Falmouth girls can't solve York in Saturday matinee

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Falmouth freshman Cameron Birks tries to knock the ball away from York freshman Kristen Leroux during the Wildcats’ 47-22 victory Saturday.

Joe Carpine / 365digitalphotography.com photos.

More photos below.

BOX SCORE

York 47 Falmouth 22

Y- 7 15 18 7- 47
F- 0 9 6 7- 22

Y- Howe 6-1-13, L. Leroux 5-0-11, K. Leroux 3-2-10, Tabora 3-1-7, Labonte 2-0-4, C. Reinertson 1-0-2

F- Soucy 3-2-10, C. Birks 1-0-3, S. Birks 1-0-3, Dimick 1-0-2, Joyce 1-0-2, Rogers 1-0-2

3-pointers:
Y (3) K. Leroux 2, L. Leroux 1
F (4) Soucy 2, C. Birks, S. Birks 1

Turnovers:
Y- 14
F- 18

Free throws
Y: 4-9
F: 2-5

FALMOUTH—Falmouth’s girls’ basketball team took the floor Saturday afternoon hoping to break into the win column for the first time, but the visiting York Wildcats refused to let it happen.

Thanks to a strong, balanced 32-minute effort.

The Yachtsmen couldn’t score in the first quarter and York made them pay, as they put up seven points of their own to take control.

Falmouth finally got its offense going in the second period, but Wildcats never allowed consecutive baskets and stretched their advantage to 22-9.

York didn’t let up in the second half either, stretching its lead to 40-15 after three quarters and going on to a 47-22 victory.

The Wildcats put three players in double figures, had six scorers in all and improved to 3-2 on the season, dropping the Yachtsmen to 0-6 in the process.

“We’ve had a tough time scoring all year long,” said Falmouth coach Dawn Armandi. “We were 8-for-39 today. If we made half of those, it would have been a very different game.”

Farewell to 2017

York split its first four games, winning at Yarmouth (34-32), losing at home to defending Class B champion Gray-New Gloucester (40-38) and at Marshwood (41-30) before holding off visiting Lake Region (48-45). 

Falmouth started with losses at Marshwood (62-22) and Scarborough (46-33), then fell at home to defending Class A South champion Brunswick (54-27) and Biddeford (39-28) before losing at Greely (61-35).

A year ago, York rallied late to edge host Falmouth, 49-48, in overtime on New Year’s Eve, and downed the visiting Yachtsmen, 44-38. Then, in the Class A quarterfinals, York held off Falmouth, 49-46.

Saturday, the Yachtsmen hoped to beat the Wildcats for the first time since Jan. 6, 2015, but instead, York led from start to finish to down Falmouth for the sixth time in a row.

The Wildcats took the lead for good with 5:53 to play in the first quarter when freshman Kristen Leroux knocked down a 3-pointer.

Junior Jackie Tabora added a runner off the glass and sophomore Nina Howe (off an inbounds feed from sophomore Delaney Labonte) made a layup to give York a 7-0 lead after one quarter.

With 6:56 to play in the first half, the Yachtsmen finally got off the schneid when senior Grace Soucy buried a 3, but the visitors quickly responded, as junior Lauren Leroux hit a 3 of her own and Tabora knocked down a baseline jumper to make it 12-3.

Senior Shannon Birks countered for Falmouth by banking home a 3-ball, but Tabora scored on a putback and Lauren Leroux put home her own miss for a 16-6 advantage.

Soucy sank another 3 with 2:13 to go in the half, but the Wildcats closed on a 6-0 run behind a driving layup from Howe, a jumper from Lauren Leroux and a runner from Labonte which rattled home to make it 22-9 at the break.

In the first half, Lauren Leroux led a balanced attack with seven points and Tabora added six. Soucy had six points for the Yachtsmen.

In a statistical anomaly, neither team attempted a free throw.

York quickly ended all doubt in the third period.

A jumper from Kristen Leroux got things started and Howe made a layup after a steal to push the lead to 17.

After senior Katie Rogers drove for a layup for Falmouth, Howe hit a jumper, Howe hit a free throw, Kristen Leroux drained a 3 and after a steal, Labonte made a layup to make it 34-11. 

Soucy answered with a layup, but Lauren Leroux made a jumper and Howe stole the ball and went in for a layup. In the final minute, senior Grace Dimick scored on a putback for the Yachtsmen, but a pair of free throws from Kristen Leroux sent the Wildcats to the fourth quarter with a 40-15 lead.

Falmouth played hard until the end and wound up playing York even in the fourth period.

After Lauren Leroux banked home a shot and Howe drove for a layup, Soucy answered with two free throws. Tabora got a point back at the line for the Wildcats before freshman Cameron Birks buried a 3 and junior Maddy Joyce made a bank shot for the Yachtsmen’s final points. A layup from Wildcats freshman Lilla Reinertson then accounted for the 47-22 final score.

“The girls are doing the right things and we’re getting the right looks, but we’re just not putting the ball in the hole,” Armandi said. “They need some confidence and we’re trying to give that to them. They need to trust their abilities. I think we were the more talented team, but the difference is (York plays) with more confidence. Kudos to them. They outworked us. They shot with confidence and we played scared.”

Soucy led Falmouth with 10 points. Cameron Birks and Shannon Birks each had three points, while Dimick (five rebounds), Joyce and Rogers added two apiece.

The Yachtsmen committed 18 turnovers and made 2 of 5 free throws.

Howe led all scorers with 13 points. She also had four rebounds and two steals. Lauren Leroux had 11 points (as well as six rebounds), Kristen Leroux 10, Tabora seven (to go with 10 rebounds), Labonte (eight rebounds, six assists, four steals) four and Reinertson (five rebounds) two.

York enjoyed a 42-22 rebounding advantage, only turned the ball over 14 times and made 4 of 9 foul shots.

New start

York kicks off the new year at Fryeburg Academy Tuesday, then plays at Kennebunk Friday.

Falmouth seeks its elusive first victory Tuesday when it hosts Kennebunk. A trip to Mt. Ararat follows on Friday.

“We’ll keep working in practice,” Armandi said. “We have to get more shots up. We believe in them and it’s not over. Anything can still happen. If they can believe in themselves, we’ll be alright.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Falmouth senior Katie Rogers leans in for a shot.

Falmouth senior Shannon Birks blows past York freshman Kristen Leroux.

Falmouth senior Grace Dimick soars over York sophomore Nina Howe.

Falmouth senior Candice Powers fires from downtown.

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.