Greenville senior guard Dominick Murray passes the ball as Valley senior Kristian Jacques defends during a Class D semifinal game Wednesday morning at the Augusta Civic Center. Bill Stewart/Kennebec Journal

AUGUSTA — They’ve yet to put a complete 32 minutes together in this tournament, but the Valley boys basketball team hopes Wednesday’s effort gave its regional final opponent cause for concern.

Led by 25 points from freshman point guard Harry Louis, No. 2 Valley held off No. 3 Greenville 75-64 in a Class D South semifinal at the Augusta Civic Center. The Cavaliers (13-7) will play either top-seeded Forest Hills or No. 4 Seacoast Christian in the D South championship game Saturday in Augusta.

“Hopefully it will strike fear into Jackman,” said Valley’s Fisher Tewksbury of a potential matchup with Forest Hills. “We’re definitely hoping that it did that.”

Valley, which shot an even 50 percent from the floor in the first half to open a 32-21 lead at the break, didn’t miss a beat early in the third. The Cavs got 3-pointers from Kristian Jacques and Brodie Ricker early, plus a putback from Tewksbury to make it a 40-26 game midway through the period.

Greenville (7-13) didn’t go quietly. After a sluggish shooting effort through 16 minutes — and only a single field goal in the first four-plus minutes of the third quarter — the Lakers rallied. Dominick Murray and Lance Owens connected from beyond the arc, and Murray’s bucket in the paint with 1:35 remaining whittled the Cavs’ lead down to six at 42-36.

Valley answered with a 12-0 run over the final 75 seconds of the third, including five points from Louis and four from Tewksbury, sparked by a tenacious half-court defense.


“Defensively, we got a little slack after halftime and relaxed,” Valley coach Mike Staples said. “We needed to pick the defense up, because that’s what’s driving everything. We got our hands back up, made a couple steals, got a little more aggressive, got out and got a couple of easy scores. That kind of brought it all back together.”

“Coach always tells us to stop and think, stop and think what you’re doing,” Tewksbury said. “You’ve got to pull the defense back together, get your hands up and play nice, solid defense. Once we got in our 1-3-1, they couldn’t do anything about it.”

Valley’s defense only served to further ignite its offense. The Cavs connected on 10 of 19 attempts from the floor in the second half to finish the day having converted 51.2 percent of the time.

Though Greenville battled to stay within striking distance in the fourth, a 14 of 19 effort from the free throw line saw Valley over the finish line.

“I knew we were going to come out of it at the end,” said Louis, who had 11 of those made free throws. “It’s practice. Coach is always pushing free throws on us. We always shoot our free throws. He knows how important they are, so we do it.”

So committed to getting to the charity strike was Louis, he scooted to the line with 29.9 seconds left only to be waved off by the officials in favor or Levesque taking the two attempts.


“I wanted the ball,” Louis said. “I wanted to shoot them. I was making them, so I wanted those free throws. My teammate made them, so it’s all good.”

Three Greenville players finished in double figures, led by Liam Mason’s 20 points. Murray and Owens finished with 18 and 10, respectively.

Jacques netted 11 for the Cavaliers, with Kamdyn Conrad adding 10 — including a trio of treys.

For Valley, the game was a step in the right direction after an ugly quarterfinal victory against Vinalhaven.

“We took good shots, we got good inside-out motion,” Staples said. “It was one extreme to the other. We didn’t play really well in our quarterfinal. We played down, we really did. … We needed to get together and start playing playing better. We did in the second half and took care of business.”

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