The Oliver Ames boys' basketball team just couldn't seem to get the ball rolling Tuesday night in Falmouth.
More specifically, the Tigers couldn't seem to get the ball to roll into the basket.
"There were some transition opportunities that we just didn’t get," Oliver Ames coach Don Byron said. "We started missing layups. We started getting our hands on things and getting some good follow-up opportunities and we fumbled those. So, we really did some things where you could see we were fighting ourselves a lot on the offensive end."
No. 17 OA fell in the preliminary round of the Massachusetts Div. 2 South Sectionals on the road against No. 16 Falmouth, 62-46.
The Clippers, who will move on to play at No. 1 Scituate 7 p.m. Thursday, were finally able to get past the Tigers. In addition to falling to OA in the Harry Lehmann Tournament in Bridgewater last week, Falmouth fell to OA in last year's state tournament.
"They came down here last year and they beat us," Falmouth coach Paul Lundberg said. "They shot the ball well in our gym. I think the difference this year is they didn’t make the shots and they’re a good shooting team, so we’re fortunate. I think [we] mixed it up on defense.
"They’re a very well-coached, great basketball program," Lundberg said of OA. "It’s been a great basketball program for a long time, so [this win] was nice."
Falmouth was led by senior point guard Andrew McGill, who finished with 23 points. Senior Nate Steele added 14 points off the bench and senior center Kyle Kasprzyk earned 11 points.
The Clippers got out to an early lead, outscoring the Tigers 17-7 in the first period and forcing OA to play from behind. The Tigers eventually went into the lockerroom for halftime down 33-17.
Led by sophomore guard Ryan Carney, who finished the game with 12 points, it looked like OA was going to make a run to start the second half. The Tigers went on 9-3 run but were eventually silenced by the Clipper defense.
"Offense usually isn’t our issue," Byron said. "We had some shot selection stuff early and then tried to shoot ourselves out of it and settle for the 'three-ball' and it kind of snowballed and we never got it right on the offensive side."
Nick Cidado joined Carney as a leading scorer with 10 points. Sophomore forward Brandan Welch added seven points.
Byron praised the work of his four seniors, who finished their high school careers Tuesday.
Richard Green and Branden Young both played on the junior varsity squad as juniors and contributed as varsity players as seniors. Byron noted Green's ability to come off the bench and "guard anyone in the gym." He praised Young for being "a really good character kid" who is well-liked and respected by teammates, coaches and teachers.
Captains Andrew Reardon and St. Clair Ryan have both contributed for the Tigers since they were sophomores. Ryan, who Byron said was "as hard a worker" he's ever had, always guarded the opposing team's best back-court player and had played in 70 straight games for the Tigers.
Reardon often led the way on the offensive end.
"Reardon has been fun to watch –the progress he’s made," Byron said of the senior captain's dedicated work ethic to become one of the team's leaders. "He did all the work necessary to build himself up."