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The Dirigo girls' basketball capsule
DIRIGO GIRLS' VARSITY BASKETBALL TEAM -- From left in the front row are Kayla Gaudin, Alexis Noyes, Amber Wilson and Gretchen Bradbury. In the back row are Coach Reggie Weston, Emma Lueders, Megan Bradbury, Rachel Knight, Jessica Conant, Kelsey Hutchins, Coach Debbie Keens, Kelsey Wilson, Lindsy Crutchfield, Lauren Henderson, Sabrina Daoud, Mackenzie Lord and Coach Gary Holman. (Photo courtesy of Art Chamberlin)
Dirigo's Kelsey Hutchins shoots over a Sacopee Valley defender. (Photo courtesy of Art Chamberlin)
Jessica Conant of the Cougars scores down low over a Hawk defender. (Photo courtesy of Art Chamberlin)
DIXFIELD -- The second season is upon us and the Dirigo girls' basketball team is determined to keep things going.
The Lady Cougars finished the regular season 14-4, earning enough heal points to be seeded fifth. The reward was hosting a preliminary playoff game last week for the second straight year.
The trio of Jessica Conant, Kayla Gaudin and Kelsey Hutchins combined for 35 points and the Lady Cougars proceeded to mix things up in the third quarter to pull away for a 45-28 triumph against No. 12 Sacopee Valley. The strong kick by the Cougars broke open a game was tied or changed sides seven times in the first quarter as the teams each struggled to find its consistency at Defoe Gymnasium.
No. 5 Dirigo (15-4 advanced to play a quarterfinal game against No. 4 Waynflete at the Augusta Civic Center played on Feb. 19. The opportunity to play in Augusta is big because the Cougars had lost a home prelim game last year against Saint Doms.
"That was a goal for us," said Conant. ''Because we didn't get to Augusta, last year.''
The team has certainly utilized its roster freely by using multiple rotations through out every game, which has provided ample opportunity for every one to contribute. This helps keep players fresh and strong down the stretch.
The uptempo team offense benefitted, scoring an average of 47.8 points per game while the pressure, in-face defense, allowed 36.9 ppg.
Hutchins and Conant have each picked up their games and are threats in the paint. Hutchins, who missed five games because of injury, led the team in scoring at 10.8 ppg. Conant is close behind at 10.4, with team highs in field goals (68), with 41 offensive rebounds. The team made 148 of 321 free throws, 46.1 percent shooting, led by Lindsy Crutchfield's 10 of 15 and Conant's 35 of 62.
Gaudin utilizes her speed to make things happen, including team highs in defensive rebounds (57), total rebounds (84), steals (48) and blocks (10). The defensive game will need to be relentless and force turnovers. Look for seniors Ambyr Wilson, Lexi Noyes and Gretchen Bradbury.
Freshmen contributors off the bench are Emma Leuders (43 assists), Lauren Henderson (seven three pointers) and Sabrina Daoud.
Dirigo lost to playoff teams Boothbay, Madison, Spruce Mountain and Mount Abram. The Cougars avenged the loss to MA.