Ipswich Basketball Club round-up: Esther Little and Cameron Taylor-Willis shine for Under-16 girls

England star Esther Little led Ipswich with 23 points

England star Esther Little led Ipswich with 23 points - Credit: Archant

The weekend saw several of Ipswich Basketball Club’s junior sides also get their campaigns underway, writes Rob Schatten.

Coach Hayley Rigby oversaw the weekend’s only win for Ipswich’s juniors, as her first match as under-16 Girls’ coach ended with a 74-50 win at Nottingham Wildcats.

During a close first quarter the Ipswich girls were able to edge ahead with a 10 point lead going into the half. After the break, they made the most of their experience to run away to eventually record a more comfortable victory.

“Whilst the game was high intensity, the players didn’t quit,” said coach Rigby. “Whilst it was a good win, there are still improvements to be made. Nevertheless, it’s a great start to the season for the team with all players contributing.”

Esther Little and Cameron Taylor-Willis scored 23 points apiece, with Ella Pearson adding nine – all three on the back of being named to international teams during this past summer.

Adam Robinson’s tenure as under-16 Boys’ coach began with a 57-49 defeat at NASSA.

After a tremendous start, Ipswich saw a first-quarter lead slip away. Ethan Price led the way with 19 and Ahmed Yusoof added 13, but despite a fourth-quarter comeback a combination of defensive lapses and turnovers led to the boys starting the season 0-1.

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At Copleston, there was a tough 45-77 loss to Shoeburyness Scorpions for Syd Payne’s under-14 Boys, with the coach noting his players displayed glimpses of their potential but fell due to inconsistent levels of defence.

The work ethic of Riley Clarkson and Luke Da Silva stood out, as well as a good debut for young Issac Holland.

Da Silva led the way with 12 points and Ben Michaels had 10.

Noel Lambert is another coach with a new brief this season, and he saw his under-18 men make a strong start before eventually running out of steam for a 67-64 loss at Milton Keynes Trojans.

The veteran coach said the performance was “not bad, with two players making National League debuts and I’m sure we will see more from them.” Ben Winter (18 points) and Matt Spurling (16) led the scoring.

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