Talent goes far, hardwork goes further

Varsity Basketball team head to Zama for their Far East Tournament

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Taken by Coach Cervantes

The basketball team had a season of friendship

One word that describes this year’s varsity basketball team is ‘fresh.’ Not only did all the seniors leave but only two experienced players were back in the team. Consequently, the team ended with 3 wins and 9 losses. In addition, there were many setbacks during the second half of the season due to many absences from core players because of injuries and illnesses. This forced Coach Cervantes to go against powerful teams such as Kinnick with just seven players. However, in their last game against the Mustangs (American School in Japan), the Symbas worked hard as a team scoring 48 points. Miya (11), one of the captains of the team recalls the game saying, “I think the game against ASIJ was one of our best games. I know we lost but we worked as a team and it really showed how far we’ve come. I felt like we were all thinking the same thing, ‘I want to end the season with a win’.”

Ending the season stronger than ever, the Varsity Basketball team headed to Zama for the Far East Tournament on February 15th.

They started off their first day with a win from both M.C Perry (29-18) and Humphreys (12-8). However, Haruka (11) sprained her ankle on the first day, forcing the team to only have 8 players for the rest of the games.

With one player down, Symbas had a brilliant start on day two with a win against Daegu (28-24).

During their second game Symbas faced Edgren, one of the toughest teams in the league. Both Symbas and Edgren had so far won all of their games in the pool, forcing this game to decide which team would come first in their pool.

The game started off with an easy lay-up from Edgren. They had great team work and ball movement, with their constant pressure and easy layups. The Symbas kept up with their fast-breaks, keeping a tight zone defense. Nina (10) and Signe (10) scored easy shots off the backboard. However, with constant turnovers and easy lay-ups Edgren dominated the game, ending with a score of 50-18.

 It was an absolute pleasure working with this year’s Varsity team. They all had high energy at practice and it was what turned this team from an average group to a competitive team. I’m already looking forward to next year with this group ”

Anna (11) recalled the defeat saying,”Going against a team like Edgren was very challenging. They had some returnees and we had none, so I felt like we were at a disadvantage. However, we played strong and hard and it ended up being a memorable game. Playing against them really put our skills to the test.”

This left the Symbas in second place in their pool. With a tough defeat from Edgren, Symbas went onto the double elimination playoffs.

For their first game the Symbas went against Osan. The game started off with a shot from Joyce (10). The Symbas had a tight zone defense preventing easy shots off the backboard. However, Osan had players aiming shots outside of the free throw line and the three point line, easily getting back the scores that the Symbas shot. By halftime the Symbas were in the lead by 26-20.

The Symbas had a great start in the third quarter defending shots both outside and inside the free throw line. Still, the Osan dominated the court with their strong pressure and shooting skills. By the fourth quarter the Symbas only led the score by 35-33. Despite the intense match the Symbas lost to Osan with a score of 42-39.

Madeline (10) recalled the game saying, “The game against Osan was nerve-racking from the beginning to the end as our chance of scoring in the top 4 counted on that game. Although I think we all played well, the nerves got us in the end as we started to panick and gave Osan too many chances. Even though the end result was disappointing, overall the game was very satisfying.”

On the third day the Symbas went against M.C Perry. Although a tough team to beat, the Symbas earned a win against M.C. Perry (33-19), progressing to the final game against Okinawa. However, one of the core players, Kolora (11) injured herself, leaving only 7 players in the game.

For their final game the Symbas went against Okinawa Christian, the only other international school in the tournament. Both teams fought hard for the 5th place. The Symbas had a strong zone defense but the Okinawa Christian had strong offensive players, penetrating towards the basket. In the end, the Symbas unfortunately lost with a score of 35-15.

Overall, the Symbas came in sixth in the tournament, with Yokota Panthers as this year’s Far East Champions. In addition, Signe (10) received an All Star Award for her outstanding play.

“It was very entertaining watching the Symbas play great basketball against some very physical competition. It was an absolute pleasure working with this year’s Varsity team. They all had high energy at practice and it was what turned this team from an average group to a competitive team. I’m already looking forward to next year with this group”, said Coach Cervantes.  

The Symbas Varsity team came in 6th place overall at the Far East Tournament.
Staff
The Symbas Varsity team came in 6th place overall at the Far East Tournament.