BIshop Cotton Bangalore's players drives against Sr Nav Bharti Ludhiana in ISBL 2014.

BIshop Cotton Bangalore’s players drives against Sr Nav Bharti Ludhiana in ISBL 2014.

Matches held in the afternoon on Day 3 evening (19 December 2014)

Game 31, Court no. 1: MOP Vaishnav College, Chennai v. R.A. Podar College, Mumbai

Defending champions, MOP Vaishnav continued their winning ways with a victory today against the women’s team of R.A. Podar College, Mumbai. MOP Vaishnav used their trademark 3-2 zone and excellent defensive rotation to suffocate R.A. Podar. The Chennai women displayed lockdown defense as soon as the Mumbai players crossed the half court line. Apart from A. Negi, who top scored for Mumbai with 21 points (including 4 three pointers), Mumbai did not have other shooters to break down the Chennai zone. Two of the Chennai women put up double-doubles. Prithi K scored 19 points and pulled down 13 rebounds and Niranjana R. added 18 points and 10 rebounds. Neither teams had any distinct size advantage, but Chennai were the scrappier team showing more hustle compared to Mumbai. MOP Vaishnav was once again without their official coach, but were ably guided to the victory by their player-coach Vaishali Khemkar.

MOP Vaishnav, Chennai (Prithi K. 19, Niranjan R. 18) bt R.A. Podar, Mumbai (Negi A. 21, Bhagat C. 10, Cariha M. 10)

Game 32, Court no. 1: Kirori Mal College, New Delhi v. Loyola College, Hyderabad

Kirori Mal College registered back-to-back wins after their loss on the Day 1. The Delhi team defeated Loyola College, Hyderabad, who are winless thus far in the tournament. The starters for Kirori Mal built a big lead quite early into the game and their bench finished matters off in the second half. It was a balanced scoring attack for KMC with four of their players scoring in double digits. L. Pal was the top scorer yet again for KMC with 16 points. Dahiya Y. put up a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. KMC broke no sweat in this game and they were just bigger, faster and stronger than the Hyderabad men. KMC’s defense was also in top form as they forced 15 turnovers from the Loyola College players. Interestingly, the KMC team does not have a coach and their more experienced players double up as coaches for the team.

Kirori Mal College, New Delhi (L. Pal 16) bt Loyola College, Hyderabad (Kumar M.P. 12) 69-42 (18-11, 19-4, 19-8, 13-19)

Game 33, Court no. 1: St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata v. Loyola College, Hyderabad

It was a tough day for Loyola College, Hyderabad as their women’s team also suffered a loss, this time at the hands of St. Xavier’s, Kolkata. The game was a very low scoring affair, with both teams having a cold shooting day – each team had a field goal percentage of only 20%. However, the turnovers were the major difference between the teams as the Hyderabad women had 15 turnovers, which were converted into easy layups on the other end by St. Xavier’s. The other contributing factor for the St. Xavier’s victory was the play of S. Jose, who scored 19 of her team’s 28 points on 8 of 15 shooting from the field. None of the Loyola College players managed to put up double-digit scores.

St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata (S. Jose 19) bt Loyola College, Hyderabad (Priya N.S. 8) 28-20 (6-4, 3-4, 11-8, 8-4)

Game 34, Court no. 1: Satyabhama Engineering College, Chennai v. St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata

The Chennai college champs, Satyabhama Engineering College, continued to stamp their authority in this tournament with another commanding win, this time against St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata. It was a lopsided contest as Chennai got off to an unprecedented 23-0 run to start the game. The Chennai college boys were super efficient with a field goal percentage of 49% compared to just 24% for the Kolkata team. St. Xavier’s players seemed afraid to penetrate and drive-in due to the imposing length of the Chennai forwards. They settled for too many outside jumpers, which was not a good strategy as their shots were not falling. Chennai managed to close-in on all of Kolkata’s perimeter players and their big guys either blocked or altered the rare drive-in plays by the Kolkata team. Overall, the St. Xavier’s men were no match for the Satyabhama team, who seem like to best college squad of the tournament thus far.

