Aston Manor Academy v Stoke on Trent College

Aston Manor did the double over Stoke on Trent College on Wednesday afternoon. With the game living up to its billing, Aston Manor came away with a hard fought 68-65 home win behind Ryan Anglin’s 23 point 10 rebound double-double.

Aston Manor started the strongest with a big 3 pointer from Mo Abushego and raced out to an early 10-3 lead but an ankle injury put Conroy Hayden out of the game and Stoke on Trent capitalised on this by going on a 18-6 run behind some great play from Michael Jara (24 Points). Jara hit two long range bombs to send Stoke 16-21 up at the end of the first.

Anglin was the key influence in the second quarter, kick starting a 12-4 run with some great post defence on Alex Tew which led to Aston Manor snatching a brief 28-25 lead. After a key timeout from Coach Jamison, Stoke responded with some strong play of their own with Bailey Guant scoring 7 of the final 9 points to put Stoke up 36-39 at the half.

A very strong third quarter from Aston Manor saw the game swing into the home teams favour with some excellent defence and balanced scoring. But a key turning point for the game came when Orlando Pope picked up his 4th foul and Aston Manor went on an 8-0 spurt to go up 55-45.

The final quarter started very scrappy and the both sides were trading baskets but with he score 65-59 to Aston, Stoke went on an 8-1 spurt to go into the last minute down 1 point at 66-65. A quick score from Anglin put Aston up by 3 to give the home side some breathing space. With Stoke battling hard to score, Mo Abushego was fouled and had the chance to put the game away with 2 free throws but missed them both. Stoke took a desperation 3 that just missed on the buzzer to put an end to a great game.

“A really great game of basketball, I’d like to congratulate Coach Jamison and his team on their tremendous commitment and courage,” said Head Coach Curtis Xavier. “With so little to choose between the teams perhaps our defence and our rebounding gave us a slight edge. We showed great character when Conroy went out with the ankle injury and Omari splitting his lip, we could have easily folded but Ryan and Akol, in particular, were superb in defence.”

Zack Powell backed up Ryan Anglin with 20 points with Mo Abushego adding 15. Orlando Pope chipped in with 13 and Bailey Guant had 12 for the visitors.

Aston Manor go away to Nottingham Academy next week with Stoke entertaining County Upper at home.