Unbeaten Ipswich Basketball Club reach the semi-finals of cup

Leigh Greenan scored 23 against Derby

Leigh Greenan scored 23 against Derby - Credit: Archant

Their league season has yet to start, but Ipswich Basketball Club’s Senior Men have already reached the semi-finals of a national cup competition.

Josh Johnson scores against Derby

Josh Johnson scores against Derby - Credit: Archant

The still unbeaten squad travelled to London on Saturday to defeat London United before returning home and seeing off the Derby Trailblazers at Copleston on Sunday, with both games in the Patrons Cup.

Thus, they will launch their assault on Division Two of the National League on Saturday safe in the knowledge they will be playing in the final four of the cup competition for the fourth time in the club’s history.

On Saturday the team started nervously without star big men Leigh Greenan and Tom Sadler but Colin Dockrell filled in admirably as Ipswich took the lead at 10-8 and would lead the rest of the way.

Meanwhile, youngster Dapo Costa thrived on some extended playing time and Isaac Omirin shut down United’s leading scorer leading scorer Elvisi Dusha, holding him to a season low six points.

Luke Mascall-Wright led Ipswich with 22 points, Josh Johnson added 16 and Dylan Costelloe poured in 14 as the Suffolk side eased to victory.

Then it was back to Copleston to face a formidable Derby Trailblazers team who were only relegated from Division One last year, and who were also undefeated.

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And the game did not disappoint. A strong start from Ipswich saw them controlling the early encounters.

They were dominating the boards at both ends of the court, and on the back of two big three pointers from Tom Sadler jumped out to an early 8-5 lead.

But Derby were made of sterner stuff than Ipswich’s previous opponents, and stayed in touch despite Ipswich threatening to storm to a big early lead.

But the home side Ipswich remained dominant, with Sadler in particular shooting the lights out, and Ipswich lead 27-19 at the end of the first period.

The second quarter was quite a different affair however, Derby fighting back to tie the game at 29-29 and then actually pushing out to a four-point lead.

Bruised but undaunted, Ipswich battled back to lead by two at the half.

In the second half the raucous home crowd really kicked in and Ipswich surged, a huge two-handed dunk by seven-footer Greenan giving them a 53-44 lead which they stretched to 62-52 by the end of the quarter.

Derby showed their Division One quality to cut the lead to 71-68 with some massive plays, but Ipswich simply would not be denied, and they put in a Herculean effort to pour in a game-breaking six-point run down the stretch to take the game out of Derby’s reach at 77-68.

The teams then traded free-throws in the dying seconds, but the war had been won and Derby could not catch the home team, who ran out winners 81-73 in a truly memorable game.

Greenan and Johnson led the scoring with 23 points, while captain Sadler added 17.

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