Dirigo girls open with win
SALEM -- It was a step in the right direction for the Dirigo girls' basketball team, who utilized its tenacity and refused to let up in its season opener Friday night.
Hannah Knight and Paige Murphy each scored in double figures and everyone else contributed on both
ends of the court as the Lady Cougars rolled to a 40-25 win against Mount Abram.
Dirigo used its trademark man-to-man defense to rattle the youthful Roadrunners (32 turnovers) and led
wire to wire. The Cougars made a statement by scoring 17 points on 7 of 11 shooting in the third quarter to lead 33-14.
“We did start fast, but then had (troubles),” said Knight, who anticipates good efforts from the team. “But this was only our first game, so you have to expect it. There was some confusion on (positioning) during some plays. But it will come.”
Alyssa Wade (seven points, four steals) sank a pair of free throws to open the third quarter as the team
preceded to score 12 straight points. Murphy (10 points) made two baskets off two of her team high five steals and Knight (14 points, six rebounds, four assists) scored on an under hand shot, with her back to the basket. Angela Ronan (5-11) disrupted play in the paint.
MA committed 14 turnovers in the third quarter and were held scoreless from midway through the second quarter until one minute remained in the third quarter.
“I think it was nerves,” said Mount Abram coach Doug Lisherness, who was missing two starters. “The girls were not moving and Dirigo was quick and did the right things (defensively).”
A hustling Miranda Shurtleff (six points) and Murphy each scored hoops as the Cougars jumped out to a 10-4 lead after the first quarter. Knight buried a baseline jumper for a 16-8 lead at halftime.
The Cougars shot 39 percent from the floor, made six of 16 free throws and had 23 turnovers in the game.
“I was proud of our defense,” said Dirigo coach Reggie Weston. “This is a hard floor, compared to (Defoe Gymnasium) deadwood, so the ball bounces all over and we needed to get use to it. The girl’s worked hard, but we need to get our transition game going.”
Dirigo was able to substitute freely and get a good look at its bench players. This will hopefully benefit the team as the season progresses.