IN ARUSHA, TANZANIA
Kenya boys' basketball champions Laiser Hill Academy and Dagoretti High School Sunday started their campaign at this year's East Africa Secondary Schools Games on winning notes.
While Laiser Hill saw off Don Bosco from Tanzania 65-34 in a match played at International School of Moshi, Dagoretti put their best foot forward to beat a tough College Marie Reine from Rwanda 53-49 in a match that could have gone either way at St Constatine International School grounds.
Against Don Bosco, Laiser Hill had a slow start, but managed to take a 10-9 lead at the end of the first quarter, before improving to 19-8 in the second period for a 29-17 halftime lead.
They stepped up in the third quarter outscoring their opponents 16-6, before putting the game beyond the reach of their opponents with a 20-11 scoreline in the fourth quarter .
Brans Nzioka scored 14 points and Douglas Kivati had 10 points for Laiser Hill Academy, while Anthony Oscar scored 15 points for Don Bosco.
"It was very important that we win the first match to set the pace in our group which is equally competitive," Laiser Hill Academy coach Anthony Kirimi said after the match.
Dagoretti had Churchill Ondoro and Robert Ochieng to thank for the crucial win as they led 15-08 in the first quarter, but were outscored 12-14 in the second.
Other boys' basketball matches saw Lycee de Kigali of Rwanda beat Kibuli Secondary School from Uganda 62-44.
In the girls' matches played on Sunday, Kenya's Kaya Tiwi went down fighting 66-58 to arch-rivals St Mary's Kitende from Uganda.
Kaya Tiwi led 13-12 in the first quarter, but were down 14-15 in the second quarter. They forced a 17-17 score in the third quarter as the game continued to change hands.
Yvonne Atieno scored a game high 18 points to lead the scoring for the Kenyans, while Yvonne Akello was St Mary's Kitende top scorer with 15 points.
Other girls' matches saw Nabisunsa from Uganda beat Tanzania's St Joseph and Mary 62-36 ,St Noah of Uganda saw off Macheme from Tanzania 78-16, while LDK of Rwanda overcame Juhudi from Tanzania 49-32 .
In netball, Nyakach Girls Secondary School suffered a humiliating 96-24 loss to Uganda champions St Mary's Kitende.
In hockey, boys' champions St Anthony's Boys Kitale, St Cecilia Misikhu and St John's Kaloleni began their campaigns by winning their respective matches at St Constantine grounds.
St Anthony's began their title defence with a 1-0 win over Meru School, while national champions Misikhu routed Nyamira Girls 3-0 in the opening all-Kenyan clashes.
Skipper Oscar Kibet scored the winner in the 55th minute to give the champions a good start. Coastal girls St John's showed no respect for their hosts Juhudi whipping them 5-0.