NEWPORT — The Nokomis boys basketball team didn’t have to wait long for its first test of the season.

Led by 16 points from freshman Ace Flagg and 13 from twin brother Cooper, the Warriors used a strong fourth quarter to outlast Bangor 53-42 in their season opener.

Madden White added nine points for Nokomis, which outscored the Rams 14-3 in the final quarter.

“That was a very tough game,” Ace Flagg said. “Just being able to grind that much and look on it after and have the win, it’s very satisfying.”

Landon Clark had 18 points to lead the Rams.

“We had some unfortunate things happen in the fourth quarter,” Nokomis coach Earl Anderson said, “…but I was happy, even though it wasn’t our best effort tonight … when it came time to winning time in the fourth quarter, we did what it took to win.”


The unfortunate thing was a buzzer beater by Keegan Cyr (12 points) from just beyond half court, tying the game at 39 going into the fourth quarter. Rather than buckle under the potential momentum-changer, however, the Warriors made sure the final period went their way. Cooper Flagg hit a 3-pointer with 7:07 to go, then dunked after gathering an offensive rebound to make it 44-39 with 6:10 to go.

The Flagg twins scored the next six Nokomis points, with Ace getting a layup, Cooper dunking home a putback and Ace making another layup to bump the lead to 50-42 with just under two minutes to play.

Nokomis freshman Ace Flagg dunks against Bangor during a boys basketball game Tuesday in Newport. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“They got that shot, they were celebrating,” Ace Flagg said. “We just kept our heads. It’s zero-zero going into (the fourth). We just played our game.”

With the Rams devoting much of their attention to stopping Cooper Flagg in the first half, other Warriors stepped up to help Nokomis stay ahead of a tough Bangor team. White had nine points through the first three quarters, and Alex Grant (nine points) hit a pair of 3-pointers.

“It was definitely an ugly game. First, second quarter, really low-scoring, lots of fouls,” White said. “After that third-quarter shot, we saw the confidence they had. And we knew we had to come out (strong). … We saw the opportunity. They hit a big-time shot, we had to come out big.”

Bangor also got nine points from Max Clark.

“The guys did the gameplan, we came out and fought,” Bangor coach Brad Libby said. “I’m not sure anyone, not just in Maine but probably in the country because they’re all following the Flagg boys, thought that we could win this game except for the guys in that locker room. They fought their tails off.”

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