Satyabhama Engineering College, Chennai (Alvincyril G. 16) bt St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata (S. Jaiswal 12) 67-32 (27-5, 14-11, 12-7, 14-9)

Game 38 Court 2 Father Agnel School, Mumbai vs La Martiniere, Kolkata

Opting for ‘small ball’, the trigger happy Fr Agnel School connected as many as eight times from downtown to outshoot La Martiniere, Kolkata. Fr Agnel’s  Shaikh and Moteiro were brilliant throughout the game in exploiting La Martiniere’s flaws in perimeter defense.  Rotating the ball beautifully on both sides of the floor, Fr Agnel spread out the rival zone defense to get multiple open looks. Shaikh in particular had everything going for him in his 34 points.

For La Martiniere, centre Raghav was the focal point of his team’s offense. But his 39 points from the paint and the freethrow line couldn’t avoid the 76-63 defeat. La Martiniere outrebounded Mumbai and even had a higher field goal percentage, but Mumbai’s greater far greater shot attempts (77 against 54) proved the difference in this game. The final nail in the coffin was the full court buzzer beater at the final whistle from over 90 feet by Father Agnel’s Shaikh.

Father Agnel School Mumbai (Shaikh 34, S Nair 14, A Montiero 12) bt La Martiniere Kolkata (Raghav S 39) 76-63 [19-12, 19-10, 12-18, 26-23]

Game 39 Court 2: Mallya Aditi School, Bengaluru vs Bhavan’s Vidya Mandir, Kochi

Superior size advantage for Bengaluru proved to be the difference maker in their match against Bhavan’s Vidya Mandir. The young girls from Kochi, all of whom seem be from either 10th standard or younger, were completely overwhelmed by their southern opponents.

Kochi was unable to score in the entire first quarter, while Mallya Aditi scored 18. Kochi was simply unable to get very close to the basket and their 17 field goal attempts paled in comparison to Mallya Aditi’s 44. The Bengaluru girls also dominated in the paint, in second chance scoring opportunities through offensive rebounds, and enjoyed significant contributions from the bench.

Mallya Aditi School, Bengaluru (Thangam 18, Mira 9) bt Bhavan’s Vidya Mandir, Kochi (Reeshma 17) 52-21 [18-0, 17-4, 10-11, 8-6]

Game 40 Court 2: Government School, Mall Road, Ludhiana vs La Martiniere, Kolkata

An untroubled Government School Ludhiana girls team made short work of La Martiniere, Kolkata, handing them their first defeat after their opening win yesterday against Bhavan’s Vidya Mandir, Kochi.

This is the third straight win for the Ludhiana girls taking them to the top of their group. Employing the full court press to perfection yet again, Ludhiana girls controlled the tempo of the game and forced Kolkata into numerous turnovers which in turn led to as many as 18 points in their favour. Karanjit Kaur was unstoppable from the field in her 34 point effort, while Somi K registered an impressive double double with an astonishing 16 assists to go with her 13 points.

Government School, Mall Road, Ludhiana bt La Martiniere, Kolkata

Game 41 Court 2: Modern School, New Delhi vs Oakridge International School, Hyderabad

A resurgent Modern School, Delhi breached the 100 point barrier in the win over Oakridge International School, Hyderabad. Fielding all 12 of their players at different points in the game, Delhi kept the scoring tempo high throughout the match. At one point they led by as many as 34 points, all thanks to their trademark physical style of play that the Oakridge defence found impossible to contain.

Despite Oakridge attempting more shots from the field (65 to Modern’s 60), their poor team defence meant that Modern shot an incredible 72% as a team. Two Delhi players, Mahir and Kushagar averaged double doubles, while the third Himanshu scored 27 points.

