Charnwood College vs John Madejski Academy

Charnwood College Riders advanced the EABL semi finals for the fourth straight year with a comfortable 95-46 win over JMA Rockets.

Sesan Russell scored 24 of his game high 26 points in the first half to lead Charnwood to victory over an injury-hit JMA team.

Both teams traded baskets in the early exchanges before JMA suffered another injury blow with Alex Drincic going down with a rolled ankle just 3 minutes in to the game. Fidel Gomez entered the game and caused Charnwood problems around the basket, but it was Charnwood’s back court duo of Russell and Johde Campbell who dominated the quarter, combining for 17 points to help the hosts to a 21-14 lead at end the of the first quarter.

Charnwood tightened the screws on defence in the second quarter, holding the visitors to just 8 points whilst pouring in 27 of their own to take a 48-22 lead in to half time. Three early 3 pointers from Charnwood in the third quarter killed any hopes of a JMA comeback as the visitors struggled to make inroads in to the Charnwood lead.

The hosts would end up winning all four quarter to run out 95-46 winners.

Charnwood Head Coach Josh Merrington was complimentary of the visitors:

“Credit to JMA, they had some serious injury trouble and their guys really battled despite clearly playing hurt. They have had a great season and were unfortunate to be hit with so many injuries at this time of year.”

Merrington continued: “I was happy with our execution on defence today. We struggled rebounding the ball early on but I think we got better as the game went on and were able to limit key players for JMA.”

Russell was also pleased with his team’s performance on the defensive end:

“We came in to the game knowing that we would have to give it our all and I believe the final score showed our intent. I thought that we took advantage of our speed and athleticism in transition, however it started with our aggressive defence and ball pressure, getting stops and forcing turnovers.”

Campbell (17), Henri Langton (16), Morgan Carter (13) and Temi George (12) all joined Russell in double figures for Charnwood. Ali Sbai and Fidel Gomez led JMA with 12 and 11 points respectively.

Charnwood advance to the semi-finals where they will host Itchen College next Wednesday. JMA season comes to a close having made the playoffs for the first time.

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