Dirigo juniors Trent Holman, left, and Trenton Hutchinson take time out from a practice Thursday at the Dixfield school to pose for a picture together as they prepare for Saturday’s Class C state championship game. Adam Robinson/Sun Journal

Trent Holman and Trenton Hutchinson, now juniors on the Dirigo boys basketball team, were nicknamed the “Splash Brothers” growing up because of their shot-making abilities. 

Now, the Cougars have rode the backcourt duo’s defense this season all the way to the Class C state championship game against Dexter (16-5) on Saturday at 7:45 p.m. at the Augusta Civic Center. 

“Me and Trenton have been guards and playing up top since second grade, so we’ve always had a duo in a way and have always worked together, so we’ve built a good relationship on the floor,” Holman said. “We work well with each other.”

Holman and Hutchinson, or “Hutch” as he’s known amongst the players and coaches, are two of seven juniors on this year’s Dirigo team, many of whom have played sports together since second or third grade. 

They’ve grown up together, and this season they have taken the next step. Dirigo coach Cody St. Germain said no one has taken a bigger leap on the team than Holman. 

“He’s improved a ton on everything,” St. Germain said. “Bar-none, he is our most-improved player on our team. We went into the season with no expectations of Trent being our best defender on the season, but that part of his game and the athleticism he’s gained from last year to this year is one of the biggest changes I’ve seen. He was a good offensive player moving the ball, but his defensive changes have been spectacular. He’s put a lot of time in the gym and weight room making himself better.”


Holman has averaged three steals per game, to go along with his six points per game, five rebounds and five assists. The junior said knows he isn’t the biggest player on the court and knew he had to work over the offseason to help the team. 

“I wasn’t always in the best shape,” Holman said. “This summer, I grew a lot and I got a lot fitter, which helped me out a lot. I got a lot quicker and that’s helped me get a lot more steals. I’m quick to the ball and my hands are active. I’ve gotten a lot more conditioned, too, and it’s helped.”

Carrabec’s Luke Carey, right, rushes the ball with Dirigo’s Trent Holman, center, and Dakota Tompkins during a Class C South boys basketball quarterfinal game on Feb. 21 at the Augusta Civic Center. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

St. Germain said that on film, Holman doesn’t jump out as a “lockdown defender” but gets in passing lanes, gets hands on the ball and also grabs steals. At only 5-foot-9, Holman won’t out-muscle his opponents, but he can out-work his opponent. 

“Definitely being undersized he knows he has to out-work you, but at the same time he’s up there if not the smartest basketball player on our team,” St. Germain said of Holman. “He knows where the passes are going and knows when to go for it. He is our glue guy and holds everything together for us. He tries to make the perfect play and on both sides of the ball he does a really good job with that … He has a really good knack for the ball, he has a tendency to get his hands in the passing lanes a ton and is a really scrappy guy. He’s not overly strong but he just wants the ball more than the next guy.”

His backcourt mate, Hutchinson, is Dirigo’s defender that gets put on the opposing team’s best offensive player. He’s the lockdown defender. 

Hutchinson plays soccer and football in the fall, basketball in the winter, and finishes his school year on the baseball team. The four-sport athlete uses his athleticism on the basketball court to stop scoring threats and has been a key contributor to Dirigo’s current six-game win streak. 


“He’s one of the best three-sport, actually four-sport athletes I’ve seen here,” St. Germain said. “He plays football and soccer. He’s a phenomenal athlete. It’s his third year starting in basketball and right from freshman year he’s been our best defender and now has been for three years. Being a 5-foot-9, skinny kid is not easy to be the best defender. Usually they’re 6-foot-3 and can do it with their body. He just has that knack of wanting to shut his guy down. He’s the best defender I’ve seen in the MVC this year. He’s always improving, but he’s been good right along and the offensive end is where he’s made his biggest strides.”

Winthrop’s Logan Baird shoots over Dirigo’s Trenton Hutchinson during a Jan. 28 game in Dixfield. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

The two guards are the spark plugs for a lot of Dirigo’s offense. The Cougars have averaged 59.9 points per game this season and St. Germain said a lot of the offense starts with the fast breaks that Hutchinson and Holman get started off their steals. 

“I’ve really been saying all year that our team goes at the pace that Trent and Trenton put us at,” St. Germain said. “We have some good offensive talent, but it always felt like if Trent and Trenton play well then we play well as a team. That felt like it starts on the defensive end because if we are turning the other team over and getting out and running, that’s when we’re at our best. If we can get the fast break going, it has a tendency to get our energy going as well.”

While Holman doesn’t score a lot, Hutchinson is capable of scoring in bunches, like when he scored 24 points in Dirigo’s C South quarterfinal win over Carrabec. The Cougars also rely on the scoring of Charlie Houghton, who is averaging 19 points per game this season.

 “I think (our defense) helps even our offense a lot,” Holman said. “With me and Trenton up top in our 2-3 zone, we are able to get tips on the ball and steals and we can set up our offense or get on the fastbreak, which is where we get a lot of our points.” 

Holman and Hutchinson’s connection on the court is almost cerebral. 


The years on the same court together has helped the two players know where the other one is. 

“We’re constantly communicating and even sometimes we don’t even say anything, we just know what we’re going to do,” Holman said. “We are always on the same page because we’ve been playing together for such a long time.”

“Communication is everything between us,” Hutchinson added. “We always know what we’re going to do.”

The two guards’ play has been a welcomed surprise for St. Germain and has become the main focus of the coach’s game plans. 

“The thing with Trent and Trenton is the defensive plays they’re making this year are sort of new to them, in a way, as a combo,” St. Germain said. “Last year, there was no part of me that said, ‘Man, that combo of Hutch and Holman is a key part of our team.’ Then a few games in they realized, ‘Man, we’re dominant up here if we want to be.’ Then they started taking it upon themselves without any talks from me and said, ‘We can really take over games with our defense.’

“We’ve planned a lot of stuff around them being able to get steals, and I think they’ve really had a fun time with that and taken that as one of the big things they contribute to our team’s success.”


The Cougars players are excited to be in the state title game together.

“We’ve been playing together since second and third grade and we’ve dreamed of this moment,” Holman said. “We’ve been told growing up that we always had the potential and now it’s great to finally get our chance. This is our first real chance and we’re having a blast while doing it.”

St. Germain, a senior on Dirigo’s last state championship-winning team in 2012, said he is happy this year’s group gets to experience states.

“We’ve had a few teams that have experienced it but it hasn’t happened in seven years, so it feels like it’s been a while. They get to experience what so many of the kids that have come up here have experienced,” St. Germain said. “A lot of the guys are friends, brothers, cousins of kids that were on past teams. We were watching the 2015 game back and you could see a lot of them up in the stands, and it was pretty cool to see it come full circle back to them. They’re super excited, the community is super excited and it’s cool to be a part of.”

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