NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Drury High girls basketball team is going back to Curry Hicks Cage.
And it was the Blue Devils’ resilience that got them there.
Drury jumped out to a 15-2 lead early and held off Greenfield throughout the fourth quarter to earn a 47-36 Western Massachusetts Division 3 quarter-final victory at Bucky Bullet Gymnasium on Thursday night.
“We went at it with mental toughness,” Drury senior Molly Moulton said. “We’ve got to be mentally tough and stay positive. When things don’t go your way, you’ve got to come back it even harder. Forget about the last play and just keep moving forward.”
First-year coach Brian Flagg marveled at that mental toughness.
“The seniors really came through tonight, and, I’ll tell you what, so did a couple of those freshman,” Flagg said. “The mental toughness of this team — I don’t think I’ve seen before.”
Moulton scored a game-high 12 points, and Katlyn Toomey grabbed 15 rebounds for the Blue Devils (15-6), who have won 11 of 13 games heading into next week’s sectional semi-final against Mount Greylock, a team the Blue Devils beat twice in the regular season.
Two of the biggest plays of the night came from players named Moulton.
First, at the end of the third quarter, Molly scored and got fouled on a pullup at the foul line with 1.4 seconds on the clock. She knocked down the free throw to make it 32-22 after the Green Wave (19-2) had trimmed its deficit to seven.
Then midway through fourth, after Greenfield got back within six, Molly Moulton scored in transition to make it 39-31. Then Jenna Moulton made a steal in the backcourt, scored and got fouled. She then completed a conventional three-point play to give Drury a 42-31 lead with just more than three minutes left.
“She always hustles, and with hustles comes good offensive plays,” Molly Moulton said of her sister.
Flagg was more succinct.
“That was the closer,” he said of Jenna Moulton’s “and one.”
The opener was all Drury, as the Blue Devils used a 13-0 run to go up 15-2 when Carlson put back an offensive rebound with less than two minutes left in the first quarter.
Greenfield rallied to get within eight midway through the second on a play that saw Carlson pick up her second personal foul.
But Drury closed with five straight — a 3-pointer from freshman Brooke DiGennaro and a basket by freshman Hayley Shook in the closing seconds to make it 23-10.
But Greenfield went on a 9-4 run to open the third quarter and get the lead to single digits, and that is pretty much where it stayed the rest of the way.
“These kids aren’t 19-1 for nothing,” Flagg said of Greenfield. “They’re a good basketball team. They play hard right to the end. They can shoot the ball. That’s a good team over there.
“But we’ve worked all year on being mentally tough, not being down when things are a little bit tougher.”