Coach to ponder future after Ipswich's gallant effort
AS he does after every playoff series, Ipswich Force coach Brad George will take some time before committing to another season.
Waiting for his flight home tonight, George praised his team for its efforts in another Queensland Basketball League women's quarter-final.
Although Force lost 78-74 to home side Mackay, the Ipswich players were well in the game leading 66-65.
Force had a chance to win after a fantastic defensive effort.
"They were disappointed but they can hold their heads high,'' George said.
"I was really proud of the way they fought.''
Given Force's imports Markel Walker and Shenita Landry were late arrivals, the Force team bonded quickly, recovering from a shaky start to secure a spot in the finals.
"I was really happy with the group,'' George said, having guided an Ipswich team to the playoffs in each of the six years he's coached them.
That includes a 2013 grand final appearance where Force finished runners-up.
While being unable to reach this year's semi-finals, the experienced Ipswich mentor did an outstanding job bringing a virtual new-look team together.
George will make a decision on his coaching future in coming weeks after watching his wife Marney retire last night.
Marney received seven minutes court time in her final state league game, after 15 dependable years service for Ipswich.
"No pressure. I'll wait and see,'' George said about his future with the Force.
The coach said it was only a five minute period in the first quarter where Mackay gained a valuable edge.
Force's regular point scorers Rachel Mate, Georgia Williams and Bree Farley were kept relatively quiet by Mackay's powerful international players.
And with a massive pro-Mackay crowd cheering on the Meteorettes, the home side had a decisive edge in the clutch moments.
"It was tough to come up here on the road and put together a win against one of the top sides,'' Mate said.
"We fought until the end, which was good, but it's hard to go down like that when we tried so hard.''
George had no issues with the new top eight format this season, after previously qualifying through a pool system.
"It's been good,'' he said. "The top eight should be decided on percentages.''
State of play
QBL women's quarter-final: Mackay 78 (Chevannah Paalvast 18, Micaela Cocks 16) def Ipswich Force 74 (Markel Walker 27, Shenita Landry 11).