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Tigers drop Cougar boys, 58-49
DIXFIELD -- When a Tiger is backed into a corner, it's instinctive to battle and the Dirigo boys' basketball team found out first hand exactly how tough things were in their regular season finale.
The Cougars were geared for a season sweep against Jay, however, it was the Tigers who rallied for a 58-49 win at packed Defoe Gymnasium.
Jay started fast with a double-digit lead early the first quarter and set the tone as the action never let up. The Tigers had plenty of incentive and it definitely showed.
“We knew we needed to win to have any chance to make the playoffs,” said Jay coach Brian Kelly. “I’m just so proud of these kids.”
Dirigo pulled to within four points and tied the game at 49 following baskets by Caleb Turner (seven points) and two by Cody St. Germain (14 points) early in the fourth quarter. Josh Turbide (14 points) had two treys earlier in the game. Spencer Ross made a steal and tapped the ball forward, but Jay regained possession.
Jay took the lead for good when Kyle Storer (14 points) put back an uncontested layup. The Tigers made eight of 11 free throws in the fourth quarter.
Dirigo showed a tremendous amount of hustle and moved the ball well around the perimeter. Ben Holmes (12 points) had scored in the paint, but the Cougars missed 13 of 17 shots in the final period.
“We were not ready for this game,” said Dirigo coach Rebecca Fletcher, referring to the Tigers playing on fire. “We were unable to match their intensity, but credit Jay for taking it to us because they were fighting for their playoff lives.’’
St. Germain was whistled for an intentional foul with 1:21 remaining and James Barker made both free throws and Jay maintained possession of the ball.
The Cougars took control by scoring 12 points to open the third quarter. Holmes made two baskets, Turbide scored on a drive, Turner made a scoop shot and St. Germain made two free throws. Jay went on a run to lead 46-37 after three quarters. Jake Bessey and Zack Bonnevie each scored 16 points.
The Cougars shot 37 percent, committed 13 turnovers and made nine of 11 free throws.