Price excels but Ipswich lose in Cup Final
PUBLISHED: 11:34 11 February 2019 | UPDATED: 11:34 11 February 2019
NBL Patrons Cup Final
Westminster Warriors 98
A third-quarter scoring drought ended Ipswich's chances of upsetting the odds to win the Patrons Cup, as they went down to promotion contenders Westminster Warriors on Sunday.
Trailing by just six at the break, Ipswich suffered a turgid shooting performance in the third quarter and allowed their opponents to build a surge of momentum which carried the Warriors to a 30-point lead by the opening minutes of the final period.
The game had started strongly for Ipswich, who led 20-18 at the end of the first quarter. Ethan Price got going early and took over in the second quarter, racking up 21 of his game-high 23 points before the break. Marvin Isebor also had six points before the break.
Westminster struggled early with foul trouble affecting key men Justin Hitchman and Juan Manning, but began to find their stride in the second quarter. Hitchman had ten points in the second quarter as Westminster began to assert themselves on the game.
Another Price dunk brought Ipswich back with six going into the break, but at the start of the third quarter Westminster captain Jon Johnson took over.
Johnson had 16 points in the third quarter, as the London side shut Ipswich down at the other end. By the start of the fourth quarter, Ipswich trailed by 25 and any realistic shot at the trophy had passed.
Price finished with 23, but his teammates struggled throughout; Ben Winter finished with nine points and Isebor added 8. By contrast, Westminster had four players in double figures, with Manning tallying 20, Johnson 16 and Hitchman 15.
The Warriors also dominated Ipswich on the glass, out-rebounding John Ellis’ side 56-37.
“I’m extremely proud of the way we approached the game today and gave it everything we had in the first half,” said Ellis.
“We are obviously disappointed with our third quarter performance and don’t feel that we gave a fair account of ourselves.
“The occasion got to us, in my opinion, and we played on emotion which is always dangerous.
Ellis also paid tribute to the large travelling crowd who made the trip to London to back Ipswich.
“We always say we have the best fans in the division, and Sunday proved it. Thank you so much to everyone who came to support us on Sunday.”