TURNER — They don’t just take shots. They sometimes launch them.

And the way the Leavitt girls’ basketball team shot in the first quarter Friday night, the Gardiner Tigers had reason to be encouraged against the Hornets. That didn’t last long though. One thing Leavitt has proven is that it can heat up in a hurry, and if an opponent can’t warm to that challenge, it might be left behind in an instant.

After a cold shooting quarter, the Hornets seemingly flipped a switch in the second and outgunned the Tigers convincingly for a 59-40 win.

“One thing we’ve come to realize with these kids is that when they’re on, they’re on,” said Leavitt coach Tammy Anderson. “Waterville was a complete game of on. When they’re not, it’s OK. Shots are going to come and go. We can still play hard and intense. Eventually the shots will fall. The kids have been good recognizing that.”

Leavitt shot just 3-for-15 in the first quarter and was only up by two. The Hornets changed that with an 8-0 run early in the fourth. Leavitt added runs of 10-0 and 11-0 in the second quarter while shooting 11-for-16.

“We just kind of got going,” said Kristen Anderson, a freshman guard, who had 10 of her 16 points in the second quarter. “We were a little rusty. After the whole Waterville thing, we were all pumped up. We needed to get focused and back into the game.”

Leavitt was coming off an impressive win over Waterville, ending the Class B state champs lengthy winning streak. It was a challenge for the Hornets to refocus for Gardiner (1-2).

“Our motto all year, if we want to accomplish what we really want to accomplish, is that every night is the most important game of the season,” said Tammy Anderson. “It’s hard to come off an emotional victory. You’re not going to be able to play anybody else that is 67-0. That was a great experience and a great memory, but we had to move on.”

Kristen Anderson helped spark the Hornets (3-0). With a 6-4 lead late in the first, she drilled a 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the quarter. Then to start the second, she hit again, turning that two-point lead into an eight-point advantage with two shots. Courtney Anderson fed  Sarah Frost for a hoop and the lead was up to 10.

“It was kind of hard to get back into the mentality,” said Kristen Anderson. “In practice we talked about it the next day and that we needed to get off the Waterville win and move on.”

Gardiner got back within six, but a 12-2 run, including 10 straight, had Leavitt speeding away. Both Anderson’s hit 3’s during that stretch. Then in the closing minutes of the half, Jenna Cote and Courtney Anderson scored. After two hoops from Kristen Anderson, Courtney drilled a 3 for a 37-16 lead. Leavitt opened the second half with seven straight and had the lead up to as many as 25 in the second half.

“When someone starts lighting up, everyone else gets excited,” said Kristen Anderson. “We all start hitting.”

Courtney Anderson finished with 21 while Adrianna Newton added 11. Gardiner was led by Carly Pelletier with nine and Jess Truman with eight.

Overshadowed by Leavitt’s offensive punch was the Hornet defense. Gardiner was frustrated much of the game by Leavitt’s speed and quickness. The Hornets forced nearly 30 turnovers and never allowed the Tigers to get in sync.


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