Wednesday, April 23, 2014
A pair of polished point guards directing two teams that want to run should make for an exciting matchup when top-seeded Boothbay faces No. 4 Madison in Western Maine Class C semifinal tournament basketball action Thurday.
In the first game of the night at the Augusta Civic Center, No. 2 Waynflete faces No. 3 Dirigo.
Madison and Boothbay met once in the regular season with Boothbay pulling out a 55-51 win on its home court. Madison played that game without senior Austin Kane, who will be in the lineup tonight despite a broken bone in his right hand.
“We played pretty well considering we were short-handed,” Madison coach Mike Packard said. “A lot of our younger kids stepped up.”
A pair of experienced senior point guards — Boothbay’s Anthony DiMauro and Madison’s Dylan Price — direct their teams. Both were first-team Mountain Valley conference all-star selections.
“The Price kid’s really good,” Boothbay coach I.J. Pinkham said. “He penetrates really well.”
DiMauro has started at point guard for four years and is at his best going to the basket to score or pass to an open teammate.
“We don’t mind running with them, we just have to contain DiMauro,” Packard said. “When he’s in the open court he’s very dangerous. I think we’ve got quick enough guards so we can at least do an adequate job on him.”
Kane led the Bulldogs in scoring this season at 17 points a game followed by Price. DiMauro and sophomore John Hepburn averaged 16 points a game for the Seahawks.
“I don’t know how we won 17 games,” Pinkham said. “I really don’t. “We struggle in a halfcourt offense and we have trouble defending good people. What we do well is we get out and go. They better be ready to run.”
Dirigo and Waynflete didn’t play during the regular season, but certainly have a lot of respect for one another. Waynflete returns four starters from last year’s tournament team while Dirigo brings back one starter from a team that won the Class C state championship last season..
“Waynflete’s probably one of the more athletic teams in the field," Dirigo coach Travis Magnusson said.
Waynflete returns two strong rebounders and scorers in Serge Nyirikamba and Paul Runyambo along with Mohammed Suja who scored 27 points off the bench in the team’s quarterfinal win over Monmouth, including seven 3-pointers.
Dirigo relies heavily on its defense, led by point guard T.J. Frost. The Cougars also have an outstanding freshman in Riley Robinson who scored 20 points in a quarterfinal win against Old Orchard.
“I think it’s going to be a perimeter game,” Waynflete coach Rich Henry said. “Them putting pressure on us on the perimeter and us trying to get it inside to our studs. We’ll see how it works out.”
Gary Hawkins — 621-5638