The Duxbury basketball faithful crammed into the DHS gym for one last boys’ basket- ball game Thursday night to give the gym a raucous send- off. But unfortunately for the Dragons and their fans, the sto- ry of the old gym ended with a clang rather than a bang.
Duxbury missed 28 straight shots, including every field goal attempt in the second quarter, to watch a solid defensive effort go to waste in a 46-29 loss to the Hingham Harbormen.
Senior Max Boucher and sophomore Will Williams each scored on cuts to the basket to help Duxbury keep pace with Hingham early, but the Dragons went cold from the field with about four minutes to play in first quarter. Free-throw shooting helped keep Duxbury within striking distance as they headed to the bench trailing 14-9 after one quarter, but a pair of Noah Schwanke free throws in the second quarter was all the Dragons would get until Khai Perry’s layup with 2:14 left to play in the third.
“We couldn’t hit water if we fell out of a boat,” head coach Gordon Cushing said. “We really struggled offen- sively. We had some good shots, but we just couldn’t get them to go down and that makes it so hard.”
Despite smothering Hingham defensively and forcing the Harbormen in nine turnovers in the second and third quarters, Duxbury’s shooting woes prevented them from staying in the game. Hingham ran their nine-point lead after one quarter to 15 by halftime and headed into the final quar- ter ahead of the Dragons 33- 15.
“Our goal is to hold teams in the 50s, so [defensively] we were fine.” Cushing said. “Defensively I thought we played great, we just struggled offensively.”
The Harbormen widened their lead past 20 early in the fourth, but the Dragons looked to be on the verge of a comeback when freshmen Ryan Reagan’s 3-pointer cut the deficit back down to 14. However Hingham regained control and pushed their lead back to 23 within two minutes to take the Dragons out of the game for good.
"We really appreciated the crowd," Cushing said. "That was how it used to be many years ago and that makes it fun. I've been coaching here and it's said. I don't know if I can keep going or not.
With the loss, Duxbury finished their season with a 7-10 record and said goodbye to their senior cheerleaders and basketball players on Senior Night. Cushing started seniors Perry, Schwanke, captain Jake Foote, Max Boucher and Julian Pelletier after each was honored, along with his par- ents, prior to the game.
“Jake and Noah were great leaders and I thought Max Boucher had a great year this year,” Cushing said. “Julian won our sportsmanship award and Khai is just a great athlete. We had a nice senior class, I’m sad to see them go and I wish them luck in what they do next.”
While it was another down season for the Dragons, their fans showed up en masse to create a playoff-style atmosphere for the last game in the gym. Cushing thanked the fans for their support over the years, and added that the new gym might open with a new coach taking the helm of the Dragons.
“We really appreciated the crowd,” Cushing said. “That was how it used to be many years ago and that makes it fun. I’ve been coaching here for 30 years and it’s sad. I don’t know if I can keep going or not.”