The DHS girls’ basketball team pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the early round of the MIAA tournament with a thrilling 59-56 overtime win over #3 seeded Falmouth on Wednesday night on Cape Cod.
The #14 seeded Lady Dragons came into the tournament with a 13-7 record, while the Clippers were sporting an impressive 17-1 mark.
After watching what transpired in the first eight minutes, it was obvious why Falmouth was so highly touted, as they raced to an 18-8 first quarter lead while putting doubts in the minds of Duxbury.
Despite the 10-point deficit, the Lady Dragons roared back behind the efforts of Michela North and Kate Norton in the second quarter and went to the locker room trailing by only a point (32-31) at halftime.
Duxbury would take the lead starting the third quarter on a North basket, but Falmouth came right back and went ahead 34-33. Norton followed with a three-pointer and North scored once again to increase the visitor’s lead to 38-34.
Falmouth called a timeout to squash Duxbury’s momentum, and when they returned they reeled off five straight points to tie the game at 38.
Freshman point guard Maddie Foote followed with a three-point bomb, but the Lady Dragons still couldn’t shake the Clippers, who nipped at Duxbury’s heels as they trailed 44-43 at the end of the third quarter.
Elizabeth Knox would regain the lead for Falmouth at 45-44 on a put-back of an offensive rebound. But Norton nailed a three-pointer to put her team ahead 47-45. When North followed with another basket, Falmouth signaled for a timeout once again.
The brief respite appeared to refresh the Clippers, who came back on the court to score six straight points and leap ahead 51-49 on a baseline drive by Grace Geary.
With just under a minute to go, junior Christina Curley tied the game at 51 when she rebounded a North missed free throw attempt.
Following a missed shot by the Clippers, the Lady Dragons brought the ball up court and ran some time off the clock, hoping to get a final game-winning shot. Calling a timeout with 11 seconds to go, Coach Bob Sullivan gathered his troops on the sideline to discuss what he hoped would be the winning play.
When play resumed, Falmouth attempted to trap the inbound pass. With North seeing double and triple-teaming all night long, Curley found herself alone under the basket where she took a pass and turned to the hoop, banking her shot off the glass and watching it roll off the rim as the buzzer sounded to end regulation at 51-51.
Duxbury jumped to a quick five-point lead in OT on two North free throws and another Norton three-pointer, only to have Alexa Johnson respond and cut the lead to 56 - 53 with 1:40 to go.
The Lady Dragons went to the heavily guarded North with under a minute to go and the junior captain responded with a hook shot in the paint for a 58-53 lead. Falmouth wasted little time in getting back down the court, as they fed Tab Cardiero outside the arc where she buried her three-pointer with 24.6 seconds left to cut the deficit to 58-56.
Norton would be fouled in the closing seconds and nailed her free throw, allowing Falmouth one final chance to tie it on a desperation heave.
North had a big night for Duxbury with 30 points, while Curley was aggressive on the boards and an important factor in the team’s overall performance.
“Curley is our best loose ball rebounder without a doubt,” said Sullivan. “We just rebounded and played better defense in the second half and got back to our normal game.”
The Lady Dragons will now take on #6 seeded Natick HS (15-5) on Friday night at 7 in Natick.