This ‘Ship Won’t Sink
2/26 @Duxbury vs Walpole
The Lady Dragons, the number one seed, started off the tournament in the third round of playoffs, and faced off with Walpole Feb 26. Senior Eva Catanzariti belted out the national anthem, and then the game was on. Senior captain Molly Quilty jumped, and easily overpowered her opponent, her 6’4” stature towering over the rest of the court. Senior captain Jackie Sullivan put the first points on the board with 6:49 left in the 1st Quarter, but Walpole made a quick return by tying it up seconds later.
Walpole coming back lit the fire for the Dragons, and by the end of the 1st Quarter the Dragons led 20-8, the quarter being closed out by freshman Nicole Callender missing a shot at the buzzer.
The 2nd Quarter Walpole fought to come back, but just couldn’t catch up to the Dragons, and after falling to 36-16, Walpole called a timeout with 1:06 left in the half. Walpole Fought back in the last minute to finish out with a score of 36-21, Duxbury in the lead.
The Dragons didn’t let up in the second half, and senior captain Maddie Foote sunk two 3 pointers, helping the lead grow to finish up the game at 61-43, Duxbury taking the win. Senior captain Catherine Harrison led the team in scoring, racking up 22 points all on her own.
3/3 @ Massasoit Community College vs North Attleboro
Duxbury Girls faced off with the 5th seed, North Attleboro, in the South Sectional Semi-finals. Quilty jumped again, and the Dragons made quick work of snatching the lead, with Harrison scoring twice in the first minute for Duxbury, and Foote hitting a 3 pointer with 3:34 left in the 1st Quarter. The Dragons squeaked out of the 1st Q with a 6 point lead, and a score of 17-11.
In the 2nd half the Lady Dragons didn’t give North Attleboro a break, pushing to increase the gap in the score. Foote was on her game, and sunk another 3 pointer, 14 seconds into the quarter. After a few fouls under her belt, Sullivan was pulled and Callender thrown in, doing her job and scoring with 6:27 left. A huge effort by the whole team ended the 2nd Quarter with a score of 38-18, Dragons leading. Both Harrison and Quilty were leading the team with 11 points each.
During halftime, the Dragon’s Mascot made an appearance, and did a quick lap around the gym to hype the fans, after receiving monetary compensation from fans, including this journalist.
The 3rd Quarter was the last chance for North Attleboro to come back, but Duxbury stole the show. The whole Duxbury team was serving up shot after shot, and Foote, true to form, got another 3 pointer with 3:36 left. The 3rd ended with Duxbury leading 56-28, and North Attleboro saw their hopes of making it to South Sectionals slip away.
With 5 minutes left, Coach Sullivan took out the starters, and the substitutes kept up the intensity, with the game-ending shot by Freshman Allie Cavallo at the buzzer, making the game 61-41, and the Dragons moving on to South Sectional finals. The game-leaders were Quilty, with 18 points, Harrison with 15, and Foote a close 3rd with 14.
3/7 @ Brockton High School vs. Foxboro
The Lady Dragons took on the Foxboro Warriors for the South Sectional Title at Brockton High School. Duxbury was off to a quick start, with Harrison snatching the ball away from the Warrior’s offense, and Gill was the first on the scoreboard at 7:11. The Dragons dominated the first half, with the score ending as 18-4 for Duxbury.
In the second quarter Foxborough battled back, with fouls being swapped back and forth between teams. Duxbury maintained the lead, but the Warriors weren’t letting up the intensity, making the Dragons fight for every point. The aggressive offense for the Warriors managed to help their team get into the double digits, with number 3 closing out the half with a 3 pointer, bringing the score up to 29-15 in Duxbury’s favor.
The Dragons were out for blood during the second half, with Quilty stuffing a shot immediately, and Foote sinking a 3 pointer two minutes in. Harrison had a big block too, and Sullivan and Gill kept pushing to widen the gap. When Foxboro’s number 4 had a bad fall with 2 minutes left in the 3rd quarter the game seemed to be over, and the quarter ended up 45-24, Duxbury.
However, in the 4th quarter the Warriors came back in a big way, showing that teams make interesting games, not individuals. Duxbury was getting fouled left and right, leaving as to whether or not they were willing to fight for this game. Harrison however, didn’t let the aggressive gameplay get to her, and maintained a level head the whole time, still managing to sink shot after shot. The game ended up at 55-45, with the Dragons officially going to the Garden.
3/11 @The Garden vs. Watertown
The TD Garden, Boston Massachusetts.
The home of the Celtics, and the end goal for teams all across the east coast for the end of the season.
The Dragon fan section turned up for the game, with 4 fan busses packed headed to the garden, and a sea of white filled the bleachers.
Noise bounced around the arena, and both teams adjusted to the bright lights and high pressure. The energy in the room was palpable, and both teams were chomping at the bit to begin. The teams were announced and the game was on.
Quilty jumped, and made quick work of scoring, putting point of the board 20 seconds in. Duxbury’s defense was putting up a strong block against the aggressive Watertown offense, making up for the lack of shots being taken by Duxbury. #21 closed the gap even more when she scored on the buzzer for the Red Raiders. At the end of the 1st Quarter Duxbury clung to the lead by two points.
