Editor’s note: This story was edited at 1:55 p.m. Thursday to corret the time of the regional final.

BANGOR — The word filters out from up north, seemingly every year: Even though the Presque Isle girls didn’t play the toughest schedule, they are even better this season.

On Wednesday night, Gardiner found out that was true. Or at the very least, it’s true when Presque Isle scores 14 points in less than 2 1/2 minutes.

Presque Isle turned a tight game into a game of catch-up with a devastating run in the first quarter, and went on to defeat Gardiner, 63-44, in an Eastern B girls basketball semifinal at Bangor Auditorium.

No. 1 Presque Isle (20-0) now moves on to face No. 2 Nokomis (19-0) in the Eastern B final at 2:05 p.m. Saturday. Gardiner, the No. 4 seed, finishes at 17-4.

Hannah Graham led Presque Isle with 16 points, but the key for the Wildcats was that just about everyone on the court was a scoring threat. Halfway through the second quarter, Presque Isle led 32-14, and no one for the Wildcats had more than six points. As it was, the Wildcats used eight players in the first half, and six of them had at least five points. The teams looked even as they felt each other out over the first few minutes. Presque Isle went on a little spurt, and led 9-4 when Gardiner took a 30-second timeout with 2:25 left in the first quarter.

Over the next 50 seconds, the Wildcats scored seven straight points, and suddenly led 16-4. They added seven more points before the quarter was out, and ended up with 14 points in those two minutes and 25 seconds to lead 23-8.

It ended up being an 18-2 run for Presque Isle, and that essentially decided the game. By the time the Tigers recovered from their shell shock, it was too late. Gardiner used the play of Ally Day, Jenna Moore, and Katie McAllister for an 11-2 run to get within 36-25, but Presque Isle still led 43-27 at halftime. In the second half, Gardiner never got closer than 12 points.

The Tigers made little mistakes early that wouldn’t have been fatal against weaker competition. They were a step slow to some rebounds in the first half, and when Kelly Macomber had to sit with foul trouble, Gardiner had trouble defending Presque Isle’s dribble penetration, especially by Kayla Richards.

It was still a remarkable season for the Tigers, one in which they proved they could play with the best teams in Class B. Gardiner’s only losses over the winter were to Leavitt (twice), Nokomis, and Presque Isle.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243


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