Oaklands College vs Itchen College

Oaklands College made in two home wins in a row against Itchen, with an 84-75 win in the EABL on Wednesday at Oaklands College St Albans Campus.

The home side had Jordan George and Wesley Moore with 23 to lead the scoring, and Ope Afolabi rounded out the top 3 for Oaklands with 13 points.

Oaklands Head Coach Thomas Baker commented:

“A great game by the boys today. After a poor start we were able to get some success early on in the game by running the floor which set a precedent for the rest of the game. Itchen, as always, proved to be a tough opponent but credit to our boys stepping up in the fourth quarter with some crucial plays to see us over the finish line.”

Itchen had Ashley Briggs with 27, Matthew Hughes 19 and Aaron Berida with 11.

Itchen started the stronger out of the two teams in this one, racing out to a 12-4 lead thanks to baskets from Ashley Briggs and Matthew Hughesm causing Coach Baker to take an early timeout 3 minutes into the game.

A basket from Wesley Moore and Jordan George to hit the first of his 4 3-pointers put Oaklands within 5. Both teams traded baskets over the next few minutes. Then a strong 9-2 run for the home side as they looked to pushed the tempo saw them end the first quarter 21-19 ahead thanks to some more 3 pointers from Jordan George and Hanad Hussein.

Hanad got himself to the foul line early in the second quarter to put Oaklands up by 4, however, a 7-0 run from the away team put Itchen back in control. A change of defence from the away side saw Oaklands struggle to find their rhythm in the second quarter.

An 8-4 run for Coach Guymon’s team looked to put them further in control going into the break. Both teams again traded baskets to finish the half. Itchen went ahead 39-34 with the quarter score being 20-13 in favour of the away team.

Tempo was key throughout this game for Oaklands and James-Lee Hull scored for the home side as they were the first team to score in the second half, however, another basket by Ashley Briggs on the way to his 27 that he had for the game and a 3 pointer by Genay Zorro put Itchen ahead by 8.

Back -to-back baskets by Captain Wesley Moore closed the gap for Oaklands. Through the middle part of the third it was neck and neck as Oaklands couldn’t close the gap, until a strong run to finish the quarter brought the home team within 1 thanks to some strong plays by James-Lee Hull, Finley D’Avilar and captain Wesley Moore.

Itchen were ahead 58-57 but it was the home team who ended the quarter strongly winning it 23-19. It was to set up and great fourth quarter.

Dunks, three pointers and some loud noise from the home crowd were on show throughout the fourth quarter as they looked to turn the game in their favour. It was Ashley Briggs who scored first, stretching Itchen’s lead to 3 but back to back baskets by home side put them up by 1 thanks to Darren Ainembabazi and Wesley Moore.

Again, both sides traded baskets before some strong pressure by the home side caused Itchen to start making some mistakes. Three 3-pointers put the home side up by 5 with just over 2 minutes left thanks to Jordan George, Ope Afolabi and Wesley Moore.

Itchen called timeout as they looked to re-group. Strong defence was key to Oaklands closing out this game and when the home side created opportunities for Jordan George to get back to back dunks there was no way back for Coach Guymon’s team.

Oaklands were able to keep the scoring around 10 points and closed this one out 84-75, winning the last quarter 27-17.

Oaklands travel to Canterbury next Wednesday, where as Itchen host CoLA with what will be a great game in the push for playoffs.

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