Spruce Mountain’s Mariyah Fournier (12) and Alison Dubord (23) surround Megan Fletcher (25), who passes the ball to Jace Brophy (3) during a basketball game at the Nest in Jay on Saturday. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Spruce Mountain fans cheer for the Phoenix at The Nest in Jay on Saturday night. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Spruce Mountain senior center Kaylin Knowlton (22) gets all tangled up with Dirigo’s Alexa Perreault (2) and Alyvia Perreault in basketball game at the Phoenix Dome in Jay on Saturday night. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

JAY — Taking lumps every time she lunged for a rebound or drove the crowded paint was worth the discomfort for Spruce

Spruce Mountain junior guard Auriana Armandi (10) drives to basket and runs into Dirigo’s Alexa Perreault (2) in basketball game at the Phoenix Dome in Jay on Saturday night. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Mountain’s Mariyah Fournier.

It was the Phoenix’s senior night and Fournier, a freshman, wanted a win for the upperclassmen, who are also her good friends. Fournier and the rest of team came through for the seniors as Spruce Mountain beat Dirigo 38-34 in a Mountain Valley Conference girls basketball game at The Nest on Saturday.

“I had to prove it to the seniors and have them have a good night to remember,” Fournier, who led the Phoenix with 15 points, said. “They are like all my best friends. I did it for them.

“It is really sad (they are leaving). They are all my best friends and I am going to miss them so much. I think we all played together really good and had one of the best games the whole year.”

For senior Alison Dubord, just being on the court for senior night and contributing a couple of points was a night to remember for her.

“I tore my ACL last year at the beginning of the season, so I was out for a while,” Dubord said. “It has been a grind coming back, but I am glad I just did it.

“I am just glad I had my teammates alongside with me through the whole journey. They have been very supportive.” 

The victory is Spruce Mountain’s second in a row, and it was spurred by another fine defensive performance. Dirigo led the entire first half and built a 21-15 lead before the Phoenix got revved up in the second half.

“They just battled; they played hard,” Spruce Mountain coach Zach Keene said. “Things don’t always got their way, but they focus on the next play. I am proud of them again tonight. The way they are finishing is a good thing.”

The Cougars led 21-17 at halftime, but the Phoenix ate away at that lead and held a  27-26 lead after three quarters.

With 2:58 left on the clock in the fourth quarter, the Phoenix slowed the ball down to a walk after building a 35-32 lead. Senior guard Jaycee Cole, (nine points) who struggled at the foul line all night, hit three free throws down the stretch. 

Dirigo made things interesting when Jayce Brophy (eight points) made a layup and was fouled with 36 seconds left on the clock. But Brophy’s shot from the charity stripe bounced off the rim. Page Lueders was the Cougars’ leading scorer with nine points.

“The problem we had was lazy passes,” Dirigo Reggie Weston said. “They were hitting that gap really good, taking the soft pass away, so that kind of hurt.”

Weston said one of his key players was running a temperature in the morning before the game.

“Not to make excuses, but they played a very good defense,” Weston said. “I am just proud of the way they came out and played as hard as they could.”

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