Copleston High School vs Itchen College

Itchen College held off what would have been a monumental comeback from Copleston to further strengthen their grip on a high playoff seeding as the two sides did battle in Suffolk, with the Hampshire side taking the contest 90-96.

The visitors started the better of the two teams and steadily built lead, with big man Peter Turay in a dominant mood. Itchen held a six point lead with two minutes to play in the first half, but a sudden burst from the guests in the closing moments of the half saw them blow the lead open to 36-50.

The opening moments of the second half followed a similar pattern as some careless play by Copleston at both ends saw Itchen extend their lead to 19, forcing a quick timeout by Copleston. From this moment on the momentum swung, with the hosts upping their defensive intensity, finding a new gear in transition and increasing their accuracy from behind the three-point line.

However, Turay continued to dominate, with support from Jeremy Sochan and Matt Hughes to keep Itchen ticking over. The lead was down to seven going into the final quarter, but the Copleston comeback did not stop there. Three-pointers from Veron Eze, Ahmeed Yusoof and Jacob Morgan saw Copleston bring things within just two points. Big plays from Turay and Hughes were matched by Ben Winter and Ethan Price, but Itchen hung on and executed in the final seconds, converting from the foul line to turn their two point lead into a six point win.

Copleston Coach Nick Drane said, “This was the best game of the season so far. I’m no fan of moral victories, but I challenged the boys character after our loss to CoLA and, while today was another loss, to fight back against this calibre of opposition shows we have something to work with in terms of intangibles. All credit to Itchen, as always, they were excellent. The big fella inside [Turay] is an absolute monster!”

Turay led all scorers with 31 points, as Sochan supported with 20. Copleston got 25 from their own big man Ethan Price, in what was an epic duel between two of the top big men in the EABL. Veron Eze added 24 for the hosts.

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