BANGOR — Charlie Houghton and Trenton Hutchinson led the charge as Dirigo captured its second straight Class C boys basketball state championship with a 65-58 victory over Calais on Tuesday at the Cross Insurance Center.

Houghton poured in a game-high 24 points and Hutchinson scored 17 for the Cougars. The duo combined for 12 of Dirigo’s 17 points in the final quarter, during which the teams battled back and forth until the final three minutes.

“They have been great for us; those are our two first-team all-stars this year,” Dirigo coach Cody St. Germain said. “Two completely different players. Trenton dominates the ball on both ends of the court, takes care of it, does anything we need him to do. He’s the best defensive player that I ever coached. He might be the best defensive player I have ever seen in the Mountain Valley Conference in my time being around basketball. ”

The Cougars savored the moment of winning their second Gold Ball as in many years.

“It’s as good as the first time,” Trent Holman said. “This all has been our hopes and dreams. We dreamed to have a Gold Ball and we have been playing since a young age — this has always been the dream. To go back-to-back is an unreal feeling; I am just getting goosebumps just thinking about it.”

A basket by Alex Richard got the Blue Devils (18-4) within 59-58. But Calais’s shots stopped falling and Richard’s bucket ended up being its final points of the game, and the Cougars added six more to pull away.


“Over the last two years, we have been in more of those end-of-games than any team that I can remember,” St. Germain said. “We had so many close games — this year, last year. It has been a great way to prepare for moments like this in a playoff game. I knew whatever we wanted to do — whether we wanted to hold the ball for three minutes or we wanted to attack — we could execute it.”

Richard had eight points in the game while Jacob Sockabasin and Evan Gillespie each had 12 points to lead the Blue Devils.

The Cougars (21-1) have now won five state championships.

Houghton quickly got to work after the opening tipoff and helped the Cougars to an 11-4 lead in the first quarter by scoring nine of those points.

Calais took a timeout and, led by Jeremy Turner’s four points, fought back and evened the score at 15-15.

Houghton hit a 3-pointer at the end of the first quarter, giving Dirigo an 18-15 advantage heading into the second. Houghton finished the first eight minutes with 12 points.


Houghton knew in warmups he was coming out hot.

“When I missed the first 3, that’s when I am going to find it pretty soon,” Houghton said. “I found it early in the game.”

He scored the opening bucket of the second quarter, but soon picked up his second foul and spent the remainder of the half on the bench.

The Cougars knew they had to be more disciplined when Houghton wasn’t on the floor.

“When Charlie isn’t on the floor, we have to box out harder, get more rebounds, play harder defense,” Hutchinson said. “We have to move the ball around a lot more.”

Once again, Calais slowly chipped away at its deficit. Dirigo built its lead up to 30-22 but the Blue Devils scored eight unanswered points, including six by Sockabasin.


Houghton didn’t panic that he couldn’t help his teammates while sitting with the two fouls.

“I knew they were going to hold on and stay out in front as long as they could,” Houghton said.

Holman put home a bucket on a second try right before the buzzer and the Cougars took a 32-30 lead into the half.

“I have never been much of a points scorer, I just get a couple of points here and there,” Holman said. “My job is mostly defense and I try to get everybody else open and take advantage of rebounds and the open areas to crash. I am just happy with the win overall.”

Hutchinson started to heat up for Dirigo in the third quarter, scoring 10 points.

“I was just really hot. Every time I got an open shot, I took it,” Hutchinson said. “They just went in. I don’t know what to say.”


Cook put in seven points for Calais in the third.

“They were very athletic, for sure,” St. Germain said of Calais. “We talked about it before: It’s very difficult to tell how good somebody is from watching on film. Obviously, we haven’t made that four-hour trip over to Calais to see anybody play. We had our own conference tournament to worry about. They were much more athletic than I thought, they rebounded the ball pretty hard and got after it on loose balls. They posed a big threat to us and came down to the last minute.”

For the Dirigo seniors, it has been a whirlwind two years.

“This has been incredible. The coaches we had made it a fun time here,” senior Austin Adams said. “I am glad it went out like this, two-time state champ. It’s going to be a tough ride home, but a happy ride home.”

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