Week 16 Preview – Southern Conference

Luke Simcock

Four games fill the Southern Conference schedule tomorrow, marking week 16 in the EABL calendar. There’s a top v 2nd game to look forward to, with Barking taking on Copleston, and three other exciting fixtures to cover.

Barking Abbey (11-0) v Copleston High School (9-3)

Currently undefeated Southern Conference leaders Barking face one of their biggest tests of the season tomorrow as they welcome Ethan Price’s Copleston to East London.

Price wasn’t available during Barking’s 98-61 win over Copleston back in mid-October, though since his return from an ankle injury his form has been nothing short of remarkable. Putting up significant stats at both ends of the court, how Barking try to limit the talented forward tomorrow could go a long way toward deciding the outcome of the game.

Barking still have plenty of weapons on offence to do some damage themselves, particularly former Copleston man Veron Eze, who averages 17.6ppg this season.

Previous meeting in 2019/20 – Copleston High School 61 – 98 Barking Abbey

Itchen College (4-5) v John Madejski Academy (8-2)

Itchen’s recent uptick form will be put under the spotlight tomorrow as a 3rd place JMA come to town, knowing a win will put pressure on Copleston in the race for a top two spot.

Beating Canterbury to close 2019 showed the Itchen still have both the desire and the ability to push for a top four place, even though they’re still nine points back of Canterbury after a slow start to the season.

The Rockets are in the midst of a strong campaign however, and with the knowledge that rivals Copleston could well drop points against Barking, Coach Keane’s side would love to keep their foot on the accelerator with another win here.

Previous meeting in 2019/20 – John Madejski Academy 85 – 67 Itchen College

Oaklands College (1-7) v City of London Academy (5-6)

It’s been a tough season for Oaklands, winning just once this season in eight attempts, and a CoLA side hunting for points ahead of a playoff push are unlikely to offer much relief tomorrow.

These two sides played out a close encounter, one of Oaklands most competitive of the season, when they met back in October. CoLA shouldn’t let that happen for a 2nd time, providing they stay focused and utilise former EABL Player of the Week Oscar Leigh Hales (11.7ppg) and Kavell Hawes (13.0ppg).

Previous meeting in 2019/20 – City of London Academy 72 – 63 Oaklands College

BHASVIC (2-8) v Canterbury Academy (7-4)

Canterbury crushed USP last time out, coming out 100-25 victors and showing they mean business in the race for the post season.

A game against two win BHASVIC could bring another lopsided scoreline, but Lewis Jee (13.6ppg) and Josh Last (19.4ppg) have still been playing some solid basketball despite BHASVIC’s record.

Canterbury are one of only two EABL sides to average over 10 three pointers per game, sporting a league best 34.4% success rate. For a BHASVIC side that has allowed over 90 points in 5 of their last 7 games, that’s probably not good news. Look for Will Raife (17.1ppg) and co. to take aim tomorrow.

Previous meeting in 2019/20 – Canterbury Academy 113 – 52 BHASVIC

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