Hot favourite Thiruvananthapuram women survived a spirited fightback from Kozhikode to remain unbeaten in Group B and qualified for the quarterfinals of the State senior basketball championships at the GBHSS floodlit stadium here on Thursday.
Kozhikode, which trailed 23-14 at half-time, caught Thiruvananthapuram off guard with fast-breaks. There was little coordination in the Thiruvananthapuram ranks as it failed to clear the defensive rebounds.
The diminutive Geetha was the architect of Kozhikode's revival as she repeatedly broke free to nail crucial baskets. Kozhikode clawed back into contention in the third quarter and turned on the heat in the fourth.
Kozhikode reduced the lead to 50-49 before, Thiruvananthapuram scored four points in the dying seconds to win the match narrowly.
Defending champion Kannur women, missing several players including its star P.S. Jeena, went down to Thrissur 64-73.
In the men's section, defending champion Thiruvananthapuram breezed past Thrissur 46-27 to book a place in quarterfinals from Group A.
The results (league): Men: Alappuzha 49 (Jomon Jose 17, Manzoor Ahamed 16) bt Kozhikode 29 (A. Jitesh 14); Kottayam 47 (Tony 14) bt Kasaragod 29; Ernakulam 59 (Basil Philip 16, Eudiric Pereira 11, R. Manoj 10, T.S. Abhilash 10) bt Kollam 35 (Binu Thankachan 13, Shabu Kumar 11); Thiruvananthapuram 46 (Vijobi Vakkachan 10) bt Thrissur 27.
Women: Thiruvananthapuram 54 (Stephy Nixon 18, Ashley Mathew 10) bt Kozhikode 49 (R. Geetha 10, Amritha 10); Kollam 26 (Arathi Vimal 10) bt Ernakulam 20; Thrissur 73 (K.S. Poojamol 23, Grima Merlin Baby 19) bt Kannur 64 (Anju Pavithran 14, Bony Mathew 14, Anglina Joy 13); Kottayam 29 bt Kasaragod 19; Ernakulam 46 (Chippy Mathew 12, M.J. Libina 10) bt Wayanad 14; Thiruvananthapuram 38 (Stephy Nixon 10, Merlin Baby 10) bt Alappuzha 28.