Sport

Fresh Force outfit eyes home play-off

STANDING TALL: Ipswich Force strongman Martin Iti tries to outmanoeuvre a Toowoomba player during their recent QBL match.
STANDING TALL: Ipswich Force strongman Martin Iti tries to outmanoeuvre a Toowoomba player during their recent QBL match. Nev Madsenthe Toowoomba Chronicle

ONE win from their final two games will be enough for the Ipswich Force men to top their pool in the QBL, ensuring a home play-off.

But if you're only as good as your last game, the seventh-placed Force will have to work hard at Booval tonight against fifth-placed Northside.

After losing five of their first six games, the Force won seven straight before their last-start 90-89 loss to Bundaberg, followed by the bye last weekend.

But coach Andrew Summerville wasn't unhappy to see his team's winning run broken.

"The winning streak always had to come to an end at some stage," Summerville said. "It's good we got it off our backs before play-offs."

Having the loss followed by a weekend off wasn't ideal, with players keen to make amends as soon as possible. But there were plenty of positive benefits.

"It was nice and refreshing coming off the bye," Summerville said.

"It's a little bit of a strange feeling. It seems like forever since we played.

"The boys are raring to go."

Older players and those with niggles got to rest their bodies while all were freshened mentally by the break.

Some went away for the weekend but not Summerville and his coaching staff, who instead watched tonight's opponents go down in double over-time to South West Metro (118-116).

"Northside have the ability to hit some big shots down the stretch," Summerville said.

"They have learnt how to play in close games.

"They were dead and buried for a while."

A weekend without a game also gave Summerville the chance to reiterate some messages at training that might have been diluted through the season.

"It was a chance to freshen up on some of the things we've been working on and keep guys aware of the little details you can lose sight of," he said.

The plan for the Force tonight will be to get the ball to their big men on the inside and shut down at least one of the Northside leading scorers.

"We'll try and use our inside presence," the coach said.

"Northside aren't overly big.

"So we need to get inside, attack the rim and get any easy points we can."

To that end, Summerville would like nothing more than to see power forward Kyle Harvey impose himself on the match.

"He's been good for us of late," Summerville said.

"But I'm still not sure he's reached his potential yet.

"I'm sure he's got a big game in him."

Game day

  • Tonight: 5pm - QBL women: Ipswich Force (4th) v Northside Wizards (5th).
  • 7pm: QBL men - Ipswich Force (7th) v Northside (5th).
  • Games at Ipswich stadium in Ross Llewellyn Drive, Booval.

Topics:  ipswich force (basketball), queensland basketball league



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