Drury Downs Duggan, Heads to Cage
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- The Duggan Academy defense had no answer for the two-headed monster of Reece Racette and Scott McGuire on Saturday evening.
But the Jayhawks’ offense presented some challenges that may help Drury going forward in the Western Massachusetts Division 4 tournament.
Racette scored 34 points, and McGuire added 29 as the Blue Devils advanced to the sectional semi-finals with a 96-62 win in Bucky Bullet Gymnasium.
Drury was within four points of the century mark less than halfway into the fourth quarter when coach Jack Racette pulled all his regulars.
Afterward, Racette said he was pleased with the effort he got from his team and sounded happy to get the test from Duggan big men Kamaril James and Juan Hernandez.
The pair accounted for 21 points, but most of that came in the second half, with the game well out of reach.
In the first half, the Blue Devils’ defense did a good job collapsing on the big men in the post as Drury built a 45-22 lead with three minutes left in the second quarter.
“Because of our quickness, we can double and get back to the shooters,” Racette said. “That’s really what we’re trying to do. We do a lot of different things defensively, but the bottom line is we don’t really care who guards the big guy because we don’t have anyone who can flat out guard him.
“We have to come with a lot of gimmicks. We’ll double from different places and try to find guys to double off of. It’s a team effort to stop bigs, and we’re going to have to get way better than we were tonight. Their big guy, when he got it down low -- I know he missed a couple, but he got it where he wanted it. And as we go forward, they’re bigs aren’t going to miss it.
“It’s huge for us to keep the ball out of there.”
Second-seeded Drury (17-4) goes to Curry Hicks Cage at UMass-Amherst on Monday to take on No. 3 Pioneer Valley Regional (16-5), a 59-43 winner over Franklin Tech on Saturday night.
It will be the Blue Devils’ second game in three days after a long layoff before Saturday’s quarter-final.
Racette said his players were tired of playing against one another for more than a week, but if the Blue Devils had any rust it did not show in the opening minutes.
Drury opened the game on a 16-5 run that started when McGuire set up Racette for a 3-pointer and ended when Max Daugherty (14 points) scored on an assist from Racette.
Duggan got back within six at 23-17, but Daugherty’s putback at the end of the first quarter started a 14-3 run that ended with Racette’s drive to the basket midway through the second to give the Devils a 37-20 cushion.
An 8-0 spurt that featured six points from Daugherty gave Drury its first 20-point margin, and Duggan never got any closer.
In the third quarter, it was all McGuire and Racette, who scored 10 apiece in the period as Drury ran its lead to 78-46.
In the fourth, the only question became whether Drury would be able to light up the third digit on its side of the scoreboard.
“I don’t even look up there,” Racette said. “Honestly, I’ve never scored 100, and it doesn’t really bother me. I don’t think we want to run the score up on anybody. But having 12 days off, I want to make sure everybody gets a workout today against another quality team.
“We beat each other up in practice for 12 days. You’re kind of sick of it. I’m kind of sick of yelling at them, and they’re kind of sick of me yelling at them. Ninety-whatever is a good number.
“But we’ve got to stop people. It’s not our offense that’s going to win a championship. It’s our defense. And we’ve got to tighten it up.”