Lady Cougars bow out to Flyers
AUGUSTA -- There's times when the competition simply has too many weapons and the Dirigo girls' basketball team experienced it first hand and was unable to settled down and put things in motion on the bigger stage in a Class C quarterfinal playoff game.
The Lady Cougars entered the fray with high hopes. However, they fell behind early and was never able to recover against No. 4 Waynflete, who flew away for a 69-39 win at the Civic Center. The Flyers offensive attack proved to be too much, led by guards Martha Veroneau and Rhiannan Jackson, with 24 and 17 points, respectively.
The opportunity to play in Augusta transpired because the Cougars beat Sacopee Valley 45-28 in a preliminary contest at Defoe Gymnasium. The trio of Jessica Conant, Kayla Gaudin and Kelsey Hutchins combined for 35 points, but facing the high-octane Flyers was a different story.
No. 5 Dirigo (15-5) found itself in a hole, trailing 14-4 in the first three minutes, made three of seven shots and received a dose of its own medicine as the Flyers' pressure defense forced 10 turnovers in the first quarter.
''Last year, we missed court time down here,'' said Dirigo coach Reggie Weston, referring to having lost a prelim game. ''We lost four senior starters. So this was a new experience for the young ones.''
Dirigo has four seniors -- Gretchen Bradbury, Ambyr Wilson, Lexi Noyes and Gaudin -- to go with underclassmen. The team has certainly utilized its roster freely by using multiple rotations throughout every game.
It was Noyes who sparked a mini-run by the Cougars in the second quarter. The guard made three straight shots, including a three-pointer that cut the deficit to 20-13 with 6:17 left. Waynflete quickly dashed any hopes of a comeback by going on a 14-2 run, until Dirigo received baskets by Gaudin and Lauren Henderson (eight points), to lead 34-19 at halftime.
"Usually we're pretty good press breakers," said Weston. ''We were wondering how that was going to work. We've broken presses and you work on it and work on it and it just got away from us.''
Dirigo refused to step down and Wilson drained a trey early in the third quarter, but the Flyers buried two from beyond the arc, making 10 of 19 shots.
The Cougars was led by Hutchins who scored 11 points. Waynflete coach Brandon Salway is a Bethel native.