EABL Elite Eight Round Up

It will be Canterbury, Barking Abbey, Charnwood and Myerscough in the 2018 EABL Final Four after the opening round of playoff games this week.

Read on to find out what happened:

Canterbury High School vs Derby College/Noel Baker School

The Canterbury High School progressed to the EABL Final Four with a convincing 87-66 win over the Derby Trailblazers on Wednesday.

Canterbury won all 4 quarters as they led from start to finish against a tough and well coached Derby team.

Jonathan Brown finished with a game high 24 points and 7 rebounds, while Elliot Bailey added 16, Chester Morrell and Tyrese Walters-Lawrence 10 each and Milo Gordon 9. Leighton Elliott-Sewell was the only Derby play in double figures, as he finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Luke Pope added 9 for the visitors.


Canterbury Head Coach Jesse Sazant praised his team, saying: “I’m really proud of the focus the guys showed today. Derby are tough and the lead never felt safe but the guys continually answered anything that was thrown at them.”

Canterbury’s Captain Elliot Bailey added: “It was a really strong performance from everyone today. It was fun to play in an intense playoff game, and I am looking forward to next week.”

Derby Coach Matt Shaw echoed this saying: “Credit to Canterbury, they really made it tough for us to get into any kind of rhythm today. They also hit some big shots and time it felt like we were making a bit of a run.”

The first quarter started off with no signs of nerves from either team as they both scored at a high rate. Jonathan Fakile took advantage of his opportunity to start (with Tunde Oyerinde out injured) scoring 6 first quarter points. 8 points from Jonathan Brown and 5 from Bailey helped Canterbury to a 25-21 lead, despite 11 points from Leighton Elliot-Sewell.

The second quarter saw Canterbury turn up their defence as they held Elliott-Sewell scoreless in the quarter. Canterbury were able to turn the stops into numerous fast break opportunities, with Brown frequently getting to the rim. A buzzer beating 3 from Brown, gave Canterbury a 50-35 lead at the half and took his first half total to 19 points.

Derby opened the third in a box and one and quickly cut the lead to single figures. But a trio of 3 pointers, with a Chester Morrell 3 bookended by 3s from Bailey, quickly pushed the lead back to 15. By the end of the quarter the lead was still 73-57.

Early in the fourth quarter, Tyrese Walters-Lawrence, playing his first game of the season after an injury in August, scored 5 quick points to stretch the lead past 20. Both teams struggled to score through the remainder of the quarter, with the lead staying around 20.

Sazant added: “I thought the way the bench stepped up today was exceptional. Guys came in and gave us really solid minutes at both ends of the court.”

Shaw summed up saying: “Our guys are a bit disappointed naturally. But when they look back I think they will realise we’ve had a good season, particularly having started the season 0-2.”

Barking Abbey vs Loreto College

Defending champions Barking Abbey advanced to the EABL Final Four after defeating Loreto College 73-59 on Wednesday afternoon at Barking Abbey.

BA jumped out to the early lead and didn’t look back, leading by as many as 20 in the third quarter before the visitor fought back in the fourth to reduce the deficit, getting it back to single digits at one point before BA steadied the ship.

BA overcame a huge 25 point, 10 rebound outing from Michael Anumba, with Bailey Goodall and Adam Armitage adding 10 and 8 respectively for the visitors.

The home side were led by 20 points and 13 rebounds from Nathaniel Powell, as Caleb Fuller had 11 and Sean Nealon-Lino joined him in double figures with 10.

“Today was a good win for us,” BA Head Coach lloyd Gardner said. “We had good stretches in the game, especially defensively I thought we played really well at times.

“As has been the story for us a lot though in the EABL, we need to make it a more consistent performance as a number of times we let Loreto get back into the game. All credit to them, we knew they had some good individuals and they kept chipping away at our lead and made a good game of it.”

