FARMINGTON — Nokomis broke open a close game and put away Mt. Blue for a 53-24 Class A North boys basketball victory Wednesday.

The Warriors (15-1) ended the game on a 28-2 run, turning a three-point lead into a 29-point win.

The consistent thing we did all game, even in the first half, was play great defense,” Nokomis coach Earl Anderson said. “It only got better. Even when it was close, it wasn’t the defense letting us down. Offense can vary, but defense is constant. We started making better decisions, making the extra pass and we trusted one another.”

Mt. Blue (6-8) trailed 23-17 at the half and closed the gap to 25-22 with five minutes remaining in the third. The Cougars, though, didn’t score again until four minutes remained in the fourth.

I just thought it was a great defensive team effort that led to some great offensive opportunities that we capitalized on,” Anderson said. “We got a little momentum and we were making the easy play, rather than trying to make the great play.” 

Nokomis’ offense caught up to its defense. Madden White attacked the hoop and Cooper Flagg made big play after big play at the rim, from beyond the arc and through passes to his teammates.


White found the rim on a couple breakaways and a couple drives to the hoop and scored eight points in the third quarter. He finished with 13 points.

Flagg, meanwhile, grabbed six of his 15 rebounds and scored five of his 15 points in the third. He also had three blocks in the game.

Flagg, perhaps the most highly touted freshman basketball player Maine has ever had, spread out his scoring throughout the first three quarters, never taking the game over through his own scoring but finding the open man consistently.

Cooper didn’t have a great game, but he trusts his teammates and he’s a great passer,” Anderson said. “We started making plays because a lot of those plays come from all the attention he gets. … He’s a great teammate and he’s a better passer, a great scorer but he is a great passer.”

Ace Flagg (12 points) played solid defense and scored nine second-half points.

Mt. Blue’s Evans Sterling scored all of his team-high six points while being guarded by Flagg in the first half, during which six Cougars scored.


We just played hard,” Mt. Blue Troy Norton said. “As good defensively as they are, I told one of my assistant coaches that, ‘We can play defense, too.’ We just defended well in the first half, we didn’t give up many easy baskets until the second half. Our goal for tonight was just to compete, and I thought we hung with them and put in a good effort.”

Sterling stole the ball from Cooper Flagg with 1:25 left and scored a layup on a fast break to bring Mt. Blue within 20-15. With 15 seconds left, Sterling made a shot in the paint while falling down to make it 23-17. 

Norton was happy with the Cougars’ effort, especially after a tough loss to Leavitt (58-37) on Tuesday.

“They just didn’t fall, and it happened to us last night, as well,” Norton said. “We played horribly last night, and I told one of the coaches that if we had played like that last night, then it’s a different game. We beat Cony last (Friday), and it was a huge win for us, and I think we just had a little bit of a let down last night. Tonight we brought the energy.”

Norton said that Nokomis’ defense is much better than earlier in the season.

“They’ve improved defensively from the beginning of the season significantly,” Norton said. “It’s unbelievable. Their guards are really good at pressuring the ball because they know if they get beat they have help behind them. They’re going to be tough.”

Anderson said Nokomis, which defeated Mt. Blue 86-52 in the teams’ first meeting, has improved on both ends of the court.

“We weren’t very good as a team, to be honest, early on in December,” Anderson said. “We just weren’t. Our offensive ball movement and player movement has gotten so much better. Defensively, we are a lot better than we were a month and a half ago.”

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