LOWELL — All season long, the No. 5-seeded Foxboro girls basketball team blew past opponents.
And Saturday night within the walls of UMass Lowell’s Tsongas Center, it was no different in a 73-53 win over No. 6-seeded Dracut to clinch the MIAA Division 2 state championship.
From the jubilation on the court, to posing with the MIAA championship trophy in front of a well-traveled Foxboro student section, the Warriors were humble with the win while also being at a loss for words.
“(It’s) amazing. Nothing really else to say. It’s just amazing,” Foxboro forward Addie Ruter said following the win. “It was a really fun ride and to end it like this, it’s just amazing.”
“It’s so awesome. I’m so blessed to be here with these girls. I feel like we’re so deserving to come out here,” Foxboro guard Camryn Collins said. “We’ve been talking about this since summer league. I’m just so glad we could come out onto the court and execute and win.”
Foxboro opened a little flat, likely showing the jitters of the big stage with a young team, but quickly gained form as a high-tempo team on offense. The Warriors took an 8-5 deficit and turned it into a 14-7 lead, and from there the Warriors never saw the game go even again.
“Just relax. It’s a big court and there’s a little bit of a depth perception that you have to get used to without the walls behind, but they got accustomed to it by the second quarter,” head coach Lisa Downs said. “Once we were able to get some steals, and those steals turned into layups, I think they relaxed a little bit. (Kailey Sullivan) hit a couple of threes and you could see her relax.”
By the end of the first quarter Foxboro led 21-17, and pushed the scoring to a 36-26 advantage at halftime. At the half, Sullivan had 13 points, and finished with a matching team-high of 18 with Ruter, who scored 11 points in the second half.
A dagger 11-0 run in the third quarter sealed Dracut’s fate as the gap swelled to 20 at 49-29. Dracut got as close as 13 in the fourth quarter, but even the hot hand of Ashlee Talbot wasn’t enough to bring the Middies back late.
Even with the lead teetering around 20 points for a while in the second half, Downs said it still didn’t feel safe with how dynamic of a team Dracut is.
“It felt like the third quarter was when we made that explosion offensively,” Downs said. “It never felt safe. They’re such a dynamic team. Ashlee Talbot can shoot lights out at any time, and she’s also able to dish. It never felt comfortable.”
Ava Hill had a strong game off the bench, scoring nine points in the first half to finish with 11. Collins had 15 points, Kylie Sampson and Izzy Chamberlin had four points and Erin Foley scored three points.
“We had people step up in a big way,” Downs said. “Ava Hill had a big night, and being able to sub on Kylie Sampson when I needed her to give us some solid minutes with Cam in foul trouble. Everyone contributed, and that’s kind of been the theme all season. It’s always been team, over me. It was an awesome team to coach this season.”
Tyler Hetu can be reached at 508-236-0375 or on Twitter @thetylerhetu.