PORTLAND, Maine — Thirty-two minutes wasn’t enough.
Neither was 36.
Unfortunately, the York High School boys basketball season came to a halt after 40 minutes of action in Friday’s Class A South quarterfinal against Falmouth at the Portland Expo.
The fourth-seeded Yachtsmen outscored York 11-5 in the second overtime and earned a spot in Wednesday’s semifinal round with a 62-56 over the fifth-seeded Wildcats.
“It’s very disappointing,” York coach Paul Marquis said outside a somber Wildcat locker room after the game. “We have 14 guys in there who are just sad that the season is done. We had to battle through a lot of stuff right from the start and the guys did everything we asked. They worked hard from day one. Coming back those handful of times (tonight) just shows who we have been all year. We’re a gritty team, with a never-say-die attitude; these guys really came together and I really couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Falmouth (10-9) will face top-seeded Greely in a semifinal game at the Cross Insurance Arena on Wednesday. Greely extended its win streak to 41 games with a 68-53 win over No. 8 Fryeburg Academy in Friday’s late quarterfinal.
“It was a great basketball game, win or lose,” Falmouth coach David Halligan said. “You have to give York a lot of credit, they played their hearts out and so did we. There were two or three times we could have won or lost the game, and there were two or three times they could have won lost or the game; both teams just kept on battling. I guess we won the battle of attrition at the end.”
Alex Nickerson’s free throw and Alex Zinkevicz’s tough bucket in the paint gave York a 54-53 lead with 3:09 left in the second overtime.
However, Falmouth scored the next seven points, all on free throws, and led 60-54 with 37 seconds left.
York (11-8) missed shots on its next five possessions, and then freshman Brady Cummins drove through the lane and got a layup, cutting the Falmouth lead to 60-56 with 27.8 seconds left.
The Wildcats failed to steal the ensuing inbounds pass and put junior Sam Manganello on the line with 22.5 seconds left. Manganello hit one of two and Nik Hester added another free throw with 10.8 seconds remaining, closing out the scoring.
“They made a lot of great plays tonight,” Marquis said. “I tip my cap to Falmouth, they made plays when they had to. Our defense wasn’t at the level that we wanted it to be, but they made a bunch of foul shots late. We had our chances.”
Chris Cummins’ runner in the lane gave York a 46-45 lead with 33 seconds left in regulation. Hester was then called for traveling on the baseline, giving the ball back to York with 15.1 seconds left.
Falmouth, which outscored York, 25-10 from the free throw line, put Cummins on the line with 13.5 seconds left. Cummins hit the first free throw, and then was called for a violation on the second, giving Falmouth the ball trailing 47-45.
Falmouth senior captain Jack Bryant forced overtime when he hit two free throws and tied the game at 47-47 with 5.2 seconds left in regulation.
“That’s the guy we want there in that situation,” Halligan said. “He’s our senior captain. We battled through a lot of adversity this year and we have a real young team and he led us this far. It was very fitting for him to be there.”
Added Marquis: “I liked where we were a lot of times tonight; that was just one of them, the kid hit the shots. You expect them to make it. You expect plays to be made.”
York senior Tim MacDonald got the ball at midcourt and with about 3 seconds left, took two dribbles and his potential game-winning shot went left of the rim and the game went to overtime.
“We talked about what we were going to do if we were tied (after those free throws),” Marquis said. “Obviously, we didn’t get good luck.”
Brady Cummins, who scored 11 of his 13 team-high points in the fourth quarter and beyond, drove strong to the basket and gave York a 49-47 lead with 3:15 left in the first overtime.
Manganello’s putback on an offensive rebound tied the game at 49-49 with 2:10 left, and Linn’s pull-up 15-foot jumper gave the Wildcats a 51-49 led with 1:48 left.
Nickerson grabbed a defensive rebound off Alex Marcotte’s miss with 1:26 left. But Linn, who scored nine points, was whistled for an offensive charge at midcourt with 1:09 left. Nicholas Pitre’s two free throws with one minute left tied the game at 51-51 and the Wildcats turned the ball over with 43.4 seconds left.
Falmouth held for one final shot. Bryant had the ball at the top of the key watching the final 20 seconds tick off the clock. He started his drive with 7 seconds left and his runner hit the front rim. Hester was there for the rebound in the paint, but his attempt at the buzzer hit the left of the rim as the buzzer sounded.
Pitre led Falmouth with 17 points, while Bryant and Hester had 11 and 10, respectively.
“These kids were tremendous,” Marquis said. “The most difficult thing to swallow right now is we’re not going to spend any more time together this year.”
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