Brixton Topcats 77, Ipswich 82
Brixton Topcats lost 82-77 to Ipswich on Sunday afternoon at the Rec in a physical game that the home team only let slip towards the end of the final quarter.
Topcats trailed in the first quarter, stretched ahead in the second and third, and then finally failed to keep the advantage come the final buzzer.
Ipswich rolled up the Rec as a mixture of muscle in defence, with agility in attack. The tactics appeared to be intimate whilst defending, whilst playing at pace down the other end.
A couple of particularly big bruisers were placed under the basket whilst defending.
The Topcats were unlucky in the first not to be given a number of free shots. Time after time the big boys of Ipswich pushed the Topcats around on court. The refs seemed happy to just let the game flow.
Meanwhile down at the other end of the Rec court and “good shot big fella” seemed to be a phrase repeated throughout the first quarter.
The Topcats were simply physically out-fought. The challenge was to find a tactic, and to find it ASAP before the game slipped away.
The home team trailed 20-26 at the first buzzer.
Come the start of the second quarter and quick hands looked like winning the day for the Topcats. The ball was passed around the court at great speed.
Dribbling was cut down to a minimum. The bruisers of Ipswich had no one to knock down, and weren’t quite quick enough to get hold of the ball flying around the court.
Some big three pointers from the Topcats also helped. The home team found their shooting range and went in at the half time buzzer leading 48-41.
The third quarter got underway with a growing crowd of support from the Lady Topcats. The WBBL team were next up on court and were keen to pass on their knowledge to the male team. Brixton basketball top man Jimmy Rogers also added some valuable advice from the supporters benches.
The Ipswich attack soon became wise to the passing game. They played for fouls whilst in attack, and then were clinical with the ball from the free throw line.
It was all to play for at the end of the third with the Topcats taking a slender 62-57 lead going into the final quarter.
The final passage of play was incredibly tight. Ipswich somehow managed to regain the lead for the first time since the start of the game. The shout of “MOVE THE BALL” kept on coming from the Topcats bench.
But Ipswich were now playing for possession and happy to let the clock run down. Some free throws in the final seconds put the game out of reach for the home team.
The Topcats left the Brixton Rec court with a 77-82 home defeat.