The Indian High School Dubai continued their dominating play in the under-14 category and rolled to the finals with a comfortable 50-25 win against Delhi Private School Sharjah yesterday.
IHS again proved why they were a perfect six-for-six in the tournament and holders of the favourite status as they dismantled DPS.
Running the show was Indian Hoopstar guard Lavesh, who outscored DPS single-handedly with 27 points to go with five steals and three rebounds.
Even though IHS had stormed through their opponents, Lavesh felt the semi-final performance was encouraging.
“It feels good because we haven’t played that well with other teams in other games, but today we played really good, so it feels amazing,” he said.
“We were confident before the game that we were going to win. They had good point guards and good shooters, so it was a bit hard for us but we covered up.”
The loss ends the Cinderella run for DPS, who reached the final four despite being a wild-card entry into the knockout stage as the third team from their group.
While a battle of Sharjah will determine the under-16 finals, Dubai and Abu Dhabi will clash in under-14 as the International School of Choueifat (ISC) earned the right to represent the nation’s capital with a 27-13 victory over Dubai College.
ISC stifled their opponents, holding them scoreless for the entirety of the first quarter. Dubai College didn’t get on the board until two minutes into the second period, but then had a scoring drought which lasted another five minutes.
“I used the zone defence with three players on top and one behind them,” ISC coach Stefanita Buzatu said. “I knew that their big guy was playing up and not posting under the boards, so we tried to stop him there.”
Point guard Khalifa Khouri paced ISC with a game-high 15 points to be named the player of the game, while the big man tandem of Gohar Hussein and Kareem Eid grabbed nine and six rebounds, respectively.
“We played as a team,” Khouri said. “My team-mates trusted me and got me the ball when I needed it and I just kept on scoring.”
ISC remain undefeated with five wins overall, but Buzatu felt the latest triumph was most promising.
“Today they played like a team,” Buzatu said. “Until now, I had individuals. They finally played like a team. All of them fought and played very good defence.”
IHS and ISC will both put their perfect records on the line at Victoria International School Sharjah next Saturday.
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