Pine Tree Academy’s Paige Tyson is defended by Seacoast Christian’s Meagan Vachon during Monday’s girls high school basketball game against Seacoast Christian School. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

FREEPORT — Pine Tree Academy girls basketball coach Josh Dayen predicted his young, varsity inexperienced team was going to face several growing pains.

The Class D South regular season opened for the Breakers with a 30-9 setback to Seacoast Christian School on Monday, but there were several positives to take away from the first foray into varsity basketball for most of his squad.

The Guardians (2-0), coming off a season-opening victory over Temple Academy, only scored in double digits in one quarter — the second frame when Seacoast outscored PTA, 10-2, for an 18-2 halftime lead. In the fourth quarter, the Breakers permitted just four points, and for the game forced 23 turnovers.

“We turn the ball over a lot, but I feel pretty good about our defense,” said Dayen. “I thought we were 80% percent there today, but that other 20% is what we need to do better. We need to execute. We had four girls out today.”

The Guardians (2-0) struggled with their shots, hitting only 4-of-20 in the first quarter but led 8-0 behind six points from Kaitlyn Jandreau. The Breakers only attempted two shots and committed 10 of their 47 turnovers in the first eight minutes.

The second quarter was a repeat performance, though Seacoast Christian made five field goals on 17 shots, with Meagan Vachon and Amaya Moore each scoring four points.

The lead was 18-0 when Paige Tyson sent PTA (0-1) into the halftime break with a bit of momentum when she canned a short jumper with 24 ticks left on the clock.

“They had the green light to shoot, but they were nervous,” said Dayen after his squad made 1-of-9 field-goal attempts in the opening half. “They are mostly freshmen and sophomores. A lot have never played before.”

Ball movement

Pine Tree Academy began the second half with a bit more ball movement, with Emily Rojas, Eliana Tardiff, Rachel Cleminson and Izzy Lindsay quickly passing around the permitter.

The strategy worked as Tardiff scored inside, followed by a putback by Cleminson as the Breakers trailed 21-6 midway through the third quarter.

“We talked at halftime to change our mindset, go into the second half like the first half didn’t happen and make better decisions,” said Rojas, who battled hard throughout the contest and finished with three points, seven rebounds, five steals and two blocked shots. “We lost all five of our starters from last year, so it has allowed me to move into the lineup and not handle the ball as much.”

The two early baskets were all for PTA in the quarter, with the Guardians leaning on Becklyn Winship, who scored seven of her team’s eight third-quarter points for a 26-6 advantage through 24 minutes.

Both teams went ice cold in the fourth. Seacoast Christian outscored the Breakers, 4-3, with the teams combining for 34 turnovers. The Guardians attempted 69 shots (making 14) in the contest, while the Breakers were 4-of-25 from the field.

“We need to work on shooting, and once we become better shooters it will increase our confidence and with it success,” said Rojas.

Pine Tree Academy’s Eliana Tardiff grabs the ball around a trio of Seacoast Christian School players during Monday’s girls high school basketball game against Seacoast Christian School.  (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

PTA doesn’t have long to wait as Greater Portland Christian comes to visit on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

“We need to get rested and do our best tomorrow,” Dayen said.

Vachon led the Guardians with eight points, while Jandreau and Winship each finished with seven. Winship led the defense with 14 steals and 10 rebounds, while Jandreau picked up 12 boards and four steals, and Ellie Leech eight steals. Moore chipped in seven steals and a game-high three assists.

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