Ipswich Women make it six wins in a row as they down Rockets in National Cup
- Credit: Archant
National Cup Reading Rockets 70 Ipswich 91 Ipswich Basketball Club’s Senior Women booked their place in the semi-final of the National Cup with a comprehensive victory on the road at Division One side Reading Rockets, writes William Russell.
The red hot Suffolk side made it six wins out of six to start the season with perhaps their best display to date, winning all four quarters and holding off a very talented and well-drilled team from the division above them.
After starting the slower of the two teams, Ipswich went on a run as the first quarter drew to a close, as a steal by 14-year old Cameron Taylor-Willis led to an Ashleigh Pink lay-up that gave the visitors a 19-16 lead after the first quarter.
This play sparked a run that saw Ipswich open up a 17-point lead mid-way through the second period, with seemingly the whole team getting in on the act.
Harriet Welham, Ashleigh Pink, Jessica Baker and Maya Price all connected on three-pointers and everything Ipswich shot went in.
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However, Reading are a proven top level team and clawed the game back to just five heading into half time at 41-36.
Ipswich again upped the lead up to double figures in the third quarter, with some suffocating defence, led by the presence of Price and Great Britain international Esther Little.
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Reading continued to battle, but Ipswich had extended the score to 71-54 at the end of the third.
In the fourth, as Reading chased the game, Ipswich showed great composure and the ability to kill a game off. Pink made back-to-back threes, followed by six straight from Danni Cazey, while Amy Linton and Jazmine Tebbit made key defensive plays.
Head coach Nick Drane said: “This was an excellent team performance. Much like the Loughborough game, I thought we showed real poise down the stretch, when teams can go on runs and make the final minutes so tense. Our bench was huge again today, and I thought our starters did a great job – the thing is I think there is still so much to improve on.”
Welham led Ipswich with 32 points, Price added 18 and Cazey 17.
Of the six games Ipswich have played on this winning streak, only two have been on their home court.
They have this weekend off before they travel to another undefeated team in their Division, Derbyshire Gems, in what could be a pivotal game in the league.