SCHOOLS: Will defending champions sing songs of victory again?

Butere Girls basketball team captain Loise Zakia celebrates with officials after beating Kaya Tiwi in the semi-finals of the KSSSA Term One games in Machakos County. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Agoro Sare High School made history on Friday after not only qualifying for the Brookside KSSSA National basketball boys’ finals but also booking a ticket to Uganda for the East African games set for August for the first time in their history.

The Nyanza Region champions hammered Nairobi champions Dagoretti High School 67-44 to secure a final date with Dr Aggrey High School in what will be a re-match of their preliminary round match which Agoro won 54-53.

Speaking after the win, Agoro Sare head coach Benson Ochieng said they are happy their tactics worked but the journey is yet to end.

Ochieng said the team was motivated to set a new record after their squad was knocked out at the semifinal stage five years ago when they graced the national finals in 2019.

“Congratulations to the boys and Agoro Sare. This feat has been long coming since we started preparations last year to get to where we are today. The journey has not yet ended and we will be going for the national trophy,” said Ochieng.

The Homa Bay County champions will be seeking to end Nyanza Regions 10-year national title drought with Maseno School being the last time from the region to win the title in 2015.

In fact, a new champion will be crowned as Agoro will meet 2022 champions Dr Aggrey who eliminated defending champions Laiser Hill High School 65-58 in a tight semi-final that went all the way to overtime after a 50-50 tie at the end of the fourth quarter.

Dagoretti High, who miss out on the finals for the first time since 2019, will battle for the last ticket to Uganda against Laiser Hill.

At the same time, basketball girls’ defending champions Butere Girls High School will also renew their rivalry with 2019 champions Buruburu Girls in the finals.

“We have to strategise for the finals. Buruburu defeated us in the preliminary stages but we will be ready this time round. We did not play to our level best on Wednesday but today we shall show up because we want to retain the title,” said Butere coach Chris Odeke.

Nasokol will battle five-time national champions Kaya Tiwi in the third place play-offs.

Butula Boys High School's Michael Lukusi is tackled by All Saints High School during Kenya Secondary Schools sports Association Rugby match Term One games in Machakos County. April 11, 2024. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

In rugby, defending champions Butula Boys High School will face off against All Saints Embu with a goal of also retaining the title.

The Western Region champions hammered Kitondo 32-23 to reach the finals as All Saints knocked out Nairobi champions Lenana School 33-10.

Despite being knocked out, Kitondo head coach Michael Satia believes they still have the chance to get to East Africa.

“We have exceeded expectations as a team because this was our learning face and I am glad the team played well. We still have a final to play against Lenana and we want to win it so badly and get to East Africa,” said Satia.

In hockey, it will be defending champions Nyamira Girls against Tigoi Girls in the final which will be a repeat of last year’s final.

On the other hand, St Joseph Girls Kitale will play Mpesa Foundation in the third place play-offs.

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