The Westside School eighth grade girls basketball team finished the season with a 19 -11 victory over St. Al/St.John. The team finished 7-0, in first place, and this was the first undefeated season in Westside School history! The girls have been together for all four years of their Middle School career, and have gone from win-less to undefeated. The girls were playing basketball for the first time as fifth grade students, and they did not win any games. With hard work and perseverance, they improved and were around .500 as sixth grade students. Last year, the went 7-1, so over the final two years, the team has gone 14-1. Aisha, Scarlett, Emma, and Flora have been on the team for the full four years, with Nina, Amber, Juliet, and Emily all having been on the team for at least two of the years. This week we are proud to highlight two female Athletes of the Week – Aisha and Nina. Both girls are tremendous athletes, and together with Scarlett, wreaked havoc on other teams with defensive pressure, awareness, and full court offensive ability. Aisha has dramatically improved her fundamentals, and now has a very nice shot, and usually finishes her layups. Nina is an excellent all-around player. She can handle the ball, shoot, finish in traffic, and has great vision and passing ability. It has been a great pleasure to watch this team play over the last two years.
The Westside School eighth grade boys basketball team entered last Saturday with a record of 5-2, with the two losses when Chris was hurt. Chris missed this game as well, and Kovit was sick, so we knew it would be a struggle. The team had five players, and they all had to play the whole game. The team got off to a 14-5 lead mid-second quarter, but St. Monica started clamping down on defense, and throwing over the top of our half-court trap. At half, the lead was cut to 14-11. St. Monica continued to play well and we continued to struggle to score. With four minutes left, the team trailed 27-16. They got two baskets, and trailed by eight with two minutes left. The CYO rules say you can’t press full court until the last two minutes of the game, and they got to two minutes and turned Henry loose. Henry, the male Athlete of the Week, pressured the point guard as soon as he touched the ball, got steals and went straight to the basket. They were still down four with about 40 seconds left when Andres fouled out, so they were playing four on five. The team was undeterred though, and kept pressuring, getting steals, and getting to the hoop. Henry scored the final basket to take the lead by one with less than 10 seconds left. St. Monica threw the ball away, Emilio in-bounded to Henry, and Henry dribbled it out, sealing one of the most dramatic wins Coach Mike has ever seen. Most of the eighth grade girls and their families came to support the team after their game, and it was a great atmosphere and showing for Westside School and our wonderful community!