NEWPORT — The Nokomis boys basketball team got a measure of payback Thursday night. And then some.

Cooper Flagg scored 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Ace Flagg added 10 points and nine boards, and the Warriors avenged their only loss by beating Brewer, Class A North’s last remaining unbeaten team, 72-43 in front of a frenzied home crowd.

Cooper Flagg added five blocks and three steals, while Ace Flagg added five steals. Hunter Flagg added 10 points and Connor Sides scored eight for Nokomis (10-1).

“Ever since that loss, we’ve been looking forward to this game,” Cooper Flagg said, referring to a 57-46 defeat on Dec. 17. “There were so many things we could improve on, change and come out and execute them. It was all energy from us, from the tip to the end. It was great.”

Colby Smith scored 13 points while Brock Flagg added 12 for Brewer (9-1).

Nokomis coach Earl Anderson said his team’s defensive effort was considerably improved from the first matchup.


“We defended the heck out of the ball,” he said. “And we did a good job doing what we needed to do against their dribble-drive, dribble-hand off, and we used our length effectively. It’s mostly the defensive effort that triggers everything for us.”

The game started ominously for the Warriors, who had only one field goal and two points through the first four minutes of the first quarter. But thanks largely to a strong start from Ace Flagg, who had six points, six rebounds and a steal in the first quarter alone, Nokomis managed to go to the first break up 16-6.

The Nokomis student section erupts after a monster dunk by Cooper Flagg (32) against Brewer during a boys basketball game Thursday in Newport. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

“We didn’t make a shot in the first quarter, and still had a lead,” Anderson said. “That was a really good sign.”

The Warriors left the Witches in their wake from there. After Ace Flagg scored a basket on a nice left-handed move, Cooper Flagg scored six straight points, putting Nokomis ahead 24-8. While Brewer’s offense struggled — the Witches scored two points in the first 4:30 of the second quarter — Nokomis kept its roll going, with Hunter Flagg hitting a 3-pointer to make it 33-17 with 30 seconds left.

With Cooper Flagg adding nine points in the third, the loudest two coming on a breakaway tomahawk dunk, Nokomis’ lead only grew, eventually reaching 32 points in the fourth. Brewer found a rhythm in the third, but the Warriors’ defense had already made the difference, and the Witches never got closer than 16 points after halftime.

“It didn’t just happen magically tonight,” Anderson said. “We’ve been really getting better and better and better defensively.”

“We knew what we had to do,” Hunter Flagg said. “We just went out there and played our game. … We got the job done.”

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