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Lady Cougars to open with Livermore Falls
DIXFIELD -- In girls' basketball, the action can change at any given time and teams need to be aware of what can transpire.
The ability to deal with potential adverse conditions is what the Dirigo Cougars needed to guard against this season.
The Lady Cougars started strong with four straight wins and this instilled momentum. A loss to then No. 1 Livermore Falls was avenged, so with 12 wins and a high ranking in Class C record, things were promising. Then came losses to Hall Dale, Mountain Valley and Jay ended the regular season.
“We aren't that bad off,” said coach Reggie Weston. “We were in the game with Hall Dale and I cannot say enough about the effort against Jay (41-39).”
The season finale was important because a win would have earned Dirigo a spot in the Mountain Valley Conference championship game; this would have been based on wins in the Northern Division.
“Those games gave our team confidence,” said Weston, who anticipated finishing in the middle of the playoff pack and playing Livermore Falls in the quarterfinals for the second straight year. “It proved to the girls that they are capable of playing with those teams.”
The lone senior is Hannah Knight, a 5-7 guard forward, who is a key fixture in the offense. Knight led the team in steals and scoring with double figures in a majority of the games.
“We will continue to work hard on defense, rebounding, ball handling skills and outside shooting. We will need to continue working on physical and mental toughness,” said Weston.
Junior Aylssa Wade, a 5-7 guard/forward, is the second-leading scorer, steals leader and is a three-point threat, along with Knight. Paige Murphy, a 5-4 guard, can hit outside shots and makes steals. Role players include Erin Turner and sophomores Ambyr Wilson (5-7 G/F), an intense defensive player. Lexi Noyes (5-1 G) is scrappy underneath. Natasha DeRoche (5-4 G) was very good defensively. Miranda Shurtleff (5-6 G/F) has returned after missed time with a thumb injury and freshman Lindsy Crutchfield contributes as well.
The tallest player is Angela Ronan, a 5-11 center/forward, and soph Kayla Gaudin (5-8 F) has emerged as a post player.