Story and photos by Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports.
Singapore Basketball Centre, Friday, August 15 , 2008 – After their contentious loss to the Singapore Chinese Girls’ School on Tuesday, Anglican High (AHS) were out for a a clean and fresh start. However, their hopes of reaching the championship were dashed when they lost to Zhonghua Secondary (ZHS) 29-32 in their second game in the C Division Girls quarter-finals. This defeat means that Anglican High is almost certainly out of championship run.
AHS started off well in the first quarter, putting up a strong defence against ZHS. They applied constant pressure on ZHS, allowing them only four points. AHS on the other hand also tried to break through ZHS’ defence but with some degree of difficulty. They however managed to sink in one 3-pointer by Rachel Yam (AHS, #14).
ZHS started their rampage in the second quarter. Valerie (ZHS, #7) exhibited strong play, scoring three 3-pointers. Sheila Chua (ZHS, #8), a silent player at work, created several scoring opportunities for her teammates. Bringing the ball towards their offensive half, she would watch from outside the 3-point line for openings. After several of her directed passes, ZHS would almost always sink in a shot to extend their lead over AHS. AHS struggled in this quarter, managing only four points. The game went into half time with ZHS leading 16-7.
With a substantial lead over AHS, the ZHS coach retired their top scorer Valerie to the bench for some much needed rest. But, little did ZHS expect that the third quarter would see AHS start to make a comeback. They started more aggressive runs into the paint and tried to score through their rebounds. Yu Cheng (AHS, #8) managed to draw a foul and successfully converted a point. Many a time, when a shot from their player bounced off the rim, the AHS would descend on the ball trying to gain possession. The battle for possession did not happen much in the air but rather, more on the ground right under the hoop.
Seeing AHS catch up steadily, the ZHS coach sent Valerie back onto the court to beef up the defence. As AHS grabbed possession of the ball for a turnover, Sheila (ZHS, #8) would always almost be there to obstruct them from scoring on the other side. However, AHS still managed to push through, scoring eight points in this quarter as compared to six for ZHS.
Having narrowed the gap to just seven points, AHS made the final push in the fourth quarter. It was now or never for them as they needed this win to have any hope in qualifying for the semi-finals. ZHS on the other hand also stepped up on the offensive, hoping to maintain their lead.
Jing Jing (AHS, #9) muscled her way in the paint and scored several consecutive points for her team. As AHS slowly narrowed the lead, the seemingly fatigued ZHS players were beginning to show signs of panic. Though wise enough not to commit too many fouls, they appeared to be quite anxious in scoring, leading to several missed shots and turnovers. AHS look set to make a comeback, and could probably steal the win.
As the game wore on, Sheena (ZHS, #14) was retired to the bench after she picked up her fourth foul. As she sat down on the floor, she was clearly exhausted. Back on court, Sheila (ZHS, #8), Zhonghua’s “silent player”, made a move through the tight AHS defence and scored her second basket of the game despite having played for almost the entire duration. Rather than pass out to her teammate and risk another turnover, she bravely barged her way through to score valuable points.
Despite the fearsome AHS surge in the last minute, ZHS managed to retain their lead to last out till the final whistle. AHS had in fact outscored ZHS 14-10 in the final quarter but but the latter still triumphed by three points to set themselves up against SCGS for a nail-biting match to decide who qualifies for the semi-finals. With 1 win and 1 loss each, the winner of the game will join Raffles’ Girls in the semi-final. The match will be held on Monday, 18 August at SBC.
Despite having lost this game, AHS can definitely hold their heads high knowing that they had played a good game. As for the Zhonghua girls, they are going to have to play their 100% on Monday’s game for a chance at the championship title. Good luck!
Valerie (ZHS, #7) – 11 points (3 3-pointers)
Jing Jing (AHS, #9) – 10 points
Sheena Ting (ZHS, #14) – 9 points
More pictures in the gallery.
Editor’s note: If you recognise yourself or your team mates in any of the pictures, please feel free to leave the names behind in the comments section and we will update the captions accordingly.