Junior Nationals: TN Girls win third straight; Chhattisgarh Boys beat Maharashtra
On Friday, the fourth day of the 62nd Junior National Basketball Championship for Boys & Girls at the Thyagraj Stadium in New Delhi, Tamil Nadu girls continued their hot streak, winning their third consecutive game after a convincing victory over Orissa. There was little room for upset in other games, as both the boys’ and girls’ defending champs, Punjab and Kerala picked up easy victories.
It was a day for favourites, as the strongest sides put out strong performances – Tamil Nadu girls, after defeating Delhi and Uttar Pradesh in their first two, were once again no match for their opponents, Orissa, whom they trounced by 62 points. TN’s high-powered offense put up 100 points in the course of the game, behind big games by Srimonika (22 points) and Ramya (19). For Orissa, Sitamani Tudu added 19 points. Orissa were limited to 38.
Kerala, the other strong girls’ side, also continued their perfect start to the tournament in what was supposed to be a tricky encounter. Billed as one of the most anticipated games of the group stage, Kerala shrugged off a strong Chhattisgarh side. After a close first quarter, Kerala broke the shackles and began dominating their otherwise formidable opponents. Jeena PS, who has been one of the best players in the tournament so far, scored 28 points for Kerala, while Surya PR added 20. Kerala won 79-44.
Chhattisgarh’s boys team fared much better in their game against Maharashtra. Chhattisgarh’s Dinesh finally had a breakout game, scoring 25 points, and was ably assisted by their consistent star Ajay Pratap Singh, who added 20. Chhattisgarh played strong defense in all four quarters of the game to defeat Maharashtra, 66-41.
Boys’ defending champions Punjab put up a clinical offensive performance in the second half against Rajasthan. After a close first half, where Punjab led by just four points, they outscored Rajasthan 31-20 in the third quarter. Loveneet Singh scored 32 points and Harmandeep Singh added 21 as Punjab won, 98-77. Rajasthan was paced by the trio of MP Singh (20), Praveen Kumar Rai (19), and Suresh Kumar Bijarniya 16).
Delhi (Keshav 19, Sukhjeet 14, Ajay 8) bt. Pondicherry (D.Rajasekran 10) 89-25 (28-4, 19-8, 20-9, 22-4)
Chhattisgarh (B.Dinesh 25, Jaya Pratap Singh 20) bt. Maharashtra (Vipin Naresh Parth 12, Khan Fardeen Fazal 9) 66-41 (19-14, 10-7, 19-14, 18-6)
Madhya Pradesh (Jaynesh Patel 20, Kirti Sowami 14, Jai Singh Chowhan 13) bt. Andhra Pradesh ( B.Shfhansha 11, G.Venkata Reddy 10) 96-40 (25-11, 16-8, 27-14, 28-7)
Punjab (Loveneet Singh 32, Harmandeep Singh 21, Sunil Baja 15) bt. Rajasthan (M.P.Singh 20, Praveen Kumar Rai 17, Suresh Kumar Bijarniya 16) 98-77 (16-11, 20-21, 31-20, 31-25)
Tamil Nadu (Srimonika 22, Ramya 19, Kiruthika 12, Raja Priya Bhars 10) bt. Orissa (Sitamani Tudu 19) 100-38 (32-9, 23-9, 18-9, 27-11)
Uttar Pradesh (Dhriti Arora 27, Barkha Sonkar 21, Radha Gour 19) bt. Maharashtra (Namasvi A.Ajmere 10, Monika R. Kharabe 8, Ridhima M. Kemkar 8) 80-59 (13-19, 20-16, 22-13, 25-11)
Kerala (Jeena PS. 28, Surya P.R 20, Pooja Mol K.S 15) bt. Chhattisgarh (Pushpa Nishad 15, Anjana Daisy Ekka 11) 79-44 (19-15, 22-12, 16-8, 22-9)
Coaches’ Clinic: BFI’s three American coaches, who have been hired to work with the Indian national teams, will be holding a special Coaches’ clinic tomorrow (Saturday) from 2 PM at the main court of the Thyagraj Stadium for attending Indian coaches and players at the championship. The three coaches are Kenny Natt (Senior Men), Pete Gaudet (Senior Women), and Zak Penwell (Strength & Conditioning).