After a pair of gut-wrenching one-point losses to Rockland and Scituate prevented the Dragons from qualifying for post-season play early last week, they recovered on Friday night in the second of back-to-back games by beating Silver Lake, 56-42.

After a pair of gut-wrenching one-point losses to Rockland and Scituate prevented the Dragons from qualifying for post-season play early last week, they recovered on Friday night in the second of back-to-back games by beating Silver Lake, 56-42.

Captains Mark Brust and Brendan Sullivan led the way with 14 points each, while Ian Whitney contributed 13 and senior Dan MacDonald chipped with a career-high nine points.

The win leaves Duxbury with a 9-4 record and guarantees them at least a .500 record with five games left to play, good enough to make the MIAA DII Tournament.

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A FLURRY OF ACTION: Scituate’s Keith Fluery grabs a rebound while Duxbury’s Dan McDonald tries to get a piece of the ball. Fluery’s basket with 0:00.2 seconds left gave Scituate a 72-70 victory.

 

On Thursday night in Duxbury, the Dragons put on one of their best performances of the season, but came away with a heartbreaking 72-70 loss to Scituate on a last-second tip-in by Keith Fluery.

Playing without the services of 6’3” senior forward Peter Bobseine, Coach Gordon Cushing’s squad looked miniscule compared to the Sailors, whose roster boasts three players over 6’8”.

Despite the height disadvantage, the Dragons stood up to the visitors and took their best shot throughout the game, surpassing their outstanding effort earlier in the season when they put a scare into the Sailors before running out of gas in the final quarter.

Junior Mark Brust was immense, as Duxbury’s go-to guy buried 34 points in the losing effort, along with help from Brendan Sullivan (17) and Ian Whitney (9).

Scituate would jump out in front 6-4, but Brust would answer with six straight points forcing Scituate Coach Matt Poirier to call a timeout with 4:15 left in the quarter.

The Sailors came back to take the lead at 15-13, but Sullivan ripped off eight straight points in the final 1:31 to give Duxbury a 21-15 first-quarter lead.

The visitors closed the gap to 25-22 in the first two minutes of the second quarter, after which Brust, senior Chris Buron, senior Dan McDonald, and junior Sam Davidson combined for seven points to give the Dragons their biggest lead of the game at 32-22.

Buron used his muscle inside to score four more points off the glass, but his teammates couldn’t do much to stop the Sailors from burying a trio of three-pointers that cut the margin to 36-33 with under three minutes left in the half.

Holding a 40-35 halftime lead, the Dragons could only hope that they had the stamina to stay close the rest of the way.{sidebar id=1}

Sean McCarthy, the 6’10” center, started to do some damage on the offensive boards midway through the third quarter, and junior Dean Kennedy came off the bench and buried a three-pointer to tie the game at 49-49, forcing Cushing to call a timeout.

The fourth quarter started with the teams tied at 53, turning the final eight minutes into a seesaw battle.

With 6:44 remaining in the game, Scituate took its first lead since early in the game when Fluery made a three-point play to put the Sailors ahead 58-55. Sullivan answered with a three-point play of his own to tie the game at 58 just 19 seconds later.

Brust (2) and Whitney (3) outscored McCarthy (4) to take a 63-62 lead, but Beldo nailed a pair of free throws to get the lead back.

With three minutes to go, Brust had the crowd on its feet when he swished a 22-footer for 66-64 lead.

The Sailors continued to go inside to McCarthy over the next two minutes, but Brust matched his output to keep the margin at two (70-68).

With 46 seconds to play, McCarthy tied the game at 70-70, putting the pressure on the Dragons to get off a good shot. Davidson had trouble advancing the ball in the forecourt and got tied up, but the arrow was in Duxbury’s favor and they regained possession.

Just 12.6 seconds were on the clock when Brust desperately tried to get off a shot in the face of 6’8” Blaine O’Brien, who blocked the shot as the shot-clock buzzer sounded.

Coming out of a timeout, the Sailors went for the winner with three seconds to go and missed the shot, only to have Fluery move through the lane unmolested and soar over everyone to put the ball in the bucket with 00.2 seconds left for the game-winner.

“We gave them a good effort. We have back-to-back games and we’re a little undermanned. But that is now two games in a row and we just aren’t making enough plays down the stretch,” said Cushing. “You can’t let a 6’10” kid walk right in front of you so he is four feet from the basket, and you can’t give up so many second chances. You give a team like that two shots and you might as well forget it.”

On Thursday night the Dragons will end their regular-season schedule by entertaining Marshfield, before moving on to play in the Whitman-Hanson Tournament on Monday and Tuesday.