#2 John Madejski Academy 78 – 65 #3 James Watt College

JMA claimed their first ever EABL semi final spot following a 78-65 win over James Watt Academy behind 22 points from Ross Stepney.

A hot start from behind the 3 point line saw JMA jump out to a 22-14 lead as David Chive and Stepney combined for five made threes, including 3 in row from Chive, to finish the quarter on a 9-0 run in favour of the home team.

James Watt responded in the second quarter with a 5-0 run of their own and a 9-4 run to finish the frame, narrowing JMA’s lead to 2 at the half largely due to Sam Cheshire’s 12 point burst in the quarter.

JMA came out firing again in the third quarter hitting another five triples with Asher Ndah shooting 4/4 from behind the arc, extending JMA’s lead to 14 points at the end of the period. James Watt upped their tempo defensively, pressing and trapping in the fourth but never cut the lead to single digits as JMA ran out comfortable winners 78-65.

Alan Keane noted after the game: “We shot the ball very well today which is a good start.

“We probably didn’t control the tempo as much as we would have liked particularly defensively but we had spells were we did and they were the difference.

“We’ll need to be more consistent in the semi final next week against either Myerscough but we’re looking forward to challenge anyway.”

Top scorers were for JMA were Ross Stepney with 22 points, Asher Ndah had 19 and David Chive contributed 14. James Watt were led by Wakeem Richardson with 24 points, Sam Cheshire had 16 while Josh Ijeh had 10.

JMA now travel to Myerscough in the Final Fours, with the winner sealing a place in the EABL playoff final.

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