Click here for more information about the boys and girls high school varsity basketball AISA tournaments in Seoul, South Korea, in January 2014
It was an all-Kansai affair as the SOIS Sabers played the Canadian Academy Falcons
in the championship game of the 2014 Yokohama junior varsity boys basketball tournament, jointly hosted by Yokohama International School and St. Maur International School (the oldest international school in the world, by the way), on Saturday, January 18, 2014. Unfortunately, the Sabers came up short against their friendly rivals from Kobe, losing to CA by the score of 35-28. A stout defense kept SOIS in the game, but a disadvantageous combination of poor shooting and frequent turnovers put the Sabers into too big of a hole from which they could not climb. The Sabers players and coaches were understandably disappointed, but they all enjoyed the learning experience.
In round robin play on the first day of the tourney, Friday, January 13, the Sabers first defeated the Hokkaido International School Huskies, 48-21, and then beat the host Yokohama International School Dragons, 34-25, putting SOIS in the next day's morning semifinals vs. Cougars of St. Maur, with the Sabers winning 39-30. This put the Sabers into the afternoon finals against CA, the two Kansai (west Japan) schools having dispatched all the Kanto (east Japan) schools.
Sabers team members were Rintaro Miyamoto, Kan Sawabe, Daiki Kishi, Tomoya Otsuka-Koh, Keita Morimoto,
Leslie Hsu, Aki Shigeyama, Leo Roberts, and Taizo Heimer. The Sabers manager was Yuka Kagao.
The SOIS coaches were Coach Routh and Coach Heimer.
In keeping with the annual 成人の日 Sabers tradition, several Sabers "old boys" (OB) basketball players returned to the site of their former glory to take on the current Sabers varsity team on Monday, January 13, 2014. Every year this game is a fun, friendly, competitive affair that helps connect the old with the new and helps maintain the Sabers spirit.
This year's team of Sabers OB players spanned over 15 graduation years and included Sabers Hall of Famers Makoto, Naoto, Jun, Satoki, Toshi, Toru, Yusuke, and Daniel.
Special thanks to Coach Ray for helping ref the game and to the SSC for running the score table on a school holiday.
The game was a tight one with the varsity Sabers eking out a 57-54 victory that came down to a final (missed) shot. It was great to see that the OBs are still playing and playing strong. By playing the Sabers varsity, the OB team has helped the varsity team in its final preparation for the season-ending AISA tournament, January 23-26, 2014, in Seoul.
The Sabers boys high school basketball team played an exhibition game as a warm-up to an Evessa professional game Sunday, December 22, 2013, at the Sumiyoshi Sports Center. It was an exciting opportunity for the Sabers to play on a professional court in a large arena complete with pregame player introductions, Evessa cheerleaders, the Evessa mascot, and dozens of fans.
The Sabers opponent unexpectedly turned out to be a middle school youth team from Minoh, the Angels. The Sabers coach immediately realized that the game would be a lopsided mismatch, and captain Kai Stewart quickly came up with the good idea to pool all players from both teams together and then split them into two equal squads. After some quick uniform swapping, these A and B teams took the court to some polite clapping and some loud piped-in Evessa sound effects.
The game was casual and fun and evenly matched until Stewart and former Sabers point guard Yujin Yamamoto each hit late 3-pointers to lead the A team to a narrow victory. Former Sabers post player Joel Terhune muscled his way to a few points in the paint. All players received 500-yen McDonald's gift cards and the losing B team players also received front row seats for the following Evessa game (along with the privilege of mopping the court during timeouts).
The Sabers high school boys and girls basketball teams hosted the Kyoto International University Academy (KIUA) Flames on Saturday, December 14, in front of a sell-out crowd in the SOIS arena. The teams played 4 games - boys varsity and junior varsity, and girls varsity and junior varsity - with the Sabers comfortably winning all 4 games.
The Sabers boys JV team (pictured left), led by Taizo Heimer's 14 points, defeated the Flames JV 58-14. A 23-4 run in the second quarter sealed the deal early. A balanced scoring attack saw Leo Roberts score 12 points, Aki Shigeyama 10, Leslie Hsu 8, Tomoya Otsuka-Koh 8, and Rintaro Miyamoto 6.
