Praise for Ipswich rebuilding efforts as Qld titles loom
LONG-serving official and coach Terry Lindeberg praised the Ipswich Basketball Association for their recent efforts as he prepares a new-look team for the latest Queensland championships.
Lindeberg is coaching the Ipswich Force under-16 girls side at the state titles being staged at Auchenflower from April 6-9.
Having fulfilled that role on and off for 25 years, Lindeberg said this year's combination was one of least experienced sides he had worked with due to a loss of players to other associations.
However, he said the representative newcomers were improving as they prepare for their first Division 2 match against Gladstone Power on April 6.
"We're running a brand new group. We've lost nearly a whole team of under-14s two years ago to Logan,'' he said.
Given that fine talent was lured elsewhere, Lindeberg said association president Chris Riches and recently appointed operations manager Brady Walmsley deserved credit for how they have responded.
"You've got to have your ups and downs,'' Lindeberg said.
"We've lost a lot of players in Ipswich over the last couple of years.
"They are rebuilding. The association is doing a pretty great job actually in the last 12 months.
"Chris is doing a lot of work. They (Riches and Walmsley) have been out and about (recruiting).''
Lindeberg said his under-16 team manager Megan Brockhurst was also a quality person, keen to help revitalise the Ipswich junior program developing future players for the new NBL1 North competition.
Lindeberg has coached a number of teams to medal success at past Queensland championships.
The latest team has been working together since September, playing 14 games in the SEQ competition where they have steadily gained more experience.
The Ipswich Force under-16 girls side is: Makenna Mader (captain), Evaleine Massey, Summer Brockhurst, Amelia Bell, Kayla Gomez, Reagen Gavars, Erin Cabili, Indi-Leigh Forster.
Head coach: Terry Lindeberg. Assistant coach: Josel Gomez. Manager: Megan Brockhurst.
All the Ipswich Force under-16 girls matches are at Auchenflower Stadium.
More than 50 games showcasing the state's best teenage prospects will be live streamed on the QT website after the Easter break.
That includes the Ipswich Force under-16 boys side which is also contesting state titles from April 6-9 at the Northside stadiums at Zillmere and at Brendale.
Ipswich boys on golden mission
Force head coach Dave Chettle is excited about the Division 2 Ipswich under-16 team he has, chasing back-to-back gold medals in that division.
"It's a pretty new team,'' Chettle said.
The Ipswich Division 2 side includes three players backing up from last year's success - Ethan Battensby, Liam Ketchell and Justin Ventic.
The bottom age players are Lans Lagdamen, Josh Affleck, James Casaquite and Tristan Afamasaga.
"They've done a really, really good job,'' Chettle said.
David Onyeogaziri has also impressed the coach, playing his first season of representative basketball.
"They have been a really good team,'' Chettle said.
"They've worked really hard together.''
The Force boys have been together since trials last July.
What has pleased Chettle is how the teenagers have committed to training.
"Every training session, they have all been there. They have all put in,'' he said.
"They are all willing to learn so that's been the beauty of this team.''
The Ipswich Force under-16 boys team is: 4. Justin Ventic, 5. Lans Lagdamen, 6. Joshua Affleck, 7. Ethan Battensby, 8. James Casaquite, 9. Charlie MacLeod, 10. David Onyeogaziri, 11. Tristan Afamasaga, 12. Liam Ketchell, 14. Will O'Brien.
Coach: Dave Chettle. Assistant coach: Geoff MacLeod. Manager: Annette Battensby.
Ipswich's first state titles game is at 11am against the Gold Coast Breakers on April 6.
The Force under-16 boys just finished runners-up to Sunshine Coast Rip in a Brisbane competition grand final.
"In the under 16's last year, we won gold in the second division and we're in the same sort of boat,'' he said.
"We were second in the normal season so we've got a good chance again.
"We've got a silver medal so far. We're hoping to see if we can get one better in the state champs.''
Chettle has been coaching Ipswich junior boys and girls representative teams since 2010, focusing on the under 16s in recent seasons.
A third Ipswich side contesting the state titles is the Force Energy under-16 boys in Division 4. That development team is being coached by Matt Such.
The livestream coverage from next month's state championships will include all games from one court at each venue across the four days.