The young girls from Aggrey Memorial have become a constant feature in the Sprite Ball Championship and once again the young players from Cape Coast will lace their sneakers to do battle in the 2013 edition of the prestigious tournament.
Aggrey are regarded as one of the fearsome sides in the country, having won the Central Regional competition once, and have also come close to the national title twice.
For two consecutive years, Aggrey defied all odds to qualify for the grand-finale but lost out to Sacred Heart in 2009 and 2010.
They may have struggled to find the wining mentality against the ever-impressive Sacred Heart, but reckons they’re coming of age.
Wesley Girls Senior High used to be the house hold name in coastal region and the mere mentioning of their name sends shivers down the spines of opponents.
They had remained a dominant force in the Central region and have in their tales two National titles in the most sought after basketball competition among the youth in the West African county.
The name of the young girls from Wesley Girls had almost become synonymous with the Sprite Ball Championship and many would have refused to accept if a clairvoyant has informed them their reign was about to go down crushing at the least expected time.
In simply terms Wesley Girls has enjoyed an incredible run in the region despite few setbacks but when you looked at their overall display they could easily be rated at the zenith in one of Ghana’s historically endowed region.
The likes of Gifty Dedeo Nyarko, Coretta Hanson and others have improved so much that they looked like an unconquerable team until a certain Dyllis Achiaa and her colleagues from Aggrey Memorial A.M.E. Zion began to take the mantra to their rivals at a time that they were on cloud nine.
And for two years the school which is located at the heart of Cape Coast township have remained the enviable side in the Sprite Ball Championship with amazing technique that continue to thrill followers of the game in Ghana.
With determination, commitment and hard work, the technical staff of the basketball team has managed to form a formidable squad in the girls division who continue to chalk laurels in the region for the past two years.
Admittedly the boys’ basketball team has not managed to emulate the shining example of their opposite mate and that perhaps remain one of the ‘mystery’ that is yet to be threadbare.
They’ve simply flopped in previous attempt at the championship and their best performance so far in the region was their quarter-final berth at the 2010 edition of the competition.
2009 and 2010 will perhaps be described as the best times for Aggrey. With an array of experienced and determined players including Kissiwaa Sosu, Barbara Akugree, Matilda, Iddrisu Ajata and of course hardworking captain Dyllis Achia, they conquered their region and managed to pick silver at the national final in two attempts with their performances earning massive reviews in the West African country.
Winning a title is not difficult but the ability to retain it is the most grueling part of the task and therefore when Aggrey came into the 5thedition of the competition, pundits booked them as the favourite for the title.
May be because they were the defending champions and in major competitions like this one, the champions are normally rated among the contenders for the title.
They qualified from their zonal base with cheeky ease but came into the knockout phase knowing they were going to meet the crème de crème in the region.
And yes they did match up to the expectations with a sweet flowing game. And their performance was summed up by a panelist on Basketball TV, Sandy Asiedu: ‘I’ve had the opportunity of watching most of the schools in the other regions and I can comfortably say that the Aggrey girls have learnt the basic rudiment of the game’.
“That should make up for how far the team has grown in the competition.”
They once again showed pure magic in lifting the trophy for the second successive time and sweet it was because for the second time running Wesley Girls played second fiddle to them in the regional competition.
They lost grounds to Kasoa-based Insaaniya in the one-day competition but that was still enough for them to come out tops.
The girls’ basketball team has now become one of the powerhouses of the game in Ghana and despite their defeat in the National event to Sacred Heart, they’ve carved an inch for themselves and the performance of the young players will forever be cherished.
They could have even beating the Accra –based side but for the decision of their coach to allow her players to take the game to their experienced opponent at a time that they were leading comfortably, was widely seen as unwise.
He got his tactics wrong and that moment of ‘madness’ cost his team.
Aggrey come into the picture in 2013 with high sense of optimism as one of the pillars of the game at the senior high level.
They may not be the same side that dominated the Central Region following the unavailability of some key players but nevertheless will be one of the strong contenders for the title.
The battle line have been drawn and they must fend off competition from the likes of Yaa Asantewaa, Tema Senior High (Temasco), Sacred Heart and Wesley Girls for the ultimate crown.