Photo Credit: GFSchool Twitter
A day after Christmas 2019, the GFS varsity basketball team set out on a five day trip to Orlando. In the days to come, the team would play three games in the KSA Invitational, and see if they could bring home the coveted trophy.
In the first game, the Tigers blew out the Priory School, a boarding school from California which previously held an 8-1 record, with a final score of 60-37. Leading the way were junior guard Ben Istvan with 17 points, and sophomore point guard Matt Johnson with 15 points.
They went on to play a tough Portsmouth, Ohio team the next day. With eight seconds left in the game, star forward Ben King ‘22 hit a shot which gave the Portsmouth team another chance to win, but the Tigers persisted. “Gotta get this board right,” King said. After achieving one more defensive stop, they knew they were making it through. “I was hype that we won,” said King, whose first GFS career game winning play had pushed the Tigers into the championship round. There, they would face a New Jersey high school, Bishop Eustace Prep, in a much anticipated final.
All the hard work they put into the season came down to this one game. Bishop Eustace started the first quarter hot by hitting a couple threes, but some good team defense from the Tigers allowed them to stay in the game going into the second quarter. After some forced turnovers by Eustace forward Amiri Atkins, Bishop Eustace was up 22-16 going into halftime. GFS attempted to get ahead by out-scoring the Crusaders 18-12 in the third quarter. With everything tied up going into the final quarter 34-34, it was set to be a nail biter.
Unfortunately, the Tigers struggled offensively and ended the fourth quarter against Bishop Eustace 4-10. In the end, the Crusaders held the KSA Invitational trophy, while the Tigers fell just short. For the season overall, the team averaged 57.9 points per game, but were held to 38 points per game due to many live ball turnovers by Bishop Eustace.
**MaxPreps.com and GFS Basketball twitter were both used for stats.