Copleston High School vs Barking Abbey School

Copleston High School hosted reigning national champions Barking Abbey School in the final EABL Southern Conference game of 2018 for both teams, with the visitors earning a hard fought 69-78 win on the road in Suffolk.

The early stages were high-scoring for both teams, as Copleston held a 15-13 lead after just five minutes. However, Barking went on a 13-0 scoring run to close out the period with a 29-15 lead, an advantage they would hold for the rest of the game.

The second quarter saw started with Barking further extending their lead, stretching the advantage to 18 (33-15) before the Ipswich-based squad mounted a trademark comeback, with a 15-2 run of their own to pull within five going into the interval, down 30-35 at half-time.

For the remainder of the game the scores remained close, but Barking stretched the gap to as many as 14 at one stage, before Copleston pulled things within single digits numerous times – refusing to quit, in what was a very competitive and entertaining game. Barking held their lead until the final buzzer, pulling out a 69-78 that sees them improve to 9-0 at the festive break.

Barking Abbey were led by 19 points from Tautvydas Mielauskas who was hot from behind the three-point line, while Jonathan Brown added 15. For Copleston, captain Ben Winter again was the leader with a game-high 22, while first year guard Jacob Morgan enjoyed his best game in the EABL, connecting on three triples on his way to adding a career high 17.

“I am pleased with how far we have come this season,” commented Copleston Coach Nick Drane. “Today’s performance demonstrates that – when we played Barking earlier in the season we took a bit of a beating and today I thought we gave them some real problems.”

“Our guys again showed that they just won’t let a game get away from them, and are capable of scrapping right until the end. However, we have to figure out a way to not go down by double figures in the first place.”

“Every team in this league could do with Barking’s ability when it comes to setting the tone,” Drane added.

Both teams enter the Christmas break in a solid position, as Copleston sit with an even 5-5 record and very much in playoff contention of they can get above .500 in the New Year. Having faced two of toughest two challenges of the season, already having played Barking twice, the Suffolk-based side will be hopeful of grabbing the results they need in 2019.

Meanwhile, Barking Abbey are yet to lose a game in the EABL and head into the Christmas break as a firm favourite to ‘three-peat’ as national champions.

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