Canterbury High School vs Derby College/Noel Baker School

The Canterbury High School progressed to the EABL Final Four with a convincing 87-66 win over the Derby Trailblazers on Wednesday.

Canterbury won all 4 quarters as they led from start to finish against a tough and well coached Derby team.

Jonathan Brown finished with a game high 27 points, while Elliot Bailey added 16, Chester Morrell and Tyrese Walters-Lawrence 10 each and Milo Gordon 9. Leighton Elliott-Sewell was the only Derby play in double figures, as he finished with 20 points. Charlie Brown and Luke Pope added 9 each.

Canterbury Head Coach Jesse Sazant praised his team, saying: “I’m really proud of the focus the guys showed today. Derby are tough and the lead never felt safe but the guys continually answered anything that was thrown at them.”

Canterbury’s Captain Elliot Bailey added: “It was a really strong performance from everyone today. It was fun to play in an intense playoff game, and I am looking forward to next week.”

Derby Coach Matt Shaw echoed this saying: “Credit to Canterbury, they really made it tough for us to get into any kind of rhythm today. They also hit some big shots and time it felt like we were making a bit of a run.”

The first quarter started off with no signs of nerves from either team as they both scored at a high rate. Jonathan Fakile took advantage of his opportunity to start (with Tunde Oyerinde out injured) scoring 6 first quarter points. 8 points from Jonathan Brown and 5 from Bailey helped Canterbury to a 25-21 lead, despite 11 points from Leighton Elliot-Sewell.

The second quarter saw Canterbury turn up their defence as they held Elliott-Sewell scoreless in the quarter. Canterbury were able to turn the stops into numerous fast break opportunities, with Brown frequently getting to the rim. A buzzer beating 3 from Brown, gave Canterbury a 50-35 lead at the half and took his first half total to 19 points.

Derby opened the third in a box and one and quickly cut the lead to single figures. But a trio of 3 pointers, with a Chester Morrell 3 bookended by 3s from Bailey, quickly pushed the lead back to 15. By the end of the quarter the lead was still 73-57.

Early in the fourth quarter, Tyrese Walters-Lawrence, playing his first game of the season after an injury in August, scored 5 quick points to stretch the lead past 20. Both teams struggled to score through the remainder of the quarter, with the lead staying around 20.

Sazant added: “I thought the way the bench stepped up today was exceptional. Guys came in and gave us really solid minutes at both ends of the court.”

Shaw summed up saying: “Our guys are a bit disappointed naturally. But when they look back I think they will realise we’ve had a good season, particularly having started the season 0-2.”

Canterbury will now progress to play the winner of Thursday’s game between Myerscough and CoLA.

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