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|Dragons hang on for win|
|Wednesday, 02 March 2011 20:30|
Coach Gordon Cushing had warned his team that being in post-season play is a lot different than playing regular season games in the Patriot League. It took the final eight minutes of Tuesday nightâ€™s win over Quincy to drive that point across.
In a game that saw the Presidents score just 11 points in the first half and 23 by the end of the third quarter, Quincy exploded for 24 points in the fourth quarter before falling to the Dragons, 52-47, in first-round action of the MIAA Division II South Sectional.
The No. 4-seeded Dragons had handled the Presidents (No. 13 seed) pretty easily in their one meeting during the regular season, pinning a 54-40 loss on their Patriot League rivals the last week in January.
With a boisterous partisan crowd of students along the baseline, the Dragons had all the support they would need, as they jumped out to a 6-0 lead that forced Quincy Coach Dave Parry to call a timeout less than three minutes into the game.
A tough Duxbury defense made it difficult for the Presidents underneath, as the Marino brothers (Justin and Jason) blocked several shots and were an intimidating force inside. Quincy would finally get on the board with a pair of free throws and they matched baskets with the Dragons the rest of the first quarter, as Duxbury looked at 13-7 lead at the break.
Duxburyâ€™s defense did its job in the second quarter, holding the visitors to just four points. But their offense suffered as well, with Curtis Owen scoring seven of Duxburyâ€™s 11 second-quarter points to take a 24-11 halftime lead.
Despite their dominance, poor shooting and sloppy ballhandling continued to plague the Dragons, as Quincy remained in striking distance despite their awful offensive performance.
Duxbury continued to control the action in the second half and had their biggest lead of the game at 31-17 with just over three minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Quincy would narrow the gap to 33-23 in the final minute of the third quarter, but sophomore guard Sam Ederle nailed a three-pointer in the final seconds for what looked like a comfortable lead (36-23) with eight minutes to go.
The Presidents would start the final quarter on an 8-4 run that cut the Duxbury lead to 40-31 with six minutes to go, and less than two minutes later Quincy had closed the gap to 44-40 on a three-pointer by Kevin McDonagh (13 points).
A pair of free throws by Jason Marino made it 46-40 with 4:18 to go, but a minute later Quincy miraculously took the lead for the first time all night at 47-46 when the Dragons threw away an unmolested inbounds pass.
The lead was short-lived when Owen buried a pair of free throws for a 48-47 Duxbury lead. Quincy had a chance to tie it, but missed two free throws. Owen would come back with another free throw for a 49-47 lead. The Presidents travelled on the inbounds pass, and Duxbury had three chances to ice the game with baskets, only to miss all three shots. A Jason Marino free throw made it 50-47 with 19.3 seconds remaining, and Quincy had possession with a chance to tie the score.
Their shot fell short and Jason Marino was fouled, hitting both free throws and icing the win at 52-47.
Owen was the leading scorer for the Dragons with 14, while Conor Kindregan (13) and the Marinos each contributed nine.
â€œOur defense was terrific in the first half, and then we started to let them penetrate down the middle and get to the basket,â€ said Cushing. â€œThings are different in the tournament. You get a little tighter and youâ€™re not sure what you are going to do. You start thinking about your season being over. Except for two kids, itâ€™s the first tournament experience for most of these kids.â€
The Dragons will now face Oliver Ames on Thursday night at 7 p.m. in Duxbury.