DIXFIELD — When the chips are on the line, there’s a better than average chance that a Dirigo team will step it up, and that’s what the Cougars did in season-opening Mountain Valley Conference boys’ basketball game.

Dirigo went on a 22-3 run in the middle quarters to break the contest wide open and never looked back.

Riley Robinson scored a game-high 25 points, while Clay Swett recorded a double-double as the Cougars withstood a battle in a 78-52 triumph over Boothbay at Defoe Gymnasium.

The game was redemption for Dirigo. Boothbay beat the Cougars 72-66 in a season-opener last season. The rematch featured Riley Robinson, who was honored before the game for having become the all-time scoring leader at Dirigo during the playoffs last season.

The Seahawks took their only lead following a 3-pointer by Kyle Ames, but it proved to be short-lived. On the ensuing possession, Cooper Chiasson buried a trey to put the Cougars ahead 27-26 in the second quarter.

“This was a great first-night win. We knew Boothbay would give us a battle,” Dirigo coach Travis Magnusson said. “The team had a good performance. I usually point out some negative areas that we can improve on. But I am happy with what I saw and the kids should be also.”

Dirigo (1-0) went on an 11-0 run to take a 35-26 lead. Robinson scored on a drive and Gavin Arsenault hit a give-and-go. Freshman Alex Gorham ended it with a baseline jumper. Boothbay (0-1) finished with another Ames (11 points, three treys) long trey to trail 37-29 at halftime.

“I wasn’t surprised by what Dirigo did. I expected (pressure),” Boothbay coach I.J. Pinkham said. “Riley is really some thing. We couldn’t stop him. In the second quarter, we came back and I thought we was going to be able to hang with them.”

Dirigo came out on fire in the third quarter and score nine unanswered points. Robinson (eight assists) converted a conventional three point play, Swett (14 points, 12 rebounds) scored two baskets in the paint and Robinson put back his own miss.

Dirigo shot 44 percent, made 21 of 33 free throws and committed turnovers. Boothbay shot 37 percent, made 7 of 14 free throws and turned the ball over 21 times.

“Boothbay is a good team and we have a lot of respect for coach Pinkham,” Robinson said. “In the third quarter, we was able to come out and run with the ball. Clay Swett and Cooper Chiasson were really huge on the boards and that allowed us to do things.”

Daniel Drummond made a free throw at midway, but Dirigo reeled off 10 straight points to lead 56-34 after three quarters. The Cougars received solid play by Gavin Hebert, It was an Luke Lueders and reserve Avery Perry.

Dirigo had led by double-digits in the first quarter, behind an Arsenault trey and three baskets by Lueders.

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