Maya Price stars as Ipswich move to within one win of league title
PUBLISHED: 15:33 19 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:33 19 February 2018
NBL Division Two North
Ipswich moved within one win of securing the Division Two North Championship and promotion to Division One, with another dominant performance away to Northamptonshire Titans, writes Oliver Williams.
The Suffolk side started the game at a blistering pace, opening up an 18-2 lead within five minutes. This lead was extended to 27-8 by the end of the first quarter.
Things didn’t get much better for Northamptonshire in the second quarter – despite scoring 17 points in the period, they could simply not stop Ipswich from scoring. By half-time, the score read 55-25 in favour of the Suffolk side.
The third quarter was a much lower scoring affair. Northamptonshire were playing with a higher level of intensity while Ipswich started the period with a number of careless turnovers forcing coach Nick Drane into a time-out.
After their brief dip in concentration, normal service was resumed. Ipswich finished the period with a 15-6 run, taking a 74-39 lead into the final quarter.
Much like last week’s game against Nottingham, Ipswich seemingly took their foot off the gas, allowing their opponents their best quarter of the game.
Ipswich would still win the period by a single point and the game by a comfortable 36 points.
Maya Price had statistically her best game of the season with 22 rebounds, 5 assists, 7 steals and a season-high 10 blocks, to go with 20 points, including 2/2 from the 3-point line.
Ashleigh Pink was all over the place with 15 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists and 8 steals. Harriet Welham as ever top scored with 32 points while Esther Little was again a triple double threat with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists.
Ipswich now have 2 weeks off in which time Coach Nick Drane will hope to get his roster back to full fitness. Captain Amy Linton has missed the last 4 games with knee pain while Danni Cazey picked up a knock in Northamptonshire.
It is possible that Ipswich could secure the league title before their next game. Should Worcester Wolves lose between now and March 10th when Ipswich next play, then the Suffolk side will be crowned champions due to it being mathematically impossible for anyone to catch them.
Drane said: “It will be good to have a couple of weeks off, it’s been a crazy few weeks and it will be good to get Amy back while some of the other girls can rest some bumps and bruises while the younger girls can now concentrate on helping the u16 girls win a second national cup win of the season.”