AUGUSTA — At halftime, the Nokomis boys’ basketball team was locked in a tight battle with its season on the line.

Then Cooper Flagg and the Warriors hit another gear.

Flagg scored 27 points, including 19 in the second half, Madden White added 15 and the top-seeded Warriors beat No. 2 Brewer 68-58 in the Class A North final Saturday night at the Augusta Civic Center.

Nokomis led by two at halftime, but a team that has showcased its ability to pull away from teams throughout the season did it again in a big moment, building momentum in the second quarter and then hitting the afterburners in the third.

“We came out flat with no energy. We knew we just had to bounce back in that second quarter,” said Flagg, who also grabbed 12 rebounds. “The defensive intensity and the rebounding that we got in that second quarter helped us push forward, and eventually we started hitting some shots.”

Nokomis, which also got 13 points from Ace Flagg, will play for a state championship for the first time in program history. The Warriors achieved the feat in front of a crowd that packed both sides of the Civic Center, with attendance estimated around 4,400.


“It’s great,” White said. “Seeing all the fans out, you can see all their emotions.”

“It’s just unreal,” Ace Flagg added. “Before the game, nerves were very high. I’m sure everyone was a little nervous, including myself. We came out a little flat, but then we settled into it.”

Nokomis scuffled at the start, falling behind 8-2, but found life in the second quarter as Cooper Flagg spun and dunked and White followed with a 3-pointer that gave Nokomis its first lead at 19-16.

“In that second quarter, Coop and I kind of looked at each other,” White said. “We knew we had to pick it up.”

Nokomis led 21-19 at halftime, and the Warriors liked their chances.

“We did not defensive rebound at all for a quarter and a half, and we didn’t make a shot in the first half. And we’re still up two,” Coach Earl Anderson said. “So we liked where we were. And they can’t guard Cooper and Ace. We just needed paint touches. Our rule was we’ve got to have paint touches. When we get paint touches with either one of those guys, something really good is going to happen.”


“(In the second), we saw exactly how we could stop them, shut them down and get in more transition,” Cooper said. “We had a positive outlook on how the rest was going to go.”

The third quarter was one of the best Nokomis has played this season. Cooper and White had four points apiece to lead a 19-4 run, with Alex Grant capping the surge with a 3-pointer for a 40-23 lead. A pair of free throws from Cooper Flagg and a Grant transition basket were next, followed by a thunderous one-handed dunk through the lane from Cooper Flagg that made it 46-27 with 1:31 left in the third and brought a roar from the full crowd.

Cooper Flagg scored 10 points in the third and played a big role in facilitating the offense as Nokomis outscored Brewer 28-13.

“He is a great scorer, but he’s a better passer,” Anderson said. “He’s a great player, but he’s a better teammate.”

While Cooper got going, his teammates did as well. Connor Sides, Dawson Townsend and Grant all had 3-pointers in that third quarter that showed the danger of the Warriors’ offense at full strength.

“It was a great feeling,” White said. “It just shows that we’ve got threats all around. It’s not just Cooper, it’s not just me, Cooper, Ace, it’s all of us.”

Brewer showed life in the fourth, whittling the lead to nine with an 8-0 run to start the quarter, but Nokomis pulled away again.

“That’s definitely a big step forward right there,” Flagg said. “Hopefully we can get it done and finish this mission.”

Brock Flagg led Brewer with 15 points, while Colby Smith had 12 and Brady Saunders 11.

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