With a small team and “big hearts”, Lady Knights pull off a win in Taiwan


Shooting guard, Jackie Kim shoots a 2-pointer against St. Paul.

Sally Minseo Kim, News Writer

Ending the season with immense growth and success the varsity girls basketball team was ready to take on bigger challenges by participating in the Asia Christian Schools Conference (ACSC tournament). The girls went in the competition with a mindset ready to fight hard and to learn from the experience.

The girls faced the obstacle of having very few
players and competing against more challenging opponents that had a full team proved to be a huge disadvantage for the girls.

Olena Vasyltsova, known for playing all positions dribbles the ball to reset the offensive play.

The opponent teams had ten or more subs and were able to sub out the whole team at a time, Olena Vasyltsova expressed the disadvantage and said, ”This had a big impact on us because we only had seven girls and weren’t able to make a lot of subs, especially after people started getting hurt. We had to adjust to the environment and the circumstances by doing our best to pull through entire games without subs.”

Lady Knights stack up in position under their hoop in order to interrupt the inbound play.

Assistant Coach Chan said, “Going into the tournament we knew we were going to have some tough competition. The goal was to play our best every game like we did in KAIAC and become better players through that experience.”

Cindy dribbles the ball defensively in order to break the full court press.

The tough competition and the obstacle of a having a small team didn’t stop the girls from playing. Especially in a game against Dalat International School, of Malaysia, the girls truly showed their grit and desire to win. Down by six points with only three minutes left in the game the girls still played with a lot of energy. The team used full court press which gave them the success they had this season. The girls were able to pull out a win at the last second with a steal made by Jackie Kim, sophomore and an attempted 2-pointer by Cindy Kang which resulted in a foul. The final score was 31 GSIS-30 Dalat.

Coach Bertken described the game in detail and said, “Senior, Cindy Kang, who truly put her heart and soul into this team from way back in the September open gyms, rebounded the ball and put back a shot but was fouled.  With 1.7 seconds left on the clock, Cindy’s last shot of her high school career left her hands from the free-throw line and fell softly through the net to win the last game of the season for her team.”

Before going in the tournament, Coach Bertken explained to the team about having a “heart” for the sport and working to get the results the girls desired. This unexpected but hard fought win was the evidence that showed it’s not always about the skills but it’s about the perseverance and the willingness to play the game. 

Siwon pulls a triple entente and looks for a pass as the defenders blocked her path to the hoop.

Siwon Lee, senior also expressed the important lesson she gained from the tournament and said, “At the beginning of the season, Mr. Bertken asked us “what kind of story do you want to tell at the end of the season?” During the whole season, I was wondering about this question and I couldn’t find an answer. However, I found the answer during the trip, it was “the heart of wanting bring us here”. I learned that result doesn’t matter, what matter the most is how big is your heart.”

Mr Coleman, assistant coach said, “I want the girls to learn that skill only goes so far for an athlete. Having heart and the will to win can push a team really far. After being knocked around by bigger teams, we never stayed down but got back up to fight even harder. The lessons we learn on the court should stay a part of our lives as we will continue to run into troubles that seem bigger than us.”

The lady knights participated in the ACSC tournament on Feb 14 until the 19. The tournament was taking a step further from their comfort zone and was full of tough competition that pushed the girls to their limits.

The Lady Knights final season record stands at 15-8. They placed seventh in the ACSC tournament and with a tied record against KIS (7-1), they took home second place in the KAIAC Tournament with a final score of 18-30 KIS.