Wonderful women's character on show in best finish
BASKETBALL: Having watched his high-flying team work their way into second spot this season, Force head coach Brad George knew they had some special qualities.
However, beating fatigue to complete another testing road trip double highlighted the determination in this year's Ipswich women's team.
"It was just the character the girls showed and the effort to compete when they were completely buggered,'' George said after Ipswich's latest successes in Mackay and Rockhampton.
After overpowering Mackay 88-63 on Friday night, Force were pushed all the way before outlasting Rockhampton 79-73 on Saturday night.
"In the first game, we came out red hot and had a 25 point lead at halftime,'' George said.
"We came out really good against Mackay and we knew Rocky were a good side.
"Especially last night, it was physical and the fatigue was starting to show a lot and some of the errors we had. But they continued to fight back.
"They kept turning up for each other and got the job done when it mattered.''
American import Amanda "AJ'' Johnson was dominant again, top scoring in both games.
However, as they have all season, the Force women "turned it up a notch'' at key moments.
"They keep playing hard for each other,'' George said.
"That's probably been the big factor. When something goes wrong, they just keep finding a way.''
Gintare "Gigi'' Mazionyte battled with the big girls, collecting 17 rebounds.
Captain Bree Farley stepped up in two of her best games this season.
Georgia Williams contributed valuable points, continuing to spark momentum at the right time.
Heading into their final qualifying game of the regular season against Gold Coast on Friday night, the Force women were in second place with 15 wins and just two losses.
Although he's coached Ipswich to finals the past five years, George said this was by far his team's best record on the road.