Monmouth’s Brock Bates (23) and Dirigo’s Jack Lavorgna scramble for a loose ball during Saturday afternoon’s game in Dixfield. (Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn)

DIXFIELD — A month ago, Monmouth Academy handed Dirigo an 11-point loss in Monmouth by playing physical defense and working the inside-outside combination of Connor Davies and Gabe Martin.

Dirigo turned the tables during Saturday’s senior day matinee and picked up a crucial 50-42 boys’ basketball win in Defoe Gymnasium.

Jeremy St. Germain dominated the paint with 21 points and 16 rebounds, while Mateo Lapointe added 13 points, including four 3-pointers, for the Cougars (7-9), who only trailed briefly early in the second quarter.

St. Germain and Lapointe also played key roles in neutralizing Davies and Martin. Davies, a senior forward matched up with St. Germain, had 30 points and 11 rebounds last time, but was plagued with foul trouble and finished with 13 points and seven rebounds.

Martin, a sharpshooting junior guard who had nine points in the first meeting, had either Lapointe or senior swingman Sam Holmes draped on him for most of the game and finished with two points.


“Mateo Lapointe played by far the best game of his life today,” Dirigo coach Cody St. Germain said. “Shooting the ball, I mean, we can expect that from him. But defensively, he took Gabe Martin right out of the game. He’s one of the best players in the Mountain Valley Conference, and to hold him to two points, and to hold Davies to 13 points, we’ve been practicing that all week.”

“I face-guarded him,” Lapointe said. “He’s a shooter. We know if he gets on fire, he’s going to make everything. He can be the best shooter in the MVC if he’s on fire.”

Dylan Lajoie led the Mustangs (12-6) with 15 points in their regular-season finale.

Monmouth’s ability to stay within striking distance of Dirigo seemed tenuous shortly after Davies went to the bench with his fourth foul with 2:51 left in the third quarter.

“It’s always nice to get their best player in foul trouble, but our whole goal was to take him out of the game,” Jeremy St. Germain said.

Thirty-six seconds later, Lapointe hit his third 3-pointer of the game to give Dirigo a 33-28 lead. But the fouls started piling up on both sides, and the Mustangs were the first to take advantage, pulling to within 34-33 on a pair of free throws by Brock Bates (nine points, 10 rebounds) early in the fourth.


Dirigo made another run at establishing some breathing room after St. Germain knocked down a fade-away jumper and Lapointe swished a trey en route to a 42-34 lead midway through the fourth.

The Mustangs rallied again to cut the deficit in half on a pair of Bates free throws and Martin’s only hoop, a jumper, with two minutes left.

St. Germain converted on an off-balance drive to the hoop but Davies answered with a 3-pointer to pull the Mustangs within 44-41 with 1:37 remaining.

Alex Gorman made one of two at the charity stripe to make it a two-possession game permanently for the Cougars at 45-41 with 1:14 left. Monmouth had a chance to draw within one possession after a steal but missed a 3-pointer. Martin rebounded but Lapointe drew an offensive foul just before Martin went up with a jump shot that went through the hoop but didn’t count.

“We had whole bunch of foul trouble the last time we played against them,” Cody St. Germain said. “We knew coming in here that this was going to be a super-physical game. Wade has his guys playing super-hard all of the time. I believe that we’re at least close to being the two toughest teams in the league and the most physical.”

“They did a nice job defensively,” Monmouth coach Wade Morrill said. “We adjusted to it at times, but we didn’t do anything well enough long enough, consistently enough, to get a lead.”


Dirigo jumped out to an early 8-2 lead and kept the pressure on with a pair of 3-pointers by Lapointe early in the second quarter.

The Cougars led 22-18 at halftime, but a pair of 3-pointers by Davies gave the Mustangs their first and only lead at 26-25 three minutes into the second half. St. Germain responded with a three-point play that gave Dirigo a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

“We knew they had a lot of help-side playing on the back side off of Jeremy, so when he was getting it in the post, he was getting double-teamed a lot,” Cody St. Germain said. “That opened up a lot of things for shooters on our team. We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, but we hit them when we needed them, and we took it hard to the hoop.”

The win bolstered the Cougars’ prospects of hosting a preliminary round game, with Madison and Mountain Valley remaining on their regular season schedule.

Monmouth, meanwhile, knows it has clinched its first tournament berth since 2016 and will likely host a prelim on Feb. 12 or 13.

Dirigo’s Jeremy St Germain, right, goes up for a basket as Monmouth’s Brock Bates plays defense during Saturday afternoon’s game in Dixfield. (Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn)


Dirigo’s Jeremy St Germain goes up for a basket as Monmouth’s Connor Davies tries to tip the ball out of his hand during Saturday afternoon’s game in Dixfield. (Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn)

Dirigo’s Alex Gorham takes the ball down the court as Monmouth’s Thomas Neal plays defense during Saturday afternoon’s game in Dixfield. (Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn)

Dirigo’s Chandler Redmond takes the ball down the court as Monmouth’s Dylan Lajoie plays defense during Saturday afternoon’s game in Dixfield. (Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn)

Monmouth’s Brock Bates goes up for a basket over Dirigo’s Jack Lavorgna during Saturday afternoon’s game in Dixfield. (Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn)

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