College hoops: Greenfield’s Molley Duclos moved into the starting lineup during junior year at Wentworth

  • Greenfield graduate Molley Duclos plays for the Wentworth Institute of Technology women's basketball team. COURTESY/WENTWORTH ATHLETICS

  • Greenfield graduate Molley Duclos takes a jumper for the Wentworth Institute of Technology women's basketball during the regular season.  COURTESY/WENTWORTH ATHLETICS

  • Greenfield graduate Molley Duclos takes a jumper for the Wentworth Institute of Technology women's basketball during the regular season.  COURTESY/WENTWORTH ATHLETICS

Staff Writer
Published: 3/19/2020 4:41:29 PM
Modified: 3/19/2020 4:41:18 PM

Molley Duclos waited for her opportunity, and she now has it.

The Greenfield High School graduate just finished her junior season with the Wentworth Institute of Technology women’s basketball team, where she became a full-time starter at center for the Leopards. 

Wentworth, a Division 3 school in Boston, competes in the Commonwealth Coast Conference.

As a freshman, Duclos averaged 6.3 minutes per game. The minutes increased during her sophomore season before she became a starter this past season.

“Freshman year was kind of hard for me,” Duclos said. “I was frustrated because I didn’t feel like I got a shot. Sophomore year, I started playing more and I felt better knowing that I put in hard work and now it’s paying off.”

Duclos averaged 7.3 points and 5.7 rebounds for Wentworth, which had its best season (8-17) since 2010.

“The coach depended on me more,” Duclos said. “I felt like I made more of an impact.”

There were adjustments going from high school basketball to playing collegiately, she admitted.

“It’s a longer season,” Duclos said. “There’s a lot more practices at the beginning. It’s harder to get used to. College makes you work more for it, that first game.”

Duclos looked at the game differently during her freshman season, and learned ways to support her team from the bench.

“It showed me how to encourage my teammates,” Duclos said. “In high school, I played most of the time so I wouldn’t have to cheer on the bench. Being on the bench was a different point of view of the game.”

Duclos averaged 24 minutes per game her sophomore year, and 24.5 minutes per tilt this past season.

Fortunately for Duclos, the Leopards’ season ended before the COVID-19 outbreak which led to the cancellation of all collegiate athletics.

Some seniors might lose their final season at their respective colleges.

“I feel very bad for them,” Duclos said. “Some of the girls on my team play lacrosse. I feel like they should all get that year back. But it’s kind of hard to do that because it’s senior year and you are going to go off and get a job. Can’t really just come back.”

The impact of sports being canceled should not be downplayed, according to Duclos.

“People say it’s just sports,” Duclos said. “But it’s a part of you. Basketball has been my life. I’ve grown up doing it. I can’t really imagine not doing it.”

The 5-foot-11 inch forward can hit the mid-range shot for the Leopards, who like to space the floor and shoot a lot of 3-pointers.

She spent a lot of time at center this season out of necessity.

Stepping beyond the 3-point line is not part of Duclos’ game as of yet. Her freshman year, she said she attempted one from beyond the arc and missed everything.

“I usually take a step in from the 3-point line,” she said.   

But her sophomore year, she hit a 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer to give the Leopards a 29-27 lead over Curry College.

A starting spot for her junior season was not a given, as the Leopards had an influx of young talent joining the team.

Wentworth’s eight wins were the most since 2010, and marked the winningest season under head coach Matt Phippard. 

“We had a lot more talent this year,” Duclos said. “We looked good at times. We would go through stretches where we looked great.”

With an extra year of experience, Duclos thinks the Leopards can be even better during her final season in 2021. Finding that consistency will be pivotal for Wentworth.

“We have a lot of talent,” Duclos said. “If we can work together we can have a winning season. We had a lot of close games. We just have to finish them.”

During her career, Duclos has played in 66 games with 39 starts. She shot 49.7 percent from the floor as a junior.

The Leopards started the season 3-0, opening with a 91-70 win over Rivier where Duclos scored 12 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the floor.

Wentworth had a 6-5 record in early January, but an eight-game losing streak kept the Leopards from finishing with a winning season.

Duclos is majoring in applied mathematics at Wentworth.

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