Ipswich’s season comes to an end with a play-off defeat to Nottingham Hoods

Tom Sadler top-scored for Ipswich with 23

Tom Sadler top-scored for Ipswich with 23 - Credit: Archant

The topsy-turvy season for Ipswich Basketball’s senior men ended with an 80-55 play-off defeat at Nottingham Hoods on Saturday.

Having started the season among the favourites for the title, the Suffolk side have been plagued by injuries to key players and the departure of some off-season signings.

That saw their charge stumble, before a second-half resurgence ensured they finished in the play-off places.

But for this game Ipswich were without head coach Nick Drane, serving a suspension for his ejection in their last game, and new guard Edson Ferreira, who was struck down with a severe virus.

To say the team had their backs against the wall would be an under statement.

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The one-sided contest was defined by Nottingham’s outstanding perimeter shooting - the hosts made 14 of 26 three pointers, including a stellar performance by Luke Mitchell. as the England U18 guard connected on eight of his 13 threes on the way to a game high 26 points.

Ipswich used a strong offensive performance from captain Tom Sadler to stay close early and trailed by only two points after the first quarter, 17-15.

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But beating the Hoods’ press was consistently problematic for the visitors in the absence of Ferreira, and Ipswich had 14 turnovers by half time. Nottingham would finish the game with just five.

After registering a single field goal in the second quarter, Ipswich watched the hosts knock down six threes in the closing minutes of the second quarter.

Nick Newman’s side trailed by 21 at half-time and were unable to get within 14 despite a spirited third quarter performance.

Mitchell, reasonably quiet before half time, exploded for 17 points in the final 15 minutes of the game, and despite Caleb Fuller attacking the basket and repeatedly getting to the free throw line, Ipswich couldn’t make a decisive dent in the lead.

Miguel Lorenzo added 22 points for the hosts, who won the fifth matchup of the season between these two sides – remarkably, with Ipswich winning three and Nottingham two of those games, only one has been decided by single digits.

Sadler once again led the scoring for Ipswich with 23. Fuller added 15 and Sam Newman, who heads off to college in North America next season, posted 13.

Drane said: “It’s been another roller-coaster season.

“We finished the season with just four players that lined up for us on the first day of the season.

“We’ve been through a lot, we have learned a lot and we’ve grown.

“I’m already excited about next season.”

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