Division 2 Girls’ State Semifinals

Arlington Catholic tops Duxbury girls in semifinals

After scoring the first basket of the game, Duxbury never led again, as Arlington Catholic beat the Green Dragons, 40-27, in the Division 2 state semifinal at TD Garden to end Duxbury’s bid for an undefeated season.

Four Catholic Central teams will now be playing for a state basketball title this weekend. Arlington Catholic joins the St. Mary’s girls and the boys teams from Cardinal Spellman and St. Clement.

Though the game got off to a slow start, Arlington Catholic (21-4) dominated the first quarter, taking an 11-2 lead. Every time Duxbury (24-1) looked like it would make a comeback, the Cougars continued to play.


“If you stop playing, you think about what’s going on, so just keep playing, good things happen,” Arlington Catholic coach Dave Brady said.

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Duxbury’s first attempt at a comeback came in the second quarter when back-to-back layups by Catherine Harrison sparked a 9-2 run, bringing the Dragons within 2. But the Cougars, who faced close games during the season, never panicked. Arlington Catholic scored 4 consecutive points and entered halftime with a 17-11 lead.

“We’ve been in really tight games before throughout our season, so we knew what it was like to be in those close situations,” Arlington Catholic guard Melissa Rogers said. “So, I think we figured it out during the course of the year, and started to pull through.”

The Cougars continued their dominance in the second half, stretching their lead to 30-18 in the third quarter. Duxbury cut the deficit to 10 at the 4:21 mark, but Arlington Catholic answered with consecutive baskets for a 14-point lead, its largest of the game.

Duxbury’s defense limited Arlington Catholic’s outside shot, so Rogers, who finished with a game-high 17 points, found openings in the lane.


“I never thought [Rogers] would be 17 points around the basket this game, too. She was going to the basket. I thought it would be my bigs, not Melissa,” Brady said. “She was a warrior going to the basket.

“It was a little different. She’s so unselfish and runs the team so well; I think they did a great job at staying home on our bigs. So, I think it opened it up for Melissa a little bit.”

Though Duxbury held a slight rebounding edge, 38-36, Brady knew in order to win, the Cougars would have to battle for rebounds against Duxbury’s big frontcourt.

“I think what it came down to was our rebounding. I mean, for the most part they were one shot and done,” Brady said. “We were both one shot and done, but I thought not giving them a lot of second-shot attempts was very important.”