Tamil Nadu defeated Chhattisgarh 79-48 in final of the women's section and retained the basketball crown in the 34th Jharkhand National Games at the Harivansh Tana Bhagat Indoor Stadium here on Tuesday.

Later, Punjab men overwhelmed Uttarakhand by a huge margin in the final. Punjab regained the title after a gap of 10 years — the last time it won was in the 2001 Games as a host.

The only time Chhattisgarh looked confident of making a match out of it was early in the first half. Tamil Nadu's Renjini Peter was yet to get into her rhythm as she missed easy two-pointers. Anju Lakra and Seema Singh were the main drivers as Chhattisgarh led 15-8 midway and was 21-19 ahead at the end of the first quarter.

Geethu shines

Tamil Nadu's rise began in the second quarter. Alagu Tamil Mozhi, the pivot guard, played her role to perfection, running in hard and making the right passes. Centre Geethu Anna Jose kept scoring at regular intervals and was outstanding on the rebounds. And Renjini too started to find her rhythm. Experienced playmaker Anitha played the support role particularly well.

The Chhattisgarh players, so good on their feet and excellent two-pointers, weren't allowed the space and pace by Tamil Nadu.

“Our zonal defence didn't work well, so we changed to woman-to-woman defence and it worked. It was a fantastic team effort,” said M. Surendran, TN's Coach. Incidentally, TN had defeated Chhattisgarh in the final of the 2007 Guwahati Games.

Punjab dominates

In the men's final, Punjab displayed its dominance from the start. Backed by Yadwinder Singh's defence, Talwinder Singh and captain Jagdeep Singh's shooting prowess, Punjab, a bronze medallist in the last edition, realised its dream after a decade.

“We were a much fitter side. Yadwinder at defence was exceptional and was instrumental in motivating others. Talwinder and Jagdeep turned in good performances,” said Punjab's Coach S. Subramaniam.

In a women's second round table tennis league match, West Bengal edged out Tamil Nadu 3-2. K. Shamini won both her matches for Tamil Nadu. In the decider, Ankita Das defeated Reeth Rishya in five games. The team finals will be held on Wednesday.

The results:

Basketball: Men: Final: Punjab 97 (Talwinder Singh 28, Jagdeep Singh 20, Yadwinder Singh 19, Arjun Singh 15, Gagandeep Singh 13) bt Uttarakhand 57 (Murali Krishna 19, S. Sreedhar 10.

Bronze medal play-off: Men: Services bt TN 81-68.

Women: Final: Tamil Nadu 79 (Geethu Anna Jose 34, Renjini Peter 21, Anitha 11) bt Chhattisgarh 48 (Anju Lakra 25).

Bronze medal play-off: Delhi 79 bt Maharashtra 59.

Table tennis: (second round, league):

Men: ‘A': Tamil Nadu bt Haryana 3-0; Maharashtra bt Jharkhand 3-1; ‘B': Gujarat bt West Bengal 3-2; Women: ‘A': Maharashtra bt Gujarat 3-0; Kerala bt Andhra Pradesh 3-2; ‘B': West Bengal bt Tamil Nadu 3-2.

Keywords: National Games

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