Wolverine basketball wins international thriller

The Wolverines and Colonials are all smiles as the camp comes to a close. Photos by Ned Sheehan

By Ned Sheehan
Hometown Weekly Intern

On Tuesday, June 20, the Westwood High School boys varsity basketball team won a thrilling overtime game against the New England Colonials, an all-star team made up of some of the top prospects from over 10 different European nations. The Wolverines, who went 17-4 during the 2016-17 regular season and went deep into the sectional playoffs, ended a very successful year with a bang thanks to this superb victory.

Before the game began, Westwood and Colonial players jointly held an after-school training camp with dozens of children from the area, all about learning the fundamentals of basketball.

“It was really great to meet [the Colonials] during the training session and get to know them,” said Jackson Seely, a rising senior at WHS who was helping coach the team on Tuesday.

After all the drills had concluded for the day, players from both sides lined up and the local kids presented the Colonials with the flags of their home nations (Poland, Finland, England, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Scotland, Greece, France, and Belgium).

The first quarter was a scrappy but even affair, ending with both teams knotted at 13 points apiece. Before long, however, the Colonials began to open up the scoring, going ahead by five at the half before upping the ante to nine by the end of the third. Stasiu Helinski of Ruda Slaska, Poland, and Colonial captain Alvar Michelson of Helsinki, Finland each netted 14 points for the Colonials.

Just as all seemed lost for Westwood midway through the fourth quarter, the Wolverines managed to put together a 9-0 run on a series of creative plays to tie the game and force overtime all knotted at 53. After a tense back-and-forth five-minute overtime period that saw the previously placid crowd cheering the Wolverines on with gusto, Westwood co-captain Reed Wilson sank a two-pointer with just seconds remaining to give the Wolverines a 62-60 come-from-behind victory.

“It was a good comeback win and a fun game,” said Seely. “The Colonials were a great bunch of guys.”

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