GARDINER — A little film study over bacon and eggs gave the Gardiner Tigers the perfect start to their day and Friday night’s game against Lincoln Academy.

Gardiner dismantled Lincoln’s zone to roar out to a 22-6 lead after one period and never let up in a 66-43 win at John A. Bragoli Memorial Gym.

Seth McFarland scored nine of his game-high 23 points and Brad Weston eight of his 18 points in the first quarter for the Tigers. who shot 54 percent from the floor.

“Coach told us in pregame that they were going come out in a zone and we needed to shoot it, get to the rim or get to the foul line,” said Weston, who also had a team-high six rebounds. “Either way, we needed to get our shots up and we ended up hitting them in the first half. We broke apart their zone and they had to go to man.”

“We had a team brunch today and watched some film. We’ve got Maranacook next (Tuesday) and we’ve been watching the two of them play each other a little bit,” Gardiner coach Jason Cassidy said. “Sometimes the kids get in a hurry against the zone, but they were patient enough tonight. And we looked to run when we could run.”

The Tigers (7-2) turned the ball over just three times in the first half and attacked Lincoln’s 1-3-1 efficiently from the inside and outside.

Gardiner pulled away with a 14-2 run in the first quarter. Brandon Douglas started it with a 3-pointer, then McFarland followed with a traditional three-point play.

“That (zone) is not really what we do. I tried to game plan and it backfired on me a little bit,” Lincoln Academy coach Ryan Ball said. “We came out flat. They drove it down our throat, got the ball to the middle of the floor, which is where we didn’t want them to get it. McFarland’s an animal, and Weston.”

Weston scored the next six points in a row, showing an array of offensive moves. He banked a 10-foot jumper, finished a drive with an up-and-under that would have made Kevin McHale proud, then finished off a fast break off McFarland’s rebound and outlet with a layup.

“I think he sees the floor very well at the offensive end. Maybe we should have had him be a quarterback here at Gardiner,” Cassidy said. “He gets into those spaces, and he’s a very good passer, too, so they have to respect that with he and Jordan (Lamb) in the high-low.”

“Seth obviously is the captain and leader,” he added, “but Weston’s been a very big leader in practice and on the court. If there’s a rebound there, he’s going to go for it and he’s not afraid to put a shot up.”

McFarland, who had six rebounds and four assists, capped the quarter with an impressive reverse layup of his own.

Defensively, the Tigers limited the Eagles (5-4) to 31 percent shooting. Only the offensive rebounding of Cody Tozier (14 points, 11 rebounds) and Devin Scherer (10 points, six rebounds) kept Lincoln from falling farther behind in the first half.

“In practice, we’re doing 95 percent defense, five percent offense. We’re doing defense constantly,” Weston said.

Gardiner led by as much as 17 in the first half and by 16 at the intermission. Weston scored the first six points of the third quarter and the Eagles missed their first seven shots as the Tigers extended the lead to 23.

“We’re starting to get some guys back healthy,” Cassidy said. “(Kevin) Frankhauser was back tonight and Joey (Harnett) has been practicing with us a little this week, so we can practice a little better with getting 10 guys healthy again. Depth hurt us against Medomak (in Tuesday’s 69-64 loss) but that was a good bounce-back win for us.”

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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