Ipswich under-16 Girls took another step closer to the National Championship with a 72-65 win against West Herts Warriors. Ipswich led from start to finish, winning with a total team effort to continue this group’s fairy-tale season.
Going into the game Ipswich’s confidence was high, coming off a superb 74-70 win against Surrey Goldhawks. However, West Herts had earned the number one seed in the playoffs after knocking out the mighty Manchester Mystics at the quarter-final stage.
Ipswich’s game plan was clear, focusing on the need to contain the highly talented Maria Del Cuvillo from Warriors while taking advantage of their significant size on the boards. Ipswich’s Ella Pearson was assigned the job of guarding West Herts’ Spanish guard, while the Suffolk team put together a record-breaking effort rebounding the ball. The team totalled 98 rebounds, forty-one of which were offensive.
There were some outstanding individual performances with Captain Esther Little collecting 32 points, 19 rebounds and six blocks while Cameron Taylor-Willis added nine points and an amazing twenty-one rebounds. Elsewhere, Emily Baker connected on three from beyond the arc on her way to twelve points while Susannah Rafiu had an impressive double-double with ten points and sixteen boards. However, it was the selfless effort from all involved that meant Ipswich were able to make it to Sunday’s season finale against Haringey Angels.
“This was a total team effort today. Everyone played their role to perfection and has helped us get to this point. We are within one game of a national championship and we will again need everyone single player to be ready tomorrow,” said delighted Ipswich Coach Amy Linton.
Ipswich face Haringey Angels in the National Championship game at 10am on Sunday morning.