WNBL Division One
Ipswich Basketball 79 – Bristol Flyers 59
Ipswich moved to 5-2 on the season with a comprehensive twenty point win against league champions Bristol Flyers (2-3).
Ipswich slowly built their lead throughout the game, winning each period on their way to what Head Coach Nick Drane referred to as “Our best forty minutes of the season”.
The Suffolk side moved to a record of 5-2 (tied for first place in the division), having now played the league champions twice, as well as the play-off champions (Anglia Ruskin) and current league leaders (Solent) already this season. They have a break from play next weekend, and a home draw the following week in the National Cup (Against either Brighton or Northamptonshire Titans – both Division Two sides) before they are back in league play in Leicester on the 30th November. Considering that this team, who were 13-10 in all competitions last season, are playing with a roster of just eight fit players, and with players as young as fifteen years old playing major minutes, the start they have made, and Saturday’s win against a tough, talented and experienced opponent, is even more impressive. But, Coach Nick Drane is taking nothing for granted “We won and played well, but that’s now in the past and we need to get ready to win our next game. We are not celebrating anything in November. We have to learn from every experience and get better every session, every day, every week”.
On Saturday, despite not shooting the ball well from the three-point line, Ipswich managed to win in dominant fashion, with Harriet Welham again leading the charge. The league’s leading scorer connected on 32 points and ten rebounds, while sixteen year old Cameron Taylor-Willis was again in fine form, with an eighteen point, fourteen rebound double-double. However, it was again the team basketball that makes Ipswich such a dangerous team – especially at the defensive end. “We are getting key contributions from everyone, especially at the defensive end. We have a very unselfish mindset on this team, where everyone is valued. It’s not about who scores the points, it’s about doing whatever it takes to win. That could be anything. I thought Becky, Ella, Danni and Charlotte all did outstanding jobs for the team today”. Added Drane.
Ipswich’s week off will allow some of the players a week off from games, and to rest some of the aches and pains players are experiencing from a tough schedule to start the season. The team will face off against a Division Two team in the second round of the National Cup on the 24th November before they play their final two games before Christmas (Leicester away and Reading at home as well as a potential cup quarter final). Drane will be hoping that his side can keep up their form heading into the festive period, after which there will be a clearer picture regarding the teams potential for winning silverware this season.
Harriet Welham 32 Points, 10 rebounds. Cameron Taylor-Willis 18 points, 14 rebounds. Susannah Rafiu 8 points, 11 rebounds. Becky Harwood-Bellis 10 points.