Ipswich 88 | Welham 31 PTS, 7 REB, 6 AST | Cazey 25 PTS, 5-9 3P
Rockets 60 | Espinosa 9 PTS, 4 REB, 4 STL | Luzon 9 PTS, 6 REB
Reading Rockets were defeated 88-60 to a very strong Ipswich team, in our first game since December 2020.
The game started with the Rockets finding some options in behind the Ipswich defence early on, but Ipswich soon found their rhythm and started to run the floor really quickly, leading to many fast-break points. The league’s top scorer, Harriet Welham, was dialled in posting 19 of her 31 points in the first quarter.
The second quarter saw the Coach Luque’s Rockets set up to stop Ipswich scoring in on the fastbreak. The team stopped crashing the offensive board and focused on getting back in transition which kept the Ipswich offence at bay for the second quarter. On the offensive end, Rockets changed to having two players inside the paint to break up the zone defence of our opponents, which led to many open shots for the Rockets to take advantage of, resulting in Reading winning the 2nd quarter 21-18.
It was also very sad to see Coco Ka Yin Leung have to leave the floor after suffering on a knee injury. From everyone at Rockets, we wish Coco a speedy recovery and returns to the basketball court soon.
Rockets failed to start the second half as they finished the first. Ipswich rediscovered their pace in their offence and were fantastic at running up the floor, finding the open woman for the corner 3 to extend their lead.
Given it was the first game in 2021 for both teams, the 4th quarter was played at slightly lower tempo their the previous 3, with both teams just exchanging baskets until the final buzzer.
Despite the loss, Coach Luque was full of positive comments following final buzzer:
“It was a weird but amazing experience being back out on the court for everyone, and I am really happy to be back competing with my team. Ipswich are a very good team and they spent very little time settling into their rhythm and were near impossible to stop once they were in motion. But we are happy, we trust ourselves and growing as a team. We work really hard in training, and we are focused on helping each player on our team to improve.”
It was also great to see our academy star, Heather Maxwell, back on the court following her ACL injury suffered at Ipswich last season. It is fantastic to see Heather back on the court after such a long time out. Congratulations Heather!
Next week, Rockets travel to Southampton to face Team Solent Kestrels. Rockets defeated the Kestrels 64-57 in their meeting earlier in the season at the JMA.