AUGUSTA — Beaten twice, and convincingly, during the Class D South boys’ basketball regular season, No. 3 Seacoast Christian took a time-honored tournament approach against a team with star power on Saturday afternoon.

The idea: Let Cody Laweryson of No. 1 Valley take his shots, score his points, and strive to limit everyone and everything else. It worked for almost a half, with the Guardians up six points in the second quarter and fast breaking for more until a resounding blocked shot by, well, guess who?

Valley rode the wave of that defensive gem to 10 consecutive points at the end of the half, creating a cushion that held up for a tougher-than-expected, 52-45 triumph in the regional championship at Augusta Civic Center.

Laweryson sank six 3-pointers and finished with 26 points. The University of Maine baseball recruit, also a 1,000-point scorer on the hardwood, amassed 80 in three tournament games and took home the John Messina Award as most valuable player and sportsman.

It is the 13th regional title and second in three years for Valley (20-0), which will face Easton for the Gold Ball next Saturday in Augusta.

Seacoast Christian (14-7) of Berwick was making its initial appearance in the regional final. The Cavaliers cruised 64-48 and 67-35 in two previous meetings this winter.

Valley’s other two seniors joined Laweryson in putting away the third and toughest win. Collin Miller and Luke Malloy each sank two free throws that increased a five-point lead to nine in the final minute.

Miller’s 3-point play piggybacked Laweryson’s block to launch the second-quarter surge. Austin Cates’ steal and layup preceded a Laweryson 3-pointer for the lead. Miller added a second-chance hoop before the half.

Laweryson beat the buzzer in the first and third periods, first cutting Seacoast’s early lead to 13-9, and later expanding the Valley margin to 35-31.

Miller pitched in 14 points for Valley. Caleb LaCroix led the Guardians with 16 points. Sky Archer added 12 but was limited after picking up his fourth foul in the third period.

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