Week 19 Preview – Southern Conference

Luke Simcock

The EABL regular season is nearly in the books, with just a few games remaining for teams to make a move. Three games take place tomorrow as part of what is sure to be a busy week for one Southern Conference side.

Itchen College (6-6) v Copleston High School (11-4)

With Copleston knowing they can’t move from the #3 seed regardless of the result tomorrow, how they approach their final game of the season could play a key role in who grabs 4th place below.

Canterbury currently hold the final playoff spot as things stand, though CoLA and Itchen are both within touching distance in 5th and 6th.

If Coach Drane elects to rest his starters in anticipation of the post season, that would surely open the door for Itchen to continue piling the pressure on those around them if they can secure a win. That said, Copleston will be the first Southern Conference team to wrap up their regular season campaign tomorrow so even if Ethan Price, Ben Winter and rest of Copleston’s starters do get a run out, they’ll still have the opportunity for a break before the playoffs begin.

With two games in hand on Canterbury and CoLA, Itchen can finish on 10 wins this season if they can beat Copleston, BHASVIC, USP and Barking. Nine wins may still be enough for Coach Guymon’s side to make the playoffs, assuming Canterbury beat Oaklands and fall to JMA to finish their schedule. Itchen also own the head-to-head tiebreaker so a tie with Canterbury would still be fine for the South coast side.

Previous meeting in 2019/20 – Copleston High School 83 – 75 Itchen College

City of London Academy (7-7) v BHASVIC (2-10)

Of the three sides chasing 4th place, City of London have the most difficult route to navigate if they’re to make the post season.

At 7-7 and still a win behind Canterbury with two games to go and no tiebreaker, CoLA will need to win both their remaining games and hope that the Kent programme lose twice if they’re going to move up in the standings. Considering CoLA finish their season against unbeaten leaders Barking, and Canterbury play 1-11 Oaklands on Thursday, neither of those outcomes seems likely for the London side.

For BHASVIC, they still have CoLA to play here before games against Itchen and Oaklands twice. Winning even one of those games, or splitting with Oaklands, should secure 7th spot and a big improvement over their 1-17 record from a year ago.

Previous meeting in 2019/20 – BHASVIC 76 – 95 City of London Academy

Oaklands College (1-11) v USP College (0-14)

A visit from USP represents the middle fixtures of three games for Oaklands this week in a busy period before the end of the season.

On Monday night the Wolves lost on the road in Reading 115-69, and following tomorrow’s tilt with USP, Oaklands host Canterbury on Thursday to make it three games in four days.

USP would love to grab their first win of the season against some tired legs, but if the fast turnaround will be enough to give USP an advantage remains to be seen.

Previous meeting in 2019/20 – USP College 69 – 84 Oaklands

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