Richmond coach Phil Houdlette knows if his team doesn’t come to play every night bad things can happen.

Case in point: Last week’s 56-52 overtime loss at home against Valley. Coincidentally, Richmond’s last home loss was last year to Valley.

“We beat them by 25 up there (last year),” Houdlette said. “It was pretty much deja vu.”

True, this year in Bingham, Richmond jumped out to a 21-2 lead against the Cavs and coasted to 62-39 victory. The Bobcats struggled the second time around, missing seven or eight layups and failing to score on nine straight possessions.

Valley’s Carrington Miller sent the game to overtime by hitting a long 3-pointer with Richmond’s Tommy Carter in his face.

“Tommy was right on him,” Houdlette said. “He made a nice shot.”

Although Houdlette found some fault with his team’s play, he also credited Valley’s improvement under coach Wade Morrill.

“He’s done a nice job instilling confidence in them,” Houdlette said. “They are extremely young. They really outworked us.”

The win jumped the Cavs (7-9) into seventh place in the Western D tournament standings while Richmond (13-2) remained in first place.

The Bobcats play tonight at Greenville and expect a tough game, especially after a 120-mile bus ride.

“We beat them by 10 down here,” Houdlette said. “They’re very athletic. I’m in no way putting our season on (tonight’s) game. Our first goal was to win the East-West Conference.

The Bobcats have accomplished that and Houdlette looks forward to a competitive Class D tournament.

“I believe anyone 1 through 9 could beat anybody on any given night,” he said.

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Cony coach Tim Bonsant was in no way looking past Thursday night’s game against Erskine. The Rams needed a victory to secure the eighth and final tournament spot in Eastern Maine Class A and despite Erskine’s record (2-15), he expected a tough game.

“They’ve played better than their record,” he said. “They’ve had a lot of close games.”

The Cony coach said his team learned a little from last week’s loss to Oxford Hills, where a win would have made their tournament road much smoother.

“A couple of guys lost their composure,” he said. “We’ve got to keep our heads.”

The Rams followed that game with a win against Morse and a huge victory against Brunswick. The Morse win was a costly one, though, since senior point guard Anthony Roberts injured his knee on the first play and could be lost for the season. He was expected to undergo an MRI on Thursday.

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A young Hall-Dale basketball team has grown even less experienced with the loss of two starters in recent games. Sophomore Zac Plummer and junior Tyler French, both of whom saw significant playing time last season, are done for the year.

Plummer sustained a knee injury a few games ago and was later diagnosed with a torn ACL while French broke a bone in his wrist last week against Boothbay.

The Bulldogs carry nine sophomores this season and don’t have a returning senior. The team was 6-11 go into Thursday night’s regular-season finale against Winthrop.

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The Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A and B boys and girls championship games will be played at Cony High School. The Class B teams play Saturday beginning with the boys at 5 p.m. and the girls at 7 p.m. Class A games will be played Monday starting with the boys at 5 p.m. followed by the girls.

Teams are determined by Heal point rankings and some awaited the outcome of games Thursday night.

In the Class A boys game, Bangor will face Hampden while the girls game will pit Edward Little against Hampden or Morse. The Class B boys game features unbeaten Camden Hills against Medomak Valley. Leavitt is locked into one spot in the Class B girls game and will face either Medomak Valley or Nokomis.

Conference awards will also be announced at these games.

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

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