There were rumors that sophomore center Michela North wouldn’t be starting the Lady Dragons’ home opener on Friday night against Silver Lake because of an ankle injury.

That part was true, as Coach Mark Dunn started sophomore Bridget Quilty up front in place of her classmate. But as the game rolled along, it was obvious her struggling teammates needed some offensive help. Coming off the bench midway through the second quarter, North erupted for 20 points to lead Duxbury to a 51-39 Patriot League win over the Lakers.

There are high expectations for the girls’ basketball team in the Duxbury athletic community, but they got off to a somewhat slow start on Friday night, taking a 14-11 first quarter lead and then falling behind by four points midway through the second period.

While the Lady Dragons have one of the tallest teams on the South Shore, their young squad has yet to develop the bulk they’ll need to keep from getting pushed around. That was happening early on, as S-L’s Nicole Conboy and Courtney Yost were muscling their way inside to keep the game close over the favored Lady Dragons.

When the Lakers grabbed their first lead at the halfway point of the second quarter, Dunn knew he had to insert his All-Star forward, who immediately took it to the basket and started a 12-6 run over the next six minutes, generating a 28-25 halftime lead.

North’s 11 points in the second quarter put a spark into a lethargic Duxbury offense, and seemed to ignite the Lady Dragons in the third quarter when they outscored the Lakers by a 14-5 margin, with North racking up nine more points.

With a 42-30 lead after three quarters, Dunn was able to rest his injured star, while the rest of the team was able to battle the Lakers evenly the rest of the way.

Sophomore Katelyn Norton also had a productive night for Duxbury with 13 points.

“We’re still trying to figure out what our best combinations will be on the floor,” said Dunn. “We have good depth. But I didn’t know what to expect. Overall I thought it was a good first game.”