Ipswich Men’s team hosted London Greenhouse Pioneers in their first home game of the season this weekend. Motivated and cheered on by a loud and supportive home crowd the team opened in strong form and took an early lead to end the first quarter up 19-13. The second quarter saw Pioneers raise their own intensity as they started to break down the Ipswich defence and a solid scoring run through some well worked offences got them level by the end of the half 30-30.
During the half time break Ipswich made some defensive adjustments and were clearly highly energised as they re-entered the court but this was matched by an aggressive start to the third period by Pioneers as well, as the teams stayed locked together with the home side holding on to a narrow lead 37-35.
However, a further defensive adjustment and an injection of energy lead by Dimitri Kukuruza and Ben Stewart (with a double -double of scoring a massive 38 points alongside 13 rebounds) Ipswich forced multiple turn overs and started to dominate the rebounding at both ends of the floor. This was supported by Jacob Lloyd taking back control in the point guard position making some fantastic passes leading to a spurt of fast break points from the aforementioned Ben Stewart as well as a lively Aaron Williams.
Suddenly with two and a half minutes remaining in the third period Ipswich were up 52-35 following a run of fifteen unanswered points.
Ipswich piled on the pressure during the fourth with some excellent outside shooting from Joel Keeble, forcing turn overs as well as domination inside down the stretch lead by Rio Murray, Harry Gent and Tyrese Perry-Huggins. They finally took the win 80-49 to the delight of the buoyant home crowd.
Following the game Ipswich Coach Mark Lloyd commented:
“ We are delighted to secure an opening home game win and continue to build as a group. The culture of this team is one of togetherness and being accountable to each other. The players are learning that with a deep squad we can rotate and different players will step up to deliver at different times. We were without Will (Ashby) and Luke (Mascall-Wright) today and players took on the responsibility of scoring their points from last weekend and maintaining the defensive pressure we can put on teams. We will take each game as it comes and continue to grow as a family” Top Scorers - Ben Stewart: 38, 13 rebounds, 5 steals - Joel Keeble: 10 - Aaron Williams: 10