AUGUSTA — Dirigo was not happy to find itself in a tie game at halftime Monday.

The Cougars were itching to run.

Riley Robinson opened the second half of the Western Class C boys’ basketball quarterfinal with a driving basket. Tyler Frost dashed in for a layup from the left baseline. Clayton Swett followed with a short jumper and another layup.

The eight quick points provided the separation that second-seeded Dirigo needed to oust Old Orchard Beach 51-44 at the Augusta Civic Center.

“We just had to rebound better. They were kind of sneaky, because they don’t have great height, but they jump better than we thought they did,” Dirigo Coach Travis Magnusson said. “We just had to attack the basket more. We settled for a lot of 3s in the first half.”

Swett scored 10 of his 14 points in the second half. Robinson also scored 14 points – 10 of them on free throws – as Dirigo (17-2) got the Seagulls (12-8) in foul trouble. Dirigo made 11 of 15 free throws in the fourth quarter to keep Old Orchard Beach at bay.

“We know if you get them in foul trouble and get to the line, we’re usually good free-throw shooters,” Swett said. “A lot of games this year have come down to the fourth quarter, and free throws have definitely won most of them for us.”

Old Orchard Beach cut the lead to 36-32 early in the fourth quarter. Dirigo responded with a 10-1 run to put it away.

“We got stop after stop after stop. We made some big plays defensively,” Magnusson said.

Erik Hogan used his quickness to score 13 points for the seventh-seeded Seagulls.

Evan Christensen had eight points in the first half to help Old Orchard Beach forge a 24-24 tie at intermission. But he drew a lot of defensive attention in the second half and didn’t score again until hitting three free throws in the final minute.

“It looked like they were face-guarding him a little bit and making it difficult for him to get the ball on the perimeter,” Old Orchard Beach Coach John Regan said. “But we teach him to back cut and he knows how to get open.”

The Seagulls started three juniors and a sophomore, so Regan is hopeful his team will return to the state tournament.

Dirigo advances to face Waynflete at 7 p.m. Thursday.

“It’s always tough to win here,” Magnusson said. “All eight teams that came here today, I think, had a chance to win it all.

“We did not shoot the ball well tonight. But we will.”