Gus Adams coached nine years at Falmouth Academy, leading the Mariners to their best years as an MIAA competitor. On Tuesday, December 17, Adams coached on the visitors’ side for the first time. Like he did so many times at FA, the coach walked out of the building a winner.
Returning from a one-year hiatus from coaching this year, Adams has taken over the reins at St. John Paul II High School. With a 31-18 win his Lions improved to 3-0 on the season.
It was a game in which neither team found a real flow offensively. The Lions, with Falmouth High transfer Skylar Gonsalves leading a late charge, pulled away in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach after the Mariners had hung around most of the afternoon. Gonsalves, who was battling an illness all day long, sparked the finally surge by SJP2 with a put-back, a transition lay-up and a short jumper from the paint early in the fourth. She finished with eight points, second on the team to Cait Mehl, who had nine points, all on three-pointers.
FA fell to 0-2 on the season, but played well on the defensive side of the ball. Coach Kyla Kruger said that her team is coming along, but isn’t where she’d ultimately like it to be.
“I was just telling my players that we have to figure out our offense because our defense can play lights out. That was fantastic defense, that’s a good team that we played. They’re good,” Kruger said. “They’re well-coached, they’re disciplined and we had players that played their best defensive game, we just can’t turn it into points on the other end. They don’t trust themselves.”
Ainsley Ramsey and Leah Croom each had five points in the game for the Mariners, who trailed by 10 at halftime and never found a rhythm. Ramsey made some nice offensive plays in the second half to set up her teammates, but the shots were not falling. Victoria Searle played well for the Mariners on defense in the game and gave a strong effort all-around.
Defense was key for the Lions, as well, Adams said.
“We’re playing good D. We’ve got like five kids under the weather, not to make excuses, but Skylar wasn’t herself today. Some of them are just getting over it, some are just getting into it,” Adams said. “We just kind of let down today.”
Going forward, Adams said that he is looking forward to shaping his new club and that the transition is going well. The coach is pursuing a degree in ministry and said that the chance to coach at SJP2 made too much sense to turn down, even if he had not planned to return to coaching so soon. He said he may start teaching at the school soon, and is a big proponent of the message at the Catholic school conveys.
“The opportunity presented itself, and I just said, ‘it makes sense,’ ” he said. “It wasn’t the right time, but it was the right place, the right place for me. I loved coaching here (at FA) for nine years. I loved it. I loved the kids, but it’s very much the same down there, the kids, the types of personalities, the types of kids you coach. It was hard to say no. It was hard to turn it down.”
Three girls from Falmouth play on the team. Along with Gonsalves, 8th grader Ella Bartolomei and Kendal O’Brien, are on the squad.