Week 17 Preview – Southern Conference

Nick Winter

Four games make up week 17 in the Southern Conference, with the pick of the bunch a match up between two sides in the playoff places.

Canterbury Academy (8-4) v Barking Abbey (12-0)

Two of the most prolific EABL teams from beyond the arc meet tomorrow in Kent as Canterbury and Barking go head to head.

BA attempt 33.7 three pointers per game, Canterbury put up 30.5, but Coach Davies side have an edge in terms of conversion, leading 34.2% to 25.4%. One reason for that is the hot form of former EABL Player of the Week Will Raife, who averages 17.4ppg and just under 9 3-pt attempts per outing.

In their previous meeting, Barking did well to limit Canterbury from range, holding them to 56 points and sealing a comfortable win. Titus Warari, Veron Eze and Sam Alajiki all did well for Coach Vear’s side on offence and the current Southern Conference leaders would love a repeat performance tomorrow, especially as they’re on the road.

Previous meeting in 2019/20 – Barking Abbey 84 – 56 Canterbury Academy

Oaklands College (1-8) v Copleston High School (9-4)

Slowing Copleston’s Ethan Price will be a tall order for one win Oaklands tomorrow, likely providing a road win for Coach Drane’s side.

Since returning from injury, Price has been a stat machine (32.1eff, 25.9ppg, 12.6rpg, 3.5bpg), leading the league in more than one major statistic. Add in the solid guard play of Ben Winter (EABL 2nd best 6.1apg) and Copleston are a tough match up right now.

Oaklands managed to stay relatively close to tomorrow’s opponents the first time they met back in November, mainly thanks to 17 points from Nick Powdrell. That contest marked Price’s first back from injury, and unfortunately for the Wolves he’s looked better and better the more he’s played since.

Previous meeting in 2019/20 – Copleston High School 84 – 66 Oaklands College

City of London Academy (6-6) v Itchen College (4-6)

A big game with potential post season implications, 5th place CoLA host 6th place Itchen tomorrow with both sides trying to reel in 4th place Canterbury.

CoLA are the more likely of the two sides to mount a challenge for a top four spot, though they’re still six points back of making that a reality right now. If Itchen can win their two games in hand, it’d take them level with CoLA on six wins, making tomorrow’s encounter all the more important.

The November meeting between these sides marked the final defeat in Itchen’s four game losing streak to start the season, and there is always the all important head to head tiebreaker to consider should these teams finish with the same record come the end of the regular season.

Previous meeting in 2019/20 – Itchen College 68 – 77 City of London Academy

John Madejski Academy (9-2) v USP College (0-12)

Tied on points with Copleston but with two games in hand, John Madejski Academy will be looking for a comfortable win tomorrow against USP as they continue their hunt for the Conference’s #2 seed, or an outside shot at leaders Barking should the London programme slip up.

The Berkshire side had no problem with USP when they last met, with Victor Gadea top scoring for the Rockets on that occasion.

USP will still be hoping they can finish the season with at least one win, though the upcoming clash with Oaklands is more likely to see that become a reality than tomorrow’s game against high flying JMA.

Previous meeting in 2019/20 – USP College 58 – 94 John Madejski Academy

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