Brixton Topcats senior men lost at home to Ipswich who currently sit in third place in NBL Division 2, where a spirited comeback was not enough for Brixton as Ipswich drifted away in the fourth.
Both teams opened the game with a press on made baskets with Ispwich falling back into a 2-3 zone which frustrated the Topcats initially. However, with good ball movement and inside scoring from Crawford and Stewart and excellent defence leading to fastbreaks converted by Robert Gellatly Brixton were able to stay close over the first 5 minutes of the first. Topcats scoring dried up though whereas Ipswich continued to maintain a slow but steady scoring pace despite excellent Topcats defence to leave Brixton trailing 9 – 15 at the end of the quarter.
Ipswich opened the second quarter with a 17 – 6 run before Brixton were able to respond. Ipswich’s Leigh Greenan collected a third foul that sent him to the bench. With Greenan out and Ipswich switching to a man to man, Topcats punished the visitors. John Stewart couldn’t be contained inside as he scored 12 of his 18 points in the second. Rob Odia’s pressure and physical defence on the oppositions guard was rewarded, helping Brixton to push the pace of the game. Brixton missed 5 free throws through the quarter, which would come back to haunt them later in the game. Taner Adu’s 10 second quarter points ensured that the visitors were able to maintain their lead with the teams going in at 35-38.
Brixton’s stifling defence kept Ipswich to just 13 points in the third quarter with the Topcats playing with intensity, skill and aggression on the defensive end. However, scoring was hard to come by as Brixton shot just 30% from the field in the third. After trailing since the first minute of the game, Brixton drew level with a minute to go in the third but Ipswich free throws put them back up by two as they headed into the fourth quarter.
The visitors opened the fourth and final quarter with a 6 – 0 run. A James Lloyd three and back to back scores from Jordan Crawford put Brixton back within touuching distance but Fuller’s three for Ipswich would spark a 14 – 2 run for the visitors to effectively kill the game off.
Brixton will need to improve their fourth quarter execution but can take positives from what was a painful loss. Coach Baker said:
“This was a tough loss. We played well for stretches of the game but we have to maintain our concentration and execution for four quarters. We can’t take possessions off and make mental mistakes. We played hard today but we’ve got to play a bit smarter and believe we can win games. We’ll take the positives from this and look forward to a couple of hard weeks of practice to make corrections before our next game.”
Brixton Topcats next home game is a Christmas special on Sunday 20th December at 4pm as they host Liverpool, the hometown of our own Jimmy Rogers. Please come down and lend your support in the #RuffHouse at Brixton Rec.