(Portland ME) Falmouth 59, Oceanside 28.
Sometimes the final score is misleading but not this time.
The Falmouth Yachtsmen (18-4) captured the Class A Gold Ball in as convincing a fashion as the final score suggests.
Trust me, no one, even from Rockland/Thomaston, left the Cross Arena wondering which was the better team on this sunny Saturday afternoon in Portland.
The Yachtsmen featured an offense that generated high-percentage shots and a defense that refused to allow the Mariners to beat them from long range.
The Mariners (16-6) had sailed (I couldn’t resist!) to the finals successfully dialing long-distance against three opponents in the tournament. The video was out there on the web showing the record-setting thirty 3-pointers put together by Oceanside.
But on this afternoon the wide-open three’s disappeared for the #5 seed. Why? Falmouth did not get too far away from Oceanside’s perimeter shooters even when the ball went behind them closer to the basket. No question it certainly helped Falmouth to have size and shot-blocking abilities near the basket.
Senior Nick Mazurek (6’3”) was an inside scorer who had missed all five of Oceanside’s regular-season losses. On this afternoon, Nick had the ball several times in close but Sam Skop (6’5”) did not go for fakes and blocked several of Nick’s shots in the early going.
As Oceanside struggled to get good looks Falmouth had ball-handlers who could penetrate and get good shots or find wide-open teammates.
Falmouth took a 4-3 lead (6:41) and then did the only scoring the rest of the first quarter. The Mariners missed all ten shots they tried in the drought, including four three’s. That 15-3 first quarter deficit rose to 23-8 at the half. Oceanside could make only 3-of-25 shots in that disastrous half.
You wanted to think that something might be different in the third quarter and Oceanside would make a game of it. Not so, today. If there is such a word as “worser” this would be the time to apply it to the Mariners’ third quarter!
In the third quarter the Falmouth high-percentage-shot offense got better (six layups – five of them assisted) while the Oceanside offense (five turnovers) collected only seven points.
That bad combination allowed Falmouth’s lead to enlarge to twenty-seven (42-15) after three quarters. There would be no good-to-the-last-shot happenings in the Class A boys’ finals today.
The nice thing about this game being decided early was that the benches get to be cleared. Everyone on each roster played in the Class A championship game.
I expected to see some impressive 3-point shooting today but it never happened. What probably kept the game from getting out of hand even earlier was that Falmouth was only 2-for-14 from beyond the arc. On this day, however, the Yachtsmen had more than enough accuracy closer to the basket. They shot 19-of-34 (59%) inside the arc.
Tough day for all the Mariners, maybe toughest on their top player Keenan Hendricks. Keenan (I have seen his workout video) could never get his offense going and when trying to set up offense elsewhere committed seven turnovers. The defense of Thomas Coyne on Keenan certainly was a factor.
Four of the Yachtsmen reached double figures.
Plenty of excitement over the final game of Mr. Basketball finalist Thomas Coyne.
The Coyne brothers (Thomas and Colin) put on a synchronized, net-waving show after the game.
I have seen this before and saw it today; players with good outside shots putting up airballs. Why? The open space beyond the basket throws them off.
Very enthusiastic crowds for both teams. Credit the Oceanside folks for cheering long after this one had been settled.
I greatly appreciated the stats provided by MBR.ORG. Saves an awful lot of time.
Horse in the race. Cooper Wirkala is one of my sister’s grandsons. Cooper’s dad, Jim, was an all-state basketball player at Woodland High School.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)