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|Dragons are mauled by Tigers in opener|
|By Mike Halloran|
|Monday, February 21, 2011 05:45 PM|
If there is one thing Coach Gordon Cushingâ€™s basketball team learned on Sunday night at Bridgewater State, itâ€™s that playoff basketball is not like regular season play in the Patriot League.
After a sloppy first quarter of basketball by both teams found the Dragons trailing 9-6, senior captain Conor Kindregan got his offense going to start the second period and scored four points inside to get Duxbury back to an 11-10 deficit with 5:45 to go in the half.
After scoring four first-quarter points, junior captain Curtis Owen finally put the Dragons ahead with a jumper at the 5:15 mark. Duxbury would maintain a slim lead thanks to a three-pointer by Sam Ederle and another Kindregan basket that made it 17-15.
Consecutive three-pointers by OAâ€™s Nick Bruha and John Moroney put the Tigers back in front at 21-17, and they left the floor with a one-point lead after a Kindregan free throw and a Justin Marino basket.
Owen (6 points) and Kindregan (2) started out with a bang as the second half got underway, and the Dragons looked like they had their act together with a 28-23 lead. But eight straight points by the Tigers gave them a 31-28 lead, and Duxburyâ€™s game suddenly fell apart, as their ball movement stopped and their shots came up short.
Trailing by just six points with eight minutes left, Duxbury was within striking distance. But after Ederle matched a Mason Pires basket to make it 42-32, the Duxbury offense came apart, and the Tigers scored eight straight points for a 50-34 lead with 3:40 left in the game.
At this point Cushing could tell his team was out of it and he cleared the bench. A pair of free throws by senior guard Pat Fahey, and another basket from a reserve, were the only points the Dragons would score the rest of the way, as the Tigers outscored the Dragons 26-6 in the final eight minutes.
â€œI donâ€™t know what it is, but we are just playing flat right now,â€ said Cushing. â€œIf we canâ€™t initiate our offense closer to the basket it causes us to commit turnovers. A couple of kids played well, but overall we were just awful. This is a tournament type game and itâ€™s not the Patriot League. We just have to get our act together and regroup and be ready for the tournament. I can tell you, we better play better than that or it is going to be a short tournament.â€
Owen led the Dragons with 16 points, while Kindregan chipped in with 11. Bruha scored 16 points for Oliver Ames, while Pires contributed 15.