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Cougar girls hold on against Falcons, 39-38
DIXFIELD -- Dirigo maintained its composure in a girls' rival basketball game played Friday evening.
Hannah Knight, Alyssa Wade and Miranda Shurtleff combined for 25 points and rallied in the second half to pull out a 39-38 win against rival Mountain Valley at Defoe Gymnasium.
Mountain Valley established control early and exercised patience to lead 22-11 at halftime. The Falcons main threat was Ayla Allen 15 points.
“(Dirigo) simply outplayed and out-hustled us in the second half,” said MV coach Rich Allen. “We have been a big second half team all season, but not tonight.”
Wade (10 points) buried a three pointer to tie the score at 32 to start the fourth quarter. Shurtleff (seven points) made a pair of free throws and Erin Turner scored off an offensive rebound. MV hurt itself by missing its first five shots and was held scoreless until 3:59. A basket by Allen put MV ahead 37-36, but Knight made two free throws. The Falcons committed eight turnovers down the stretch and trailed by one when it called time with 18.4 seconds left.
Angela Ronan denied an inbounds pass and Knight (eight points) was fouled and made a free throw. MV grabbed a rebound and moved the ball to the front court and missed a shot. Allen was fouled underneath with .4 seconds left. The junior made the front end of the one and one, but the second shot bounced off the rim as time expired.
“There are no egos on this team,” said Knight. “We had been playing (selfishly) in our earlier games, but now everyone is playing together as a team.”
Dirigo had scored the first eight points of the third quarter, including a Wade trey and Kayla Gaudin putting back an offensive rebound. The Falcons led 32-27 on a Kaitlin Armstrong basket and had the ball. But Shurtleff stole the ball and dribbled in for a layup as the buzzer sounded.
“I’m very proud of these girls,” said Dirigo coach Reggie Weston. “We had used a match-up zone against them in the third quarter and were able to come back on them.”
The teams were embroiled in a defensive battle, Dirigo shot 25 percent and MV shot 24 percent. The Cougars outshot the Falcons by 15 to 13 from the free throw line.
“We played solid defense and made our free throws,” said Wade.