Barking Abbey were made to work hard to keep their unbeaten run intact but ultimately came out with a 69-76 win over John Madejski Academy on Wednesday afternoon on the road.
Behind 25 points from Theo Hughes, BA moved to 11-0 in the competition atop of the East Conference, using a 6-0 run in the final two minutes to get a cushion they would be able to ride for the win.
“Today we went into an extremely tough environment and I thought we did well to come out with a win,” said BA Head Coach Lloyd Gardner. “Similar to many games in recent weeks, I thought we played really well in stretches but we need to be more consistent.
“We let JMA have too many runs of their own, all credit to them, a lot of that was good play on their part, but if we have hopes of going deep into this competition then we need to limit the runs we give to other teams. We showed great resilience again when needed, we were able to step up; I thought our half court defence was improving today, at times it was very good.”
Supporting Theo Hughes was Caleb Fuller with 15 points and Micah Savery-Richards and Andre Lavinier with 7-a-piece.
For JMA, Adrian Nosa Castillo once again led with 22 points, with David Obediah scoring 14 and Asher Ndah 11.
JMA Head Coach Alan Keane was pleased with his team’s performance against Barking but felt there may have been a missed opportunity to upset the odds today. He said:
“It was a really competitive game against one of the top teams in the EABL and it gave us an opportunity to benchmark ourselves and see where we are in terms of competing against one of the best in the country.
“We were really pleased with our competitiveness and our ability to compete at that level and indeed have a chance down the stretch to win the game but a couple of mistakes in key moments really cost us and meant we could quite pull off the win we were eager for.
“As always we will review, reflect and be better but then the focus moves on to our next game against Itchen which is huge for both teams in terms of the race for the play-offs and we really can’t wait for that next challenge after half term.”
Barking Abbey will now return home to host the City of London Academy on Thursday Feb 22, in their penultimate regular season game.