WALES — The foul trouble that plagued them in the first half may have proven beneficial in the second half.

The Nokomis girls’ basketball team had three starters sitting out by halftime because of foul trouble.  It didn’t help the Warriors cause early on, but when the team took the court in the third, Nokomis was at the ready.

“The girls that had to sit because of foul trouble don’t like to sit,” said Nokomis coach Kori Dionne. “I think they’d sat enough. I think they were ready to get out there and get after it. It gave us that boost when we came out in the third quarter.”

The Warriors used that surge to break open the game for a 56-37 win over Oak Hill on Friday.

Nokomis had a string of 10 straight points and opened the third with a 12-4 run. The Warriors defense created all kinds of havoc for the Raiders, who turned the ball over seven times in the third.

“They’re a very good basketball team, but I think that our biggest enemy tonight was ourselves,” said Oak Hill coach Tom Morong. “It was just mistakes. Some of those passes, we were getting away with them against some of the teams we’ve beaten. You’re not going to get away with those against a good defensive team like that.”

Julie Smith led a balanced attack for the Warriors (9-2) with 12 points. Kelsie Richards added 10. Marissa Shaw had eight while Kylie Richards and Megan Perry each chipped in seven. The Raiders (8-3) got 19 from Maggie Sabine and eight from Jane Marston.

Though the Raiders stayed close in the first half, the defending Eastern B champs proved too tough when it got its game going in the second half. Between a strong inside game and its outside shooting, the Warriors were tough for the Raiders to defend.

“We’ve got Maggie at 5-foot-10 and they have two or three kids at that height,” said Morong. “They’re very athletic. I have two sophomores, Gabby Green and Chassidy Hilchey, who have been playing outstanding, but it was a struggle tonight. The athleticism they were guarding was a little more superior than what they’ve seen.”

Nokomis had starters Shaw, Smith and Perry all sitting in the first half with two fouls apiece.  Meanwhile, the Raiders were toying with the lead for much of the first half. It wasn’t until an 8-1 run to finish the second quarter that Nokomis 0pened a 24-18 lead.

“I told the girls that we got good play out of the bench in that situation,” said Dionne, whose team was bouncing back after a close loss to Leavitt Tuesday. “With three starters on the bench, it could have turned into an issue where we kind of fold, and we didn’t. We actually were able to get a little bit of a lead with that group.”

A Sabine rebound cut the lead to four, but Danielle Watson answered with a corner jumper. After an Abby Goulet basket, Nokomis got a 3 from Kelsie Richards and baskets by Shaw and Kylie Richards. Shaw and Emilee Reynolds added free throws to make it 36-22.

Oak Hill shot 8-for-27 in the second half and couldn’t get some consistent shots from the outside. With Nokomis dominating the paint and controlling the boards, the Raiders needed the perimeter shots to fall. Marston, Jess Roberts and Sabine were able to hit outside shots early but couldn’t drop the shots consistently.

“All the 3’s that we missed, half of them we usually make,” said Morong. “That killed us.”

The lead was 40-27 after three. Nokomis used a 10-2 spurt in the fourth to expand the lead.

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