AUGUSTA — Dirigo boys basketball coach Cody St. Germain doesn’t think Trenton Hutchinson knows how good of a player he is.

Monday’s 53-43 win over Carrabec in the Class C South quarterfinals at Augusta Civic Center provided a good example, as Hutchinson led the way with 24 points for the Cougars.

If he knew how good he was, he would be one of the top, best players in our conference this year,” St. Germain said. “With him, if people came to our practice they’d come out wowed with how well he plays defense and offense. There are games here and there where he shows just how good he can possibly be, and if we can get him playing with that kind of attitude and confidence, we’re going to be tough to beat.”

The victory advances third-seeded Dirigo (15-5) to a matchup with No. 7 Mt. Abram (13-7) in a C South semifinal on Thursday at 7 p.m.

A strong finish to the second quarter sent the Cougars into halftime with a five-point lead. Hutchinson helped them begin to pull away early in the third, scoring five quick points after teammate Nathaniel Wainwright hit a 3-pointer to make the score 34-24 midway through the period.

Hutchinson said he adjusted his shot after struggling in recent practices.


In practice my shots have been really flat lately,” Hutchinson said. “I had to get more arc on the ball and find my touch.”

Dirigo defeated Carrabec 58-57 in the  teams’ regular season meeting on Jan. 13. In that game, Charlie Houghton scored 43 points for the Cougars, so the junior forward was a big focus for the Cobras’ defense Monday.

Houghton finished with 15 point, but Hutchinson took over.

We changed who was guarding Houghton, and we contained him better,” Carrabec coach Erik Carey said. “He had 43 last time. We just didn’t have an answer for Hutch. He came to play, and in the second half he took it over and said, ‘I’m going to take the ball and score.’ It was inside and out.”

Dirigo took an eight-point lead into the fourth quarter. Houghton kicked off the Cougars’ scoring in the period with a 3-pointer that gave Dirigo a 42-33 lead with 6:45 left in the game. 

We were a little short-handed when we played them last time, and today it was kind of a guessing game to find out what they were going to come out with in a defense because last time Charlie scored 43,” St. Germain said. “We figured they’d do something different, and all week we were working on different combinations of things they could have done. … We worked the inside-out game because we figured they’d collapse on Charlie, and they did, so we found the open players.”


Hutchinson scored again on Dirigo’s next possession. On Carrabec’s next time down the court, Houghton blocked a layup and grabbed the rebound before finding Hutchinson with an outlet pass. Hutchinson dribbled once before pulling up for a 3-pointer that swished and extended the Cougars’ advantage to 47-35 with 5:37 remaining in the contest. 

We’ve been playing together since second grade and we know where to find each other,” Houghton said. “Just being together with each other. It’s a good team win and we always love to win with each other.”

Luke Carey scored for Carrabec on a putback after an offensive rebound to cut the deficit to 47-39 with 3:32 to play but the Cougars’ staved off the rally attempt.

Carey finished with a team-high 14 points.


Despite Carrebec’s defensive focus, Houghton scored the first five points of the game for the Cougars on two fadeaway jumpers and a free throw that put Dirigo ahead 5-3. 


Dirigo shot 8-for-10 from the free-throw line in the first half, while Carrabec didn’t take a foul shot in the first two quarters. The Cobras shot only two free throws all game, making one. 

Houghton finished the first quarter with seven points. Carrabec’s Luke Carey scored seven, as well, including a layup at the buzzer to give the Cobras a 15-13 lead after the first quarter. 

Houghton began the second quarter as he did the first, with a fadeaway jumper on the baseline, this one to tie the game at 15-15. 

With 4:28 to play in the first half, Dirigo’s Dakota Tompkins converted a three-point play to even the score at 19-19. Hutchinson followed that up with another three-point play to give the Cougars a 22-19 advantage with four minutes left in the second quarter. 

Dirigo’s Trent Holman then stole the ball and found Hutchinson on a long outlet pass that gave Hutchinson a clear layup that the junior converted for a five-point lead with three minutes left.

At the end of the first half, Houghton hit a 3-pointer to put the Cougars up 27-22 heading into the third. 

I just went out there and played,” Houghton said. “I played basketball and let it come to me and my teammates found me when I’m open.”

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