Cougar boys run past Roadrunners
SALEM -- Juniors Josh Turbide and Cody St. Germain combined for 31 points as the Dirigo boys' basketball team utilized their running game to seize control in a 62-22 triumph over Mount Abram in a Mountain Valley Conference season opener.
The teams traded baskets and Dirigo trailed 6-4 early on. However, the momentum changed dramatically with a 19-0 run as the Cougars led 23-6 after the first quarter. Mount Abram was in a zone in an attempt to slow the pace of the game. The outside shot wasn’t prudent, so St. Germain (14 points) benefited by scoring four baskets underneath.
Turbide (17 points) scored off the first of his seven steals. In one sequence, the Cougars scored three baskets in a 15-second span. Turbide buried a jumper, Caleb Turner stole the ball and fed Ben Holmes (seven points), who scored an underhanded shot and then Turbide stole the ball and scored.
“It all starts with defense,” said first-year Dirigo coach Rebecca Fletcher. “The work and (intensity) we do on the defensive end will open up more options on how our offense runs. We need to work against the zone and work the ball into the high post."
Holmes opened the second quarter with a basket on an inside drive, Arik Fenstermacher put back an offensive rebound and St. Germain scored for a 38-12 lead at halftime.
Mount Abram was simply unable to answer the Cougars' fast tempo and defensive pressure. The Roadrunners shot 22 percent from the floor and committed 26 turnovers. Forest Mitchell had six points.
“I’ve only had these guys three weeks,” said Mount Abram coach Trevis Knight, who played for and graduated from Dirigo. “We are concentrating on the fundamentals and have a lot of work to do. Dirigo didn’t show us anything I didn’t expect. But they did not press us.”
Fletcher lauded the play of Caleb Turner (five points, five assists, three steals) and Turbide, but felt the transition game needs to be improved.
Jake Dowland came off the bench to score nine points and Mitch Stanley had two baskets. The Cougars shot 39 percent, made six of 16 free throws and had 21 turnovers.