Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Laiser Hill march on in basketball but Maseno and Buru Buru falter

PHOTO | JACOB OWITI Maseno’s Nelson Mandela (left) marks Laiser Hill Academy’s Mukira Elijah during boys’ basketball matches at the secondary schools’ national championships at Maseno School in April. Laiser Hill won 61-42.

PHOTO | JACOB OWITI Maseno’s Nelson Mandela (left) marks Laiser Hill Academy’s Mukira Elijah during boys’ basketball matches at the secondary schools’ national championships at Maseno School in April. Laiser Hill won 61-42.  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By SAMMY KITULA ikitula@yahoo.com in Bujumbura

Six-time East Africa Secondary Schools boys basketball champions Laiser Hill Academy inched closer to an unprecedented seventh regional title following their 89-44 victory over Bentiu from South Sudan on Tuesday.

In the other boys matches, Maseno School lost 75-55 to Rwanda’s Eteni Rubavu as LTS of Burundi beat Kaujok from South Sudan 72-71.

The first three days of the week-long championship saw Kenya’s Buru Buru Girls bow out of the games after losing their second straight game 70-31 to Lycee SOS of Burundi.

In boys’ football, debutants Upper Hill High School recovered from their 3-1 loss to Ape Rugunga to beat hosts LTP of Burundi 3-0.

Olunga impresses

Michael Olunga who was voted the Most Valuable Player during this year’s national Term Two games in Mombasa netted a brace as the team welcomed back injured captain, Junior Odongo.

And Odongo didn’t disappoint as he responded to the warm welcome from his team-mates with a goal.

Kenya’s third representatives, St Anthony’s continued with their brilliant performance following a 1-0 win over Risah of Uganda. St Anthony’s, champions in 2002, had earlier beaten ETG from Burundi 2-0 in the opening match.

Against Bentiu, Laiser Hill had little difficulty in cruising to victory at the Pake outdoor courts here and coach Anthony Kirimi remains hopeful of winning the title.

“We knew what was expected of us. This is a side we’ve defeated twice before and in both instances, they have been very strong,” Kirimi, said.

Tough matches ahead

“The championship is gathering momentum and a real battle is expected from the semi-finals. We are prepared for them should we meet again in the knock-outs” he added.

The Kenyans were in no mood to take any prisoners and set the tone of the game early on with some fantastic defending and a flowing fast break. Led by Mwalimu Heri and Eric Mutoro, Laiser Hill took a 20-7 points lead into the quarter break.

The second quarter was much the same, with the Laiser Hill fielding each member of the team of 12. The Kenyan representatives capitalised on tough defence and fast breaks to stifle the Sudanese team.

Heri, who scored a game-high 21 points and Mutoro (16 points) tore the Sudanese side’s defence to shreds.

Mutoro caught Bentiu napping at the back with fast breaks, putting the team in a comfortable 48-15 points lead at half-time.

The second half was a formality for Laiser Hill, with an impressive show of offensive skills.

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