Ipswich win Anglian derby clash in Norfolk but get mugged by Hoods
PUBLISHED: 12:27 03 October 2017 | UPDATED: 12:27 03 October 2017
Patrons’ Cup Group Stage
Nottingham Hoods 78
National Cup Second Round
Norfolk Titans 64
It was a mixed weekend for Ipswich Basketball Club’s Senior Men, with a win and a loss in cup competitions, writes Rob Schatten.
A much-improved performance was not enough to secure a road win in Nottingham on Saturday as the Suffolk side exited the Patrons’ Cup.
The nine-man squad tailed off in the second half, but for the first 25 minutes of this game they competed shot-for-shot with a Nottingham side who beat Essex Leopards two weeks ago.
David Watts started out hot with 17 points in the first quarter, but his team-mates combined for just six during that time. Ipswich, themselves making a red-hot start to the game by netting seven of their first eight three-pointers, led after one quarter, 24-23.
By half-time, Hoods wings Delaney Powell and Luke Mitchell had begin to find some form, and the hosts edged back into a six-point lead.
At the other end, Ipswich’s early offence was anchored by the shooting of Cameron Hawes and Dan Ashby and the inside presence of Colin Dockrell. Quan Gill, making his debut following a delay in his registration, had five first-half assists.
Head Coach John Ellis emphasised at half-time that the team had to continue their improvement, and although fewer made shots meant the game got away from the Blues in the second half, there were tangible improvements across the board.
“All in all, Saturday’s performance was very encouraging,” said coach Ellis. “We improved in a lot of the areas that led to the lopsided loss last week.
“There are obviously still things to work on, but defensively we were better, and we offered more on offense, especially in the early stages.
“It’s a headache that we haven’t had anything close to a full team available yet, but we have to take the positives out of that – our younger guys had to step up and contribute today and for the most part I was very pleased with them.”
Ipswich Basketball Academy prospects Ben Winter, Blake Read and Pelumi Oguntoyinbo all made the journey and each had positive contributions to take away, with Winter in particular drawing plaudits from several Hoods players.
Veteran captain Dockrell led the way for Ipswich with 22 points. Hawes shot efficiently to finish with 19, and Jonny Hall added nine points and an eye-catching 20 rebounds.
Ipswich were straight back in action on Sunday, as a reinforced side headed to Division IV newcomers Norfolk Titans for a National Cup Second Round clash.
Ben Mobee, Jed Robinson and Rabi Rai joined Saturday’s squad and started for Ipswich but it was the hosts who made the better start, building a nine-point lead midway through the first quarter.
Ipswich exploded for 29 points in the second quarter behind seven three-pointers, from Rai, Hawes and Brad Potter, and limited their opponents to just 11 in the frame to take a 44-33 lead into half-time.
Although Norfolk are a new club in National League, they feature plenty of experience at that level with former Kings Lynn Fury players and junior National Leaguers in the roster, and at no point did the hosts look like quitting.
Ipswich briefly built a 20-point lead in the third quarter before Norfolk pegged them back, getting back within single digits by the end of the period.
Once again, the Titans ran out of offence in the fourth, and a line-up of Dockrell and Hall eventually took its toll on the undersized Titans.
“We played sloppy basketball at times today, but I’m really pleased with our second and fourth quarter performances,” coach Ellis added.
“We’ve had a reasonably good shooting weekend and the turnovers keep coming down, so let’s build on the positives when league play gets underway and start really finding out how we stack up against Division II opposition.”
Rai posted a game-high 26 points, adding five rebounds, five assists and five steals. Hawes kept up his form from Saturday to finish with 22 points, while Dockrell tallied another 15. Jordan Roberts had 19 for the hosts.