WINNING BOND: Ipswich’s under 14 girls basketball players preparing for the state titles starting today. PIctured (from left) are Grace Cluderay, Catherine MacGregor, Arielle Mackey, Grace Hughes, Kuini Latu, Neferatali Notoa, Charlotte Hegvold, Karissa Grigg and Tess Haviland.
WINNING BOND: Ipswich’s under 14 girls basketball players preparing for the state titles starting today. PIctured (from left) are Grace Cluderay, Catherine MacGregor, Arielle Mackey, Grace Hughes, Kuini Latu, Neferatali Notoa, Charlotte Hegvold, Karissa Grigg and Tess Haviland. David Nielsen

Ipswich girls work on becoming a top Force

HAVING the right attitude and a winning culture are two of the most important ingredients to success.

Hard work is another.

Listening to coach Calvin Hegvold speak about his Ipswich Force under-14 basketball team, it's easy to see why they are winners.

"We work very hard to try to be up for every game, mentally and physically,'' Hegvold said.

"That's our whole focus.''

Preparing for the state under-14 titles starting in Ipswich today, the Force girls will adopt that successful formula again.

State tournaments are traditionally cut-throat competitions with teams needing to finish first or second in their pool to challenge for the medals.

Northern teams like Townsville, Cairns, Rockhampton and Mackay are usually powerful combinations.

However, Hegvold has confidence in his promising team's ability.

He has been mindful of his training workload after Force's recent unbeaten success in the Basketball Queensland Junior Basketball Competition Premier League.

The Force girls won 16 games, only losing two of the 64 quarters they played over several weeks.

"It's a long season that goes for about six months and we started training before that,'' he said.

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"We've tapered a little bit with our training so we can freshen up for state champs. You want them going in nice and fresh.''

The Force girls play Toowoomba in their opening Division 1 match at 10.40am today. Force meet Mackay in this afternoon's 4pm match, also at Ipswich stadium.

Some state titles matches are being played at Bremer State High School over the next three days, including Ipswich's second team, the Division 2/3 Energy combination.

With eight of his players backing up from winning the state under-12 championships, Hegvold is excited about the tournament ahead.

"A lot of them have played a lot of basketball together so they have a good knowledge of what everyone is doing and also what the goals are,'' Hegvold said. "That certainly helps when everyone is pulling in the same direction.''

Ipswich's under-16 girls won a Division 1 bronze medal at their state titles in Mackay.

Force beat Townsville 91-52 in their final after topping their pool with five wins from their first five games.

That's a welcome boost as the Ipswich under 14 girls challenge for Friday's crossover games in a bid to make Saturday's major finals.

The Ipswich Force under-14 girls basketball team contesting the state titles starting today: Arielle Williams-Mackey, Charlotte Hegvold, Grace Cluderay, Catherine MacGregor, Emilee Tahata, Jana Taufua, Neferatali Notoa, Tess Haviland, Grace Hughes, Kuini Latu, Karissa Grigg. Coach: Calvin Hegvold. Assistant coach: Amelia Jackwitz. Managers: Janeen MacGregor, Lee Hughes.