LOWELL — Leaning on a lineup comprised mostly of sophomores and juniors, the Foxborough girls’ basketball team didn’t look like a group of novices competing in their first state championship game.
Led by sophomores Kailey Sullivan and Addie Ruter, who scored 18 points apiece, the Warriors were poised, persistent, and purposeful in their convincing 73-53 victory over Dracut in the Division 2 state title game at the Tsongas Center on Saturday.
Fifth-seeded Foxborough — with just two seniors on its roster — relied on its balance, athleticism, and depth to beat No. 6 Dracut at its own fast-paced, frenetic game. The Warriors (24-1) built a 36-26 halftime lead, extended the margin to 56-36 through three, and withstood a late surge from the No. 6 Lady Middies (20-7).
“It’s amazing,” said Foxborough coach Lisa Downs. “They play like they’ve been here several times, and none of them have.”
The Warriors have won state titles outright in 1995 and 2018, and shared a state title in 2020, but none of the catalysts on this year’s team were on that roster.
Often in state title games, teams understandably look jittery and out of sorts at the outset. In this game, there was no such sluggishness, as Foxborough built a 21-17 edge through one.
Dracut seniors Ashlee Talbot (28 points) and Emma Felker (12 points) kept the Middies afloat, but Foxborough registered several steals and zipped the ball around to generate high-quality looks.
The Warriors knew Talbot — who finished her stellar career with 1,492 points — was explosive and shifty. Junior Camryn Collins (15 points) drew the defensive assignment on Talbot and forced her to take deep, contested 3-pointers.
“If she gets into the paint, that’s when she’s even more deadly,” Downs said of Talbot.
Talbot got hers, but the Warriors kept the rest of the Middies in check. Even when their star Collins picked up her third foul late in the half (and eventually fouled out), there was no panic or drop-off from the Warriors.
Ruter, whom Downs called a “secret weapon,” was a force inside. Sullivan buried four 3-pointers, and classmate Ava Hill gave Foxborough a huge 11 points off the bench. Juniors Isabelle Chamberlin and Erin Foley were sharp on defense and helped control the pace.
Dracut cut it to 13 in the fourth, but never got any closer, as the Warriors celebrated with their fans in Lowell.
“It’s so awesome,” Collins said. “I’m so blessed to be here. We fought hard all season, and to be able to execute and come out with the trophy, I’m just so grateful.”
Foxborough is the clear favorite heading into next season.
For Dracut, it was a tough end to a magical run. The Middies peaked at the right time and knocked off third-seeded Wakefield and second-seeded Medfield to reach their first state final — girls or boys — in school history.
Talbot, Felker, Brodie Gannon, Amaya Alkassar, and Lamees Alasaad helped lay the foundation, which was all coach Peter Witts could ask. Talbot said she came to Dracut to change the program, and believed she and her teammates accomplished that objective.
“It was a fantastic season,” Witts said. “Our goal was to play  games. That’s what we did, and we just came up short on the last one.”
Girls hoops final: Foxborough 73, Dracut 53— Trevor Hass (@TrevorHass) March 18, 2023
Addie Ruter and Kailey Sullivan 18 apiece and Camryn Collins 15 for the Warriors. Ashlee Talbot 28 for the Middies.
The Warriors are D2 state champs. Spectacular performance @GlobeSchools @FoxboroWarrior @ldowns30 pic.twitter.com/Zbsfxi3ncN
Foxborough 73, Dracut 53
at Tsongas Center, Lowell
Dracut (20-7) ........................................17 9 10 17 — 53
Foxborough (24-1)............................... 21 15 20 17 — 73
DRACUT — Ashlee Talbot 9 6 28, Brodie Gannon 1 3, Lamees Alasaad 2 4, Amaya Alkassar 3 6, Emma Felker 5 12. Totals 20 6 53.
FOXBOROUGH — Camryn Collins 5 4 15, Isabelle Chamberlin 2 0 4, Kailey Sullivan 6 2 18, Erin Foley 0 3 3, Kylie Sampson 1 1 4, Ava Hill 4 2 11, Addie Ruter 8 2 18. Totals 26 14 73.
3-pt. goals: D Ashlee Talbot 4, Brodie Gannon, Emma Felker 2; F Camryn Collins, Kailey Sullivan 4, Kylie Sampson, Ava Hill.
Trevor Hass can be reached at email@example.com.