February 10, 2024 – Story and photos by Joshua Ross
The girls basketball team has been close all season. They might have finally gotten their breakthrough last night vs Duxbury.
The defense has kept them in many games and they just knew when the shots began falling, they would be a tough team to beat.
The Harborwomen opened the game strong with a 19-15 first quarter lead. Six different players scored, including two big threes from senior captain Nina Crean. Junior Brie Beaudoin added six points. The Dragons opened the second with an 8-0 run and finished the half up by five, 34-29.
Hingham came out of the locker room and started the second half with an 8-0 run of their own. In games past, they might have given the lead back to their opponent. However, last night they put their foot on the accelerator and built up a 14 point 4th quarter lead against one of the best teams in the league.
They needed every bit of the those points to weather a crazy last two minutes of the game. A rarely called throw-in technical foul on Hingham, a borderline 5 second violation, and a couple of long range threes by Duxbury made the game closer than it needed to be, but the Harborwomen were strong physically and mentally to finish out their best game of the year 63-59.
When Hingham won games like these in previous years, you’d look at the scoresheet and one or two players would pop off sheet. The thing that stands out about last night game is there isn’t any one player who led the way. Ten different Harborwomen scored in the game. At least five scored in each quarter and seven different players scored in the 4th quarter. Up and down the roster, coach Roland Millien got meaningful production and results.
“Everybody was involved,” Millien said after the game. “Nina in the first half. Marissa (Matthews) got some scoring for us in the first half. Caroline (Connolly) got some shots for us. Anna (Post) got some for us. Katie McBride also got some shots. But I also want to shout out (sophomore) Sophia McDougall for coming off the bench and really producing for us. She gave us solid minutes in the second half defensively, as well as offensively. I was really proud of her in this game.”
In addition to McDougall, fellow sophomore Anna Post had a big imprint on this game.
“She’s a monster,” explains Millien. “The fact that I’m going to have her for another two years is really reassuring because she can really rebound the ball, she’s solid in the post, and she defends well. I think when she gets a little more confidence, and that’s scary to say, even a little bit more confidence, she’s going to be one of the players that dominates in the league.”
With such a young team, it has taken some time for them to find their footing, but Millien thinks things are starting to click, and at the right time.
“We’ve been trying to be that team that starts a little bit quicker, but with a young team, there are things that they need to get adjusted to and they’ve started to over these past two weeks. This was a huge game for us. I was hoping to get the ten point win, but they started hitting some three’s off the glass and knocking some tough shots down. It’s expected because they are good team that can score and they never back down. They’re a team that whenever they are down, you can never count them out as you saw in this game.”
Senior captain Sophie Kerr understands it’s only one game, but she likes the way the team is playing and just focusing one game at a time.
“Every game now is just more important than the last,” Kerr says. “Looking at the playoff, especially since it is a goal for our team to make the post season. Every game is super important. Just being able to handle the pressure of that is something we’ve been able to get better at and just pushing ourselves in practice going full speed. Everyone, regardless of the minutes they get in game, is working really hard and that pressure we give each other in practice and you can see it has paid off in games. We are getting a lot better at handling the pressure even with the nerve-racking moments of the night. We withstood it and it felt great.”
This is a much different team that it was three years ago when Kerr was a sophomore as the responsibilities are more equally shared throughout the team. It may have taken 3/4 of the season, but she feels everyone is finding and settling into their role for the betterment of the team.
“I think having that more evenly distributed playing time and scoring has evened the playing field for everyone,” Kerr adds. “It makes everyone feel more vital to the team because they are vital to the team. Even if their role isn’t necessarily scoring, everyone has their own role and think this late in the season everyone has figured out what our role is, what we are supposed to do and really honing in on that in games like this has been what’s getting us wins.”
The Harborwomen will need a few more win to ensure a shot at the playoffs. They have two more regular season games plus a tournament in Weymouth over February break.