Alliance High School romped back to the national basketball finals after beating Nyeri High School to end a two-year duck.
Forward Kevin Gichohi Maina put in a most valuable player performance in the final top scoring with 18 points as Alliance beat their bitter rivals 56-48 in the Central province finals.
They clinched the victory despite a determined fightback by Nyeri High in the third quarter which was led by their star player, Raymond Wanjohi.
Alliance High School opened a comfortable lead in the first quarter on the back of superb performances by Gichohi, Samuel Mogoko and the dangerous Pascal Nabwana.
The game was effectively clinched by a powerful fourth quarter performance as Alliance avenged consecutive defeats to Nyeri High in the last two years.
Nyeri had beaten traditional giants Mangu 45-37 in the semi-finals while Alliance overcame St Mary’s school from Nyeri 66-21.
Alliance coach Nicholas Ndege told the Nation his team was now focused on clinching the national title.
“I am glad my boys retained focus and were strong enough to claim victory. This was especially admirable because the whole team was deflated last year after being eliminated in extra time although we will not be complacent but will focus on the battle ahead,” he said.
In girls’ basketball, Alliance Girls beat Heights School from Thika 41-35 to earn a ticket to the nationals.
Sylvia Morangi and Mollet Achieng’ were the toast for Alliance Girls while Joyce Maina starred for Heights. Alliance Girls coach Joe Bwaka credited his team’s win to hard work but said bigger challenges lie ahead.