First-year Gardiner Area High School girls basketball assistant coach Ginger Shaw wasn’t sure what to make of senior Jenna Moore the first day of practice last fall.

“(She) asked ‘Does Jenna always work that hard?’ ” Gardiner coach Mike Gray said.

Shaw got her answer at subsequent practices and during games. Moore just doesn’t let up.

“When your best player is your hardest worker, all the other kids know they have to push it even more,” Gray said.

Moore led the Tigers in scoring, steals and assists this season, one of Gardiner’s best in which it finished 17-4 and won an Eastern B tournament game. Moore was recognized by Eastern Maine coaches and selected to play in Saturday’s Maine McDonald’s Senior All-Star Games. She’s the first Gardiner player chosen for the team since Becky Dixon in 2006.

“It’s a pretty big honor,” Moore said. “We’ve only had one other player chosen from the Gardiner girls team as long as my coach has been coaching.”

Moore averaged 10 points a game for a team that had a different leading scorer just about every night. Gray said Moore really worked to expand her shooting range — she made 25 3-pointers this season — but in several games he asked her to shoot more.

“Then she went on a tear,” Gray said.

The tear included 19 points and eight steals against Camden Hills as the Tigers knocked off the previously unbeaten Windjammers. Moore followed with a 21-point effort against defending Class B state champion Leavitt. The 5-foot-7 guard picked her spots well, saving her best scoring efforts for the team’s toughest opponents. In Gardiner’s quarterfinal tournament win against Mt. Desert Island, Moore scored 21 points and finished with nine assists.

Moore said she and her teammates saw this season’s success coming after they reached the tournament last year.

“We knew we could do it this year,” she said. “We played good defense every night.”

Moore was as valuable on defense as she was on offense. She was named to the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B division’s first-team all-defensive squad and usually guarded the opposition’s high-scoring guard or forward.

“She’s strong enough and versatile enough she can do that,” Gray said.

Moore’s greatest contribution to the team, though, was her leadership. A two-year captain, Moore downplayed her role, but Gray did not.

“I’ve never coached a kid that the other kids all respect on and off the floor like they do with Jenna,” Gray said. “She’s a great leader all around.”

Gray plays field hockey in the fall, softball in the spring and basketball year round. She developed her work ethic, she said, playing AAU ball as a youngster.

“I’ve had some tough coaches through the years,” she said. “When you play AAU you pay to be there. Why waste your time?”

Moore has applied to the University of Southern Maine and St. Joseph’s College and hopes to play basketball at either of those schools. She’s been in touch with both coaches.

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]

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