The National School Games, U20 category basketball matches came to an end as Royal College (RC) clinched the trophy for the third consecutive time, beating Maris Stella College(MSC), 47-41.
Both teams were connecting shots at ease right from the jump-ball start, but it was Royal College who came out on top at the end of the first quarter. With fast breaks from end to end, two pointers being converted to 3`s, RC led by 07 points at the end of the 1st quarter, 18-11.
MSC did well in the second quarter. After being down 18-24 at one stage, they managed to close the deficit to a point at half time. RC were outscored 09-15 in the quarter.
Halftime: RC 27 – MSC 26
The penultimate quarter was a treat to watch. With 03 minutes remaining on the clock, the game was squared 31 all. It was a quarter where RC looked to be the more formidable side once again. Getting back into the same rhythm in which they commenced the game, RC closed the quarter, 34-32, manaing a two-point lead.
Both teams played some intense basketball in the final quarter as the lead was swapped back and forth. RC did well in steals as they halted the opponent`s offensive possessions and converted them into points. It helped them to move on to a commanding 8-point lead which eased the pressure off for the final few minutes. With the clock running out, Maris Stella College fell short by 5 points as the full time scores read, 47-41.
Head Coach of Royal College Prasanna Jayasinghe speaking to ThePapare.com, “The game went according to plan, focusing more on defense and adding pressure on them, indeed the pressure did get to Mari Stella as observed in the fourth quarter”
U20 Girls’ Final – Holy Family Convent v St. Joseph`s Girls’ School – Nugegoda
St. Joseph`s Girls’ School – Nugegoda (SJGS) drowned Holy Family Convent (HFC) to clinch the important girls’ title, 31-23 in a low scoring affair.
SJGS led the game at the start of the first quarter by five points but HFC came back strongly, to reduce the deficit to a point at the end of the maiden ten minutes, 10-11. The second quarter was similar as both teams went head to head but SJGS later in the quarter regained their 5-point lead, ending the 1st half with the score reading 15-20.
The game turned out to be a low scoring affair going in the second half. Both teams found it equally difficult to connect the shots until HFC scored via a free-throw with four minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter. SJGS managed to pull-off 6 points outscoring the opposition 6-1.
HFC continued to struggle and did cut back the deficit to 5 points but the SJGS offence was too much to handle as they ended the game with a 12 point lead, 31-23.
Head Coach of St. Joseph`s Girls’ School – Nugegoda speaking with ThePapare.com said, “The game plan went accordingly upto 80% but it was the skill of the players that contributed the remaining 20%”.