Canterbury High School vs Barking Abbey School

On Wednesday, defending national champions Barking Abbey School picked up a 79-70 road win against Canterbury High School in EABL action.

Barking used a 21-0 run in the second quarter to take control of the game as they forced numerous turnovers. Despite Canterbury winning three of the four quarters, they were only able to cut the lead down to six in their attempted comeback.

Barking Abbey coach Lloyd Gardner was pleased with the win, saying, “As always when you go to Canterbury, any time you can get a win you are happy. We knew we would face a team ready to play with an energy and intensity that you have to match. I thought for a large part we managed to do that today but we have to show a more consistent focus on the defensive end. I was pleased that we showed some resilience and that should help us as the season goes on.”

Barking jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead, led by Jonathan Brown making his return to Canterbury, having won EABL East Conference Player of the Year for them last season. However, back-to-back scores from Chester Morrell steadied the ship for Canterbury. The teams traded baskets for the remainder of the quarter, with Canterbury taking a slim 22-20 lead into the break.

Barking’s defence took over to start the second quarter as they forced three straight turnovers to score seven unanswered points in the first minute. They continued to pile on the pressure, eventually reeling off 21 unanswered points. After a few late scores from Canterbury, Ade Adebayo hit a big three-pointer to finish the half, leading 44-26.

The third quarter saw Canterbury chip away slightly at the lead, led by Milo Gordon and Morrell. However, timely scores from Jonathan St. Hillaire and Brown kept the lead in double digits, 59-47 entering the final period.

Canterbury kept getting closer in the fourth, with Sam Alajiki reeling off nine straight points for the hosts. Twice they cut the lead to six but Barking alway had an answer, as St Hillaire and Adebayo scored 12 of their final 15 points.

Canterbury head coach Adam Davies saw many positives in the game saying, “Super proud of the team today. Started the game just how we wanted to, making great reads versus their switching defence. However in the second quarter we stopped being unpredictable and Barking picked us off. The second half saw us dig in and go back to play how we wanted to and get believed we could win. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be, but a huge effort from every single member of the team means we can reflect and move onto the next one with some confidence.”

A balanced effort saw six players score at least seven points for Barking. St Hillaire led the way with 17, followed by Adebayo (15), Brown (13), Theo Hughes (9), Nathaniel Powell (8) and Chris Feeney (7). Canterbury were led by Gordon with 16, while Morrell and Alajiki had 15 each, with Josh Moore and Will Raife adding 13 and 7, respectively.

Alajiki summed up the game saying, “We played our hearts out towards the end, we should all be proud of our effort and resilience throughout the game. However, switch offs in the second quarter cost us.”

Barking will look to remain undefeated when they host win-less Oaklands College next week. Meanwhile, Canterbury drop to 1-1 and will host the undefeated City of London Academy next Wednesday.

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