Athletic Teams Blog
June 1st is known throughout parts of Asia as Children’s Day, but this year the date would also serve as a epic showdown between two former champions. The Soong Ching Ling Doves took the court in newly updated red uniforms after having to play a one-off tournament on their home court wearing soccer jerseys. Across from them- the SUIS Fire Dragons, wearing their familiar blue and orange. Both teams had played and bested three worthy opponents to reach the fourth and what would serve as the champion-deciding game of the round-robin tournament. SUIS Hongqiao, YKPAO and SUIS Pudong, now standing at courtside to watch, had each tried their best to match the firepower of the Doves but none were able to impede the slow march towards the inevitable rematch of champions.
From the opening tip-off it was clear this was not going to be another lopsided match. SCLS started out strong with a quick opening basket from Lauren Zhao (#7) following a SUIS turnover. SUIS answered in kind with points of their own, tying the game twice before Soong Ching Ling was able to jump ahead by two baskets. After a lay-up by SUIS point guard Ahna Lee (#19) brought the Fire Dragons back within two, SCLS Coach Justin Chun chose to rest his shooting guard Bowie Lu (#3) in favor of point guard CanCan Tse (#5) in an effort to slow down the determined SUIS squad. The rare second half substitution proved effective nearly immediately as Tse was able to get a foot on the ball as Lee tried to drive past her- slowing the momentum that the Fire Dragons had been relying on. On the other side of the ball, Tse took an errant rebound and was able to put it back from just inside the free throw line to give the Doves a little more room to breathe late in the half. SUIS would not be stopped however, as the Fire Dragons took advantage of a misplaced SCLS player and scored two points on an easy inbounds pass and shoot. After two fast and furious possessions yielded no points for either team, the Fire Dragons found themselves staring at a two point deficit as SCLS small forward Nina Tan (#4) brought the ball slowly up the court. Though she had proven difficult to stop in the paint before, the Fire Dragons were able to force an off-balance shot from Tan that would not find it’s mark, giving SUIS one last chance at tying the game. With the championship hanging in the balance, SUIS desperately raced down the court putting up one final shot… that would fall just short of finding the rim. Power forward Elin Chen (#6) then extinguished the Fire Dragon’s final flame with an assertive steal as time ran out.
The June 1st championship brings the SCLS Dove’s total number of first place finishes to a new school record of 4 for the 2018-2019 school year.
Shooting Guard Lauren Zhao (#7) also took home her second SSSA all-tournament MVP award of the year.
SCLS Coach Justin Chun also awarded three other players individual awards for the tournament:
Team MVP: Nina Tan (#4)
Defensive MVP: Elin Chen (#6)
Sportsmanship Award: Flora Chen (#2)
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