Tomcats roar to success

IPSWICH Basketball Club's most senior men's side sent a message out to the younger players at the club by knocking out Premiership opponents with a determined performance in the Sure Shot Cup.

Under-16 Boys Sure Shot Cup

Ipswich Tomcats 74 Southend Swifts 72

IPSWICH Basketball Club's most senior men's side sent a message out to the younger players at the club by knocking out Premiership opponents with a determined performance in the Sure Shot Cup.

Coach Dennis Dixon knew that his Conference team had a big job to do if they were to maintain the Suffolk club's impressive unbeaten start to the season across all age groups.

From the tip-off - the first of three Ipswich games to be played over the weekend at Holywells High School - the Tomcats' Jack Daly was the first to find the basket, but the Swifts came back with a quick five points to rattle the slow settling home side.

Daly found himself with two personal fouls early on and was subbed out, and while the Tomcats were doing a credible job of holding onto the Swifts, the visitors were making more rebounds and their shooting was more accurate.

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It took most of the first half for the Tomcats to get into any sort or rhythm but, with 15 seconds to go, the hosts drew level only for the Swifts to sink a three-pointer just before the end of the quarter.

The second quarter saw a more composed Tomcats side on court, but an even more accurate Southend drew ahead to lead by six on the buzzer.

Whatever Coach Dixon said in the dressing room had an effect. The home side came out fighting and in less than two minutes had drawn level. Another 15 seconds later and they had taken the lead.

Four minutes of end-to-end play ensued and the Swifts took the lead back again by a single point. Then six for no reply from the Tomcats culminated in a drive by Ethan Dixon in which he not only sunk the basket but also drew the foul. This was to give the Tomcats their biggest lead of the game - eight points.

The visitors were rattled by the renewed confidence of the Tomcats who went into the final period 55-47 in front.

The tension around the court was palpable as the final period got under way and it rose even higher when Swifts scored 10 points for only two in reply to level the game at 57 points each.

The teams were matching each other point for point, either from open play or the free throw line, and with four seconds on the clock the sides were level at 72-72.

Everyone held their breath as Ethan Dixon was fouled on the way to the basket knowing that all he had to do was sink two baskets from the free throw line and hope that his team could defend like hell for four seconds.

And that is exactly what happened. An ecstatic Tomcats team had knocked a Premier side out of the Sure Shot Cup and now face a second round cup game away against North East Essex Jammers on Sunday 23, November.

Both teams will be able to size each other up when they come together in the League this Saturday.

Under-13 Boys National League South One

Ipswich Tomcats 170 Newham Youngbloods 33

IPSWICH Tomcats' Under-13 side further underlined their huge promise with a ruthless display of points scoring against renowned opponents Newham Youngbloods.

London-based basketball clubs have a reputation for producing strong teams and Newham are no different - their junior side making it to the final four nationally last season.

So it was therefore with some caution that Coach Nick Drane approached Sunday's National League fixture.

Drane said: “In age group basketball you never know what a new season is going to bring, the younger they are, the more unpredictable games can be.

“Twenty minutes before the tip the opposition had yet to show, but turn up they did and it was immediately obvious that the home side had a significant size advantage.”

It took just four seconds for the Tomcats to get four points on the scoreboard and, with less than two minutes gone, the Newham coach called a time-out to discuss the 12-0 score line with her squad.

By the end of the quarter it was obvious which was the stronger side. The Tomcats were not holding back and led by 39 at the end of the first period.

Coach Drane's teams have never been known for holding back and his latest squad of youngsters were merely continuing the tradition. By the half way point the score was 87-11 and by the end of the third it stood at 113-18.

Relentlessly the players in blue continued to sink baskets, although the Newham team made the final quarter their best of the four by scoring 15 points.

Under-16 Girls Sure Shot Cup

Ipswich Bobcats 74 Chiltern Pumas 34

KATHRYN James' Bobcats side rounded off a great weekend for the club by progressing comfortably in the Sure Shot Cup.

The Under-16's game against Chiltern Pumas may have been the third of the weekend for the club, but this was Coach James' first competitive game of the season.

A confident looking Puma team lined up against a starting five of Milly Stubbs, Beccy Dodunski, Katy Merryweather, Danielle Eady and Montana Jackson when the serious business of basketball began.

The opening minutes set the tone of the game. The Bobcats were accurate when shooting and seemed to possess the ability to steal the ball at will. This resulted in a 24-6 score line at the end of the first quarter.

The five on court were helped along in no small way by the noise made by the bench. Holywells has been adopted as the new home of the Bobcats and the Tomcats and the girls were out to prove that this was their court.

And they left no-one under any illusions, finishing the half 35 points up and the third 40 points to the good, eventually running out winners by 74-34.

Next weekend is an all girls affair for Ipswich when the U14 Bobcats play their first game against Chiltern Pumas on Saturday, while the U16 Bobcats have their first league game against Hertfordshire Warriors on Sunday.

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