Last-gasp shot seals thrilling IGS victory
IPSWICH Grammar School's unbeaten open basketball team welcome another top quality showdown this weekend after a nail-biting victory over GPS heavyweights BBC.
IGS secured their fourth consecutive win of the new season, beating powerhouse opponents BBC 77-75 last Saturday.
Head coach Michael Wellings was proud of how his side handled the pressure against BBC, after comfortable wins over Brisbane Grammar 112-53, Toowoomba Grammar 101-69 and Nudgee 83-58 in recent weeks.
"They (BBC) hit the front with about 20 seconds to go and one of our young year 10 boys Deshawn Ross-Paiwan hit a three in the corner with about eight seconds left,'' Wellings said.
"And then we just had to survive one final play.''
The shooting guard's terrific finish completed another deserved win for IGS after they had led for most of the game.
"After 2015 (Ipswich Grammar's last GPS basketball premiership), we've just been rebuilding to where we are now basically,'' said Wellings, who is in his 12th year overseeing the school's program.
"2016 was a bit of a lean year but I had a lot of young guys just getting into the program.
"And then last year we probably surprised a few people. We went five and three (five wins, three losses) last year with a pretty young squad.
"So this year, the boys are working really hard and that was a great win on Saturday.''
IGS's next opponents are another GPS title contender Churchie, away on Saturday.
Churchie are also unbeaten after their first three games in the eight-match competition.
"We'll continue to keep trying to be better both individually and as a team each week,'' Wellings said.
"It's just trying to keep their feet on the ground and keeping nice and humble.''
The head coach praised his "fantastic'' leadership group for encouraging the exciting emerging players.
"Our senior boys are not superstars and a lot of the younger guys are the ones scoring all the points and doing all the damage on the scoreboard,'' he said. "But it's the older guys that are doing all the things that probably don't come up on the stat sheet.''
A number of the current 17-strong open squad are involved in the Ipswich Force junior program, which also continues to develop exciting talent like IGS.
Current Force state league players like Kane Bishop, Jason Ralph and Kyle Harvey have been working with the IGS players across the grades.
The 2018 IGS open squad is: Alex Duce (captain), Isaiah Ilaiu (vice-captain), Michael Fleming, Josh Lincoln, Lincoln Collins, Riley Aufai, Deshawn Ross-Paiwan, Brennan Norris, Jeremy Brown, Harry Campbell, Trae Sialapata, Lachlan Salvador, Noah Silcox-Smith, Sid Keith, Will Neumann, Will Willis, Kyle Davis, Taine Dodd.