New Delhi: The favourite teams held firm in the late evening games on Day 1 and the morning games on Day 2 of the Indian School and College Basketball League National Rounds.
Matches held after 6.30 pm on Day 1 (15 December 2014). Reports compiled by Vishnu, Gopal and Kabir
Game 5, Court no. 1: Satyabhama Engineering College, Chennai v. Kirori Mal College, New Delhi
A much-anticipated clash between basketball powerhouses Satyabhama Engineering College, Chenani and Kirori Mal College, Delhi turned out to be a one-sided affair with Satyabhama stamping their authority in their opening match of the National Finals 2014. The Delhi champions, Kirori Mal College were unable to provide much of a fight against Chennai’s best college team, who completely dominated the contest. Satyabhama used a well-balanced attack to break down their opponents. Their perimeter players were able to knock down the open shots created by good ball movement. Satyabhama had solid presence inside the paint as well, with their big men securing multiple offensive rebounds to create second chance opportunities. Satyabhama’s entire repertoire was on full display in this game, including on the defensive end. Tight defense by Satyabhama on the KMC team also resulted in some fast break opportunities for quick and easy points. KMC as thoroughly outplayed by the Chennai team, who look like strong contenders going forward in the tournament.
Satyabhama University, Chennai (Vimal 15) bt Kirori Mal College, New Delhi (Yudhvir 18) 65-50 (25-10, 10-8, 13-14, 17-18)
Game 14, Court no. 2: Bhavans School, Indore v. Bishop Cottons, Bengaluru
The final game on court no. 2 on Day 1 of the National Finals 2014 at Thyagaraj Stadium, New Delhi was a thrilling encounter between the school teams of Indore and Bengaluru. Bhavans employed the small ball tactic against the taller Bengaluru team to much success. The team from Indore consisted of shorter, quick players who were inclined towards a fast style of play. The Bhavans players continuously beat the Bishop Cottons boys down the floor in transition and converted some tough layups on the break. Bishop Cottons’ transition defense was poor and slow and this was thoroughly exploited by Bhavans, who built a solid double-digit lead in the first half. The Bengaluru boys, however, worked on their mistakes in the first half and managed to claw their way back into the contest in the second half. With less than 2 minutes left to go in the fourth quarter, the Bengaluru team captured a slender lead. Foul trouble led to Bengaluru’s downfall in the final minutes, as Bhavans players forced matters by getting to the free throw line. The Indore team held on to their nerves and calmly converted their free throws to regain the lead. The game remained close, however, with a late three pointer in the final minute by Bishop Cottons, which cut Indore’s lead down to three points. Ideally, with half a minute left, Bishop Cottons should have applied a strong full court press on Bhavans. But poor recognition of the time remaining by Bishop Cottons and lack of guidance from their coach led to the Indore team managing to run down the clock and hold on to their lead for the win.
Bhavans School, Indore (Narendra Singh 23, Mayank Barde 23) bt Bishop Cottons, Bengaluru (Bushan 26) 74-71 (13-11, 19-17, 15-19, 27-24)
Court 1 Game 7: Islamia Karimia College Indore men beats Jhunjhunwala College, Mumbai
Mumbai had too many travelling violations in the first half and were unable to convert easy opportunities to mount any serious challenge against Indore. Mumbai were also too static on both ends of the floor and surprisingly lacked the intensity that is needed for a competitive game.
On its part, Indore was solid in rebounding, a task made easier by the fact that Mumbai is a woefully undersized team, with a centre barely six feet tall. For Indore, forward Minhas CS showed great heart on both ends of the floor and averaged a double double with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Underlining the ease of this victory was the fact that by the final quarter, Indore was playing entirely with their substitutes.
Islamia Karimia College Indore (Minhas CS 20, Jain A 18) bt Jhunjhunwala College, Mumbai (Ayre N 15) 60-41 [23-10, 15-6, 15-6, 7-19]
Court 2 Game 13: Montfort School Delhi girls beat Emerald Heights, Indore
This was a blink-and-you-miss it sort of game. Montfort Delhi raced away to a 24-0 lead at the end of the first quarter only to take its pedal off the gas in the remaining three quarters to avoid causing Emerald Heights too embarrassing a defeat. The final score read 45-14 in this easy win for the team from the national capital.
Montfort School Delhi (Srishti 11, Riya 8, Tanvi 7, Ridhima 7) bt Indore (Kashish 4, Srusthi 4) 45-14 [24-0, 2-4, 11-4, 8-6]
Court 1 Game 14: SKIT College Jaipur men beat Surana College, Bengaluru
In a tense last match on day one, Jaipur College men survived a close battle from Surana College, Bengaluru. Surana College players were deceptively languid in their court movements and their sedate pace was markedly slower than the other men’s college games. One of the plays that stood out was a late shot clock conversion by Surana at the first quarter buzzer.
