OAKLAND — With senior point guard Ally Turner running the show and sophomore gazelle Gabrielle Wener running the floor, the Messalonskee girls basketball team can be tough to contain.

Gardiner had no answers for those two as it struggled shooting the ball in a 65-31 loss to the Eagles in a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference game Thursday night.

Turner finished with a triple-double, notching 12 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists while Wener scored a game-high 25 points. Both teams are 6-3 in Class A North play.

The Eagles raced out to a 20-9 first-quarter lead as Wener scored 13 of those points on a pair of threes and a couple of fast-break layups, off passes from Turner.

“She tenacious,” Messalonskee coach Keith Derosby said of Turner. “She makes everyone faster and play better because they know the ball’s coming. She really is a pass-first point guard and then Gabrielle running the floor every game better and better gives Ally the confidence to just push like we did last year.”

The Eagles went unbeaten last year and claimed their first Class A state title. They’ve had to adjust to three key graduation losses and it’s been a process.

“I think our chemistry is just really improving,” Turner said. “We’re having fun playing together, we’re finding each other on the court, we’re working well on our rotations on defense. We’re just really starting to connect.”

The Tigers trailed 44-19 at the half after failing to capitalize on a number of scoring chances. They shot 1 for 17 from behind the three-point arc and 11 of 57 overall.

“If we made some of those shots early, that I feel normally we’ve been making, it could (have been closer),” Gardiner coach Mike Gray said. “And they didn’t miss.”

Aimee Adams scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Tigers but none of her teammates could find the range from the floor. They gave away a lot of size as well, since Turner is just under six feet and Wener 6-foot-2.

“They’re so good in transition,” Gray said. “They have kids who are bigger and faster than anyone we have on the court and they made us pay tonight.”

Junior Katie Seekins and senior Makayla Wilson played strong overall games for the Eagles, contributing at both ends of the floor.

“The team is really coming together,” Derosby said. “We’ve played a lot together but not in the roles we’re in. We’re just starting to know where each other is.”

Gardiner is entering its toughest stretch of the season with upcoming games against Hampden and Skowhegan while Messalonskee also faces a challenge with games over the next four days against Medomak Valley and Skowhegan.

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