WNBL Division One: Thames Valley Cavaliers 72 Ipswich Basketball Club 97
Ipswich Basketball Club’s Senior Women moved to 3-1 in National League Division One with a comprehensive win on the road against a very experienced, big and physical Thames Valley team.
Ipswich were efficient from start to finish, winning each quarter, on their way to their biggest win so far this season. The Suffolk side travelled without injured duo Esther Little and Becky Harwood-Bellis. Little is yet to suit up this season, while Harwood-Bellis has been playing a major role in the teams positive start to the season, starting in Little’s absence and having a significant impact on both ends of the floor. However, this Ipswich team look to have found their form early this season despite the absentee’s, and seem to be playing well at both ends of the floor.
The first quarter saw both teams in fine scoring form, with Ipswich taking the period 30-27. Harriet Welham seemed to have taken her scoring exploits to a new level, collecting seventeen points in just the first period, without missing! However, Thames Valley were able to match Ipswich basket for basket, almost.
The second period saw the visitors extend their advantage, while tightening up on the defensive end. Welham and new signing Coco Leung continued to do damage as did Charlotte Redhead and Susannah Rafiu off the bench. However, it was the defence that was the different, holding their hosts to just fourteen points in the period, taking a 49-41 lead into the interval.
The third quarter saw Ipswich again extend their lead. Danni Cazey connected from range and in transition, while Ella Pearson and Cameron Taylor-Willis got in on the act as the Suffolk side extended their lead to double figures. Ipswich led 72-58 going into the game’s final stanza.
The fourth quarter saw Ipswich really open up their advantage, to eventually take the game by 25 points. The rounded scoring attack saw every player as a scoring threat, especially from the three-point line, and in Welham Ipswich have the league’s most potent scoring weapon. The guard finished the game with a massive thirty-eight points, to take her season average to twenty eight per game. Elsewhere, Cameron Taylor-Willis would finish the game with an impressive stat line of 22 points and eight rebounds, it is easy to forget that the young forward is still just sixteen years old. Drane also handed a debut to another of the club’s up and coming stars as 15 year-old Abi Yorke made her first senior appearance.
“This was as well as we have played so far this season. The tempo was excellent and we shot the ball really well – when we do those two things well, we are a real handful. There is still so much to improve on, but we would have taken 3-1 at the start of the season” Said Head Coach Nick Drane.
Ipswich now have three home games in a row as they look to extend their strong start to the season. This will not be easy however, as undefeated Solent Kestrels come to Suffolk on Saturday in a real test for Coach Drane’s young team.