DUANESBURG — With an offense that featured plenty of drive and dish, Duanesburg put up 84 points Friday against a good Maple Hill basketball team.
Here’s the really neat part. Freshmen accounted for 74 of those points.
“Every coach looks for that golden group,” Duanesburg coach Chris Herron said after his youthful cast of girls posted their second one-sided win to begin the season. “This is that golden group.”
Herron started four of those ninth-graders and the one that came off the bench, Lauren Capron, provided an early spark before the Eagles pulled away in an 84-52 non-league win.
“Most of us have been playing together since third grade,” said Capron, who was called up to the varsity late last season when the Eagles reached the Section II Class C quarterfinals. “We’ve all grown up together.”
The Eagles are competing this season without junior all-state selection and 1,000-point scorer Madison Meyer, who is recovering from a foot injury, and they played Friday’s game without their only senior, Taylor Meyer, who had a work obligation.
“They’re ball players,” Herron said, when asked about putting such a young cast on the court. “We start four ninth-graders and no one would be able to tell they were ninth graders.”
Capron looked like a seasoned varsity veteran, too, when she outscored Maple Hill by herself 11-5 in the last few minutes of the first quarter to help her team grab a 25-14 lead.
“During warm-ups, I wanted to get in the game and contribute,” Capron said. “It felt good after I took the first shot, so …”
So she hoisted again early in the second quarter and nailed another 3-pointer as the lead grew to 32-16. Her 11 points before that came on three 3s and a layup after a steal.
“That’s not a fluke,” Herron said of Capron’s production off the bench. “I expect to see that a lot from her.”
“She [Capron] is a hard worker, and she loves to shoot,” said Duanesburg freshman Allison O’Hanlon. “When she made those shots, that brought us all up. Every single person who comes into the game is ready.”
Duanesburg extended its advantage to 50-25 at the half, and began the third quarter with a 15-0 run.
“You just say, ‘Good job,'” Maple Hill coach and former Columbia star Jabari Holder said of the Eagles’ performance. “You’ve got to be a fan of the game.”
Duanesburg had its outside game working in the first half with 11 3-point baskets on 18 attempts, and the Eagles also collected 11 steals over the first two quarters in an aggressive man-to-man setup.
“They work on it every day,” Herron said of his team’s 3-point assault. “That’s their range, and we’re not hindering them. We’re letting them go.”
O’Hanlon, who is in her third varsity season, finished with 24 points after netting the same in Monday’s 74-32 win over Mekeel Christian Academy. Fellow freshmen Alex Moses and Hannah Mulhern scored 20 and 14 points, respectively. Moses, who was 4-for-4 on 3s, added nine assists.
“Alex Moses has stepped up so much, and there’s so much more to come,” Herron said.
“They have quality players all around,” Holder said.
Though rebuilding after last year’s run to the Section II Class C title game, Maple Hill put a smart team on the floor that played hard from start to finish.
“Maple Hill is a very good team,” Capron said. “Our shots were going in, and we played good defense.”
Duanesburg will host Cambridge, the Section II Class C champ from 2018-20 and the state titlist in 2019, on Tuesday. Cambridge and Duanesburg, will not get an opportunity to go after postseason prizes this season with those events canceled due to COVID-19 issues.
“Our girls need reps and need to continue to jell together,” Herron said. “We’re treating this season as a jump start to next season.”
Maple Hill 14 11 10 17 — 52
Duanesburg 25 25 25 9 — 84
Maple Hill scoring: Bennett 3-0-7, Fleck 1-1-3, Frazier 1-0-3, Hall 2-0-4, Hoffman 2-5-9, Martin 3-0-7, Seeberger 5-0-13, Tedford 3-0-6. Duanesburg scoring: Capron 6-0-16, Miakisz 3-1-7, A. Moses 7-2-20, E. Moses 1-0-3, Mulhern 5-3-14, A. O’Hanlon 8-3-24. Scoring totals: Maple Hill 20-6-52, Duanesburg 30-9-84.