Copleston come close to upset against CoLA

City of London Academy managed to move to 6-1 on the season with a 68-64 win in a very up and down game versus Copleston.

Copleston were back to full strength with the return of Josh Apple after missing their last game against Barking, and his impact was crucial to the Suffolk side almost pulling off the upset on Wednesday afternoon.

The game started like a whirlwind with CoLA’s first 10 points coming from dunks, including a big time dunk from Solomon Iluyomade on Josh Apple to open the scoring. Copleston, however, and Apple in particular, weren’t intimidated and came roaring back with some outstanding defense and took a 7 point lead midway through the second period. Apple was outstanding in the pursuit of getting a win for his side, playing with relentless energy and getting to the basket at will.

James Mitchell, coming off the bench for CoLA, was determined to match Apple every step of the way.

James said, “I’ve had some below par performances this season, I’m confident in what I can do and felt like I got some good touches early that gave me confidence. “

CoLA who looked to be rolling during the third period, were then helped with a huge momentum play as Mitchell soared to the basket for yet another dunk over Apple. However, as the fourth quarter began, Copleston led by a barrage of long range bombs from Cameron Hawes mounted a comeback from 16 points down in the last three minutes.

CoLA who had been cruising until that point in the fourth quarter seemed to panic and made a number of telling mistakes. Step in once again, James Mitchell, who spun baseline on a telling play with seconds left in the game to wrap up the tie for CoLA and put to bed what was a very uncomfortable last few minutes for the South East London side.

Mitchell summarised: “I think we can be really good this year, we need to put games like this away earlier, we won the game which is great, but the break down at the end hasn’t left the team feeling great about the overall performance.”

CoLA were led in scoring by Mitchell and Gedi Juozapaitis with 19 points apiece, whilst Apple led all scorers in the game with 27 points for Copleston and Cameron Hawes pitched in with a huge 17 points late on.

CoLA resume in the new year on the road to Canterbury on January 18th whilst Copleston are back in action a day earlier on Tuesday 17th away to JMA.

Thanks to EABL.org for this match report.