Itchen College vs City of London Academy

Itchen survived a strong fourth quarter comeback from CoLA to win 73-72 on Wednesday.

Matt Hughes led Itchen with a 27 point outing, whilst Ashley Briggs had 12 and Aaron Berida 9.

For CoLA, Patrick Lanipekun had 18, Hadrian Bassilio had 13 and Jordan Okonji Okonji joined them in double digits with 10.

“After last weeks disappointing lost to Oaklands we have spent a lot of practice time working on how we handle pressure and our composure at critical times,” Itchen Head Coach Matt Guymon commented.

“I thought for the large majority of this game we showed great improvements in those areas. Unfortunately with 4 minutes to go the same issues we have had in previous weeks appeared and we were lucky to get over the line today with a win.

“Credit to CoLA for how they responded late, which is a testament to their programme and the character of their players. We always have games that go down to the wire and today was no different and we look forward to heading back to their place this week.”

The game opened with both teams locking in on the defensive end, which made it difficult for any offensive rhythm to develop. Itchen would lead in the final minute 12-10 before a three point make by Bassilio would give the visitors a 1 point lead going into the quarter break.

In the second quarter Itchen would start to attack CoLA’s full court pressure which allowed the home team to put together their first run of the game. CoLA would continue to struggle offensively, where they would be held to 8 points in the quarter. Itchen would get to half time with a 10 point lead 31-21.

The third quarter would see a change in the style and pace of the game with both teams flowing more freely on offence. CoLA would be led by the play of Patrick Lanipekun and Bassilio while Itchen would get standout performances from Matt Hughes, Ash Briggs and Rowan Milner.

With 3 minutes left Itchen would have a 54-37 lead. Hamilton from CoLA would respond with a 5 point run of his own and a half court shot before the buzzer from Serrant would see the visitors trim the lead to 11 going into the final period.

An 8-0 run from Itchen would open the fourth, where Itchen would hold CoLA scoreless for the first 4 minutes of the quarter. A team of CoLA’s quality was always going to have a run left in the tank and with 5 minutes left, the relentless push began with aggressive full court pressure and attacking offensive play lead by Patrick Lanipekun and Peter Turay.

CoLA would go on a 14-0 run despite two Itchen time-outs to weather the storm. With 3 minutes left to play and Itchen leading by three, Ash Briggs was able to score from close range. Peter Turay responded with one made free throw and Patrick Lanipekun would score and go 1 from 2 at the line to cut the lead to one.

The final part of the quarter would see the teams trade baskets with Itchen keeping a three point lead until a score from Peter Turay with 7 seconds left on the clock to make the score 72-73.

A time-out by Itchen advancing the ball would see CoLA have to foul 3 times before Itchen would be in the shooting bonus. Itchen were able to burn the time on the clock to finish the game.

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