BANGOR — Shortly after watching one top seed go down at the Cross Insurance Center on Saturday afternoon, the Presque Isle High School girls basketball team wanted to make sure they wouldn’t be a second.
As it turned out, the Wildcats had little to worry about. Presque Isle pulled away from No. 9 Gardiner in the first half, and cruised to a 67-42 win in the Eastern Class B quarterfinals.
No. 1 Presque Isle, now 19-0, will face No. 5 Foxcroft Academy in the semifinals on Wednesday. Gardiner ends the season at 12-8.
Throughout the game, Gardiner had trouble defending Presque Isles’s inside combination of Krystal Kingsbury (23 points) and Regan Nelson (13 points). Guard Hannah Graham also provided the Wildcats offense in the paint and scored 20 points.
With the inside game working, the Wildcats made a season-low two 3-pointers.
“We thought they’d have a hard time with Regan and Krystal inside, and they did. If we start making shots outside, I think we’ll be tough to stop,” Presque Isle coach Jeff Hudson said.
Ahead 19-13 after a quarter, Presque Isle opened the second quarter with a 9-0 run to break the game open.
“We came in knowing what they were going to do. They did a good job outworking us in the post, as far as getting position. Their two bigs, Kingsbury and Nelson, are just big and strong,” Gardiner coach Mike Gray said. “I thought in the first half, the second quarter especially, we had just as many good looks inside. We just didn’t knock the shots down.”
Added Hudson: “Our energy was good the whole game. We’re a team, we get on a run, we’ll have two or three of those 9-0 runs a game.”
Ahead 35-19 at the half, the Wildcats opened the third quarter with an 11-4 run.
“Against a good team like that, those are the runs they’re going to make you just have to try and limit,” Gray said.
Lauren Chadwick led the Tigers with 14 points.