With one dominating performance at the high school Thursday night, the Duxbury boys’ lacrosse team was able to pick up their third win over a Massachusetts top-20 team, establish their stranglehold on the Patriot League, qualify for the MIAA tournament and once again take their position as the top-ranked lacrosse team in the Bay State.
Shane Sullivan scored twice in the first four minutes and the Dragons never looked back in a 14-1 win over the 13th-ranked Hingham Harbor men to improve to 7-2 on the season. The win, combined with victories over the seventh-ranked Cohasset Clippers and the defending state champion Xavarian Hawks earlier in the season, was enough for Duxbury to knock the Hawks off the top of the Boston Globe rankings and jump on the pedestal from the number five spot.
“We looked at tonight as the league-championship game,” head coach Chris Sweet said. “Hingham has always been our rival, so it doesn’t take much to get our guys up to play Hingham... I thought the offense was really, really patient and took great shots while the defense just clamped down and Nick made some big saves on some tough shots.”
Duxbury had their way with the Harbormen in the first quarter as Brendan Burke made it 3-0 Dragons with 5:09 left in the frame and then fed Tyler Powers in stride for a leaping goal. The Dragons then proved they can score on designed plays as well as fast breaks when they overloaded the right side of the field and Burke fed Niall Dillon with no one around him on the left to run Duxbury’s lead to five.
“I thought Niall Dillon just emerged today,” Sweet said. “At the beginning of the sea- son he was probably sixth on our depth chart.”
Hingham scored their only goal with 1:16 left in the quar- ter, but Shayne O’Brien answered with 17 seconds left to prevent the Harbormen from taking any momentum with them in the second. A pair of goals from Wes Quinzani put the Dragons in front by eight midway through the second, but Duxbury struggled as half- time approached. Hingham was able to generate some fast breaks of their own, but were frustrated time after time by Marrocco, who made three saves in the final five minutes including a rejection on a two- on-one Hingham break.
“We play great defense, but when we do make a mistake... he’s there to step in and clean that up,” Sweet said.
Burke and O’Brien each scored in both the third and fourth quarters to help run Duxbury’s lead to double digits. Trevor O’Brien and Matt Sharp also added fourth quarter goals before the regulars took to the bench in the final minutes.
The win allowed the Drag- ons to bounce back from their second loss of the season five days earlier against Niskayuna, which Sweet said played an integral part in Duxbury’s rout of the Harbormen.
“We came out of a tough loss, so I think our guys had a little chip on their shoulder,” he said. “We watched the film three times and went over each mistake we made on defense. I think the guys took it to heart and made a great adjustment against a really great Hingham team.”
The Dragons will have another tough test Wednesday when they host the Lincoln- Sudbury Warriors at the high school. The Warriors are cur- rently ranked sixth in the state and are one of the teams Dux- bury leapfrogged to reach the top spot.
“[The win over Hingham] was good preparation for that game,” Sweet said. “We’re go- ing to start looking at what L-S has for personnel and see what we can come up with for them, but that is always a big game when we play them.”