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RipTide upsets Timberwolves to take 2017 city title

March 2nd, 2017 | Sean Pearson Print this article   Email this article  

"The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team." --Phil Jackson

Any coach — be it basketball or Muggle Quidditch — (oh yeah, it's real) — will tell you that winning comes from team effort, and not any one particular player. While I would have to agree wholeheartedly with that long-held tenet of team sports, I feel obliged to offer Ninilchik Timberwolf Nick Finley as a possible exception to that rule. (He's the one sitting over there with ice on his ankle.)

Now, the last thing I would ever want to do is take anything away from Nick's Timberwolf teammates, nor would I choose to slight the ever-tenacious Best Western Riptide; they always bring their game faces.

But to say that an injured Finley on the sidelines of Monday's championship wasn't a game-changer would be a serious oversight. The Ninilchik High School boys basketball coach was a consistent high-scorer throughout the season — often scoring 40-plus points in a game. He was also chosen as the tournament MVP — despite sitting out the championship game.

After dominating the season with a 16-2 record and a seat at the top of the city basketball standings since early fall, the Timberwolves' 2017 title trek ended at the hands of a tough and scrappy Best Western team.

In a low-scoring defensive showdown, Riptider Austin McAvoy led his team to a 46-31 win over the T-Wolves, who had a lot of trouble getting their game on. The Riptide led 11-0 early in the first quarter before the Ninilchik team scored their first two points.

And, despite a 10-point performance from Jesse Leman, Timberwolf shots banged awkwardly off the rim as their cold shooting continued throughout most of the game. Keith Presley added eight points.

For the RipTide, Weston Carroll added six points.


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