Modern School, New Delhi (Mahir, Kushagar, Himanshu 27) bt Oakridge International School, Hyderabad (Viraj 26, Harsha 17, Neel 9 pts & 11 assists) 100-75 [30-11, 25-23, 25-18, 20-23]

Game 35, Court no. 1: SKIT, Jaipur v. Islamiya Karimiya College, Indore 

The final game of Day 3 of the ICBL National Finals 2014 gave the Indore college boys their second win of the tournament. Wise shot selection and efficient field goal percentage helped Islamiya Karimiya College, Indore defeat SKIT, Jaipur, who were handed their first loss of the tournament. After winning their first two games, SKIT came into this game visibly fatigued as they had just got off the train from Jaipur after heading home to write an examination. Nonetheless, Jaipur managed to stay in the contest for the first 3 quarters, creating a lot of second chance opportunities with their offensive rebounding. But Indore had too much firepower with good shooting and penetration from their players. Minhas CS had an outstanding game for Indore with 23 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Towards the end, Jaipur just ran out of steam and the game turned into a blowout in Indore’s favour.

Islamiya Karimiya College, Indore (Minhas C.S. 23, A. Jain 15) bt SKIT, Jaipur (Saroha Y. 17, Jhaharia R. 12) 60-41 (8-7, 21-12, 11-13, 20-9)

Matches held up to 1.30 p.m. on Day 4 (18 December 2014)

Game 50, Court no. 1: Vellamal School, Chennai v. La Martiniere School, Kolkata 

The undefeated Vellamal School team from Chennai registered an emphatic victory on the morning of Day 4 of the ISBL National Finals 2014 against La Martiniere School, Kolkata. Although the scoreline indicates a 26-point margin in favour of Chennai, the gap could have been a lot more if Chennai had not resorted to practice their 3 point shooting in the second half. After the Chennai starters established a considerable lead in the first half, Chennai’s bench took over the rest of the game. Four of Chennai’s players scored in double digits, with Surya leading the way with 25 points. Apart from La Martiniere’s captain, Raghav, who scored a game-high 34 points, the other Kolkata players were not in the same league as the Chennai team. Poor ball handling and loose passing by the Kolkata players resulted in a colossal 25 turnovers, which were converted into easy baskets on the other end by Chennai. Vellamal School remain unbeaten and look set for the semi-finals.

Vellamal School, Chennai (Surya 25, Baladaneshwar 15) bt La Martiniere School, Kolkata (Raghav 34, K.C. 8) 81-55 (26-15, 19-11, 14-15, 22-14)

Game 43, Court no. 1: Government College for Girls, Ludhiana v. Rajasthan College, Jaipur

Both teams entered the match undefeated, having won their previous 2 games thus far. The Ludhiana team started out the game with their trademark full court man-to-man defense on the Jaipur team. However, Jaipur’s good ball handling and passing made this tactic ineffective and it was subsequently abandoned by Ludhiana in the second quarter. Jaipur had an early lead with strong performances from Jaswant who ended up with 16 points. Ludhiana started the game behind but quickly caught up and gained the lead almost solely because of the play of their captain Nagma who caught fire from downtown nailing 3 after 3. This brilliant individual performance gave Ludhiana the lead as the half ended. Ludhiana committed a lot of fouls in this game and exceeded the penalty in almost all the quarters. Due to this, two of their players fouled out in the fourth quarter but the bench was deep enough to sustain the lead. Ludhiana’s loud and aggressive coach, Jaipal Singh, seemed to be swaying some calls in his team’s favour. In the end, Jaipur were unable to maintain a rhythm on offense. The problem was compounded by defensive breakdowns leading to easy buckets for Ludhiana. Ludhiana’s captain and best shooter Nagma finished with 27 points, including six 3 pointers, and Nirmal Kaur put in 23 points. For the Jaipur team, Manisha scored 18 points and Jaswant and Anita contributed 16 and 15 points in the losing effort. 

