The Garden City Fighting Gophers junior varsity boys' basketball squad survived a wild one on Friday, clawing past the Maples Marauders 70-68 to win the first championship of the Wesmen Classic.
The four-day basketball extravaganza opened at the University of Winnipeg's Duckworth Centre with the first four games of the varsity high school tournament, capped by the evening junior varsity final.
After trailing through the first half, the Fighting Gophers scratched into the lead in the fourth quarter. But it looked like their comeback would crumble when the Marauders took the lead back with five minutes left to play.
The two teams made for a madcap close, as Garden City regained the lead then lost it when the Marauders tied the game at 68 with just under a minute left.
Finally, with only seven seconds on the clock, Garden City star Marcello Aruda-Welch took the ball and dashed in to make the deuce shot, and seal the win.
The Wesmen Classic continues Saturday with the first university games and a high-school semifinal at 4 pm. A full tournament schedule is available at wesmen.ca.