Unbeaten Force on basketball title target
HAVING represented Ipswich at the nationals, Amelia Jackwitz is playing a valuable role in the Force under-14 team at this week's state titles.
The Force assistant coach is delighted to be working with stepfather and coach Calvin Hegvold, encouraging one of the best young basketball teams Ipswich has produced.
While the team's major mission is still to be completed, the unbeaten Force girls continued in impressive fashion at Ipswich stadium yesterday.
The state title contenders beat Gold Coast Waves 80-31 yesterday morning before outclassing the Seahawks 82-22 in their afternoon encounter.
That double came after Force's comfortable Division 1 victories over Toowoomba and Mackay on Wednesday.
"It was a really good team effort from the girls,'' Jackwitz said.
"It was a really strong defensive game, really aggressive in defence.
"They are a lovely bunch of girls and they play really unselfish basketball.''
Force's top scorers in the morning game were Kuini Latu (18), Karissa Grigg (13) and Catherine MacGregor (12).
While winning the state title is the team's first goal, Jackwitz said the Ipswich team was also focusing on another achievement.
That is qualifying to represent Queensland at the Australian under-14 club championships in Gosford from September 28-October 3.
The top three Division 1 sides from this week's state titles will advance to the national competition.
Jackwitz played for the 2002 Ipswich girls' side at the nationals and her brother Hamish also contested the same elite under-14 boys' tournament last year.
Another family member - current under-14 player Charlotte - is hoping to do the same this year.
"That's been our goal since the start of the season,'' she said. "We want to win this (the state title) and go to nationals and do well.''
Her advice to the current group of players is not thinking they have won it already.
"You've got to try to keep them to stay motivated and have that desire to keep going, which they have at the moment.
"They are all really focused and their recovery has been really good.''
The Force girls play Rockhampton in the final pool qualifying match today at 8am before this afternoon's semi-finals.
More success today will secure Ipswich a spot in the medal games at Ipswich stadium tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Ipswich's second team named Energy is also performing well in Division 2/3.
Energy beat SWM Pirates 53-28 before overcoming Northside Wizards 64-18 yesterday.
Jasmine Gregory top scored with 15 in the first game, with Selma Togia leading the charge with 14 points against the Wizards.