Government College for Girls, Ludhiana (Nagma Mirza 27) bt Rajasthan College, Jaipur (Manisha M. 18) 68-54 (16-21, 21-8, 9-9, 22-16)

Game 42, Court no. 1: Sr. Navbharti Public School, Ludhiana v. DPS, Indore 

DPS, Indore entered this game with two wins in their first two matches. Ludhiana too entered into today’s match undefeated and being hailed as strong contenders for the title. From the beginning, the match never seemed close with Ludhiana acquiring an early lead and building on it for the rest of the match. Ludhiana were a much bigger team and they used their height advantage to devastating effect. They shut down the basket with rim protection from their bigs who threw crisp outlet passes to guards for fast-break buckets. By halftime, Ludhiana sat on a 31-point lead which was enough to rest the starters for the remainder of the game. The bench carried forward the surge and outscored the Indore starters by themselves. For DPS Indore, Manoj scored 13 of their 20 points. For Ludhiana, Ajit and Harmandeep scored 15 points apiece.

Sr. Navbharti Public School, Ludhiana (Ajit A. 15, H. Singh 15) bt DPS, Indore (M. Singh 13) 85-20 (27-6, 17-7, 23-4, 18-3)

Game 47 Court 2 Government Girls School, Ludhiana vs Mallya Aditi International School, Bengaluru

Quick counter attacks and full court man to man pressure defence has become the hallmark of this Government Girls School, Ludhiana team.  In their final league game earlier this morning, Ludhiana girls persisted with this winning strategy to smother Bangalore on the defensive end and score freely on the offensive end.

The quick outlet passes of Punjab was a sight to behold. Karanjit Kaur had three steals in two minutes, while Somi Kumari and Gagdeep Kaur were the hothands when it came to scoring. At the end of the first half the score read 43-15 in favour of Ludhiana. Bengaluru outscored Punjab only in the last quarter, but that did little to prevent Ludhiana’s lopsided 69-37 win. With its unimpeachable 4-0 record, Government Girls School, Ludhiana is through to the semis as the top seeded side, while second placed Mallya Aditi (2-1) will play its last league match against La Martiniere, Kolkata tomorrow. 

Government Girls School, Ludhiana (Somi Kumari 30, Gagandeep 14) bt Mallya Aditi International School, Bengaluru  (Thangam 10, Mahika 11) 69-37 [17-9, 26-6, 15-7, 11-15]

Game 44 Court 1 Oakridge International School, Hyderabad vs La Martiniere, Kolkata

Excellent defensive anticipation by the Oakridge girls proved to be the key factor in its win over La Martiniere, Kolkata. Oakridge had numerous steals in the first half that led to easy transition buckets for Sharon Biju. Biju also connected on back to back threes late in the second half for her mammoth 38 point contribution. Oakridge also benefited from a greater contribution from the bench and had a rebounding advantage of 57% (as against 43% for La Martiniere) in this win.

La Martiniere, Kolkata has been knocked out of the tournament and Oakridge could progress into the semifinals if it wins its final league game and second placed Mallya Aditi International School loses its last match against La Martiniere. 

Oakridge International School, Hyderabad (Sharon 38, Pranathi 14) bt La Martiniere, Kolkata (Priyanka 15, Malvika Jain 9) 69-31 [15-12, 15-6, 22-5, 17-8]

Game 49 Court 2 Bishop Cotton Boys School, Bengaluru vs St Edmunds, Jaipur

Searching for their first wins in this tournament, Bishop Cotton Boys School clashed against St Edmunds, Jaipur. The first quarter saw some top quality dribble penetration by point guard Mitra Muddappa of Bangalore. Jaipur stuck to playing the zone defence, but Bangalore was able to get multiple offensive rebounds because of its height advantage.

By second quarter, Jaipur started clawing its way back through its centre Rahul, but his counterpart Bushan kept chipping away inside the paint and from the free throw line to take Bishop Cotton to its face saving victory. Bushan also had a number of blocks that kept Edmunds largely out of the paint. Both teams though have been knocked out of this year’s tournament and have a lot of work to do, in terms of skill and fitness, to reach the same level of play as the two best boys teams in this tournament: Velammal Boys School, Chennai or Sr Nav Bharati School, Ludhiana. 

Bishop Cotton Boys School, Bengaluru (Bushan 29, Kishan 22) bt St Edmunds, Jaipur (Rahul 28, Bharat 10) 75-65 [23-10, 18-17, 18-15, 16-23]