National C Div Bball: Nanyang Girls’ avenge previous defeat with 39-33 victory over Dunman
By Rebecca Yip/Red Sports
Clementi Sports Hall, Thursday, August 16, 2012 — Nanyang Girls’ High pulled off an upset when they beat favourites and previously unbeaten Dunman Secondary 39-33 in their semi-final match to enter the National C Division Basketball Championship Final.
For a team that was nowhere near the Nationals competition last year, Nanyang Girls’ exceeded all expectations to get into the semi-finals when they convincingly defeated defending national champions Unity Secondary, whom they had narrowly lost to in the West Zone final, and North Zone champions, Deyi Secondary.
Today’s semi-final match was a rematch of the Round 1 group encounter between the two teams, which saw Nanyang dealt a heartbreak when a last-minute 3-point shot sealed the deal for Dunman.
Both sides made significant changes to their team this time. Nanyang’s point guard and captain, Sheryl Ng (#4), was left out of the starting five, with the coach opting to play Boon Jiahwee (#8) instead. Dunman’s Aqidah (#11) was also left out of their starting five.
An early basket by Dunman’s Adlina (#14) opened the scoring. She was one of Dunman’s top scorers, tied with Emi (#8), with 11 points. Charmian Cheah (#13), the game’s top scorer with 14 points, got Nanyang onto the scoresheet with a lay-up shortly after.
With the stakes so high, there were nerves which showed in the players’ overly cautious passes. Both teams also engaged in aggressive play, hoping to minimise their opponents’ scoring chances.
Nearing the end of the first quarter, the teams were scoring basket for basket, but two free throws by Nanyang’s Charmian Cheah (#13) saw Nanyang end the first quarter with a narrow two-point, 11-9 lead.
Improved defending from Nanyang kept up the pressure on Dunman, thwarting any of their efforts to gain entry into the semi-circle beyond the 3-point line. However, this could not stop Dunman from relentlessly attacking and managing to carve out a four-point lead, the largest lead that Dunman had, with two minutes left in the 2nd quarter. Dunman could have extended their lead, but shooting inaccuracies from under the basket saw them lead go off at half time with only a one-point, 19-18 lead.
The third quarter was the turning point of the game. Both teams came into the second half with a more intense desire to gain the upper hand. Nanyang tried to go for every ball by playing a mid-court defence, which paid off as Dunman’s careless passing let Nanyang intercept and convert many balls.
A 3-point shot by Charmian (#13) in the dying seconds of the third quarter gave Nanyang a crucial eight-point, 34-26 lead over their rivals.
The pressure got even more intense in the final quarter as Nanyang struggled to hold on to their lead. Dunman had many opportunities to grab the win, but their players uncharacteristically lacked the accuracy that they had in previous games.
Nanyang took advantage of this to speed ahead, with Lim Boon Yee (#12) leading Nanyang’s attack in the final seconds of the game as Nanyang held their nerve just long enough to give them a 39-33 victory for a well-deserved celebration.
Nanyang’s jubilant captain, Sheryl Ng (#4), said after the match: “We came into the match focussed on what we were supposed to do. We lost against Dunman in the last match because of the last minute 3-pointer so our coach taught us to defend their 3-point shots. Today’s game was better, we managed to catch a lot of the rebounds and box out. Even though there were a lot of mistakes along the way, we still managed to play a good game.”
When queried about their improved defence since their West Zone Final, which had four of their players fouled out, Sheryl said with a laugh that they have “learned from [their] mistakes.”
Nanyang Girls’ hope to have a repeat performance when they meet Singapore Chinese Girls’ School in the final. They had lost 31-36 to SCGS in the second round. The final will take place at 1pm next Thursday, August 23rd, at Jurong East Sports Hall.
Dunman Secondary play Anglican High for the bronze on Wednesday, August 22nd, at Clementi Sports Hall.
Score by Quarter
Dunman vs Nanyang Girls’ High
1st Q: 9-11
2nd Q: 10-7 (19-18)
3rd Q: 7-16 (26-34)
4th Q: 7-5
Adlina (#14) — 11 points
Emi (#8) — 11 points
Charmian Cheah (#13) — 14 points
Lim Boon Yee (#12) — 11 points
Rachel Wong (#10) — 8 points
Khaliesah (#4), Putri (#5), Marsha (#6), Amanda (#7), Emi (#8), Dominique (#9), Tanya (#10), Aqidah (#11), Sofia (#12), Kattleya (#13), Adlina (#14), Pearlyn (#15)
Nanyang Girls’ Roster
Sheryl Ng (#4), Zhimin (#5), Weiwen (#6), Chloe Yan (#7), Boon Jiahwee (#8), Natasha (#9), Rachel Wong (#10), Dalini Viktoria Rajandhran (#11), Lim Boon Yee (#12), Charmian Cheah (#13), Liwen (#14), Yushin (#15)
More photos in gallery next page