Three Is the Magic Number for High School Jets

Basketball Season Ends in the Semis for all Squads

The Jets boys and girls basketball teams competed in the SKAC Basketball Finals at the International School of Busan (ISB) and Busan Foreign School (BFS) on March 17th. Both squads showed off the skills and teamwork they built over their long journey. Every drop of sweat accumulated over the season led to this moment. 

They focused on effort, intensity, and dedication. Coach Park said, “We definitely had many, many extra practices. I think this was the most practice I ever had as a coach because we had more than ten extra practices. In the beginning, I knew that we, as a team, were not super athletic nor skillful compared to other schools. But we had a great attitude and [the girls] were supporting one another. Overall, at the end of the season, we really were a strong team.”

The boys also spent hours outside of their regular practice schedule. Caden in 9th grade said, “I practiced almost every day for 30 minutes, and I also practiced during recess as well.”

Coach Kaschub added, “We had a couple of years off, so we had a lot of athletes who hadn’t played much as a team. But we improved a lot. If we look at our games from the beginning of the year from the divisionals to the finals, we played much, much better. We improved a ton with team offense and defense.”

But with all that commitment, victory was not on their side. All three squadsthe boy’s varsity and junior varsity, and the girl’s varsity—earned third place and brought back the bronze. 

Injuries served as the critical factor that hampered the season. Juan, one of the boys’ starting five, and Ethan, team MVP, each went through an ankle and elbow injury, respectively. The damage took away immense practice time and lasted until just before the finals.

Sarah, varsity power forward, suffered a knee injury in a match against ISB. Apple said, “I felt shocked and sad because Sarah was the star player on our team. I think it was also a loss for the team because we really, really needed her. I remember that last time during KISAC, Sarah also got hurt, so it was so sad that she kept getting hurt. When she started crying, I also started crying.” Sidelined players forced teams to reevaluate their trajectories. 

Christine in grade 9 added, ”If we had Sarah, we would have beat BFS. It was so obvious.”

All obstacles aside, the Jets ended the day on a high note. Jayden said, “Dylan played like Dennis Rodman. He was crazy with his rebounds during the last game.” The boys’ Varsity and JV lineups dominated their matchups against BFS as a grand finalé.

Along with the 2 boys’ strong finishes, the girls maintained a winning streak against Fayston Preparatory School (FPS).

The finals displayed peak highlights. The gym heated up when Ethan hit a half court buzzer-beater in the first half of the last game against BFS. “When I threw the shot, I didn’t think it was going in at all. But as soon as it went in, I knew that people were going to run on the court and celebrate with me. It was one of the best moments of the day and probably my entire life.” Ethan proved himself a scoring machine as he put up 27 points over the three finals matches.

Coach Kaschub rewarded the seniors with an unforgettable memory for the past four years of effort. The last showdown of the season began and ended with all the senior starters on the court. Alex noted, “It was my last game – it felt very weird since I played basketball for four years. Thanks to Mr. Kaschub, we [seniors] were able to start and end the game, which was a memorable experience. I want to thank Mr. Kaschub and all the seniors.” 

Even after years of the COVID void, the basketball novices showed tremendous improvement. Coach Kaschub reflected, “We started the year not playing very well and getting beat by quite a few points, but we played much closer matches at the end of the year. We had a really successful season in terms of growth.” 

The Jets continue to aim high and bring their game to the next level. The long basketball season overlapped with the first few weeks of futsal practice. Now high school sports shift to the soccer field for the remainder of the year.