January 22, 2024 – Story by Ava DiCecca, photos by Joshua Ross
After controlling almost the entire first three quarters of play, girls basketball found themselves with a scoreless fourth quarter on Friday and fell short to a scrappy Dragons team 52-32. The Harborwomen had a fantastic performance, especially on the defensive end, and managed to fend off a very strong shooting team, even outscoring them in the second quarter. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get anything to fall in the fourth and Duxbury found their momentum on both ends of the court, forcing turnovers and hitting their perimeter shots. It was a very physical game on both sides and both teams put up a very strong fight, but in the end, the Dragons were able to pull down a few more rebounds, get in the passing lane, and had some more shots fall. The girls will use this game as motivation to remain consistent through all four quarters as their season progresses and will also take some positives from their strong performance early in the game.
Despite the end result, there are many performances both individually and as a team that the girls should be proud of. As a team, they had some strong drives that resulted in them going 11 for 13 at the line. Almost a third of their points came from their ability to get to the basket and get fouled and it will be a key to their success that they can rely on that skill if they find their shots are not falling. In addition, they used their strong defense to keep Duxbury from feeding it to their big for easy buckets and forced them to shoot perimeter shots. Until the shots started falling for Duxbury, this was major piece of their control of the game for the first three quarters. Individually, Ava Sugrue had a very impressive showing with 9 points coming from all over the court, Kate McBride had 6 points, and senior captain Nina Crean had 6 as well.
After the game, Crean shared some thoughts about their performance and what they will be focusing on going into their next few games, “I think in the second half we stopped doing the little things on defense and we could really see that translate into our offense. We need to keep boxing out and talking on defense and our offense will come from there.” On the positive side, she applauded her team in the first half stating that they “really pressured on defense and made the extra pass on offense” which were two aspects that led to their success in the earlier parts of the game. Her coach added on commenting that “you have to start hard, start well, maintain, and then finish well. We started well, we maintained for a little bit, but we didn’t finish well.” While they were all disappointed with their fourth quarter and the final score, as their coach and captain discussed, they should be proud of their start and performance for a majority of the game and now work hard to bring that energy all the way to the buzzer.
The girls will continue to rely on their strong defense to jump-start their offense and look to improve their consistency throughout all four quarters as the season continues. They will have to put that into practice as they look to get back in the win column on Tuesday against North Quincy who is 6-4 on the season so far. After building on all aspects of their most recent game and focusing on the great progress they have made this season already, there is no reason the Harborwomen shouldn’t come out of next week headed in the right direction.