The Sabers boys varsity team handily defeated the KIUA varsity 63-23. Captains Shaw Iyama and Kai Stewart led the scoring with 15 and 14 points, respectively, in relatively few minutes. Taishi Miki added a career-high 12 points to the winning cause.
Both the girls varsity and junior varsity earned well-deserved wins over much taller Flames teams.
Upcoming winter holiday games
December 20, 09:00: Sabers JV vs Kansai Christian School at SOIS
December 22, 11:00: Sabers varsity exhibition game before Evessa professional game at Sumiyoshi Sports Center
January 4, 14:00: V and JV vs Canadian Academy at CA
On Wednesday, December 11, 2013, the Sabers boys varsity basketball team defeated long-time friendly rivals the Fossils, 48-44, on the Sabers court. The Sabers took a commanding 32-12 lead into halftime before the Fossils (pictured left), led by the dominating play of Coach Routh, outscored the varsity 16-0 in the 3rd quarter to close the gap to 4 points. The Fossils continued to outscore the Sabers in the 4th quarter, tying the game with a few minutes to play. The Sabers then put on their vaunted Aussie trap and were able to get some key steals late in the game to seal the victory.
Each December since 1995, the Sabers boys basketball varsity team has played an exhibition game against a collection of teachers, staff, parents, graduates, and other members of the greater SOIS community. This older group of players are infamously known as the Fossils. For about the first 10 years or so of this friendly rivalry, the Fossils, believe it or not, easily won all games. This Golden Age of Fossils basketball featured many young and skillful SOIS teachers such as Steve Bonnette (former band teacher), Brian Combes (former humanities teacher and DP coordinator), Josh Berg (former English teacher), Mark Pekin (former AD), Marvin Zulauf (former science teacher), Gary Rust (former business manager) and Jim Schell (former business manager), among many others. These early Fossils squads also included a young John Searle and a springy Stephen Lewis. Even Coach Heimer and Coach Ray used to be younger.
By about the year 2005, though, many Fossils greats had moved on and the rest got old. The Sabers varsity . notched its very first win over the Fossils around this time and has never looked back, dominating the old guys year to year. Wednesday's game was the tightest in recent memory. Heimer, Ray, Routh and Mecklem are not getting any younger and the Sabers are not getting any older, but that doesn't stop the Fossils from believing "maybe next year."
2013 Fossils: Mr. Routh, Mr. Mecklem, Mr. Ray, Mr. Heimer, Mr. Yamamoto (parent), Toshinori Matsuo (graduate), Naoto Takahashi (graduate), Makoto Honda (graduate), Takumi Honda (brother), and another Honda brother.
The Sabers boys and girls varsity basketball teams traveled to Iwakuni City and the US Marines Air Station base, Friday and Saturday, November 22-23, 2013, to play against MC Perry High School (Iwakuni) and EJ King High School (Sasebo). The Sabers women beat MC Perry and lost to EJ King. The men were outclassed by both military base schools and learned that they have much work to do. Regardless of the results, it was a good bonding trip for the players and coaches, most of whom were making their first visit to a US military base. Special thanks to Coaches Sagara, Hirai, Routh and Heimer for organizing the trip and accompanying the teams. And more thanks to the Sabers players and families for giving up some holiday time (and money) for this trip.
Sabers basketball players, both men and women:
In January, 10 female Sabers players and 10 male Sabers players will travel with Coaches Sagara, Hirai, Routh and Heimer to Korea International School and Seoul International School in South Korea to defend our AISA titles.
Click on the link below to access the first information letter and the preliminary permission sheet. Your coaches will provide paper copies, too.
If you think you might be selected for the AISA team and if you think you can go, please share this information with your parents, discuss the costs carefully, get all the requisite signatures, and submit the permission sheet to your coach.
Check your passport. Make sure it is valid through the end of July, until August 2014 (6 months after the trip). If you have not already submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org an electronic copy of the picture page of your passport, please do so. You can submit it also via this page: http://sabers.senri.ed.jp/for-students-all-sabers-teams.html.
AISA basketball first information letter, permission sheet