Wolverines fall in shootout, head to University tournament consolation game

Cole Jacobson

Valiant efforts from the varsity boys’ basketball team’s two star guards were not enough to save the team in Friday’s matchup, as the squad fell to Dorsey (6-2 overall, 0-0 in Coliseum League) in a high-scoring 89-78 affair, ceding the University High School Jim Nakabara Classic “Pool A” title to the Dons in the process.

The coaches freed Wolfgang Novogratz ’16 in his third game back from a foot stress fracture, and the decision nearly saved the Wolverines. Still adjusting to game speed after the injury, Novogratz had only played 23 total minutes in his first two games of the season — both blowout victories — but he got the start in tonight’s matchup and proved what he was capable of. He led the team with a season-high 28 points on 7-for-10 shooting (and 13-for-16 from the free throw line), and added five rebounds and three steals, encouraging signs for the remainder of his season.

Alex Copeland ’15 contributed to the effort with 22 points, six rebounds and three assists, a relatively common game for his standards; he now has scored 20+ points in six consecutive games, tying Zena Edosomwan ’12 (in January 2011) and Erik Swoope ’10 (in February 2010) for the longest such streak by a Wolverine in the last decade. Ali Iken ’17 added 15 points on the night, his sixth time in seven regular season games scoring in double digits.

On the defensive side of the ball, center Noah Gains ’15 led the Wolverines again with 12 rebounds and three steals, and Aaron Glazer ’17 added six boards and four steals. Harvard-Westlake led 40-38 at halftime, but Copeland and Gains both fouled out in the second half, as Dorsey was able to pull away from the depleted Wolverines (already missing Carter Begel ’17 and Parsa Shoa ’16) by scoring an impressive 51 points in the game’s final 16 minutes to take the victory.

By winning the pool, Dorsey advances to the tournament finals, where they will face defending champion Windward on Saturday. Harvard-Westlake (5-2 overall, 0-0 in Mission League) will get an opportunity to mirror its third place finish from last week’s Mira Costa tournament, as the Wolverines will head to the third place game against host University (8-3 overall, 0-0 in Western League), whom they defeated 72-64 in pool play of last season’s Jim Nakabara Classic. This consolation game will take place at 3:15 p.m. on Saturday, at University High School.