Week 8 Preview – Southern Conference

Nick Winter/Copleston High School

The EABL is back after the half term lay off, with a full slate of games for fans to enjoy. Unlike the Northern Conference that has seen a pair of games over half term, the Southern Conference has remained dormant and is now ready to spring back into life. Let’s take a look at what’s in store.

Itchen College (0-3) v City of London Academy (2-2)

Coach Guymon will be hoping that a break in the schedule has given his team a chance to start afresh after going an unexpected 0-3 to begin the season. There’s still time to correct that early slump, but last season’s conference runners up will need to start picking up points sooner rather than later.

CoLA have won back to back home game against Copleston and Oaklands but need to win on the road if they’re to keep their streak going tomorrow. If they can, upcoming games against USP (0-4) and BHASVIC (1-3) could bring further success. The London side will need to focus their attention on Itchen first though, especially as this is a road fixture they dropped a year ago.

2018/19 result – Itchen College 90 – 64 City of London Academy

Barking Abbey (5-0) v Canterbury Academy (4-0)

In a battle of two of the Southern Conference’s unbeaten sides, Canterbury head to East London tomorrow to take on Barking in what is sure to be an exciting match up.

Paced by early MVP candidate Will Raife (24.5ppg), Canterbury look every bit the contender for the Conference title and will no doubt enjoy measuring up against a team that have been an EABL powerhouse in recent years.

Like their opponents, Barking also have the opportunity to call on some heavy hitters as Veron Eze  (21ppg, 18.8eff) and Sam Alajiki (9.8ppg, 7.0rpg) have both looked strong in the early going. Add in the likes of Theo Hughes, Chris Feeney and more, BA have plenty of quality to call on at both ends of the court.

2018/19 result – Barking Abbey 78 – 59 Canterbury Academy

USP College (0-4) v John Madejski Academy (4-0)

JMA are the other unbeaten side in the standings and will be hoping a trip to USP College will allow that zero to remain in the loss column.

Conceding an average of 96.5ppg in their four contests to date, USP have struggled to stop their opponents so far this season. That doesn’t bode well against a Rockets’ team boasting multiple EABL Player of the Week winners in Asher Ndah and Sam Grant, plus the talents of David Chive (19ppg) and James Jolly (14ppg). It could be a long afternoon for USP, especially if last season’s result is anything to go by.

2018/19 result – USP College 29 – 98 John Madejski Academy

Copleston High School (2-3) v Oaklands College (0-3)

Copleston have remained on the fringes of the playoff places despite some notable absentees from their roster due to injury. Coach Drane will be hoping his side can keep that form going tomorrow against a winless Oaklands side. Ben Winter (20.6ppg, 23.4eff) continues to pick up the slack for his team during a productive campaign to date.

It’s been a tough start to the season for the Wolves with fixtures against Barking, JMA and CoLA, and although this match up may not provide any relief either, upcoming contests with USP and BHASVIC may be more productive. Despite their struggles, Toby Gastaldi-Davies (15.3ppg) continues to be a bright spot for Oaklands.

2018/19 result – Copleston High School 102 – 76 Oaklands College

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