AUGUSTA — The chant from the Nokomis student section started with more than 10 minutes to go before the Class A North boys basketball quarterfinal.

“It’s all over!” the Warrior fans cheered.

Premature as the fans may have been, their team backed them up. Madden White scored 23 points to lead the way, and top-seeded Nokomis defeated No. 9 Messalonskee 57-29 Saturday night at the Augusta Civic Center.

Cooper Flagg added 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Warriors (18-1), while Ace Flagg added 12 points. Alden Doran and Jacob Love scored six points apiece for Messalonskee (4-16).

“It’s a big stage, we knew what we had to do,” White said. “This game was about setting the tone. We wanted to make sure that everyone knew that we were ready to play.”

“(It was) just getting all the first-game nerves out. Now we know exactly what to expect,” Cooper Flagg said. “We’ll come back better next game. We obviously played really well, but we’re only going to get better from here.”


It was an ensemble effort. The approximately 2,000 fans that turned out to the Civic Center expecting to see Cooper Flagg dominate instead saw the Warriors balance out the contributions. Flagg had no points in the first quarter while White had 10 and Ace Flagg had eight as Nokomis took an 18-8 lead. Cooper had only two points as Nokomis built a 29-12 advantage midway through the second quarter.

“We’re not a one-man team. We’ve been saying that all along. We know it, (Cooper) knows it,” Nokomis coach Earl Anderson said. “He’s obviously going to get a lot of attention, but he trusts his teammates, his teammates trust him. We got good minutes from everybody.”

Messalonskee, which beat No. 8 Gardiner in the preliminary round to make it to Saturday, didn’t give in right away. Nokomis took a quick 7-0 lead, but the Eagles got a 3-pointer from Brayden Mayo to cut the gap to 9-8 with 2:56 left.

The Warriors answered with a 9-0 run to end the quarter, however, and outscored the Eagles 15-4 in the second. White and Cooper Flagg had six points apiece in the period, with Flagg’s first two points coming on an alley-oop dunk off a pass from Alex Grant that brought the roars from the Civic Center crowd.

Cooper Flagg gave the credit to his teammates for getting the Warriors started early.

Nokomis’ Cooper Flagg sticks his hand through the net as he defends a shot against Messalonskee during the Class A North boys basketball quarterfinals Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

“We knew what the gameplan was going to be,” he said. “They were going to box-and-one me, so Madden and Ace really stepped up and came through.”


Anderson, however, said he’s looking for more from the offense going forward.

“Offensively, we sputtered. But that’s OK,” he said. “We still didn’t struggle, so that’s a good sign.”

He said it was a different story on defense, where the Warriors limited Sam Dube and Dan Parent, who combined for 29 points against Gardiner, to five Saturday.

“Our defensive effort and our defensive performance, I thought was consistent the whole game,” he said. “Our defense was what pleased me the most. I thought that was good the whole game.”

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