PORTLAND—When you play a powerhouse, you have to value the basketball.

Wednesday afternoon, facing top-ranked Brunswick at the James Banks Portland Exposition Building, Falmouth’s fourth-seeded girls’ basketball team failed to do that.

And as a result, the Navigators’ playoff run has come to an end.

Falmouth couldn’t score a single point in a first quarter which ended with the Dragons on top, 10-0, and after Brunswick added a basket 21 seconds into the second period, the Navigators were on the ropes, but they closed the first half on a 12-3 run and pulled within three points, 15-12, on a late 3-pointer from junior Emily Abbott.

When junior Maddy Christman made a basket to start the second half, the deficit was a single point, but the Dragons upped their defensive intensity, forcing eight turnovers, and they got seven points from junior Maddy Werner in the third quarter to open up a 30-22 advantage heading to the fourth.

There, senior standout Anna Turgeon made a long 3-pointer to give Falmouth hope, but Brunswick ended all doubt with a 13-0 run and went on to a 49-27 victory.


The Dragons got a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds from Werner, placed two others in double figures as they improved to 18-2, ended Falmouth’s season at 12-8 and advanced to meet No. 2 Gray-New Gloucester (17-3) in the Class A South Final Friday at 7 p.m,. at the Expo.

“Obviously, we didn’t take good care of the basketball, but Brunswick’s a really great team,” said Navigators coach Dawn Armandi. “They hustle on defense and we didn’t handle it well, but I’m glad the way the girls fought. They really wanted it.”

Too much to overcome

Brunswick has been of a single mind since last year’s regional final upset loss to Greely, returning to a championship game and prevailing.

The Dragons dazzled during the regular season, winning 16 of 18 games (see sidebar for links to previous stories) to lock up the top seed in Class A South. Monday, in the quarterfinals, Brunswick pulled away to eliminate No. 8 Westbrook, 58-31.

The Navigators have had to play the season without injured senior star Sloane Ginevan, but have been strong regardless, winning 11 regular season games before making a statement in Monday’s quarterfinals with a 48-39 victory over No. 5 Marshwood.


Brunswick beat Falmouth twice this season, 61-36 on the road and 42-37 at home.

The Dragons enjoyed a 74-25 victory in the teams’ lone prior playoff meeting in the 2018 quarterfinals.

Wednesday, Brunswick appeared poised for a runaway, but the Navigators made things interesting before the Dragons slammed the door.

Brunswick senior Kelsie Carlton drives into the lane as Falmouth junior Maddy Christman defends during the Dragons’ victory Wednesday. Hoffer photos.

Brunswick didn’t exactly light up the scoreboard in the first period, but Falmouth didn’t manage a single point.

A runner after a nice ball fake from junior Emily Doring put the Dragons ahead to stay with 5:37 left in the frame.

Senior Kelsie Carlton then scored on a runner with her off hand, Werner scored her first points on a driving layup, then junior Dakota Shipley setup sophomore Alexis Morin for a layup before Doring made a layup after a steal in the waning seconds to make it 10-0.


The Navigators’ frustrations continued early in the second quarter, as Werner set up Morin for a layup, but with 7:06 to go, a layup from Christman finally broke the ice.

Shipley hit a free throw for Brunswick, but Falmouth controlled the rest of the half as it got right back in the game.

The comeback began with a driving layup from senior Katie Lozoraitis. Abbott then made two free throws and Turgeon drained a long, contested 3 to cut the deficit to four.

The Dragons responded with a baseline jumper from sophomore Eva Harvie, but a 3-pointer from Abbott with 26 seconds on the clock made the score 15-12 at the half.

“(Falmouth’s) good,” said Brunswick coach Sam Farrell. “They got back in it. They’ve got shooters. We got away from what we were doing and we missed some layups and free throws and didn’t put them away.”

Brunswick then flipped the switch in the third quarter and relied on its defense to spark the offense.


Falmouth senior Justin Means looks to pass as Brunswick junior Dakota Shipley defends.

Christman opened the second half with a bank shot to make it a one-point game, but Werner turned the tide by stealing the ball and driving for a layup.

Morin then grabbed an offensive rebound, was fouled and hit two free throws, Werner set up Shipley for a layup, then with 4:44 on the clock, Werner scored on a putback, making it 23-14 and forcing Armandi to call timeout.

