Lift in focus crucial as Force scampers home

WORKHORSE: Ipswich Force forward Nadeen Payne had extra responsibility in her team’s latest state league win.
WORKHORSE: Ipswich Force forward Nadeen Payne had extra responsibility in her team’s latest state league win. Sarah Harvey

EVEN added defensive duties can't dull Nadeen Payne's high-scoring run.

A week after earning the QBL player-of-the-week award, which coincided with her 20th birthday, Payne scored 28 points in Ipswich Force's 74-66 win over South West Metro at Booval on Friday night.

But Payne was not overly impressed by her own or the team's performance.

"It was really ugly but we won, so that's the main thing," Payne said.

"Our rebounding was shocking.

"I only got five rebounds so I wasn't happy with that.

"I was pretty tired."

Payne was tired from the added responsibility she carried in the absence of centre Emma Langford, who is touring China with the Australian Emerging Opals team.

Normally a power forward, the former AIS scholarship holder and Australian junior representative had to do some more of the grunt work.

"I was marking a really big girl," Payne said. "She was huge.

"So I was more focussed on trying not to let her get the ball than scoring.

"But we ended up playing zone so I didn't have to do too much more."

It didn't dull her offence, despite her harsh self- assessment, maintaining her 20-plus contribution in every game she's played this season.

SW Metro sit 10th on the ladder and Ipswich looked like they'd blow them away early.

"We started off really well," Payne said.

"That's what our focus has been because we had been starting off games slowly.

"Then halfway through the first quarter we switched off."

The win leaves the Force women in fourth place on the ladder and Payne knows they will have to lift against third-placed Brisbane away from home on Friday.

Maintaining focus, she said, was the most important area the team had to concentrate on ahead of the clash.

"I think they're without Kirsten Veal (also on Opals duty)," Payne said.

"They only have one player who is consistently getting double figures so we need to lock her down.

"When we work hard and defend well against their bigs our offence just flows.

The Force Men's team ended its five-game losing streak with its second win of the season, beating SW Metro 94-72 on Friday.

Alex Desroches led the way with 29 points.

State of Play

QBL men: Ipswich Force 94 (Alex Desroches 29, Jerel Chavis 16, Martin Iti 15) d South West Metro 72 (Kenneth Barnes 25, Lance Storss 18).

QBL women: Ipswich Force 74 (Nadeen Payne 28, Stacey Howard 14) d South West Metro 66 (Diane Schuetze 19, Maddy Willey 15).

Next match: Friday night - Force v Brisbane at NAB Stadium.