Teagan Curran (27 points) starred Monday night in the Green Dragons' 50-48 win.
HANOVER -- Both teams will undoubtedly play better basketball before the year is over.
At the same time, they played what will probably go down as one of the better basketball games of the season on Monday night, less than one week into the campaign.
The Duxbury High girls won their 2018-19 opener over Hanover, 50-48, when sophomore co-captain Teagan Curran nailed her fourth 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds on the clock to cap a 27-point night. The stubborn Indians, who trailed by 10 in the first quarter (12-2) and by eight (44-36) halfway through the fourth, had gone ahead 48-47 with 46.9 seconds to play, when sophomore Emily Flynn (10 points) turned senior co-captain Kathryn Fallon’s steal into a 3-pointer.
“I do have three kids playing their first significant varsity minutes, and I know that’s hard for young kids,” said Duxbury coach Bob Sullivan, his team a little lighter on experience than the two previous groups, which both won 15 games and reached the Div. 2 South Sectional quarterfinals. “There were some growing pains, but we’re very happy with a win, as always.”
Hanover coach Brian Fisher couldn’t be as happy, but neither was he discouraged. The Indians, who won only five times last season, improved measurably from Friday’s season-opening 36-33 loss to Rockland.
“I told the kids not to hang their heads, because this was a much better team effort,” Fisher said. “We did a lot of nice things.”
The steady comeback from a big early deficit, fueled by 3-pointers from Flynn and her older sister, senior co-captain Erin Flynn (13 points), was one of them. So was a 10-0 run that started the second half, with senior co-captain Janey Devlin (13 points) and Fallon contributing five apiece.
The Green Dragons, however, had Curran hitting from inside and outside, and got 6-2 senior center and co-captain Sam Brennan back into the game after first-half foul trouble. That made it tougher for the Indians to score, and also resulted in some important points: Brennan’s put-back was part of the Dragons’ 11-0 run that closed the third quarter.
Also essential: Junior co-captain Sophie Thompson (8 points). Her 3-pointer pushed Duxbury up 37-33 early in the fourth, and she went right-to-left above the foul line before passing against the grain to Curran for the decisive shot.
“The senior leadership showed well at the end of that game,” Sullivan said, “and Sophie calmed everyone down when we needed it.”
It all came down to Curran, who emerged as a starter as a freshman last season, finishing with more than 200 points.
“That’s her bucket to win it, and I wasn’t surprised,” Sullivan said. “She has ice water in her veins. She’s special.”
Both Sullivan, who is working junior Caeliana Fitzpatrick and sophomores Sydney Ropes and Audrey Ryan into full-time roles, and Fisher, who got an excellent off-the-bench effort from freshman McKalah Gaine (5 points), considered Monday’s game a building block.
“That was a huge improvement” over Friday’s loss, Fisher said. “What I saw was a good sign.”
“I told the girls it’s a lot harder to win by two than it is to win by 15 or 20,” said Sullivan. “I was proud of them.”