Barking Abbey continued their undefeated run in the EABL, beating Canterbury 92-70 on the final day of the term Wednesday.
Big runs in the first and third quarters proved the difference, as Barking cruised home to the victory. Barking Abbey’s depth was key with all 11 players scoring and six players scoring 8 or more.
The victory means Barking Abbey have still not lost a game in the EABL since the 2015-16 season, having gone undefeated last year on their way to the National Championship.
“It’s always tough to play at Canterbury,” said Barking Abbey head coach Lloyd Gardner. “We played well in stretches but were not consistent throughout on both ends of the floor.”
Canterbury head coach Jesse Savant added, “I’m proud with how our guys competed today. People stepped up when given an opportunity. Barking Abbey are so solid and can beat you so many ways. They were too good on the day for us to get consistent stops to get back into the game.”
The game started out tight, with a banked 3 followed by a shot clock buzzer beater 3 giving Barking a lead, with Micah Savery-Richards and Ade Adebayo leading the way. Barking stepped up their defence and Alex Ferguson scored on consecutive possessions to give them a 23-12 lead at the end of the first.
The second quarter saw the teams slug it out, trading tough scores at both ends of the court. Barking stretched the lead early in the quarter, but Canterbury rallied behind Jonathan Brown, Elliot Bailey and Chester Morrell who hit a couple of tough shots in scoring 10 points in the second quarter. Caleb Fuller led the charge for Barking, scoring 7 straight points, as Barking stretched their lead slightly to 48-34 at the half.
Canterbury started the second half strongly with Brown starting the run and then Morrell hitting another 2 three pointers. But Pierce Maslen answered everything for Barking, eventually scoring 13 points in the quarter.
With only Brown scoring consistently for Canterbury (12 points in the third), Fuller, Jonathan St Hilaire and Theo Hughes all supported Maslen, as Barking racked up 33 points in the quarter to lead 81-53 entering the final quarter.
Milo Gordon stepped up for Canterbury in the fourth, scoring 8 points as he combined with Brown to gradually ate into the lead. Savery-Richards was again key for Barking in keeping the game out of reach.
Maslen led Barking with 16 points, followed by Savery-Richards (15), Fuller (14), Daniel Delgado (10), Ferguson (9) and St Hilaire (8). Brown was the game’s top scorer with 25, while Morrell added 18, Gordon had 12 and Elliot Bailey had 8.
Gardner concluded saying, “It was good to get a win against one of the best teams in our EABL conference to close out the first half of the season.”
Barking Abbey now sit at 6-0 on top of the conference while Canterbury fall to 5-3. Barking return to action on 17 January when they travel to winless BHASVIC, while Canterbury face a key game for playoff positioning when they host Itchen.