GARDINER — Basketball games aren’t won on paper, but the pregame skinny on both the Mt. Blue and Gardiner girls teams was pretty telling.

Gardiner returns all five starters from a 14-win team of a year ago, while Mt. Blue is starting fresh with a new cast of players. Results were predictable Tuesday night as the Tigers pulled away in the third quarter en route to a 56-37 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A victory.

Gardiner (2-0) got big games from their four-year veteran seniors, Lauren Chadwick and Mary Toman. Chadwick finished with 14 points, four steals and nine rebounds, while Toman scored a game-high 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Freshman Lexi Mittelstadt led Mt. Blue (0-2) with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

The Tigers led 23-7 early in the second quarter but the Cougars closed the period on a 12-5 run to cut the lead to 28-19 at the half.

“We were up nine at the half, but going into the locker room the girls were disappointed,” Gardiner coach Mike Gray said. “Maybe in the past they would have said, ‘Wwe’re up nine, we’re fine.’ They weren’t happy with the way they played. That’s the part that I like. They’re pushing themselves and they want to get better.”

The Tigers outscored the Cougars 14-5 in the third quarter with a strong team defensive effort and some sound offense from Chadwick and Toman. Chadwick scored six points in the quarter and added an assist to Toman while setting the tone for the team at both ends of the floor.

“The ball’s in my hands and I’m responsible for what goes on and what needs to happen on the court,” Chadwick said. “They look up to me.”

Chadwick, a first-team Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference all-star a year ago, has the ability to create shots for herself as well as others.

“She’s playing a little bit slower, a little bit more under control, And she’s doing it on both ends. I love the energy level she’s giving us,” Gray said.

Toman, the team’s 5-foot-10 center, also scored six points in the third period as the Tigers pulled out to a 44-24 lead.

“The two of them, they balance each other out so nice,” Gray said. “The other thing, I thought both Leah Weymouth and Mikayla Bourassa did a great job defensively for us. Those two gave us a lot of energy defensively.”

Mittelstadt connected on four 3-pointers, two from well beyond the arc.

“She’s a very special player,” Mt. Blue coach Fred Conlogue said. “She played with a lot of composure tonight. She had a lot of pressure on her.”

Senior Hannah LeClair added 10 points for Mt. Blue.

“We only scored 20 at Nokomis (in the season opener on Friday), so we’re taking a step in the right direction,” Conlogue said. “I liked the intensity. We came out a lot more physical than we did the first game.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.