Shooting blues drag Ipswich down in London

Nick Drane knows his side's shooting slump will not last forever (Image: Nick Winter)

London Westside 69-60 Ipswich Basketball
National League Division II
Kensington Leisure Centre

Ipswich Basketball’s first road trip of the season ended in disappointment, as an improved performance was not enough to bring victory over London Westside.

Luke Mascall-Wright led Ipswich’s attack with a game-high 24 points, but the visitors struggled to make shots despite creating good looks the majority of the time.

With captain Tom Sadler absent through injury, Daniel Caluico stepped into the starting line-up for Ipswich, who led with two minutes remaining in the first quarter before three three-pointers gave Westside an 18-12 lead at the buzzer.

The hosts would retain that lead for the rest of the game. Ipswich struggled to get their offense going and gave up too many easy baskets off turnovers in the second period, as Westside stretched their lead to 40-26 by half-time.

Mascall-Wright and Henry had something of an individual scoring battle (Image: Nick Winter)
Mascall-Wright and Henry had something of an individual scoring battle (Image: Nick Winter)

After some half-time soul-searching, Ipswich approached the second half with renewed vigour and quickly reduced Westside’s lead to seven points. That margin seemed to present a glass ceiling, however, as London then maintained a lead of between seven and ten points for the next ten minutes.

With both defences on top, Ipswich forced repeated turnovers from Westside star Kayne Henry and point guard Joseph Walsh-Norman, but their misfiring offense couldn’t capitalise at the other end.

“We were much improved today, we just couldn’t buy a shot against a very defensively active team”, said Head Coach Nick Drane after the game.

“Without Tom, and with another captain Colin Dockrell unavailable, we were a little less deep today and had to lean on certain players to produce.

“Offensively, at this level you don’t get many nights like that where we just can’t hit a shot – we’ve hit eight of 47 three-point attempts through two games – but we’ve had two in a row and we know that we can be better than that.

“Most important of all for the team is that we start to put this run right on Saturday, when we host Nottingham Hoods. They’re a strong outfit, but we had plenty of scraps with them last season and came out on top most of the time.”

Mascall-Wright’s 24 points were backed up by Caluico’s 13 and Leigh Greenan with 10. Henry was Westside’s top scorer, finishing with 22.