boysbball2The Duxbury boys’ basketball team couldn’t buy a basket at the high school on Friday and it cost them against the Whitman-Hanson Panthers.

The Dragons went nearly half of the first quarter without scoring and could not recover in a 60-39 loss to Whitman-Hanson.

While the Dragons struggled to hit their shots, the Panthers jumped out to an 11-0 lead at the 4:56 mark behind back-to-back 3-pointers by Shane Devlin. Noah Schwanke and Will Williams gave the Dragons a pair of baskets in the first, but the Dragons continued to struggle while the Panthers ran their lead to 22 by halftime.

“We knew we had to score because they score a lot, but we really struggled,” head coach Gordon Cushing said. “It makes it so hard when you go down and you miss a layup and you miss another [uncontested shot] and all of sudden you only have four points in a quarter; its just a huge mountain to climb.”

The Dragons looked poised to trim the lead in the third quarter as turnovers and a technical on Whitman-Hanson captain Brian Feeney slowed down the Panther offense and Brad Daugherty gave Duxbury a spark on defense with three blocked shots. The Dragons got cut the deficit to 18, but Devlin hit another 3-pointer to help the Panthers jump back ahead 47-23 by the end of the third.

“The lid was on the basket,” Cushing said. “I don’t think it was that we did get good shots, they just didn’t go in Sometimes that’s just the way it goes.”

The Dragons made one last push to get back into the game in the fourth quarter, and cut the Panthers’ lead to 16 on a pair of free throws by Daugherty, but that is as close as they would get the rest of the way.

While it was a frustrating game for the Dragons, they remain in the hunt for a spot in the MIAA tournament. Duxbury needs a .500 record in order to qualify, and they are four wins away. Cushing said that his players were frustrated by their poor shooting against the Panthers, but also know they have to put the loss behind them if they want to reach the postseason.

“We’ve got to win four more, that’s our goal,” he said. “They are disappointed obviously that they lost, but they also know that they didn’t shoot real well. That’s one you just got to put behind you.”

The Dragons will have to punch their postseason tickets on the road with only two home games left on their schedule. The team will be home Tuesday against the Silver Lake Lakers before ending the week with trips to North Quincy and Whitman-Hanson.