Cougar girls rally for win
DIXFIELD -- Dirigo coach Reggie Weston admitted it wasn’t pretty, however, the girls' basketball team refused to let up in its season opener at Defoe Gymnasium.
Hannah Knight and Alyssa Wade scored a combined 33 points and the Lady Cougars made their free throws down the stretch in a come-from-behind 46-42 win against Carrabec.
Dirigo had entered the fourth quarter leading 28-27, but found itself scrambling to control the ball as the Cobras turned the momentum around to make things extremely interesting. Dirigo missed all eight shots from the floor, but made eight of 10 free throws and forced (10 turnovers).
The Cougars answered with free throws by Wade, Erin Turner and Knight (20 points, six rebounds) to stay ahead of the surging Cobras.
“We really needed them,” said Wade, who scored 13 points, had four assists and hustled defensively with six steals. “We shoot a lot of free throws in practice and they paid off tonight.”
Carrabec hit seven baskets and used a full-court press to disrupt Dirigo (eight turnovers) from bringing the ball beyond half court. The Cougars led by six, but Carrabec guard Becca Bergeron (10 points) stole the ball and scored to make it 42-38 with 2:13 left.
“I was looking at the match-ups,” said Weston. “Carrabec was really giving (our guards) problems in the backcourt, so I was calling for us to clear out. The girls were too close together and handing the ball off. They needed to spread out.”
Dirigo trailed 18-13 midway through the second quarter, but settled down and scored 11 straight points to take a 24-18 lead. Knight buried a baseline jumper, Paige Murphy made two free throws, Miranda
Shurtleff converted a fast break, while Wade and Kayla Gaudin (six points) each hit driving baskets. A Knight trey gave Dirigo a 28-17 lead at halftime.
“We just needed to settle down and focus,” said Wade. “There was some miscommunication early on by us out on the floor.”
Dirigo didn’t have an answer for Jocelyn Jackson (14 points, 11 rebounds) and fell behind 8-5, missed nine shots, but made five of eight free throws in the first quarter. The Cougars made 17 of 28 free throws and had 23 turnovers in the game.
“I think it was a case of home-opener jitters,” said Weston. “The girls missed a lot of bunnies and turned the ball over nine times.”