Nauset High School’s size makes them a match-up nightmare for most teams they face in girls’ basketball across the region. Falmouth High School, which does not possess nearly the same amount of vertical advantage, is not one of those teams, though.
The Clippers (6-1) showed no fear in Eastham on Tuesday, January 7, and shot their way into the driver’s seat for the first-ever Cape and Islands League championship by routing the Warriors in Eastham, 62-40. The victory was the sixth in a row for the Clippers, whose only loss was a one-point defeat on opening night against Plymouth North.
Against Nauset it was the three-point shot that proved to be the ultimate weapon for the Clippers as they knocked down trey after trey to the dismay of the Warriors. Early on it was senior captain Kayla Thomas who scorched the twine, but she was hardly on her own. Falmouth converted 11 bombs in the game and had four players reach double figures in scoring on their way to the lopsided win.
Thomas found herself the focus of the Nauset defense after landing three from distance in the first quarter. She was held to just one more point the rest of the way, but by slowing down one all-star, the Warriors opened the gates for another to go to work.
Arianna Silvia more than picked up the slack. After hitting one of the Clippers five threes in the first quarter—the other ways landed by Anya Thomas—Silvia tortured the Warriors both inside and out over the final three quarters. The junior guard scored seven points in the second quarter, three in the third and then played the role of closer for the team, hitting for nine of her 22 points in the fourth. Not only did she hurt NHS from a distance, but also did a great job of putting the ball on the floor and getting to the basket for lay-ups.
Thomas said that Nauset overplayed her defensively after her big first quarter, but she was more than happy to watch her teammates fill up the scorebook.
“As long as we’re winning, I don’t care how many points I get,” she said. “Ari was just awesome, they really couldn’t stop her.”
Falmouth led 15-10 after one quarter, but Nauset cut that back to a point with a run in the second quarter. FHS never lost the lead, though and owned a 29-21 advantage at the half. In the third they took over for good. Five different players scored in the third quarter and the Clippers’ defense held the home team to just seven points. By the end of the period Falmouth led by 15, 43-28, and the game was pretty much over.
Silvia’s 22 led the way for FHS. Kayla and Anya Thomas and Lily Craft each had 10 points in the game. Emily Nelson had six, hitting three-pointers in the third and fourth quarters.
Craft helped Falmouth more than keep up with the bigger Warriors on the glass. “They’re really buying in on team-rebounding,” Buscher said. “We didn’t get pushed around. We boxed out really well. Crafty was very good.”
Falmouth ferries over to Nantucket this afternoon, January 10, for a 5 o’clock game against the Whalers on the island. On Monday, January 13, they will host Old Rochester Regional at 6:30 PM.
FHS knocked off the Lady Bulldogs, 56-40, on the road just before Christmas in their first match-up since ORR eliminated the Clippers from last year’s state tournament. The loss to the Clippers is the only one against the Bulldogs’ record as they enter play this weekend set at 4-1. The next night they will face Barnstable for the first time this year.