AUGUSTA, Maine — After two straight losses to end its regular season, the Brewer boys basketball team sought a fast start as it began postseason play Saturday afternoon.

Sophomore guard Kobe Rogerson provided that lift, hitting back-to-back 3-point goals in the opening moments of play that helped stake the second-ranked Witches a lead they never relinquished in their 50-34 Class A North quarterfinal victory over No. 7 Gardiner at the Augusta Civic Center.

Coach Clayton Blood’s club, 15-4, will face No. 3 Medomak Valley of Waldoboro in Wednesday night’s semifinal. Medomak Valley (16-3) defeated Lawrence of Fairfield 62-44.

Both of Rogerson’s 3-pointers came off assists from senior forward Matt Pushard, who had opened the scoring for Brewer with a jumper off a Rogerson assist after Gardiner lost its only lead at 2-0 on Jordon Lamb’s basket 21 seconds into the contest.

“Last year I remember kicking those balls out to his brother,” Pushard said, referring to Rogerson’s older brother, Logan Rogerson, who has been sidelined since suffering a dislocated hip during the high school football playoffs last fall. “It’s pretty cool being able to do the same thing to him knowing he’s going to put the ball in the basket.”

Kobe Rogerson’s two long-range daggers gave Brewer an 8-2 lead, and while Gardiner (8-12) crept within a single point once early in the second quarter the Witches extended their advantage to 27-19 by halftime. The margin got no closer than seven points after intermission.

“The last couple of games at the end of the year we came out flat, and we realized we’ve got to start turning it up,” Pushard said. “Today we really put it in our minds that we were going to be the team to make the first punch. We couldn’t allow the other team to get in front.”

Pushard finished with game-high totals of 19 points, 16 rebounds and four blocked shots, while Rogerson scored 10 points and senior guard Carter Smith scored nine.

“We played well,” Blood said. “We didn’t win because of a fantastic game by this guy or that guy, it was just a good team win.”

Gardiner, which dropped two regular-season games to Brewer by a combined nine points, hung around for most of the third meeting despite having Lamb — its leading scorer and rebounder — hindered by a broken nose suffered during the Tigers’ preliminary-round win over Cony of Augusta.

Lamb, who averaged 14 points and 11 rebounds per game, wore a protective mask during the quarterfinal but managed just two points on 1-of-8 shooting.

“If people have seen Jordon play, he’s a very good basketball player and he was out of his element tonight,” Gardiner coach Jason Cassidy said. “But no excuses, they’re a very good team.”

Sophomore forward Connor McGuire led Gardiner with 10 points, while senior guard Brian Dunn added eight.

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...