Ipswich men's basketball side facing relegation after defeat
PUBLISHED: 13:42 01 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:00 01 April 2019
NBL Division Two
London Westside 85
Ipswich will wait to see how the summer unfolds as they face relegation to National Basketball League Division Three, following a frustrating 85-60 defeat at fellow strugglers London Westside, writes Rob Schatten.
Both sides went into the contest knowing that the loser was likely to be relegated; this was Ipswich’s final fixture of the season, while Westside would have been left needing to beat second-placed Westminster Warriors away the following day.
A strong run midway through the first quarter left Ipswich trailing by just three points at 16-13 after ten minutes, but the visitors were unable to deal with Westside’s increased pressure defense in the second quarter and began to give away run-out lay-ups in transition.
Mansour Mbuye and Dean Morris did the bulk of the work for the hosts, finishing with 34 points between them, but Westside were able to lean on a balanced attack to score consistently.
Ipswich, meanwhile, struggled to execute against Westside’s hard-working defense and found themselves down by 19 at half time.
Ethan Price and Marvin Isebor got going in the third quarter, but John Ellis’ side were only ever trading baskets with their hosts and every time the gap was brought back, Westside found an answer to re-establish their control over the game.
The final minutes were played out in an uncontrolled fashion with Ipswich pushing the pace to get quick scores, Westside drawn into the same tempo, and neither side getting many results from their efforts.
“In the end, we haven’t shown enough consistency to get over the line this season, and I am bitterly disappointed with the way our campaign has turned out since the end of January,” said head coach Ellis.
“I maintain confidence in our core of players but clearly we have a lot to work on for the future.”
Westside’s continuing Division II status offers a glimmer of hope, as the Kensington side were relegated from this level last season before being reinstated after changes to the league structure, but there is no current evidence that such an escape is on the cards for Ipswich.