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Ipswich Basketball Club’s Women show class in weekend win double

Ipswich's Ashleigh Pink was in fine form in their win at Loughborough. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

Ipswich's Ashleigh Pink was in fine form in their win at Loughborough. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

PAVEL.KRICKA@btinternet.com

Ipswich Basketball Club’s Senior Women showed off all their considerable qualities this weekend during their back-to-back games in the Midlands.

Ipswich's Harriet Welham scored 30 points in the first half alone at Mansfield. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA Ipswich's Harriet Welham scored 30 points in the first half alone at Mansfield. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

On Saturday the team faced the experienced Mansfield Giants in the second league game of the season.

After a slow start, the Suffolk side adjusted to the considerable size advantage held by their opponents and blew the lead wide open with a combination of fast paced transition basketball and the long distance of shooting guard Harriet Welham.

Welham connected on an absurd seven three pointers and scored 30 points in the first half alone. Up 46-30 at the half it wasn’t only Welham doing damage as Maya Price was dominating inside and Danni Cazey and Amy Linton caused constant problems for their opponents.

In the second half the Giants simply could not keep up with the Ipswich pace. Ines Bowman-Boyles stepped up again for Ipswich while Esther Little show off her considerable all-round ability, contributing all over the court.

Jasmine Tebbit came in off the bench and gave the team quality minutes, while young Ella Pearson showed that she was ready for senior level basketball. Ipswich rounded off a huge 91-47 win.

Welham would finish with a season high 38 points, while Maya Price added eight points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks. Danni Cazey was all over the place with 11 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Elsewhere, 16-year-old Little recorded the team’s first triple-double of the season with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Ipswich are currently top of WNBL Division Two North with a 2-0 start and a basket difference of +65.

On Sunday the team played game two of their long weekend, on the road in the National Cup to Division One side Loughborough Riders.

Maya Price is a defensive force for Ipswich. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA Maya Price is a defensive force for Ipswich. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

Having won their first three competitive games by an average margin of over 35 points per game, the Ipswich team knew that the test of a team from the division above, on the road on day to of a double-header, was going to be a very different challenge.

Loughborough held a 20-14 lead after the first period, but Ipswich managed to reduce it to just two points at the half, 35-33. However, in the third, as both teams began to tire, Ipswich’s character began to shine through, as they turned that two point deficit into a two point lead of their own.

The fourth quarter was all about the visitors. Ipswich put together the perfect quarter, combining multiple defensive stops with key plays on the offensive end. Three-pointers from Ashleigh Pink, Amy Linton, Little and Welham saw the lead quickly jump to twelve, with Price taking the game over at the defensive end.

Ipswich continued to extend the lead as the game drew to a close, holding Loughborough to just 17 points in the second half, eventually extending the lead to a resounding 69-52 as the buzzer sounded.

“This was an outstanding result. I doubt we will play better basketball than we did today in the fourth quarter” said head coach Nick Drane.

“Whether it’s Loughborough or Charnwood, they are all part of the wider Leicester Riders programme, and they are one of the biggest and best funded programmes in the country.

“To go there with a group of girls who have all been with Ipswich Basketball Club since they started playing, and come away with not only a win, but a win while playing so well, on the road, on day two of a back-to-back, says a lot about the character of these girls and the quality of the Ipswich Basketball Club and Academy pathway.

“I am absolutely loving coaching this team”.

Esther Little had a triple double for Ipswich at Mansfield. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA Esther Little had a triple double for Ipswich at Mansfield. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

Ipswich were led by dynamic guard Pink, who scored 20 points and added six assists. Little was again key to the victory collecting 17 points while Welham was again amongst the high scorers with 16 of her own. Elsewhere, Price grabbed a season-high 19 rebounds, with four more blocks to go with them.

The Suffolk side are now into the quarter-final of the National Cup, where they will again be on the road to a Division One side – this time the Reading Rockets.

Ipswich have a weekend off before they host Mansfield on November 11 in a double header with the Ipswich Men’s team that will be sure to draw a huge crowd at Copleston.

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Following the news David McGoldrick faces a month out with a groin injury, sports writer Andy Warren looks at the arguements four and against Mick McCarthy’s potential replacement options.

Ipswich Town take on Aston Villa, at Villa Park, in a Championship match tomorrow (3pm ko).

Bartosz Bialkowski expects the return of midfielder Emyr Huws to give Ipswich Town a real boost as the Blues prepare for Saturday’s clash with Aston Villa.

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