DIXFIELD — A foursome of players scored in double figures — led by Riley Robinson with a game-high 24 points — as Dirigo used a total team effort and clicked on all cylinders in a 99-34 triumph over Mt. Abram at Defoe Gymnasium on Monday.
Dirigo jumped out of the gates on fire and executed its up-tempo running offense from the beginning. The Cougars produced a double-digit lead in the first four minutes, with Robinson scoring 12 points. Tyler Frost and Cooper Chiasson each drained 3-pointers as the Cougars had an insurmountable 28-9 lead after one quarter.
“My philosophy is to press the first half,” Dirigo coach Travis Magnusson said. “I’m not going to tell the team not to play hard. We are still developing and one of our goals is to continue to improve.”
Robinson, who averaged more than 25 points in the Cougars’ first four games, entered the game 34 points shy of 1,000 for his career. He’s now 10 shy.
The junior forward, who also earned eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals, has proven to be capable at going to the basket and is unselfish. Every teammate was aware of the situation, however, the team objective remained the same.
”That’s not the type of guy Riley is,” Frost said. “He is out there for the team and will do what it takes to win.”
Frost had 12 points, four assists and two steals.
”We didn’t change our game plan one bit (to accommodate Robinson),” Frost said.
Mt. Abram had difficulty bringing the ball up the court with guards Carl Trafton (six points) and Daniel Luce against the Cougars’ trapping defense. The Roadrunners missed 20 of 27 shots and turned the ball over 19 times in the first half.
Dirigo (4-1) continued to put the pedal to the hardwood by scoring 11 of the first 15 points in the second quarter. Frost buried a 23-foot trey, Robinson fed Gavin Arsenault (10 points, four assists, four steals) and Kaine Hutchins (10 points) converted off a steal.
Clay Swett (11 points) made baskets in the paint. The Cougars outscored the Roadrunners 30-10 in the second to lead 58-19 at halftime.
Quinton Hanna scored a team high 11 points. Tristen Dyer added six.
“We stopped pressing in the second half and were able to work on other things,” Magnusson said. “The kids were on fire. We are still developing a leader and Tyler Frost is filling that role. He’s willing to dive on the floor and do what ever it takes. When I took him out with four minutes left, he told the guys going in that they better play hard.”
“I see my role on this team as a number of things,” Frost said. “Bringing the ball up the court, passing it and getting everyone involved. Also hustling on defense.”
Dirigo had 26 steals in the game, including four by Gavin Hebert and three by Luke Lueders. Joe Casey had four assists and Nick St Germain added eight points.
The Cougars, who have strengths on both ends of the court, shot 47 percent and made 20 of 29 free throws, though they committed 23 turnovers.