High School Girls Go 2-1, but the Boys Drop the Ball

SKAC Basketball Divisionals Bring Mixed Results


Lisa fights through the intense defense against FPS. Photo by Grace Chae.

Ricky Jang, Sarah Lee, and Grace Chae

“Winning? That was not one of the terms we considered,” said Lisa, girls’ captain. The high school basketball teams traveled down to Gyeongnam International Foreign School (GIFS) for their first divisionals in 3 years on February 4th. As Lisa mentioned, the girls did not expect the successful results of 2 wins and 1 loss. 

Amy wrestles to put up a winning shot. Photo by Grace Chae.

The girls’ first game was against the Busan Foreign School (BFS) varsity team, the tournament favorites. When the girls held a pre-game meeting to strategize, they discussed having fun and learning how other schools play, rather than firing up to crush the competition. Playing scared, the girls ended up losing their first match. 

Lisa seeks for an open teammate through the Sharks full-court press. Photo by Jane Nam.
Sarah pushes for the clutch layup against FPS. Photo by Grace Chae.

Coach Park said, “I think we just weren’t ready for it. We made a lot of mistakes, but I was expecting that. BFS was also very aggressive, which we didn’t know would happen. So after the first game, I think we were more ready mentally and physically.”

Lisa added, “BFS was one of the most competitive teams in our division, and the first 3 minutes of the game, yeah, I was fouled.” BFS played an intense game.

While the competitive atmosphere reigned supreme just like previous tournaments, a new addition to our athletic conference – Fayston Preparatory of Suji (FPS) – set a higher standard for SKAC play. Our girls went head-to-head with 2 different FPS teams.

Sarah darts through FPS defenders on her move to the hoop. Photo by Grace Chae.
Apple slides past two Eagles for an easy scoop. Photo by Grace Chae.

To redeem themselves after the loss to BFS, the girls got amped up, desperate for at least one victory. Mr. Park whipped out his tactic board to plan positions and plays. He kept cool and calm while he brainstormed their next offense and defense. With improved moves and 9th grade Minori’s multiple three-pointers, the girls swept both bouts against the varsity and JV FPS squads.

Minori drills the jump shot, perfecting the play she learned during timeout. Photo by Grace Chae.
Lisa goes for a hug after a backbreaking game. Photo by Jane Nam.

The boys’ team competed at Sacheon Gymnasium for their divisionals. Although the boys brought meaningful effort, some key missing players and the lack of experience hampered their chances. The varsity team concluded the day with no wins and the JV squad went 1-2, finishing the day with an exciting victory. 

Colin dominates the paint with his post moves. Photo by Lewis Kim.
Paul drills the jump shot from deep. Photo by Lewis Kim.
Nothin’ but net for Harry as he watches the scoreboard go up by 3 points. Photo by Lewis Kim.

Since 2020, high school basketball suffered due to COVID-cancelations. Coach Kaschub said, “For a lot of sports, but definitely for boys’ high school basketball, we just haven’t been able to play over the past 3 years. I think that definitely showed up for the SKAC tournament. A lot of the boys put in a lot of hard work and digested a lot of things we are talking about in practice.” This is the first time the seniors hit the court since freshman year.

Coach K motivates the squad during a well-deserved timeout. Photo by Lewis Kim.
Caden flexes past the Sharks to get the open shot. Photo by Lewis Kim.
The boys bump fists at the end of the timeout, rooting for victory. Photo by Jane Nam.

Through these challenges, both the girls’ and boys’ teams strive to improve and bring promising results home from the upcoming finals on March 17th.

Ethan sets a pick for Ricky’s drive to the rim. Photo by Jane Nam.
Ethan demands a screen to drift past the Sharks defender. Photo by Jane Nam
Dylan works hard to keep possession with a rebound. Photo by Jane Nam.
Brian contests the Bear’s defense for a breakaway through the paint. Photo by Grace Chae.