RICHMOND — Cody Laweryson is headed to the University of Maine on a baseball scholarship next fall, but he’s a very talented basketball player, too.

Laweryson showed off all of his skills, including the arm that the Black Bears covet, with 23 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and four blocked shots to lead unbeaten Valley to a 62-51 East/West Conference win over previously unbeaten Richmond on Wednesday night.

Led by Laweryson, the Cavaliers (5-0) went on 13-3 game-ending run, punctuated by a dunk from the 6-foot-4 senior, to pull away from the Bobcats (4-1).

“We came out slow, but we got ourselves pumped up,” said Laweryson, who converted an 80-foot heave at the end of the third quarter that didn’t count because it was after the buzzer. “We needed to rebound. We needed to box out. We did a good job of that at the end.”

Collin Miller (13 points, 12 rebounds) and Dillon Beane (six points, 10 rebounds) helped out on the boards while freshman reserve Keegan Farnham provided a spark in the fourth quarter, scoring six points, including the basket that put Valley ahead for good off a fastbreak feed from Laweryson with 5:03 left.

“The difference in this game tonight was our bench,” Valley coach Luke Hartwell said. “For us to be at the level we want to be at at the end of the season, we need eight or nine guys to be able to play in any situation. And tonight, Keegan Farnham steps up. I thought Brandon Thomas had a great play in that fourth quarter and played great defense. And other guys like Dillon Beane did a great job on (Zach) Small when we went into denial on him.”

After being held scoreless in the first half, Small (17 points, eight rebounds) exploded for 13 points in the third quarter to give the Bobcats a 41-37 lead. Valley limited him to one field goal in the fourth quarter and the Bobcats as a team 4-for-15 shooting, including 0-for-9 from 3-point range.

“Cody Laweryson is a special player and he did very well, not only scoring but finding his teammates,” Richmond coach Jon Spear said. “When we had to step up on him, he was finding the open person. Offensively, I thought we got scattered and our heads didn’t stay in it.”

Matt Holt added 11 points for Richmond. Austin Cates scored 10 points for Valley before fouling out midway through the final period.

Richmond doubled up Valley, 40-20, in the preceding girls game.

Valley did the unthinkable for the first 16 minutes of Wednesday night’s East/West Conference tilt and held Richmond to nine points.

The Bobcats did the Cavaliers even better in the second half, shutting them out in the third quarter and holding them to seven points for the half to run away with a 40-20 win.

Sydney Tilton led the Bobcats (6-0) with 13 points, 15 rebounds and seven steals. MacKenzie Abbott added eight off the bench. Samantha West led the Cavaliers (1-4) with eight points.

Valley took a 13-9 halftime lead after limiting Richmond to 1-for-18 shooting from the field. Meranda Martin’s layup to make it 2-1 was Richmond’s only hoop.

The Cavaliers frustrated Richmond by shutting off the inside, bracketing Tilton in the post and doing a solid job on the boards to limit the bigger Bobcats’ second opportunities.

The Bobcats came out a different team in the third quarter, sparked by Kelsea Anair’s backdoor pass to Autumn Acord for a layup, then went on a 14-0 run in the period to take a 23-13 lead.

“Motivation, to put it politely,” Richmond coach Mike Ladner said of the difference in the second half. “The girls came out flat unfortunate and took the lightly. You can’t do that.”

Ladner changed Richmond’s offense set to open up more passing lanes inside. Led by Anair (seven points and Abbott, the Bobcats also started hitting from the outside and loosened Valley’s grip on Tilton.

“It was like a huge surge of energy for all of us. I think we kind of came together,” Tilton said. “Instead of forcing it, we became a team and found the open shot. I trust my teammates and I trust their shots.”

Valley didn’t score until West’s 3-pointer with 4:35 left made it 28-16. It missed all five of its shots in the third quarter, two of which were blocked. Richmond also forced 42 turnovers with its fullcourt pressure.

“They’re bigger, stronger and faster,” Valley coach Paul Belanger said. “We started getting worn down and they were able to keep the pace. We just couldn’t keep up with them. (Tilton) started muscling and we didn’t match her physically.”

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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