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Aleksa and Price lead Ipswich to cup victory

Ipswich's Eivydas Alesksa beats the Richmond defence to make the layup. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

Ipswich's Eivydas Alesksa beats the Richmond defence to make the layup. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

Pavel.Kricka@btinternet.com

National Cup Round Two

Ipswich 83

Richmond Knights 66

The absence of last week’s top scorers Colin Dockrell and Cameron Hawes wasn’t enough to slow Ipswich down as they won their second straight game over Richmond Knights on Saturday, writes Rob Schatten.

Ben Winter breaks through the defence on his way to the rim for Ipswich. Picture: PAVEL KRICKABen Winter breaks through the defence on his way to the rim for Ipswich. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

Eivydas Aleksa scored 22 points in his first game in front of the Copleston crowd and point guard Ben Winter added 21 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to power Ipswich past a couple of notable old boys.

Knights guards Aaron Moseley and Isaac Omirin had distinguished careers at Ipswich, and they led Richmond in points and assists respectively.

But Ipswich led throughout, leading early as forward Jed Robinson started with 14 points in the first half to pace Ipswich’s offense.

Moseley struggled to get going, while Omirin and Hamidullah combined for 18 of the Knights’ 30 first-half points as Ipswich led 42-30 at the break.

Ipswich's Veron Eze looks to test the defence. Picture: PAVEL KRICKAIpswich's Veron Eze looks to test the defence. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

Ipswich found more tempo to their offense in the second, and despite dressing only eight players for this game, were again able to play at a consistently high pace.

Aleksa and Ethan Price were the keys to that, as the pair poured in 14 and 11 points respectively as Ipswich broke the game open in the third quarter.

The hosts led by as many as 22 early in the fourth quarter, before a quick run sparked by Moseley briefly brought the visitors within as few as eleven.

A disciplined final few minutes from Ipswich’s starters clinched an assured victory.

Ipswich's Ethan Price gets blocked going to the hoop. Picture: PAVEL KRICKAIpswich's Ethan Price gets blocked going to the hoop. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

Price finished with a double-double of 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, while Robinson piled on 16 points and eight rebounds.

“I’m very pleased to be advancing through to the next round of the National Cup,” said head coach John Ellis.

“We were missing Colin, Cameron, Rabi Rai and Steve Hemmings from last week, and even without those four we played with the same level of intensity for long stretches of the game.”

Ipswich now head to Hemel Storm again in the National Cup Third Round, a repeat of last year’s fixture.

The squad’s next home game is this Saturday at 5.30pm, as East London All Stars visit in the final group game of the Patrons Cup.

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