DIXFIELD – In a battle of unbeaten teams something has to give, and the Dirigo boys’ basketball team was able maintain its composure down the stretch in a Mountain Valley Conference game.

The Cougars had the answer when they needed it, and were able to fend off a furious rally by Boothbay in the fourth quarter.

Tom Knight scored a game-high 16 points and proved to be the difference as Dirigo remained unbeaten with a 59-54 win over the Seahawks Thursday before a sold-out crowd at Defoe Gymnasium.

“I knew coming out of the locker room at halftime that Boothbay would make a run at us,” Dirigo coach Gavin Kane said. “They are a great team and well-coached. In the fourth quarter, it was important for us to keep our composure, and we were able to isolate Knight (6-foot-7) in the post.”

Mike Holmquist (nine points, eight rebounds, six assists) scored off a Josh Daley (10 points) feed to give Dirigo a 57-52 lead with 43 seconds left. A pair of free throws by Owen Johnson (11 points) cut the deficit.

Colby Knapp (nine points) grabbed a rebound with 11.8 left, was fouled, and sank both free throws to ice it.

“We dug ourselves a hole early on,” Boothbay coach I.J. Pinkham said. “Dirigo (trapping defense) came out fast and then we didn’t have an answer for Knight in the fourth quarter.”

Dirigo (5-0) jumped out to a double-digit lead in the second quarter on 3-pointers by Holmquist and Daley and a basket by Spencer Berry (12 points, nine rebounds, five assists).

The Cougars led 32-19 at halftime and 47-35 after three quarters. Boothbay was able to battle back against a zone defense.

Kris Noonan scored 12 points and Matt Sceviour and Johnson each buried 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.

“We knew that we had to shut Kris Noonan down,” Berry said. “Things really worked well for us in the first half, but Boothbay outhustled us in the second half. Coach will have to run us more.”

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