Story by Zachary Foo/Red Sports. Photos by Julianna Jothi/Red Sports
The Wave, Thursday, August 29, 2019 — Nanyang Girls’ High School (NYGH) overcame a slow start to beat Singapore Chinese Girls’ School (SCGS) 48–31 in the finals of the National C Division Basketball Championship.
Bridget Wu (NYGH #27) led all scorers with 15 points, while Choo Syn Ee, Denise (#32) followed closely behind with 11. Celeste Niam (SCGS #4) put up 8 points for her team, while Wang Jia Yue (SCGS #11) added 6 points.
The opening quarter was a tight affair between both teams, as they trotted out very disciplined defences to start the game. SCGS got the better opening start, as their jumpers were falling for their team. On the other hand, NYGH created a lot of open shots, but were unlucky to not have their shots falling through. However, as the quarter progressed, NYGH started to warm up and they were able to trim down the deficit to two before the start of the second quarter.
The second quarter saw both teams clamp down on defence, with the consequence of the game slowing down significantly. NYGH seemed content with settling for jumpers, which they kept missing throughout the early part of the quarter. On the other hand, SCGS struggled with the physicality and height of the NYGH frontline. The SCGS players struggled to find their way past the imposing figures of Kwa Rei-En, Dilys (#35) and Chua Rui En, Rae-Ann (#33) in the paint. NYGH ramped up the pace of the game in the last couple of minutes, giving them a slim two point lead heading into the half.
NYGH showed their intent out of the half-time break, starting off on a 6–0 run that extended their lead comfortably. SCGS desperately tried to reduce the deficit, but were again stifled by the NYGH front court. It took SCGS 4 minutes to break their scoring drought, which by that point, the lead stretched to double digits. NYGH were able to keep calm and sink their free throws at the line to coolly extend their lead bit by bit.
The final quarter proved to be a closer affair between both teams. Desperate to reduce the deficit, SCGS showed some signs of life when Wang Jia Yue (SCGS #11) drained two 3-pointers, trimming the deficit to 10. However, NYGH showed its resilience by keeping calm in the moment and re-extending the lead again. NYGH eventually emerged 48–31 winners and claimed the championship this year.
NYGH captain, Huang Kaining (#28), had this to say about the win:” We faced a lot of difficulties in the season, especially with injuries and we overcame all of them. The reason why we took the lead in the third quarter was due to the support and encouragement from the team and seniors. On behalf of the team, I want to thank the school, teachers and friends for supporting us all the way through all these matches. We also would like to especially thank the parents for coming to every match to support us.”
NYGH vice-captain, Felicia Or (#26), added:”I am very happy because we have come a long way and we worked hard for today. I would like to thank the coach, seniors and teachers-in-charge for working hard to support us through the season and for also coming down to each training session and pushing us to do our best.”
SCGS captain, Maeva Loo (#5), had this to say:”It was a nerve-wracking game for us as it was our first time in the finals. Even though we lost, we played our best and had no regrets. We fought to the last minute and did not give up, because we were determined to fight back. This journey was wonderful as the team overcame many obstacles together. We would like to thank our teacher in charge, mrs Dora Fernandez and our coach Ms Chiew Poh Leng for always giving us the best advice before every game. Their constant support and encouragement and feeding us a lot of food which gave us the strength to do better. We also want to thank our supporters and friends who believed in us and came to support our games.”
Scoring by Quarter
SCGS vs NYGH
1st Quarter: 12–10
2nd Quarter: 5–9 (17–19)
3rd Quarter: 4–14 (21–33)
4th Quarter: 10–15 (31–48)
Celeste Niam (#4) – 8 points
Wang Jia Yue (#11) – 6 points
Bridget Wu Tong Ning (#27) – 15 points
Choo Syn Ee, Denise (#32) – 11 points
Celeste Niam (#4), Maeva Loo (#5), Aliyaa Aris (#6), Prova Bhuiyan (#8), Megan Lim (#9), Au Zexuan (#10), Wang Jia Yue (#11), Wong Rui Xin (#12), Sarah Goh (#13), Nydia Heng (#14), Zara Liu (#15), Abigail Lim (#17)
Zhao Xingmeng (#22), Felicia Or (#26), Bridget Wu Tong Ning (#27), Huang Kaining (#28), Mao Liya (#29), Yap Li Ying, Niki (#31), Choo Syn Ee, Denise (#32), Chua Rui En, Rae-Ann (#33), Callista Koh Min Min (#34), Kwa Rei-En, Dilys (#35), Lee Yu Qi, Rebecca (#36), Sarah Hannah Koh Shi En (#37)
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