Itchen College vs Copleston Sixth Form

Itchen survived a late rally from Copleston to close the game out 64-56 on Wednesday afternoon.

After a long trek to Southampton, it wouldn’t take long for the visiting team to get the 3 hour trip out of their legs as they were able to jump out to a 5-0 lead. Itchen were able to respond behind quick scores from Ashley Briggs & Rhys Bain. The quarter would remain close with Copleston taking a 14-13 lead behind a Ben Winter free throw.

In the second quarter, Itchen were able to regroup and put together their first run of the game with Aaron Berida scoring 10 of his team high 15 points in the quarter. Itchen would take a 31-19 lead, before a Copleston timeout which would lead to a 6-0 run to close the half 33-25.

The third quarter would start with a Ben Winter 3 pointer trimmed the home lead to 5. Itchen would respond with an 8-0 run behind a strong defensive effort. A Ben Winter two stopped the scoring drought before Itchen would continue to keep the scoreboard ticking over giving the home team a 17 point lead going into the final period.

An early 2 by Ben Winter would open the fourth, followed by a quick response from an Ashley Briggs 3 pointer that would see Itchen’s lead extend to 18 points.

Copleston would keep fighting, battling relentlessly on the defensive end which would allow them to chip away at the lead. At 54-40 with 7 minutes left, an unlikely hero would step forward for Copleston.

Lewis Barker in just his third game of the season scored 11 consecutive points to put Copleston right back in the game. A Jonny Hall mid range jumpshot cut the lead to 3 points as they outscored Itchen 17-2 over this period.

Itchen desperately needed a response which came in the way of back to back 3 pointers from Rhys Bain and Aaron Berida, giving the home team a 62-53 lead. Copleston and Lewis Barker were not done yet as another 3 landed closing the game to six in the final moments.

Itchen were able to finally regain composure late to secure a 64-56 win.

“I thought last week against Canterbury we responded well to adversity by sticking together as a group,” Itchen Head Coach Matt Guymon said.

“Unfortunately today we played as individuals, especially when Copleston went on their fourth quarter run. With a tough run of games coming up we are going to have to learn from this and look at how we can be more consistent with our approach & performance.

“Credit to Copleston for an outstanding comeback! What they lack in depth this year they make up for with heart, competing on every possession which is a real credit to their programme and coaching staff.”

Berida led Itchen with 15, Matt Hughes had 13, whilst Rhys Bain and Ash Briggs added 11 each.

For Copleston, Luke Barker had 17, Ben Winter 14, and Jonny Hall 10.

Itchen will travel to Oaklands next week, while Copleston will host league leaders Barking Abbey.

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