Story by Daniel Yeo/Red Sports. Photos by Dylan Chua/Red Sports.
Singapore Basketball Centre, Monday, May 7, 2018 — The defensive excellence of Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) earned them a blowout 68–14 win over Victoria Junior College (VJC) in the second round of the National Girls’ A Division Basketball Championship.
This win puts Hwa Chong at the top of their group with a 2-0 win-loss record, while Victoria JC drops to third with a 0-2 win-loss record.
For Hwa Chong, Ivon Kong (HCI #8) led their scoring onslaught with a game-high 24 points, while teammate Tan Qi Qing (HCI #12) added 14 of her own. Victoria JC were led by Tan Hui Juan (VJC #5) with 6 points.
From the get-go, Hwa Chong set the tone early with their full-court zone press. As the game went on, it would prove to be the game’s biggest factor.
In this game, Hwa Chong was able to find that delicate balance between playing the offense loosely and tightly, so that they could both step into passing lanes for steals but also press up on their man and prevent Victoria JC from scoring.
After limiting Victoria JC to one made field goal in a miserable 15–3 first quarter, Hwa Chong’s defence went into another gear for a 19–0 second quarter.
Their defence caused all kinds of turnovers from Victoria JC: shot clock violations, travels, backcourt violations, steals, you name it – it was evident that Victoria JC was struggling to just take the ball up the court.
With a buzzer-beating layup by Adeline Wong (HCI #7), Hwa Chong finished off a 34–3 half, and the game was already all but over.
As the second half began, a seemingly frustrated Victoria JC got into foul trouble early, with four fouls in the first three minutes of the third quarter.
While Hwa Chong did not make any free throws in the quarter, that did not stop them from scoring off turnovers by their opponents, matching their point production with another 19-point quarter.
An also seemingly flustered Victoria JC was not passing well, and those inaccurate passes hindered Victoria JC from properly setting up their offence. But, with five minutes left in the third quarter, Sim See Min (VJC #14) scored for Victoria JC – their first points since the first quarter.
Since that made bucket, Victoria JC’s point production began to increase, as they started to convert on their looks in the paint. This got them to an improved 11 points in the half, but it would never be enough for that massive 54-point deficit.
Even so, Hwa Chong were never going to take their foot off the gas, as Ivon Kong (HCI #8) caught fire in the last quarter for nine of Hwa Chong’s 15. All the way till the final buzzer, they were playing some aggressive defence, and even managed to steal the ball one final time before time expired.
Captain Lan Ran (HCI #14) shared how the team had prepared for this matchup: “We were quite cautious of this team because they had a close fight with NYJC. We did a lot more mental preparation for this game and we just came into the game stronger and wanting to win.”
When asked about the team’s performance on the day, she added: “They did well. There are still things we can improve on, but generally, this was one of the better games of our season.”
In their final game of the second round, Hwa Chong will face Nanyang Junior College in a blockbuster matchup between the group’s top two seeds. Victoria JC will face River Valley High School, who is currently in last place.
Both games will take place at Singapore Basketball Centre on May 9, with tip-off at 12:45pm and 2pm respectively.
Scoring by Quarter
Hwa Chong Institution v Victoria Junior College
1st Q: 15–3
2nd Q: 19–0 (34–3)
3rd Q 19–5 (53–8)
4th Q: 15–6 (68–14)
Hwa Chong Institution
Ivon Kong (#8) – 24 points
Tan Qi Qing (#12) – 12 points
Victoria Junior College
Tan Hui Juan (#5) – 6 points
Hwa Chong Institution Roster
Erinn Lee (#2), Glades Tan (#4), Huang Shi Yun (#5), Adeline Wong (#7), Ivon Kong (#8), Tan Li Qi (#9), Lavelle Wong (#11), Tan Qi Qing (#12), Lan Ran (#14), Quek Ning Xuan (#17), Zhang Zheting (#19), Tai Jia Hui (#99)
Victoria Junior College Roster
Cheong Win Yee (#3), Gwen Teo Yen Chih (#4), Tan Hui Juan (#5), Ong Sze Yan (#7), Pratikchhya Rai (#8), Cheryl Lee (#9), Megan Lim Xiao Yun (#10), Xie Li Yen Novy (#11), Adjani Nursakinah (#12), Lim Xin Yi (#13), Sim See Min (#14), Rachelle Sim Yahn Yee (#15)
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