It was the first time in more than three decades that a Falmouth High School boys’ basketball team had made the trip across Vineyard Sound to play the Vineyarders, and the game might have been worth the wait for the Clippers. Rallying back from 12 points down with five minutes to play, FHS opened the 2019-20 season with an impressive 56-53 come-from-behind victory.

“The kids just played hard,” coach Paul Lundberg said. “It was ugly at times, we got down, but they didn’t quit. They just kept coming.”

Junior Gerald Mahoney was one of the surprising heroes of the day for the Clippers. Playing in his first varsity game at FHS, Mahoney hit for 18 points to lead the way for the Clippers. Mahoney was the beneficiary of being on the back end of the team’s press break, which allowed him to get his share of easy baskets, but he also came through with the biggest shot of the night, under pressure.

FHS tied the game with just over two minutes to go when senior Timmy Lang drained a three-pointer out on the wing to make it a 50-all game. After a defensive stop Falmouth got the ball down to Mahoney on the left side, along the baseline. He canned a 15-footer to give the Clippers their first lead of the second half.

“That was a big shot,” Lundberg said.

With the lead in hand the Clippers were able to close out the win. The team got another stop on defense and MV fouled, sending Mahoney to the line for a pair. He knocked in both, giving FHS a four-point lead with a minute to go.

MV was able to score the next time down, and then got a stop. The Vineyarders then went to the line with 19 seconds to play with a chance to tie the score, but hit just one of two from the line. Falmouth got the ball on the carom and got it to Julien Hendricks with 10 seconds left. He went to the line and drained both to put the Clippers up by three.

Martha’s Vineyard had one last chance to tie the game, but their shot was off the mark and Falmouth held on to win the game as Charlie Dowick secured the rebound.

Lang was the second-high scorer in the game for Falmouth, netting 11 points. Taylor Frye scored eight, all in the first half, and Dowick finished with seven points. FHS shot 13-of-16 from the foul line in the game.

Coach Lundberg was pleased with the way his team played, and said that the trip to the island was great beyond winning.

“They really do things great over there. The atmosphere was awesome,” he said.

The atmosphere promises to be awesome again tonight, December 20, as the Clippers play their version of the border war against Mashpee High School. The Clippers and Falcons will go at it at the Bock Gymnasium at 6:30 PM.

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