BUCKFIELD – Rangeley went into its East-West Conference tilt with Buckfield carrying a .500 record, in part because the Lakers have been having trouble closing out games. But they didn’t need to worry about that Wednesday night.

David Raymond and David Jensen combined to score the Lakers’ first 20 points and 45 overall, as they jumped out to an early lead and cruised to a 68-48 win. Jensen tallied the first seven points for Rangeley, banking a pair of jumpers and a three-point play. Raymond then stepped in for the next 13, including three 3-pointers, as the Lakers took a 22-13 lead. Raymond continued his torrid shooting in the second quarter, converting a jumper, a 3-pointer and a steal into a lay-up to tally the first seven points of the period and make it 29-13.

“Every shot I was putting up was going in,” said Raymond, who scored 20 of his game-high 24 points in the first half.

“We’ve been working some on the outside game,” Rangeley coach Tom Philbrick said. “The first half of the season, we really worked hard on the inside. We feel that we established that and now we’re trying to put the total picture together.”

Discounting a three-quarter court attempt at the buzzer, Rangeley (6-5) made nine of 12 shots in the first quarter. The Bucks could never get untracked, shooting 30 percent for the game.

“We just played a hard-nosed man-to-man, trying to play position (and) not allow penetration, get a hand up on the shot, box out and run back on them,” Philbrick said.

The Lakers took a 17-point lead into halftime, then widened the margin to 24 with some solid defense in the third quarter, holding the Bucks to just six points.

“We had a rough start to our season,” Raymond said. “We couldn’t finish our games earlier on in the season. We’d always have a bad third quarter and couldn’t pull it out. We’re starting to get a full four quarters.”

Jensen finished with 21 points and eight rebounds. Ben Bliss added 10 points for the Lakers. Zach Cowett led Buckfield with 10 points, while Cy Wilkinson added nine and Jamie Henderson eight.

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