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|Rough start ends hoop tournament run|
|Friday, 04 March 2011 12:08|
With a packed gymnasium and a student body ready to explode with every Duxbury basket, it couldnâ€™t have started any better for the Dragons, as Justin Marino gave Duxbury a 5-0 lead. After that the dream fell apart, as the No. 5-seeded Oliver Ames Tigers went on a 26-2 run over the next seven minutes to put the game away in a 69-53 win over the Dragons.
Duxbury knew what they were up against, having played Oliver Ames just last week in the IAABO at Bridgewater State. In that game they led by five points in the third quarter, then watched the Tigers out-score them 26-6 over the final eight minutes for a 64-38 loss.
This game very much mirrored their prior match-up, but this time the Tigers put them out of their misery early by racing to a 26-7 first quarter lead. Poor ball movement and shot selection by Duxbury led to their demise, while Oliver Ames was effective with Nick Bruha (9 first quarter points) in charge and Mason Pires doing the job inside.
While the Dragons were able to cut OAâ€™s point total in half in the second period, they still lost ground by scoring just nine points and trailing at halftime, 39-16.
Duxbury came out fired up in the second half and reeled off 10 straight points to get the crowd back in the game at 39-26, only to see their momentum squashed when St. Clair Ryan buried a three-pointer from deep in the corner.
No matter how hard the Dragons tried to fight their way back into the game, they couldnâ€™t contain Pires underneath or the three-point shooting of Duane Johnson who put the visitors ahead 50-30 with 2:30 left in the third quarter.
With eight remaining in the Dragonsâ€™ season, they trailed 54-38 with the crowd exhorting them on.
A pair of baskets by Jason Marino and two free throws from Curtis Owen cut the lead to 56-44 with 5:40 remaining and the crowd was cheering for a miracle comeback. Johnson made sure that didnâ€™t happen, as he swished another three from deep in the corner.
Duxbury would cut into the lead slightly at 65-53, but Coach Gordon Cushing saw the handwriting on the wall, as he sent in seniors Dave Donovan, Wesley Dow, and Pat Fahy with 1:31 remaining and the end of Duxburyâ€™s basketball season in sight.
â€œWe just shot ourselves in the foot at the beginning with too many turnovers,â€ said Cushing. â€œWe dug a big hole and it was tough to climb out of it. We got down by so much we decided to take a chance and double-team the point guard, but the other kids hit the threes. Other than that I thought we did a good job this year. We won the league in a rebuilding year, made the tournament after losing our best player to transfer, and got two home games in the playoffs. Weâ€™ll be back next year. Weâ€™re very young and our future is bright, and Iâ€™m very proud of our guys on how hard they played in the second half.â€
Owen led the Dragons with 18 points, while Justin Marino contributed 13 and Jason Marino chipped in with 10.