Copleston High School vs Barking Abbey

In one of the biggest match-ups of Week 11, Barking Abbey came away with an 80-73 victory over Copleston High School on Wednesday afternoon.

There is a healthy rivalry and great respect between Copleston and Barking Abbe, the only two programmes that have made the Final Fours for the past two seasons, although both years they unfortunately met in the 3rd/4th place play-off rather than the National Final.

Barking travelled to Ipswich with just about their strongest line up, in preparation for their trip to the US next week. Copleston were also at full strength meaning that this was going to be a heavyweight battle between two of the historically stronger programmes in the EABL.

Barking started the better of the two teams going up six before Copleston got on the scoreboard from a Luke Mascall-Wright lay-up. The first quarter saw both teams go on mini-runs. For Abbey Josh Steele racked up nine in the period while for Copleston Irish international Dylan Costelloe picked up nine of his own, along with five boards. Barking held a slender 25-23 lead at the end of the first.

The second saw Barking extend their lead behind a balanced attached that included a Calvin Kintu three and a pair from Joe Mvuezolo while for the home side it was again Costelloe along with role players Dan Wordsworth and Dapo Costa providing the spark to keep the Ipswich side in the game. At the half Barking had extended their lead to 42-33.

The third quarter was when league leading scorer Luke Mascall-Wright finally got it going, despite Barking’s clear efforts to slow his production down. Mascall-Wright collected ten points in the period while Wordsworth again stepped up and Costelloe continued to be a threat both attacking the basket and from beyond the arc. For the visitors it was again Calvin Kintu doing damage who scored eight points in the final three minutes, including the game’s biggest highlight – a buzzer beating three pointer from his own half. That spectacular shot gave Barking a ten point advantage going into the final period.

The fourth quarter was exciting and entertaining but in truth was the tale of both teams missing easy opportunities to change the final outcome. Both teams missed easy scores around the basket and between them shot a combined 6/22 from the foul line meaning on another day Copleston could have stole the victory but just as easily Barking Abbey could have extended their lead well into double figures.

The visitors took home a well-earned and very hard fought 80-73 victory while Copleston again proved that despite the loss of so much firepower from last season, they are a team that can compete with anybody again this year.

“Barking brought their best team today, something they haven’t done yet this season so firstly we take that as a huge compliment and secondly it just proves that we are right there with the best teams in the country again this season. Barking are my tip to win it all this year, but we have proved in recent weeks that we can get it done” said Copleston Coach Tom Sadler.

Dylan Costelloe was the high man for IBA with an impressive 26 point 11 rebound double double while Dan Wordsworth added 16 and Luke Mascall-Wright contributed an impressive 23-7-5 stat line while drawing much of the attention of the tough Barking defence. For BA Calvin Kintu led a balanced attack with 13 while Daniel Ogunseye added 12.

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