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Cougars pull away to ground Flyers
AUGUSTA -- The ability to ride out the storm and make proper adjustments is critical. Just ask the Dirigo boys' basketball team, who made the right choices in a Class C semifinal playoff game Thursday.
TJ Frost provided the Cougars with a spark and Ben Holmes led a second-half surge in a 55-37 win over No. 4 Waynflete.
Dirigo started to pull away after Holmes made a basket and Spencer Ross buried a three pointer to begin a 9-2 run at the beginning of the third quarter. Caleb Turner (eight points, five steals) stole the ball and fed Cody St. Germain (12 points, nine rebounds) for a basket and two free throws gave the Cougars a 28-19 lead.
"We like a power game,” said Holmes, who scored his 10 points in the second half. “That’s getting the ball inside to Cody and I, but they were in a 1-3-1 zone. So coach (Rebecca Fletcher) had me slide up to the elbow and we were able to attack the weak side.”
Waynflete made a basket but the Cougars responded with a 6-0 run. Holmes scored twice, the latter from Josh Turbide (12 points, five assists), and St. Germain scored on a spin move.
The team defense was a factor. Holmes and St. Germain shut down Flyer standout Joe Veroneau (six points).
The Cougars had used Arik Fenstermacher to simulate Veroneau in practice. Hunter Ross and Mitch Stanley each contributed by playing solid defense.
“Coach tells us that good defense creates offense,” said Frost. “As a group of five when we D’ed up, we had an offensive flow and we made a gap from two points to 10 and never looked back.”
Dirigo started out slow, on just two of 14 shooting in the first quarter, but they shot percent (17 of 26) the rest of the game. They had eight turnovers in the second half. They made 14 of 23 free throws, eight in the final period.
The Cougars had come alive in the second quarter on treys by Turbide and Frost. A steal and basket by Frost gave Dirigo a 19-17 lead at halftime.
“I wasn’t worried,” said Turbide about a 13-6 deficit. “We have started out slow a lot, but I knew we just needed a little motivation.’’
The Flyers shot itself in the foot with 21 turnovers.