Story By Zachary Foo/Red Sports
Clementi Sports Hall, Wednesday, August 28, 2013 — Hot favourites Nanyang Girls’ High took advantage of a fast start and never looked back, as they beat CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh) 46–37 to make their second consecutive final appearance in the National C Division Girls’ Basketball Championship.
They now face Anglican High in the championship final, hoping to claim a title that has eluded them. Since records were kept in 1988, Nanyang Girls’ High have finished runners-up a total of six times, unable to get over the hump to claim the big one.
Desiree Lee (#14) of CHIJ(TP) led all scorers with 16 points while Tan Liwen (#14) had a team-high 13 points for Nanyang Girls’ High.
Nanyang Girls’ came out firing on all cylinders in the first quarter, dominating the boards and combined that with crisp offensive play. They moved the ball extremely well and looked to pass the ball into the high post at each opportunity, allowing Tan Qi Qing (NYGH #12) and Si Yu Han (NYGH #15) to take a shot or make the extra pass for an easy basket.
On defence, they focused on shutting down CHIJ(TP)’s key players, Jayne Chan (#12) and Desiree Lee (#14), by playing a very aggressive man-to-man defence. The tactic worked very well, as CHIJ(TP) seemed to be in complete disarray, as players were forcing shots and paying severely for it. This allowed Nanyang Girls’ to open up an 18–6 lead at the end of the quarter.
In the second quarter, the game started to slow down as both teams started to settle in and played extremely good defence. CHIJ(TP) found success in funneling Nanyang High’s drivers to Joelle Thng (#11) and allowing her to contest their shots, resulting in quite a few misses by their opponents.
CHIJ(TP) were not able to capitalise on the other end of the court, as their shoddy offense resulted in a lot of missed and blocked shots. Natasha Ng (#9) drove the offense well for Nanyang Girls’, making the extra pass and choosing to drive into the lane at opportune moments.
Coming out of the half, CHIJ(TP) seemed like a different team as their offense in the half-court set became more fluid and they were passing the ball more. The team seemed focused on giving Jayne (#12) and Desiree (#14) opportunities to score, but they were inefficient with their possessions.
Nanyang Girls’ were paced by Tan Liwen (#14), who accounted for half her team’s points in the quarter and kept them in a comfortable lead. Jayne (12) was a terror in the backcourt, creating a lot of steals and going on the break. However, she was unable to put away a lot of her attempts in a frustrating sequence for CHIJ(TP) to end the quarter.
The final quarter was exciting as CHIJ(TP) looked to mount a comeback against Nanyang. They were able to score more points as they drove to the basket more aggressively. However, they were let down on defense, as Nanyang Girls’ were able to destroy their zone. Si Yu Han (NYGH #15) was consistently left wide open at the high post to make the pass or take the shot.
There was a point in the game where CHIJ(TP) trimmed the Nanyang Girls’ High lead to five points, but it was as close as it got. Nanyang Girls’ held on to win 46–37 and they will hope that second time around is the charm for them in the final.
Natasha Ng (#9) of Nanyang Girls’ said: “I felt that some parts of the game were very close, hence we were nervous. But this is our second time in the semi-finals and the experience helped us to settle down. I hope we will be able to win the final and become champions this time around!”
Desiree Lee (#14) of CHIJ(TP) said: ” I think we did our best today, but Nanyang did a better job. We have to improve our game plan for the next game. Our fast breaks were good, but we struggled in the half-court sets. Nanyang was able to shut us down with their defense.”
Scoring by Quarter
Nanyang Girls’ High vs CHIJ (Toa Payoh)
2nd Quarter:8–10 (26–16)
3rd Quarter:8–7 (31–23)
4th Quarter:12–14 (45–37)
Nanyang Girls’ High
Tan Liwen (#14) – 13 points
Tan Qi Qing (#12) – 12 points
CHIJ (Toa Payoh)
Desiree Lee (#14) – 16 points
Jayne Chan (#12) – 15 points
Nanyang Girls’ Roster
Glades Tan (#4), Chan Yu Cheng (#5), Audrey Au (#6), Adeline Wong (#7), Lavelle Wong (#8), Natasha Ng (#9), Soon Wei Wen (#10), Xing Yue (#11), Tan Qi Qing (#12), Wei Lin (#13), Tan Liwen (#14), Si Yu Han (#15)
CHIJ (Toa Payoh) Roster
Kristie Chan (#4), Anjou Ang (#5), Renee Siu (#6), Marriott See (#7), Tania Abraham (#8), Claire Tay (#9), Leah Jeremiah (#10), Joelle Thng (#11), Jayne Chan (#12), Yan Ning (#13), Desiree Lee (#14), Isabelle Monteiro (#15)
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