The Under-18 Women made the trip to Essex coming off the back of a comfortable win against London Lewisham the weekend before, and secured an eye-catching 57-39 victory over the much-vaunted Southend Swifts.
The game was played at a fast pace throughout, with both teams trying to enforce their tempo on the game. This at times resulted in a scrappy affair and both teams had more turnovers than they would have planned. That said, the game was competitive – and certainly very enjoyable for the neutral.
In a close-fought first half Ipswich rushed to a 22-13 lead in the 1st quarter and though Southend had their runs of scoring Ipswich never surrendered the lead. Ipswich’s defence throughout was outstanding and their stubbornness on this side of floor ultimately resulted in helping them to the win.
Ipswich set the tone early with their defence and never really let up with their opponents having to settle for outside jump shots on many possessions. This continued into the 2nd half and when the final buzzer sounded Ipswich had managed to hold Southend to just 30 points from the field, with the rest of the hosts’ points coming from the foul line.
“She’s a nightmare for the opposition inside and her ability to rebound on both sides of the court helps us incredibly” – Adam Robinson on Maya Price
In particular Amoke Bowman-Boyles and Jasmine Tebbit impressed defensively and worked tirelessly while Maya Price controlled the paint finishing the game with 6 blocks.
On the offensive side of the court Ashleigh Pink, as always, dictated most of the play from the point guard position and while it wasn’t her best shooting performance she still managed to finish with 10 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. The fast pace of the game seemed to suit her style of play and she was able to find her team mates open in transition a number of times.
Maya Price dominated the game with a huge double-double of 22 points and 16 rebounds. In her first year at under-18 basketball the 6’1 forward is already showing she can change the game on both ends of the floor and will be a key player if Ipswich are to succeed as the season continues.
Coach Adam Robinson had particular praise for the play of the 16 year old.
“Maya was excellent today. She keeps possessions alive with her ability to rebound the ball but what I’m most impressed with is her ability to run the floor. For that reason, I think long term she has the ability to bring her game out to the wing but for now she’s a nightmare for the opposition inside and her ability to rebound on both sides of the court helps us incredibly”
Esther Little and Ella Pearson made their under-18s debut, stepping up from the under-16s to help give Coach Robinson more options from the bench.
“Both the under-16s did brilliantly. Esther has an incredibly bright future and does not look out of place at all playing with the older age group. Ella looked incredibly nervous when I put her in but she responded perfectly and in all honesty didn’t put a foot wrong. If the fixtures allow I think it’s really important these young players get the opportunity to play up an age group from time to time. I really believe it will only have a positive impact on their development and in today’s case both players contributed greatly to help us get the win”
Ipswich move to 2-0 for the season and travel away to Northampton next weekend in the first round of the National Cup.