During the winter sports season, the eighth grade boys and girls basketball teams got the chance to compete in tournaments outside of their regulation games. Regulation games normally consists of LSSA involved schools like ACS Cobham, ACS Hillingdon, ACS Egham, and TASIS. However, for several years, the basketball teams have been given an opportunity to represent their boroughs in a competition throughout London.
The eighth grade girls and boys kicked off their season by participating in a qualifying London Basketball Association (LBA) tournament filled with teams from Westminster. The winner of this tournament would go on to represent the borough of Westminster.
Both the eighth grade boys and girls won the tournament. Because of that, they were able to move on to represent their borough. The tournament was then set up as a knock-out style, meaning once you lose you’re out. The teams played games against other teams representing other boroughs around London to see who would qualify for the final rounds. Once the teams play and win three games, the team would then be qualified for the Final Four.
The Final Four games took place as a full day tournament meaning that the teams get to take a day off from school. This year the tournament took place March 28 at The Score Centre in Stratford, London. Both teams made it into the final four although due to the language trips, the grade eight girls had to forfeit their position in the final four because of a lack of players.
However, the outcome was different for the boys’ team. On March 28, the eighth grade boys were granted a shot at victory and they came out of the tournament with a first place trophy. This was the first time any ASL team won this tournament, but this is not the first time the eighth grade teams have come out on top.
Both teams also went to a basketball tournament in Aberdeen, Scotland on the weekend of February 2. This is an annual tournament that ASL has been invited for at least the past decade. This year, both teams were successful and earned first place . The girls went undefeated in the tournament and they boys had an unfortunate loss to St. Dominic’s International School of Portugal.
Both teams have been granted multiple opportunities to play outside of LSSA involved schools, meaning that they have chances to play more challenging competition resulting in running harder plays, getting to practice and play defense, and having to play an overall better game. If in Aberdeen, or an LBA game, they have faced challenges that may have caused division on the team. When faced with new and possibly harder challenges throughout the season, both teams have avoided breaking under pressure and pushed through the season as a team. Eighth grade boys guard said, “I think that this is a really good opportunity for our team to play because we have worked hard for this all season.”