WINSLOW — In beating Gardiner on Friday night, Winslow excelled in two areas that might have looked like problems after Winslow’s first game: The Black Raiders made their clutch free throws, and they succeeded against a good team with both Devin Fitzgibbons and Heather Kervin on the bench.

Winslow missed several clutch free throws in a one-point loss to Maranacook on opening night. Against Gardiner, Kervin and Fitzgibbons both missed most of the first three quarters with foul trouble, but combined to go 7 for 8 from the line down the stretch as the Raiders held on for a 42-33 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B girls basketball victory.

“Fourth quarter, we were 8 for 10 (on free throws),” Winslow coach Lindsey Welch said. “Our goal as a team is 70 percent. It’s only been a week, but we got after it this week on the free throw line, because that wasn’t us last week.”

While Winslow led 7-0 in the opening minutes, both teams scuffled with foul trouble throughout the first half. Kervin, Fitzgibbons and Ciara LeClair each had two fouls in the first half for Winslow, while Gardiner’s Lauren Chadwick and Logan Granholm each had to sit because of fouls.

Senior Morgan Carver (game-high 14 points) got Gardiner’s offense going, scoring all 10 of the Tigers points in the first quarter. Carver converted a three-point play and also drained a 3-pointer, and Winslow’s lead was down to 11-10 after one.

“Morgan Carver kept us in the game early,” Gardiner coach Mike Gray said. “Every night (for us), it’s going to be different kids.”

Welch sat Kervin and Fitzgibbons to save them for later, and the Raiders relied on LeClair as their main scoring threat. LeClair, a sophomore, had 11 of her team-high 13 points in the first half, including a three to beat the second-quarter buzzer and leave Winslow up 22-16 at the half.

“With having two of our best players on the bench the first half of the game, and we’re going into halftime up six — I’ll take it,” Welch said. “Ciara knocked down some shots. Delaney Wood going coast to coast and finishing in control — that’s what we’ve been preaching to her, and she’s got it.”

Wood, a 5-foot-7 junior guard, twice drove down the middle for layups in the third quarter. She finished with five points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Although Fitzgibbons and Kervin had taken only four shots between them, Winslow led 32-21 with less than two minutes to play in the third quarter.

The Tigers needed some offense, and got it from sophomore Leah Weymouth, who had taken only one shot to that point. On consecutive trips down the floor, Weymouth hit outside jumpers. After that, she blocked a shot at the other end.

Gardiner got as close as 33-28, but missed four straight free throws early in the fourth quarter. Kervin and Fitzgibbons combined for nine of Winslow’s 10 points in the fourth quarter.

Winslow was comfortably ahead 39-28 with about two minutes left, but Gardiner made it interesting with a 3-pointer by Weymouth and a basket by Carver off a steal. Down 39-33, the Tigers forced another turnover with over a minute left, but missed a shot and would not score again.

Gardiner now sits at 1-2, and Gray talked after the game about how tough the KVAC is this winter. On Friday, the Tigers had to settle for being part of the reason the league is so balanced.

“It’s hard, and I’m sure they think the same thing,” Gray said. “They had opportunities to open things up. We had opportunities to take the lead earlier. It’s just missed opportunities. It’s good, because we know it’s things we can fix. But it’s tough, because you look at it and say, ‘Geez, we could have done it tonight.’ It’s about improving, and it’s about fixing these things.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

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Twitter: @Matt_DiFilippo