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Oaklands College Basketball 44 – 50 City of London Academy

Oaklands College hosting COLA for the first WEABL fixture of 2020 and in a close encounter COLA just managed to walk away with the victory, with the final score of 44-50.

A renewed Oaklands looked confident in the early phases and showed vast improvements from there 2019 results, Louise Rouse started the scoring as the forward continues to shine for the Hertfordshire based college.

GB internationals Grace Ashton and Juice Leavold showed their individual improvements, both making 3s and forcing COLA into some early foul trouble. The visitors kept a foot hold in the game through the first half, mainly through the individual scoring contribution of their powerful forward Simone Henshaw, as she score 10 of her teams 22 at the break. Oaklands went into the locker room holding a 29-22 lead.

If the first half surprised the road team, there was no surprise in the response of Jackson Gibbons’ COLA side after the break. A monster 14-3 opening to the third quarter spun the game on its head and left Oaklands having to dig deeper to keep the contest alive.

A Khia Lee triple and a pair of Ashton free throws cut the deficit to 3 going into the final quarter but COLA were able to stay ahead. Henshaw continuing to add toward her game high 16 points and  Mia Sarkodee-Adoo returning to her old stomping ground added 10 points in the half to keep Oaklands at bay and walk away with the 6 point win.

Oaklands coaches were upbeat after the game but recognise their is still work to be done to convert the performance to wins, lead coach Lauren Milligan had this to say: “The girls have really stepped up after the break, we played on the front foot and attacked at both ends of the floor.

“COLA are a very good side and we knew they would come back at us, but I think we gave the impetus away too easily in the second half.

“We went away from the things that gave us success in the first half and that’s the next thing for the players to learn, resilience. It’s the closet we have come to playing the ‘Wolves’ way this season, we need to build on that next week.”

Oaklands were led by Grace Ashton’s 12 points, closely followed by Louise Rouse and Jocie Leavold who had 10 a piece.

COLA’s 16 points from Simone Henshaw was the game high, Mia Sarkodee-Adoo and Emillie Black added 10 each for the visitors.

Next week Oaklands host Copleston High School whilst COLA host Itchen College.