2018-02-13 / Sports

Shipbuilders battle hard in prelim loss

Falmouth girls face Brunswick on Monday in quarterfinals
BY ERIC MAXIM
Times Record Staff


MORSE’S EMMA GOULD, left, dribbles past Falmouth’s Shannon Birks in the second half of Monday’s Class A South preliminary game at Bath Middle School. The Yachtsmen edged the Shipbuilders, 58-54 to advance to the quarterfinals next week. 
ERIC MAXIM / THE TIMES RECORD MORSE’S EMMA GOULD, left, dribbles past Falmouth’s Shannon Birks in the second half of Monday’s Class A South preliminary game at Bath Middle School. The Yachtsmen edged the Shipbuilders, 58-54 to advance to the quarterfinals next week. ERIC MAXIM / THE TIMES RECORD BATH

The Morse and Falmouth girls basketball teams combined for eight wins during the regular season. However, of those wins, several were key, giving both teams a shot in the postseason.

The Yachtsmen traveled to Bath Middle School on Monday for a Class A South preliminary matchup with eighth-seeded Morse and left with a hard-fought 58-54 victory.

Falmouth’s reward is a quarterfinal with top-seeded and undefeated Brunswick this upcoming Monday at the Portland Expo for a quarterfinal at 7:30 p.m.

Both teams brought everything they had hoping for that chance. After Morse jumped out to an early lead, Falmouth chipped away throughout the game.


MORSE’S JULIA GODDARD, left, fouls Grace Soucy of Falmouth in the final minutes of the Class A South preliminary game between the two teams. Falmouth prevailed, 58-54 to move on. 
ERIC MAXIM / THE TIMES RECORD MORSE’S JULIA GODDARD, left, fouls Grace Soucy of Falmouth in the final minutes of the Class A South preliminary game between the two teams. Falmouth prevailed, 58-54 to move on. ERIC MAXIM / THE TIMES RECORD “It was very fun game, I can’t say anything negative about how both teams came to battle and our girls played hard until the end,” said Morse first-year coach Jan Veinot.

The Shipbuilders entertained the home crowd to start the contest. A 3-point basket from Sierra Wallace midway through the opening quarter gave Morse an 11-6 lead. The senior tallied nine points in the opening frame.

“I’ve grown up playing with her and have learned a lot of my game from her,” praised her teammate senior Marissa Parks. “She continued so much this season and we’ve thanked her and will continue thanking her.”

Morse continue its aggressiveness, controlling the boards on both ends of the court, outrebounding the Yachtsmen, 11-3 in the first quarter, led by Parks’ five. After eight minutes, Morse held a 21-12 lead, getting a loud cheer from the crowd.

“I am very proud of our school spirit,” said Parks referring to the student cheering section.

Marija Medenica added six points for Morse (3-16) while Grace Dimick registered six for Falmouth in the opening frame.

No. 9 Falmouth (6-13) began to creep back into the game early in the second quarter, but a spark off the bench from freshman Julia Goddard kept the visitors at a distance. Goddard made a nifty spin move at the top of the key to shake her defender, popping a trey to give the Shipbuilders a 27-16 lead, prompting Falmouth coach Dawn Amandi to call a timeout.

“She came off the bench and was ready to play,” said Veinot of her guard. “She kept wanting to go at it.”

Following the timeout, Falmouth forced four Morse turnovers and continued picking away at the Morse lead. A pair of 3-pointers from Grace Soucy brought the Yachtsmen within three, 28-25 with less than two minutes left in the half.

Despite only going 3-for-10 from the foul line in the half, a pair by Wallace gave Morse a 30-25 lead at the break.

Second half

Falmouth slowed the pace once again to open the third quarter. With the defense forcing five more Morse turnovers, the Yachtsmen continued to move the ball, looking for the open shot on offense.

The visitors received 3- point baskets from Shannon Birks and Candice Powers to get within one point, 37-36.

Wallace’s second basket from behind the arc was matched by another Birks trey as Morse held on for a one-point lead after three quarters, 40-39.

After a basket by Morse’s Madeline Mitchell, Birks hit another 3-pointer to give Falmouth its first lead since the opening minutes, 42-41. Falmouth extended its lead to 52-45 after a Soucy jumper with a little over three minutes remaining in the game, but baskets by Wallace, followed by hoops from Medenica and Parks pulled Morse within two, 56-54 with 17 seconds remaining.

That was as close as the ’Builders got, as Falmouth continued hitting its free throws, nailing the final two to hold on for a 58-54 victory.

Falmouth finished 15-for- 20 from the charity stripe, a contrast to Morse’s 7-for-20.

“That’s hard to take right there,” said Veinot as she looked over the scorebook as the gym emptied. “That’s been a problem of ours all year, they made eight more than us and look at the score!”

Yet Veinot was still all praise for her team that grew throughout the season.

“I’m proud of these girls, they don’t give up and they didn’t tonight,” said the first-year coach. “It’s been a pleasure working and developing these girls.”

Soucy paced Falmouth with a game- high 24 points, including 10-for- 12 from the free- throw line. Birks scored 11 points, while Dimick and Powers split 20 down the middle. Dimick also had five rebounds, while Powers had four boards and a pair of steals in the win.

Wallace led Morse with 17 points. She was followed by Parks’ and Medenica’s 11 points each. Parks also grabbed 10 rebounds in her final high school basketball game.

“It was a hard-fought game. It’s been a struggle to put up points, so to score 54 tonight is really good for us,” said Parks. “It was great to have one more home game. To play on our home court one last time was really, really awesome.”

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