Eagles tamed in historic win for Ipswich

Leigh Greenan dominated Doncaster for a season-high 26 points (Image: Pavel Kricka)

Ipswich Basketball 106-62 Doncaster Danum Eagles
National League Division II
Copleston Sports Centre

Ipswich produced one of the most memorable victories in their history with a 44-point demolition of visitors Doncaster Danum Eagles at Copleston on Saturday.

Leigh Greenan exploded for 26 points and 17 rebounds in just 25 minutes of action, Luke Mascall-Wright had a 24-point, 10-assist double-double and three Ipswich Basketball Academy prospects made their senior debuts in a show of near-perfect basketball.

Doncaster are dependent on their three-point shooting this season due to a lack of height, and came out shooting well to trail by one possession, 26-24, after seven minutes.

But a key sequence of high-level defensive possessions for Ipswich, combined with easy scores for the dominant Greenan, gave Ipswich a ten-point cushion at the end of the first quarter, 35-25, and the Suffolk side never looked back from there.

Mascall-Wright and Caleb Fuller provided plenty of highlight plays for the large home crowd – even if the most spectacular, Fuller’s windmill dunk on a fast break, was bizarrely waved off after the referee claimed he hadn’t seen the ball go through the hoop.

There was opportunity in the closing minutes of the game for head coach Nick Drane to blood three young debutants for Ipswich, with Tom Brown, Ben Mobee and Jonny Hall all making their first senior appearance – having played for the under-18s two hours earlier.

For their part, Doncaster slowly reduced Ipswich’s scoring rate, but were never able to get enough going offensively – principally during the second quarter, in which they were held to nine points – for their defence to matter.

“This is the best 40 minutes of basketball we have played for as long as I can remember,” said Drane. “I don’t remember a more dominant performance across the board in terms of both ends of the floor, with everyone doing their job to the best of their ability.

“We now have four games in an eight-day period that could define our season – and I believe we are playing our best basketball right now.”

Crucially for Ipswich, given that heavy forthcoming schedule, their starters were not tasked with heavy minutes this weekend.

“It’s great for us when we can get a win of any margin, where Leigh, Tom Sadler, Edson Ferreira and Daniel Caluico can all play under 26 minutes for a game,” continued Drane. “It’s good to save some mileage for them, but it’s also a good opportunity to get some of our youngsters some playing time, and some of our reserves, extra playing time – like Cameron Hawes [who had nine points in seven minutes] and Rory Winter.

“We’re going to need everyone to understand their roles and perform them to perfection over the next two weekends.”

Ipswich are in action at Copleston again next Sunday, hosting Newcastle University in a 3pm tip-off. Tickets are just £3.50 for adults and £2 for under-18s.