NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Up by 10 points at half-time, the Taconic girls basketball team found itself in unfamiliar territory on Wednesday night.
With clutch foul shooting and a big defensive stop in the final seconds, it found a way to emerge with a 44-42 win over Drury in Bucky Bullett Gymnasium.
"They're young, and we haven't had many leads, so it's hard for them to learn how to play with a lead without ever doing it," Taconic coach Matt Mickle said. "It was nice to see us get out early for once, but it's definitely still a learning process to try to play with a lead and still attack and be smart.
"It's a balance of both things."
A balanced Taconic scoring attack got eight points apiece from Brianna Rogers and Janee Walker and seven from Maddy Quinto.
But Shalee Conyers, who was held to just one point through three quarters, hit four of her six foul shots in the fourth as Taconic scored all seven of its fourth-quarter points at the line.
"Shalee had a frustrating night," Mickle said. "She got in foul trouble early. I'm happy she stuck with it and made some plays there at the end.
Drury (4-8) made a lot of big plays at both ends of the court to get back in the game after Taconic took a 37-29 advantage into the final eight minutes.
Destiny Crews got things started with a putback, and after Drury forced a five-second call on a Taconic inbounds play, Jenna Moulton drove the right wing to get her team within four, 37-33.
Moments later, a Molly Moulton steal set the stage for Kaitlyn Toomey's jumper from the right wing to trim the lead to two points with 4 minutes, 30 seconds to play.
Taconic never was able to pull ahead by more than four from there on out, but Drury, which had the ball four times with a chance to tie or take the lead, never evened things up.
Its best chance to tie came with about 46 seconds left, but a jumper from the key rimmed out, and Quinto was fouled grabbing the rebound.
She made both her foul shots to make it 41-37.
On Drury's next trip, Jenna Moulton set up Toomey for a 3-pointer.
Taconic got a couple of foul shots to pull back ahead, 43-40, with 19.7 on the clock, but Moulton earned a trip to the line seconds later. She made two to get Drury within a point with 10 seconds on the clock.
Again, Taconic got the ball in Conyers' hands, and she was fouled with 7.1 on the clock. She missed the first but made the second.
Drury got to the line with a chance to tie the game with 2.7 seconds left. The first foul shot rimmed out, the second missed too, but the rebound went out of bounds off a Taconic player.
Drury had one last chance, inbounding from under its basket with time to get off a game-tying shot, but Conyers deflected and grabbed the inbounds pass, wrapping up the ball as the buzzer sounded.
Taconic (4-6) plays at rival Pittsfield on Thursday night, while Drury travels to Wahconah.