AUGUSTA — Despite a couple of comfortable wins over Vinalhaven during the regular season, the Valley boys basketball team expected a battle from the seventh-seeded Vikings in the opening round of the Western Maine Class D tournament.

For the better part of three periods, the second-seeded Cavaliers got one before pulling away for a 72-49 win that pushed them into Wednesday’s semifinal round at the Augusta Civic Center.

Valley (15-4) will face No. 3 Hyde in the semis while Vinalhaven finishes 10-9.

Valley coach Luke Hartwell warned his players they wouldn’t be facing the same Vikings team they swept in a December doubleheader.

“I knew they’d be ready to play.” Hartwell said. “I told the boys that happened two months ago.”

The Vikings led 20-16 when Noah Slivinsky canned a 3-pointer from the top of the circle early in the second quarter. Valley took the lead for good when Luke Malloy hit a 3 and followed that with a bank shot to make it 28-24 late in the quarter.

Malloy is one of three returning starters from last year’s regional championship team along with Cody Laweryson and Collin Miller. All three made key contributions Saturday with Laweryson scoring 17 points, Miller 13 and Malloy 10. So did sophomore Austin Cates and freshman Dillon Beane, who each scored 11.

“We had five guys in double figures,” Hartwell said. “Balance on our team is really critical.”

The Cavs pulled away to a 43-29 lead following a 10-0 run in which four different players scored. Despite the balance, experience is limited on a team with just one senior.

“We’re a young team” Laweryson said. “We just keep getting better every day.”

Laweryson capped the period with a 3 at the buzzer to give Valley a 49-37 lead going in the final quarter.

The floor at the Civic Center has been extended an additional 10 feet to 94 to comply with floors at the other two tournament venues, and Hartwell felt it eventually took its toll on the Vikings.

“The big floor helps the running team and I think we wore them down in the second half,” Hartwell said.

Cody Hamilton led Vinalhaven with 14 points while Ben Beckman added 13 and Mike Stanley 10.