Week 5 Preview – Southern Conference

Luke Simcock

With week 5 on the horizon, all three of the Southern Conference’s unbeaten sides are in action tomorrow. Will all three be able to remain undefeated? Will any of the conference’s winless teams be able to grab a victory? There’s 4 games coming up, let’s take a look at the schedule.

Itchen College (0-2) v John Madejski Academy (3-0)

An unlikely 0-2 candidate given their record last season, Itchen have faced a tricky early season schedule that has seen them drop games to both Barking and Canterbury. Their opponents don’t get any easier as they unbeaten JMA Rockets head to town in week 5, they’ll no doubt provide another stern test for last season’s Conference runners up.

With a perfect 3-0 record, JMA have looked solid in the early going. Asher Ndah and Sam Grant have both collected EABL Player of the Week honours, with James Jolly and David Chive both chipping in with useful contributions. That makes for a solid core that any team is going to have difficulty slowing down.

2018/19 result – Itchen College 81 – 71 John Madejski Academy

City of London Academy (1-2) v Oaklands College (0-2)

Picking up their first win of the season against Copleston last week, CoLA would love to get their record back to .500 and grab some much needed momentum on the way. Following this week, CoLA face Itchen, USP and BHASVIC, with that trio of sides currently enjoying just 1 win between them in 2019/20. If Coach Gibbons side could get a win against the Wolves, they may end up stringing together a nice little run to move back up the standings.

After a heavy opening day loss to Barking, Oaklands showed some improvement in their most recent outing against JMA. However, the Wolves were still on the wrong end of an 87 – 61 scoreline and are yet to win this year. If they’re going to do that tomorrow, look for Toby Gastaldi-Davies to lead the way. He paces Oaklands’ offence with 14.5ppg

2018/19 result – City of London Academy 91 – 41 Oaklands College

Canterbury Academy (3-0) v BHASVIC (1-2)

Standing tall at 3-0, Canterbury look strong this year as they’re making the most of speed and perimeter shooting. Only 4 teams in the entire EABL average more than thirty 3-point attempts per game, and the Kent programme leads that bunch with 35.7 per contest. More importantly, Canterbury’s 37.4% made 3pt percentage is the best in the EABL. Look for Chester Morrell and former EABL Player of the Week Will Raife to continue pulling the trigger from deep in this one.

BHASVIC picked up a lone victory over USP a few weeks ago but have struggled in their two defeats to Copleston and Barking, coming up short by an average of 27.5 points across those two games. That said, Lewis Jee remains a standout at 16.7ppg, supported well by Josh Last’s 14.3ppg.

2018/19 result – Canterbury Academy 107 – 45 BHASVIC

Copleston High School (2-2) v Barking Abbey (4-0)

Copleston have done well to fight through injuries and remain at .500. With star man and Deng camp selection Ethan Price still on the sidelines, the Suffolk programme have managed to split their schedule so far. Ben Winter’s 19.5ppg have helped in that regard, and Jacob Morgan’s 21ppg are aided by one of the best long range shooting records in the entire EABL. The pair make a 1-2 punch that Barking will need to account for.

Barking appear untroubled by their Southern Conference schedule so far, breezing to a 4-0 record with an average margin of victory north of 50. If Copleston can slow Barking down remains to be seen, but if they’re going to, they’ll have to find a way to cool off Veron Eze. The former Copleston man is in MVP form, averaging an impressive 24.3ppg.

2018/19 result – Copleston High School 69 – 78 Barking Abbey

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