More National Cup triumph as Under-16s lift title

The Under-16 Girls celebrate with their winners' medals and the National Cup Trophy (Images: Pavel Kricka)

Ipswich 58-42 Haringey Angels
Under-16 Girls National Cup Final

Worcester Arena

Ipswich Basketball Club made history for the second time in the space of a few weeks as their Under 16 Girls won the National Cup Final with a dominant performance.

The team crushed rivals Haringey Angels 58-42 at Worcester Arena, and in doing so followed in the footsteps of the Senior Women’s team, who won the first National Cup in Club history last month.

Cameron Taylor-Willis hit a vital three-pointer in the fourth quarter

The game started off with both teams trading baskets as neither established full control of the game. Ipswich were fighting hard and doing the basics well but two three-pointers from Haringey’s Jade Guidolin-Duncan saw Ipswich trailing by a point at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter saw a change with two quick scores from Ipswich’s Tash Jarvis and Esther Little. And, with great defensive plays from Little, Kenzie Day and Ella Pearson, the Ipswich side enjoyed a five-point cushion at the break.

Heading into the second half, quick scores from Little and Pearson saw the lead stretch to 11 as Ipswich continued to have the upper hand. With Susannah Rafiu dominating the glass and Abbie Yorke having the game of her life, Ipswich took an eight-point lead heading into the final quarter.

A huge three-pointer from captain Cameron Taylor-Willis saw the lead for Ipswich extend back into double figures and Ipswich were ahead to stay, running out winners by an impressive 16 points.

For Taylor-Willis, Pearson, Little and Nicole Aston, the trophy is their second National Cup title of the season, having already helped the Senior Women win their cup last month.

Esther Little attacks the basket on her way to a monster stat line and MVP honours

Coach Hayley Rigby said: “Today was a very special day for the team. We have had a very tough season, but this win makes everything worthwhile, especially as it was our best team performance to date.”

England star Little was named MVP of the final. The 16-year-old, who is also a starter for the women’s side, finished the game with 24 points, 17 rebounds, five assists and two blocks.

“We always knew it was going to be a tough match up,” said Little. “We needed to stick as a team and have each other’s backs. Ultimately, this is what won us the game. Our aim now is to get the double done in one season!

“To play in one final and win was special but to do it twice was something else. Being part of this team and club means a lot to me.”

Pearson finished with 13 points whilst Rafiu finished with a game-high 17 rebounds.