Boys’ basketball: Western C tournament overview

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Players to watch

Dirigo — Cody St. Germain (Sr. C), Ben Holmes (Sr. F), Josh Turbide (Sr. G), Caleb Turner (Sr. G), T.J. Frost (Jr. G); Waynflete — Jack Cutler (Jr. G), Serge Nyirikamba (Soph. F), Chris Burke (Sr. F), Max Belleau (Jr. G), Paul Runyambo (Jr. F); Boothbay — Anthony Dimauro (Jr. G), Ben Dickinson (Jr. F), Ben Woodin (Sr. F), John Hepburn (Fr. F); Hall-Dale — Sam Shepherd (Jr. C), Zac Plummer (Jr. F), Tyler French (Sr. G), Austin Bechard (Sr. G); Madison —Austin Kane (Jr. F), Steven Lawrence (Jr. F), Dylan Price (Sr. G), M.J. Flanders (Soph. G); Old Orchard Beach — Quincy Grace (Jr. C), Anthony Langella-Laws (Jr. F), Andrew Fleury (Sr. G), Nick Carlin (Jr. F); Wiscasset — Jordan Jones (Sr. G), Devin Grover (Sr. G), Caleb Bryant (Sr. C), Jason Weatherbee (Sr. F); Sacopee Valley — Jeff Taylor (Sr. C), Mike Anderson (Sr. G), Kyle Martineau (Sr. F).

Favorite

Dirigo. Any questions? The Cougars haven’t left any unanswered in winning this tournament the past three years, and this appears to be their most complete team yet. St. Germain, the MVC player of the year in the middle, is so consistent that you can almost chalk up his 20 points, 12 rebounds and three or four blocked shots now. What changes from night to night is who else will beat you. Sometimes it’s the defensive board work and outlet pass from Holmes to start the fast break. Or the thievery and dribble penetration of Turner and Frost. Or Turbide burying the big 3-pointer. Whatever the case, it’s difficult to imagine anyone in the draw having enough defensive capital to stop all of it. And the Cougars rightfully consider the Augusta Civic Center court their second home.

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Dark horses

The one team that might be able to match Dirigo’s athleticism and balance is Waynflete. The Flyers couldn’t stay with the Cougars for much more than a quarter in the 2011 semifinals, and they’ll need to overcome the history of the WMC struggling to beat the MVC in the later rounds. Of course, the team that knows Dirigo best is Boothbay. The Seahawks stayed with the Cougars for a half at home in December, then had their doors blown off at Dixfield in January. Dickinson missed most of that game due to injury, however, and the Seahawks always seem to play their best ball at tourney time under longtime coach I.J. Pinkham. If the final ends up being round three on a neutral court, who knows?

Fun facts

Dirigo looks to become the first Western C team to win four straight regional titles since Falmouth from 1996 to ‘99 … When Falmouth moved to Class B, it made OOB the most recent regional champion from the Western Maine Conference, back in 1994. Waynflete is a member of the WMC … Quarterfinal foes Hall-Dale and Madison won a total of 11 games in 2011. Both missed the tournament … OOB seeks its third straight trip to the semifinals … Wiscasset-Waynflete is a rematch of the 2011 quarterfinals. The Flyers won in double overtime … Prior to beating Telstar in the preliminary round, Sacopee owned only two wins over Class C opponents.

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