Spruce Mountain’s Haley Turcotte (24) dishes the ball off to Julianne Doiron (21) during an MVC basketball game in Jay on Thursday. (Tony Blasi/Sun Journal)

JAY — Senior guard Calley Baker’s game-winning shot heard around Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls might just be the gift that keeps on giving when the postseason rolls around and the Heal points are tallied.

Baker had no choice but to launch a desperation shot from beyond the 3-point line with less than a couple of seconds left in the Mountain Valley Conference girls’ basketball game Thursday night. The heave was in the air as the buzzer sounded and passed through the basket with a swish, giving the Spruce Mountain a 39-37 victory over relentless Dirigo on Thursday night.

But Baker didn’t have a lot of faith in her shot.

“No!” Baker said. “We were down and time was running out and I just threw it up and I got lucky.

“I thought it was going to be an air ball, and when it went in, I was shocked. Very excited. “

Baker’s blast sent the crowd running onto the court and the cheering and shouting shook the Phoenix Dome to its core, while other fans just stared at the scoreboard in awe.

Dirigo led heading into the fourth quarter. The Phoenix finally caught up with Dirigo late in the final stanza when freshman guard Summer Chretien drove inside the paint to score the tying basket to make it 33-33 with 4:15 left in the game.

Dirigo came up with another basket to go-ahead 35-33, but Baker dropped in her second of three 3-pointers to put the Phoenix up by one with 2:38 left on the clock.

But with 55 seconds left, forward Alexa Varnum (10 points) scored a basket that gave Dirigo a 37-36 lead.

Baker (nine points), who had sit for most of the second half after getting into foul trouble, got a hold of the ball and fired off the ball that dazzled the crowd at The Nest.

Spruce Mountain coach Zachary Keene just knew the shot was headed in the right direction.

“Of course, I did,” Keene said with a big grin. “No doubt in my mind. It’s a win. It’s Heal points; it’s not style points. But they battled all game. Shots weren’t falling for us.

“I knew with Dirigo coming in, and Rebeca Fletcher is a great coach, they were going to be ready. It was going to be a dogfight. They played that diamond-and-1 and made it tough on Haley (Turcotte). We needed the players to step up, and obviously Calley did.”

Both teams were in a floor fight from the get-go.

Dirigo senior guard Sophia Jacques scored a game-high 13 points for the Cougars. Spruce Mountain’s Jaycee Cole had 11 points and Turcotte scored nine.

At halftime, Spruce Mountain held a slim 19-17 lead at halftime before Dirigo jumped ahead 30-27 after three quarters.

“I think we played hard. I think we did a nice job.” Fletcher said. “Just couldn’t take care of the basketball enough, often enough, to finish off the game. Kudos to the kid (Baker). You’ve got to knock those down, and she did so she stepped up in moment and made big play for them.

“I was happy the first half. We denied Turcotte the ball, and (Baker) not so much. That kid is very athletic.”

Spruce Mountain senior guard Calley Baker sizes up the situation in a Mountain Valley Conference basketball game at The Nest in Jay on Thursday. (Tony Blasi/Sun Journal)

Spruce Mountain’s Kaylin Knowlton (25) goes up for a shot as Dirigo’s Alexa Perreault (2) at Phoenix Dome in Jay on Thursday. (Tony Blasi/Sun Journal)

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