Both teams kept nosing ahead only to fall back again. There were 11 lead changes in this game, with the scores tied six times. By the fourth quarter, teams were again neck and neck, when Jaipur started asserting itself on both ends of the floor. Jaipur showed excellent passing to spread the rival defence and create quality offensive possessions. Jaipur’s point guard Jadon D, in particular, led from the front and shot a high 67% from the field.
SKIT College Jaipur (Saroha Y 20, Jhajaria R 19, Jadon D 16) bt Surana College, Bengaluru (Reddy G 24) 76-69 [18-19, 10-15, 22-17, 18-26]
Matches held up to 12.30 pm on Day 2 (16 December 2014)
Game 15, Court no. 1: St. Joseph’s College, Bengaluru v. Rajasthan College, Jaipur
The women’s team of Rajasthan College, Jaipur picked up their second win of the tournament on the morning of Day 2 of the National Finals, 2014 against St. Joseph’s College, Bengaluru. Although Rajasthan College was undersized, they mostly relied on perimeter play to come up with the win. St. Joseph’s College were heavily dependent on their post players, Aishwarya and Sharika, who got a lot of touches on the inside. Aishwarya often went to her turnaround jumper in the post and found success. However, Rajasthan College clamped down on Bengaluru’s post players in the second half with constant double teams. The Jaipur girls forced turnovers and were quick to finish their layups on the break. Where Bengaluru sorely lacked was the play of their guards. They were mostly stagnant on the 3-point line as their post players worked on the inside. Bengaluru’s guards were also careless with the ball and suffered some costly turnovers against the scrappy defense of the Jaipur guards, who were clearly fitter and faster on their feet. The most expensive turnover for Bengaluru came in the final minute, as they lost their one-point lead with their point guard losing the ball at half court and Rajasthan College converting on the break. With Rajasthan College up by 1 point and 6 seconds left to go in the game, Bengaluru had a final change of coming up with the victory but their final shot by Aishwarya bounced off the rim and Jaipur held on to remain undefeated in the tournament.
Rajasthan College (Mansha 20) bt St. Joseph’s College, Bengaluru (Aishwarya 31) 59-58 (16-13, 17-21, 11-1, 15-12)
Game 16, Court no. 1: MOP Vaishnav, Chennai v. Loyola College, Hyderabad
Defending champions in the college women’s category, MOP Vaishnav, took on the women’s team from Loyola College, Hyderabad on the morning of Day 2 of the National Finals 2014. Both teams had no real post presence and played in similar fashion through perimeter play. However, the strategy worked quite differently for each team. Chennai’s employed a 3-2 zone defense against Hyderabad, which worked beautifully for them, with their defensive rotations and zone adjustments. Loyola College did not have shooters to break down the Chennai zone and their penetration was stifled by the tight Chennai defense. R. Niranjana was the star player for Chennai with 33 points. Although Loyola College did manage to create a lot of fast breaking opportunities, Chennai’s transition defense was solid as they managed to affect the shots taken by Loyola College on the break. As is the trademark for most of the teams from Chennai, MOP Vaishnav focused on unselfish team play and had a balanced scoring attack. The Chennai team had good shooters to knock down open shots and they also created numerous second chance opportunities, as all of their players contributed to offensive rebounding. Despite playing without their coach today, Chennai had no difficulties in converting this game into a blowout victory. India player Vaishali Khemkar, who was injured and unable to play this game, filled in for her coach and ably guided MOP Vaishnav to the victory.
MOP Vaishnav, Chennai (R. Niranjana 33) bt. Loyola College, Hyderabad (Akshita 17) 67-38 (18-16, 16-3, 17-9, 16-10)
Game 17, Court no. 1: Satyabhama Engineering College, Chennai v. Loyola College, Hyderabad
Satyabhama Engineering College, Chennai entered this match on Day 2 having comprehensively beaten the hometown favourites Kirori Mal College, New Delhi by double digits on Day 1 of the National Finals 2014. They continued their surge of dominance by comfortably beating Loyola College, Hyderabad. Satyabhama started out strong with great performances from their power forward, Abhishek, and center, Rakesh. The bigs did a good job of controlling the paint with their shot blocking ability and crashing rebounds both on the offensive and the defensive end. Their point guard controlled the tempo of the game well and made key assists to their shooter Muinbek who converted on open 3s. Muinbek was the top scorer of the game ending up with 17 points, 9 of them coming from downtown. Abhishek and Rakesh finished with 7 and 10 points respectively. On the other hand Loyola College were struggling on the offensive end, taking forced, contested shots and turning the ball over. The lone spark for Loyola College was on the defensive end, provided by Pruthvi, who swatted away some shots. The 24-3 score at the end of the 1st quarter led to the starting 5 for Satyabhama sitting out most of the game. After the 1st quarter, the Satyabhama bench carried forward the surge and ended the game with a lopsided score of 70-18. Satyabhama was just too big, too strong and too good for Loyola College.
