Ipswich Basketball are left stunned as the Eagles fight back to take victory
PUBLISHED: 10:21 28 February 2017 | UPDATED: 10:56 28 February 2017
Ipswich Basketball were stunned by a late comeback from relegation candidates Doncaster Eagles on Saturday, as the hosts rallied from seven down in the final quarter to take a precious victory, in National League Division Two.
Leigh Greenan produced another eye-catching performance, finishing with 29 points and 13 rebounds for Ipswich, but Nick Drane’s short-handed side came up against a three-point barrage by the Eagles, who scored 45 points from long range.
Doncaster’s short squad proved a match-up problem early on but it was only the late-game heroics of Tom Hodson, normally not a threat from behind the arc, in hitting two threes in the final 90 seconds of the game that proved the decisive moment.
A three in reply by Ipswich captain Tom Sadler tied the game at 96-96 with 22 seconds to play, but Eagles guard Phil Walsh was able to draw a foul on Cameron Hawes two seconds from the final buzzer. Walsh hit both free throws, and Ipswich were unable to get a shot up from the ensuing timeout, meaning the Eagles held on for a vital victory.
Greenan often scored almost uncontested in the low post in the first half, but Doncaster adjusted to him in the final quarter, resulting in Ipswich turning to Edson Ferreira and Cameron Hawes to spark their offensive threat.
Hawes hit some big shots and finished with 14 points while Ferreira added a season-high 13, along with six rebounds and seven assists, but the Eagles would never fade away and kept themselves in contention before launching that late comeback.
Ipswich had five players in double figures for the first time since January 7, as Caleb Fuller produced 18 points and Sadler racked up 13, five of which came in the final minute.
“Our offensive execution wavered in the final couple of minutes with a couple of missed free throws and turnovers, and we have paid a very high price for that,” reflected Drane.
“We now have an absolutely massive weekend next weekend, with Kent Crusaders at home on Saturday (Copleston Sports Centre, 5pm tip), before going to London Pioneers on Sunday afternoon.
“It’s going to be the biggest weekend of our season.”