Canterbury High School v Copleston High School

A strong second half performance led Canterbury Academy to an 84-72 win over Copleston in EABL action Wednesday. With the win, Canterbury significantly strengthened their hold on a playoff position in the South Conference.

Canterbury head coach Adam Davies was obviously happy with the result saying: “Super proud of the team today to grind out a win against a very tough opponent. We knew how important this game was for us in the playoff race and that showed in the first half. We forced too much and over thought things. In the second half we relaxed into the game and started to play together with better flow.”

An even first quarter saw multiple lead changes, as the teams contrasting styles swung the game back and forth. Ethan Price gave Canterbury problems inside and out as he scored 9 first quarter points, with Jacob Morgan chipping in with a pair of 3s to give Copleston an 18-15 lead. Canterbury countered with hot outside shooting, led by a pair of 3s from Sam Alajiki.

Price continued to lead Copleston in the second quarter as Copleston began to gradually stretch the lead out, with Ben Winter getting to the foul line repeatedly. But Milo Gordon and Chester Morrell led a rally from Canterbury as they closed the gap back to 2. Copleston once again asserted themselves, with Price reaching 21 first half point. However, a late 3 from Jonathan Fakile, cut the lead to just 40-36 at the half.

The game would turn in the third quarter, as Canterbury upped their defensive energy and limited Price’s scoring opportunities. Canterbury edged back to tie the game before 3s from Chester Morrell and Will Raife, gave them a 57-52 lead entering the final period.

The fourth quarter was an exciting affair, with the teams trading big plays throughout. For Copleston, Veron Eze hit three 3s as he racked up 15 second half points as he kept his team in the game. However, Gordon and Josh Moore scored 9 a piece in the period, doing damage inside and out as Canterbury gradually pulled away to the double figure win.

Despite the loss, Copleston head coach Nick Drane was still positive saying: “I thought we competed really well, and with three minutes left the game could have gone either way. But Canterbury executed really well down the stretch and got hot at the right moment. I think 12 points suggests a slightly more comfortable win than this was for them but all credit to them for getting a huge win. They will be a real handful in the playoffs.”

Price finished with a game high 29 for Copleston, supported by Eze with 17, Morgan with 13 and Winter with 11. Moore led Canterbury with 21, while Gordon had 19, Alajiki 13, Morrell 12 and Fakile 9.

With the win, Canterbury move to 10-5 while Copleston fall to 8-7. With the tie breaker against both Alec Reed and Copleston now clinched, Canterbury find themselves in a very strong position for securing a playoff spot.

Next week Canterbury will travel to Oaklands while Copleston will host CoLA.

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