DIXFIELD – The Dirigo boys’ basketball team had trouble finding its cohesiveness in a Mountain Valley Conference game at Defoe Gymnasium on Monday night.

Fortunately, the Cougars had enough in reserve to accomplish the job.

Senior Spencer Berry scored 21 points, including three of six 3-pointers, and Dirigo deployed a relentless defensive attack in a 69-34 triumph over Telstar.

Tom Knight was effective in the paint, scoring 14 points, with eight rebounds and four steals. Dirigo (2-0) used its half-court trapping defense and stole the ball 24 times. Josh Daley had six steals.

“We approached the game with (intention) of pressuring the ball,” Dirigo coach Gavin Kane said. “To raise havoc with Telstar, and we did a nice job early on, but we got away from it and lacked discipline.”

A 9-0 run to start the second quarter put Dirigo ahead 29-10, and Telstar never could recover. Berry opened and closed the run with baskets, including the latter, after Mike Holmquist (nine points) stole the ball and fed Berry for a fast break layup.

Wes Gagnon came off the bench to score 12 points, including two 3-pointers.

“We knew that we had a big lead, but we needed to keep working,” Gagnon said. “After our first game (Monmouth), we knew we had to work on our half-court trapping defense. We like to press also, but our traps were (effective).”

Telstar (0-2) simply was overwhelmed by the pressure and had trouble getting the ball into the mid-court. A pair of baskets by Ryan Kimball (eight), Louis Thornton (nine points) and a James Kimball trey pulled the Rebels to 29-17. Guard Andy Whitney had six points.

“You cant throw the ball from side-to-side against that trap,” Telstar coach Mark Thurlow said. “We’ve faced two of the better teams, and we held Boothbay to 49 and Dirigo did a good job here. We have a good defensive team, but we are struggling to find our offense.”

Dirigo seemingly iced the game on a trey and three free throws by Gagnon to take a 51-27 lead at the end of three quarters. The Cougars received solid efforts by Enrico Ross, Adam Law, Erik Kersey and Dominic Flint.

Dirigo turned the ball over 12 times in the game.

“We suffered a break down,” Kane said. “But Telstar deserves credit because they played hard for 32 minutes.”


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