Super showdown looms with Ipswich leading state league
AS the only unbeaten team in this year's state league, the Ipswich Force women can prepare confidently for a showdown at home next weekend.
After seven consecutive Queensland Basketball League wins, Force face the Townsville Flames at Llewellyn Stadium in their next heavyweight duel on Sunday.
Townsville were unbeaten from seven matches before losing 96-67 to Southern Districts last night.
However, the Force women continued their impressive progress by winning their first doubleheader of the season.
Today's 93-79 win over Logan Thunder followed Ipswich's comprehensive 105-56 domination of Toowoomba last night.
It's the first time Ipswich has made such a powerhouse run to lead the highly competitive state league competition.
"We can't be in a better position so it's a good way to start the season,'' delighted head coach Brad George said, excited about the duel with Townsville.
"They are a legitimate side. It's going to be a really big test to see how we are going.''
Most pleasing from Force's latest away games was how well they started.
Force built a 33-23 lead over a desperate Thunder combination today, a night after setting up a 65-12 halftime lead over Toowoomba.
All Force's top six players made valuable contributions on Saturday night with Amanda "AJ'' Johnson leading the way with 28.
This afternoon, it was American AJ (35 points) and Force's European recruit Gintare "Gigi'' Mazionyte (22) who stepped up in a crunch game.
"The girls did the job in the first half,'' George said, giving his topline players a rest in Saturday night's second half.
The ploy, to keep their legs fresh for yesterday's clash, worked well against a determined Logan side fighting hard to stay in the QBL finals' hunt.
"They were desperate, they play hard, they have a good line-up,'' George said of Logan.
"That was a good win.''
When asked if it was his team's best victory of the season, George responded: "Definitely in terms of intensity, how physical . . . and the battle.''
Luthuanian national squad member Gigi was outstanding, scoring 21 points in the first half today as Force clung to a 50-47 advantage.
AJ took charge in the final quarter to complete the spirited performance.
The Ipswich Force men toiled hard in their first doubleheader of the season, losing 122-107 to Logan today after going down in a 90-88 thriller to Toowoomba on Saturday night.
State of play
QBL women: Ipswich Force 93 (Amanda Johnson 35, Gintare Mazionyte 22, Kate Head 12) def Logan 79 at Logan; Ipswich Force 105 (Amanda Johnson 28, Rachel Mate 16, Bree Farley 15) def Toowoomba 56 in Toowoomba.
QBL men: Logan 122 def Ipswich Force 107 (Garrett Hall 28, Jason Ralph 21); Toowoomba Mountaineers 90 def Ipswich Force 88 (Kyle Harvey 22, Jason Ralph 21) in Toowoomba.
Next matches: Sunday at Llewellyn Stadium, Booval - noon: Ipswich Force v Townsville Flames; 2pm: Ipswich Force v Townsville Heat.