MONMOUTH — The Monmouth girls basketball team continued its winning streak, dominating Class C South foe Dirigo 51-32 on Friday.

The Mustangs have now won three in row.

“We just went a long stretch without a game, so that can always be hard to build that momentum,” Monmouth coach Molly Menice said. “We’ve just really picked it up, both in practices and in games, our intensity, and I think that is really starting to show, and we’re just kind of building momentum from there.”

Monmouth (3-6) senior Haley DeHahn scored the first points of the game with a 3-pointer about 15 seconds in, and, paced by Maeve Burgess’ five points, the Mustangs outscored the Cougars 15-6 in the opening quarter.

“It felt good,” DeHahn said about putting the first points on the board. “Last year, I didn’t end up playing, but this year, it feels really good. I feel better out there on the court, and it’s fun as a team. We all look really good and we feel good together.”

Menice said the Mustangs’ defensive pressure was key to Friday night’s victory, because once they are able to create pressure, they feed off the momentum on the offensive end. DeHahn added that the Mustangs are moving more on defense than they used to, and they have worked in practice to improve their communication, which has translated well into their games.


Dirigo (1-6) gained some momentum in the second and matched Monmouth with eight points in the period. Aleiah Ward led the Dirigo defense, most notably when she blocked a shot by Lillian Palleschi, and Diana Cayer scored four points for the Cougars, who trailed 23-14 at halftime.

Dirigo coach Reggie Weston said the second quarter came down to execution for the Cougars, who were able to loosen up after a few minutes on the court.

“They come out and they actually got some flow to the game,” Weston said. “When you’re getting pressured like Monmouth was … they finally started seeing some backdoors and getting some open shots outside, getting some screening and finally get some shots up, because we got a couple of girls can shoot.”

The Mustangs took off in the third quarter, adding 21 points to Dirigo’s four. DeHahn and Kaitlyn Frost, whose long-range 3-pointer lit up the tiny but mighty Monmouth student section, led the way with seven points apiece in the third.

Frost said swinging the ball and finding the open shot was what the offense needed to do — and did — in Friday’s game.

“I’ve been like not shooting very well, so it felt good to find something going,” Frost said.


Frost also said the key difference between the beginning of the season and now for the Mustangs has been the “energy in practice, and mentally staying in the game,” which was something the team struggled with in the beginning.

DeHahn echoed that sentiment, especially with Friday’s game being so physical. There were numerous injuries and fouls on both teams, and tensions rose on the court in the second half.

“A lot of times we give up, but this game we worked really hard to stay in it and just keep working through it,” DeHahn said. “We tried our best to stay as mentally in it as we could. We definitely showed that in the fourth quarter.”

Monmouth maintained control in the fourth, intercepting several passes and repossessing several rebounds.

“I honestly think that everybody did their job tonight,” Menice said. “That was the biggest thing. A lot of our typical top scorers kind of dip in, and somebody else steps up. I think that’s what really helped us, is that everybody stepped up in the moments that they needed to.”

Dirigo freshman Abigail Luczynski found her shooting stroke in the fourth, hitting two 3s and scoring 14 of her game-high 19 points. Luczynksi made three treys in the game.


“If you leave her open — I think they relaxed their defense a little bit, and when she gets open, she can shoot,” Weston said. “A couple others, too. Sophia (Nino-Aguirre) can shoot very well, Keira (Reny) can shoot very well …

“They were playing tight defense, and at the end they started getting a little tired, and Abby was getting free, so she’s taking the shots.”

Along with her two 3-pointers, Luczynski shot 6 for 6 at the foul line in the fourth quarter, and made 8 of 11 in the game.

Cayer added eight points for the Cougars.

Despite Cayer and Luczynski chipping away at Monmouth’s lead in the final quarter, Weston said the Cougars looked flat in Friday’s game and were lacking their usual drive. He also said that many of the team members have struggled with sickness recently, which likely played a factor.

Looking to the rest of the season, Weston said he plans to have Dirigo work in practices on boxing out, moving the ball around and taking the safe play.

Frost led Monmouth with 12 points and DeHahn finished with 10. Each drained a pair of 3s. Burgess and Rileigh Chase contributed seven points apiece and Reese Beaudoin and Taryn Keleher each scored six.

“Hopefully we can just keep this momentum going,” DeHahn and Frost both said.

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