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Unbeaten Cougar boys taking nothing for granted
DIXFIELD -- What have you done for me lately...
In the case of Dirigo it's going well with the boys' basketball team. who remain unbeaten in the Mountain Valley Conference. However, nothing is being taken for granted because there is still a lot to prove.
Still, beginning with a 79-50 win against MVC newcomer Oak Hill in the season opener, the team has not lifted its foot off the gas. They continue to play uptempo on offense while the trapping defense has forced numerous turnovers. This has translated into a strong transition game and has produced fastbreak baskets.
''We have a lot of different guys that can score,” said Dirigo coach Travis Magnusson. ''On any night, a guy off the bench could score 15 or 20. We have been rotating guys in and out a lot.''
This has been evident with freshman Riley Robinson (over 20 ppg. and senior Robbie Babb (14 ppg). The offense has averaged over 70 points a game.
''The game against Lisbon was a highlight of the season so far,'' said Magnusson. ''We played with great energy and passion. We supported each other as well.''
The resourcefulness of the players was tested when the team had to play on back-to-back nights against Madison and Carrabec. Babb led the offense at Madison with 18 points in a 64-47 win.
''At Madison, we all played with intensity,” said TJ Frost (13 ppg, seven assists, seven steals). “Our goal is to keep turnovers under 10 a game.”
Less than 24 hours later, Frost recorded a rare triple-double with 12 points, 12 assists and 11 steals in a 75-43 win against Carrabec. The Cougars left no doubt who was in control in both games by applying pressure to lead 11-2 and 15-2 at the end of the first eight minutes.
“We like to get out and run and we are working on making sure we continue this," said Magnusson. ''Our big focus (second) week was improving our defense, rebounding and team energy.''
The Cougars can't afford to let up and need to be ready to play 32 minutes.
Dirigo plays its entire roster in striving to create depth, with senior guards Hunter Ross and Chad Snowman; juniors Dylan Kidder and Isiah Brown; sophomores Kaine Hutchins, Tyler Frost and Joe Casey; freshmen Gavin Arsenault and Clay Swett. Nick St. Germaine is injured.
''We are a very young team that does not have many guys that got many minutes on varsity last year,'' said Magnusson. ''So I think we are going to improve more than anybody in the conference. With that being said, we have a lot of work to do if we are going to be able to beat the best teams in Class C.''