Copleston Sixth Form vs John Madejski Academy

Copleston and JMA opened their respective EABL season’s with an epic battle in Ipswich on Wednesday, as JMA came out on top, 67-64.

With both teams having a much changed roster from the previous season, it was a chance for some new faces to show what they can do at the EABL level.

For JMA, it was a balanced attack led by Alex Drincic (16 points) and Inigo Perez-Baena (15 points) who led the line, while for the new look Copleston, 7’0 big man Jonny Hall asserted his dominance with a huge double-double (29 points and 10 rebounds), helped by first year starter Ben Winter, who went for 23.

“This league is so tough,” Copleston Head Coach Nick Drane commented.

“I really thought our guys were excellent today. I’m not going to keep pointing this out all year, but some of the guys that have moved on are almost impossible to replace at this level – and we really didn’t know what to expect coming in today.

“But the boys have already shown me that they are committed and professional and want to get better every day – that is a culture that allows us to all develop. We are going to have a really good season if we continue on this path. JMA are going to be a tough match up for anyone.”

JMA led by five after the first quarter as Copleston battled to stay in the game, and the home side won the second period by a single point meaning the score was 32-28 in the favour of the visitors at the interval.

The third quarter opened with a 9-2 run by JMA, who extended their lead again, before Copleston coach Nick Drane called time-out.

Copleston rallied, going on a run of their own behind the play of Ben Winter, five straight from Blake Read and to finish the quarter Jonny Hall made six straight to bring the JMA lead back within two going into the final quarter.

The fourth quarter was tense. Hall opened the scoring, making the score tied at forty-nine before a huge three from Perez-Baena. The game would go back and forth throughout the period, with big play after big play – with JMA clinging on to what will be an important win for them this season.

Copleston play next away on Monday at CoLA while JMA face Oaklands at home.

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