Lincoln's Late Foul Shot Finishes Comeback Over Warriors

Print Story | Email Story
DALTON, Mass —  The Drury girls' basketball team finished off the regular season in dramatic fashion on Monday night, rallying from nine points down with five minutes remaining to score the game's final 10 points in a come-from-behind 39-38 win over host Wahconah. 

The Warriors (14-6) had the Blue Devils offense stymied for most of the second half, turning a 24-19 halftime deficit into a 38-29 lead with just over five minutes to play. Drury then called a timeout, however, and responded by going on a 10-0 run to finish the game. Lyndsey DeGrenier, Meagan McCarthy and Danielle Racette all hit big shots during the run, which ended with senior guard Cassie Lincoln making 1 of 2 free throws to give the Blue Devils (13-7) a one-point lead with 22.6 seconds left in the game. 

Wahconah had a chance to win the game, but McCarthy stole the ball on an inbounds play with 17 seconds remaining. She was fouled on the way to the basket and missed the ensuing one-and-one situation, but the Warriors only had seven seconds to play with when they got the ball back. A last-second heave by Wahconah forward Sara Hamilton came up short, giving Drury a much needed win after two close losses to Lee and Monument Mountain last week. 

"I just thought we showed great character in the last five minutes," Blue Devils head coach John Franzoni said. "We were down 38-29, and we said no more second shots. We were getting absolutely annihilated on the boards early in the fourth quarter, but we put our two seniors back in and said, 'You have to play like seniors.' They both did, and they didn't let them have another second shot."

After the timeout, Franzoni inserted both McCarthy (six points, five rebounds) and fellow senior forward Kelsey Ouimet (two points, nine boards) back into the game, and they did a nice job of stabilizing a defensive effort that shutout the hosts for the last five minutes of the game. Racette came up big with five of her 11 points in the fourth quarter, while Lincoln was clutch at the free-throw line after drawing a foul call in the final minute of the game. She drew too much iron on her first shot, but got a friendly bounce on her second attempt to give Drury its final lead of the game. 

"Cassie hit a huge free throw at the end to ice it for us," Franzoni said. "I'm just very proud of her effort tonight. She was all over the court for the whole game and she and Danielle really played great defense tonight, as well as playing tremendous offense." 

Lincoln, who matched her season-high of 13 points in the win, got the visitors off to a fast start, sinking one of her two 3-pointers on the night to spark the Blue Devils to a 14-5 lead after the first quarter. She ended up with nine points in the first half, helping Drury to a 24-19 edge at the break. In addition to scoring a team-high 13 points, Lincoln also dished out a team-leading four assists. 

The Blue Devils struggled once Ouimet got into foul trouble early in the second half, however, and the Warriors were able to take advantage by pounding the ball inside to Hamilton, who led all scorers with 15 points. Wahconah outscored Drury 11-5 in the third quarter and jumped out to a nine-point lead thanks to an 8-0 run to start the fourth by using an effective full-court trap. The trap didn't cause the Blue Devils to turn the ball over, but it did slow down their half-court sets and forced them into taking poor shots from the perimeter. 

"We were getting 2-on-1s, but we got a couple of shots blocked and we stopped attacking," Franzoni said. "We said you have to keep going after them. You can't just stop because you get a shot blocked. We were letting the shot blocker have space. You have to go into their body and go strong, and we weren't doing that. We talked about doing that in the last five minutes and that's what happened on the last play. Cassie went right after her, and she got fouled." 

The Warriors also received an impressive effort from sophomore Gabby Lavinio, who came off the bench and showed off her accurate shooting to the tune of 11 points. With the loss, Wahconah dropped to 1-2 against Drury this season but should still be in line for a No. 2 or a 3 seed in the upcoming Division 2 Western Mass. tournament. Franzoni is hoping Monday night's win vaults his team into the range of a 4-6 seed, but both teams will find out for sure on Saturday when the WMass. tournament seedings are released. 
Print Story | Email Story