Satyabhama Engineering College, Chennai (Muinbek 17) bt Loyola College, Hyderabad (Rohit 4) 70-18 (24-3, 12-9, 20-2, 14-4)
Game 18, Court no. 1: Surana College, Bengaluru v. IKDC College, Indore
IKDC College, Indore continued their good form picking up their second victory in two games against Surana College, Bengaluru. Surana College showed little improvement from their loss yesterday, displaying similar lackadaisical defense against the quick and fast Indore team. The match was close for the first 3 quarters, with Surana College managing to stay within striking reach of the Indore team. But IKDC pulled away in the fourth mainly due to their superior fitness levels as compared to the Bengaluru team. Surana College lost steam towards the end of the game and IKDC ended up with a comfortable victory by 11 points.
IKDC College, Indore (Animesh Jain 21) bt Surana College, Bengaluru (Sarath V. 20) 75-64 (20-16, 20-17, 19-14, 16-17)
Court 2 Game 22: Delhi school girls beats Vidyaniketan Mumbai
Continuing its winning ways from the opening day, Montfort School Delhi girls beat Vidyaniketan School, Mumbai 48-35 to stay undefeated in the tournament. After trailing 5-12 in the first quarter, the team from the national capital settled down into an excellent rhythm from the second quarter onwards to lead 34-21 going into the final ten minutes. Riya Rana top scored for the winners with 17 points while Sakshi and Saloni had eight each for the losing team.
Montfort School, Delhi (Riya Rana 17, Tanvi Chauhan 12, Simran Kaur 12) bt Vidyaniketan School, Mumbai (Sakshi Kotian 8, Saloni Sathe 8) 48-35 [5-12, 15-7, 14-2, 14-14]
Court 2 Game 23: Chennai school girls steamroll past DPS, Indore
Santhome School girls, Chennai steamrolled to a lopsided win over DPS, Indore in its Indian School Basketball League game on Day two. Playing with consummate ease, Chennai executed the full court press to near perfection to make this a no contest. Santhome girls dominated in all categories, whether rebounding, steals, points in the paint or outside shooting. In the second half, Chennai shifted to its second rung of players but the onslaught continued. By the final buzzer, the scores read a lopsided 68-12. DPS should treat this as a learning experience and come back stronger next year stake its claim among the elite school teams in the nation.
Chennai (Nandhini R 11, Merun J 11) bt Indore (Srijshti 4) 68-12 [25-2, 16-6, 16-0, 11-4]
Court 2 Game 24: Govt School, Ludhiana girls beat Oakridge International, Hyderabad
After a few lacklustre and one sided school girls games this morning, two quality teams clashed on Court no. 2. The first quarter began with Hyderabad guards showing some great handles in moving the ball to the frontcourt. They beautifully countered Ludhiana’s full court press by setting up on-the-ball screens. Both teams showed a preference to contrasting offensive styles: while Hyderabad relied on its set half court offense, the speedier Northern side opted for the run and gun transition game. Ludhiana’s post players too should be credited for the quick outlet passes that facilitated easy open scoring opportunities for their streaking teammates.
At 20-13 with Ludhiana girls in the lead, the scores were reasonably close at the end of the first quarter, but a scoreless second quarter for Hyderabad meant that Ludhiana led 30-13 at halftime. In the second half, Oakridge players couldn’t maintain their play from the initial few minutes and the tiring side gave away too many easy transition opportunities to Ludhiana. Hyderabad’s field goal conversion remained poor as they rushed their shots, while Punjab’s unrelenting hustle and defensive pressure slowly allowed it to keep building its lead for a final 53-30 win.
Govt School, Ludhiana girls (Somi Kumari 16, Gaganpreet Kaur 12, Karanjit Kaur 8) bt Oakridge International, Hyderabad (Sharon Biju 14, Anshika 9) 53-30 [20-13, 10-0, 9-6, 14-11]
Court 2 Game 25: Velammal High School, Chennai Boys beat Fr Agnels, Mumbai
After beating hometown team Modern School in dominating fashion on Day 1, the Velammal School, Chennai (VSC) team are already being considered as title contenders. Today they faced off against another strong competitor in Father Agnel, Mumbai who had also won their first match against Oakridge School, Hyderabad comfortably. The game started out close with both teams scoring repeatedly but VSC team pulled away eventually winning by 14 points. P. Baladhaneshwar was unstoppable while driving in and was instrumental in his team’s victory with his 27 points. A. Surya also contributed by dropping in 4 3-pointers for his 14 points. Father Agnel put up a good fight despite being outmatched. Aaron put in 18 points with his outside shooting. Tanmay used his crossover effectively and poured in 14. However, Father Agnel settled too often on outside shooting which eventually cost them the game.
Velammal High School, Chennai (P Baladhaneshwar 27, A Surya 14) bt Fr Agnel School, Mumbai (Aaron Manteiro 18, Tanmay Mali 14) 73-57 [19-9, 9-16, 26-15, 19-16]