LISBON — Sophomore guard Caden Boone can think on his feet and improvise at a moment’s notice.

Boone saw the crucial play to perhaps put Lisbon over the top against Dirigo wasn’t working so he took the ball, pivoted toward the hoop and went up for the game-winning two points to help hand-deliver the Greyhounds’ 50-49 victory in a Mountain Valley Conference boys basketball showdown Tuesday night.

The last three minutes of the game were a back-and-forth affair, with the lead changing hand several times in that short duration. But the lanky guard (11 points) got free, went inside and scored the with 1.6 seconds left in the game.

 “Well, we ran our play through and then it just didn’t work out,” Boone said. “I was like, ‘I am just going to cut. If I make it, I make it. I ended up making it and it was a high moment.

“It feels really good. I feel like it was more of a team effort to get to that tie, but it feels really good after the game. The fans were there, too, and that helped us out.”

The game was a tale of two different halves, with the Cougars opening up in the first quarter and then holding on to a 28-20 lead at halftime. The Greyhounds made some key adjustments and hounded the Cougars until the last seconds of the second half and eventually prevailed.

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Lisbon coach Jake Gentle said his Greyhounds were going to run one of their out-of-bounds plays in those crucial seconds.

“(Boone) just made the right read and the guy turned his head and (Boone) was able to cut on him and got the open look and the layup,” Gentle said. “It was fortunate. I thought a five-second call was going to go because Dirigo was playing such great defense on it, and Caden made a heads-up basketball play to cut to the basket.”

Dirigo and Lisbon gave fans a pretty good idea that it was one of those “could go any way” games in this MVC showdown.

Levi Tibbetts had 15 points and Mason Booker added 11 for Lisbon while Dirigo’s Charlie Houghton threw in the game-high 16 points and Trent Holman had eight.

Dirigo (seven 3-pointers) unleashed the long-range stuff for two quarters while Lisbon bided its time and tried to work the ball inside of Dirigo’s annoying defense.

“I like how the second half and even the second quarter we just dug down defensively and just really made things tough for them,” Gentle said. “They came out on fire and shooting the ball extremely well. We were fortunate that they probably didn’t shoot as well in the second half as they did in the first half.”

The first quarter was a back-and-forth contest that began with Boone stealing the ball and driving to the net for two points. That same quarter ended with Cougars junior guard Trenton Hutchinson going under the net and slipping the ball in and giving Dirigo a healthy 20-11 lead.

“I felt like we shot the ball pretty well in the first half,” Dirigo coach Cody St. Germain said. “Then they shot the ball well in the second half. We had a big effort to try and take away Tibbetts inside. He obviously is big and posts some matchup problems for us.

“I told my guys that I didn’t feel like in the last two minutes we didn’t necessarily lose the game. We didn’t give it away. I feel like Lisbon came out and won it.” 

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