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Gujarat State Senior Basketball C'ship: Bhavnagar and Income Tax crowned Champs
On the final day of the Gujarat State Senior Basketball Championships, Bhavnagar won the women's category after defeating Rajkot, and Income Tax won the men's category after a hard-fought victory over Bhavnagar district.
The final day of the Gujarat State Senior C'ship comprised two sessions. The morning session had four semi-final matches. The evening session entertained the finals with a capacity crowd in the building.
GUJARAT STATE senior C'SHIP FINALS:
In the evening, when the storms were gone, Sidsar Sports Complex was gearing up for two final matches for the Gujarat State Senior Basketball Championships. Two games were lined-up, Bhavnagar featuring in both of them.
Women's - Bhavnagar Dist. 80:64 Rajkot
In the game of shooting against pace, Bhavnagar versus Rajkot was an exciting contest.
All images credit Kevin Somani
The Rajkot team started strong, with aggressive steals and long pass plays, making it hard for their hosts to stop them. Ishita, Khiyati, Nidhi and Dhara took the scoring on their shoulders. Rajkot's captain Nidhi was fouled out in the third quarter, and Dhara in the fourth, making it hard for them to score.
Before the finals, the host Bhavnagar had won all three tournament games, but this one was more of a see-saw. As a result, they started slow and weak, unable to match Rajkot's pace. Later on in the game, they played compact, stopping Rajkot to come in and shoot. On the other of the court, they played a different ball game turning into the Golden State Warriors kind of team, spacing out all game, shooting record 15 threes.
Around the second quarter, they shot consecutive five threes, making the crowd go bonkers. Still, they lagged by 10 points going into halftime. Bhavnagar turned the tables, pressed with a high line, and defended the turnovers in the second half. Restricting Rajkot to just nine points in the last quarter Bhavnagar clinched the win.
Men's - Income Tax 100:88 Bhavnagar Dist.
The game between Income Tax and Bhavnagar district broke records for the tournament.
The high scoring game was full of energy throughout the game. Except for the final quarter, all others had at least 20 points scored by each team.
Maruthan Kasi Rajan started scoring for Income Tax, later taken over by Bhavnagar's own Dhaval Ulwa. Indra Vijaysinh Gohil, who shot a lot of three's last game, was quiet this time around. Harpalsinh, who got injured in the semi-final, played this game. He took defensive rebounds and shot close from the basket. Vinay Kaushik, Pratik also contributed to the teams. The experience side took control of the game and never let the hosts take the lead.
Dhaval Ulwa was on another level after having a quiet game against Baroda; he broke the highest scoring record by a player by scoring 45 points. The team scored the highest points by a team in a game.
Bhavnagar was top-of-the-line and gave Income Tax a tough time. They were blocking shots, taking the ball and everything else they could to prevent their opponent from scoring. Kuldeep was on fire, scoring points for the team. Meet, and Mirant scored as well. Income Tax played too conservatively in the second half, and the team could wear them out. But Bhavnagar could not break the defence fully as they always ran back to the basket to avoid early offence.
The team scored the highest points by a losing team.
GUJARAT STATE senior C'SHIP SEMI-FINALS WOMEN'S:
Rajkot 66:23 Ahmedabad
With the victory, Rajkot extends its winning streak in the tournament.
Rajkot has been dominant the whole tournament thrashing their opponents by significant margins, and this game was like any other. They outpaced Ahmedabad as expected. With a very close 1st quarter, the Chitranagri switched to sixth gear in the fourth quarter as they scored 24 points.
Nidhi and Dhara took the majority, scoring for Rajkot using their pace and getting into fastbreaks. Later on, Ishita and Krupa came into the picture and took over the scoring into the second half. Coach Abbas Bharman said that he was happy with the team effort and how they played the game. He would expect the team to take over the game in the first quarter in the finals as they did in this game.
Ahmedabad played only one game in the group stages in the tournament against Bhavnagar before coming into the semi-finals. The team, performance-wise, did not look like they were against Surat. They were able to stop Surat from scoring as they were slow. Still, Rajkot were on another level for Ahmedabad to contain them. They had a lot of turnovers and often were left behind when fastbreaks were executed. The team did not shoot properly as well.
The team's coach Devesh Panicker was fuming on the bench during the game because of the performance. Snehi seemed the only scorer in the game. Fatema looked weak in the offence, unlike in the match against Surat.
Bhavnagar Dist. 66:43 Baroda
Bhavnagar district were the favourites to win the game as they faced Baroda. The latter were dominant in the women's category for years.
Bhavnagar had a different game than they are known for. Mansi shot the three back to back threes at the end of the first quarter as they put their first step to win by significant margins. Later on, Prasha shot the ball in the basket scoring 27 points. Nikita was active on the court creating spaces for the scorers.
Baroda's defensive woes were exposed for the second time in the tournament after facing Kutchh. Naomi Lakhanpal played her best in-game but was soon injured, which restricted her to go all out in the game. But she still scored for the team trying to make a comeback in the game. Jahnavi made threes, and Sharvari shot from the restricted area.
Baroda's lack of pressing at the arc cost them a victory and berth in the finals.
GUJARAT STATE senior C'SHIP SEMI-FINALS MEN'S:
Baroda 79:81 Income Tax
It was the face-off of two international players in this game. Marathon Kasi Rajan led the Income Tax, and Sahaj Patel led the Baroda team.
The high scoring Baroda could not find their rhythm as they only scored 10 points in the first quarter. Sarfaraz Saiyed, who went fire in the last, was missing but rose like a phoenix in the second quarter scoring threes alongside Nilkanth Patel, who frequently shot from the wings. Sahaj Patel and Akash Dubey were the two players fouled out. Virendra Shekhawat looked in good form, which helped the team cover up the deficit in the fourth quarter but could not win the game.
Income Tax had plenty of scorers rising on different occasions, confusing Baroda with whom to defend. Indra Vijaysinh Gohil shot three's and called out "koi nahi rok sakta" whenever he converted them. Harpalsinh also used his experience to put Sahaj Patel in foul trouble and get points from the post but was got injured. Vinay Kaushik also hit crucial shots to not let Baroda take over the game. The team looked tired against the young Baroda team. Still, Kasi Rajan controlled the pace of the game whenever needed using his experience.
Bhavnagar Dist. 84:39 Ahmedabad
The second Bhavnagar game for the spectators was a treat to watch the game as they played Ahmedabad.
Bhavnagar was dominant all tournament long, winning against their group contenders Aravalli and SBI and quarter-final opponents Bhavnagar University. Mirat, Mahideepsinh and Kuldeep were some of the scorers for the team. The hard press defence worked here as they stopped Ahmedabad and only scored double digits in the second quarter. In the high scoring 37 points of the 3rd quarter Mahideepsinh, Kuldeep, Rajan, and Uddhav stood out.
Ahmedabad did miss the performance from Naman. Bhavnagar often stopped the offence, and the high flying was missing from their game. Fouled out Dhaval and Shafiq were some of the scorers. They could not reply to Bhavnagar's man to man defence and thus could not win.
gujarat state senior c'ship All scores for 4/12/2021
1st Semi Rajkot 66 23 Ahmedabad Women's 2nd Semi Bhavnagar Dist. 66 43 Baroda Women's 1st Semi Baroda 79 81 Income Tax Men's 2nd Semi Bhavnagar Dist. 84 39 Ahmedabad Men's Final Bhavnagar Dist. 80 64 Rajkot Women's Final Income Tax 100 88 Bhavnagar Dist. Men's
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