Men suffer second half reversal in London

Jonny Hall was on fire early as Ipswich built a lead (Image: Pavel Kricka)

London Pioneers 79-62 Ipswich Basketball
National League Division II
CitySport, London

Ipswich slumped to a disappointing defeat in London on Sunday, having led the London Pioneers by as many as 11 points in the first half.

Ipswich lost for the second time in as many games, having also fallen in a thriller at home last week against Division II leaders Nottingham Hoods. This contest was played out at a rather slower pace, and that seemed to cost the visitors some of their rhythm.

The Suffolk side rode a hot start from centre Jonny Hall, who had 15 points in the first quarter to outscore the hosts by himself, to get out to an early 24-13 lead.

Coach John Ellis’ men continued to hold the lead throughout the second quarter, although Mark Raynolds’ hot shooting pulled the Pioneers back within two points at one stage.

A Cameron Hawes three-pointer with ten seconds left in the half saw Ipswich hold a seven-point advantage at the interval.

In the second half, the Pioneers demonstrated some fine ball movement and clinical shooting, with Raynolds, Ian Berry and Tom Martin the catalysts.

Ellis cycled through his bench but Ipswich couldn’t overcome a disastrous third quarter, which saw a sixteen-point swing to leave London comfortably in front, and the game fizzled out with both sides trading baskets in the fourth.

“It felt like we came into this game on a high from last week’s performance – which was fantastic – and once we went up early on, I feel like we got complacent as a team,” said Ellis.

“Once that happened, they then made a run, as you have to expect in basketball. They’re a very well-coached team, and that’s how basketball goes – it’s a game of runs.

“We will be motivated by this performance and I look forward to putting it firmly behind us with an improved performance next weekend.”

Hall finished with 21 points for Ipswich, followed by Colin Dockrell‘s 13 and eight from Rory Winter. Raynolds racked up a game-high 24 to lead a much-changed Pioneers squad to victory.

Ipswich host struggling Middlesex BC next Saturday at Copleston, needing to get back to winning ways if they are to secure a reasonable playoff seeding for the post-season.