Copleston High School 62 -54 John Madejski Academy

Copleston avenged their forty-point loss at the start of the year, with their best performance of the season, resulting in a 62-54 win that makes things a little more interesting for the teams immediately behind Barking Abbey (9-0) in the EABL South Conference.

Copleston led wire to wire, in an extremely physical and high level game of elite academy basketball. From the opening tip it was clear that Ethan Price (Who missed the game earlier in the season) wanted to stamp his authority on the game, blocking his JMA counterpart, Sam Grant, twice in the same possession.

However, after winning the first period 16-8, Copleston looked to have the momentum, but a nasty facial injury sustained by Ipswich’s All EABL guard, Ben Winter, forced the player to the bench, and he would not return. JMA gradually fought their way back, winning the highest scoring period of the game 21-17 meaning the Copleston advantage was down to just four going into half time.

With Winter out of the game, IBA had to adjust their offence, playing without a true point guard – but in Price, they have the reigning league MVP and arguably the most dominant player in the EABL. For JMA, Kivuvu Live and Asher Ndah kept their offence ticking over, but the visitors could not find a way to consistently score the basketball. Copleston extended their lead, taking a seven point advantage into the game’s final period.

The fourth quarter again saw both teams up their defensive intensity, with Copleston winning the period 11-10. Big shots by GB guard David Chive were matched by Price and Jacob Morgan, with Price icing the game from the free-throw line in the final seconds, giving Copleston a crucial 62-54 victory.

“This was our best performance of the season, especially given what we had to deal with in the game before and seeing one of our WEABL girls rushed to hospital, and then again losing Ben to what looks like a concussion and possibly some stitches.” commented Copleston head coach Nick Drane after the game.

“JMA are an absolute monster of a team this year, they have everything, size, great guard play, excellent role players and of course are so well coached by Alan.

“We knew this would take a monumental effort both in the days leading up to the game as well as on the day – and that’s what we got.”

Assistant Coach Adam Robinson added: “What a game, what an atmosphere, what a result. The boys really applied themselves today, everyone did their job – led by a great performance by Ethan Price, who did everything today. He’s so talented, athletic and tall.”

Price led Copleston with 27 points while Jacob Morgan added 18 more. JMA were paced by 13 points from Asha Ndah, helped by 9 from Kivuvu Live.

Copleston are away to BHASVIC next week to round off 2019, as they aim to make it six wins in a row, while JMA are on the road to CoLA.

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