BA advance to face Charnwood in a re-match of last year’s championship final, as Loreto’s season comes to an end.

Charnwood College vs Itchen College

Charnwood College Riders took a solid 100-84 victory over Itchen College to book a Final Four match up with Barking Abbey on Wednesday.

Sesan Russell led six players into double figures for Charnwood with 20 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists, as Marcus Quirk and Joe Bielak added 16 each.


Itchen were led by a huge 28 point, 14 rebound double-double from Ashley Briggs, with Matt Hughes adding 21 and 8, and Aaron Berida 16 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals.

Charnwood and Itchen were evenly matched in the first quarter, with Itchen’s Ashley Briggs attacking the rim for three dunks but Charnwood led 23-17 after one.

With it being a four point game with three minutes left in the half, Briggs was forced to the bench in foul trouble and Charnwood capitalised getting out on the break converting some easy points in transition and Sesan Russell scoring back to back threes, going into the break with a convincing 14-point lead.

Charnwood came out on fire after the break hitting three consecutive three pointers, with two of them coming from Marcus Quirk. During the quarter, Joe Bielak scored 6 points straight, to separate them by as much as 30 points during the quarter.

Despite a solid effort from Itchen at the end of the third and through the fourth quarter, three away games in three days took it’s toll on the vistors, as they ran out of steam.

Charnwood Head Coach Will Maynard commented: “We played well for the most part, once we built a comfortable lead we took our foot off the glass a little bit, but we were able stay in control comfortably throughout the whole second half.

“Im proud of the way we played and we had contributions from all 12 players who suited up. We still have a long way to and need to continue to improve each day. We will be ready for whoever we face in the Semi-Finals.”

Itchen Head Coach Matt Guymon added:

“Its been a tough week for our guys and with the quarter final only being confirmed on Wednesday, this game didn’t have the feel of a normal playoff matchup with both teams struggling with fatigue/injuries & lack of prep time.

“I felt we did a great job for the majority of the first half, but when Ash Briggs & Aaron Berida got in foul trouble with 3 minutes to go in the half. The game went from 4 points to 16 going into the break.

“Unfortunately we didn’t have the legs in the second half to climb out of a hole, but credit to our guys who competed until the final buzzer and were able to trim the lead down the stretch.”

Myerscough College vs City of London Academy

Mate Okros scored 22 points and Callan Low added 20 to lift Myerscough past City of London Academy 83-62 on Thursday and into the EABL Final Four.

Edoardo Del Cadia finished with 18 points, 14 rebounds and 5 assists for top-seeded Myerscough (12-1), which led from start to finish to reach the Final Four where they will host second-seed Canterbury (10-4) next Wednesday.


CoLA trailed by as many as 14 points in the opening half, but pulled back a 10-point deficit with a 5-0 run to close within 42-37 with six minutes left in the third quarter. Okros, who had 13 in third alone, however, scored seven-straight points to give Myerscough a 47-37 lead.

“CoLA played us with a different kind of intensity that we haven’t seen this year and were really disruptive and made it hard to find a rhythm, but we found other ways to score and punished their mistakes,” said Myerscough coach Neal Hopkins. “We did a great job weathering their run and came out the backside of it with a bigger and stronger one.”

Myerscough capitalised on the spark provided by Okros and finished the quarter on a 19-4 run over a five minute stretch to push CoLA out of reach.

“Our boys are very good at being inconsistent,” said CoLA head coach Sterling Muschett. “We came up here with a game plan of trying to take it to Myerscough, and we did that in spurts but when we did it just didn’t last enough.”

Louis Norton-Cuffy had 17 points and 4 steals, and Peter Turay added 13 to lead CoLA (8-7), which saw its season end for a second consecutive year in the playoffs against Myerscough.

Follow the EABL on Twitter @OfficialEABL, Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/officialeabl and Facebook at Facebook.com/OfficialEABL for updates on next Wednesday’s match-ups and news all season long.

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