Round Square Basketball Trip to Denmark
At the beginning of February, Windermere School’s basketball team travelled to Denmark. The ‘Windermere Winderwolves’ was one of the ten teams which qualified for the Round Square International Basketball Tournament.
After a two hour flight from Manchester to Copenhagen, the team had to travel using very good quality railway transport. After the short journey, we were warmly welcomed at Herlufsholm School by the school’s coach and the organizers of the tournament.
On Friday, there were no games scheduled. However, after a nice tea, the teams were allowed to practice in the sports hall. The sports hall was filled with many people from different nations, who have only one common goal – to play basketball and win every game. Despite everyone having a strong ambition for victory, everyone was very friendly to each other – highlighting the values of the Round Square.
On Saturday, the team were woken up by Ed Sheeran’s music… which is played every day at 6:45am in that school. That day we played three games. The first one was against a French team from Beau Soleil, which we managed to win 24-11. The pace and score were under our control for the entirety of the 20 minute game. Next, the team had to play the Aiglon School. The game was very close until the end. The end result might just partially reflect how close the game was Winderwolves won 14-12. The victory followed after a very organised game in the clutch time and a very risky, but accurate, pass by Kacper Micek, followed by Sebastian Zartmann’s layup.
After two straight games, the team got some rest as the last game on that day was played in the evening. The win in that game would secure advancement to the final four of the tournament. Winderwolves played against the Herlufsholm 2 team. The opponent turned out to be not very challenging, so, luckily, we could take the game very easily. The team won 23-6. The victory qualified us to play in the final four, however, it came at a huge cost. In the first quarter, our team’s forward Sebastian dislocated his shoulder, this forced him to sit out the remainder of the tournament. Therefore, the team was left with only five players, which meant that there were no substitutions anymore. Other teams had around ten people, therefore they could rest using substitutions.
After a little social gathering on Saturday evening, the Windermere team with a hunger for more wins went to sleep. On Sunday, we had only one more group game left. It was against the German boarding school from Schondorf. The game was extremely close from the beginning until the end, each team was finding the net with most of their shots. The Winderwolves (without Sebastian) managed to remain within the range of victory due to some great shooting by Luca Erhard and Kacper. Unfortunately, at the crucial moment, we could not repeat our good performance and, after a silly turnover, the victory was out of the reach. Thus, we lost 34-29. However, we advanced to the semi-finals and were expected to play against the first seed from Group A.
Next up, we played against Herlufsholm 1. Herlufsholm were much stronger than Herlufsholm 2 and would prove to be a definite challenge. The team was cheered for by virtually everyone in the sports hall, with each of our shots was booed. This game was the closest that we had ever played. It was a very ugly game to watch, as both teams could not make their shots. Thus, the regular time ended with 13-13 score as Linas Zilinskas’ shot at the end was a fraction of the second too late to count as a game-winner, which meant that we had to play a five minute overtime. None of the teams scored during overtime and everyone was very nervous as the fans were cheering even more for their team. After overtime, we played sudden death. This is where the first team that scores wins the game. After few minutes of nerve-wracking missed shots by both teams, Linas managed to hit a fadeaway jumper with a foul. The whole team was celebrating and it totally silenced the crowd, even Sebastian was running and jumping around with the team. We advanced to the final!
In the final, we had to face the team we lost against – Schondorf. We knew that the exhaustion after playing games as a five-people team was our disadvantage. We knew that this game was going to be different. After an equal scoring effort by Luca, Linas and Kacper, Windermere lost in the final 15-19. The loss was very tough, as we knew that, if only Sebastian had not been injured, the victory would have been secured. In the act of anger, Leighton Guang broke his glasses…
After receiving the trophy, the team had to pack and went to sleep as we had to leave early on Monday.
On Monday, the team travelled to cold Copenhagen to visit the city centre and many shops. The shops that turned out to be favourite for the team were the LEGO stores, which are much better and bigger in Denmark compared to LEGO stores in other countries. Only the flight back to Manchester and the travel back to Windermere were left in our journey, which went without any problems.
To conclude, the tournament strengthened our team chemistry and we got to know our strengths and weaknesses even more. It also introduced us even further to the ideas of the Round Square community. I want to say well done to the whole team; we did our best and achieved more than people had expected us to. Thanks go to Anson Chan, Luca Erhard, Leighton Guang, Kacper Micek, Sebastian Zartmann and Linas Zilinskas. Also, both members of staff – Mr Foster and Mr Reid should be thanked. We are now looking forward to repeating the U19 Championship of the Barrow Hoops League.
Written by Kacper Micek (Year 13 Student)
The first time my daughter and I visited the school she said to me “that is a happy school no question.” The scholastic achievements of the school are evident and an easy measure for a school to demonstrate. What is hard to quantify is the holistic development of a pupil at which, in my experience, Windermere School excels.
Windermere School is such a unique community to be a part of. Not only is it based in a truly beautiful and inspiring national park, but the environment created by staff and students alike makes for an incredibly supportive, proactive, exciting and international place of learning in which everyone can thrive and be the best they can be.