September 10, 2019

2019 Sub-Junior Nationals: Mizoram Boys and Tamil Nadu rise to capture the gold in Cuttack

Sometimes the best thing about basketball is watching a dominant force unleash its dominance, over and over again, executing the game to its most beautiful conclusion. At other times, the joy of the game is in the underdog stories, of surprises, of being witness to a 'Cinderella' run to the title, in David defeating Goliath.

Both these instances were on showcase over the past week at the 46th Sub Junior (U14) National Basketball Championship for Boys and Girls, held in Cuttack (Odisha) from September 3-9. Organised by the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) and the Odisha Basketball Association, the Sub-Junior Nationals featured participation from 24 boys' and 25 girls' teams from around India. At the finals on Monday, Mizoram (Boys) became the 'Cinderella' story, winning the gold, while Tamil Nadu (Girls) captured the top spot after last year's runners-up finish. The championship was held in Cuttack's Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium and the Indoor Complex in Barabati

The girls' final was a rematch of last year's event in Kangra (Himachal Pradesh), with Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra squaring up again in the finals. Maharashtra, the reigning champions, stayed on course on Monday as well, as both teams started with a tie after the first quarter and TN only held a slim, 32-30 lead at halftime. But it was the incredible third period explosion by TN that proved to be the differene, as they outscored Maharashtra 33-13, and then put the nail in the coffin in the fourth to run away with a 85-67 victory. Antheya Daisy of TN was the best individual performer of the day, scoring 31 in the win. Juana Chrisolin added 18 points in TN's winning effort.

The boys' finale featured two very different teams: the favourites, Punjab, who had been dominating every level of the game with their size and athleticism; and the relative newcomers from the basketball-mad northeast state of Mizoram, who had surprised bigger teams en route to the final with their speed and shooting. The neck-to-neck game remained close for three quarters, as Punjab held a slim 35-34 advantage. But it was the Mizos who ended in style, hitting the big baskets and the getting the biggest stops in the fourth quarter to edge away to a 51-46 win, their third in Sub-Junior nationals history. Emmanuel of Mizoram led all scorers with 17 points.

The third-place match-ups of the losing semi-finalists were also held on Monday. In the boys' game, Maharashtra and Haryana went the stretch in a close contest, and the Maha boys eventually sneaked away with a 75-73 victory. Shaik Taufiq scored 26 to pace Maharashtra, while Kaushal of Haryana had a game-high 28.

In the girls' game, Karnataka had an easy ride against Delhi, routing their opponents 56-34 to return home with a bronze medal.

Final Scores
    Girls: Tamil Nadu (Antheya Daisy 31, Juana Chrisolin 18) bt. Maharashtra 85-67 [18-18, 14-12, 33-13, 20-22].
Boys: Mizoram (Emmanuel 17) bt. Punjab 51-46 [12-13, 10-8, 12-14, 17-11].
Final Standings

  • 1. Tamil Nadu
  • 2. Maharashtra
  • 3. Karnataka
  • 4. Delhi
  • 5. Kerala

  • 1. Mizoram
  • 2. Punjab
  • 3. Maharashtra
  • 4. Haryana
  • 5. Tamil Nadu


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