Women near title with win over Titans

Northamptonshire Titans 56-92 Ipswich Basketball Senior Women
Oliver Williams

Ipswich moved to within one win of securing the Division Two North Championship and promotion to Division One, with another dominant performance away at Northamptonshire Titans.

Ipswich started the game at a blistering pace, opening up an 18-2 lead within five minutes. This lead was extended to 27-8 by the end of the first quarter.

Things didn’t get much better for Northamptonshire in the second quarter who despite scoring 17 points in the period, they could simply not stop Ipswich from scoring. By half time, the score read 55-25 in favour of the Suffolk side.

The third quarter was a much lower scoring affair. Northamptonshire were playing with a higher level of intensity while Ipswich started the period with a number of careless turnovers forcing Coach Nick Drane into a time out. After their brief dip in concentration, normal service was resumed. Ipswich finished the period with a 15-6 run-taking a 74-39 lead in to the final quarter.

Much like last week’s game against Nottingham, Ipswich seemingly took their foot off the gas late on, allowing their opponents their best quarter of the game. Ipswich would still win the period by a single point and the game by a comfortable 36 points.

Maya Price had statistically her best game of the season with 22 rebounds, 5 assists, 7 steals and a season-high 10 blocks, to go with 20 points, including 2/2 from the 3-point line. Ashleigh Pink was all over the place with 15 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists and 8 steals. Harriet Welham top-scored again with 32 points, while Esther Little went close to a triple double, logging 11 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists.

Ipswich now have two weeks off, in which time Coach Drane will hope to get his roster back to full fitness. Captain Amy Linton has missed the last four games with knee pain, while Danni Cazey picked up a knock in Northamptonshire.

It is possible that Ipswich could secure the league title before their next game. Should Worcester Wolves lose between now and March 10th when Ipswich next play, then the Suffolk side will be crowned champions due to it being mathematically impossible for anyone to catch them. Worcester have three tough games before Ipswich next play, including a crunch game with Derbyshire Gems, which is likely to decide who finishes second in the league.

“I thought we were very careless with the ball at times today,” reflected Coach Drane. “But some of that is down to playing on a narrow court, which affects our spacing – of course, it’s more to do with us just taking care of the ball.

“For the most part I thought we did an excellent job of taking care of business. It will be good to have a couple of weeks off, it’s been a crazy few weeks and it will be good to get Amy back while some of the other girls can rest some bumps and bruises and the younger girls can now concentrate on helping the Under-16 Girls win a second national cup win of the season.”