2017 FBA Season/16.11.14/AZW@EDM/Capsule

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Great Scott! Canada Got Checkmated

In a stunning finish up at Bete Noir Pavilion up in Edmonton, the struggling Arizona Whips managed to hold off the hosting Edmonton Totems to claim victory by one point. While most would look at the Whips' core starters as the ones to carry the team, all credit for this win lies squarely on the shoulders of the more veteran fisher on the club, bench forward Scott Paulichek (Fisher, F). Checkmate's 15 points tied with starting point guard Lance Wildfyre (Rabbit, G) as the team's scoring leaders, all of which came after halftime in the 3rd quarter.

Paulichek had been scoreless in the first half, as with most of the other bench players, partly due to Edmonton's defense being extra heavy. But with their starters quickly showing fatigue despite the halftime break, the fisher capitalized by scooping up a couple of offensive rebounds and drawing fouls on the Totems' bench players while still sinking his shots. A six-point deficit for the Whips at the beginning of the quarter turned into a three-point lead by the end of it, and the fourth quarter saw Arizona's own defense able to stifle Edmonton's attempts to re-take the lead, all the way up to the final possession that saw the jumper from Luukas Hirvonen (Cougar, G) get an unfavorable roll on the rim as the clock expired.

Swingfur Casey Rucks (Brown Hyena, G/F) was awarded Edmonton's Top Totem award for his 18-point 5-rebound 5-dime performance, while Hirvonen missed the 20-point mark with only 19 points on the night to lead the Totems' scoring efforts. Checkmate's rookie cousin Paul Paulichek (Fisher, G/F) managed 4 points for the game, missing both of his 3-point attempts but getting a rebound, an assist, and a steal despite turning the ball over twice and notching two personal fouls.

The Whips return home for their next match, hosting the San Jose Thrust, while the Totems travel to the middle of the Pacific Ocean for a game at the Hawaii Kahunas.

-P. Suarez

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