Ipswich downed by Eastside Eagles inside the Copper Box
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Basketball Club enjoyed a memorable day playing in the Copper Box Arena, a London 2012 venue, on Sunday - but fell to another last second defeat.
National League 2
Eastside Eagles 68
Ipswich played Eastside Eagles at the Copper Box Arena, a London Olympic venue, buoyed by more than 100 travelling fans.
But the Copleston-based squad lost for the fourth time in five games, and for the third away game in a row, as they threw away a three point lead with 24 seconds left to play, falling to a last-second basket defeat for the second straight week.
The team that won their first nine games together this season had got a lot of people excited about their chances in Division Two, but since the withdrawal from the league by PAWS London Capitals and subsequent weekend off for the team, the Suffolk side have lacked rhythm, consistency and struggled to play well for 40 minutes.
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Ipswich were in a strong position in the first quarter at the Copper Box and at one stage held a 23-13 lead before Eastside dominated the game for two periods.
The hosts held a seven-point lead going into the final period but an Ipswich run tied the game early and the result looked like going the Suffolk side’s way until five unanswered points from the London side in the last 24 seconds won them the game.
Ipswich’s top scorers were Leigh Greenan (22 points), Josh Johnson (19) and captain Tom Sadler (10).
But Ipswich shot 2-11 from the foul line in the fourth quarter and 36% for the game.
In the team’s last two games they have shot a miserable 15 of 35 from the stripe.
“We were never going to go undefeated all season, not at this level and at some point the honeymoon period would end,” said coach Nick Drane.
“However, I’m frustrated because, due to simple geography and finance, we can’t get the team on the floor again until Thursday, and when you’re not playing well, you need to be together as a team to get to the bottom what’s changed.”
“We just aren’t getting enough practice time together and at this level you can’t just show up once a week and then expect to beat teams that are getting eight to ten hours a week together.
“Having said that, we put ourselves in a great position to win the game having come back from seven down at the start of the fourth to be up by three with 20 seconds on the clock – and we just lost the plot.”