AUGUSTA — No. 8 Richmond didn’t buckle or back down from the challenge of being the little fish in the big pond known as the Class C South boys’ basketball tournament.

Drawing the quarterfinal assignment of a top seed that has made this Augusta Civic Center setting its second home in the past decade, the Bobcats scored first, scored fairly often and made no prolonged effort to slow the first-half tempo on Monday night.

Dirigo simply had too many scoring options, too many hands in the passing lanes and too much Riley Robinson. The Cougars’ senior kicked off his final state tournament with 30 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and six steals in an 82-36 rout.

It was total domination, from Cooper Chiasson’s 15 points and Clay Swett’s 12 to Gavin Arsenault and Luke Lueders’ suffocating defense.

“We shot the ball well,” Dirigo coach Travis Magnusson said. “For having some guys who haven’t played a lot of minutes on this floor, that feels good going into Thursday.”

The reigning regional champion Cougars (18-1) won a quarterfinal for the 11th consecutive year and will take on No. 4 Waynflete (16-3) at 8:30 p.m. Thursday. It is the third semifinal meeting between the two programs the past four years, with the Flyers winning in 2013 and the Cougars cruising a year ago.

Matt Holt notched nine points and Cody Tribbet and Zach Small seven apiece to lead Richmond (12-7), which was making its first Class C tournament appearance since 1985 after a prolonged, decorated run in Class D.

Brendan Emmons put the Bobcats in front with a 3-pointer in the opening minute. Small gave Richmond another modest lead when he put back his own miss for a bucket.

Dirigo didn’t take the lead until Robinson’s 3-point play made it 8-5, but it was an edge the Cougars wouldn’t relinquish. Six consecutive points from sophomore Chiasson in a 52-second binge propelled the Cougars to a 22-11 cushion.

“I felt great. We’ve been practicing really hard this week, running the floor,” Chiasson said. “Everything’s connecting now. It’s game time.”

Richmond simply kept launching and landing from long range. Tyler Soucy, Tribbet and Small all struck from 3-point territory, with Small’s salvo shaving the deficit to 28-22 at the 5:28 mark of the second quarter.

“We knew they were going to shoot a lot of 3s,” Robinson said. “Coach Magnusson saw their (preliminary) game against Searsport, and he said they shot the most 3s he’s ever seen a high school team take. Our focus was really to close out and make them do what they don’t like to do.”

The Bobcats wouldn’t score again in the half and were held to two field goals over the next dozen minutes. That smothering defense by the Cougars led to an avalanche at the other end.

“We kept people in front of us, and then the rotations were better as well,” Magnusson said. “The team defense was awesome. When you make shots, it’s easier to play defense, too.”

Robinson and freshman Alex Gorham collaborated for the final 11 points of the half, crafting a 39-22 lead.

Holt’s basket brought the Bobcats within 43-27 early in the third. The next 16 points all were a direct result of Dirigo steals.

“Gavin Arsenault and Luke Lueders were great defensively. They locked up their two best players (Tribbet and Small),” Robinson said. “They created havoc. They were able to get me the ball in transition, and other guys were running the floor and making plays.”

Richmond committed 13 turnovers in the period and 28 through the end of the third period.

The Cougars battered the Bobcats in waves during their pedal-to-the-metal march. Robinson had six points. Chiasson and Arsenault collected three each. Swett, Gorham and Lueders each added a bucket.

“We had good energy. That’s what we talked about at halftime,” Magnusson said. “We had a good first half. We just needed a little more energy, and we took away the 3-point shot.”

It was 63-29 at the end of the third period. Swett, Robinson and Chiasson combined for nine quick points early in the fourth before the Dirigo starters departed to a standing ovation from their home fans.

Gorham supplied six points off the bench in his tournament debut.

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