AUGUSTA – The Rangeley Lakers pushed, pulled, prodded and provoked Richmond’s Mark Zaharchuk at every opportunity during Saturday’s Western Class D boys’ basketball quarterfinal. The strategy seemed to throw the 6-foot-10 center off his offensive game.

But it didn’t throw off Glendon Kendrick and the rest of the unbeaten Richmond Bobcats long enough, who pulled away with a 17-0 run to end the third quarter and advanced with a 61-44 win at the Augusta Civic Center.

Kendrick scored a game-high 20 points, including nine in the pivotal third quarter.

“We don’t like to play basket for basket the whole game. We like to go into the fourth quarter up by 15 or so, so we want to make sure we put a good run on them in the third quarter, and we did,” Kendrick said.

Zeke Hall, who had the tough assignment of guarding Zaharchuk for much of the game and performed it pretty well, led the Lakers with 12 points and seven rebounds. David Raymond added 10 points, while David Jensen and Devon Sargent tallied nine apiece for Rangeley (10-10).

Brandon Lancaster had 11 points and 10 rebounds for Richmond. Zaharcuk didn’t score a field goal until midway through the fourth quarter but still finished with a double-double (10 points, 16 rebounds).

Zaharchuck missed the final 6:44 of the first half after going to the bench with his second foul. But the Bobcats depth ultimately won out. Dustin Clifford (eight points) scored a couple of key hoops in the second quarter that allowed Richmond to take a one-point lead into the locker room at the half.

“The one thing I’ve kept telling Mark is, ‘They’re trying to get you to do something to get you thrown out of here,'” Richmond coach Paul Lancaster said. “Mark was disciplined out there. He might have done some jawing with kids, but he didn’t get into the pushing and shoving.”

“You’ve got to take your hat off to him. He keeps his composure and he gets you when he can get you,” Rangeley coach Tom Philbrick said.

Zaharchuk drew his third foul just 1:07 into the third quarter, but it was the Lakers who would quickly be decimated by foul trouble. Starting guard Ben Bliss fouled out with 5:39 left in the third, and Jensen, Hall and Raymond each picked up their fourth foul before the quarter ended. Richmond took advantage at the charity stripe, sinking 11 of 15 in the third (and 24 of 39 for the game). Kendrick and Erik Nash chipped in with 3-pointers as the Bobcats extended a 29-27 lead to a 46-27 cushion heading into the fourth quarter.

“I knew this was going to be a physical game because that was the way it was in the two games we had with them this year,” Lancaster said. “But I thought our depth would pay off if we could get them in foul trouble, which we did.”

Both teams came out tight to start the game, combining to shoot 3-for-29 in the first quarter. Kendrick and Clifford got Richmond going in the second quarter, but Rangeley never really go untracked, shooting just 24 percent from the game.

“Defensively we played well, but offensively we didn’t,” Philbrick said. “We didn’t move. We froze up. But I thought the kids gave it everything they had.”

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