Itchen College vs Canterbury High School

Itchen College strengthened their hold on second place in the Southern Conference with a tough 79-75 win on the road in Canterbury.

A back and forth game that saw multiple lead changes and swings of momentum throughout was ultimately decided on a late 8-3 run as Rhys Sundimalt scored 8 straight points for Itchen.

Itchen head coach Matt Guymon was visibly pleased with the win, saying, “This was a fantastic game and a brilliant advert for the EABL. Credit to Canterbury who were missing key guys today and put in a great defensive display that made us work for every look. I’m proud of our guys who were able to respond late to retake the lead and secure a very important win.”

Sundimalt started the game with a hot hand, as he hit a trio of 3 pointers in the opening quarter on his way to a game high 22. With Matt Hughes adding 8 first quarter points, Itchen took an early 23-17 lead as they pounded the ball inside.

The second quarter saw Jonathan Fakile help Canterbury close the gap as he repeatedly broke down the Itchen defence.  However, Jeremy Sochan made a number of key baskets for Itchen, scoring 10 in the quarter, meaning Canterbury could only close the gap to 39-36 at the half.

In the third quarter, Canterbury’s momentum continued as Robbie Graham hit a pair of 3 pointers a minute apart, propelling Canterbury into the lead for the first time at 50-46.  With both Hughes for Itchen and Josh Moore for Canterbury scoring in multiple ways, the teams entered the final quarter with Canterbury leading 55-53.

The fourth quarter was full of drama, with both teams making big plays and the lead changing multiple times. After Itchen regained the lead early in the quarter, three pointers from Graham, Moore and Chester Morrell gave Canterbury a 72-66 lead with a couple of minutes remaining. 

After a couple of free throws for Itchen, Sundimalt hit a tough 3 to cut the lead to 72-71 with just over a minute left. After Canterbury were unable to score on their next possession, Sundimalt found himself open again and nailed his 6th three of the game to give Itchen the lead.

After a timeout, Morrell knocked down a three of his own regaining the lead for Canterbury, 75-74. Sundimalt once again responded for Itchen, getting to the rim and finishing to put Itchen back in front. With Canterbury unable to get a good look on the next possession, Titus Zvdelis then iced the game from the free throw line, giving Itchen the crucial win.

Canterbury Head Coach Adam Davies felt a mixture of pride and disappointment, saying, “What a game and a great advert for why the EABL is the best junior league in the country. The loss hurts, especially in the manner we did, after the players gave everything and left it all on the floor. Full credit to Itchen who never gave up and held their nerve at the end to take the lead and be victorious. They saying, ‘you learn more when you lose,’ fits today but it also hurts.”

Sundimalt led Itchen with 22, whit Sochan added 21, Hughes 13 and Zvdelis 10. Moore and Morrell had 18 each for Canterbury, while Fakile had 14 and Graham 10.

Itchen remain in second place at 10-2 and will host CoLA next Wednesday. Canterbury fall to 8-5 but gold onto the 4th and final playoff spot as things stand. They face another crucial game as they travel to Alec Reed, who currently sit just outside the playoffs, next week.


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