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Horsemen split games with Noxon, Clark Fork

by CHUCK BANDEL
Valley press | January 20, 2021 12:00 AM

The Plains Horsemen are showing they have found their saddles and are ready to ride into the Western 14C conference battle.

Friday night against Noxon, the Horsemen cinched up their first win of the young season, then rode a tough Clark Fork team into the overtime corral before ultimately getting bucked off.

The Horsemen began the weekend with a thrilling 47-45 home win over the Red Devils, who were playing their first game of the year after a series of Covid related setbacks.

Noxon jumped off to a 12-8 lead after the first quarter, thanks to a scrappy, scrambling defense and six points from junior Derrick Christensen. At halftime, Noxon held a slim 24-21 lead before a sizable crowd of fans from both Sanders County towns.

The second half saw the Horsemen take control behind a balanced scoring attack. They were led in the early going by five points from sophomore Jayden Weeks and solid inside play from senior center Parker Flock.

With Flock and company taking control of the boards, Plains outscored the Red Devils 15-7 in the third quarter to take a 36-31 lead.

Both teams traded hoops throughout the course of the fourth quarter, but in the end the Horsemen had just enough firepower to hold off the Noxon charge, pulling away in the final minute and hanging on in a game that wasn’t decided until the final seconds.

Noxon got a game-high 13 points from Jeriko Smith-Roach and 10 from Christensen.

Against Clark Fork, Weeks finished with 11 points to lead a spread-out Plains offensive tally, that saw eight players score, including nine points from power forward Tucker Foster.

But Clark Fork, which improved its conference record to 3-0 to share the ranks of the unbeaten 14C leadership with upstart Hot Springs (2-0), relied on its trio of tested seniors to ultimately pull out the win.

The Mountain Cats jumped out to a 19-14 lead as seniors Aaron Waddle and Carson Callison took control of the inside game. However, the Horsemen battled back with inside power of their own behind Flock, who wound up scoring a season-high 17 points.

Plains erased the early deficit and took a 28-25 lead at the half. The Horsemen still led 36-31 after three quarters.

But Clark Fork took control in the fourth. The Mountain Cats got 17 points from Callison. He and Waddle began to shift the rebounding edge in Clark Fork’s favor. They outscored the Horsemen 13-8 in the fourth quarter, knotting the score at 44-44.

Overtime was all Clark Fork as they rode the scoring of Callison, Waddle and senior guard Bryan Mask to an 11-0 extra period margin to seal the win.

Waddle, Clark Fork’s bruising senior forward, added 15 points to the Cats cause while Mask chipped in 12.

In addition to Flock’s 17 points, the Horsemen got eight each from forwards Nathan Feliksa and sophomore Garth Parker.

The win boosted Clark Fork’s season record to 4-1, while Plains fell to 1-3. The Mountain Cats were playing their third game of the week.

Next on the agenda for Plains is a home game Thursday against conference co-leader Hot Springs, followed by a road game versus St. Regis Saturday.