12 March 2007

KENYA : ISSSL Finals | Buffaloes Hurtle Lions for Second Consecutive Title

Rift Valley Academy-RVA Buffaloes hit International School of Kenya-ISK Lions hard on Friday to lift the ISSSL Boys Basketball Championship for the second consecutive year. Buffaloes charged in the last three quarters to outscore Lions 59-39 for the Championship at Rosslyn Academy .

The final tipped off on a slow start, with ISK Lions dominating the first quarter, taking it 11-09 after effort from DJ Ilebani, Abdi Mubarak and Daniel Carlos. RVA came all fired up in the second quarter, bagging three quick baskets from Richard Ndembe to lead 15-11 inside two minutes of play. RVA never looked back after that, as Ndembe backed by Aaron Mead, Luke Nelson and Ethan Coots attacked ISK's basket at will, to lead 22-15 with 46 seconds to go. ISK's Ahmed Awale sunk both his free throws as time ran out for a 22-17 score-line in favour of RVA who outscored ISK 13-06 in this quarter.

The Buffaloes kept pushing on in the second half, with Lions struggling to keep up. RVA's trio of Aaron Mead, Richard Ndembe and Luke Nelson combined well to extend their team's lead to 30-21 with 4 minutes to go. ISK then took RVA on full court press, which worked as the Buffaloes turned over the ball twice with Lions capitalising to sink baskets for a 26-33 score-line with 2:40 remaining. RVA stayed afloat through Aaron Veenstra and Luke Nelson who sunk 3-pointers with seconds to go for a 40-28 score-line at the end of the third quarter. The final quarter saw both teams come out more determined, backed by their fans and bands, trading baskets early in the quarter for a 43-31 score-line with 5 minutes to go. ISK's big-man Cedric Noel got a big offensive rebound and basket as Lions cut the deficit to ten points (33-43). However, Buffaloes weren't troubled by the sudden Lions attack, as they regrouped themselves and went on the final offensive attack through Aaron mead, Luke Nelson, and Veenstra to push the scores up; 49-33 with three minutes remaining. RVA's point guard came off the bench with four-fouls, hit a 3-pointer for a 52-35 score-line, got his fifth foul five-seconds later, and went back to the bench, leaving the team in the good hands of guard Nur Mamo. The Lions pack regrouped for one final assault through Daniel Carlos, Benji Jones and Cedric Noel, but time wasn't on their side as RVA under Coach Wally Coots successfully defended their ISSSL Boys basketball title with a 59-39 win after a final basket by Aaron Veenstra with 10 seconds to go.

Game Statistics:
Quarters Scores: 11-09 | 06-13 | 11-18 | 11-19 | 39-59

Scorers RVA
Luke Nelson 14 points, Richard Ndembe 13 points, Aaron Mead 8 points
Scorers ISK
DJ Ilebani 8 points, Daniel Carlos 8 points, Benji Jones 6 points.

RVA also won the Boys B-Basketball Title, A-Girls Soccer Title, and B-Girls Soccer Title, and also A-Boys basketball Sportsmanship Award in the International Secondary Schools Sports League-ISSSL that attracted 13 schools.

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