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Basketball Winter League All Star Game Goes O.T.

By Joe Sowmick, Contributing Writer

On March 16, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe (SCIT) Parks & Recreation Men’s Basketball Winter League All Star Game went into overtime in a dramatic finish worthy of many basketball clichés and hyperbole.
With the score tied at 90 points apiece, the white clad West All Stars looked like they had the game in hand when power forward Devante Mitchell was fouled with two seconds left in the game.  The game continued after Mitchell missed his two shot at the free throw line.

“Normally, I would expect “D” to drain both of those or at least one of them,” tired Team East All Star Captain Luke Sprague said.  “Good defense and persistence paid off in the end and we were lucky to escape with a win.”
East All Star Coach Gary Bennett praised his team for their resiliency and knew they still had a chance even with two seconds left in overtime.

“We had a set play to run but once the shot clock expired, I called the guys together and mentioned that this game is ours,” Coach Bennett predicted.  “We fought back from being fifteen points down and I knew if we brought the pressure in O.T., the outcome was going to come in our favor.”
The final score told the story, East beats West 101-97.
After much discussion, the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Trophy went to West Team Captain Chase Owl.
“It was a fast paced game and I know I logged a ton of minutes … at least the crowd saw that everybody brought their “A” game tonight,” Owl exclaimed.  “The game marked the first time I can remember playing a game at the Tribal gym where the scoreboard went past 99 points.”

After the hard fought contest, the Men’s Winter League trophies were distributed as follows:

Season Statistics Leader Trophies (includes all six regular season games)
-Points Leader- Bear Raphael with 158 points
-Assists Leader- Bear Raphael with 30 assists
-Steals Leader- Terence “Bear” Isham with 11 steals
-Blocks Leader- Jordan Ham with 9 blocks
-3-point Leader- John “Pax” Chippewa with 27 three pointers

Regular Season League Winner Trophies - Team Owls
-Kashtin Owl, Bear Isham, Walter Trepanier, Devante Mitchell, Chase Owl, Jordan Ham and Cody Wendt
Tournament MVP Trophy - Terrence “Bear” Isham, (Owls)
The festive evening also featured an NBA style Three Point Shout and Skills Competition.  Trey Wemigwans, Bear Raphael, Terrence “Bear” Isham and Eric Peirsen made the final flight of the competition with Bear Raphael and Eric Peirsen tied with ten points each.  Raphael took the Three Point Shootout Trophy with 11 points in a shoot off.
In the agility Skills Competition, Gary Bennett, John “Pax” Chippewa and Kyle Shomin advanced to the finals with Shomin winning the Skills Competition Trophy by posting a 19.4 second course running time.

SCIT Parks & Recreation Director Ronnie Ekdahl played for Team Chippewa Lanes and sang the praises of the successful league venture.

“We had some excellent competition through the league season and the tournament.” Ekdahl explains.  “With the support of the community who enjoyed the games and the generous donations by our corporate sponsors, I envision doing something like a summer league later this year.”