Furious Ipswich fightback falls short at Warriors
PUBLISHED: 14:08 26 November 2018 | UPDATED: 14:08 26 November 2018
NBL Division Two
Westminster Warriors 82
A determined second-half comeback attempt fell just short for Ipswich on Saturday as they were unable to overcome Westminster Warriors, writes Rob Schatten.
Down by as many as 25 points midway through the third quarter, Ipswich would get within four points of taking a remarkable win before Westminster made some crucial free throws to preserve their lead.
“For the second week in a row we’ve shown brilliant resilience and spirit in coming back from a big deficit,” said head coach John Ellis. “It’s just frustrating that we keep putting ourselves in big deficits early in games.”
A relatively even first quarter saw a controversial ending when Colin Dockrell banked in a long three-pointer before the buzzer sounded, but the officials ruled that the score would not count. As such, the hosts took an eight-point lead into the second quarter.
The Warriors did their damage across the first and second periods, opening a tied game out to an 18-point lead before Ipswich managed to get back into the flow of their offense.
After the second half saw the Warriors come out stronger, Ipswich finally began to reduce the arrears following scores from Eivydas Aleksa, Dockrell and Cameron Hawes.
The game’s momentum changed entirely and now it was the Warriors who couldn’t buy a basket. Ipswich closed the 25-point gap to 15 at the end of the third quarter, on a buzzer beater from Blake Read which this time was allowed to stand.
The comeback continued in the fourth quarter, but despite getting within two possessions, Ipswich couldn’t land a killer blow and Jon Johnson and Juan Manning hit clutch free throws for the hosts to seal victory.
Aleksa top-scored for Ipswich with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Dockrell added 17 points while Ethan Price contributed 10 points and 14 rebounds. “We have to look at the learning points from the last two games [including last week’s loss to Myerscough],” said Ellis. “Turning the ball over and giving up rebounds gives your opponent easy baskets, and at times we do that too readily.”
Ipswich are at home this weekend, welcoming newly promoted Greenwich Titans to Copleston on Saturday.