Ipswich Force co-captain Amy Lewis controlled the court in her team’s opening win of the new Queensland State League season. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Ipswich Force co-captain Amy Lewis controlled the court in her team’s opening win of the new Queensland State League season. Picture: Cordell Richardson

Awesome Amy gives Ipswich winning confidence

THE return of experienced Force leader Amy Lewis had an instant impact in Ipswich's much-needed Queensland State League victory.

Apart from nearly completing a "triple double'', Lewis boosted Ipswich's confidence for their clash with South West Metro at Hibiscus Stadium.

The Force women secured their first win of the new season with a commanding 101-49 round 3 success over South West Metro.

"It certainly helps when you've got your rudder out,'' delighted head coach Terry Lindeberg said. "Amy makes a big difference.''

Having missed the previous match managing calf issues, Lewis scored 22 points, made 12 rebounds and eight assists.

Had she got added two more assists, she would have achieved the tremendous treble.

However, her leadership - with co-captain Georgia Ralph (20 points) and the dependable Rachel Mate (22 points) - lifted the entire Ipswich team.

"It took a lot more pressure off the others . . . freed them up a bit when you get a little bit more strength on the court,'' Lindeberg said.

Ipswich Force co-captain Amy Lewis
Ipswich Force co-captain Amy Lewis

Rising talent Catherine Macgregor was among those to capitalise.

While the big guns were inflicting major damage on South West Metro, Macgregor hit four three-pointers in her valuable contribution of 16 points.

"They all looked nice, very neat,'' Lindeberg said of Macgregor's bonus shots.

"It was good to get her with a bit of confidence up.

"It all went really well.''

The Force players took charge in the second quarter and never relinquished their powerful position.

Lindeberg said better rebounding helped his side "after getting flogged 60 to 40'' in the previous match.

"I think it was the other way around this week,'' he said.

With big centre Iris Cubit also benefiting from more fast breaks, Lindeberg was encouraged by the performance against a team guided by former head coach Brad George.

"We're still good mates,'' Lindeberg said, having enjoyed a long association with Brad and his wife Marney.

Former Ipswich captain Bree Farley was ill and didn't play for South West Metro.

With a big lead, Lindeberg took the opportunity to get more young players on the court.

"It's something we've just got to keep working on,'' he said.

In the later QSL game, the Ipswich Force men were unable to capitalise on their tenacious third quarter coming from 10 points down to level at 64-64.

South West Metro re-established control in the final period to win 86-78, leaving Ipswich with one victory from three matches.

Bullets recruit Nathan Sobey led Ipswich's fightback with 29 points.

The Force teams return to JBS Stadium at Bundamba to host Logan next weekend.

STATE OF PLAY

QSL Division 1 women: Ipswich Force 101 (Rachel Mate 22, Amy Lewis 22, Georgia Ralph 20) def South West Metro 49.

QSL Division 1 men: South West Metro 86 def Ipswich Force 78 (Nathan Sobey 29, Jesse Ghee 14).