The problem that has plagued the Duxbury boys’ basketball team for the past month, struck again on Monday night, as the Dragons couldn’t protect a fourth-quarter lead and were eliminated from the MIAA Division II basketball tournament via a 71-68 loss to Milton. The problem that has plagued the Duxbury boys’ basketball team for the past month, struck again on Monday night, as the Dragons couldn’t protect a fourth-quarter lead and were eliminated from the MIAA Division II basketball tournament via a 71-68 loss to Milton.
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Senior forward Peter Bobseine has his hands full trying to battle three Milton players for a rebound.


The #15-seed Dragons (10-8) hosted #18-seeded Milton in preliminary-round action, but by game’s end it was the clawing Wildcats and their fans who boasted that the Duxbury gym was now their house. Watching their play in the final five minutes certainly made their case.

Like all of Duxbury’s recent games, the outcome boiled down to who would get the job done in the final minutes, and has been seen over and over it wasn’t going to happen for Coach Gordon Cushing’s squad.

Cushing’s scouting reports had said the Wildcats weren’t dangerous from the outside. But you wouldn’t have believed it after watching Milton’s Tim Potts bury three three-pointers in the first five minutes to stake the Wildcats to a 16-8 lead.

Milton cooled off considerably after being up by eight, and Duxbury’s Mark Brust countered by scoring seven points in the final three minutes, as the Dragons crept back in the game at 18-16 as the quarter ended.

Early in the second quarter Milton’s Chris Milton caught fire, nailing a pair of threes to give the Wildcats a 28-23 lead with 4:25 left in the half.

Brust, Brendan Sullivan, and Sam Davidson answered with six straight points to regain the lead at 29-28, only to watch Marcus McDermott bury a pair of treys around a Sullivan put-back giving Milton a 34-31 lead.{sidebar id=4}

After Peter Bobseine hit a free throw, Brust took over, scoring seven points in the final minute of the half while leading the Dragons into the locker room with a 39-38 lead.

What had been a run-and-gun affair in the first half turned tamer in the third quarter, as McDermott carried the load for Milton while grabbing a 43-41 lead midway through the quarter.

Bobseine answered with a bucket that tied the game, and senior Dan McDonald came off the bench and gave the Dragons a 45-43 lead with a tough offensive rebound.

Potts was back in action from 3-point land, giving Milton a 46-45 lead. But Brust went on a mini run, capped by a three-point play with six seconds to go in the quarter that gave the Dragons a three-point lead with eight minutes left to play.

Things looked positive for the Dragons when two Sullivan free throws made it 57-52 with 6:39 remaining. But Marty Ridge’s two free throws and a five-point burst by Milton gave the visitors a 59-57 lead.

Junior Ian Whitney nailed a short jumper along the baseline with 4:15 to play, and it would be the closest the Dragons would get the rest of the way.

A 10-2 Milton run over the next three minutes would put Milton ahead 69-61 with just a minute left to play. But Brust and McDonald wouldn’t give up, as they ripped off a 7-1 run that put the score at 70-68 with 13 seconds on the clock.

Duxbury fouled a nervous Tom Ranton, who missed his free throw with 10 seconds to go. But as luck and effort would have it, the Wildcats got inside the Dragon forwards and knocked the rebound to the corner where McDonald fouled McDermott.{sidebar id=1}

The Milton junior hit his first free throw and missed the second, allowing Sullivan to grab the rebound with seven seconds to go and feed Brust for a floor-length rush. The junior captain weaved his way through center court and unleashed his three-point attempt with one second to go, only to watch it hit the front of the rim and fall into the hands of Milton.

“We had stretches where we played well and stretches where we didn’t do so good,” said Cushing. “They played hard every game and I think the only one we got blown out in was against Plymouth North. Other then that, there were about 12 games that got decided by three or four points. This was a repeat of that. We couldn’t quite get over the hump. We tried to use some timeouts to get more people in there and get some rest, but in the end you have to give Milton a lot of credit. They stuck a lot of threes and we had heard they didn’t shoot to well, which obviously wasn’t true. In the end we just couldn’t make enough stops.”

The loss ends Duxbury’s season at 10-9, and also marks the end of the high school basketball careers of seniors Nick Dow, Chris Fagan, Peter Bobseine, captain Brendan Sullivan, Chris Buron, and Dan McDonald.