Fouls cost Ipswich basketball team a big victory in Derby Trailblazers battle

Josh Johnson led the scoring against Derby

Josh Johnson led the scoring against Derby - Credit: Archant

A series of crucial errors at key moments in the game cost Ipswich what could have been a massive win on the road as they fell 94-86 in Derby on Saturday night.

Youngster Dylan Costelloe caused Derby problems

Youngster Dylan Costelloe caused Derby problems - Credit: Archant

The Trailblazers were relegated from Division One last season, but have retained the majority of their squad and have also added American star Alex Dorr, who has been leading the division in scoring through the Patrons Cup and early stages of the league campaign.

Captain Tom Sadler scored 12 points

Captain Tom Sadler scored 12 points - Credit: Archant

Ipswich started the better of the two teams, with Tom Sadler going to work in the paint and Josh Johnson getting to the basket, however Derby weathered the early Ipswich storm and found their feet.

Ipswich took a 22-16 lead into the end of the first quarter, looking in control.

The second quarter saw Derby gain control of the game, winning the period by 10 points and establishing a lead that they would not give up for the rest of the game.

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Ipswich couldn’t seem to resist the temptation to foul their opponents, who were able to rack up the points with the clock stopped from the foul line.

Both Leigh Greenan and Colin Dockrell found themselves in foul trouble which, for the second weekend running, forced coach Nick Drane to go away from his usual rotations – leaning heavily on the experience of Sadler to hold things down in the paint. However, youngster Dylan Costelloe was enjoying some extended minutes and was causing Derby problems. Derby took a 45-41 lead into the interval.

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The third quarter again saw Derby maintain their control, extending their lead to 12 at one stage.

When Greenan picked up his fourth foul, Dockrell was introduced and quickly picked up a pair of his own as Ipswich were forced to play with four guards and Sadler.

However, early in the fourth Johnson and Luke Mascall-Wright picked up the tempo and led an Ipswich charge that reduced the deficit to just four points, with seven minutes on the clock and the momentum clearly switched to the away team.

However, a couple of key possessions resulted in the hosts going to the foul line for four free throws and possession of the ball, which ended up with that hard earned four-point margin pushed back up to nine.

Ipswich battled valiantly, but Derby held on to take a hard-fought eight point win.

Drane said: “This is a lesson learned today. Sometimes you lose a game and sometimes you get beaten. Today we lost the game –Derby are a great club, with great people, good players and an excellent set-up.

“That said, there were clearly a few occasions today where we made bad decisions which resulted in them, and Alex Dorr in particular, punishing us.

“Bottom line is that we have to make adjustments – if a guy is shooting 90% from the foul line then you can put him on the line 19 times.

“However, I still feel that we are going to be a very good team in this division and it is my job as the coach to make those adjustments at practice this week so we are ready for the next battle.”

Ipswich play at home at Copleston next Saturday against London Westside at the later tip-off time of 5.30pm.

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