City of London Academy vs Itchen College

City of London Academy hosted Itchen College on Wednesday evening in a contest that was a game of two halves. The CoLA squad appeared very motivated to put their two-game losing streak behind them, whilst the visiting Itchen side looked rattled.

CoLA opened the contest with a 7-0 run with their press forcing Itchen into a number of early turnovers. The end of the first quarter saw the home side lead by just five, as Itchen kept the scoreboard ticking over at the free throw line.

The second quarter saw Termon Serrant and Louis Norton-Cuffy hit two three-pointers apiece to extend the CoLA lead to 13. In a must win game for the hosts, they went into the half-time break up 11.

The third quarter saw a more energised Itchen team led by Jeremy Sochan who went for 13 in the quarter, linking up well on the inside with former CoLA big man Peter Turay, finishing around the basket and getting to the foul line. The visitors won the third quarter by two and had the momentum going into the final stanza, despite trailing on the scoreboard. CoLA’s offensive effort was spread across the team, as James Hamilton displayed his power and athleticism inside, Richmond Ariyo relentlessly attacked the basket and Taiga Forster connected on opportunities from behind the arc.

The final quarter saw Itchen living on the free throw line, as they got to the stripe 19 times, connecting on 13 freebies, capitalising on CoLA’s defensive errors at crucial times. The last minute of the contest was frantic with Itchen leading four, 75-79. CoLA cut the gap to one with a massive three-pointer from Dylan Darbin.

On the next possession Peter Turay was left wide open for a jumper, as he connected to put Itchen up by three. With a chance to close the gap again, an easy score was missed, and it seemed to knock the wind out of CoLA’s sails. With the clock running down, fouling was the only option and Itchen held their nerve to win the game 80-87.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t put two halves of consistent defensive essentials together. This led to poor decision making on both ends of the floor,” said CoLA Coach Sterling Muschett.

“[Jeremey] Sochan played aggressively and was very poised on the offensive end, playing inside and out. We knew that Peter [Turay] would come back to London with one thing on his mind and both players left everything on the court in the second half, along with the rest of the Itchen squad.”

Itchen had three players with 20+ scoring efforts, as Jeremy Sochan led the charge with 25 points, while Peter Turay had 24 and Matt Hughes added 22. CoLA were led by Louis Norton-Cuffy who had 21 points, as James Hamilton added 16 and Dylan Darbin chipped in 10.

Week 6 action sees CoLA make the journey to Alec Reed Academy for a Tuesday night fixture, whilst Itchen will host Barking Abbey School.

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