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City of London Academy 59 – 37 Barking Abbey

The battle for third place in the WEABL Southern Conference took place at City of London Academy on Wednesday between two time WEABL Champions Barking Abbey and the reigning Southern Conference champions, CoLA.

The first quarter saw both teams trade baskets back and forth, with Barking’s third year leader Jolecia Cadogan staring fast as she looked to make her mark on the game. Simona Henshaw came firing back with seven quick points to leave the first quarter close at 14-12 to CoLA.

The second quarter saw the home side manage to break the game open, with multiple defensive stops leading to transition baskets. Barking rallied late to keep the lead to 14 points going into the second half.

After half time Barking switched to a zone. CoLA, who are much improved against zones in 2020 didn’t flinch and extended their lead to 17 going into the final period.

The fourth quarter CoLA continued to play well against the BA zone whilst also turning it up a gear on defense, limiting the visitors until the late stages.

CoLA Assistant Coach Brian Nguru said after the game: “I’m really proud of our girls for their resilience and great defensive performance against a tough Barking Abbey squad. Any time you can hold a team with outstanding players to nine points in a half you have to be happy. Barking should also be proud as they kept fighting until the final buzzer and will be a big threat in the playoffs. We are looking forward to preparing for the playoffs ourselves.

“I especially feel proud of how our girls have battled through adversity, so many injuries this season and they have just kept plugging away to have our two best results at home in our last two games.”

CoLA were led in scoring by breakout player of the year Simona Henshaw with 16 points, Isi Ozzy-Momodu’s 15 points (11 rebounds) and Emilie Black with 12 points. Barking were led by Cadogan with nine, Elizabeth Osilaja with eight points and Tamara Fournillier-Onadeko with seven points.

Barking have secured fourth place in the south which means they will travel to perennial North Champions Charnwood Riders, whilst CoLA will also hit the road to face the North’s runner up in Nottingham Academy, who have emerged as one of the top academy’s in the WEABL this season.