DIXFIELD — Undefeated St. Dom’s took down defending Class C state champion Dirigo 59-51 in an interclass boys basketball matchup Monday.

All five of the Class D Saints’ (11-0) starters scored in double-digits. Taylor Varney led the way with 13 points, while Jonathan Tangilamesu, Kai Taylor, and Jack Brocke each tallied 12 and Campbell Perryman dropped in 10 points.

Varney said it was important to have everyone in the starting five contribute in a big game.

“It really helps us as a team, makes us work together better,” Varney said. “So, it’s not a one-man show. The more we get others involved, the better our game goes.”

Brady Philbrick scored a game-high 20 points to lead Dirigo (7-4), while Nathaniel Wainwright had 15 and Travis Wright chipped in 14.

“We have a bunch of guys that can score on any given night,” Dirigo coach Cody St. Germain said. “We don’t have a lot of guys that can go out and be more athletic and score at the rim, but we have guys that can shoot it. We have a lot of guys that like to go and get offensive rebounds and get after it.”


Both teams said Monday’s game was a de facto playoff matchup.

“There was a lot on the line,” Tangilamesu said. “The crowd was crazy, it was insane.”

St. Dom’s coach Josh LaPrell said the Saints hadn’t played in front of a crowd like Dirigo’s all season.

“We knew they were going to be tough and this was going to be one of our toughest games,” LaPrell said. “Cody does a great job. We knew they were going to be prepared, and their kids always play hard. It’s a great atmosphere to come and play in — this has been the most hostile environment that we have played. It was good to play in this.”

St. Germain said Monday was the latest tight contest that the Cougars have experienced this season.

“All year, we have had games where we were coming from behind,” St. Germain said. “We have played in a lot of close games. And I knew that was one of the few advantages we had on St. Dom’s, that we have played in more hotly contested games as the year has gone on.”


St. Dom’s took control late in the second quarter. With the game tied at 19, the Saints went on a 6-0 run to end the half. The run was capped off by a missed Varney shot that Dirigo knocked into the hoop on a rebound attempt before the buzzer.

“I definitely rushed it, looking at the clock trying to get it off, but it worked in our favor,” Varney said of his shot.

St. Germain said the final basket was a gut punch to the Cougars.

“It was certainly a unique play,” St. Germain said. “I think the boys went into halftime with a little bit less momentum, and I know Nathaniel had that ankle sprain, and he was out for most of the second quarter. All of that took a big momentum swing, and crowd swing we had going on.”

The Saints extended their lead to 32-21 in the third quarter before Dirigo cut it in half. St. Dom’s went on another run to close the quarter, which Perryman ended with a 3-pointer from the corner before the buzzer for a 40-30 advantage.

“We made a run and Dirigio came right back and made a good run,” LaPrell said of the third quarter. “Then we were able to make another one. They didn’t quit — they made a bunch of 3s late (in the fourth) to cut it, and they didn’t give up. It was really a good game.”


The lead grew to 47-32 midway through the fourth quarter before Dirigo mounted its final charge. Philbrick got the Cougars going by hitting open 3s. He had three in the quarter. Wright also had two big 3s in the fourth.

“To have them be grinding at the end of games and being able to stay in it right until the end is pretty impressive to me,” St. Germain said. “They have been working their butts off and getting better every day.”

Tangilamesu said the Saints had to stay calm when Dirigo made its fourth-quarter run.

“We had to keep it in ourselves to keep going and stop them as much as we could,” Tangilamesu said.

St. Dom’s struggled to break Dirigo’s press in the final minutes, but had built enough lead to hang on, and Taylor hit several free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

“Kai stepped up as a freshman,” LaPrell said. “He has struggled from the line, and he struggled from the line tonight. He was there when they counted. I think he hit 7 of 8 down the stretch. He only missed one, and as a freshman, it was huge baskets in a game like this — a playoff-type atmosphere.”

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