Chhattisgarh girls defeated Karnataka in a surprisingly one-sided game in the 68th Junior National Basketball Championship at Noida yesterday. Gulabsha Ali’s 26 points and forward Megha Singh’s 20 points led Chhattisgarh from the start. Chhattisgarh ended the game with 30 points to seal a 75-45 win.
The undefeated teams in girls’ Group B squared off to decide the pool toppers today evening. Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra were evenly matched, until an explosion of offense in the third quarter pushed Tamil Nadu ahead. TN’s Pushpa had a game-high 36 points, helping her team to a 91-78 win, finishing the league stages with a perfect record. TN forward Avanti (16 points) and point guard Nishanthi (13 points) also contributed.
Both the UP teams won their qualifying matches against Madhya Pradesh teams to decide their pre-quarterfinal opponent tomorrow. The UP girls have chosen to face Rajasthan in their pre-quarterfinal game, while the boys will play against Haryana.
Punjab boys Mandeep Singh (20 points) and Gurwinder Singh (18 points) stepped up to lead the charge for Punjab. Punjab scored a 68-45 win against defending champs Tamil Nadu.
The Rajasthan boys handed Chhattisgarh their fourth straight loss, knocking them out of the tournament. Chhattisgarh’s Salim Ali fought hard with his 25 points, but he had little support. Rajasthan’s Rajeev led all scorers with 28 points and helped to cement his team’s place in the quarter-finals tomorrow where they will face Chandigarh.
The Punjab girls pulled off a close win against Rajasthan, who fell to a 71-69 defeat. Forward Rajandeep was on fire with 30 points in the game. She was ably supported by Punjab centre Aakarshan who put up 14 points. Despite Rajasthan’s 31 points fourth quarter, Punjab held on to a slim lead to clinch a decisive victory, placing them in the quarter-finals tomorrow against defending champions Karnataka.