Dirigo’s Alex Gorham drives to the hoop while guarded by Hall-Dale’s Jett Boyer during Saturday’s game.

DIXFIELD — The Dirigo Cougars had a couple different things weighing on their mind Saturday when Hall-Dale came into town.

Hall-Dale was undefeated and, last time the teams met, the Bulldogs had beaten the Cougars 82-42 in the playoffs 11 months ago.

Saturday night’s game was much different, and ended with a game-winning layup from Jeremy St. Germain to defeat the Bulldogs 52-51 in overtime.

“They ran it perfectly,” head coach Travis Magnusson said. “I figured they were going to double-team Cooper (Chiasson), so we ran a little screen in the corner for him and we tried to get the action away from the ball and up top to get a little distraction, then seal the big guy. We went over the top for a layup and Jeremy finished it.”

Those important two points capped off a 20-point game for St. Germain.

The Cougars didn’t want to feel the losing feeling to Hall-Dale again.

“We had a sideline play setup because we knew they had been fronting me all game,” St. Germain said. “It just worked out. All our other guys were covered and I was the last option, so all I had to do was finish. I think one-on-one I can take them.”

Dirigo received a huge boost from its fans throughout the game, but most importantly in crunch time.

“We get fired up no matter what,” St. Germain said. “Making big shots, making 3s, you can barely even hear yourself think in here … It’s crazy.”

St. Germain had 12 first-half points to combat Dean Jackman’s seven points for Hall-Dale and keep the Cougars within one at the break.

Dirigo found itself down 41-36 after three quarters. The Cougars took the floor to start the fourth and turned to Chase Clark for some scoring. Clark delivered with two-straight 3s to open the quarter to give Dirigo a quick lead. Hall-Dale answered with a 3 from Jett Boyer and two free throws from Alec Byron, who finished with 14, but the Cougars never faltered.

“I think we have gotten tougher,” Magnusson said. “There was a lot of game time tonight that we could have given up … but we kept fighting and eventually we made that last play.”

With 18 seconds remaining in the fourth, Hall-Dale had possession with the game tied at 46. The Bulldogs swung the ball around and Jackman drove to the hoop with nine seconds left but fumbled it at the hoop and Dirigo took off running. St. Germain missed the potential game-winning fade-away at the buzzer, sending it to overtime.

The overtime period started with a block and then a steal on the first two possessions, setting the tone for what would be a struggle of an extra period.

Dirigo kept in mind its loss 11 months ago, however.

“It wasn’t as much that Hall-Dale hadn’t lost, it was more last year that we were thinking about,” Magnusson said. “That really drove us this summer.”

Chiasson had already scored four of his 14 points in overtime via a layup and free throws. Hall-Dale focused a lot of its energy on him on the final play, leaving St. Germain open for the winning layup.

Dirigo was excited to get the playoff monkey off its back.

“They brought everyone back and we brought everyone back and we didn’t shy away from that,” Magnusson said. “Our guys were really hungry and wanted to show that that wasn’t our true team. I just could not be more proud of them to defend our homecourt like that and get the win.”

Dirigo’s Alex Gorham shoots a 3-pointer while Hall-Dlae’s Josh Nadeau soars to defend during Saturday’s game.Dirigo’s Cooper Chiasson shoots overa pair of Hall-Dale defenders during Saturday’s boys’ basketball game.


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