Women triumph at Worcester in league opener

Harriet Welham is picking up where she left off as an elite scorer for Ipswich Basketball (Image: Pavel Kricka)

Ipswich got their league season underway with an impressive 75-54 win on the road to a talented Worcester Wolves team.

Ipswich started the game much like the previous week, with a 9-0 run, with Harriet Welham and Danni Cazey on fire to start the game. Before Worcester had chance to react, Ipswich had extended the lead to 18-2, and at the end of the period the lead had been extended to 30-10. This margin remained much the same for the rest of the contest.

In the second quarter the Suffolk side got valuable minutes from their bench as Jess Baker connected from range while Ines Bowman-Boyles provided a massive spark for the visitors. The onslaught continued, although Worcester found some scoring of their own – but were unable to slow Ipswich who took a 51-23 lead into the break.

The third quarter was the polar opposite, with Ipswich finding baskets difficult to come by, missing several easy shots around the basket as the Wolves began to chip away at the Ipswich lead. Jazz Tebbit connected on a much needed three, while Maya Price held down the middle – meaning that although Worcester were closing the gap, it was not by a great deal. By the end of the third the score stood at Worcester 40 Ipswich 61.

The fourth quarter teased the spectators with a comeback from the home side who brought things within fifteen with five minutes to play, but after an Ipswich time out the visitors went on a run, led by the scoring of Welham and Esther Little, combined with some key defensive plays by Price that allowed Ipswich to extend things back to twenty-one as the Suffolk side followed their impressive debut last week with an important win on the road. Final score Worcester Wolves 54 – Ipswich 75.

The victory was made even more impressive as the team were without starting point guard and GB International Ashleigh Pink.

“I thought we did some excellent things again today,” said Ipswich Head Coach Nick Drane. “Of course, we missed Ashleigh, but we showed some real grit to grind a tough road win out against a talented and well organized team.

“We were never going to play forty minutes the way we started the game, and we knew that Worcester were too good to not have a run at some stage. There is a lot to work on ahead of two tough games next weekend.”

Harriet Welham led Ipswich with thirty-four points, while Danni Cazey added fourteen. Maya Price collected seventeen rebounds and seven blocks to go with eight points and three assists while Esther Little added eight points and sixteen boards.

Ipswich travel to Mansfield next Saturday to play their second league game of the season before they stay over night and face Division One Loughborough Riders in the National Cup on Sunday.