Ipswich recruit and former national league basketballer Amy Lewis has been one of Force's most consistent players in this year's QBL competition.
Ipswich recruit and former national league basketballer Amy Lewis has been one of Force's most consistent players in this year's QBL competition. Cordell Richardson

Amy shares 'bittersweet' emotion going so well for Ipswich

AFTER eight years in the women's national league competition, Amy Lewis seized on an opportunity to play for the Ipswich Force.

She's thrived on the challenge being Force's most consistent performer in their six wins from nine Queensland Basketball League games so far.

But just as Force climb to fourth after a mixed start to the hotly contested 2019 season, Lewis is preparing for a "bittersweet'' month ahead.

She's thrilled to be spending time with her French partner Anthony Sarramea for a wedding and holiday in Europe. However, the athletic playmaker will miss some QBL games at a crucial stage of the season.

Sarramea is a recent Western Pride football recruit from Brisbane Athletic who has been doing so terrific junior coaching work at Ipswich's National Premier League club. He too will miss some future games in his state league competition.

The couple made their overseas plans well before joining their respective Ipswich clubs.

Although sad at missing some games for Ipswich, PE teacher Lewis said the timing for the trip was helpful being on school holidays from next weekend.

She's keen to continue her valuable role for Ipswich this weekend and in Ipswich's following round doubleheader before heading off.

On her return, the point guard is eager to help Ipswich push for a playoff spot having enjoyed her latest basketball challenge.

"It's been super easy to fit in with this team,'' Lewis said.

"The culture is fantastic. The personalties.

"Everyone has great character and that would be the breath of fresh air that I needed.''

Before focusing on the QBL, Lewis gained diverse experience playing for Troy University in the United States and in the Women's National Basketball League for Townsville Fire (2008-10), Adelaide Lightning (2010-14) and the South East Queensland Stars (2015).

It was at the Stars where she worked with current Force captain Bree Farley and long-serving Ipswich head coach Brad George, who was assistant to Shane Heal for the national league franchise.

Lewis joined Force after being a former Brisbane Capitals captain where she also played with new Force teammates Rachel Mate and Kaili McLaren a few years ago.

"Everyone has been so welcoming so it's been an easy transition for me to go from one club to the next,'' Lewis said.

Scoring 15-20 points a game, Lewis has also adjusted quickly to changing from an off guard to a point guard at Force.

"I'm really enjoying it now and starting to find what my role is within the team,'' said the Victorian-bred sports-woman who supports Hawthorn in the AFL.


QBL women's match - Ipswich Force v Toowoomba. Ipswich's Amy Lewis
Ipswich Force guard Amy Lewis Cordell Richardson

Working with established players like Farley, Mate, McLaren, Georgia Ralph and American import Amanda "AJ'' Johnson has enhanced the experience.

Lewis feels the Ipswich team is finding its rhythm after a disrupted early draw.

"It's been a really unusual start to the season with so many weekends off,'' she said.

"As a team, it's been really hard to try to build momentum and we've probably dropped a couple of games that we should have won.''

However, the experienced basketballer doesn't want to offer any excuses.

With a more settled run of games for Force in coming weeks, she's confident the Force can produce some better performances, especially after two gritty victories last week-end over competition heavyweights Logan (83-81) and Sunshine Coast Phoenix (73-57).

"Are we playing where we would like to. Not yet,'' Lewis said. "But pulling off the two wins at the weekend was amazing.''


Western Pride recruit Anthony Sarramea with head coach Terry Kirkham.
Western Pride NPL recruit Anthony Sarramea with head coach Terry Kirkham.

As Lewis prepares to line up for Force against South West Metro on Saturday night, Sarramea will have a night off his football commitments.

He's serving a one-week suspension after receiving two yellow cards in Pride's 4-1 loss to Olympic in Tuesday night's catch-up NPL game.

Lewis said Sarramea felt shattered after the game.

But like his basketballing partner, the experienced Pride footballer will be more determined to help his side when he returns to the field.

Game day

QBL men and women: Saturday (6pm and 8pm) - Ipswich Force v South West Metro at Hibiscus Stadium.

NPL: Saturday (7pm) - Western Pride v South West Queensland at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.