Cougars to face Hall-Dale Thursday
AUGUSTA -- Top-seeded Dirigo will take on MVC rival Hall-Dale this Thursday in the Western C basketball semifinals as they seek their fourth consecutive regional crown.
The 8:30 p.m. contest will take place in the Augusta Civic Center.
The 18-1 Cougars garnered that opportunity by blowing out eighth-seed Sacopee Valley by 68-37 Monday night.
While it was a great finish, Dirigo didn't play their best ball early on, committing eight turnovers over the first six minutes against the Hawks' 2-3 zone. As a result, the Cougars were kept off the scoreboard three minutes into the contest.
However, Dirigo's defense was also stingy as they would force some 20 Sacopee turnovers in the first half.
The Hawks led 2-0 until a Caleb Turner (12 points) steal and layin broke the ice for the Cougars. After Dirigo failed on their first eight shots, including four three-point tries, Josh Turbide (15 points) nailed the first of his four treys to give his team the lead for good at 6-4. Still, with three minutes in the first period, the Hawks drew to within 8-7. Then Dirigo finished the half on a 25-9 run to go up 33-16, which began with a backdoor layin by Ben Holmes.
A trey by TJ Frost, with a subsequent steal and layin by Frost, and another steal by Hunter Ross led to a Turbide jumper to enable Dirigo to double up on Sacopee by 24-12 three minutes into the second quarter. A putback by Cody St. Germain (game-high 18 points) kept the machine driving, then a Frost steal and pass to Turbide put the lead up to 14 before Turbide capped a 9-0 to finish the half with a trey.
Dirigo, which enjoyed wins by 40 to 50 points during the regular season, blew it open in the third period, led by 10 points from St. Germain.