GARDINER — When the Gardiner and Mt. Blue boys basketball teams played in early December in Farmington, Mt. Blue pulled away for a 21-point win. In Friday’s rematch in Gardiner, it was the Tigers who hit their stride late to take the win.

Ahead by one point entering the fourth quarter, Gardiner increased its lead to as many as nine points, and took a 53-47 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A win. Gardiner improved to 4-10, while Mt. Blue dropped to 5-9.

In the first meeting between these teams, the Tigers were done in by turnovers on their first four possessions of the fourth quarter, Gardiner coach Aaron Toman said.

Gardiner’s Ryan Moore, front, draws a foul as he battles with Mt. Blue defenders Bradley Shamba, back center, and Jacob Farnhum during a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A game Friday night in Gardiner. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

“The first time up there, it was a close game through three (quarters),” Toman said. “An eight point lead quickly goes to a 15-point lead. Tonight we just stayed composed.”

Logan Carleton’s 3-pointer with 3:18 to play pushed Gardiner’s lead to 50-41. The Cougars pulled to within six points, but Gardiner made three free throws in the final 10 seconds to clinch the win.

Mt. Blue struggled to find its shot in the second half. The Cougars made just two field goals in the final eleven and a half minutes, a Jacob Farnham basket with 4:21 to play, and a Farnham three with five seconds left. For the game, Mt. Blue was just 2 for 22 from 3-point range.

“We have struggled offensively this year. That’s been a recurring theme. I think tonight’s really about Gardiner. They made the shots down the stretch. They played really well,” Mt. Blue coach Troy Norton said. “We just didn’t make any shots tonight. I think Gardiner just outplayed us.”

The Cougars led 38-33 with 3:30 left in the third quarter when they went ice cold. Gardiner took the lead for good, 36-35, on Mason True’s three with seven seconds left in the third quarter.

Freshman Kalvin Catchings led the Tigers with 25 points, 11 rebounds and eight blocks. Mt. Blue freshman Zach Poisson scored 12 points.


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