Lady Dragons split a pair

Written by Mike Halloran, Sports Editor
 | Wednesday, 18 January 2012 14:12

(FACE TIME: Duxbury’s Michela North drives to the basket while being defended by Scituate’s Shannon Brady. Photo: Jim Tarbox)

After a tough opening stretch of four non-league games (0-4), the girls’ basketball team started its Patriot League schedule and has a 2-1 league record after splitting a pair of games with Scituate and North Quincy.

Last Tuesday, the Lady Dragons faced an undefeated Scituate squad and stayed close for three quarters before their offense went south in the fourth quarter of a 44-36 loss to the Sailors. Scituate has been picked as the pre-season favorite in the Patriot League and, after the first quarter, it looked like Duxbury was its equal, as the Lady Dragons jumped out to an early lead, then saw both teams grab the lead at several points during the quarter that ended with Scituate ahead 11-10.

Freshman point guard Maddie Foote got the lead back for Duxbury with a hoop to start the second quarter and senior captain Shannon McLaughlin and junior Katelyn North followed with buckets to give Duxbury a 17-11 lead.

The Sailors retaliated with eight straight points in a three-minute span and went to the locker room with a 19-17 halftime lead.

The girls would match the visitors’ basket for basket at the start of the third quarter and tied the game at 25-25 when junior Michela North scored on an offensive rebound with 3:38 left in the quarter. That was the closest Duxbury would get the rest of the night, as Scituate’s Megan Otto hit a pair of free throws for a 27-25 lead that they would never relinquish.

A Shannon Brady shot at the third quarter buzzer would give the Sailors a 32-26 lead with eight minutes left in the game.

Junior Bridget Quilty would cut the lead to 34-30, but a steal by Scituate’s Kelly Martin prevented Duxbury from getting any closer, as her theft resulted in a basket that gave Scituate a 36-30 lead, forcing Coach Bob Sullivan to call a timeout.

The defense continued to work hard, yet couldn’t close the gap with 3:25 to go as Sullivan called another timeout.

When play resumed, the Sailors kept going to the free-throw line and buried four straight in the final minute of play to wrap up a 44-36 win.

North led the way for Duxbury with 14 points, while McLaughlin chipped in with eight.

The Lady Dragons had a much easier time on Friday night when the Red Raiders came to town, jumping out to a 20-7 first-quarter lead and never looking back in their 52-40 win.

For an offense that has struggled to top the 40-point level all season long. Duxbury’s woes weren’t apparent after they jumped out to a surprising 16-0 lead in the game’s first five minutes, forcing NQ Coach Jess Worden to call a timeout with three minutes left in the first quarter.

The Lady Dragons used their front-court height advantage to their favor, as North torched NQ for 10 of her team’s first 16 points.

After the timeout, the Red Raiders would go on a brief 7-4 run, cutting the lead to 13 as the first quarter ended.

A pair of Quilty baskets kept the margin at 13 to start the second quarter, but NQ’s Maya Umoren chipped away at the lead and cut it to 25-18 before North hit a shot at the halftime buzzer for a 27-18 lead.

Maya’s senior sister, Olivia, caught fire in the third quarter while scoring six points and cutting the Duxbury lead to 35-27 at the end of three quarters, getting the Red Raiders back in the game and forcing the Lady Dragons to bear down on offense.

After being outscored in the two middle periods, Duxbury went back to feeding North down low in the opening minutes of the final quarter, building the lead back up to 45-31 with 3:55 left in the game.

Duxbury would maintain its lead after a NQ timeout and cruised to a 12-point victory.

North had a big night with 22 points, as she works her way toward the 1000-point mark, while Norton (8), Quilty (7) and McLaughlin  (6) also chipped in offensively.

The girls will travel to Pembroke on Friday night as they continue their Patriot League schedule.