WINTHROP — Whether the Lawrence High School basketball team saved its season or not Friday night remains to be seen.

Without question, however, the Bulldogs gave themselves life.

Kobe Nadeau scored 21 points and Nick Robertson scored 19, leading Lawrence to a 59-49 victory over Gardiner in a key Class A North battle at Winthrop High School.

The win lifts the Bulldogs, who were second to last in the A North Heal points, to 6-10 and could keep alive their chances at a playoff berth. Gardiner, which was sitting in eighth, fell to 7-9.

Gavin Herrin had 11 points for Lawrence. Gavin MacArthur led Gardiner with 12, while Connor McGuire had 10 and Cole Heaberlin had eight.

STARS OF THE GAME: Nadeau and Robertson took turns putting the Lawrence offense on their shoulders.

In the fourth quarter, with Gardiner within five points at 46-41 and looking to rally from a 12-point halftime deficit, Nadeau ensured the game wouldn’t slip away. He knocked down a jumper from the free-throw line with just over five minutes to go, answered a pair of Gardiner free throws with one of his own, then cut to the basket and knocked down a free throw on the next possession to put the Bulldogs up 52-44 with 1:44 to play.

“I felt pretty good,” said Nadeau, who scored 13 points in the first half to lead Lawrence to a 32-20 advantage. “But my teammates were knocking down shots so that gave me an opportunity to go the basket, get fouled and knock down some free throws.”

Early on, it was Robertson sparking the team to a big early lead, knocking down three 3-pointers en route to an 11-point first quarter that helped put Lawrence up 19-11.

“When we shoot the ball well out of the gates, we tend to play well,” coach Jason Pellerin said. “We came out, we started well. The kids showed a belief in themselves and a belief in each other.”

BADLY-TIMED SLUMPS: Gardiner had a pair of opportunities to chip away at the deficit, only to let the chances slip away.

After going 8-for-13 from the field in the first quarter, Lawrence missed its first six attempts of the second. The Tigers were unable to take advantage, however, turning the ball over seven times in the first six minutes. Gardiner narrowed the deficit to four points in the meantime but couldn’t get closer.

The Tigers also stumbled after regaining some momentum with a 42-37 deficit going into the fourth. They missed their first four shots of the quarter, then the next five after a Heaberlin putback as Lawrence opened up a 12-point lead.

“I do think there were some missed opportunities there,” coach Jason Cassidy said. “We had a couple of good runs, and then we’d give up a three. … They just executed well. They know where each other are and they just stayed with it, stayed with the gameplan.”

LACKING IN THE POST: Lawrence had the answers for Gardiner’s potent post trio of McGuire, Heaberlin and Ben Shaw. The three combined for only 18 points, and had a total of four points as Gardiner fell behind by halftime.

Cassidy said his big men were outhustled throughout the game, and that Lawrence’s speed and quickness made Gardiner’s size advantage less effective.

“They proposed a tough defensive matchup for us. They were getting everything down the middle and we were looking for a couple of big guys to play help side, and it wasn’t happening,” Cassidy said. “We kind of had to match their speed, and that took Ben off the floor. … We gauge the plan to play two posts by how we’re rebounding, and if we weren’t going to rebound with two bigs, we weren’t able to play two bigs.”

BACK IN THE FOLD: MacArthur returned to action after missing time with a school matter and gave the team a spark, scoring four points in the second quarter and five in the third to help Gardiner stay within range of the Bulldogs. He had a putback to bring the Tigers within 39-35 with just under two minutes to play in the third quarter, right before a Nick Pomerleau 3-pointer bumped the lead up to seven.

Cassidy said the freshman actually had chances to further help the Tigers in their comeback attempt.

“I thought he passed up shots. I thought he could have been more aggressive. When we’re in the double-bonus, you’ve got to attack the rim,” he said. “He’s a freshman, it’s his first game back. I thought our best chance of attacking the rim was through him, so we’ll work on that with him. I thought he was too unselfish, that he could have taken a few more shots.”

WAITING GAME: Lawrence climbed from 11th to 10th in the Heals with the win, but is now fewer than nine points behind Gardiner in eighth with games against Skowhegan and Nokomis to go.

Pellerin wasn’t interested in going through the math after the game to figure out what his team needs to climb back over the cut line, but he said the win helps the team in case the equations work out.

“You’ve got to win games to get Heals. We do have a couple of games left against two very good opponents,” he said. “If we play with the effort we had tonight and I know we’re getting our best out of our team, then I hope to enjoy these last two games that we have and we’ll see where that takes us.”

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

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Twitter: @dbonifantMTM