Article by: Ryan Santos
Illustration by: Sung Hee B.
In sport, it is often not the final result that counts, but the performance. Even the greatest of teams and athletes go through a series of trials and tribulations before finally eclipsing moments of success. No stranger to this sentiment, our varsity girls basketball team is looking forward to seizing its first IASAS championship come January.
Over the past couple of years, our Bearcat girls basketball team has developed into an IASAS powerhouse. After making the IASAS final in 2014 and 2015, the girls narrowly lost to Singapore American School (SAS) on both occasions. Two years ago, the girls’ outstanding display of athleticism and crushing defeats shocked spectators, as the team largely consisted of underclassmen. The following year, the girls further impressed teams, coaches, and crowds when they won all their round robin games, including a convincing victory over SAS. Many believed the Bearcats would win gold in the 2015 IASAS, but sadly the girls lost by two points in the final to the SAS Eagles. Devastated, assistant coach, Mr. McQueen, described the loss as “extremely tough, especially because of the hard work put in all season long, coupled with how well the girls had performed all throughout tournament.” While disappointed, current senior captain and IASAS veteran, Tori M., noted that “everyone just needed time away from basketball so that we could focus less on the unfortunate final result, and be reminded of why we love playing the sport.”
Determined now more than ever, the girls have come back this year even hungrier for the title. Continuing with their rampant ride of success, the girls have maintained an unbeaten record this fall locally, while they have also returned from pre-IASAS having handily beaten ISB, ISKL, and JIS. But as Mr. McQueen has emphasized, “Nothing is guaranteed, and the stakes are much greater for us to win this year.” While remaining conscious of this, he also highlights that this year’s set of players is the “most athletic and hardworking team” that he has coached during his five year tenure at ISM. Likewise, Mr. McQueen feels the team’s gold medal chances are promising again at IASAS. When asked about the Bearcats’ arch nemesis, SAS, he notes that a “hollywood-style rivalry has taken form” as the “quick and small” playing style of ISM has given, and will continue to give, the traditionally “bigger and stronger” players of SAS “a run for their money.” Also fond of the big stage, Tori M. describes the matchup as “special because of the long and competitive history between both schools.” As a top contender, the Bearcats aim not only to settle for a place in the finals, but also hope to finally to capture their first IASAS basketball gold medal title.