The 2nd Quarter started with a shot by Watertown, and Foote tried to rally the team with a 3 pointer, but missed another shot. The score was slowly ticking its way upward for each team, and both fan sections were screaming and cheering the entire time. With a shot way over the backboard by Watertown, senior Peter Creed led the school section with a shout “Just off the mark!” At the end of the half Watertown had taken a 4 point lead of 26-22, and Duxbury was looking to change that.
The 3rd Quarter was off to a slow start with Quilty putting the first points on the board at 6:09. With a great show of teamwork by Sullivan and Harrison Duxbury finally closed the gap, and the game was tied up at 26-26. Watertown called a timeout, which did nothing to stop the offense of the Dragons. #21 managed to score the only basket in the quarter for Watertown, and with just under 2 minutes left in the quarter, Foote sunk her first 3 pointer, finally shooting from the high school line, as opposed to the NBA line, which she had been shooting from the previous half. The Red Raiders got possession of the ball, but when the shot clock timed out, it took the wind out of their sails, and the quarter was over with over a minute left.
The final quarter of the game started out with a bang, with a foul by Watertown on Harrison within the first 15 seconds, Harrison managing to score a point off of the foul shot. The Dragons were commanding the 4th Quarter in shots, with a huge effort by Gill, Sullivan, and Foote all adding to the lead. With 5:30 left the Dragon’s fan section taunted across the stadium, “Why so quiet?”
There was no response by the Red Raiders.
The Watertown offense was steamrolled by Duxbury’s defense, but clung to life with a single basket in the last quarter with just under 2 minutes left.
And with 1:30 left in the game, Coach Sullivan emptied the bench and the second string didn’t let up the intensity. With 54 seconds left in the game, senior Erin Guilfoile drained a shot, and soon after the Duxbury fans started cheering “It’s all over.”
The Dragons had stifled the Red Raiders in the second half, scoring a whopping 25 points to the Raider’s 4, shutting the team out of any chance of going to States. For the first time since 1998, the Lady Dragons Basketball team was going to the State Championship Final, and was out for blood.
3/14 @DCU Center vs. Medfield
After a fan sendoff from Duxbury, MA, the Girls Basketball team bus was headed to the DCU Center in Worcester, and the State Championship, chasing that State Title.
While the stands weren’t as packed as they were in the Garden, the energy in the gym was just as palpable. Tensions were running high, and the pressure was on for both teams. The Medfield Warriors were coming off of a successful 19-6 season, but facing the Dragon’s 25-0 was daunting for any team.
The game was off to a slow start, with both strong defensive teams showing how they made it to the state finals. Two minutes into the game, Gill put the first points on the board, but Medfield was quick to tie it up. With 3 minutes left and at a tie score of 5 each, Medfield called a timeout, hoping to cause some action in the game.
Foote led the quarter, scoring 6 out of the 8 points for Duxbury, sinking two 3 pointers for her team, and snatching the lead with a minute left. Medfield didn’t back down so easily, and #24, Peyton Ouimette, tightened the gap with less than 30 seconds left, leaving the Dragons with a close lead of 8-7 at the end of the quarter.
In the 2nd Quarter Duxbury came out firing, with Harrison scoring in the first 30 seconds, and Sullivan shooting a 3 pointer a minute later. Medfield wasn’t about the lie down and take it, and battled back by scoring twice in one minute. Fouls were traded back and forth, Medfield staying in the game due to great foul shots by the whole team, but Sullivan kept the Dragons in the lead by scoring yet another 3 pointer with a 1:36 left. Foote, not to be outdone, sunk a 3 pointer half a minute later. The half ended with Duxbury widening the gap ever so slightly to a lead of 24-20.
With the start of the second half, the Duxbury fan section stood up, and brought the Dragon’s offense back with the cheering. Harrison, true to form, started the quarter with a basket 30 seconds in, and again at 6:20. Medfield fought by scoring twice in 2 minutes, but Harrison was quick to shut them down with another basket seconds after. Duxbury gripped the lead by a single basket, until Sullivan threw a 3 pointer in with less than a minute left. Medfield trailed 35-30, and Duxbury hoped to seal the game.
As always, Harrison started the quarter by scoring 30 seconds in, and again within a minute, causing a quick chant of “MVP” by the Duxbury fans. A foul by Quilty kept Medfield in the game, as #24 sank both free throws with ease, but Gill was ready to rebound, and ran the ball all the way down to score again for Duxbury.
With 5 minutes left, it wasn’t looking good for Medfield, who called a timeout while the score was 41-34, in Duxbury’s favor. Both teams played a strong defense, and struggled to make shots in the next two minutes, but Coach Sullivan was forced to call a quick timeout and give the starters a break after Foote fumbled with the ball and lost the possession with the score stuck at 41-24. Soon after, Gill scored for Duxbury, with a shot by Medfield at 2:41 keeping hope alive for the Warriors. Quilty was putting up a huge offensive effort, with a shot, rebound, and shot to score with 1:24 left in the half. Duxbury called a timeout with exactly a minute left, the score 47-39, with the Warriors hoping to catch up.
In the final minute of the season for these two teams, there was a total of 5 fouls combined, each team fighting tooth and nail; Duxbury to hold the score where it was, Medfield to get the 9 points they needed to win. With a minute to go, the Dragons’ fan section chanted “It’s all over,” sang “We are the Champions,” and got ready to congratulate their victorious classmates. The final score was 51-42, Duxbury victorious, and the Dragons the undefeated State Champions for the 2015 season.