Ipswich on right track, improve at Hoods

John Ellis' side are showing steady improvements (Image: Pavel Kricka)

Nottingham Hoods 78-62 Ipswich Basketball
Patrons’ Cup Group Stage
Nottingham Wildcats Arena

A much-improved performance from Ipswich Basketball was not enough to secure a road win in Nottingham as the Suffolk side exited the Patrons’ Cup.

The nine-man squad tailed off in the second half, but for the first 25 minutes of this game they competed shot-for-shot with a Nottingham side who beat Essex Leopards two weeks ago.

David Watts started out on fire for Nottingham with 17 points in the first quarter, but his team-mates combined for just six during that time. Ipswich, themselves making a red-hot start to the game making seven of their first eight three-pointers, led after one quarter, 24-23.

By half-time, Hoods wings Delaney Powell and Luke Mitchell had begin to find some form, and the hosts edged back into a six-point lead by half time.

At the other end, Ipswich’s early offense was anchored by the shooting of Cameron Hawes and Dan Ashby and the inside presence of Colin Dockrell. Quan Gill, making his debut following a delay in his registration, had five first-half assists.

Head Coach John Ellis emphasised at half-time that the team had to continue their improvement, and although fewer made shots meant the game got away from the Blues in the second half, there were tangible improvements across the board.

“All in all today was very encouraging,” said coach Ellis. “We improved in a lot of the areas that led to the lopsided loss last week.

“There are obviously still things to work on, but defensively we were better today, and we offered more on offense, especially in the early stages.

“It’s a headache that we haven’t had anything close to a full team available yet, but we have to take the positives out of that – our younger guys had to step up and contribute today and for the most part I was very pleased with them.”

Ipswich Basketball Academy prospects Ben Winter, Blake Read and Pelumi Oguntoyinbo all made the journey and each had positive contributions to take away, with Winter in particular drawing plaudits from several Hoods players.

Veteran captain Dockrell led the way for Ipswich with 22 points. Hawes shot efficiently to finish with 19, and Jonny Hall added nine points and an impressive 20 rebounds, as well as two of the highlight plays of the game with a huge dunk and a statement block.

Watts ended with a game-high 25 points.

Ipswich are back in action today as a reinforced side head to Division 4 newcomers Norfolk Titans for a National Cup Second Round clash.