FAIRFIELD — Trailing by seven points with just over two minutes to play in the first half, the Lawrence High School girls basketball team began to click. The Bulldogs cut Gardiner’s lead to one at the half, then in the third quarter, began to pull away. The result was a 65-48 victory, improving the Bulldogs to 10-6 in Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference play. Gardiner dropped to 8-8.

The difference in the second half was simply defense, Lawrence coach Greg Chesley said. Gardiner led 32-31 at the break.

“We gave up 32 points in the first half. Thirty-two is way too many for us to give up,” Chesley said.

Lawrence pulled ahead for good when Lexi Lewis sank a pair of foul shots to give Lawrence a 37-36 lead with 5:03 left in the third. Keagan Alley’s 3-pointer 30 seconds later pushed Lawrence’s lead to 42-36. The Bulldogs closed the quarter with a 12-1 run, capped by a Camryn Caldwell three in the closing seconds, for a 55-41 lead entering the fourth.

“They have so many scoring options. They have so many weapons. They missed some shots in the first half. They made timely shots in the second half,” Gardiner coach Mike Gray said.

The Tigers went cold from the field in the second half and also committed 16 second-half turnovers.

“I think that was, they got a little bit of a lead and we got a little bit nervous. I loved the effort tonight,” Gray said.

Brooklyn Lambert led Lawrence with 19 points. Aimee Adams had 13 points for Gardiner, while Leslie Stevens added 11 and Bailey Poore 10.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Lambert scored 19 points to lead the Bulldogs, who had four players in double figures. Caldwell and Molly Folsom each scored 12 points, and Alley added 10.

“It might be rare for some teams, but it’s kind of becoming the norm for us,” Chesley said.

Added Lambert: “We pass the ball well and we all shoot well.”

EYE ON THE PLAYOFFS: With the regular season winding down, Lawrence entered this game ranked fourth in the Class A North Heal point standings. With a nearly 30-point lead over fifth-place Brewer, the Bulldogs appear locked into at least fourth. Gardiner sat in eighth place. While eight teams make the regional tournament, the Tigers still held a 21-point lead over ninth place Mt. Blue after Friday’s loss.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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