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T-Falls' Schraeder nets 26 in win over Noxon

by CHUCK BANDEL
Valley Press | December 29, 2021 12:00 AM

On paper this appeared to be an evenly matched game, with both teams featuring roughly the same size players and levels of experience in Montana high school basketball play.

But Thompson Falls’ 56-35 win over Noxon last Tuesday night showed the difference was bigger on the court than on paper.

Noxon, which was playing another game without senior Cade VanVleet who suffered a leg injury in a game a few weeks earlier, was limited to spectator status for this one as well.

That took away a critical rebounder to help fend off the athletic Blue Hawks.

The game opened looking as if the paper matchup version might hold true. By the end of the first quarter, the Blue Hawks clung to a narrow 11-8 lead.

Behind the play of senior guard Nathan Schraeder T Falls was able to increase that lead by the slimmest of margins, 12-11, in the second eight minutes of play and eased into the halftime break with a 23-19 advantage.

In the second half, Schraeder and company began to find the basket more often and slowly but surely pulled away from the host Red Devils, outscoring them 20-9 in the third quarter to build a more secure 43-28 lead with a quarter to play.

The visitors expanded that lead in the fourth quarter by six points to ice the victory and move their season mark to 4-2 overall in this non-conference match-up.

Schraeder tossed in a game-best 26 points to lead the Blue Hawks. Wyatt Lackner paced the Red Devils with 18.

Next up after the holiday break for the Red Devils are a series of road games, beginning with a Tuesday, January 4 meeting in Pablo with the win-less Two Eagle River squad. They will then travel to Charlo on January 7 to take on the Vikings.

Noxon plays four straight on the road before returning home January 21 for a game with 14C co-leader Hot Springs.

Thompson Falls has a home game against Mission set for Thursday, January 6, then visits Eureka Friday, January 7 for a conference game against the Lions.

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