GARDINER — The Gardiner Tigers weathered the Hannah Marks storm in the third quarter Tuesday night and emerged with their biggest win of the season.

Marks exploded for five 3-pointers and 17 points in the third quarter, but she and everyone else on Medomak Valley went ice cold in the fourth. While the Panthers were missing their first 14 shots from the floor, the Tigers were making theirs from the field and the free throw line to hold on for a 47-43 win.

Marks finished with 25 points, but just three in the final period. Lauren Chadwick led Gardiner (4-4) with 20 points and six rebounds.

“We talked about it. She’s going to go off. We need to just get through it, take care of the ball and do the little things,” Gardiner coach Mike Gray said of Marks. “That’s a big win. We’ve been playing everybody close. It’s one thing to know we can play with the best teams in the league. It’s another to leave the building with a win.”

The win was still in doubt virtually to the end even though Medomak’s only field goal of the final eight minutes didn’t come until Marks hit her sixth 3-pointer with 37 seconds to go. That made it 45-41 Tigers.

Sophie Cohen stole the ensuing inbounds pass, got fouled and made both of her free throws to pull the Panthers within two. Medomak quickly fouled Savannah Vinton-Mullens, who made one of two from the line with 20 seconds remaining.

With Gardiner over-playing Marks, Gabby DePatsy had two chances to tie it with 3-point attempts. Both missed, Logan Granholm rebounded the second and made her first free throw to seal it with 0.6 of a second remaining.

“The last sequence, we were trying to get it to either (Marks) or DePatsy on the wing, and DePatsy is going to be more open than Hannah Marks because obviously they’re going to take her away,” Medomak coach Randy Hooper said. “But we didn’t lose that game in the last sequence. We lost it in the first and second quarter just completely getting outplayed and outcoached.”

Gardiner went to Chadwick early and often offensively. The sophomore scored the Tigers’ first 10 points as they built a 12-11 lead after one.

“Lauren picked us up in the beginning,” senior guard Morgan Carver said. “She gives us a lead and that helps us out. A lot of our points come from transition. We’re not very big, but we’re fast.”

Carver, meanwhile, drew the unenviable task of guarding Marks and did a solid job, limiting the point guard to one field goal and five points in the first half.

“She tries to fake you out a lot so you’ve just got to stay in front and have your hand up at all times because she will shoot from anywhere,” Carver said.

The Tigers scored the last six points of the half to take a 23-17 lead into the locker room. Three-pointers by Chadwick and Vinton-Mullens extended the lead to 29-20 early in the third, but that just seemed to entice Marks into a long-range shooting contest.

“All we talked about at practice this afternoon and our talk pregame was Hannah Marks,” Gray said. “We told them all of these other kids can score, but if they beat us, she’s the one that will have to go off.”

Marks’ fourth 3-pointer of the period gave the Panthers their first lead since the opening minutes at 31-30. Her fifth gave them a 34-31 lead heading into the fourth.

Gardiner employed a box-and-one with Leah Weymouth shadowing Marks to start the quarter. Weymouth also hit a couple of big shots — a 3-pointer and a putback — early in the period that helped put the Tigers in front for good.

“We switched it up to a zone, the kind of junk defense that we never play,” Gray said. “I thought Morgan did a good job with her. I thought Leah Weymouth in the fourth quarter did a really nice job with her.”

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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