With a 33-1 record the Knights of RTR brought home a state championship defeating North Woods 59-55.
- RTR won back to back titles 13 years ago with toughness and team play, and in 2018 they did the same. At first it was their trapping defense they gave the Grizzlies some problems but as the game moved on it was the physical rebounding and finishing of the Knights that stood out. Many of the Knights field goals came after taking contact and finishing. The effort of Westin Kirk was most noticeable in this way.
- The Knights had the early lead but North Woods changed the game with their switch to a zone defense. The Grizzlies played a lot more active and they were also able to rebound better of the zone.
- RTR executed late game situations better down the stretch. The way they used the time outs and the plays they ran out of the timeouts led to success. Meanwhile North Woods gave up 16 valuable seconds not able to foul late. RTR also hit key foul shots.
- The three point line. RTR State tournament opponents made only four of 42 3 pointers, an incredible stat. And kids just love to hit NBA threes. Garrett Kern’s deep makes late were crucial.
Five Player Standouts
- Cade Goggleye of North Woods, Junior. Cade looks taller and his comfort with handling the basketball has progressed immensely. He was one of the few guards in state that could handle the Knights defense his jumpshot is picturesque. He can hit with feet set, and now extremely good at using one dribble to get into great lift showing off the beautiful release. Definitely an improved prospect.
- Westin Kirk of RTR, Senior. Kirk was the toughness on the glass and he did a magnificent job of finishing in the paint taking contact from his opponent and then completing plays. Length did bother him for a bit but Kirk did a better job moving off the ball and finding space for finishes and 18 points.
- Garrett Kern of RTR, Senior. There were many points that changed the game but the late three pointers and foul shots from Garrett were crucial. He was also a key piece in the defense that turned North Woods over so much.
- Tate Olson of North Woods, Senior. The other half of the Grizzlies great guard play scored his points seemingly from super three point range all day. The shot looks kind of odd but the percentages are solid.
- Carter Hansen of RTR, Junior. The definition of toughness, Carter played all over the court. He was another guy that constantly was taking contact and finishing at the rim. Hansen was also a key part of their defense plus he will be the leader next year when the Knights try and defend the crown.