• Best Western takes city title for third year
By Sean Pearson
Barnburner. Nail-biter. White-knuckle ride. Squeaker.
No matter how you describe Monday night’s Homer City League Basketball Championship game, it was arguably the best-contested, most emotionally charged and possibly the sweatiest game all season.
After trailing for much of the contest, the Best Western Riptide put up a fierce fight in the end against the Bulletproof Nets, and picked up their third city title in as many years.
It wasn’t easy.
The Riptide and the Nets finished the regular season in first and second place, respectively. And the two could hardly have been better-matched.
After jumping out to an early 21-13 lead, BP held on to take a 27-26 lead into the half.
The two teams traded buckets, turnovers and plenty of fouls in the second half, before Best Western tied the game at 49 with 39 seconds left in regulation play. It would stay tied at 49 with the game clock winding down toward overtime excitement. The two teams took a break, watered up and got ready for some extended play.
The Riptide took control in the five overtime minutes, thanks in part to a crucial 3-pointer from BW’s Nick Finley that put them ahead for good. Jesse Leman, AJ Isenhour and Wes Carroll each helped out at the charity stripe to give the Riptide the 57-53 win.
Riptider Finely was the game’s high-scorer, picking up 27 points overall. Isenhour and Colby Kincaid each added seven.
Keith Edens and Josh Garvey shared high-point honors for BP with 14 points each. Josh Gilbert added 10.
A total of 43 fouls were called during Monday’s physical game, with 25 of those going against the Nets. Five players fouled out of the game.
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