Ipswich Basketball Men win in the league but exit the cup
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich’s Senior men split the results of another double-header this weekend, securing a first league win of the season against Liverpool on Saturday before putting up a superb performance in a cup defeat to Division One Hemel Storm, writes Rob Schatten.
Saturday’s clash at Copleston saw a tepid first half, as the two sides ended the half tied on 35, unfold into a controlling performance after the break by coach John Ellis’ side.
Having allowed the visitors to control the tempo early on, Ipswich forced up the pace after the break and an early 18-6 run established the home side’s supremacy.
Ellis made the most of his deep bench and Ipswich kept up the pace the rest of the way behind a strong offensive display from Cameron Hawes, who finished with a game-high 19 points.
Debutant Tola Okiki filled up the stat sheet while Colin Dockrell (17 points) and Jonny Hall (16) were the other leading scorers.
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Off the back of that improved performance, the Suffolk side travelled to Hemel Hempstead as underdogs on Sunday and for the first 25 minutes of the game had Hemel Storm very much fearing an upset.
With captain Dockrell putting in his most efficient offensive performance of the season, and Okiki and Rabi Rai chipping in enough points to keep the offense ticking, it was Ipswich’s determination in securing rebounds which propelled them to a six-point half-time lead.
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A rapid-fire 16-1 run powered by Hemel’s Adeluola and Yeboah propelled Hemel into a twelve-point lead from which Ipswich were unable to recover.
“This has been an eventful weekend,” said Ellis. “Getting a first league win of the season was an important marker, and looking at results around Division II, the league will be very open this year.
“I couldn’t have been prouder of my players for their performance Sunday. Aside from a two-minute spell near the end of the third quarter, we outscored a fully-staffed Division I programme on their court.”
Ipswich will look to keep improving when they travel to Nottingham for the second time in a month, this time to face the Hoods in Division II, this weekend.