Three times they’ve reached the national finals and three times they’ve failed. That has been the untold story story of  Keta Senior high (Ketasco) at the Sprite Ball Championship in Ghana.

Simply put Ketasco have endeared themselves in the most prestigious basketball event for high schools in the West African country over the past four years since they entered the frame, but always leave with a sour mouth at the national final.

The side has remained impregnable in the Volta region where for three years, they have remained the kings of the game.

Arch-rivals Keta Business School (Ketabusco) have tried unsuccessfully to unseat them in the region but in the end  the character and charade of their opponent has always reign supreme.
Sometimes must be terribly wrong with the mentality and psyche of the players whenever they play in the grand-finale of the competition.

Ketasco's Akplaku (in blue shirt)

Before I delve deep into what I think is wrong with the Ketasco team, we must all aknoweledge that any change (no matter how large or small) is difficult and requires patience and persistence.

In particular successful people(including players) are aware of the extent of commitment and endurance necessary for the implementation of any successful plan to enable it to be a huge success.

Those should be the attribute that the technical handlers of Ketasco should start looking at going into future tournament.

The team has always presented a strong squad full of depth and quality. Over the past four years, the school  has managed to get to the finals of the competition and that for me is no mean achievement and deserves a pat on the shoulder.

Ketasco could only settle for silver for the third time

But the big question is: Is it enough to get to the finals and always crush out when it matters most?
Certainly the answer will be a big no from any present, and old student or even a basketball fanatic.

But unfortunately  that has been their story which must urgently be  addressed since it’s becoming an albatross on their neck.

They came into the 5th edition of the Sprite Ball Championship brimmed with lots of confidence to end their 4-year wait for the crown but once again they fluffed their lines on the court to hand the trophy to Mfantsipim in a highly entertaining game.

A player of Ketasco on the ball

As becoming a ritual, they qualified to the finals with fine performances against Ghana Lebanon and Isamic School (GLISS) by beating them 47-42 at the quarter final stage before thrashing Prempeh College 33-17 at the semi-final stage with swash buckling performance on-set offensive display coupled with a resolute defensive network that made the Kumasi-based side looked ordinary  on the court.

The likes of Aflakpu, Homey, Bliss, Kuenyedzie, Havor, John Teye, Osei Jay, Sedem, Dela Flavior, Moses Ansah, Dovie and Quarshiga Richard were at their best and many thought their time to win the title had finally arrived.

But cometh the moment and cometh the undisputed masters of the game-a fixture against three-time central regional champions, Mfantsipim at a congenial atmosphere at the Aviation Social Centre.

The battle lines had been drawn and fans were in for a feast of a great game. The referees (unpires) were ready so were the various dignitaries including the country’s Sport Minister Clement Kofi Humado, Senior Manager of title sponsors Sprite, Mrs Linda Larbi, the top brass of the Ghana Basketball Association as well some of the finest musicians in the country.

Head coach of Ketasco,Yao Dodzi, whispered to me their time had come and his charges were ready for the big shot even though he was aware of the gargantuan challenge confronting his ambition.

They (Ketasco) started on a whirlwind fashion by keeping the ball, display the man-to man marking and leaving no chance to Mfantsipim’s danger man Edem Dumenu to operate from the centre of the court with his sublime piece of dribbling which had proved the catalyst in their surge to defend the trophy.

Both sides took the game to each other as fans continued to chant and sing for their respective schools.

Determination was starring in the face of the Volta-regional based school with most of their players keen to lift the trophy in their final year at the school.

They knew that was their last chance and so had to give it all. Kill themselves if that sounds better.

The first half produced thrills and moment of brilliance from the two sides but in the end lack of momentarily concentration once again proved Ketasco’s nemesis as they allowed Mfantsipim to grab the win by the scruff of the neck and with just the buzzer to move into extra-time, chief sniper Morgan grabbed the headlines with an individual effort to win the day 37-35 to send their supporters into raptures.

There we go again! another crippling blow to the ambitions of Ketasco as they have to wait for another 12 more to attempt to win it.

But that in itself isn’t going to come on a silver plate following the kind of talents that were displayed by the various schools.

Another dream gone up in flames and the managers of the team will need to do a lot of overhauling  in the team before December when the 6th edition will be rolled out.

Their supporters have been thirsty for the national title for years and after they were left crestfallen, many questions are beginning to pop out as to whether they will continue to live under the shadows of the oldest school in Ghana.

We have to wait and see!!



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