May 25, 2018
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Falmouth rolls past Medomak Valley in ‘B’ state final

By Ernie Clark, BDN Staff

PORTLAND, Maine — The Medomak Valley Panthers found out Friday night what the Western Maine Class B world already knew — that Falmouth High School has a very good boys basketball team.

Sophomore forward Jack Simonds scored 21 points as the Yachtsmen led from start-to-finish in defeating the Eastern Maine champion Panthers 62-39 to win the Class B boys’ basketball championship at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

Tom Wilberg added 15 points and Tom Coyne scored 14 points for coach Dave Halligan’s Yachtsmen, who capped off a 21-1 season with the program’s second state title in four years.

“They shoot phenomenally well, they execute well, they move the ball well,” said Medomak Valley coach Nick DePatsy. “At times it looked like we were playing a college team out there.”

Medomak Valley of Waldoboro, seeking its first state crown since 1980, ends its season with a 19-3 record.

Senior center John Murray led the Panthers with 11 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots while sophomore guard Micah Williamson scored nine points and senior forward Ryan Ripley added eight points.

“We did some good things, but we knew we’d have to hit some more shots from the perimeter, which we didn’t do,” said DePatsy. “We didn’t get John involved early, which was a credit to their defense. They took our vision away and took our passing lanes away and really bottled things up inside.”

Simonds made 7 of 8 shots from the field during a 15-point first half that lifted Falmouth to a 38-24 lead at the break.

“We worked the ball around against the zone and it eventually gets to the middle for the big guys to get those easy shots,” said Simonds. “I’ve had those mid-rangers all year.”

The Yachtsmen jumped out to a 17-5 lead five minutes into the contest, getting three-point plays from Wilberg and Justin Rogers to go with a 3-point goal by Grant Burfiend.

Medomak Valley, meanwhile, was having difficulty getting the ball inside to Murray and Ripley, who combined for just four first-quarter points.

“We knew they had two good bigs,” said the 6-foot-5 Simonds, “so we knew we had to take care of them. We fronted them in the post and then made sure to give help.”

Falmouth, meanwhile, made 10 of 15 field-goal attempts while committing no turnovers during the first quarter, with Simonds scoring nine points on a 4-of-5 shooting effort as the Yachtsmen ended the period with a 26-15 cushion.

Medomak Valley drew as close as 30-22 on a three-point play by Murray with 4:19 left in the first half, but Wilberg hit a low-post shot and Simonds followed with a fadeaway baseline jumper and another mid-range shot from the wing for a 6-0 run that enabled Falmouth to re-establish command by intermission.

Neither team scored for the first 2:58 of the third quarter, and once the offenses did come around, Medomak Valley was unable to make any inroads as a layup by Simonds and two free throws by Coyne gave Falmouth a 48-32 cushion at the end of the period.

Then Coyne took over, getting to the rim to produce Falmouth’s first eight points of the final period as the Yachtsmen stretched their lead beyond 20 points for the first time.

“Halligan always says if you’re up 12 to 15 it’s a danger zone because they can come back and we can get lackadaisical,” said Simonds. “So we wanted to keep our foot on the pedal.”

Editor’s note: An earlier headline on this story has been changed.

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