DIXFIELD — Telstar narrowly pulled away in the fourth quarter to secure the 36-30 win against Dirigo on Saturday in a back-and-forth, scrappy MVC girls basketball season opener at Defoe Gymnasium.

Rebels seniors Morgan Zetts (19 points) and Karen Marshall (11 points) were a dynamic duo in Saturday’s game, reaffirming the nickname of “Twin Towers” given by Telstar coach Alec Newell.

“Those two have just worked so well together, they’re kind of our twin towers,” Newell said. “As they go, we go, in a lot of ways. They’re seniors, they’re good leaders and they step up when I need to have them step up on the court.”

The first quarter started with a six-point run by the Rebels (1-0) until Cougars (0-1) freshman Abigail Luczynski found the net twice, tallying two 3-pointers. Sophia Nino-Aguirre snuck another two points in for the Cougars before the second quarter, in an effort to combat the two 2-pointers and free throw Zetts made for the Rebels, who led 10-8 after one period.

The back-and-forth shots and rebounds on both sides of the court in the first period were indicative of the scrappy style of play by both teams. Zetts found herself battling for multiple 50-50 balls on the floor for the Rebels while Aleiah Ward did the same for the Cougars.

“Dirigo is a team that’s scrappy, they work hard, they hustle, they’re well-coached and we knew we were going to have our hands full,” Newell said. “At the end, we were keeping our composure and not succumbing to the pressure because we didn’t want them to feel like it was going one way, even though we wanted it to go our way.”


Dirigo coach Reggie Weston said Saturday’s game was not the only battle the team has faced this season, as the Cougars lost 95% of their shooters from last season. He also said Marshall knew his plays, since she played with the team over the summer, so he had to change several of his play calls last-minute before the game.

“I’ve got a lot of new faces,” Weston said. “We’re trying to get together, but we’ve missed a couple practices due to snow days, which is unfortunate for us here in the north. We’re trying to catch up and work on the offense.”

Luczynski was the primary scorer for Dirigo (12 points), despite being a freshman. Weston said she has been working on how to shoot behind screens and pick-and-roll.

“We just haven’t worked together enough yet, but we’re going to get there,” Weston said. “We gave them a game; I knew it was going to be a tough one.”

Marshall said she knew going into the game that Dirigo would run a zone defense, not man-to-man, but overall feels like the Rebels won from working well under pressure. She also completed five out of six of her free-throw attempts, only missing one in the third quarter.

“I felt great,” Marshall said about her two 3-pointers, with one each in the first and fourth quarters. “I was hearing some stuff from the student section and that really just got me hyped, because I made all my shots, so I think I stopped it real quick.”


Zetts said she knows her size and strength are a benefit on the court, so she plays that to her advantage while getting inside for several close shots or drawing a foul.

“I’m a very passionate player and I love to win,” Zetts said. “I love to get on the ground and get aggressive, so just any chance I get I’m going after that ball.”

Zetts led the Rebels scoring for most of the game, tallying five points on a pair of 2-pointers and a free throw in the first quarter, three baskets in the second quarter, two more and two free throws in the third quarter and finishing the fourth quarter with another two points.

Despite her consistency, she said she was nervous going into halftime because it didn’t yet feel like a secure win, with the Rebels clinging to a 17-14 lead.

“I was a little nervous, but I have confidence in my team and my bench and everyone,” Zetts said. “It’s awesome just to be able to have support from the fans, too. We had a lot of people show up today, so I just knew that what we need to do to get it done and we did it.”

Both teams scored seven points in the third quarter before Telstar used a 12-9 fourth to secure the win.

Dirigo is back in action at Sacopee Valley (0-1) on Monday and Telstar is scheduled to play Kents Hill (0-0) at home on Wednesday.

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