IN ARUSHA, TANZANIA
Newcomers Dagoretti High School Thursday made it to the boys' basketball final on the seventh day of the East Africa Secondary Schools Games.
Ditchez, as they are fondly referred to, surprised Rwanda's Lycee De Kigali (LDK) hitting them 56-39 in a tough semi-final match at St Constantine's International School basketball courts.
They will face Uganda's Buddo Secondary School in Saturday's final.
It is the first time a Kenyan team will play in the boys' final since Upper Hill School lost to Burundi's ETG Nyakabiga in the 2015 edition in Huye, Rwanda.
This happened as the other three Kenyan teams, Laiser Hill Academy, Kaya Tiwi Secondary School and Buruburu Girls Secondary School fell at the semi-final stage after losing to Ugandan teams.
Laiser Hill Academy lost to Buddo Secondary School 60-49, Kaya Tiwi Secondary fell to St Noa 53-43, while Buru Buru were sent packing after going down 71-44 to St Mary's Kitende.
Against LDK, who had topped group 'B' after defeating Laiser Hill Academy 74-54 in their final group match, Dagoretti led 13-07 in the first quarter and 14-13 in the second quarter for a comfortable 27-20 half-time score. Forward Mustapha Ahmed played a pivotal role sinking 38 points and picking a game-high 18 rebounds.
They built on their lead with a 13-05 scoreline in the third quarter and a narrow 16-14 win in the fourth as their opponents back-peddled.
"We watched them play against Laiser Hill Academy and resolved to put them under pressure throughout while taking the ball to them whenever we had possession and this worked so well," Dagoretti captain Churchill Ondora said after the match.
Against Buddo, Laiser Hill started well forcing a 12-12 scoreline in the first quarter, but were down 18-14 in the second trailing 30-26 at half-time.
Against St Noa, Kaya Tiwi were behind 17-08 in the first quarter and 15-10 in the second and failed to recover only managing to close the gap with a 13-09 win in the fourth quarter after a 12-12 third quarter scoreline.
Buruburu on the other hand, trailed their opponents 07-10 in the first quarter, but forced a 16-16 scoreline in the second, before heavily going down 28-10 in the third a scoreline which made all the difference
On Friday, Buruburu take on Kaya Tiwi in the bronze medal match, while Laiser Hill Academy face off with LDK in the boys' match.
ST ANTHONY'S OUT
Elsewhere, Dagoretti's football team Thursday advanced to the semi-finals of boys' football after winning their quarter-final match at the Tanzania Game and Track (TGT) Safari grounds.
Kenyan champions St Anthony's Boys Kitale, however crashed out after losing 2-1 to Uganda's Jinja Secondary School, while Dagoretti also saw off Rwanda's LDK by the same scoreline.
Washington Odoyo and Paul Odhiambo scored in the sixth and 16th minute for Dagoretti, while Ally Kwitonda pulled one back for the Rwandese in the 47th minute. Dagoretti will Friday face reigning champions Buddo Secondary School from Uganda in the last four for a place in Saturday's final.
In hockey, St Anthony's will renew hostilities with arch-rivals Friends School Kamusinga in Friday's boys' final as St Cecelia Misikhu Girls Secondary School face Uganda's Kakungulu Memorial Secondary School in the girls' affair.
St John's Kaloleni clinched the bronze medal after beating Nyamira Girls Secondary School 1-0 in the playoff match.