Falmouth High School outscored their visitors from Marshfield in the first, third and fourth quarters on Tuesday night. In each of those periods the Clippers had a few more points than the Rams. Marshfield had a lot more points in the second quarter, and that was the difference as they won a tight one, 60-54, in the last game of the regular season for FHS.
Falmouth (12-8) got off to a red hot start, but that flame quickly burnt out once the quarter break hit. MHS picked up where Falmouth left off, and turned the Clippers 17-14 lead - which had been 15-3 at one point - into a 34-22 halftime deficit.
"We just couldn't do anything in the second quarter. We scored, what, five points. That's not going to get it done," Head Coach Paul Lundberg said following the game, which was his team's third in three days.
FHS finishes the regular season at 12-8 and now awaits the seedings from the MIAA basketball committee for the state tournament. Those brackets will be posted on the MIAA's web site this afternoon and FHS will begin tourney play early next week.
The game turned in the second quarter, and it was a referee's missed call that led to the snowball building up and running down FHS. With a little over five minutes left in the quarter, and Falmouth up 20-18, the Rams attempted a pass from the top of the arc and threw the ball well out of bounds. One of the referees signaled that the ball had gone out of bounds off of Kyle Kasprzyk, which befuddled the Clippers and Lundberg. While the coach was arguing his team's case with the other referee, the one that had made the wrong decision quickly called a technical foul against captain Andrew McGill, who left the court in disbelief.
Marshfield gained a great deal of momentum from that moment. With McGill on the bench for the remainder of the period, the Rams ran off a 16-2 run to take control of the basketball game.
Lundberg didn't blame that one poor call for the loss. He did point out that FHS shot far fewer free throws in the game than the Rams. Both teams played a physical brand of basketball, and took the ball to the rim. MHS shot 19 freebies in the game, knocking in 15. Falmouth had six free throws, converting half of them. "That's the game right there," Lundberg said. "They had 19 field goals, we had 23 field goals, and we lose. They hit eight three, too, that's a difference right there."
Behind a career-high 22 points from Kasprzyk, who scored 14 after halftime, FHS tried to get back into the game. The Clippers cut the deficit to nine by the end of three, and pulled to within four late in the fourth quarter.
McGill drained a pull-up three-pointer, while getting fouled, with 31 seconds left in the game to make it a 56-52 game. He had a chance to get the deficit to three with the field goal, but came up short. Marshfield then went down the court and got a lay-up from Cullen McPherson with 19 seconds to go to extend the lead back to six.
Kasprzyk scored a lay-up with 10 seconds left, and the Clippers quickly fouled, sending Eddie Fultz to the line for a 1-and-1. Fultz, who had just one basket before that, drained both ends to seal the victory for his team.
MHS was led by forward Matt Wheeler, who had a team-high 19 points. Wheeler drained three 3-pointers in the game. Robbie Acer had 10 points, with a pair of 3-pointers.
McGill had 12 points and six assists for FHS. Nate Steele chipped in six points and 10 rebounds to the effort and Brian Jeffery also had six points.