Keta Secondary School (Ketasco) finally won the Sprite Basketball trophy at the El Wak basketball court, after three unsuccessful attempts in previous finals.
Ketasco, who are currently the Volta Region champions, defeated Presbyterian Boys (Presec) by 25-18.
“Wow I feel so great we made it, we have suffered for too long. Now we are Champions I’m so happy,” said Sedem Tettevi. Sedem is the point guard for Ketasco. He was adjudged the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the competition.
Ketasco lost the finals in 2008, 2009 and 2012. After three defeats in the finals against Achimota School (2008), Armed Forces (2009) and Mfanstipim (2012), Ketasco finally struck gold.
First timers, T.I Ahmadiya Secondary School (Amass), from Kumasi won the girls competition. They outscored the defending champion (Aggrey Memorial secondary School from Cape) by 21-15 to win their first ever trophy in the Sprite Ball competition.
Rachel Obeng, Amass’s best player, was ecstatic when the referee blew the whistle for the end of the match.
“I feel amazing right now. This is our first basketball competition and is not common for a school from nowhere to come into a competition and take the championship”, said Rachel.
Prior to the boy’s final game, Presec looked the overwhelming favourites to lift the trophy for the second time since the first edition of the competition in 2007. Presec, the only unbeaten side in the competition before the finals, disappointed their numerous cheering supporters.
Presec started the final match full of confidence in their shooting abilities which turned out to be their downfall. They rarely entered the ‘inside’ (restricted area) of their opponent, but rather opted to shoot in other to score points. Almost all their shots missed the target. Ketasco took advantage of the rebounds and adapted a more successful strategy.
John Teye, the playmaker of Ketasco, wasted no time juggling the ball. He swiftly distributed the ball to his colleagues who used took ‘drives’ rather than shooting. Knowing the capabilities of John, the boys from Presec marked him with two players, this also made him release the ball quickly to his teammates.
At the end of the first quarter, the scoreboard read 16-8 in favour of ketasco.
Late in the second quarter, which was the final quarter, Presec changed their strategy to reduce the deficit by driving to score points. However, Tettevi Sedem responded with accurate ‘three points’ shots which kept his side in the lead to the ended.
Lawal Brimah, national basketball team coach, shared his thoughts about the final match.
“Presec lost this game tactically. They should have gone in for ‘drives’ and used the ‘inside’ more instead of just shooting said Lawal who also doubles as the Coach of CEPS.
Coach Lawal said he was also very impressed and have taken note of some players (former students) who played the all-stars match. The all-stars match kept supporters and organisers on their toes amidst excitement throughout the game.
Poor discipline affected the comeback of Presec. They gave away too many unnecessary fouls.
Even though Presec had the ‘Twin Towers’ (Wuni and Samuel) and other skilful players like J. Tham in their team, Ketsco seemed determined not to lose their fourth finals.
Presec threw everything at Ketasco but Ketasco had answers to all the tactics used by Presec to win their first championship.
Mfanstipim Secondary School (Kwabotwe) from Cape Coast placed fourth. Mfantsipim are the most successful team in the seven year history of the competition. They have won the competition three times, in 2010, 2011 and 2013.
Presec defeated Mfantsipim in the semi-final. Daniel Owusu who is the star player for Mfantsipim got injured in the match but he still tried to play limping in pain.
He wanted to rescue his team from defeat. He tried all his ball juggling tricks but it was not enough to turn things around. He ended up aggravating the injury.
Ashanti Regional champions, Opoku Ware Secondary School (Owass) delighted the supporters in their quarter finals match against Adisadel College with their quick passing game to which the boys from Cape Coast had no antidote. The centre man of Opoku Ware, Kweku Owusu Ansah was the toast of the spectators because of his creative abilities.
He was the smallest and shortest boy in the competition. Despite his height, he was a hard nut to crack by the opposing teams he encountered. Kweku helped his team to beat the defending champions (Mfanstipim) in the third place matched. However, the huge looking boys from Keta used their height and tactical discipline to frustrate Kweku and his colleagues in their semi-final clash.
Because of his exploits, the youngster from Kumasi (Kweku) was voted the Fans fest player.
Rachael Obeng of T.I Ahmadiya also from Kumasi was voted the Fans best female player.
Aggrey Memorial’s Joana Dansowaa won the female division Most Valuable Player.
All the individual award winners will travel to South Africa as a reward of their hard work.
T.I Ahmadiya received 800 cedis for winning the girls competition. Aggrey Memorial got 500 cedis for placing second and Mfanstinam girls got 300 cedis for beating Labone Secondary in the third place match.
For the male division:
Ketasco 1000 cedis
Presec 800 cedis
Opoku ware 500 cedis.
All the winners received products from Coca Cola and Indomie.
Yaw sakyi, Chief Executive of Right Multimedia was happy about the outcome of the competition.
“We are growing, year after year we have improved and the standard of play is also improving. The future of basketball in this country is bright”, said Yaw.