Cougars win exciting overtime game
DIXFIELD -- Caleb Turner calmly sank 10 of 13 free throws, including six in overtime as Dirigo pulled together for a 62-59 win against Monmouth in a boys' basketball game.
The crossover contest is the only scheduled meeting, so the contest at DeFoe Gymnasium provided to be extremely important. Dirigo (10-1) is ranked second and Monmouth (8-4) is fourth.
Dirigo had taken a 60-57 lead on a Turner free throw. However, Monmouth’s Robbie Neal sank two free throws. The Cougars ran a delay and Turner (18 points, six assists) was fouled and made two of four free throws, plus Dirigo got the rebound with 11 seconds left.
“We had started fast and thought we’d blow them away,” said Turner, who sank three free throws to open the extra session. “But credit Monmouth for hanging around and coming back. At the free throw line, we needed to be confident because we had trouble earlier. When I was at the line I thought back to the Mountain Valley (loss) and didn’t want that again.”
The Cougars had made three of 13 free throws through three quarters, but made 13 of 18 in the fourth quarter and OT. Monmouth did have one final possession, but the Cougars Cody St. Germain (16 points, nine rebounds, three blocks) stole the ball and dribbled away.
“Our defensive intensity definitely picked up,” said Dirigo coach Rebecca Fletcher. “But they made several easy (high percentage) baskets that the defense needs to improve. We tried being patient with the ball toward the end, so we need to make our free throws.’’
Monmouth forward Roger Bachelder (16 points, 12 rebounds) had stolen the ball and tied the game at 54.
Monmouth led 36-32 following a Spencer Ross trey. The Cougars had gone on a 7-0 run to take a 49-42 lead on Josh Turbide (12 points, four steals) three pointer midway through the fourth quarter. The score had been tied or changed sides six times.
Dirigo had started fast and hit treys by Turner and Turbide (two) to lead 15-8 after the first quarter. The teams struggled in the second quarter.
“We stayed together,” said Cougar Ben Holmes, who scored 11 points and pulled down eight rebounds (six offensive). “We could have easily started to point fingers, but that wouldn’t have been any good. Our offensive rebounding helped.”
Despite the cold outside, The Cougars shot 51 percent and had 15 turnovers.