Bury-based coach Linton proud of her team’s efforts

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Bury-based basketball coach Amy Linton insists her Ipswich Basketball Under-16s side could not have given any more in their bid to win a national title at the weekend, writes Alex Moss.

The former County Upper School pupil took charge of the team in Manchester, where they edged past West Herts Warriors 72-65 in the semi-finals on Saturday, before losing out 52-46 to Haringey Angels in the final on Sunday.

It was the first time in 21 years a Suffolk junior female basketball team had been represented in the National Final Fours, and Linton had nothing but praise for how they performed over the two days.

“They were brilliant,” the 23-year-old said. “It was a tough game and I was happy with how we played, we battled all the way until the last second.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything more from them. It was always going to be a close game against Haringey, but I think if we’d have had another three minutes I’m almost certain we could have turned it around.”

Thurston Community College pupil Esther Little was the top scorer in the semi-final with 32 points, and the Ipswich Under-16s captain is expect to join Linton as part of the playing squad for the new women’s team which the club will be launching in time for next season.

Ipswich Basketball’s club chair Kathryn James added: “They’ve all shown great desire and it has been justified in the hard work they’ve all put in.

“We will have to wait and see what Amy does next year, but we are hoping to start up a women’s team within the next month or so. Amy is young enough to play still and it is her number one passion.”