Ipswich Basketball 88-60 Reading Rockets
WNBL Division I
Copleston Sports Centre, Ipswich
Ipswich Basketball returned to winning games in their first action for over two months as a blistering first quarter overwhelmed visitors Reading Rockets at Copleston Sports Centre on Saturday.
Harriet Welham and Danielle Cazey both surpassed the 20-point mark and there were several debutants for Ipswich as Head Coach Nick Drane’s team took the court for the first time since their winning streak was ended at Loughborough Riders in December.
The visiting Rockets entered the game with a 2-3 record, but with regular starters Candela Nunez and Gaila Comesana starting on the bench, Reading found themselves blown away by a 30-point first quarter from the hosts. Ipswich captain Welham had 19 of her game-high 31 points in the opening period, after which the hosts boasted a 30-9 lead.
From then on the game was largely resolved, and although Reading did find their scoring groove, Cazey’s five made three-pointers and a dominant rebounding performance from Esther Little and Cameron Taylor-Willis produced a comfortable victory for Ipswich.
This was the first chance for a new-look Ipswich side to play together. Owing to the ongoing impacts of the national lockdown, Ipswich are without a number of their Academy players who live elsewhere around the UK. Accordingly, Coach Drane handed debuts to Hannah Gray, Millie Pearson and Makenna Williams.
“Overall this was a very strong performance from us and the result we deserved”, said Drane. “We’ve been hard at work over the past few weeks blowing some dust off, and I have to thank Inspire Suffolk for making the old Holywells School facility available for us to train in.”
The only negative for Ipswich was an apparently serious injury to Colleen Leung, who represented a key part of the side’s reduced depth as the starting point guard. Leung fell awkwardly as she drove to the basket in the second quarter, did not return to the game and will now await a scan to assess the extent of her injury.
“It’s always devastating to see a player go down like that, whether on your team or the opposition,” added Drane. “Coco is a key part of our team and our club, and we’ll be supporting her as much as we can.”
The result solidifies Ipswich’s position atop WNBL Division I with a favourable run of games ahead over the coming weeks. Bottom side Barking Abbey (0-5) visit the Copleston Sports Centre this weekend before Ipswich play two straight fixtures against Thames Valley Cavaliers (1-2).
This Saturday's fixture will be again livestreamed on our Facebook page.
Saturday 20th February - 2pm tip off.