Captain Tom Sadler stars as Ipswich Basketball Club fight back to beat Brixton and keep play-off dreams alive
- Credit: Archant
EBL Division Two Brixton 77 Ipswich 82 Ipswich made it three wins from four in 2015 with a huge fourth quarter comeback in Brixton.
The Suffolk side travelled to the iconic Brixton Recreation Centre in the knowledge that anything other than a win would put to bed their slim hopes of a top two finish and promotion to Division One.
Ipswich started the game the better of the two teams with their defence causing Brixton all sorts of problems and leapt out to a 12-6 start sparked by seven quick points from Sam Newman.
This was extended to 20-10 behind more great team basketball and in particular, the mid-range shooting of captain Tom Sadler.
However, Brixton managed to wrestle the score back within touching distance, going in at the end of the quarter 26-20 down.
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In the second quarter the London side seized control of the game, going on a run that would open up a seven point lead by half-time.
Ipswich stayed in the game, again behind the shooting of Sadler and Josh Johnson’s ability to get to the lane and finish. For Brixton it was the shooting of guard Luke Baker that was doing much of the damage, as he hit three long-range efforts in the period.
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Brixton took a 48-41 lead into the half time interval.
The third quarter saw Ipswich make only a small dent into the Brixton lead, but significantly they held their opponents to just 14 points in the period meaning that the hosts’ lead was cut to just five as the games final quarter arrived.
But Brixton opened the lead up to 10 with eight minutes to play. After last weekend’s tough losses Ipswich could have easily thrown in the towel but insteda they rolled up their sleeves and showed their true character.
The Suffolk side upped their defence, Sadler continued to knock down shots, Luke Mascall-Wright (13 points) came up with seven quick points and most significantly Johnson simply took the game over.
The Ipswich guard relentlessly attacked the Brixton basket, creating plays for himself and his teammates.
A three from Johnson put Ipswich into the lead with two minutes to play, and Brixton would not get it back.
Ipswich took home a precious 82-77 victory behind an outstanding 24 points and nine rebounds from Sadler and a sensational 23 point, twelve rebound, five assist effort from the dynamic Johnson.
Head coach Nick Drane said: “That might be our best performance of the season. Given what the team has been through in the last week, to show such togetherness and character was just brilliant – it was honestly one of the most satisfying wins this team has had together. It’s going to take a miracle to get promoted this season, and that’s our own fault.
“We’ve lost games we should never have lost, and as a consequence we have found ourselves in a situation where we are heavily relying on other teams dropping games and going on an epic winning streak, but in some ways we now have nothing to lose, as the damage is already done.”
Ipswich are on the road again this weekend where they face league leaders Lancashire Spinners.