MORSE HIGH SCHOOL’S Ethan Winglass (20, left photo) screens out a Gardiner player in the first half of Tuesday’s contest. In the top photo, Morse’s Matt Munster tries to steal the ball from Gardiner’s Jensen Orwiler during a KVAC Class B contest at Bath Middle School on Tuesday. The Shipbuilders fell to 5-10 with a 52-47 loss.

MORSE HIGH SCHOOL’S Ethan Winglass (20, left photo) screens out a Gardiner player in the first half of Tuesday’s contest. In the top photo, Morse’s Matt Munster tries to steal the ball from Gardiner’s Jensen Orwiler during a KVAC Class B contest at Bath Middle School on Tuesday. The Shipbuilders fell to 5-10 with a 52-47 loss.

Morse entered Tuesday’s Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference boys Class B high school basketball game against Gardiner with a 5-9 record, good for the 12th and final playoff spot in Western Maine Class B.

BOB CONN / THE TIMES RECORD

BOB CONN / THE TIMES RECORD

On the other side was Gardiner, with a better record (5- 8), but because the Tigers play in Eastern B, the visitors sat in 16th, three places and three points out of the postseason.

Gardiner’s 52-47 victory over Morse may well keep both clubs out of the dance, or a couple wins by both might have them competing come mid-February. With three games left for the Shipbuilders, including Saturday’s visit to Medomak Valley, and four for the Tigers (6-8), a lot can happen in the final week of the season.

“This game probably bumps us out of the playoffs for the short term, but we have three games left, two of them here (home, Feb. 5 Lincoln Academy; home, Feb. 7 Leavitt), and we certainly have the opportunity to get in,” said Morse coach Sam Hayes. “It doesn’t matter to me if we go 12th, squeak in. I will take my chances, knowing we can play against anybody.”

The Shipbuilders trailed 39- 28 heading to the fourth quarter, but a putback by Matt Munster and a 3-pointer by Liam McDonough drew Morse to within six points for the first time since early in the first quarter (11-5 Gardiner).

The Tigers answered with four points for a 10-point lead, but Morse kept coming, getting a short jumper from Casey Watson and a pair of free throws by D’Vaughn Myers to get back to 43-37 with 4:13 remaining.

The Shipbuilders chopped their deficit down to three points when Myers (11 points) drove to the basket for two, and Ethan Winglass, who matched Myers with 11 points, hit a lay-up to make for a 48-45 contest with 1:39 left.

A Munster block gave Morse the ball back. Hayes set up a play, but Gardiner held tough, with Tigers senior Tyler Jamison grabbing a rebound and making two freebies for five-point lead. Winglass scored again moments later to get the Morse deficit back down to three, but Jamison, who was nine-for-nine from the foul line and scored a game-high 22 points, made two more at the line to close out the Gardiner victory.

“You build a big lead and you want to keep it, but the fourth quarter was nerveracking,” said Jamison, who scored eight fourth-quarter points and pulled down six rebounds. “I put a lot on my back as a senior. It was pressure, but good pressure. This is a big win. Morse being in the playoffs and not us right now hurts. But, we played big and hopefully we can get in.”

“Gardiner defended the play well, and we didn’t get a good shot off,” said Hayes. “They did a real good job getting Jamison the basketball. We didn’t chose to foul him, but with 20 seconds left you have to foul who has the ball.”

Cold ’Builder half

Morse was ice cold from the field in the first quarter, going two for 13 from the floor and trailing 13-5.

Things didn’t get much better in the second, with Gardiner extending its lead to 26- 7, completing a 17-1 run. The Shipbuilders, who shot 28 percent (six of 21) from the floor in the first half, trailed 26-15 at the half.

“First half, we were not aggressive on either end of the floor and gave up at least eight points on breakaway stuff where they got behind us,” said Hayes. “Offensively, we were sluggish, and it is tough to win basketball games with 15 points at the half.”

Morse was able to get within 29-22 early in the second half behind four quick points from Munster, but Gardiner, which scored 13 points in all four quarters, went up by 13, 37-24, on a Seth McFarland 3- pointer.

Morse finished 19 of 50 (38 percent) from the floor and five of 10 at the foul line, while Gardiner was 19 of 44 (43 percent) from the field and 12 of 17 at the charity stripe.

Jacob Freeman came off the Morse bench to score eight points, including a pair of treys, and Munster added six points and a like number of rebounds.

Kevin McKellar led the Shipbuilders with eight caroms, while Myers dished out four assists and had four steals.

McFarland and Brad Weston scored seven points each for the Tigers, while Dennis Meehan had six rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Gardiner 52, Morse 47

At Bath Middle School
Gardiner — 13 13 13 13 — 52
Morse — 5 10 13 19 — 47
Gardiner — Logan Hallett 2-1-5, Tyler
Jamison 6-9-22, Jensen Orwiler 2-1-5,
Dennis Meehan 1-0-2, Trevor Austin 2-
0-4, Seth McFarland 3-0-7, Brad Weston 3-1-7, Brad Bailey 0-0-0. Totals —
19-12-52.
Morse — D’Vaughn Myers 4-2-11, Jordan Lister 0-0-0, Ethan Winglass 4-3-
11, Kevin McKellar 2-0-4, Matt Munster
3-0-6, Liam McDonough 1-0-3, Casey
Watson 2-0-4, Paul Whalen 0-0-0,
Jacob Freeman 3-0-8, Trenton Moore
0-0-0, Keegan McDonough 0-0-0.
Totals — 19-5-47.
3-pointers — (G) Jamison, McFarland;
(Mo) Myers, L. McDonough, Freeman
2.
Records — Gardiner 6-8, Morse 5-10.
Next for the Shipbuilders — Saturday
at Medomak Valley, 6 p.m.


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