AUGUSTA — Rangeley had more experience playing at the Augusta Civic Center. The Lakers also had the incentive to make sure it wasn’t a close game again. They have outside shooters and they have two 6-footers.
All of those advantages were too much for Valley to overcome on Monday morning. No. 2 Rangeley scored 32 straight points in the first half and rolled to a 69-24 victory in a Western D quarterfinal.
“We had a game plan, and I felt like, if we executed it, we would have (an) opportunity to put the game away,” Rangeley coach Heidi Deery said. “But that doesn’t always happen. I’m happy that we came to play and we got right down to business. Nobody looked shaky on the floor.”
Rangeley (18-1) moves on to face No. 3 Searsport in the semifinals at 10 a.m., Thursday. No. 6 Valley finishes at 9-11. Seve Deery-Deraps had a game-high 21 points and Taylor Esty added 16 for the Lakers. Teagan Laweryson scored 16 for Valley.
Rangeley defeated the Cavaliers by scores of 48-29 and 53-43 during the regular season. The second meeting was actually much closer, as the Lakers had to rally from behind in the second half.
“I think this year, in all classes, you’ve seen teams win by 20 and then they lose to the same team,” Deery said. “So we’ve been watching that and just trying to drive home that point that you’ve got to come and play.”
Valley led 2-0 after a basket by Kirsten Mathieu, but Rangeley responded by scoring the next 32 points and led 37-4 at halftime. Deery-Deraps scored 13 points in the second quarter alone, and Esty, Egan (eight points), and Tori Letarte (10) also chipped in. Valley shot 1 for 19 in the first half.
“As a team, we played pretty good, especially on Laweryson, who’s a great player,” Deery-Deraps said. “We put one of our best defensive players, Maddy Egan, on her. Maddy did a great job and we did good help side. But we definitely can do better.”
The Lakers rarely allowed Valley to get good shots in the first half, and when they did, the shots went halfway down and kicked out. With the score 25-2 midway through the second quarter, Deery-Deraps drove from the top of the key, made a layup and drew the foul. She missed the free throw, but grabbed the rebound and drew another foul, then made both foul shots. The next time down the floor, Deery-Deraps dropped down a three and it was 32-2.
Esty, a 6-foot-1 junior, made two 3-pointers in the game in addition to her inside play.
“I don’t really shoot threes,” Esty said. “But Heidi said when I’m open, shoot the ball, and that’s what I did.”
Laweryson had a strong third quarter for Valley with 12 points. She, Mathieu and Meaghan Hunnewell are the only seniors on the Valley roster.
Rangeley and Searsport did not meet during the regular season. Searsport pressed and fast-breaked its way to a 73-53 victory over Richmond on Monday.
“They’re obviously athletic and can run up and down the floor, like to press,” Deery said. “I think they generate a lot of offense off their press. We’re going to have to take care of the ball.”