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Barking Abbey 52 -53 John Madejski Academy (After 1OT)

Barking Abbey lost a heartbreaker in overtime, 53-52, to the JMA Reading Rockets on Wednesday afternoon.

Barking got off to a fast start, taking an early 6 point lead behind baskets from Cynthia Adebayo and Elizabeth Osilya. JMA would respond behind the excellent Spanish guard Espinosa, who would go on to be the games top scorer.  Barking led after the first quarter 16 – 7.

The second quarter saw both teams play well offensively, especially Barking’s Kian Jones and Tamara Onakedo, both providing good spells.  JMA would also play well in the quarter behind Espinosa and fellow Spanish guard Sanchez.  JMA would win the quarter by 2 but go in at halftime down by 7.

The third quarter was a defensive affair with Barking only scoring 4 points in the quarter and JMA limited to just 9 themselves.  There was very little between both teams with Barking holding a small two point lead entering the 4th.

The fourth was a nervy affair with both teams playing good defence, the last two minutes were back and forth with both teams having opportunities to win it in regulation but a last second shot by Reading would miss, taking the game to overtime.

In the extra period, Spanish guard Moreno (who had struggled shooting the ball for most of the game) hit two huge threes to give JMA a lead heading into the last minute.  Barking would call timeout down by one, Lily Annim would find herself open, cutting to the rim and would be fouled giving her two free throws with 8 seconds left.  She would hit both shots, giving Barking a slender one point lead. Moreno would take the ball the length of the court and get fouled going to the rim as well though, creating a spectacle to end the contest.

The young guard calmly knocked down both free throws with 1 second left, making it impossible with no timeouts for Barking to get a shot off.

Head coach Mark Clark was happy with the performance despite the final score: “We played well at times today and this was great advert for the WEABL, we had contributions from a number of players and I can see a lot of players improving week by week.”

Top scorers for Barking were Elizabeth Osilaja on 12, Lilly Annim with 12 and Tamara Onakedo on 12. JMA’s top scorers included Sitota Espinosa on 20, Carmen Moreno on 13 and Gabriela Sanchez with 9.