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It was five minutes before the start of the championship game; the
most important game of their lives. 1999 Class B State Basketball
Champions, Shelby Tigers. “That had a nice ring to it,” thought Todd, their
star point guard and leading scorer. Todd was also the leader in steals,
assists, and rebounds averaging 27.6 points, 4.3 steals, 10.7 assists, and 11.4
rebounds per game. One of his greatest accomplishments was being voted
“Mr. Basketball” for the state of Michigan. Sweetness, as the rest of the
team called him, was being recruited by Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky,
Kansas, U of M, and UCLA. The buzzer went off and it was time to start the
Starting at point guard for Shelby number 11, Toooooodddd
Grrifffinn. “Ya, woo, go Todd!!!” Cheers rang out from the crowd. Calling
each team’s captain onto the playing surface the referee informed them of
“I want a clean game. No elbows, no scratching, or biting,” said Bob,
the head referee.
Bob tossed the ball high into the thick air and the game began.
Shelby won the opening tip and converted it into a quick two points. The
Detroit Central Cougars brought the ball up the court and scored a lay-up.
Todd was determined not to let this game slip out of his fingers. Led by
Todd the Tigers had been to the finals three years in a row and had lost
every time. Now that he was a senior it was Todd’s last chance at
Exchanging baskets the teams battled it out for the lead and at the
end of the first quarter the score was 21-18, in favor of the Tigers.
“Good quarter,” said coach Zoulek “Keep it up guys.”
Sweating and gasping for air the team was fired up and ready to kick
some butt. To start off the second quarter the Cougars drained a trey from
downtown and tied up the game. Todd quickly pushed the ball up court and
dished it off to Kenny for an easy lay-up. After that both teams went cold
shooting a dismal 27% from the floor. Despite the setback the Tigers went
into half-time with a 36-34 lead.
Stretching out over the benches in the locker room the team was
ready to pass out.
“Hang in there guys, keep going strong,” said coach Zoulek in a deep
echoing voice. “I know you can do it, I have faith in you, I want you to go out
there and put this game away,” exclaimed coach Zoulek. Tigers on three; 1,
2, 3 TIGERS!!!!! The battle cry rang out through the locker room and into
As the mighty Tigers jogged proudly into the gym, the crowd rose up
in a frenzy. Feeding off the crowd the Tigers knew right then and there
that this game was theirs. The game was in the hands of the fierce Tigers
when, halfway through the 3rd quarter they went on an 18-2 run. Ending the
3rd quarter wit a 19 point lead, Shelby could sense the sweet smell of
The score was 60-41 in favor of the Tigers. Todd had already tallied
a triple-double and was going for a quadruple-double. It appeared that the
Tigers were going to win the State Championship but the Shelby defense
broke down and let Detroit Central back in the game. With only two minutes
left, the Tigers had a five point lead.
“Time out, TIME OUT,” yelled Coach Zoulek from the sidelines. As
the Tigers scampered over to the bench Coach Zoulek gave them a pep-talk.
“We can’t lose this game, I know you can do it. Come on guys this is
your last chance, make it special.”
“Come on team,” yelled Todd, “This game is ours.”
The team went on the floor with a burning passion to win. Shelby
showed their strength with six unanswered pints and took and 11 point lead.
With only 30 seconds to go all the Cougars could do was foul and pray that
the Tigers would miss their free throws. Hearing the sound of the final
buzzer, the Shelby Tigers had won their first ever State Basketball
Championship and Todd was the MVP.
Todd had recorded the first ever quadruple double in high school
basketball history tallying; 39 points, 17 assists, 13 steals, and 11 rebounds.
They had finally done it, their dream had been fulfilled. After high school,
Todd jumped straight to the pros and became the best basketball player of
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