CoLA hold off Itchen in WEABL Final thriller -

CoLA hold off Itchen in WEABL Final thriller

CoLA 2023 WEABL Champions

City of London Academy won their third consecutive WEABL championship with a 72-60 win over Itchen in a final thriller on Wednesday at the NBPC in Manchester.

Ebere Egbirika finished with 21 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals to pick up MVP honours, with Emily O’Connell and Violet Stutz adding 12 each, as CoLA avenged their only loss of the season to Itchen.

“I’m really proud of my team,” Egbirika said after the game.

“We all worked hard to get here, I’m proud of the way we played, we played until the end, everyone was supportive, I’m just proud we got the result we wanted.”

CoLA led by as many as 17 but a 15-0 run by Itchen in the third saw them come storming back before a quick 7-0 run punctuated by a deep O’Connell three pointer at the quarter buzzer kept CoLA’s cushion as they ran out winners.

“Right now I’m in awe of Itchen college,” CoLA Head Coach Jackson Gibbons said.

“I’ve watched a lot of those girls from U16 – they should be so proud, I don’t think there was a loser today, I think you just had two great teams and a great advert for WEABL basketball.

“I’m really proud of our girls. Itchen stopped us from playing the way we wanted to play. I think we showed some resilience and toughness within our group to make some shots when it was rough and it’s part of the chemistry and culture that we’ve got within our team – everyone feels connected.”

The victors did a good job of neutralising the scoring of South Conference MVP Faye Endean, who was held to seven points, but added 10 rebounds, seven assists and five steals.

Itchen were led by 22 points from Anna Nevison, along with 12 points Florrie Cotterill before she fouled out.

Box score.

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