AUGUSTA — Outnumbered and outsized, but not to be outdone.

For the 14th time in program history, the Valley boys basketball team stood atop ladders swinging nets over its collective heads in celebration of a regional title Saturday, having battled past No. 2 St. Dom’s 45-36 in the Class D South championship at the Augusta Civic Center.

After consecutive losses to Forest Hills in the regional final in 2022 and 2023, the top-seeded Cavaliers finally took the coveted next step and earned their first D South title since 2016.

“It feels great,” sophomore Fisher Tewksbury said . “To be on the other side and cut those nets, wave them around, feel them and hold up that gold, that feels good.”

Harry Louis led all scorers with 19 points for Valley (17-4), with Tewksbury adding 17 . But the real numbers that mattered for the Cavaliers, who return to this building March 2 for the Class D title game, belonged to senior Ryon West.

West netted only four points, but his game-high 12 rebounds told the tale of the tape once Saturday’s proverbial dust had settled.


“He was huge today,” Valley coach Mike Staples said. “He was absolutely huge. The kids worked hard. They wanted it today.”

“All of us try to play big and use our strength the best we can,” West added. “I might be smaller than the rest of the guys, but I really work in the weight room for that. A lot of the teams we play are bigger than us.”

Despite facing a St. Dom’s lineup boasting all five starters standing over 6-feet tall, the Cavaliers played like the bigger team. They contested every shot, every rebound and every loose ball in the lane. Valley ended with a 35-28 rebounding edge.

It was exactly the effort Staples had been hoping for.

“You’ve got to be tough. You can’t say, ‘I’m small, I can’t rebound.’ You’ve got to get a body on somebody,” Staples said. “You’ve got to go get the ball.”

Valley held the Saints to just one field goal in a four-point first quarter and only six points in the second, as the Cavaliers took a 21-10 lead into halftime.


Valley boys basketball coach Mike Staples, in blue shirt, fans and players react as the clock runs out during the Class D South final against St. Dominic on Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

“If you come out with a bad start, you’re probably going to end bad,” Tewskbury said of the strong start from the Cavs. “Me and Harry were talking before the game, and we knew it was going to be me and him today. That’s just how things were, it’s how things worked out, and that’s what it was at the end of the day.”

Louis had 11 points in the first half but was kept quiet in the third quarter, with just a pair of free throws in the period. The lack of scoring allowed St. Dom’s to play catch-up, and Kai Taylor’s three-pointer in the final minute pulled the Saints to within 28-25 through 24 minutes.

But Valley regrouped after the third and started the fourth on a 9-1 run. Louis drilled a three-ball in the opening minute of the quarter, with Tewksbury hitting buckets on consecutive trips down the floor.

Valley’s Fisher Tewksbury reacts as time runs out during the Class D South final Saturday in Augusta. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

West finished off a nice transition feed from senior Jared Ricker (seven rebounds) to hand the Cavaliers a 37-26 lead with 2:29 remaining. Ricker added a free throw seven seconds later and Valley’s 38-26 lead was its largest of the day.

“We’re not the biggest team in the world, so we’ve got to use some of our advantages,” Tewksbury said. “We’ve got to move the ball, look for those good looks and score when we we can when it’s the right time.”

Isaac Yombe led St. Dom’s (19-2) with 11 points in the loss. Taylor Varney added nine, while Taylor finished with seven.

The Saints scored more than 11 points in only one quarter, the third, and scored 10 of their 11 fourth-quarter points in the final 2:05 after falling behind by 12.

“Everything we do runs through defense, that’s just it,” Staples said. “We have to make stops. We started chasing the ball a little bit (in the third quarter)… and I just told them we had to keep the middle plugged up. We’ve got to make them shoot from outside and we can’t let them get two or three shots on us. We kind of brought it back in again, and that kind of shut down their scoring.”

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