Kochi, 16th February, 2017: It was mixed fortunes for the Kerala girls team at the Khelo India National Level Competition held in the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad, Telangana. The U-17 team had an easy outing against Haryana and beat them 79-57, while the U-14 team went down fighting to Delhi 55-61.
The team, which was initially denied participation from the Kerala State Sports Council, was later given permission to participate in the tournament without any financial support. It was indeed a kind gesture from Team REBOUND – an organisation of former basketball players of Kerala, who came forward to help the teams with jerseys and bore the expenses of the camp at the request of the Kerala Basketball Association.
The teams were accompanied by Prem Kumar (Ernakulam), Ajith A R (Thiruvananthapuram), Winny Bestine and Minnu George (Thrissur).
In the finals, the U-17 girls led 43-27 at the half, with the final score reading 75-57. Jayalakshmi V J of St. Joseph’s GHS, Alappuzha, was the leading scorer for Kerala with 44 points, followed by Olivia with 11 points and Sandra who scored 10 points. For Haryana, Neenu was their leading scorer with 22 points.
In the finals of the U-14 category, after a closely fought 1st Quarter (15-14), Kerala went down to Delhi to the score 55-61. For Kerala, Ann Mary was the top scorer with 23 points and for Delhi, Kritika scored 22 points in the victory.
Kerala 75 (Jayalakshmi V J 44, Olivia T Shaibu 11, Sandra 10) bt Haryana 57 (Kritika 22, Anchal 12, Trishla 10)
Delhi 61 (Neenu 22, Saraswathi 10) bt Kerala 55 (Ann Mary Zacharia 23, Gouri S 12)