DEEP RIVER >> Defending Shoreline and Class M champion Valley Regional captured its sixth straight victory by edging Cromwell in thrilling fashion, 65-62, Tuesday night at Deep River.
“Any time you beat a team that has their experience and are the prohibitive league favorites, it’s a great win,” said Valley Regional coach Kevin Woods.
The Warriors, fresh off a memorable four-overtime win against Fitch on Saturday, trailed 55-53 with three minutes and 24 seconds left in the fourth quarter before reeling off 10 straight points. The Warriors decisive spurt was fueled by fastbreak hoops from Chris Jean-Pierre and Peter Barry that gave Valley the lead for good.
Valley senior guard Jake Luster added a pair of free throws, then came up with a steal and a layup to give the Warriors a 61-55 lead with 1:06 left.
David Bradbury added a pair of free throws for a 63-55 lead with 35 seconds left.
But Cromwell made thing interesting down the stretch. Mike McNally drained 3-pointer, Jake Regula made a pair of free throws and a low post hoop from Josh Green cut the lead to 64-62 with 12.9 seconds to go.
Jean-Pierre made 1 of 2 free throws and Cromwell had a chance to tie it with a 3-pointer. But DeAndre Hamblin missed a trey from the right side. The rebound was tipped out to Matt Turkington, whose 3-pointer at the buzzer hit the front of the rim.
Regula led the Panthers with 17 points, while Green and Turkington each had 12 points.
Crowmell (9-2), which had a six-game winning streak snapped, jumped out to an early 9-0 lead. The Panthers led 20-12 after one quarter and 23-14 early in the second after a 3-pointer from Shant Darajkian.
Valley responded with a 15-2 run to close out the first half. Barry’s floater from the lane gave the Warriors their first lead at 24-23 with 1:46 left in the first half.
Bradbury drained a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws from Jean-Pierre gave Valley a 29-25 halftime advantage.
Jean-Pierre finished with a game-high 21 points. Luster had 11 points, five rebounds and four steals and Bradbury had nine points.
“If you can string wins together you’re going to like where you are at the end of the season,” said Woods.
VALLEY REGIONAL 65, CROMWELL 62
(at Deep River)
Cromwell 20 5 21 16 -62
Valley Regional 12 17 14 22 – 65
Matt Turkington 5 0-0 12, Mike McNally 4 0-1 9, Josh Green 6 0-4 12, DeAndre Hamblin 2 1-2 5, Shant Darajkien 2 0-0 5, Logan Lessard 1 0-0 2, Jake Regula 5 6-6 17. Totals: 25 7-13 62
VALLEY REGIONAL (65)
David Bradbury Jr. 2 6-7 11, Jake Luster 4 3-4 11, Brennan Joy 2 0-0 4, Peter Barry 4 0-1 8, Evan Smith 3 0-4 6, Christopher Jean-Pierre 6 8-10 21, Hunter Linfesty 2 0-0 4. Totals: 23 17-26 65
3-point goals: Cromwell 5 (Turkington 2, McNally 1, Darajkien 1, Regula 1); Valley Regional 2 (Bradbury Jr. 1, Jean-Pierre 1); Records: Cromwell 9-2; Valley Regional 9-2