Kerala recorded an impressive 84-49 victory over Uttar Pradesh to clinch the girls' title in the Youth National basketball championship here on Tuesday.

Kerala started off well and kept the scoreboard ticking. Its defence managed to bottle up Dhriti Arora, prolific scorer for U.P. in the tournament, and at the end of the first quarter, it was up by eight points (19-11).

U.P's Preethi Kumari surged ahead repeatedly to score in the second session and with good support from her teammates, she reduced the lead. Kerala's scoring rate dipped a bit in the quarter, still it managed a slender five-point advantage at the halfway mark.

Kerala escalated the pace after the break and scored some lovely baskets. Jeena and Premi P. Lal combo in the defence proved hard to crack. They also collected vital rebounds as Kerala extended its lead to 17 points. It continued the good show in the fourth to win the match.

Jeena scored 29 points for the winner, while Preeti Kumari (24) stood out for U.P.

In the third place matches, Madhya Pradesh boys defeated Tamil Nadu 74-44, while Tamil Nadu girls edged out Maharashtra 64-63.

The results:

Boys: Third place: Madhya Pradesh 74 (Laxman 16, Upendar Singh 12) bt Tamil Nadu 44 (Solomon 15, Sudarshan 12).

Classification matches: 5th & 6th: Maharashtra 58 bt Uttarakhand 37; 7th &8th: Rajasthan 60 bt Delhi 40; 9th &10th: Karnataka 40 bt Andhra Pradesh 32.

Girls: Final: Kerala 84 (Jeena 29, Anjana 24) bt U.P. 49 (Preeti Kumari 24). Third place: Tamil Nadu 64 (Ramya 15, Hema 12) bt Maharashtra 63 (Ruchita 12, Aishwarya 10).

Classification matches: 5th & 6th: Karnataka 46 bt Harayana 28; 7th & 8th: Chhattisgarh 48 bt Delhi 35; 9th & 10th: Punjab 39 bt Uttarakhand 30.

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