By REDintern Lim Yu-Han
Clementi Sports Hall, Monday, April 15, 2013 — Unity Secondary defeated Singapore Chinese Girls’ School (SCGS) 62–58 in the semi-finals of the National B Division Girls Basketball Championship to enter the final.
SCGS drew first blood when Charmaine Koh (#13) put in her under-basket. Captain of Unity, Au Zi Yu (#9), responded with her own layup. However, Woon Wei Jing (#12), SCGS’ captain, sunk in a three to increase their lead 7–2. She continued to battle her way through the Unity defence to slot in a basket.
Both teams sounded their battle cry with their respective full-court presses, leaving it a matter of time before the better team broke their opponents’ defence. SCGS initially successfully beat Unity’s full-court press, using four quick and powerful passes to clear the entire court for Wei Jing (#12) to score easy baskets.
Meanwhile, Unity struggled with breaking SCGS’ full-court defence, causing them to trail 5–13 with three minutes left. Determined, Unity’s Zi Yu (#9) replied with consecutive baskets to close the score gap 13–15. Teammate Cheryl Ong (#10) sunk in another to equalise at 15–15 but SCGS’ Ong Li Ping (#15) did a buzzer beater to allow her team to lead 17–15.
SCGS’ Bernice Yeo (#4) sunk in a swift three within seconds of the second quarter, only to further impress with her foul-in, single-handedly doing a 6–0 run. Unity’s Zi Yu (#9), who was key in coordinating many intercepts and excellent assists, converted almost all of her many free throws to close the score 22–29. This was an extremely physical quarter, with players from both sides falling to the ground or contesting for the ball amidst the flurry on the floor. Lim Yin Yan (#8) of SCGS ended the quarter with her basket, 35–24 to her team.
Zi Yu (#9) of Unity steadily sank in her free throws to open the second half. This quarter saw fatigue written explicitly on the players’ faces as both teams were relentless in their attacks, matching point for point continually. Unity’s Chia Siu Wei (#11) did a skillful back pass to assist a basket, inspiring her team to do a 6–0 run, chasing the scores 34–35. With an equaliser from Unity’s Rachel Yeo (#4), captain Zi Yu’s (#9) composed free throws swung them into the lead 38–36 for the first time. A brief free throw showdown ensued between the captains of both teams, but Unity’s Siu Wei (#11) had the last say as her team went into the last quarter leading 44–41.
The last quarter saw SCGS’ Charmaine (#13) tying the game at 45–45 with consecutive baskets. However, Unity’s Zi Yu (#9) was undeterred in her free-throw spree to secure three more points. SCGS got to the line many times but failed to convert, whereas Unity capitalised on every opportunity to put in their free throws with composure.
With only one minute left, SCGS were still chasing hard 54–56 after Wei Jing (#12) flicked in a layup from Charmaine’s (#13) steal. Unity’s Zi Yu (#9) countered with a basket and drew contact, sinking in free throws to make it a five-point game 59–54 with 40 seconds on the clock. Despite SCGS’ Wei Jing’s (#12) jumper, Unity’s Zi Yu (#9) fought back with a quick layup. An under-basket from SCGS’ Charmaine (#13) with 14 seconds to go closed the gap 58–61, but it was too late for further attempts as Unity’s Zi Yu (#9) sealed the game 62–58 with a final free throw.
Unity’s captain, Zi Yu (#9), said: “We did not perform as well at the start. But we wanted to win and enter the final, so I’m glad the team gave their best and fought for every possession during the second half.”
SCGS’ captain, Wei Jing (#12), commented: “Although we didn’t manage to get into the finals, we were quite satisfied with today’s performance. However, we have to work on enduring throughout the whole match and not commit many fouls to present our opponents with free throw opportunities.”
Unity will face-off with Dunman Secondary in the final on Thursday, April 18, 2013.
Score by Quarter
Unity vs SCGS
1st Quarter: 17–15
2nd Quarter: 7–20 (24–35)
3rd Quarter: 20–6 (44–41)
4th Quarter: 18–17 (62–58)
Au Zi Yu (#9) — 30 points
Chia Siu Wei (#11) — 12 points (1 x 3 pointer)
Woon Wei Jing (#12) — 17 points (1 x 3 pointer)
Charmaine Koh Xuan Min (#13) — 14 points (1 x 3 pointer)
Yeo Ci Yuan Rachel (#4), Priscilla Wong Ting Hui (#5), Lee Jia Yi (#6), Maisarah Bte Mohammad Sauki (#7), Eliya Sabrina Bte Suhaimi (#8), Au Zi Yu (#9), Cheryl Ong Ying Qi (#10), Chia Siu Wei (#11), Musrifah Fadzlia Bte Masiran (#12), Lim Xiang Xuan (#13), Ng Xin Yi (#14), Torralba Jessah Marie Rara (#15)
Bernice Yeo Yin Siew (#4), Chloe Alphonso (#5), Rachel Mok Wai Ean (#6), Carisia Lee Jia Yu (#7), Lim Yin Yan (#8), ceres Suwe (#9), Tay Dao Rou (#10), Low Yi Xuan (#11), Woon Wei Jing (#12), Charmaine Koh Xuan Min (#13), Sevilla Chea Wei La (#14), Ong Li Ping (#15)
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