Whether it was the week off for exams, the fact that they were away from Duxbury High School for the first time in nearly a month or the fact that the Quincy Presidents are one of the few teams in the Patriot League who can match size and power with the Dragons, the Duxbury girls’ basketball team was tested like they hadn’t been all season at Quincy High School on Friday.

For a Dragon team that has been blowing away the competition to start the season, it was one of their first chances to show that it can win gritty games as well. Duxbury did just by outscoring Quincy 18-8 in the fourth quarter to win 43-26 and improve to 8-0.

The Dragons couldn’t pull away from the Quincy through three quarters, but five points to end the third and two quick baskets to start the fourth gave Duxbury the cushion it needed to run away from the up-and-coming Presidents.

“I told the girls in one of the time outs that we need this,” head coach Bob Sullivan said. “I have a lot of respect for Quincy, They’re well coached, they’re tough kids and Jorgensen is special. Games like today, when you’re playing a team that has someone that will be a Division I scholarship player, that’s going to make you better. I always worry about this game (at the end of exam week), but they got it done and that’s the mark of a good team.”

While Duxbury’s interior tandem of Catherine Harrison and Molly Quilty battled in the paint with Quincy’s twin towers of Nicole Jorgensen and Gabby Jerahian, it was guard Maddie Foote that sparked the offense for Duxbury throughout the game. Foote delivered a key 3-pointer in the second quarter after Quincy pulled within two scores of the Dragons and then put in a crucial lay-up off a steal in the final minutes of the third quarter after the Presidents had pulled within two.

Foote’s basket killed Quincy’s momentum in the third and sparked a five-point finish to the quarter for Duxbury. She continued to attack the rim at the start of the fourth with a pair of lay-ups that put the Dragons up by double digits for the first time in the game and played with a chip on her shoulder for the rest of the game with three steals and a block in the quarter while finishing the game with a team-high 15 points.

“I think Maddie was one of the few kids today who showed up and played all four quarters,” Sullivan said. “I think the game ball would go to Maddie today — she really did a great job for us.”

While Foote was the spark offensively for Duxbury, Quilty’s defense on Jorgensen in the fourth quarter was also crucial in Duxbury pulling away late. Sullivan started the game with the stronger Harrison guarding Quincy’s star sophomore center, but Jorgensen’s speed and jumping ability took the junior captain out of the game as time wore on. Sullivan then gave Quilty the assignment to start the fourth, and Quilty dominated Jorgensen at both ends with four points, four rebounds and two blocks of Jorgensen in the fourth while Jorgensen managed only one point on a free-thrown through the final eight minutes.

“We had Catherine on her, who’s 6 feet tall and obviously stronger, but to her credit [Jorgensen] is really, really good,” Sullivan said. “Molly gives us another look. She’s 6’4” and her arms make her 6’6” and she just did a great job.”

Neither team came out shooting the ball well, but Duxbury was able to a take 7-4 lead by the end of the first quarter. The Dragons led 12-4 after a quick start to the second quarter, but the Presidents rallied to cut it to 12-8 before Foote’s 3-pointer and Harrison finishing a three-point play on Duxbury’s next trip up the court.

Duxbury continued to shoot poorly in the third quarter, and were unable to take advantage of five Quincy turnovers to pad their lead. The Presidents began to chip away while the Dragons struggled and came within a basket when Alyssa Camara drilled a 3-pointer with 3:15 left in the quarter.

Foote’s lay-up stopped the Quincy rally and led to six straight points by the Dragons, which allowed them to finish the third up 25-18. With Quilty on Jorgenson Harrison was able to reassert herself offensively in the fourth with four points that helped Duxbury to an 11-point lead. Quilty put in a rebound, Emma Gill followed with a basket in transition and captain Jackie Sullivan sank a free throw to give the Dragons a 15-point lead halfway through the quarter that took the wind out of the sails for Quincy.

Harrison finished the game with 12 points and 11 rebounds while Quilty scored nine to go with 13 rebounds and five blocks.

The Dragons return home Tuesday night to play the North Quincy Red Raiders before traveling to Whitman-Hanson on Friday to face the Panthers.