Week 3 Preview – Southern Conference

Luke Simcock/Itchen College

Week 2 provided some interesting results in the Southern Conference as the standings begin to take shape in the early going. With four fixtures scheduled for tomorrow, we’ll take a look at what is on offer for EABL fans.

Copleston High School (1-1) v BHASVIC (1-0)

An undermanned Copleston side came up short in Reading last week as they fell 113-71 to JMA, and Coach Drane’s side will be looking to regroup in a rearranged fixture that was originally scheduled for later this month. With Deng Camp star Ethan Price likely out for months rather than weeks, Copleston need to find a way to win without their talisman to avoid falling off the pace by the time he returns.

BHASVIC picked up a great road win to open their season last week, going to USP and sealing a tight 88-84 victory. A trip to Copleston is a tougher ask for the South coast programme, but if there is a time to play Copleston it could be now.

Lewis Jee dropped 30 points for BHASVIC and will no doubt want to continue that form tomorrow. Guards Jacob Morgan and Ben Winter both average 20+ points a game for Copleston and are worth keeping tabs on.

2018/19 result – Copleston High School 79 v 54 BHASVIC

John Madejski Academy (1-0) v City of London Academy (0-1)

JMA got their season off to the perfect start a week ago and will hope that home court advantage once again treats them well tomorrow as they host a CoLA side who lost their opener to Canterbury 88-69 in week 1.

Current EABL Player of the Week Sam Grant was on fire for the Rockets against Copleston, shooting 10/13 (4/6 3pt) for 26 points to go with the rest of a stat-stuffing performance. CoLA will need to slow him down if they’re to get anything from this one.

The narrative from the London programme to begin the season was that this team under performed in 2018/19. Falling to 0-2 isn’t going to write off a season, but Coach Gibbons’ side would like to get their first win sooner rather than later.

2018/19 result – John Madejski Academy 86 v 65 City of London Academy

Barking Abbey (2-0) v USP College (0-2)

A tough start to the season won’t get any easier for USP tomorrow as they travel to play a Barking side that have looked impressive in the early going.

BA have already dispatched Oaklands 107-41 as well as last year’s Conference runners up Itchen 89-42. There’s little to suggest that they’ll will falter here, especially if star forward Veron Eze can continue the kind of form that has helped him score 20 points per contest in 2019/20.

Despite their two losses, USP have been competitive for large sections of both their opening defeats. They played hard on the road in Copleston and were unlucky to come up short against BHASVIC a week ago. Demilola Adeyeye (19.5ppg) and Joe Dunbar (18.5ppg) are talented scorers who can hurt an opponent if left unchecked.

2018/19 result – Barking Abbey 99 v 56 USP College

Canterbury Academy (1-0) v Itchen College (0-1)

An interesting early season match up in Kent involves two teams who could potentially be heading in opposite directions from a year ago.

Canterbury played some solid basketball to knock off CoLA 88-69 in week 1 and a win here would suggest that last season’s 4th placed side could be better equipped to challenge at the top of the Conference in 2019/20.

For last season’s runners up Itchen, an 89-42 humbling at the hands of Barking last week wasn’t the way Coach Guymon would have wanted to begin the season. If that performance represented an opening day blip or something more telling remains to be seen, but we may begin to find an answer to that question once tomorrow’s result is in the books.

2018/19 result – Canterbury Academy 75 v 79 Itchen College

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