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Match Report: Shorthanded Men remain competitive in dominant fourth quarter

Ipswich Basketball 77-63 London Westside

NBL Division 2

Copleston Sports Centre

A dominant fourth-quarter display propelled Ipswich Basketball to victory on Saturday as they overcame a feisty London Westside to stay second in Division 2.

Luke Mascall-Wright poured in 26 points in his highest-scoring appearance of the season and guard Aaron Williams, making his home debut, took over in the fourth quarter as he scored 16 of his 22 points in the final frame.

After Ipswich had raced to an 11-2 lead out of the blocks, the visitors – languishing near the bottom of Division 2 but boasting a trio of debutants for their trip to Suffolk – found some offense through Antonio Deogratias, one of those making his first appearance for the Kensington-based club.

Westside held a one-possession lead after the first quarter but Ipswich edged back in front in the second thanks to eight points from Mascall-Wright and six from IBA standout Ben Michaels, making his first start in Division 2.

Young Academy wing Ben Michaels had his first Senior start and secured a double double (Photo: Pavel Kricka)

After those two combined to push Ipswich’s lead to eight early in the third, American Aundre Reid scored thirteen straight points for the visitors and a three from Ayodeji Jegede put Westside up seven, 59-52, with one quarter left to play.

Coach Adam Robinson’s side produced an outstanding defensive effort in the fourth, however, as Michaels, Williams and Cameron Hawes forced the visitors into five straight turnovers. When Williams scored a layup to make the score 60-59 to the hosts, Ipswich had taken the lead for good and in the end would post a remarkable 25-4 fourth quarter to coast home to a comfortable victory.

Michaels backed up Mascall-Wright and Williams with his first senior double-double (13 points, 14 rebounds) and drew plenty of praise for his hard work under the basket.

Ipswich are back on the road this weekend as they head south to take on Sussex Bears. Sitting 4-2 in the division, the Bears are off to one of the best starts in their Division 2 tenure and will be looking to keep up their momentum with home-court advantage.

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