On Saturday Ipswich came to town for an U16 premier match up. After a disappointing loss last week the Kent side were hoping to get back on track but once again key players were missing or had picked up injuries.
The first quarter saw Ipswich take advantage inside with two of their taller players dominating the paint and the boards. But with threes from both Ryan Gannicleft and Harry Earley as well as some good team play, the Crusaders managed to stay close with the score 15-19 after the first.
The second quarter saw both teams struggle offensively with both having starters in foul trouble and coaches saving them for the second half. Julius Sireikis keep the score ticking over as the home side only managed 7 points, both teams entered the changing rooms at half time looking for solutions after a low scoring first half 22-29.
Whatever Coach Davies said in the changing rooms it seemed to work. Kent came out and delivered a punch that took Ipswich by shock. Sam Alajiki who didn’t play in the first half due to having to play limit minutes because of a slight injury came on and dominated on the glass and helped the stop dominating big players Ipswich had. Ipswich had no answers and the quarter score ended 24-4 and put Crusaders in a strong position to take this one.
With the whole crowd getting into it, the resilient Ipswich side didn’t back down or go away, every time the home team went on a run and looked to pull away the Suffolk side pulled it back. But when Will Raife went on a scoring rally and scored 10 of his total 25 points straight with no reply for his team near the end of the fourth it sealed the game. Final score 65-49, Crusaders move to 2-1 in the league and play NASSA away next weekend.
Coach Davies Commented on paying his former club for the first time as head coach “It is weird to think that after 3 years I haven’t played Ipswich as a club yet only as academy where I have been an assistant. I was fun seeing some on the players I used to coach at u12 and u13 sessions.” He then went on to comment on his sides performance “I’m very proud of how the guys turned it around in the second half today, I asked them for more focus and energy in the second and they delivered that”