The Falmouth Navigators are a vastly different team with Judd Armstrong on the floor.

And that’s a lesson that got hammered home Tuesday evening against upstart Mt. Ararat in a countable boys’ basketball game at the Holiday Hoops Showcase at the Portland Exposition Building.

With Armstrong on the floor, Falmouth built a seemingly comfortable 10-point first-half lead, but with him sidelined with foul trouble, the Eagles roared back to go up by three points heading to the fourth quarter.

There, with the game hanging in the balance, Armstrong sparked an 11-2 run and the Navigators went on to a 48-37 victory to improve to 4-1.

“We had to figure things out in our heads to get back in the game,” said Armstrong, who led all scorers with 20 points. “Coach (Dave Halligan) gave us a wakeup call and we came back.”

Falmouth raced to a quick 6-1 lead and riding nine points from Armstrong, held a 15-9 advantage after one quarter.

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The Navigators then went up by 10 in the second quarter, 21-11, thanks to consecutive hoops from Armstrong, but the Eagles (2-3) finished the first half strong and pulled within 23-17 on a late free throw from Andrew Clemons.

Armstrong then picked up his third foul in the third quarter and had to sit. Mt. Ararat, which twice last year lost by 40 points to Falmouth, closed the quarter on a 9-1 run, capped by layups from Kasey Bergeron and Ben Therriault, to hold a surprising 30-27 advantage.

“Deep down, we know we could compete with anyone in the league,” said Eagles Coach David Dubreuil. “We knew we had to have minimal errors to grind out a win and we almost did.”

The fourth quarter began with Armstrong setting up Chris Simonds for a basket. Then, after Rocco DePatsy kept possession after a miss, Simonds made another layup to give the Navigators the lead for good before Armstrong hit a leaner.

Mt. Ararat pulled within a point, 33-32, but Paul Dilworth drained a long 3-pointer and Armstrong hit a jumper. The Eagles never got closer than five the rest of the way and two free throws apiece from Lucas Dilworth, Armstrong and Paul Dilworth iced it.

“We’ve been away and haven’t had concentrated practices and this is why we have them,” said Halligan. “There were a lot of lessons we learned from this game.”

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Armstrong was the only player on either side to reach double figures. Lucas Dilworth added nine points, Paul Dilworth had seven and Simonds six for Falmouth.

Mt. Ararat was paced by Bergeron’s seven points. John Martin had six and Parker Bate and Ethan Berry contributed five apiece.

The Eagles hope to improve enough to return to the Expo in February for the Class A South tournament.

“I don’t think a lot of people expected a lot out of us this year, but we’ve surprised some teams,” Dubreuil said. “The guys are working hard and every time I challenge them, they rise to the occasion.”

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