Drury girls win another physical game with North foe Monument
NORTH ADAMS -- Stealth, timid and shy are words that should no longer be used to describe either the Drury or Monument Mountain girls basketball teams.
The first time these two met, it was something to take note of. After Friday night's game, it can be expected that when they meet, it's going to get rough.
"I think we're both two physical teams," Drury's Emily Moulton said. "When you play two physical teams together who are both competing with kind of the close to the same record and for the same purpose, you're going to get a physical game."
The Blue Devils, just as they did the first time they played the Spartans, made free throws down the stretch in a game marred by fouls and to seal away the 47-42 victory.
The win moves Drury to 5-2 in the North, keeping them one game behind Pittsfield -- which beat Wahconah on Friday -- for the top spot.
It also gives the Blue Devils a three-game winning streak.
"This is a huge win," Olivia Carlson said, noting the streak. "We said if we won those three games, then it was a downhill road from there. So now we got these three wins that are going to bring us into next week and hopefully bring us into the tournament."
In late January when the two teams met, it was Molly Moulton who made six from the foul line in the fourth quarter. This time, it was a pair of Blue Devils that did their best tag-team impression to salt away the game.
Emily and Carlson each made 3 of 4 from the line in the final quarter in the final 2 minutes, 25 seconds.
Emily, a senior, made a pair to give Drury a four-point lead (41-37), and Carlson, a sophomore, did the same with 40 seconds left. Emily's third pushed Drury's lead back to four with 18 seconds left, and Carlson made sure a long-range 3-pointer wouldn't force overtime with her third, the clock showing 8.4 seconds left.
"We've been working on it at practice," Emily said. "When it comes down to when it's a three-point game with one minute left, your foul shots are your biggest [asset]."
The solid foul shooting late gives Drury its second three-game winning streak. The third victim in both of those stretches has been Monument. This one gives them three straight wins against North teams and levels their overall record at 8-8.
The Spartans made the Blue Devils battle through games with little or no flow to earn both those victories. Their first meeting produced 53 fouls and 72 free throws. The second saw 36 fouls and 42 free throws.
"We're very similar in every aspect," Meehan said. "They're scrappy as heck and we're kind of scrappy. It was ugly at times, but ugly in a good way because there was a lot of energy, a lot of passion. And neither team would back down. It was fun."
There was noticeably more flow in Friday's game, and it produced most of the points. Monument enjoyed a stretch late in the first half where it seemingly couldn't miss.
The Spartans rallied from a 22-11 hole with 5:11 left to take a 25-23 lead at halftime. Heather Hassett's layup started the 14-1 run to end the half, and Kayla Aberdale's two 3-pointers two minutes apart were key.
That was their best run of the game, but weren't able to carry it through into the third quarter. The first basket from either team didn't come until there was 5:09 left in the third. By that point, there were already five fouls called, four on Monument. The Spartans struggled to find the happy medium of playing aggressively, but not too much so.
"You kind of have to find it. Things were a little bit erratic for calls both ways, I thought," Monument coach Chris Unsworth said. "It's tough to get a feel for the game that way."
Drury had it's moments when it found the basket in bunches, with Heather Morris getting all eight of her points -- all on put-backs -- in two such stretches.
She picked up her first two baskets as Drury was running out to the 22-11 lead, her second giving the Blue Devils that advantage. She came back with another set of back-to-back baskets with less than four minutes to play in the fourth, both times giving Drury a one-point lead.
"We got contributions from everybody. Everybody had a hand in tonight," Meehan said. "Heather Morris, she's a grinder. I'm proud of her because she works hard every day, and she probably doesn't get as many minutes as he would like, but she's earning more minutes. Every game she's getting a couple more, and she's making the most of her time. I was happy for her."
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