SUSSEX BEARS 78-88 IPSWICH BASKETBALL
NBL Division II
Sir Robert Woodard Academy, Worthing
Ipswich’s Senior Men team emerged victorious from a physically and mentally testing game on Saturday, beating Sussex Bears on the South Coast with a fine fourth-quarter display.
Coach Adam Robinson’s side led for 37 minutes of the contest, but only held a double-digit lead twice – one of those coming on the final score of the game.
The hosts, moving on from last season’s star American Cordaris Towns, nonetheless returned a familiar side and started well, but it was Ipswich’s Luke Mascall-Wright who set the tone in the early running, with 12 of his 26 points coming in the first frame.
In what would become the trend of the game, Sussex began the next quarter on a scoring run, briefly retaking the lead before Jake Eynon put Ipswich back on top, connecting on a sequence of challenging jump shots.
Having taken a comfortable seven-point lead into half time, however, Ipswich started slowly in the third quarter. Quick scores from Ian Berry, Bud Johnston and James Felstead eradicated Ipswich’s advantage before back-to-back three-point plays by Mascall-Wright restored some order for the visitors.
The remainder of the third quarter was a shootout between the two sides. Ipswich maintained a lead of at most five points for the rest of the quarter, but the Bears tied the game on Jasper Chiwuzie’s post move before Eynon put Ipswich two ahead going into the final quarter.
Mascall-Wright, Eynon and Marvin Isebor combined for twelve points as Ipswich pulled away again over the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, re-establishing a seven-point lead when Mascall-Wright made the highlight play of the game, a high-flying put-back dunk which quieted the energetic home support.
Sussex made one last run, but Isebor and Eynon hit back-to-back three-pointers to put Ipswich ahead for good.
Eynon ended the game with an efficient 34 points. Mascall-Wright finished with another double-double, tallying 26 points and 12 rebounds, while Isebor added 15 points and nine rebounds in a fine performance off the bench. Ben Winter filled up the stat sheet with seven points, five rebounds, five steals and five assists.
“Our role players were exceptional today,” said Coach Robinson as his team moved to 2-0 for the season.
“We know Jake and Luke can give us a lot of offence, but Marvin, Ben, Steve Hemmings and Blake Read were fantastic in the roles we asked of them and made the difference for us.
“If everyone performs their roles like that on a consistent basis we are going to be very strong indeed.”