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|Senior night splendor|
|Written by Dave Palana|
|Wednesday, 12 February 2014 13:04|
The Duxbury girls’ basket- ball team made sure seniors Haley McLaughlin and Bella McGoldrick were sent off in style at the high school Friday night against the Whitman- Hanson Panthers.
The Panthers got the first three points of the game, but the Dragons got the next 24 and never looked back in a 53- 29 win on Senior Night.
“I think Senior Night meant something to these girls,” head coach Bob Sulli- van said. “Haley and Bella are two special young ladies and we talked about dedicating the game to them by coming out with a little extra effort. I think that showed today.”
After Panther captain Meghan Downey opened the game with a 3-pointer, Dux- bury junior captain Maddie Foote responded with three 3-pointers of her own while sophomore Emma Gill sliced to the basket in with four points of her own to help stake Duxbury to a 19-3 lead after one quarter.
Duxbury’s star centers Catherine Harrison and Mol- ly Quilty were dominant in the boards, combining for six blocks and 18 rebounds de- spite sitting out most of the
fourth quarter, but neither got involved much in the offense during the first half. Having Foote and Gill score 18 of the Dragons’ 29 first-half points speaks to the balanced scoring attack of the team, according to Sullivan.
“That’s what we need to be a complete team,” he said. “We started pretty early on telling the girls that people are going to front and back Catherine and they’re going to double- team Molly, so we’re going to make some shots. That’s the key to our season, and if we do that we’re going to be OK.”
The Dragons ran their lead to 20 points by halftime and then let Harrison and Foote bury the Panthers in the third quarter with pick-and-roll bas- kets. The Panthers had no an- swer for Duxbury’s junior cap- tain tandem as Harrison put in 10 points in the frame and Foote added another 3-pointer to lead the Dragons to a 34- point advantage, 46-12, head- ing into the fourth quarter.
“We work on [pick-and- rolls] in practice everyday,” Sullivan said. “When you run pick and roll, when team switch you have a little trying to cover a big and it really doesn’t work [for the other team]. When we make good passes like that it’s even better."
The Dragons celebrated the win, but also showed their class by honoring Whitman-Hanson's seniors in addition to their own. Prior to the game, the Dragons presented the Panther seniors with flowers before turning their attention to honoring McLaughlin, McGoldrick and their families. Harrison and Jamie Cross mobbed McLaughlin when Sullivan introduced her after Foote and Erin Guilfoile did the same to McGoldrick.
Sullivan called McGoldrick, who recently declared to Marist College, "the ultimate teammate" and McLaughlin "a terrific captain" before also thanking senior Maeve McCarthy, who films each game for the coaching staff.
"This is my third year here and Haley has been with me for the three year and Bella for the last two, and they are two pretty special young ladies," Sullivan said. "[...] We have a whole bunch more games, but I'm going to miss them both."
The Dragons will have one final regular season home game due to snow postponing their earlier game against the Quincy Presidents. With their fourth consecutive Patriot League Championship and their spot in the MIAA tournament wrapped up, Sullivan said teh goal for the team now is to keep their undefeated streak alive for the remainder of the season to secure at least one home game in the tournament before the gym is torn down.
"This gym is coming down, so we'd like to make a little history," Sullivan said.