New Hope Academy basketball has enjoyed a large amount of success over the past six years, with the boys qualifying for the national basketball tournament every year since they started (2009), and the girls doing the same (starting in 2012).
On March 27th, both teams played to qualify once more. The Stallions (NHA boys) played for their sixth qualification and the Mares (NHA girls) for their fourth. The tournament was hosted here at Kasana, with seven boys teams showing up to compete, and three girls teams. The first New Hope team to play was the Stallions, who went up against Makerere High School. The Stallions had a slow start, but finished strong with a 28-18 win to start off the day. The Mares first game followed immediately after the Stallions, playing against Ndejje. Though hard fought, the Mares lost 31-19. Before lunchtime, the Stallions played one more game against Katikamu and won by a huge margin with 32 points to Katikamu’s 14. With their first two games won, the Stallions still had to play Ndejje before the semi-finals could begin.
In the sweltering heat of the afternoon, the Mares played Saku to determine who would play Ndejje in the finals. After trailing early and then picking up a 25-18 lead, Saku came back and tied the game which sent it into four minute overtime. The Mares’ defense was solid and they put up four points to win 29-25, meaning they would play Ndejje again for the final. In the meantime, the Stallions still had two more games to play. Their toughest opponents yet, Ndejje held New Hope to just 8 points, though their offense had trouble as well, scoring 20.
The girls played in the final against Ndejje and lost 39-19, finishing second out of the three girls teams that participated.
The boys played their final game against Saku to see who would play Ndejje for the regional trophy. A number of factors played into the 38-6 loss, but probably the most important was the excellent outside shooting attack from Saku, who scored a number of three pointers during the game.
The final was played between Saku and Ndejje, with Saku blowing out Ndejje 43-18.
All in all, the day was fun, hot, competitive, and a great example of glorifying God through sportsmanship. God-willing, both the Stallions and the Mares will compete in the National tournament at the end of April.
Pray that the teams will continue to move forward with unity as brothers and sisters in Christ and praise God with us for the opportunity to play in Nationals again.
By Jensen Anderson