Ipswich burned on the buzzer by Huddersfield Heat
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich basketball team fell to a heartbreaking defeat on the buzzer to unbeaten Huddersfield at the weekend.
National League 2
Huddersfield Heat 80
Ipswich went into their game against Huddersfield still on a high after their amazing 15-point comeback from the previous week against London Westside, only to end up on the receiving end of a similar fourth quarter fightback against an excellent Huddersfield Heat team.
Ipswich started the better of the two teams with Aaron Moseley scoring both from beyond the arc and attacking the basket while unbeaten Huddersfield looked sluggish in the opening minutes of the game.
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Following a time-out Huddersfield came to life, and the game began to go back and forth as it would for the rest of the encounter.
The first quarter would finish with the Heat hitting a three-pointer on the buzzer to go up by three, not for the last time in this game.
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The second quarter saw both teams clamp down defensively and scores were much harder to come by.
Both star guard Josh Johnson and captain Tom Sadler were struggling to get their offence going for Ipswich, while Miguel Molina, Huddersfield’s leading scorer, was also not firing on all cylinders.
A Johnson lay-up on the buzzer kept the scores close going into the interval for Ipswich, with the Heat enjoying a narrow 42-38 lead.
But the third quarter saw Ipswich take the game over.
The energy of Luke Mascall-Wright combined with the shooting of Sadler and improved rebounding allowed Ipswich to dictate the tempo of the game, and at one stage they stretched the lead to 13, before a pair of Heat buckets at the end of the period narrowed things to nine.
Ipswich led 65-56 going into the final period.
The fourth period was about as dramatic as things can get. Huddersfield’s Molina stepped up his game and made a pair of contested three pointers that quickly narrowed the gap to five points, and then things went back and forth with Sadler knocking one down from the arc only to be answered instantly by Molina again.
Costly turnovers and missed free throws meant that with 15 seconds on the clock Josh Johnson went to the foul line with Ipswich down by one.
After hitting one of two, the game was tied and the Heat had possession. Somehow, amongst all the intensity and excitement Huddersfield’s American import Nick Crowder found himself open on the three point line as time wound down – and he nailed the huge game-winning shot for Huddersfield.
Ipswich head coach Nick Drane said: “Huddersfield is the best team we have played this season, but I think we showed today that we belong in this division and that when we play well we can beat anybody.
“However, hats off to them today – to come back from nine down and beat us on our own floor shows impressive guts and resolve from a very talented team.”
Drane added: “We made some really basic mistakes today – if our under 13’s shot 47% from the foul line or turned the ball over 23 times I would be asking questions so for our men’s team to make those types of mistakes in a game of this importance means we need to be almost perfect in all other areas if we were going to win today.”
Top scorers were Sadler and Moseley with 17 points and Johnson with 14.
Ipswich’s next game is at the Copper Box Arena at the Olympic Park next Sunday against Eastside Eagles, at 1pm as they look to bounce back and get that all important first league win away from home of the season. The team’s next home game in on November 30 against Worcester Wolves.
The game tips off at 4:30pm at Copleston High School.