GARDINER — At times Tuesday night, the Gardiner girls basketball team struggled to find a rhythm in its Eastern Maine Class B prelim against Old Town.

But the Tigers found a way to win and when you haven’t been to the tournament in eight years, any win is a good one.

“It was ugly but we got the win,” Gardiner coach Mike Gray said following his team’s 42-30 victory.

The win puts the eighth-seeded Tigers into Saturday’s quarterfinal round of the tournament at the Bangor Auditorium. Gardiner (12-7) will play top-seeded Presque Isle. Old Town ended its season 10-9.

In some respects this game was over in the first two minutes. Cortney Treadwell, Old Town’s 6-foot-3 center, aggravated a knee injury during a rebound and didn’t return.

“She’s had some knee issues over the last couple of seasons,” Old Town coach Dana Maxim said. “But she’s worked hard to rehab that knee to get back to this point and she’s been strong all season long.”

The Tigers weren’t able to exploit Treadwell’s absence until the second half. They led just 15-13 at the half, but were able to go inside during the third period. Junior Katie McAllister, sophomore center Kelly Macomber and junior Jenna Moore all contributed inside.

“We knew we had to win it to go to Bangor,” said McAllister, who scored a game-high 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

McAllister posted up for three of her four second-half baskets while scoring the other against Old Town’s press.

“She’s not that big but she has some great post moves,” Gray said. “And she’s tough. She creates contact and she took two huge charges on the other end. She’s not afraid of contact.”

The Tigers led 27-18 at the end of three quarters and the Coyotes drew no closer than six points the rest of the way. When they did close to six, Gardiner went to McAllister for two quick hoops.

Moore turned in a strong game with nine points and six assists while junior guard Paige Pilsbury scored eight points including two key baskets in the fourth quarter. The Tigers played most of the game without sophomore point guard Kylee Granholm, who turned her ankle in the first quarter.

“I was hoping in the second half we wouldn’t have to push her too much,” Gray said. “Taylor (Banister) did a nice job, but they stepped up the pressure and we needed Kylee to come in and handle the ball.”

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

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