Facing competition in a class that is a step up in high school basketball can be beneficial, especially when you’re making a stretch run toward postseason play.
Conversely, the team that is going up against a team from a drop-down in classification has an opportunity to get its reserves more playing time and give starters some time off.
Thompson Falls, hailing from District 7B, traveled to Noxon for a girls’ clash on Tuesday, Jan. 15, and went home with a well-earned 43-40 victory.
Noxon went right back into district play last Friday, and buried winless Two Eagle River 66-6 to improve the Lady Devils’ District 14C mark to 2-4 and overall record to 6-7.
That same night, Thompson Falls had an easy time with Class C Clark Fork, cruising to a 47-32 victory. The Lady Hawks are 1-2 in District 7B play and 2-8 overall.
T-Falls hosts Troy in district play Friday, and the Lady Hawks entertain Anaconda on Saturday.
In the meantime, Noxon jumps right back into District 14C play with two road contests — Friday against St. Regis and Saturday at Charlo.
AFTER A a 7-7 deadlock a quarter into the game, Noxon took temporary command to lead 21-15 at halftime. T-Falls head coach Doree Thilmony’s intermission message must have been clear, since the Lady Hawks outscored Noxon 15-4 in the pivotal third period.
“We kind of lost our momentum, we lost our focus,” Noxon head coach Ryan Weltz said.
The Lady Devils scored twice quickly after halftime, but went scoreless the rest of the period as T-Falls scored 15 unanswered points.
“The wheels just kind of fell off,” Weltz explained. “They (T-Falls) hit some pretty big shots. They kind of got up and pressured us a little. They got a few turnovers.”
The coach indicated that it was a game of “pretty evenly matched teams … It could have gone either way,” he said. “We weren’t able to answer (their big shots). Our inexperience kind of got us.
“We did handle the boards OK,” Weltz said, and goal was to keep 6-foot Megan Baxter and 5-11 Jody Detlaff from getting offensive rebounds.
Baxter and Jody Detlaff had 10 points each for T-Falls, and Sarah Detlaff added eight. Faith Frields and Maya Stiles had six apiece.
Delaney Weltz paced Noxon with 11 points, and Avery Burgess had 10.
TWO EAGLE RIVER was overwhelmed by conference foe Noxon on Friday — shut out by the Lady Devils in the second half.
Noxon led 18-5 after one quarter and 40-6 at intermission.
“They’re struggling. They’re such a young team,” Weltz said of Two Eagle. “We had a game for the girls to play and for me to coach. I can’t tell my girls ‘not’ to play. We concentrated on playing help defense. It was a good opportunity to work on some defensive schemes.”
The Lady Devils had nice scoring balance, as five players had seven points or more. Weltz led the way with 17 points, Burgess had 11 and Kali Murray nine. Murray got praise from her coach for her rebounding effort, and Katrina Brown for her ballhandling.
Liz Hill had four points to lead Two Eagle.
BAXTER AND Jody Detlaff combined for 40 points in T-Falls’ 15-point win over Clark Fork, where the Lady Hawks led 28-11 at halftime.
It was Baxter with 20 points and Detlaff with 18 to lead the charge for T-Falls.
Sophia Krutilla led eight Lady Mountain Cats scorers with eight points, and Madison Mask added seven.
Noxon will be rearing to go this week against St. Regis and Charlo, according to their coach.
“You’ve got to go and play and play hard and see what happens,” Weltz said.