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Cougar boys clinch MVC berth
Putting up a shot here against Hall-Dale for Dirigo is Hunter Ross. (Photo courtesy of Art Chamberlin)
DIXFIELD -- The Dirigo boys' basketball team rallied to remain unbeaten with a convincing 72-41 triumph against Hall Dale at Defoe Gymnasium.
Senior Josh Turbide scored a game-high 20 points, including a trio of three pointers to lead the offense.
Dirigo hadn’t played up to par in its previous game at Wiscasset. The Cougars were able to maintain their focus and clinched a berth in the Mountain Valley Conference championship game, against either Spruce Mountain or Boothbay.
Against Hall Dale, the score was tied early when Dirigo hooked up and the second basket by Ben Holmes (10 points, 11 rebounds, four assists) to break the deadlock. Turbide scored seven of the next 11 points, beginning with draining a trey. On the ensuing possession Turbide (four steals) scored on a fast break. Cody St. Germain (12 points, seven rebounds) hit from inside and Caleb Turner (seven points, four steals) scored.
“Wiscasset certainly wasn’t one of our better efforts,” said Turner. “We just didn’t get up on defense and our defense has helped the offense. Tonight, we were able to capitalize.”
Hall Dale (10-4) scored consecutive baskets, but were held scoreless for five minutes. The Bulldogs hurt themselves with 5 of 18 shooting and 19 turnovers in the first half.
Turner started a 7-0 run with a trey and assisted on a Holmes basket. Hunter Ross caught the ball in the air and scored. A steal and basket by Turner gave Dirigo a 38-12 lead at halftime.
“We did some good things,” said Dirigo coach Travis Magnusson, regarding playing Jake Dowland, Mitch Stanley, Ross and Robbie Babb, thoughout the first half. “The bench hasn’t played a bad game for us all season. Robbie Babb (eight points) made some good moves to the basket and in the fourth quarter we switched to a zone to get some work.”
The Cougars maintained their pressure and scored nine of the first 11 points in the third quarter. Turbide made a jumper and TJ Frost (seven points, seven assists, five steals) drained a trey and a 10-foot jump shot. The Cougars got sloppy with the ball, however, Ross, a 5-8 guard, electrified the crowd by taking a charge.
“We are not getting ahead of ourselves,” said Turbide. “Coach keeps us level headed and we knows teams will be coming after us. Team needs to play hard (focused) every night.”