“I got easy looks,” said Werner. “We just kept running our offense and it worked well for us. We didn’t let their comeback get to us.”

Out of the timeout, Christman made a short jumper, but Carlton hit a jumper in the lane, then Werner banked home  a shot for an 11-point lead.

Abbott countered with a 3, but Werner made a free throw and Morin sank a pair before another Abbott 3-ball kept Falmouth within hailing distance, 30-22, heading to the fourth quarter.

There, 33 seconds in, Turgeon buried a long 3 to make things interesting, but the Navigators managed just two points the rest of the way and the Dragons pulled away.


Werner hit a contested leaner to turn the tide, then Morin made a layup after a steal, Shipley hit a foul shot, Werner added another, Carlton drained a pair, then Werner converted an old-fashioned three-point play (layup, foul, free throw) and two Morin free throws capped a 13-0 run to end all doubt.

With 1:34 left, Turgeon made a long jumper for the Navigators’ final points.

Carlton then sank two free throws, hit two more and in the final minute, senior Gabby Swain scored on a bank shot to bring the curtain down on Brunswick’s 49-27 victory.

“Our defense definitely helped us,” Werner said. “We guarded them really well on the 3-point line. Steals were big. We had to guard them because they’re sharpshooters.”

Werner led the way with 15 points, while Morin added 12 points, nine rebounds and six steals and Carlton also finished in double-digits with 10 points. Doring (three rebounds, three steals) and Shipley (four blocked shots, three steals) had four points apiece and Harvie and Swain each contributed two.

“It was our defense,” said Farrell. “Emily Doring must have gotten her hands on a dozen balls we wound up getting. Kelsie was unflappable. Lexi got big rebounds and then, it was Maddy Werner inside. We fed her and we thought she’d have to pass it, but she finished herself.”


The Dragons didn’t make a single 3-pointer, but made 17-of-23 free throws, including their final nine attempts, and only turned the ball over eight times.

Gray-New Gloucester is just one of two teams to enjoy success this winter against Brunswick, holding off the visiting Dragons, 48-47, back on Jan. 10.

But Brunswick isn’t about to fall in the regional final again.

“Last year, I was at a different school, so it feels great to make it this far,” Werner said. “We have to guard (Gray-New Gloucester) on the 3-point line and play good defense. I want to play for my teammates who were here last year and have them get to the Gold Ball.”

“The goal is a Gold Ball, but for us, it’s just one day at a time,” Farrell said. “There’s an end goal but we had to get through Falmouth. We haven’t even thought about Gray yet. They’re well-coached. Good, tough kids. We’ve just got to keep playing hard and playing together. This is probably the most cohesive team I’ve ever had. They all like each other and work hard and push each other. Sometimes, they even listen to me. We just have to keep doing that.”

Next year’s outlook


Falmouth’s effort was paced by Abbott, who had 11 points. Turgeon bowed out with eight points, seven rebounds and three blocks. Christman had six points (to go with nine rebounds) and Lozoraitis added two.

The Navigators had a 30-29 edge on the glass, but only made 2-of-7 foul shots and turned the ball over 22 times (with 14 coming after halftime).

“Kudos to Brunswick,” Armandi said. “They did what they needed to and they deserved it. I would have liked to have seen a closer game. I don’t think we’re 20 points apart.

“Everybody counted us out without Sloane, but it goes to show how good we were. Emily stepped up. Anna was tremendous all year long. Justine did all the little things and got little credit for it. Everybody knew and accepted their roles and got us where we are.”

Falmouth loses Turgeon, Lozoraitis, Means and Ginevan.

“(Graduation’s) going to hurt,” Armandi said. “I’ve been with these girls all four years and followed them since sixth grade.”

The Navigators will turn to Abbott and Christman to lead the way next season. Look for others to step into bigger roles.

“I’ve got a big junior class with talent and I’m excited to get back in the gym with them and hopefully go just as far next year,” Armandi said. “The seniors broke every record Falmouth’s had in the last 20 years. They’ve put Falmouth on the map and gave the program so much hope. I just hope that the younger girls were watching and paying attention and are ready to step up.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net.

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