Women win again, shoot down Rockets

Harriet Welham continues to handle the scoring load for Ipswich (Image: Nick Winter)

Ipswich Basketball Club’s Senior Women booked their place in the Semi-Final of the National Cup with a comprehensive 91-70 victory at Division One side Reading Rockets.

Ipswich made it six wins out of six to start the season with perhaps their best display to date, winning all four quarters and holding off a very talented and well drilled team from the division above them.

After starting the slower of the two teams, Ipswich went on a run as the first quarter drew to a close, with a steal by fourteen year old Cameron Taylor-Willis leading to an Ashleigh Pink lay-up that gave the visitors the advantage 19-16 after the first quarter.

This play sparked a run that saw Ipswich open up a seventeen point lead mid-way through the second period, with seemingly the whole team getting in on the act, as Harriet Welham, Pink, Jessica Baker and Maya Price all connected on three-pointers. However, Reading are a proven top level team and clawed the game back to just five heading into half time. 41-36.

Ipswich again upped the lead up to double figures in the third quarter, with some suffocating defence, led by the presence of Price. Meanwhile, Great Britain international Esther Little was tasked with marking the opponents’ best player out of the game. Reading continued to battle heading into the fourth quarter, but Ipswich had extended the score line to 71-54.

In the fourth, as Reading chased the game, Ipswich showed great composure and also an ability to kill a game off. Ashleigh Pink made back-to-back threes, followed by six straight from Danni Cazey while Amy Linton and Jazmine Tebbit made key defensive plays as Ipswich extended their lead.

As the Rockets pressed in the games final minute, Ipswich took advantage with Cazey finding space to round of a huge win for the team as they now wait to find out who they will face in the semi-finals.

Welham top-scored for the Suffolk side with 32 points; Price added 18 and Cazey finished with 17.

“This was an excellent team performance,” said Ipswich Head Coach Nick Drane. “Much like the Loughborough game, I thought we showed real poise down the stretch, when teams can go on runs and make the final minutes so tense. Our bench was huge again today, and I thought our starters did a great job – the thing is I think there is still so much to improve on.”

Of the six games Ipswich was played on this winning streak, only two have been on their home court. They have next weekend off before they travel to another undefeated team in their Division, Derbyshire Gems in what could be a pivotal game in the league.