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Jeshi Stars cruise to national basketball final

The winners were overwhelmingly the favourites throughout the largely one-sided game thanks to their experience, which was carefully exploited to keep the youthful Tanga United at bay despite the latter having showcased flashes of resilience at times.

Playmaker, Lucy Augustine, had 32 points, Veronica Patrick scored 26 points as Joyce Midodi finished with 25 points to propel Jeshi Stars to the resounding win, which once again ascertained their desire to remain a dominant force in domestic women basketball. Khadija Omary slotted in 12 points as Amina Bausi (six points), Mary Mgole (four points) and emerging playmaker, Semeni Hussein (three points) also found their way into the score sheet for Tanga United ladies.

Jeshi Stars raced to 8-0 lead after six minutes of the first quarter and, despite having an upper hand, they could not prevent their opponents from recording their first basket through a lay up by guard, Amina Bausi, who looked to have inspired team mates into putting a spirited performance thereafter.

Jeshi pushed forward more often at the time but Tanga United kept their cool and two more lay ups by Amina and Khadija during the closing stages of the quarter significantly helped the Tanga-based side reduce the margin, with Jeshi leading 18-8 at the end of the quarter.

The introduction of experienced player, Joyce, early in the second quarter boosted Jeshi Stars tremendously as the no nonsense forward partnered well with Veronica Patrick upfront. The duo linked well with the rest of the team to torment the obviously inexperienced Tanga United defense and helped Jeshi Stars build a healthy 23-point gap with the former as the army ladies led 35-12 with two minutes remaining in the quarter. Joyce and company continued to punish their opponents with every defensive mistake, the latter committed to see Jeshi take a 45-12 lead at the breather.

The return of Jeshi Stars’ defensive stalwart, Annomisiata Anthony, to the court in the third quarter was yet another boost to the side as the towering centre’s presence helped Jeshi dominate both defensive and offensive rebounds, apart from pressing forward to eventually lead 81-15 at the end of the quarter.

Tanga United playmaker, Semeni, was the only threat to Jeshi Stars by then but she unfortunately lacked support from team mates in almost every move she initiated. Semeni tirelessly drove the play down the lanes but her efforts were frustrated by team mates, who carelessly conceded turnovers that proved costly. In one of Semeni’s exploits in the third quarter, she made a superb block to deny Jeshi’s Joyce, who was going for a lay up with three minutes remaining in the quarter.

Jeshi Stars were still in control in the last quarter and their confidence in front of their opponents’ hoop had, by then, improved considerably with Lucy continuing to pour in points. A lay up by Joyce off an assist by Lucy saw Jeshi post triple digit figures with three minutes to go, with the score board reading 100-25 in favour of Jeshi Stars.

TAIFA Stars received heroic welcome in Dar es ...

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Author: JAPHETH KAZENGA

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