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story.lead_photo.caption Eric Northweather of Blair Oaks throws down a two-handed dunk during Tuesday's game against Hallsville in Wardsville. Photo by Jason Strickland / News Tribune.

WARDSVILLE — The top-ranked team in Class 3 was dialed in Tuesday night.

The Blair Oaks Falcons — the No. 1 team in the latest Class 3 state rankings by the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association — contested shots, swarmed the paint, got out and ran on offense and couldn't seem to miss inside or out.

"We hit shots early, which we've said it all along when you hit shots early the defense is a lot more energetic," Blair Oaks coach Ryan Fick said following a 63-30 win against the Hallsville Indians, "and it's easier to guard and give good energy when shots are falling."

The Falcons missed the first shot of the game, but only missed twice more during a 20-2 run to begin the Tri-County Conference game.

Jake Closser made his lone shot of the game from the corner, Quinn Kusgen knocked down a pair of 3-pointers from the wing, Jacob Rademan sprinted in for a layup and Eric Northweather slammed down a two-handed dunk in the first three minutes for a 13-2 lead.

Kusgen made three of his first four attempts from 3-point range on his way to 12 points.

"Quinn really set the tone offensively for us tonight," Fick said. "Hit some early shots and they came from post kick-outs and skip passes. Right now we've got guys that trust each other on the offensive end and aren't afraid to make that extra pass to the open guy."

Northweather added a 3 from the wing, Luke Northweather converted a three-point play and Carson Prenger put in a free throw to finish off the run that lasted more than five minutes.

While the Falcons were nearly perfect offensively, Hallsville couldn't get clean looks against the Falcons.

The Indians were 1-of-5 from the field and 0-of-2 at the free-throw line while committing two turnovers in the first five minutes.

Blair Oaks (12-2, 2-0 Tri-County) has allowed a combined 72 points in its last two games. The Falcons took over the top spot in the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association rankings this week.

"I think it starts with that want-to collectively, and I see that from us right now," Fick said. "I see guys buying into what we can be defensively."

Eric Northweather put the finishing touches on the first quarter with a second two-handed dunk for a 28-4 lead.

He scored a game-high 18 points to go with six rebounds and three blocks. Luke Northweather added 15 points along with recording game highs in rebounds with eight and blocks with five.

After AJ Austene came off the bench to make a pair of free throws with 2:34 left in the first quarter, Hallsville went nearly eight minutes without scoring.

Meanwhile, Blair Oaks build up its advantage to 37-4 before Jalen George ended the 17-0 run with a 3-pointer.

George led Hallsville with 14 points.

Hallsville closed out the first half on an 8-3 run to make it 42-12.

"They've been playing really well and they've had some injuries as of late," Fick said.

The Indians put in 13 points in the third quarter and trailed 58-25 entering the fourth.

Blair Oaks continues conference play Friday at Versailles.

Blair Oaks won Tuesday's JV game 71-24 to improve to 8-1.

Zach Henry led the scoring effort with 17 points, Cale Willson tallied 14 points and Brayden Lehmen added 11 points.

In the freshman game, Blair Oaks won 44-19 to make its record 8-4.

Dawson Skinner scored 23 points for the Falcons, who play next Thursday at Jefferson City.

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