The North School vs College of Haringey, Enfield & North East London

The North School Lions’ winning run came to an end as they dropped a hotly contested encounter at home to CoHENEL, as the visitors picked up a 68-79 win on Wednesday 28 November.

CoHENEL jumped out to an early 7-0 lead as they pushed hard in transition after getting defensive stops, but the Lions responded with poise to stifle the visitor’s penetration and establish an offensive rhythm in the half-court. The North School Captains Jay Parnell and Sean Trumper combined for 16 points to spark a 22-12 run for the hosts, as they grabbed a 22-19 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The visitors would dominate the boards in the second quarter, consistently limiting the Lions to one shot while getting multiple second chance opportunities at the other end. An emphatic 21-8 rebounding advantage allowed CoHENEL to take the quarter by a score of 14-24, giving them a 36-43 half-time lead. Rupert Burnett was key for the road team, scoring 15 first-half points, courtesy of his fearless play and scoring versatility.

Sean Trumper scored the Lions first seven points of the third quarter to bring the score to 43-49, but the loss of starting point guard Jay Parnell to injury saw COHENEL’s full-court pressure force the home team into multiple turnovers. The visitors were clinical in converting those turnovers into fast break points as the Lions found themselves trailing 53-65 with one quarter to go, despite eight points to close the quarter from Kai Potts.

The fourth quarter saw the Lions battle for every possession, as Trumper was again instrumental on the offensive end with 10 points in the quarter. The North School’s disruptive half-court pressure allowed them to get key stops, but COHENEL matched their intensity with the game on the line. The hosts edged the quarter by a single point, but it was not enough as the visitors came away with a well-deserved 68-79 victory.

Sean Trumper led all scorers with 30 points for the Lions, whilst teammates Parnell and Potts shared the scoring load as they chipped in 12 points each. Senior guard Simeon Fournillier was a real difference-maker for the Lions, as his instinctive play and energy inspired the Lions to battle until the final buzzer. CoHENEL had four players hit double figures, with the impressive Rupert Burnett scoring a team-high 22 points, whilst teammates Emmanel Omosanya (15), Andrew Konadu (14) and Joseph Powell (10) were key contributors.

Lions’ Coach Andrew Sunderland commented, “We are disappointed with our performance today. The team has been fantastic all week in practice and we were really happy with the game plan that we put together, but we weren’t able to execute for four quarters. Credit to Coach AJ Roberts and his team, they did a great job of taking us out of our comfort zone and they played with passion and intensity – COHENEL fully deserved the win.

“I am really proud of our team for the progression we are making – but it’s on us, starting with me, to turn this progression into on-court results. Our focus now is on being a better version of ourselves for next week’s game against Northfleet. We know Coach Martin Parry and his team well, and the game is going to be a good battle!”

CoHENEL will look to continue their fine form when they host the John Roan School in next week’s ABL action, whilst The North School will look to regroup as they host Northfleet Technology College in an all-Kent derby.