By REDintern Zachary Foo
PESEB, Evans Road, Friday, August 2, 2013 — Singapore Chinese Girls’ School (SCGS) survived an early scare from Raffles Girls’ School (RGS) to win 55–35 in the semi-final of the South Zone C Division Girls’ Championship.
SCGS will be gunning for their fourth straight zonal title since 2010 when they take on CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh) in the final. CHIJ(TP) beat Zhonghua Secondary 63–37 in the other semi-final.
The first quarter started off well for RGS, who utilised a 3-2 zone to great effect. Amber Voo (#6) was at the top of the circle, calling out on defence and using her long arms to disrupt the passing lanes. She found success on offence as well, draining three straight jumpers from the right baseline to pace her team in scoring.
However, SCGS seemed to be the more dominant team as the quarter progressed but were let down by their failure to convert on their open looks. The quarter ended on an ominous note for RGS, as Brenda Tan (#11) went down with an injury and had to be substituted.
SCGS looked more lively in the second quarter, as they attempted to reduce the deficit. Caroline Gregory (SCGS #11) was an intimidating presence on defence, using her long wingspan to create steals and generate turnovers.
Each time SCGS looked to make a run, RGS had a response. The most emphatic coming from Jeanine Tang (#10), who sprained her ankle while being fouled on a shot attempt. As she still had to attempt her free throws before being subbed out, Jeanine showed grit to sink both attempts before gingerly limping back to the bench. Such was the determination of Raffles that they went into half-time holding a slender one-point lead.
Trailing 20–21 at half-time, SCGS broke the game open in the third quarter, as they finally got accustomed to Raffles’ defence and started finding ways to score on them. But it was not without its consequences, as they gambled on defending with reckless abandon and found themselves in a penalty situation with five minutes left in the quarter.
Raffles could have capitalised on the situation, but were too passive. They also made small mistakes that cost them dearly, allowing SCGS to score a couple of back-breaking three-pointers on the other end. By the end of the quarter, SCGS were up 40–27, justifying their label as favourites going into the final quarter.
Raffles did not go down without a fight, showing real determination in an attempt to bring down the deficit. Both Jeanine Tang (RGS #10) and Brenda Tan (RGS #11) played through their injuries to try and help their team’s cause.
Raffles were making a lot of excellent defensive stops, but SCGS would inexplicably find a way past to score on them. On the offensive end, Rhianne Vaz (RGS #15) made a lot of good drives to the basket, but was stopped at the rim by the long arms of Rachel Yeo (SCGS #10) and Caroline Gregory (SCGS #11).
SCGS managed to seal the game 55–35 in the end and will be looking at a four-peat since 2010.
Tiana Ng (#11), captain of SCGS, said: “I think I am quite satisfied with the win, we worked really hard as a team for it. We think CHIJ (Toa Payoh) will be our biggest challengers for the title. For Nationals, we hope to maintain a winning streak into the semi-finals as it will be a good morale booster for the team.”
Jessica Ong (#7), SCGS’ vice-captain, said: “I think we achieved what we wanted for this tournament. We were really pressured when we were down at the half, but we supported each other and managed to pull off the comeback!”
Amber Voo (#6), captain of RGS, said: “I think we did well in the first two quarters. We scored more than them in the first quarter, but there was more to be desired when we tried to hold on to the lead. We hope that we will get third in the zone and we will try to do our best in Nationals.”
Singapore Chinese Girls’ Roster
Gladys Khor Yi Xuan (#4), Ruth Leong En Hui (#5), Sophia Isabelle Ang Su Min (#6), Ong Shu Hui Jessica (#7), Briana Lee (#8), Lum Chee Ching Aisling (#9), Rachel Yeo Pei Shan (#10), Caroline Sarah Gregory Kit Mun (#11), Natalie Lim (#12), Anbu Agana (#13), Tiana Ng (#14), Phoebe Kee (#15)
Raffles Girls’ Roster
Dianne Yeo (#4), Charis Quek (#5), Amber Voo (#6), Joon Hui Xuan (#7), Jamie Chong (#8), Jamie Lee (#9), Jeanine Tang (#10), Brenda Tan (#11), Michelle Yap (#12), Sofia Tan (#13), Nathania Yang (#14), Rhianne Vaz (#15)
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