by Nancy Mollenhauer
The final day of the winter term proved to be one of most exciting the Middle School has seen for some time, with both the boys’ and girls’ Grade 8 basketball teams playing in the final of the City Championships at SMUS. Monterey was the opponent for both teams and based on the last few months of league and tournament play, basketball fans knew these final games would be exciting. The Monterey girls handed our team their only loss of the season and our boys team found Monterey a challenging team, even though they had never lost to them.
Fans were not disappointed as both finals proved to be hard-fought matches. In the girls’ game, SMUS controlled the play right from the tip-off and, although Monterey played a great game, they ran into some foul trouble early in the first half. Our girls maintained their composure throughout, staying well out of foul trouble and playing solid defense. In the end, we were just too strong for the Monterey side and ended up defeating them by 12 points.
Coaches Lisa Hyde-Lay and Deb Acheson were extremely pleased with the performance of the girls and this victory sealed a fantastic season that included snagging the ISA championship title and winning all their other invitational tournaments.
The boys’ game was one of the most exciting finals we’ve seen in many years at SMUS. Right from the start, it was end-to-end action and very physical. Monterey’s players were bigger than our boys, but we had quickness and dexterity, which proved invaluable. After falling behind by 9 points early on in the match, the boys fought their way back to keep it close. In the end, the game went into overtime – a three-minute period that seemed to last a lifetime.
Maintaining the same composure that they have demonstrated throughout the season, the boys played a smart overtime period and when the final horn sounded, it came down to one point separating the two teams. SMUS 69, Monterey 68!
This victory capped off a fantastic season for the boys. Like the girls, they were victorious in all of the tournaments they participated in this season as well as being ISA champions. Congratulations to coach Keith Driscoll and his squad for an outstanding accomplishment. It is going to be very exciting to watch our two teams as they move through the Senior School. No doubt this wonderful season is just the start of many more to come.