Oaks Plus offers our students a variety of extracurricular activities such as before and after care, clubs, and sports. Sports, in particular, provide students with a different atmosphere to learn and grow where they face new and different challenges. Offering a total of seven competitive sports throughout the school year, our winter season offers Boys and Girls Basketball.
The Oaks is one of 13 schools in the Indianapolis Independent School League (IISL), in which our Junior Varsity and Varsity Teams play. In addition to these teams, we follow a ‘no-cut’ philosophy that allows for every student that registers for a sport to be placed on a team in an in-house league. Tryouts are held at the beginning of the season so that coaches can assess the skills and abilities of players and assign them to an appropriately challenging team.
The boys basketball program had a turnout of 85 young men divided into eight teams: two conference teams (JV and Varsity) and six in-house teams, further broken down to support three 5/6th grade and three 7/8th grade teams. It was an exciting and challenging season for our players, focused on meeting every team where they were and setting group goals achievable for each teams’ level of skill.
For the first time in the program’s history, our in-house teams were split up by grade level due to the record number of participants. The 7th and 8th grade teams played against other teams on Friday nights, and the 5th and 6th grade teams competed in the 14U Tab Rec league on Saturday mornings. This allowed our in-house teams to play against teams with the same age and skill level as themselves.
The teams worked hard all season to improve their skills and strategies, and as the season progressed, they began to see their hard work pay off. In the end-of-season tournaments, the 7th and 8th grade teams were seeded 3, 4, and 6 out of a total of 6 teams. Despite this strong showing from The Oaks, no teams were able to make it to the final game where Indy PAL had two of their teams face off for the championship. The 5th and 6th grade teams shared a similar fate, playing in a 7 team tournament but without a team able to make it past the semi-final games. Despite the mixed results, each team has a lot to be proud of and has gained valuable experience that they will take with them into future seasons.
The conference teams are divided based on grade level, with the Junior Varsity team composed of 5th and 6th grade students and the Varsity team a collection of 7th and 8th grade students. The JV team (6-3) was seeded 5th out of the 12 participating schools in the conference tournament. Although they put up a valiant effort, they lost to 4-seeded Park Tudor in a hard-fought game. Despite the outcome, the team showed remarkable sportsmanship and dedication throughout the season.
On the other hand, the Varsity team had an outstanding season, remaining undefeated in conference games. Their 9-0 record earned them the top seed in the tournament where they ultimately brought home the championship trophy. Their impressive record and skill on the court led them to win an at-large bid for the Indiana State Tournament, where they played 4 games against the best of the best in the state. After winning their first 2 games and the top spot in their pool of teams, they lost against the 2nd seed from the opposing pool in the “semi-final” game. After a long weekend of games, the 7th and 8th grade students had one last tough game that they lost in overtime; a bittersweet ending to their time together as a team.
Our girls basketball program is growing and developing into a strong program. With 45 girls participating across five teams, including two conference teams for JV and Varsity and three in-house teams, this was the largest turnout The Oaks has seen for the program! With this in mind, coaches and staff really focused on setting a strong foundation for the players and promoting the development of the love for the game. The dedication and passion of the girls were evident in each game, and their hard work paid off as they continued to improve throughout the season.
The ability to offer in-house teams is a hallmark of The Oaks’ strong sports programming, allowing students to play at the appropriate levels, develop their skills over time, and hopefully make it onto our conference teams over time. It is exciting for this to be the first year that our girls basketball program has these in-house teams for our 5th through 8th grade students. Playing in weekly games, the 3 teams played against each other all season in fierce but friendly competition. Instead of participating in an end-of-season tournament, the teams participated in a skills challenge to emphasize the importance of building skills and experience over winning games.
Like the boys, the conference teams are divided based on grade level, with the Junior Varsity team composed of 5th and 6th grade students and the Varsity team a collection of 7th and 8th grade students. The JV team (2-6) was seeded 7th out of the 10 participating schools in the conference tournament. After winning their first game against 10-seeded Bethesda, they faced a strong 2nd seed in ISD and ultimately lost. The Varsity team (4-4) was seeded 5th but unfortunately lost to 4-seed Traders Point in their first tournament game.
Throughout the season, the teams showed remarkable growth and teamwork, and their commitment to each other and their personal growth was visible on court throughout the season. Overall, both teams showed great promise and potential, and their hard work and dedication throughout the season bode well for their future success.
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