PORTLAND – The Lisbon Greyhounds discovered the difference between being a playoff team and being a playoff contender Monday.

It was a lesson that may have been hard to swallow during yesterday’s 62-35 loss to Falmouth, but it only wet the appetite of a Lisbon team that has not won a quarterfinal since 1984.

“It was a wonderful experience,” said Lisbon coach Jake Gentle of his team’s prelim win and appearance in the Western B quarterfinals at the Portland Expo. “The girls now understand what it takes to be successful down here next year. It is tough for a young team to beat a team when you’re inexperienced. I think we’ll be better off next year.”

Lisbon was overwhelmed early, committing nine turnovers in the first quarter and 35 overall.

The Greyhounds never recovered from an 11-point deficit, but Lisbon managed to settle in and play well in the second and third quarters. Freshman Renee Moore had a fine outing with 12 points, while Christy McAuliffe had eight and Emily Moore five. Only senior Heather Parry won’t be back next year.

“It’s definitely boosted our confidence,” said Renee Moore. “We just have to work on the stuff we did wrong and we’ll be fine. Next year, we’ll do a lot better.”

After a 10-win season – one of the best in the program’s history – the Greyhounds’ success helps set the tone for next year.

“We fully know that our expectations next year are to improve on what we did this year,” said Gentle. “If you’ve got nothing to prove than you can never improve. We feel like we have to get better every day, and we’ll start with summer basketball and take it from there.”

Paige Wyman led the second-ranked Yachtsmen (17-2) with 17 points while Morgan Furman added 10.

Though Falmouth hadn’t won a quarterfinal game since the 1990s, its strong start helped put the jitters to rest. The Greyhounds (10-10) weren’t so fortunate.

“We were very nervous,” said Moore. “We had the jitters a lot. It was very nerve-wracking.”

Falmouth opened by scoring 11 straight points. Plagued early by turnovers, Lisbon committed seven turnovers and took three shots in the first four minutes.

The Yachtsmen shot 6 for 12 in the first quarter while Lisbon managed just 2 for 7.

“That was our goal coming in,” said Wyman, whose team scrimmaged Deering and Dirigo prior to the tournament. “(Dirigo and Deering) put the press on us, and we didn’t like it. So we wanted to turn it on Lisbon.”

The Greyhounds settled down in the second and executed better on offense. Lisbon traded baskets with Falmouth for much of the quarter. In the third, Lisbon got three-point plays from McAuliffe and Renee Moore and were outscored by only 14-13.

“We just tried to lower the turnovers,” said Moore. “We just tried to make better passes and make smarter decisions.”

Lisbon had hoped to get within 10 by the end of the third, but were down by 17. Falmouth then ran off nine straight to open the final quarter.

It was a Falmouth win that showed just what kind of progress could be ahead for the Greyhounds themselves.

“This program has come so far,” said Wyman, whose Yacthsmen had not won a quarterfinal since beating Jay in Western C in 1997. “We’ve all worked so hard. We all care about it. There’s so much committment.”


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