AUGUSTA — Despite playing its third game in less than 24 hours, the Gardiner boys basketball team had enough bounce left to knock off a pair of Class A teams Wednesday at the Capital City Hoop Classic.

After beating Brunswick earlier in the day, the Tigers rallied to top Bangor, 46-43, and qualify for the tournament championship. The Tigers beat Dirigo 60-48 in the final game of the tournament to win the title. Gardiner’s Jake Palmer was named the tournament MVP.

Tuesday night in Rockland, the Tigers were taken to overtime before defeating Oceanside to run their Class B record to 5-1.

“It’s always good to win,” said Gardiner senior Jake Palmer who scored a game-high 13 points against Bangor. “We come out hard to play this every year. We’re defending champions, we’ve got to come out and win.”

The second day of the Hoop Classic was devoted to boys play. On Tuesday, the Cony girls won the tournament title. On the boys side, both Cony and Bangor were eliminated in two games. Cony lost to Lawrence, 52-42, and 67-55 to Dirigo, a Class C state finalist last March.

Both Gardiner coach Jason Cassidy and Bangor’s Roger Reed made liberal use of the reserves in their game. The Rams, who are defending Class A state champs, are a team in transition. Three players, including two starters and the sixth man, were temporarily dismissed from the team for violating the school’s athletic code.

“The biggest thing we wanted to do is get on the (Civic Center) floor,” Reed said. “We had a real tough game last night (a regular season win against Brunswick) and are still trying to evaluate. We’ve had to make some adjustments and we’re still trying to find out how those adjustments are going to go.”

Bangor led at every checkpoint except the final one. The Rams took a 27-19 lead early in the second half when Alex Campbell hit a 3-pointer from the right side. The Tigers responded with a seven-point run highlighted by Tyler Jamison’s 3-pointer and from there it was a dogfight.

The teams traded fourth-quarter leads until Palmer’s 3-pointer from the left side gave Gardiner a 42-41 lead with 1 minute, 41 seconds left. Palmer completed the victory by going 4 for 4 from the foul line. Justin Scripture led the Rams with 11 points while Aaron Toman scored 10 for the Tigers.

Cony and Lawrence went to their benches throughout the game, beginning as early as two minutes into the first quarter. They meet in a regular-season game in Fairfield on Jan. 10. And both teams play Brunswick as well.

“We said playing Cony, playing Brunswick, we’re going to run in two groups and get experience on this floor,” Lawrence coach Mike McGee said. “Last year (in the tournament) we didn’t play too well on this floor.”

After senior Shaun Carroll converted a three-point play to make it 16-13, the Bulldogs never trailed. Cony drew to 44-40 when Zach Lachance hit a long 3 from the left side, but Keith Chesley responded with a pair of layups and Cony coach Tim Bonsant cleared his bench.

Spencer Carey led Lawrence with 10 points while Carroll scored nine and grabbed six rebounds. Walker Cooper led the Rams with eight points.

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Earlier in the tournament, Gardiner defeated Brunswick 57-50 behind 15 points from Aaron Toman and 10 from Matt Hall. Konnor Scarponi led the Dragons with 13 points. Also, Bangor lost 57-42 to Dirigo and Cody St. Germain who scored 20 points. Ellis Throckmorton led the Rams with 10. Josiah Hayward scored 15 points for Cony in its loss to Dirigo. Germain led the Cougars with 23 points while Mitch Stanley added 11.

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

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