On paper, Winslow’s preliminary round Eastern Maine Class B tournament game against Gardiner looks like a mismatch.
Winslow finished 6-12 and squeaked into the 13th and final spot while Gardiner (14-4) finished fourth and is on a roll, having won six straight games. But Winslow won the one regular-season meeting between the teams, 44-43 in Gardiner.
The teams meet again Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Gardiner with the winner earning a trip to the tournament at the Bangor Auditorium. Boys prelim games, with a couple of exceptions, will be played Wednesday.
“Gardiner’s playing, I think, some of their best basketball,” Winslow coach Lindsey Welch said. “I think if we can control the game and play our basketball (we can win).”
The Tigers pressed Welch’s Black Raiders effectively early and took a 14-point lead, but got into foul trouble and took off their press which allowed Winslow back into the game. Sophomore Devin Fitzgibbons made a free throw to ice the win with five seconds left to play.
“Nothing went right for us in that game,” Gardiner coach Mike Gray said. “We’re playing so much better now. That game was kind of a wakeup call for us.”
Gray hopes the fact Winslow won the first meeting works in his team’s favor.
“Our girls know this team can beat us,” he said. “That’s going to lead us to be ready to play.”
Ally Day leads the Tigers in scoring at 10.8 points per game. followed by Kylee Granholm at 10.2. Both were in foul trouble in the first meeting and combined for just nine points. Fitzgibbons leads the Black Raiders at 14 points per game.
In another girls prelim game, No. 13 Carrabec (5-13) travels to Portland to take on No. 4 Waynflete. The teams didn’t play in the regular season.
In boys prelims, Waterville and Winslow are both at home. No. 6 Winslow (13-5) hosts No. 11 Washington Academy (10-8). The teams didn’t play in the regular season. No. 7 Waterville (13-5) hosts No. 10 Old Town (1-08). The teams didn’t play in the regular season but Waterville enters the tournament as one of the top teams in Eastern Class B with 11 wins in a row.
In another Eastern Maine Class B prelim, No. 9 Nokomis (10-8) travels to Rockport to face No. 8 Camden Hills (12-6). The host Windjammers won the regular season meeting 60-47. Nokomis coach Carl Parker said the key to the game for his team is “being able to handle their pressure. We didn’t do a very good job with their pressure (the last game).”
Senior Spencer Hartsgrove led the Warriors in scoring at 17 points per game. followed by junior Andrew Cartwright at 13.5.
“So much of it comes down to making shots,” Parker said. “If Andrew makes his hots he can be very explosive. And we have to rebound the ball.”
Gary Hawkins — 621-5638