Our Girls' Prep Basketball Team had a great week at the Insider Exposure Independent School National Championships in Mooresville (Charlotte) North Carolina. The team made a great impression competing in the 20-team field with some of the best independent teams from 3 provinces and 7 states. The event was covered by every major basketball recruiting publication, ESPN, USA Today, and more than 50 NCAA Schools were on site evaluating players, including Notre Dame, Florida, Michigan State, UNC, Duke, and countless other major programmes.
Friday February 21
KES Prep vs St James School (Maryland)
Our first game of the event had us matched up against St James School from Maryland who featured 3 NCAA D1 committed players. We entered the game as the lower seed, and the start of the game mirrored the seeding. St James opened up a 26-9 lead over our KES girls, but they responded to the challenge by going on a 15-0 run using pressure defence and playing an up-tempo style of game. The nerves wore off, and KES controlled the rest of the game, ending up with a 64-58 upset win in the first round of the elite/championship bracket.
with 14 points and 8 assists,
with 10 (including 2 timely 3 pointers), and
with 21 led the team to this important victory.
KES Prep vs King’s Christian (Oakville, ON)
The second game of the day saw KES matched up against Canadian counterpart King’s Christian (Oakville, ON), another strong team with 2 players who played on Canadian Basketball National teams this past summer and NCAA committed players. This game was nip and tuck after KES dug themselves out of a 14-point deficit to get back to within 4 with just over 3 minutes left in the game. The team had great looks at open 3 pointers and 2 contested layups that rimmed out and kept KES from clearing that last hurdle and the game ended up in a 67-57 loss.
led the team with 22 points,
continued her hot shooting from 3 and chipped in with 16 points and
had a great game on both ends of the floor for our Prep Girls.
Saturday February 22
KES Prep vs TRC Academy (Brantford ON)
As KES Prep moved into the placing stage of the tournament, we ran into another Canadian team and one a few of us were familiar with. This affair became a physical back and forth, and
kept up her strong play with 17 points, 3 assists, and 5 rebounds.
had 13 points (while going 3 for 6 from 3-point land) and was matched by
12-point effort as well. TRC controlled the inside game and out rebounded KES which pushed their lead to as much as 20. KES got the deficit down to as few as 10 twice, but could not close the gap, and the game ended in a 62-49 win for TRC.
Sunday February 23
KES Prep vs TPLS Christian (Virginia)
The last game of our Grade 12 girls’ High School basketball career ended up to be one of our most exciting of the season. In a battle to determine a top 10 spot in the national championship event, TPLS ran out to a 36-26 halftime lead and seemed in control of the game, but as we have done all season, our KES Prep team went on another 17-2 run in the 3
quarter to turn the tables and take a 43-38 lead into the fourth quarter.
shooting stayed hot and
Aaliyah kept her on court leadership at the highest of levels. Combined with
physical offensive play, our KES Prep Girls stretched the lead to 9 in the middle of the 4
when TPLS made a comeback to narrow the lead and tie the game 59-59 with 10 seconds to play. After a timeout, TPLS had the ball, and our girls dug deep to play hard defense, which worked for 8 seconds, when TPLS hit a jump shot with 2.2 seconds left in the game to go up 61-59. KES had the ball with one last chance to win with a three or tie with a two off an in bounds play. With the entire programme holding our collective breath, the shot to win missed its target, and KES fell 61-59 to TPLS.
A 10th place finish in a field of 20 excellent teams in our programme’s first National Championships is an excellent result, and has already qualified us for next year’s version. I am very proud of the way our girls played all week, and the compliments on their work ethic, their ‘never say die’ approach and their overall good nature came from other coaches, national player evaluators, and the media.
The season has been a successful one, and we will miss the leadership and contributions that our graduating players have brought throughout the year. Congrats to
Aaliyah, Heavyn, Jasmine, Haley, Samantha, Mackenzie, and
Director of Basketball Operations
Head Coach KES Prep Basketball
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