Friday December 09, 2011 | 10:15 PM

WALES — The Gardiner boys basketball team scored what could be its most lopsided victory of the season, routing Oak Hill 98-18 in the regular season opener for both teams Friday night.

The Tigers (1-0) had four players finish in double figures, led by Jake Palmer (19 points).

Aaron Toman (18), Tyler Jamison (18) and Alonzo Connor (12) also had big nights offensively.

As the Gardiner lead stretched to 10 points, 20, 30, 40 and beyond, it was clear the Raiders were simply no match for the bigger and faster Tigers.

The Raiders turned the ball over 33 times.

Still, an 80-point deficit prompted the question: Did Gardiner run up the score?

“We weren’t trying to run it up,” Gardiner coach Jason Cassidy said. “It’s hard to tell the kids at the end of the bench to not play hard. We know what it’s like to be down and so we didn’t want to run it up.”

Gardiner, which was playing without Justin Pottle, had 10 players Friday night. Every one of them played, and every one of them scored.

The starters averaged about two quarters of playing time.

After the game, Oak Hill Athletic Director Jim Palmer congratulated Cassidy on the victory. Palmer also told him that he didn’t think the Tigers ran it up either.

Oak Hill coach Tom Smith agreed, saying: “They are a very good team and we are a young team. It’s the first varsity game. We have a lot to work on. When you turn it over 30-plus times and they turn them into layups, it’s not running it up.”

About the Author

Travis Lazarczyk has worked at the Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal since 2000. He covers football, basketball and baseball. Follow him on Twitter at

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