MADISON — Dirigo High School’s senior forward Riley Robinson is one of the top scorers in the state, but at halftime of Tuesday’s game at Madison, he had just three points, and his Cougars were down by a point.

Robinson wasn’t worried.

“We don’t care who scores, as long as we score,” Robinson said.

Robinson got his offense going in the second half, and that, combined with a strong defensive effort, lifted Dirigo to the big 62-46 Mountain Valley Conference win over the Bulldogs.

Dirigo is now 9-2, and Madison is 10-2.

“I’m really proud of the guys’ effort and toughness today. That was one of our best wins in a while. Madison’s a very good team. This is as big as it gets,” Dirigo coach Travis Magnusson said. “It came down to our man-to-man defense. Our man-to-man defense was really good in that fourth quarter.”

Dirigo changed up its defense throughout the game, from zone in the first half to a tight man-to-man look in the key fourth quarter, when the Cougars broke open what was a close game until the final minutes. Ahead 43-38 after three quarters, Dirigo forced five turnovers in the fourth quarter while holding the Bulldogs to eight points over the final eight minutes.

“They put a little bit more pressure on us in the second half. We were expecting it, and our shots didn’t fall like they did in the first half,” Madison coach Jason Furbush said.

Added Robinson: “We like to mix it up, give them different looks, and that really helped us win the game tonight.”

After scoring just three points in the first half, Robinson scored his team’s first 10 points of the third quarter. Robinson’s layup with 6:15 left in the third gave the Cougars the lead for good, 29-28. While the Bulldogs trapped Robinson as soon as he came across midcourt, Magnusson had his senior head toward the inside, where he was able to get the ball and get good shots, or to the line. Robinson was 8 for 10 from the line.

“We know Robinson’s going to get some. He’s probably the best player in the conference. We just tried to contain him,” Furbush said. “In the second half, I had guys in foul trouble and we played off him a litle bit more than we probably should have. I was running out of guns on the bench to come in and guard him.”

“Guys found (Robinson), and not only did he score, but with the attention he got, other guys got wide open looks,” Magnusson said. “It’s hard to double team him, because we’ve got too many other good players.”

Clay Sweat had 12 points for the Cougars, while Gavin Arsenault added seven.

Madison trailed early, 12-5, midway through the first quarter, before it started to find holes in Dirigo’s zone. Throughout the first half, the Bulldogs relied on 12-foot jump shots. Derek LeBlanc’s short jumper from the middle of the lane with just under two minutes left in the second quarter gave Madison a 24-21 lead, its largest lead of the night.

“We were trying to switch it up a lot to try to confuse them a little bit, but they were doing a good job recognizing what we were in,” Magnusson said.

LeBlanc led Madison with 13 points. Kaine Hutchins had 10 rebounds for Dirigo, including five offensive boards.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

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Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM