In a thrilling end of week encounter, it was John Roan School who came away with a hard fought 76-83 road victory against The North School on Friday 14 December.
The game was a contrast in styles, pitting the The North School Lions’ free-scoring outside play up against John Roan’s bruising inside attack. The first quarter saw the two sides go shot-for-shot, but it was the visitors who broke the deadlock to take a 19-17 lead.
In the second period, John Roan built some early momentum as they attacked the rim at will; extending their to 30-24 as they held a six point advantage. The Lions, fuelled by sharpshooters Jay Parnell and Max Heath, hit back with a 10-0 run of their own to take their first lead at 34-30. The visitors rallied once again with an 11-3 scoring burst to end the quarter, a run which saw them lead 37-41 heading into the half-time break.
The third quarter saw an epic tussle to take control of the game, but a 10-3 run to close the quarter put John Roan ahead 57-66. Five quick points by Sean Trumper, the Lions’ unstoppable forward, saw them close to within four points at 66-62, but John Roan responded once again with their excellent inside play to extend their lead back out to 77-68. The hosts threw everything they had at the visitors over the last five minutes of action but, despite forcing multiple turnovers, they were unable to capitalise on the offensive end. As the final buzzer sounded, it was John Roan who found themselves with a well-earned 76-83 victory.
Trumper led all scorers with 27 points for The North, whilst team-mates Kai Potts (12), Jay Parnell (11) and Harvey Kemp-Green (11) also hit double figures. Meanwhile, John Roan were fuelled by strong contributions from Seal Osajivbe (20), Seun Babalola (19), James Aboaba (18) and Lanre Ayinla (13).
The North Coach Andrew Sunderland commented, “We are right there in every game but we’ve not been able to push over the finishing line in our last three ABL games. I cannot fault the team’s commitment to getting better, and I am excited to get back onto the practice court on Monday!”
“Full credit to John Roan School tonight, Coach Courtney Van-Beest has the team playing a physical style of basketball that plays to their strengths and the game was played in great spirits. I look forward to the return fixture in January.”
The North School will look to finish 2018 with a return to winning ways when they host Havering Sixth Form College on Wednesday 19 December. Meanwhile, John Roan School will have three weeks away from ABL action for Christmas break before returning with a home tie against Leyton Sixth Form College on Wednesday 9 January.