BANGOR — Krystal Kingsbury scored 23 points and hit 1,000 for her career as second-seeded Presque Isle pulled away for a 47-24 victory against ninth-ranked Gardiner in the Eastern Class B girls’ basketball championship game Saturday at the Cross Insurance Center.

The Wildcats (19-2) will meet Greely (19-2) in the state final at 7 p.m. Friday in Portland.

Gardiner (10-12) shot 9 of 51. The Tigers were 6 of 30 in the first half, then 3 of 21 in the second, when they scored seven points.

“They gave us problems with that zone,” Gardiner Coach Mike Gray said. “We had no room to attack. We couldn’t get into the gaps like we like to do against the zone. And we didn’t shoot the ball well. We’re not always a great shooting team but we normally shoot the ball better than we did tonight, especially lately.”

Presque Isle didn’t shoot especially well, either (31 percent over the first three quarters), but Kingsbury made all seven of her shots in the first half, posting up in prime position for layups.

“We had talked about it,” Gray said. “It’s one thing to talk about it and try to practice it, and look at it on film, and it’s another thing to see her. She has great strength and positioning. I thought we did a great job in the second half with it, but it was too late at that point. She’s a very skilled player and we were just giving her too easy looks early, and she took advantage of it.”

After 3:06, Presque Isle had an 11-0 lead. As if that wasn’t a good enough indication of the way things were going, Emily Lagerstrom shot a 3-pointer that hit the iron, bounced straight up and swished through the net. That made it 16-2, and shortly after Kingsbury scored inside again to make it 18-2.

Gardiner responded with its best offensive stretch of the game. Lauren Chadwick (12 points) made a free throw and two layups, and Morgan Carver (seven points) banked in a runner, leading Presque Isle to call a timeout. After one quarter, Gardiner was within 18-10.

Gardiner had five chances to get within six points to start the second quarter but missed all of them. Chadwick banked in a 3 in the final seconds of the first half and Gardiner was down 26-17. But with a chance to get closer, the Tigers missed four shots, including a 3-pointer.

“They jumped out on us and I love the way we battled back,” Gray said. “We just couldn’t knock down the shot that would have got us back to a couple-possession game. It speaks to us as far as being able to battle to get to there, but also it speaks to what they do defensively. They got stops when they really needed to get stops.”

The Tigers trailed by as much as 14 in the third quarter but again cut the lead to nine, this time with the help of a 3 by Leslie Stevens.

Presque Isle then outscored Gardiner 16-2 in the fourth quarter.

It was still an amazing February for the Tigers, who beat the No. 8, No. 1, and No. 4 seeds to reach the regional final for the first time since 1980.

“Regardless of our overall record, our goal was, get as far (in Bangor) as we could,” Gray said.

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