On March 5, the ASL eighth grade girls team had the opportunity to play the ACS Hillingdon varsity team at Hillingdon. The Hillingdon varsity team made it clear to the eighth grade girls that they thought highly of the capability of the girls and thought they would give the girls similar competition to what they may play in ISSTs. Playing a game like this showed that the team can go up against all different types of competition. Middle School Athletics Director Mr. Akay Mustafa said, “we kept trying to find challenges for the eighth grade girls basketball team and every time we put them up against somebody they did really well. And we looked at their level and at the varsity Hillingdon level and we thought it would be a great match up.” This game presented the eighth grade girls with a chance to come together as a team to try and defeat a older team, and when presented with this challenge.
Playing the varsity benefited the team by presenting a stronger opponent, and helping the girls understand what they could all do to improve in order to succeed in later games. “I think we all picked each other up and this really helped us grow and get better because everyone knew that they contributed to the team,” team member Joelle Haines said. “It just pushed us so much to become so much better because we had such a great bond.”
The eighth grade girls ended up pulling ahead and beating Hillingdon 36 – 32, but there were some points in the game where it was hard to tell who was going to come up on top. In the end, the eighth graders gave the varsity a challenging and eventful game, and the eighth grade girls made it clear that the girls were capable of playing teams at a higher level. Every player on the team contributed to the victory, whether that came from cheering on teammates, to scoring a lay up, to blocking a shot, and it is the camaraderie along with the talent that carried our team to the win.