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City of London Academy vs Copleston Sixth Form

Defending WEABL Champions City of London Academy opened their account at home this season with a 73-52 victory over Copleston on Wednesday afternoon.

Maya Hyacienth led CoLA with 20 points in the win, supported by nine points from Ashana Hinds.

The first quarter was an up and down affair with both teams making runs, CoLA took a five point lead early only for WEABL veteran and Barry University commit Ashleigh Pink to stamp her mark on the game to give the visitors an early 8-7 lead.

Strong play from young point guard Hinds and vet Kadija Conteh saw the home side up 22-17 at the end of the first. 

The second period saw Copleston mount a comeback behind GB International Maya Price and young prospect Cameron Taylor-Willis dominating around the basket with an array of skilled finishes. Trading baskets most of the way, Price made the last basket of the half to leave the sides tied at 38-38 at the half.

With all to play for in the third, CoLA came out with a point to prove on defense holding the visitors scoreless for the first six minutes of the period, Hyacienth caught fire with eight points in the quarter to see CoLA take a nine-point lead into the final stanza.

The fourth quarter saw CoLA stretch their lead as guards Megan Haines and Hinds controlled the tempo whilst their team played good team defence in securing the win.

Coach Jackson Gibbons said: “I don’t think either coach was happy at half-time with the scores being relatively high, higher than we’d like.

“I challenged our girls at half time to show what they are capable of defensively and the offence would handle itself. The effort in the second is more what I’m looking for than the first.

“We are a very young team this year and this is a great win for us, it will hopefully build character moving forward.

“Copleston have some front runners for All First-Team honours and were in the game start to finish irrespective of the final score, they are a tough outfit who I’m sure no-one will look forward to playing this season.”

Price led the Suffolk side with 18 points with Pink finishing with a further 13.

Both teams now await the next round of games to be confirmed before resuming action.