RICHMOND — With every surge came a lull.

When the Rangeley boys’ basketball team was surging, the Lakers were knocking on the door Tuesday night against Richmond. It was the lulls that proved costly. Rangeley continued to battle back against the Bobcats but couldn’t overcome the early deficit. Richmond held off the Lakers in a 68-50 win.

“It gets to like 15 and then we get it to five,” Rangeley coach Jeff LaRochelle said. “Then we chuck the ball around or there’s some bad luck. In the end, we’re just not able to get it to five and then down to one or two.”

The Lakers were down 22-9 after the first quarter but made runs throughout the game. The Lakers were within seven twice in the second quarter and had the Richmond lead down to six in the third. Rangeley just couldn’t complete the comeback or find the consistency to challenge Richmond.

“Every game we’ve lost this year, we’ve been in every game except for Valley,” LaRochelle said. “That’s what happens. Either we have a cold stretch shooting or it’s bad passes.”

Richmond 26 points from Zach Small and 12 each from Tyler Soucy and Matt Holt. Rangeley got 17 from Ricky Thompson while Kyle LaRochelle had 12 and Carl Trafton finished with 11.

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“I think Zach Small stepped up for us huge,” Richmond coach Jonathan Spear said. “He has the ability to take over a game that’s for sure. He can take the ball to the hoop. He can shoot from the outside. He’s a competitor and that’s nice.”

Richmond (6-3) is ninth in Class C South while Rangeley is battling for a playoff berth in Class D South. The Lakers (5-8) are ranked eighth.

“Our guys were excited to get out here and play basketball,” Spear said. “We haven’t played in a little while. We’ve had quite a lull. So they were excited to play, but sometimes I think we got a little too far ahead of ourselves.”

Holt scored 12 points in the first quarter while Small had 10. The Lakers were held to just nine points and three field goals as the Bobcats built the 22-9 lead.

Richmond couldn’t put the game away though. The Bobcats watched the Lakers rally in the second, but whenever Rangeley trimmed the deficit, Richmond was able to respond.

“We were looking to run all the time,” Spear said. “There were times I was asking them to pull things back so we could execute our halfcourt. I think when we were able to slow it down at times, that gave us a bit of a duel offense and that helped us.”

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Baskets by LaRochelle and Thompson got the Lakers within 26-19 in the second but Small answered to bump the lead back. After a 3 by Thompson made it 28-21, the Bobcats ran off eight straight points. Small had four of those. Rangeley finished the half with baskets by LaRochelle and Thompson to get within 36-25.

“It takes a lot of energy to fight your way back in to the game,” LaRochelle said. “Then you within four or five and the next thing you know there’s a turnover, a missed shot or a foul.”

Rangeley scored seven straight early in the third and got within 38-32 with 5:28 left. LaRochelle, Thompson, Devon Clark each hit baskets and Trafton sank a free throw to cut the deficit to six points. Richmond countered with 11 straight. The lead was up to 51-37 after three quarters, and Rangeley ran out of rallies.

“We have some kids that can shoot the ball but we have to earn all our baskets,” LaRochelle said. “Having a bunch of turnovers, they’re not shots for us. To keep them going, you have to feed the shooters. You have to keep the ball and get it in their hands. There were times we did really well and other times we sputtered.

“For us to play with the better teams, we have to diat it in for 32 minutes and not for four-minute segments.”

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