GARDINER — The mismatch that was on paper materialized on the court Tuesday night when No. 4 Gardiner hosted No. 13 Foxcroft in an Eastern Maine Class B girls basketball prelim.

Gardiner led from start to finish with a few bumps in between, posting a 68-37 victory. The Tigers (16-3) face No. 5 Mt. Desert Island at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Bangor Auditorium while Foxcroft ended the season 5-14.

This was a daunting task for the visiting Ponies, who moved up to Class B this season. The Tigers just had too much size, experience and depth. Nine different players scored for Gardiner, led by Kelly Macomber, Paige Pilsbury and Ally Day with 12 points each.

“All year I think one of the things that’s helped us out has been our depth,” Gardiner coach Mike Gray said. “We keep throwing kids out there.”

The Tigers jumped out to a 19-6 first-quarter lead as Pilsbury scored five points and Day added five off the bench. They might have ended the game more quickly if not for some early foul trouble.

“Usually we play pretty tenacious defense and that gets our momentum going,” Gardiner senior Jenna Moore said. “The fouls were being called tight and we didn’t adjust quickly enough and it sat a few of our players.”

Day provided her usual lift off the bench by scoring the last five points of the first quarter. The 5-foot-6 sophomore finished with seven rebounds and played strong defense.

Macomber scored 10 points in the second quarter as the Tigers found the 6-foot-1 junior in the paint for layups or short jump shots.

Kylee Granholm, who finished with five assists, found Macomber for a pair of easy layups and the Tigers flowed when the junior point guard was on the floor.

“Kylee keeps us running,” Moore said. “We’re all in pretty good game shape so we like to run and Kylee keeps it that way.” Gray used a number of player combinations in third quarter and it cost the Tigers a little as they were outscored 13-12. Foxcroft senior Hilary Kendall scored six of her game-high 18 points in the quarter while sophomore center Amber Anderson added seven.

“There were probably some things we could have done differently,” first-year Foxcroft coach Michelle Paradis said. “When we played well we pressed them and caused some havoc and we actually had a little bit of a comeback. We’re young and we’ll keep working on it.”

Gardiner’s Kelsey Moody salvaged an otherwise lackluster quarter when she banked home a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it 45-29. Day scored the first six points of the fourth quarter off two assists from Granholm and another from Pilsbury as the Tigers quickly pushed the lead to 20 points.

“I feel the last few games –the Morse game, the MCI game, the Leavitt game — we’re playing better and better,” Gray said.

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

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