Kerala girls and MP boys basket titles
Hosts Madhya Pradesh had a mixed fortunes in the finals of the the 29th Youth National Basketball Championships for Under-16 boys and girls at the Emerald Heights International School courts in Indore today.
Their boys team emerged winners with a well-deserved victory 110-104 against Delhi in a high-scoring final. However, for the title contest in the girls category, Madhya Pradesh lost to Kerala by 66-89.
The boys final was an absorbing affair with both teams dishing out brilliant basketball to enthrall the spectators. Matching each other in skill, coordination and stamina, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh played an exciting 21-21 draw in the first quarter.
However, the Delhi boys failed to maintain the same tempo in the second quarter which Madhya Pradesh won by a clear margin of 34-19.
This heavily tilted the scales in favour of the home team. Delhi came back strongly and won the third set by two points (30-28) and fourth by seven points (34-27). But that was not enough as MP had a final lead of six points (110-104) to claim the trophy.
The Madhya Pradesh trio of Shubham Mishra (27), Lalit Singh (26) and Ashish Biggs (20) were mainly responsible for their team's well-merited victory. For Delhi, Narendar was in brilliant form as he was the top scorer in the final with 41 points. Sunil M (22) and S Sharma (16) also made useful contributions for Delhi.
Earlier, in the girls final, Kerala outscored Madhya Pradesh by 89-66 with Vinaya playing a sterling role for the winners. Vinaya top-scored with 31 points. Elizabath Hilarious (21) and Arthi (18) also made valuable contributions. This Kerala trio kept the hosts girls on their toes throughout the match.
Kerala made a sound start by winning the first quarter with a handsome margin of 15 points. Cheered by the home supporters, Madhya Pradesh gave improved performance in the second quarter which the team from the South won by just one point (16-15). The third quarter was closely contested as the ball travelled fast from one end to another. Both teams matched each other in dribbling, layup shots and fast breaks. They shared the honours as it ended in a 25-25 draw.
However, MP could not maintained the pressure and Kerala showing more maturity and coordination clinched the fourth and last quarter by 23-16 points and won the final with a comfortable 23 points margin (89-66).
Pooja Ladda (22), Akansha (17) and Princy (13) put up good show for Madhya Pradesh. However, they could not prevent the girls trophy going to Kerala.
Results (finals) Girls: Kerala (Vinaya 31, Elizabath Hilarious 21, Arthi 18) bt Madhya Pradesh (Pooja Ladda 22, Akansha 17, Princy 13) 89-66 ( 25-10, 16-15, 25-25, 23-16).
Boys: Madhya Pradesh ( Shubham Mishra 27, Lalit Singh 26, Ashish Biggs 20) bt Delhi (Narendar M 41, Sunil M 22, S Sharma 16) 110-104 (21-21, 34-19, 28-30, 27-34).