BIDDEFORD — Biddeford High Coach Justin Tardif had many reasons to smile Monday afternoon.

His Class A Tigers put a beating on a good Class AA team from Scarborough, 68-39, snapping the visitors’ six-game win streak.

Biddeford started fast, scored inside with regularity and drained 10 3-pointers. They shared the ball on offense, spread the scoring load and outrebounded the taller Red Storm.

But what really had Tardif feeling good was Biddeford’s defensive effort, which could be the truest predictor of playoff success.

“When it’s four minutes to go in a game and the game’s tied at the (Portland) Expo, it’s about playing half-court man-to-man D,” Tardif said. “And that’s why this was such a good win for us because we won this game because we were forcing that tough 2 (-point attempt). We were going straight up, not fouling and forcing them to make tough shots. That’s how you win.”

That Biddeford can realistically plan for playoff success is another good sign. Two seasons ago, the Tigers finished 1-17. Last season they got back to the playoffs with an 8-10 mark and in the regional quarterfinal.

Now they are 6-3 and have climbed to fifth in Class A South.

Cody Saucier led the offense with 23 points and five 3-pointers. Kyle Norton kick-started the Tigers with 11 points in the first quarter and finished with 19. DeSean Cromwell added 11 points and keyed a team effort to control rebounds and limit the taller Red Storm’s second-chance opportunities.

Scarborough slipped to 8-3 and is second in Class AA South.

After falling behind 14-3 to start the game, Scarborough recovered and took a brief 15-14 lead late in the first quarter as Morgan Pratt and Brian Austin each hit two 3-pointers.

Austin finished with 13 points. Pratt and leading scorer Nick Fiorillo each scored six. The 6-foot-7 Fiorillo averaged 19.3 points a game in Scarborough’s win streak.

“They went out and executed and made their shots and this was the first time really this year we’ve struggled offensively,” said Scarborough Coach Phil Conley. “I know we can play better. This was a bump in the road. We’ll get back to work and we’ll be ready to go when we host Massabesic on Friday.”

Biddeford, up 27-24 at intermission, dominated the second half.

It started with a 15-0 run with all of the Tigers’ points resulting from purposeful moves in and around the paint. Cromwell scored seven, including a 3-point play on the opening possession.

“In two of our losses we didn’t shoot well and our coach was putting a lot of emphasis on we need to find another way to score,” Cromwell said. “Today, we shot well but we had a lot of points inside also.”

Leading 44-30 to start the fourth, Biddeford heated up from outside. Norton hit consecutive 3s, then Saucier had a pair of his own in a four-possession stretch that pushed the lead to 56-34.

“We knew (Scarborough) had a lot of good players but we knew if we played our game and we were on, we would win this game,” Saucier said. “And we weren’t missing much.”

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

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