Ipswich Basketball Club Senior Men’s season ended by Lancashire Spinners in semi-final
- Credit: Archant
EBL Division Two play-off semi-final Lancashire Spinners 97 Ipswich 74 With a strong travelling contingent behind them, Ipswich Basketball men’s team were looking to upset the odds and grab an historic victory away in the Spinners’ fortress.
And the early moments would go just as coach Nick Drane would have wanted, with the Blues controlling the opening tip and big man Leigh Greenan showing his touch up front by scoring the game’s first basket with a fine spin move in the low post.
However, it would prove to be a novelty for the first quarter, as the formidable Spinners converted on three quick baskets, including a deep three-point field goal, and jumped to an early lead.
And the quarter ended with a flurry of points from the rampant Spinners, who lead 31-17 at the buzzer and by the eighth minute of the second quarter, were up by as many as 24 points.
Josh Johnson attempted to lead the Blues with courageous play, penetrating the Spinners’ defence, and skipper Tom Sadler nailed jumpers to keep the Suffolk side ticking.
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However, the experienced athletic veterans of the Spinners were firing and took a 22-point lead into the final quarter, despite good energetic shooting from Jacob Lloyd, Billy Smith, Sadler, and Johnson.
Coach, Drane implored his team to give the fans something to cheer for and he would get it from academy star Sam Newman, playing in what would be his final game in an Ipswich Uniform.
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Newman sparked life into the attack, scoring five threes, and spearheading a resurgence in the Blues, as they drew to within 16 points, with seven minutes still to go.
Yet it was not to be enough, and although good plays were converted into points by Rory Winter and Colin Dockrell off the bench, the Spinners proved too strong in the end, so bringing the curtain down on Ipswich Basketball’s 2014/15 campaign.
Newman was again the team’s top scorer with 17 while Johnson and Sadler would both collect 16 apiece. Seven foot Greenan, who has season averages of 20 points and 13 rebounds, again found the Spinners to be his bogey team, finishing with just six points and six rebounds.
Drane said: “You’ve sometimes got to just hold your hands up and admit that the better team won. I don’t think we gave ourselves a chance today with the way we started the game but unlike a lot of people, I am wiling to acknowledge the efforts of our opponents – they just beat the hell out of us today and fair play to them.
“Lancashire are fully deserving of their place in the final and promotion to Division One.”