The Karnataka boys have been impressive in the 68th National Junior Basketball Championship being held at Noida. On the second day of the tournament the team continued their good show with another imposing victory beating Tripura 83-18 yesterday.
They stormed out of the gates against an under-matched Tripura side, taking the first quarter 35 to 3. This set the tone for the rest of the game as Karnataka cruised to an 83-18 win. Gujarat boys also registered an emphatic victory against Jharkhand beating 67-12.
Four Gujarat players scored in double digits in the blowout win. In the other game Madhya Pradesh beat Jammu and Kashmir 49 to 38, while Uttarakhand topped Bihar 59-40. Defending champions TN boys stunned by Rajasthan. Tamil Nadu boys were on a high after their emphatic opening win yesterday. But they were dealt a reality check today afternoon in their game against an unassuming Rajasthan side.
With Tamil Nadu lacking the services of their star player P. Baladhaneshwar, who recently made it to the India team, there was not much to separate the two sides. Sumit (24 points) and Rajeev (21 points) did the bulk of scoring for Rajasthan, while Tamil Nadu’s Shanmugam put up 30 points. The game went down to the wire and clutch free throws by Rajeev gave Rajasthan the 2-point edge to clinch the victory.
Heavyweights Kerala and Chhattisgarh girls faced off for the first time this tournament today afternoon. The first quarter belonged to Chhattisgarh, who built a double-digit lead early in the game. Led by Gulabsha Ali (51 points), Chhattisgarh maintained a healthy lead till halftime. However, in the second half, Kerala mounted a comeback that brought them within single digits in the final minutes. But Chhattisgarh staved off the Kerala run to clinch a thrilling 92-86 win.
The Kerala boys, runners up in the last junior nationals, faced the Delhi team who are usually considered the dark horse at junior tournaments. This turned out to be another nail biting contest, as both teams exchanged blows till the end. Kerala ultimately won 93-83.
Uttar Pradesh teams win
The Uttar Pradesh girl’s team pleased the home crowd with a 73-42 win in their opening game against Chandigarh. A strong first half performance ensured a smooth road to the finish line for the UP girls who were led by Vaishnavi’s 26 points. Amrit had 19 points for Chandigarh in the loss.
Later, the UP boy’s team too pulled away from West Bengal after a close first half, to register their second straight win. Maharashtra girls picked up an easy win today against Haryana 79 to 28, improving their record to 2-0. Haryana, on the other hand, slipped to 0-2 and remained at the bottom of their group.