By D. Westphalen
The SPHSL (São Paulo High School League) is a competition where a range of sports are played by 5 international schools in the São Paulo area: Chapel, EAC, Graded, PACA and St. Paul's. After over two years, the basketball season returned. In 2019, shortly before the pandemic began, our St. Paul's Lions won the competition at Graded in a thrilling game. Due to the pandemic, there was not a 2020 season, and the 2021 season got postponed to this term. With this, many players in our team would unfortunately already be playing their final season.
Within the tournament, each team plays against one another twice; at home and away. We began the season with a home game, where we were able to win 61x20. After that, we continued obtaining excellent results, winning all 8 games. Although we finished the regular seasons, we had some nail biting games, especially our second game versus Graded.
As we had won every game, we automatically qualified to host the finals, now all we had to do was to wait for our opponents. After winning their semifinal against Chapel, Graded advanced to the finals, it would be Lions x Eagles for the second time in a row.
Graded and St. Paul's have a long history against each other in basketball, however both teams have always treated this rivalry with the utmost respect and admiration.
As we warmed up for the game floods of people came into the gym to come and support us, who then cheered us along throughout the whole game. We started the game strong opening a double-digit lead by the end of the first quarter. After that, we continued playing with focus and determination, and won the game 39x20, becoming SPHSL champions for the fifth time in a row.
It was an astonishing season for all of us, and we were all extremely happy to give the Upper 6s the end that they deserved.
St. Paul's 61 x 20 PACA
St. Paul's 41 x 18 Graded
St. Paul's 50 x 21 Chapel
St. Paul's 63 x 6 EAC
St. Paul's 29 x 13 PACA
St. Paul's 31 x 16 EAC
St. Paul's 48 x 37 Graded
St. Paul's 46 x 20 Chapel
St. Paul's 39 x 20 Graded - Final