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City of London Academy 61 v 40 Oaklands College

City of London Academy and Oaklands Wolves both looked to end winless streaks and grab their first victory of the season, with the London side making full use of the home court advantage to win 61 – 40.

From the opening tip CoLA jumped out to a 7-0 lead, exerting their dominance on the interior with some nifty passing between starters Funmi Amode and Simona Henshaw. Oaklands didn’t get off the mark until the fifth minute of the quarter, but when they did they started to play some good basketball with the 1st quarter ending 13-6 in favour of the home side.

The 2nd quarter CoLA continued to drill the ball inside with high low looks for Henshaw and U16 starlet Isi Ozzy-Momodu. Shanice Flitton got in on the action with a couple of strong finishes inside, including an and-one play to lift the home crowd to their feet.

Fiona Wharton was a consistent threat on both ends of the floor for Oaklands with ball pressure on defence and penetrating drives to the basketball on offence that the home side struggled to deal with. The second quarter would end with CoLA up 33-15.

After the break Oaklands switched to the 1-3-1 zone they used much of last season which initially slowed the home side down for a while allowing the Wolves to reduce the gap to 12 points at one stage.

CoLA made some adjustments of their own midway through the 3rd quarter to extend the lead back to 15 points behind the play of Ozzy-Momodo and Victoria Natufe, who combined well. Ameila Sandie had a steady game contributing 12 points and valuable leadership. For Oakland’s Louise Rouse was a standout player in the frame, hitting a number of mid-range jumpers.

The 4th quarter saw CoLA extend their lead to twenty as Nell Stewart weighed in from three point land and Natufe sealed the deal with some nice inside scoring to give the south London outfit a slightly flattering 21 point victory.

CoLA were led in scoring by Ozzy-Momodu and Sandie, both with 12 points and Funmi Amode who chipped in with 10 points. Oaklands scoring was paced by Wharton with 10 points and Rouse who finished with 6 points personal.

CoLA Assistant Coach Brian Nguru said of the game: “I really like the potential this team has. There is a lot to teach our team and at times it can be frustrating having to really break things down, everyone seems to be understanding roles a lot more now and we have some girls who are due back from injury so I like our chances going into the next phase of the season. We’ve been¬†especially pleased with Funmi Amode’s last couple of performances, it’s nice to see her grow into a role and she justified her starting spot today. Credit to Oakland’s they didn’t make it easy and we’ll be conscious of that when we go to their place.”

Both teams are off for a couple of weeks and then return on the 6th November with CoLA travelling to a tough Itchen side and Oaklands making the difficult trip to second placed Copleston on the same day.