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NOXON 6-FOOT-5 junior Ryan Weltz takes a jumper over a defender during a recent game. Weltz netted 10 points against Thompson Falls on Jan. 15 and eight in the Red Devils’ 67-43 win over Two Eagle River last Friday. (Photo courtesy of Dana Grupenhoff)

Thompson Falls took a break from facing Class B teams last week, taking on a pair of Class C squads and posting victories in both contests.

The District 7B Bluehawks got off to a quick start Tuesday, Jan. 15 against home-standing Noxon from District 14C, leading 15-4 and then holding off a late charge by the Red Devils to post a 44-34 win.

Thompson Falls manufactured a 14-point halftime lead over Clark Fork in Superior last Friday and went on to a 59-47 victory.

Noxon won its game last week that meant the most, in terms of the Red Devils’ conference race, defeating Two Eagle River 67-43 in a District 14C contest at home Friday.

Thompson Falls has a pair of home games this week, taking a 2-1 District 7B mark and 4-7 overall record into Friday’s game against conference foe Troy. The Bluehawks host Anaconda in non-conference action Saturday.

Noxon — 4-3 in District 14C play and 7-6 overall — is on the road twice this week, and both contests are against district opponents. The Red Devils play Friday against St. Regis, and at Charlo on Saturday.

AFTER THE early lead, Thompson Falls increased the margin over Noxon before halftime. The Red Devils regrouped at the intermission, but could get no closer than around 10 points in the second half.

“We just weren’t making many shots and we were turning the ball over,” Noxon head coach Bart Haflich said. “We’ve got to put the ball in the hole a little more … We were settling for jumpers more than we should have.

“We minus that first quarter, then we buckled down the rest of the way. Holding them to 44 (points) wasn’t bad,” he said.

The coach indicated the Red Devils kept T-Falls off the offensive glass pretty well during the game.

Kade Pardee paced T-Falls with 14 points, Ryan Schraeder had 11 and Nathan Schraeder added eight.

Noxon’s 6-foot-5 junior Ryan Weltz returned to the lineup against T-Falls and scored 10 points. Alex Currie had eight, Logan Wood seven and Levi Brubaker six. Brubaker led in rebounds with seven.

NOXON KICKED its offense into high gear in the second quarter last Friday against Two Eagle River, outscoring the Eagles 25-8 in the pivotal second quarter for a 37-20 intermission lead.

“We haven’t been coming out of the gate (very strong),” Haflich said. “Defensively we were giving up some second shots. They we kicked it into gear … We got out in transition and filled the lanes, that got us going a little bit.”

However, Weltz turned an ankle in the third quarter and was sidelined the rest of the contest.

Brubaker has perhaps a career best game statistically, scoring 16 points and collecting 18 rebounds for a huge double-double. Currie and Wood added 16 points each, and Wood dished out eight assists. Weltz had eight points in limited playing time.

“Our guys off the bench played well,” Haflich said.

T-FALLS had all it could handle last Friday against home-standing Clark Fork. The Bluehawks led 15-9 after one quarter and 31-17 at halftime.

Craig Lundberg paced T-Falls with 18 points. Pardee had another double-figure scoring effort, finishing with 15 points.

Halflich and the Red Devils are looking forward to this week’s conference games. They are focused on avenging a 10-point loss to the Vikings earlier this season.

“We’ll have to show up for sure, both nights,” Haflich said.

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