Richmond’s Zach Small, left, defends against Dirigo’s Cooper Chiasson as the Cougar gets a pass down low under the basket during Monday night’s playoff game in Augusta. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

AUGUSTA — Zach Small and Matt Rines were responsible for the bulk of Richmond’s scoring this season. Dirigo game-planned accordingly for Monday’s Class C South quarterfinal, and frustrated the duo throughout.

Richmond’s supporting cast was more than able to pick up the slack, though, leading the fifth-seeded Bobcats back from an 11-point deficit early in the second half to defeat No. 4 Dirigo, 64-51, at the Augusta Civic Center.

Freshman Caleb Densmore scored 15 of his game-high 18 points in the second half and Danny Stewart scored all 13 of his points in the second half to give Richmond its first ever Class C tournament victory.

“I have no idea (how he did it). They just started falling for me in the second half,” said Densmore, who hit three 3-pointers and also grabbed 10 rebounds. “In the first half, I felt like I wanted to throw up. Then I came out in the second half and they just started falling.”

“Some of the guys that normally don’t shoot that much made some big shots,” said Dirigo coach Travis Magnusson, whose team lost to Richmond, 68-62, on Jan. 10. “Usually, Rines and Small take about 90 percent of their shots, maybe more. These guys.. proved they can make big ones. We adjusted and tried to get out to them more, and they made shots when we were in their face, too.”


Richmond (13-6) will face the winner of Monday’s last semifinal between No. 1 Hall-Dale and No. 8 Traip Academy in the semifinals at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. Dirigo ends its season at 13-6.

Small, a 1,000-point career scorer who went the first 21 minutes of the game without a field goal, finished with 15 points (on two field goals) and 10 rebounds. Rines had eight points before fouling out with five minutes to  go. Alex  Gorham, Jeremy St. Germain and Cooper Chiasson (11 rebounds) led the Cougars with 11 points apiece, while Luke Lueders added 10 points.

A former Class D powerhouse, Richmond lost to Waynflete in the quarterfinals when it made its Class C tournament debut last year. 

Coming off 1-for-17 shooting in the second quarter, the Bobcats turned it around after a Gorham hoop gave Dirigo a26-15 lead one possession into the third.

Richmond made 10 of 16 shots in the period and stormed back into the lead with a 21-3 run led by Densmore and Rines.

“We shared the basketball. I think you need to share the basketball in these bigger games,” Richmond coach Phil Houdlette said. 


“When you put that much focus on two people, there’s got to be somebody else open,” he added. “It’s whether you can finish the play or not.”

Dirigo went more than five minutes without a field goal and trailed, 38-32, heading into the fourth quarter.

Stewart started the fourth with a 3-pointer and a layup to make it 43-32.

“(Houdlette) told us we need to play more like a team,” Densmore said. “In the first half, we were forcing a lot of shots and not a lot were going down for us, so we really needed to pick up that team effort.”

Dirigo appeared to get back on track with an 11-2 run to pull within 46-43 on a Chase Clark 3-pointer, moments after Rines fouled out.

A pair of free throws by Small and an inside hoop by Stewart pushed the margin back to seven with three minutes left. Chiasson scored to make it 50-45 with 2:39 to go, but the Cougars wouldn’t get another field goal until the game was out of reach. 


After Gorham picked up his fifth foul, a free throw by Small and a three-point play followed by two more free throws by Densmore gave the Bobcats all the cushion they needed. 

Lueders beat the first quarter buzzer to give the Cougars a 12-9 lead, and the Cougars extended it to 17-9, mostly at the free throw line, before the Bobcats got back on the board.

Richmond missed its first 12 shots of the period and had only a Kenneth Bing 3-pointer to show for 17 attempts in the quarter. A three-point play by St. Germain helped Dirigo take a 24-15 lead into halftime.

“When we were up 10, we probably missed a couple of layups, a couple of chances and we probably could have been up by 15 or 20 at half and they just kind of hung around,” Magnusson said.

 “Every time Zach had the ball, they had two guys on him,” Houdlette said. “That’s why Nate Kendrick (six points) had so many open looks in the first half. Nobody’s guarding you, so if you’re not making the shot, put the ball on the floor and go to the basket, drive-and-dish or take it to the basket and lay it in. I thought everybody did a much better job of that in the second half.”

Dirigo’s Cooper Chiasson, fouls Richmond’s Kenneth Bing during Monday night’s playoff game at the Augusta Civic Center. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)Dirigo’s Alex Gorham looses control of the ball under the basket during Monday night’s playoff game at the Augusta Civic Center. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)Dirigo’s Chase Clark drives to the basket during the first half of Monday night’s playoff game against Richmond at the Augusta Civic Center. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)Dirigo’s Cooper Chiasson, center, is fouled by Richmond’s Zach Small during Monday night’s playoff game at the Augusta Civic Center. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

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