The boys and girls teams of Kerala and Tamil Nadu put up fine performances to set up the title clash in their respective categories in the 31st Youth National Basketball Championship, being played at the Sector-42 sports complex, on Monday.
In the boys section, Kerala overcame a minewsd-session slump to get rid of Chhattisgarh 63-55. The winners started off well and went on to win the first quarter 23-9. In the next two quarters, however, Chhattisgarh staged a brilliant comeback to finish with 21-10 and 17-6 scorelines, respectively.
Stung by the reversal, Kerala lads bounced back in time to claim the fourth and final quarter with a big 16-point margin (24-8), thus sealing the match in their favour. For the winners, Sudarshan top scored with 17 points, while Mithun Das (23pts) was the leading scorer for the losing team.
In the other semifinal of the section, Tamil Nadu (TN) pipped Haryana 95-93 in a close contest. Tamil Nadu lost the first quarters 19-21 and 25-27, respectively. However, they took a decisive lead by winning the third quarter 32-19.
Although Haryana claimed the fourth quarter 26-19, they lost the match on the basis of overall scores. For winners, P Baladhan (23pts) was the top scorer, while Deepak (23pts) was the leading scorer for the losers 95-93.
In the girls section, Kerala dominated their semifinal encounter against Maharashtra from start to finish to register a lopsided 81-44 win. The winners won all the four quarters with the scores of 12-10, 21-13, 22-14 and 26-7, respectively. For the winners, Nivya Raj top scored with 23 points, while Shruti Sherigar (8pts) was the leading scorer for the Maharashtra team.
In the other semifinal, Tamil Nadu managed to stop a hard-charging Karnataka to register 65-58 win. The winners got off to a bad start, losing the first quarter 14-16.
However, they bounced to win the second quarter 23-4, thus taking a decisive lead. While Karnataka claimed the next two quarters 19-16 and 19-12, respectively, they lost the match on the basis of the cumulative scores.
For the winners, Ria Sharon A was the top scorer with 13 points, while Lopamudra T (23pts) was the leading scorer for the losing side.