In an isolated classroom near the gymnasium at Barnstable High School, the members of the Falmouth High School girls’ basketball team waited for their coach to come through the door. As soon as Bob Buscher crossed the threshold the celebratory screams rang out.
The outbursts were warranted after the Clippers earned themselves some redemptive payback against the only team that had beaten them in the Cape and Islands League this year, their rivals from Barnstable High. In front of a raucous crowd Falmouth earned at least a share of the league title and a chance to own it outright with a win against league cellar-dwellar Dennis-Yarmouth tonight, Friday, February 14, on Senior Night at FHS.
“We made some shots and once we got to the free throw line, it was over,” Buscher said. “It was really impressive. We’ve talked about it... as we go to the tournament that’s what happens. Those games are won and lost (at the line).”
For most of the four quarters the Red Raiders stayed with the Clippers like gum in their hair. No matter what FHS did, they could not get Barnstable, which scored a 32-31 upset at FHS a month ago, to go away. The Clippers never trailed after the game’s first minutes, but were never ahead by more than two. BHS tied the score on two occasions, but each time FHS answered right back.
The final time that Barnstable got even with Falmouth came late in the second quarter when a shot by Dajanay Mendes squared things up at 27. Falmouth responded as senior captain Kayla Thomas drove to the hoop for two and then knocked down a three to push the lead back up to five points. At the end of three quarters it was anyone’s ballgame, with FHS up 34-30.
In the fourth quarter junior guard Ariana Silvia put the game in her own capable hands and drove the lane over and over, and kept getting to the free throw line. FHS got just one field goal in the fourth, a corner jumper by Craft (17 points), but Silvia feasted at the line. She went 9-for-10 from the stripe in the period, and FHS as a team went 12-for-14 in the period to close things out. In the game the Clippers shot an impressive 18-of-21 (85-percent), which was quite a feat with the crowd doing its best to rattle them every chance they got.
“I didn’t hear them. I just block them out,” Silvia, who finished with a game-high 19 points, said.
Coach Buscher said he was ecstatic with how his girls closed things out.
“Lily ended up with 17, that’s huge for us. Second half starts and she hits two of them on the baseline. Anya (Thomas) on the glass tonight, she had nine rebounds and Ariana, she’s just so tough. She’s just so tough.”
Barnstable did a great job of locking down on 1,000-point scorer Kayla Thomas. The senior did not score in the first half, and had just nine, but she said that it hardly mattered because she knew her teammates were more than capable of getting the job done.
“I didn’t feel the need to score, because (Craft) was getting it in the paint, and (Silvia) is lighting it up from the three, if they’re hot let them go,” she said. “I’ll shoot the open shot, but I wasn’t wide open, so might as well give up the extra pass and let them go.”
Falmouth 58, Sandwich 41
A fourth-quarter shooting frenzy fueled a Cape & Islands League Atlantic Division road win for the Falmouth girls’ basketball team.
Visiting Sandwich on Tuesday, February 11, the Clippers erupted for 21 fourth-quarter points to pull away from the Knights in an otherwise closely contested game. Thanks, in part, to the sharpshooting of sophomore Rachelle Andrade and the relentlessness of junior Ariana Silvia, Falmouth left as victors, 58-41.
Andrade scored all nine of her points from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter as part of a 14-2 run to open the frame after the Knights worked their way within striking distance, 37-32, after three quarters of play. Silvia added to the run as well, scoring 10 of her game-high 24 points in the fourth.
The Clippers weathered the Sandwich storm for much of the game, as the Knights came at them in waves. SHS opened the game with a 16-8 lead after the first eight minutes of action behind a pair of threes from senior Sadie Hunt (15 points) and four of Lauren Condon’s six points.
But it was Falmouth’s turn to get hot in the second quarter. While defensively holding Sandwich to just 10 points, the Clippers sparked for 20 in the frame. Senior co-captain Kayla Thomas scored nine of her 20 points in that span, including three threes. Silvia also did damage in the second, scoring eight points.
Falmouth took a narrow 28-26 lead into the break at halftime and never relinquished it.
The third quarter saw the game grind to a halt with neither team eclipsing 10 points. Still, the Clippers were on top, outscoring Sandwich, 9-6.
Senior co-captain Anya Thomas scored three points while junior Lily Craft added a pair to round out the FHS scoring. In total, the Clippers connected from long distance 10 times.