made another layup, Morrill sank a free throw and sophomore Chris Simonds added a layup and a jumper to make it 13-2 with 2:40 still to play in the opening stanza.

Marshwood was on the ropes, but closed the period strong, as Reuning made a layup and Sullivan set up junior Jason Singer for a layup to close the gap to 13-6.


The Navigators again threatened to pull away when they went up by a dozen in the second quarter, but again, the Hawks responded.

Two free throws from senior Trevor Wozny opened the period for Marshwood, but senior Jack Stowell, Armstrong and Morrill all made layups in short order to push the lead to 19-8.

After the Hawks got a jumper from Sullivan, Coyne made Falmouth’s first 3-pointer with 4:58 to go before halftime.

But the Navigators would score just two more points the rest of the half.

After Perry hit Marshwood’s first 3, Perry sank a pair of free throws.

Stowell made a layup with 1:59 to go, but Singer countered with a layup and as time expired, Perry was fouled by Morrill while shooting a 3 and he drained all three attempts to pull the Hawks within 24-20 at the break.


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

A Perry jumper started the second half and got Marshwood within two, but that’s as close as the Hawks would get.

Morrill countered with a layup, then Stowell scored on a jumper. After Perry answered with a jumper, Simonds’ layup with 4:04 on the clock proved to be the final points of the frame and Falmouth took a 30-24 lead to the fourth quarter.

Where it closed with a flourish.

Nineteen seconds in, Armstrong made a layup, but Reuning countered with a layup to keep the margin at six.

Stowell then made a jumper, but Sullivan answered with one of his own with 6:44 to play and Marshwood still trailed by only six points, 34-28.


Then, the Navigators went on an 8-0 run to seal the deal.

Morrill got things started with a free throw, then Morrill drained a 3. Another Morrill free throw and one from Simonds, followed by an Armstrong layup with 3:47 to play, stretched the lead to 14 and ended the competitive phase of the contest.

“We got a big lead, then we did some crazy stuff, but we got it back under control and we were fine,” Halligan said.

Sullivan ended the run with a layup, but Armstrong made a free throw and junior Lucas Dilworth set up Simonds for a layup and a 45-30 advantage with just 2:39 left.

After Perry made a jumper for the Hawks’ final points with 1:40 to play, Coyne sank two free throws, then junior Finn Cameron added one more to bring the curtain down on Falmouth’s 48-32 victory.

“Our goal in this game was to come out hard on defense and control the game, and that’s what we did,” said Coyne. “That’s how you win.”


“It’s a long season with ups and downs,” Halligan said. “We knew we were capable of doing this and if we didn’t beat ourselves, we’d be in a good spot.”

Armstrong had 11 points, as well as six rebounds and four blocked shots.

Morrill also finished in double figures with 10 points, to go with nine rebounds.

Coyne had nine points and six boards and was named the regional tournament’s most valuable player.

Simonds had nine points and five rebounds, Stowell eight points and four assists and Cameron one point.

“They stop one and somebody else is going to step up,” Halligan said. “Our five starters for the tournament, two had 36 points, one had 34, one had 33 and one had 24. That’s great balance.”


The Navigators only made two 3-pointers, well below their norm, but took great care of the ball (only turning it over nine times), won the battle on the glass (36-22), made 19-of-44 shots from the floor and went 8-of-16 from the free throw line.

For Marshwood, Perry had a game-high 16 points, to go with six rebounds and a couple steals. Sullivan added six points and six rebounds, Reuning (six boards) and Singer had four points apiece and Wozny finished with two.

The Hawks only turned the ball over eight times, but went just 12-of-43 from the field, including 1-of-13 from 3-point land, and hit 7-of-11 free throws.

“We didn’t shoot the ball well and (Falmouth) forced us into some tough shots,” lamented Marshwood coach Bobby Pratt. “They contested a lot of shots.”


With a couple of exceptions, Falmouth has been the favorite this season, but that won’t necessarily be the case Saturday when they take on a powerhouse Nokomis squad which features the state’s most talked about freshman, Cooper Flagg, and a strong supporting cast.


Falmouth and Nokomis didn’t play this year and have no postseason history.

The Navigators, who are seeking the program’s ninth Gold Ball, are ready for the challenge.

“You always want to play in the biggest games,” Halligan said. “Nokomis is a really good team and we’ll need to play close to a perfect game. There will be a big crowd and it’s not hard to get kids up for a game like this. They’ll be focused. If you’re a basketball player, this is the game you want to play in. I’m looking forward to it too.”

Press Herald staff writer Travis Lazarczyk contributed to this story.

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

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