January 3 2016 will forever be the birth of the next force in Ghana basketball. The day will be forever marked in the storied scripts of the Sprite Ball Championship as it marked the day Accra Wesley Girls High School made its debut in the celebrated high school basketball competition in Ghana.
Many wondered what the ladies clad in bright yellow and blue kits had to offer in the competition. Could they be one of the many novice also runs the tournament has witnessed in prior editions or could they pull off another great story that runs parallel to that of T.I.Ahmadiyya who won the 2014 edition in its maiden appearance at the competition. The Kumasi-based school shocked the country to win the tournament with the likes of Rachel Obeng dominating opponents and leading the charge to topple multiple finalists Aggrey Memorial Mount Zion High School.
But the massive followers of the competition ought to have known which part of the equation the school lays judging from the statement from the enthusiastic and vibrant Headmistress Reverend Jane Dor. Speaking to Basketballghana.com ahead of the main competition, the school’s leader summed up her charges preparations towards the competition by stating “We are flying jets and we can jump as high as the mountain”.
Surprising all by making it to the competition itself, the side got drawn alongside heavy hitter T.I.Ahmadiyya and Nkawkaw Senior High School in Group B. When the tournament began, Accra Wey Gey Hey shocked all by beating two time champions T.I. AMASS in the opening game before repeating the dose on Nkawsec to top the group and make the final four roster.
In unchartered territories, the school again shone brightly as the side beat fellow novice Kumasi Girls Senior High School to qualify for the final game where it came up against Aggrey Memorial.
Taking a six nothing lead in the first half ended in misery as the veteran side from Cape-Coast with players who have prior experience in the event including Joana Danso and Juliana Cudjoe rallied to win the coveted trophy 9-8 ending the fairy tale run and win the trophy.
The man on the verge of repeating history, Coach Curlsbonny Joshua Owusu was distraught at the sound of the final whistle just as much as his top performers Ruth Atibila and Center Maamata Yussif.
Winning the silver medal was consolation for the stellar work by the young players and Atibila was duly rewarded with the Fans Most Valuable Player of the Tournament earning her a trip to South Africa. Yussif got nominated as the High School Female Player of the Year at the 2016 Ghana Basketball Awards.
The journey to prominence for Accra Wesley Girls High School was a meteoric one that can only be plagued by regression and if the actions of Coach Curls are anything to go by, Accra Wesley Girls High School’s remarkable run to the top is set to continue for many years to come as they fly higher.