Ipswich Basketball 94-80 London Westside
National Basketball League Division II
Copleston Sports Centre
Jonny Hall erupted for 24 second-half points and powered Ipswich to their third home victory of the season as the Suffolk side saw off London Westside on Saturday evening.
Head Coach John Ellis’ side shrugged off an inconsistent first half to control the second half of the contest.
Coming off a tough overtime defeat at Essex Leopards last weekend, Ipswich made the brighter start, with 12 first-quarter points from guard Cameron Hawes helping the hosts leap out to an early 23-8 lead before Westside pegged the gap back to 11 by the end of the first quarter.
A blistering stretch of shooting in the second from visiting guards Hans Manku and Levi Edwards propelled the visitors on a huge run, and pushed them ahead by 10 within five minutes.
Rabi Rai then led Ipswich’s counter-attack with three made three-pointers in the quarter, and Colin Dockrell and Ben Winter chipped in with important baskets to help the hosts reach half-time back on top, with a four-point lead.
Bradley Potter got the Copleston crowd on their feet with several highlight plays to get Ipswich’s rhythm moving again.
Hall was coming off a quiet first half, but demonstrated some of the form he has been showing for Ipswich Basketball Academy in the EABL this season during a second half where he dominated Westside’s frontcourt.
Theo Deleligne scored 11 of his 16 points in the second half but none of his Westside team-mates added more than six after the break, and it was Ipswich’s improved defense which built the platform for the victory.
The win snapped a two-game losing streak for Ellis’ side, who move back up to sixth place in National Basketball League Division II with a 4-4 record.
“After the overtime defeat last week, where we played incredibly in the second half against all the odds to erase a 20-point deficit, it was extremely important that we kept our momentum today,” said Ellis.
“Aside from about a seven-minute spell where we gave Westside a 25-point run, we were strong again today.
“Our fantastic crowd got right behind us and watching Jonny dominate like that always gets them in the game.
“We’re showing we have a number of match-winning performers in our squad and that is a good place to be.”
Hall finished with 29 points and 16 rebounds; Rai added 19 and Hawes 17 for Ipswich. Dockrell racked up 14 points and 15 rebounds.
Manku scored 21 for Westside.
Ipswich are on the road next weekend as they travel to Sussex Bears, who are also 4-4 on the season so far and sit one spot above Ipswich on basket difference.