Bball: Ipswich lose unbeaten record

IPSWICH Basketball Club finally lost its 100% winning record in one of their busiest weekends of the season.

IPSWICH Basketball Club finally lost its 100% winning record in one of their busiest weekends of the season.

Competing in no fewer than seven national league games, two defeats means Ipswich now have a 17-2 record as a club.

National Under-16 League

Girls South One

Chiltern Pumas 33 Ipswich Bobcats 67

IPSWICH Bobcats beat the Chiltern Pumas for the second time in two weeks thanks to a turbo-charged fourth quarter.

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The Suffolk side were punished for a number of lapses in concentration throughout the match and their problems were exacerbated when they failed to convert numerous turnovers into points.

With a minute to play of the third quarter Ipswich led by just four - and then suddenly they clicked up through the gears.

Emma Swain began to find her range again, as did Katy Merryweather, and mid-range shots began to sink.

Heading into the final period 11 points in front, Ipswich's Beth Yapp hit top form, stealing the ball at will and finally making the excellent full paced lay-up conversions her side so badly needed.

Olivia Peters and Leanne Lockwood also stepped up a gear with even the smallest players muscling in on rebounds.

Peters scored twice in the key and Lockwood battled hard to win loose balls. Tierney Barker also relaxed and added another six points to an Ipswich side whose full court press was now paying dividends.

The Bobcats went on an unanswered 12 point run in two minutes, with the Pumas pegged back to four points in the entire quarter.

Three of the Pumas fouled out in the eighth minute of the quarter, with Lizzy Harrison bravely battling through a barrage of Chiltern blocks, before finally Ipswich's Amy Linton was rewarded with the last two points of the game with some fancy footwork under the basket.

National Under-16 League

Boys East Midlands Conference

Cambridge Cats 41 Ipswich Tomcats 114

THE physically imposing Ipswich Tomcats simply overpowered an undersize Cambridge Cats side.

The visitors were much bigger, stronger and fundamentally better than their hosts and, by the end of the first period, the game was virtually wrapped up at 30-12.

The Cats could only manage to average just over 10 points per quarter, with the final score coming in at 114-41.

Ipswich had a smaller bench this game, with only 10 players able to make the trip to Cambridge, and while the victory was a welcome change from the number of 'pink' sheets they took home last season, Dennis Dixon's side will be hoping for a greater challenge in the coming weeks.

Next up are the Bury Bulldogs though who have recently lost to Cambridge in the Sure Shot Cup.

National Under-15 League

Boys South Two

Ipswich Tomcats 65 East London Royals 53

IPSWICH's Under-15s proved how quickly they are progressing by beating the East London side that had twice proved their nemesis last season.

In a very fast paced game, despite poor rebounding and some silly mistakes by the Tomcats, the sides were level on eight points after five minutes thanks largely to some resolute defending.

Some hard talking by Coach Nick Newman in a time out just before the end of the quarter helped to compose his squad but none the less they ended the quarter two points down.

The second half was all about end-to-end basketball - the London side playing hard, fast and fair basketball.

Captain Joel Keeble kept the Tomcats honest though and, with a lot of help from Jake Enyon and Tyme Regent-Bascombe, the sides went into the half level on 34 points.

A third quarter rout by the Tomcats saw the visitors take over five minutes to get their first point on the score board. The Tomcats had found a rhythm that was working for them and they held a comfortable 12 point lead going into the final quarter.

Disaster struck in the fourth when a three minute spell of attacking, accurate basketball by the visitors saw them rack up 10 points for no reply to reduce Ipswich's lead to just two points.

However, Coach Newman called a time out, Jake Eyon broke the Tomcats duck when they resumed and the team rediscovered their ability to defend the basket.

Despite their best efforts East London would only manage another three points before the final buzzer, while the Tomcats made use of their height to defend and their teamwork to score 15 to close out a highly entertaining match.

National Under-14 League

Girls South

Haringey Angels 68 Ipswich Bobcats 24

IPSWICH Bobcats battled to the end against a Haringey Angels side regarded as one of the best Under-14 girls sides in the country.

The quick and athletic Haringey ruthlessly punished any Ipswich mistakes with fast breaks to lead 24-4 by the end of the first quarter.

To their credit, Ipswich refused to give in an improved defensively to limit the final winning margin to 44 points.

Coach Bernard Ball was impressed with his young charges. He said: “I've never known a group of players to help their opponents up after a collision, dust them down and then apologies for knocking them over!”

National Under-14 League

Boys South Two

Buckinghamshire Hornets 79 Ipswich Tomcats 36

IPSWICH were made to pay for their inability to convert at the free throw line as the Buckinghamshire Hornets ran away with the score in the second half.

The young Tomcats learnt to put their bodies on the line in this game with Coach Sam Saggers proud of his team's total of four charges.

Ben Moore, Jacob Tinker and Ben Mead were all put to the free throw line in the first quarter but they could only sink one point between them as the period ended 15-7 to the hosts.

The second quarter saw the same intensity from the Hornets whose pressure defence forced Coach Pavel Kricka's squad into early shots or rushed passes that were picked off. The first half ended 33-23.

When the battle resumed the action was fast and furious. The Tomcats drew fouls but were still unable to convert the free throws to points and the quarter ended 52-29.

The final quarter saw more of the same, Ipswich again proving wasteful at the free throw line, and the last three minutes of the game saw the hosts score 16 unanswered points.

Coach Kricka said: “We have the talent to play at this level and now we have some items to work on in practice.”

National Under-13 League

Boys South One

Ipswich Tomcats 99 Herts Warriors II 16

IPSWICH's all-conquering Under-13 side continued their impressive run with two more victories at the weekend.

Against Herts Warriors II, Ipswich exploded out of the blocks and before the Warriors knew what had hit them the score was 12-0.

In the second period the Tomcats continued their onslaught which meant that, as planned, the coaching staff was able to use the second half to rest the team's starters for the second game against Baddow while enabling the less experienced bench players some much earned court-time.

Baddow Eagles 41 Ipswich Tomcats 71

WITH the day running behind schedule Ipswich were given three minutes between their two matches.

However, even without preparation or rest time, the Tomcats went about business as usual, opening the game up with a 7-0 run.

Baddow though have a programme with a reputation of producing some of the best young players in the region and, with their victory over National Champions NASSA the previous week, they were not to be taken lightly.

A mini-run by the hosts saw the score at 20-12 at the end of the period and, for the first time this season, Ipswich were getting some resistance.

Up stepped the Tomcats more experienced players and the lead was quickly extended beyond Baddow's reach before half-time.

Tomcats Assistant Coach Adam Davies said: “Baddow were a good team, they were organised, skilled and had some size so they gave us by far our best test so far.”

- Next week sees Ipswich Basketball Club involved in just a single game, the first ever Suffolk National League derby match when Ipswich Tomcats U16s take on the Bury Bulldogs. This east versus west Suffolk encounter will be the first time the clubs have competed against each other at this level. For more information visit: www.ipswichbasketball.net.

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