MAKING most of their home conditions Dharampeth Krida Mandal (DKM) defeated arch rivals Shivaji Nagar Gymkhana (SNG) 43-40 to lift the Asmita Khelo India U-17 girls basketball title at the Shankar Nagar court on Monday. The nine-day tournament allotted to Nagpur by the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) and Sports Authority of India (SAI) was organised by DKM under the aegis of Nagpur District Basketball Association (NDBA). In an exciting summit clash, Anandi Sonewane scored a team-high 14 points while Rajvi Maladhari (10), Nandini Chandak (9) and Meehira Dhote (8) came up with timely contributions as hosts DKM outclassed district youth champions SNG marginally by three points.
For starters, the game began on a defensive note with DKM girls maintaining a close zone defence to restrict SNG playmaker Gunjan Mantri from scoring easy baskets. Their defensive approach paid dividends as DKM took handy nine-point lead the halftime. After the change of ends, SNG tried many offensive moves but DKM kept their cool in the crunch situations to emerge champion marginally by three points. For SNG, Gunjan scored a game-high 18 points and Riddhi Borkar chipped in with 10 points. For their title winning effort, DKM girls were richer by Rs 11,000. Earlier, United Basketball Academy (UBA) stunned Nutan Bharat Yuwak Sangh (NBYS) 35-31 to finish third in the tournament. The prizes were distributed by secretary of NDBA Bhavesh Kuchanwar, Aradhana Garud, Arvind Garud of Garuda Gladiators. On the ocassion senior handball coach of SAI Ashish Banerjee, DKM secretary Ravindra Kulkarni and others members of the district body were present.
RESULTS: Final: DKM (Anandi Sonewane 14, Rajvi Maladhari 10, Nandini Chandak 9, Meehira Dhote 8) bt SNG (Gunjan Mantri 18, Riddhi Borkar 10) 43-40 (7-4, 15-9, 11-12, 10-15); Third place: UBA (Samija Korde 12) bt NBYS (Mrunmayee Sathe 10) 35-31 (11-12, 8-9, 12-4, 4-6).