Colchester Academy vs COHENEL

The VI6 Colchester  Basketball Academy faced The College of Haringey, Enfield, & North East London on Wednesday in a clash of the Eastern Conference’s mid-table. Colchester entered the game 5thin the league, while COHENEL entered in the 3rdspot. The teams had previously met early in the season, with COHENEL beating Colchester in a close game 56-47. It was a tough fought game for 40 minutes, with the home team ultimately taking the victory to make it their third win in a row. 

Turnovers plagued both teams early on, but as both teams settled into the game, it was clear that the game was going to go to the team who could handle a fast pace best. Dylan Beaird paced Colchester, scoring 11 of their first 19 points, while Josh Green faced foul trouble early on. For COHENEL, a pair of back to back threes helped keep the first quarter from getting away from them, but a buzzer beater three by Johnny Mckew of Colchester took Colchester into the second quarter up 27-18. 

Second and third chance opportunities for COHENEL proved to be a weakness for Colchester, as they were able to close the gap within the first 4 minutes of the second quarter. However, after a Technical Foul on COHENEL’s coach, Colchester kept the pressure on and entered the half up 47-38. The third quarter proved scrappy for both teams, as foul trouble played a role in player rotations. A late surge in the quarter benefitted COHENEL as they came back from 15 down to enter the fourth quarter only down 8. (62-54)

Fouls continued to be an issue for both sides in the final ten minutes, with Colchester making some costly mistakes in quick succession to allow COHENEL to get to within 2 points. Poor shooting and finishing by the home side left them with only 1 point in 6 minutes, while the visitors climbed back to tie up the game with 4 minutes remaining.  The final minutes were a back and forth battle between the two teams, with foul shots and close to the basket finishes being an important factor. Despite a desperation press by COHENEL that caused 3 consecutive turnovers for Colchester, it was too little too late as Colchester finished out with the win, 77-71.  

 Top performers for Colchester: Dylan Beaird had 19 pts, Pete Ellis recorded a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Josh Green and Elijah Adebambo also got into double digit scoring with 13pts and 12pts respectively. Top performers for COHENEL were: R Burnett with 18pts, J Powell with 14pts, and E Omasyarna with 13pts. 

After the game, Head Coach Tom Sadler had this to say: “It was very similar to the last time we played COHENEL. We went up by about 15 and then had to try and sustain the lead going into the fourth. In the first game we weren’t able to do that, fortunately we were able to hold on to it this time. I thought COHENEL fought for every rebound and loose ball, while we did it in small spurts. We were able to handle the press well and show some good movement with the ball on offense, but we still need to keep working on putting together a complete game. We have tried to make it clear that if our shots aren’t dropping we need to keep our heads and not try and force tougher shots or bad passes. Ultimately though, there were a number of positives that helped us take the win and will help us going forward.”