VIDEO & REPORT: Ipswich Basketball Club beat Loughborough Riders in Patron’s Cup but lose to Hemel Storm in National Cup
- Credit: Archant
Patrons Cup Ipswich 90 Loughborough 70 National Cup Hemel Storm 95 Ipswich 69 Ipswich Basketball Club played their first double header of the season this weekend, winning comfortably in the Patrons Cup on Saturday against Loughborough Riders in front of British basketball icon John Amaechi, before exiting the National Cup on Sunday against Division One side Hemel Storm.
Facing Loughborough, a team that they had beaten away from home only six days earlier, Ipswich were understandably in a confident mood.
And, with the return of star guard Josh Johnson, the team were in great shape.
But the first quarter did not go according to plan, with the away team seemingly more up for the game than their hosts.
Perhaps it was the presence of basketball legend Amaechi in the stands that had the Suffolk side star-struck, or maybe the team were just starting slowly, but either way this allowed Loughborough to take a 23-14 lead into the interval.
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The second quarter saw Ipswich up their defensive intensity, and turn the game on its head. It was the sharp shooting of Aaron Moseley, who finished with 16 points, on the offensive end that saw Ipswich make a 25-8 run in the period, taking a 39-31 lead into the break.
The third quarter saw the whole Ipswich team catch fire. Sam Newman and Tom Sadler (12 points) both made consecutive three pointers and big Leigh Greenan threw down a ferocious dunk as the home team put the game to bed with ten minutes spare.
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By the end of the third Ipswich had extended their lead to 65–46.
In the fourth Loughborough made a mini-run, but it wasn’t enough to stop Ipswich coach Nick Drane from resting his key starters and give valuable minutes to youngsters Mark James, Rory Winter and Laurence Watsham.
For Ipswich it was again a balanced attack that saw five players in double figures with 7-footer Greenan again the game’s dominant force collecting 19 points and 16 rebounds and taking home the MVP presented to him by match day sponsor ‘Anything Print’.
Drane said: “Loughborough are a good side and I know that Mark Jarram will have them pushing for the top positions in the league this season. Once we woke up we played two excellent quarters of basketball, which today was enough to get the win.”
Sunday saw the team travel to top division one side Hemel Storm.
Despite an excellent first half that saw Ipswich leading for much of the time, a pair of mistakes in the last 30 seconds allowed the home side seven unanswered points to take a slightly flattering 10-point lead into the interval.
In the second half, despite their best efforts, Ipswich just ran out of steam, seemingly exhausted from the previous day’s efforts.
What was a close encounter for three quarters turned into a blowout as Hemel eventually extended their lead beyond 20 points and Drane opted to rest his starters to again allow some of his less experienced players valuable playing time at such a high level.
He said: “It’s not a case of throwing in the towel, but guys like Colin Dockrell, Tom, Leigh and Aaron have a lot of miles on their bodies and while we want that long cup run, there is no point in crippling players, especially with the league season yet to start.
“Luke Mascall-Wright isn’t 100% fit at the moment, Aaron has a bad elbow and other guys need to get that experience out there so today, despite what the scoreboard says, was a good chance for us to measure ourselves against a top side but not kill ourselves in the process.”
Ipswich travel to Derbyshire this weekend to face Derby Arrows in the Patrons Cup, with the first league game the following weekend away to London Westside.