Week 14 Preview – Southern Conference

Luke Simcock

The Southern Conference signs off for 2019 after four games tomorrow, with Barking guaranteed to head into the mid-season break top of the pile.

USP College (0-10) v Barking Abbey (9-0)

With a two game advantage over Copleston and JMA in 2nd, Barking will begin 2020 as the Southern Conference leaders regardless of what happens tomorrow against USP.

Barking made short work of tomorrow’s hosts back in October, winning that contest by a score of 101-43. With the teams now occupying opposite ends of the table, there’s little to suggest a similar score line won’t be on the cards once again.

2018/19 result – USP College 49-97 Barking Abbey

BHASVIC (2-6) v Copleston High School (7-3)

Another pair of teams at opposite ends of the table, Copleston head to BHASVIC looking to keep pace with Barking and fellow 2nd place team JMA.

Since the return of Ethan Price, the Suffolk programme have looked unstoppable and Copleston’s trip to Barking on 15 January is already highly anticipated. Coach Drane’s side need to ensure they stay perfect until then though, and that includes giving BHASVIC 100% tomorrow.

Picking up their 2nd win of the season and the doing the double over USP last week, BHASVIC have a little bit of momentum on their side. Having already topped their win total from 2018/19, the South coast programme would love to sneak a win between now and the end of the season to further demonstrate their improvement.

2018/19 result – BHASVIC 47-104 Copleston High School

Itchen College (3-5) v Canterbury Academy (6-3)

With Barking, JMA and Copleston looking strong for the top three places in the Conference, the 4th and final playoff place could come down to a scrap between Canterbury and CoLA.

A fast start to the season gave way to a brief wobble from Canterbury, though that has since been corrected with wins over Oaklands and CoLA. Knocking off Itchen would round out a pretty successful opening half the season for Coach Davies’ side, leaving the Kent programme well set up for a further push in 2020.

The first half of the season hasn’t quite gone to plan for Itchen, particularly as a programme that finished 2nd in the standings last year. If coach Guymon’s team are still going to be in with a shout of the playoffs, five losses might get it done. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for manoeuvre though, staring with a tough game

against Canterbury tomorrow.

2018/19 result – Itchen College 76-67 Canterbury Academy

City of London Academy (5-4) v John Madejski Academy (7-2)

Neither team really can afford a loss tomorrow as John Madejski Academy head to City of London Academy.

For JMA, another three points will help them stay within touching distance of Barking but more importantly, keep pace with rivals Copleston for the #2 seed. CoLA are fighting themselves, attempting to reel in Canterbury and claim the #4 seed at the half way stage.

The Rockets have already dispatched CoLA 83-61 back in early October, with the defeat forming part of CoLA’s 0-2 start to the season. The London programme have been much improved since, going 5-2 with wins over Copleston amongst others.

2018/19 result – City of London Academy 68-80 John Madejski Academy

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