Junior wrap-up: Another National Final!

Esther Little was too much for Surrey to handle this weekend (Image: Pavel Kricka)

Just a week after Ipswich’s senior women achieved cup glory, the club’s Under-16 girls are heading to another National Cup final after two wins this weekend over Surrey Goldhawks.

Coach Hayley Rigby’s team kicked off with a 79-59 league victory on Saturday in a close and fast-past game. The hosts held an eight-point lead at half time, and although Surrey came out fighting in the 3rd quarter, Ipswich were able to pull out a 12-point lead heading into the final quarter.

A clinical fourth-quarter performance allowed Ipswich to finish the game with a 20-point lead ready to match up again with Surrey on the Sunday in the Cup semi-final. Scoring was led by Esther Little (23 points), Ella Pearson (17) and Cameron Taylor-Willis (15).

The Saturday game set the tone of Sunday’s encounter, Surrey fighting back hard after the previous day’s defeat. The end of the first quarter saw the visitors lead by 5.

Ipswich were unable to find their defensive intensity until late in the second quarter which changed the tone of the game and saw Ipswich ahead by 7 at half time.

In the second half, Ipswich settled into the game and find their rhythm to run out a 10 point lead which leads the team into the cup final on 24th February. Little top-scored again with 21, while Pearson added 20 and Taylor-Willis 11.

Under-18s keep playoff hopes alive

In the weekend’s other games, the Under-18s pulled off an important victory over visitors Bucks Hornets to keep their playoff hopes alive. Ipswich blew the game open with a 29-point first quarter and didn’t let up from there on with a strong defensive performance.

Coach Kevin Manning and the Under-14 Girls came away from powerhouse programme Haringey Angels with a six-point loss despite a dogged performance from the Suffolk girls.

The Angels build a ten-point lead by the end of the third quarter and although Ipswich chipped away by winning the final frame, they couldn’t get close enough to extend the game. Annika Brown had 11 points, followed by Alicia Boddy and Millie Pearson on ten apiece.

The Under-14 Boys suffered from a torrid first quarter in Milton Keynes and were unable to recover from going down by 19 early on. Harrison Gregg scored 18 points, and Idriss Lebbie contributed 13.