Dragons lose thriller to Silver Lake

Written by Mike Halloran
 | Monday, 07 February 2011 23:50

Duxbury’s road to the playoffs hit a pothole on Friday night, as the Dragons let a hard-working Silver Lake squad hang around a little too long before dropping a 76-71 double overtime decision to the Lakers in Duxbury.
Coming into the game with a 3-10 record, it looked like Silver Lake would be a likely candidate to be one of the two wins the Dragons needed to qualify for post-season play. But after watching the first eight minutes of action, it didn’t look like the Lakers were going to roll over and play dead while satisfying Duxbury’s needs.


Laker guard Tucker Bouchard was lighting it up in the first four minutes, scoring seven points before Silver Lake Coach Tom Duggan called a timeout with his team ahead 10-8 and 4:19 left in the opening quarter.  When the teams came back on the floor, Bouchard hit his second three-pointer of the quarter and the Lakers jumped out to a 17-12 lead at the end of the first eight minutes.
Five points by senior Josh Whalen and a hoop by Bouchard (33 points) increased the Laker lead to 24-16 midway through the second quarter before baskets by junior Justin Marino (5 pts.) and junior Curtis Owen (4 pts.) kept the Dragons within striking distance at 30-24 as the half ended.
Wide open shots for Silver Lake and careless ball handling by the Dragons was dictating the score.
“They play hard, but we let them stay in the game,” said Duxbury Coach Gordon Cushing. “They were getting wide open shots and then we kept fouling them and sending them to the line (27 of 31). Some of those fouls were so ridiculous because they were so far away from the basket.”
When Connor Kindregan started the third quarter by cutting the margin to 30-26, it appeared the Dragons were right back in the game. But the Lakers kept getting wide open shots and ran off 10 straight points to lead 40-26 with 3:04 left in the quarter.
At this point in the game, Owen caught fire, scoring 10 straight Duxbury points to cut the margin to 40-36 at the end of three quarters.
The Dragons were now back in the game, and all the mistakes they had made didn’t matter anymore. By outplaying the Lakers over the next eight minutes, the only thing that would matter would be a win.
And what a wild eight minutes it would be.
Early in the fourth quarter a Laker injury held up the game for five minutes with the visitors leading 42-40. When play resumed Owen tied the game with a jumper with 5:45 to go, and the lead went back-and-forth in dramatic fashion the rest of regulation time.
Six lead changes occurred over the next three minutes, with an Owen jumper giving Duxbury a 48-47 lead, forcing the Lakers to call a timeout with 2:49 showing on the clock.
The Lakers couldn’t get the ball back in play and Duxbury took advantage, as Jason Marino scored on his own rebound to make it 50-47 with two minutes to go.
The Dragons got the ball once again, but committed a costly turnover when they had a chance to put the game away. Four consecutive Laker free throws had them back in the lead at 51-50 with 56 seconds to go. Two Owen free throws got the lead back for Duxbury, but after a Laker timeout, a driving layup by Bouchard put Silver Lake back in front, 53-52 with 20.7 seconds left.
After a Duxbury turnover, Silver Lake’s Mitch Graziano was fouled and hit two free throws for a 55-52 lead.
The Dragons had one last chance to tie the game and they tried to find Owen for a three-pointer. As they moved the ball around the top of the key, they spotted Owen on the right side and got him the ball. The junior captain was inside the arc and realized it quickly, stepping back and burying the tying bucket with nine seconds left in regulation. A desperation shot by the Lakers hit the rim and the game went into overtime tied at 55.
The lead went back-and-forth once again, as the Lakers led 59-57 with 2:44 remaining and a chance to ice the game. But a shot clock violation turned the ball back over to Duxbury and Gordon Acha tied the game at 59 with 42 seconds to go.
A pair of free throws by Graziano put the Lakers ahead by two with 23 seconds left, but Jason Marino buried his shot with five seconds on the clock to send the game into its second overtime.
With Silver Lake leading 64-61 a minute into the second overtime, Kindregan hit a bucket to make it 64-63. A free throw by Graziano got the lead back to two, only to see Owen tie it again thanks to an offensive rebound by Acha with 1:50 left.
The long range shooting that had given the Lakers their early leads suddenly returned, as junior Jackie Hurley nailed a pair of three-pointers in a one-minute span and Bouchard hit two free throws to give Silver Lake a 73-68 lead with 26 seconds to go. More Laker free throws matched a Jason Marino basket and the Lakers joyfully ran off the court with the victory.
“We definitely showed our youth tonight,” said a frustrated Cushing.
Owen had a big night offensively for the Dragons with 28 points, while Jason Marino contributed 16 points and Kindregan chipped in with 10.
After entertaining Hanover on Monday night, the Dragons will hit the road for a game with Whitman-Hanson on Friday at 6:30 p.m.