Fans were treated to an exciting season opener on Tuesday with the Campbell River Timberline Wolves basketball team home to the Courtney Highland Raiders.
Both teams appeared a little off early in the game and may have been missing some players. The Wolves were missing David Young, last weekend’s hero at the Carihi tournament, and two other players. Both teams started with a short bench of only seven.
The Wolves managed to get an early lead with some individual work on offence, but struggled against a dependable tough zone defence of the Raiders.
The Raiders’ offence was also struggling, but picked it up late in the game.
Overall for this time in the season it was a good physical battle, with some tremendous athletic ability shown by players on both teams.
The game, as it has many times before between these two teams, came down to the last few seconds.
The Raiders had come back to take the lead in the fourth and with less than a minute on the clock had a well-earned three point lead.
Wyatt Bryce, the Wolves’ guard, drained what appeared to be a three with just over 20 seconds on the clock.
The three pointer was corrected to a two, putting the game out of reach for the Wolves with only seconds left on the clock and down by one point. The Raiders, with a 45-44 win, showed why they are considered a top AA team on the Island.
The teams will see each other in league play again at Highlands, on January 10. Both teams will battle for the top spot in the North Island division during January and early February.
Games in both Campbell River and Courtenay between the four North Island schools occur every Tuesday evening with one game in both communities, at Timberline or Carihi in Campbell River and, at Highlands or Mark Isfeld in Courtenay.