WNBL Division One
Worcester Wolves 62 – Ipswich Basketball 104
WNBL Division One
Reading Rockets 60 – Ipswich Basketball 86
Rivermead Leisure Complex
A fortnight ago, having lost two games in two days against Bristol and Loughborough by three and four points respectively, Ipswich's hopes of a top four finish and home court advantage in the playoffs looked dead and buried. But what a difference just two weeks can make in a long WNBL season.
Last weeks 'bounce-back' win on the road in Loughborough gave the team hope, other results then went the team's way and then this weekend, with two away games and a 400 mile round trip over two days facing them, Ipswich produced two clinical displays against relegation-fighting Worcester Wolves and Reading Rockets to see them move to 13-6 on the season, and now very much back in the mix for a home draw with two weekends of the regular season remaining.
Saturday's match up with Worcester saw Ipswich dominate from start to finish, with Captain Cameron Taylor-Willis in fine form, connecting on a season high five made three-pointers on her way to 23 points as the team eclipsed the 100 point mark for the second time this season, with a 104-62 win against the Wolves. Ipswich travelled with just nine fit players, but this enabled all nine to play major minutes while Coach Drane was able to keep his starters fresh for a slippery fixture the next day in Berkshire against a talented Rockets team.
The Sunday fixture saw Ipswich start slowly, with their hosts enjoying the better of the opening quarter, but it wasn't long before the Suffolk side settled into their stride, taking an eight-point advantage into half time before eventually winning the game by a comfortable 26. Ava Battese led the way with a commanding 26 point performance, including five more triples while Alice Fallon and Hannah Gray provided the much needed spark off the bench to help Ipswich over the finish line.
Ipswich look in good form as they head into the penultimate weekend of the regular season, having scored 190 points across the two game's, with both performances seeing the whole bench play extended minutes and play their part in the win.
"We needed two wins and wanted to get through the weekend healthy - we achieve both of those things, so I am happy" said Ipswich Head Coach Nick Drane.
The mathematics are extremely complicated at this stage, but it is still possible, although unlikely, for Ipswich to finish as high as second, and this weekends results mean that the lowest the team can finish would be sixth. But, with three games still to play, who knows what twists and turns are left in this exciting season.
Ipswich host Anglia Ruskin on Saturday at Copleston in a crunch game as 4th faces 5th. The winner will have a firm hold on the final home seed for the playoffs and the regular season end is in sight.