AIMING HIGH: Ipswich Force regular James Legan lines up his target during the recent state league match against Bundaberg. The American import is keen to rediscover his top shooting form against Mackay tomorrow night.
AIMING HIGH: Ipswich Force regular James Legan lines up his target during the recent state league match against Bundaberg. The American import is keen to rediscover his top shooting form against Mackay tomorrow night. Kate Czerny

American fine tunes his basketball radar

BEING the fine team player he is, James Legan hates to let Ipswich down.

Being the elder statesmen he also is, the American import likes to lead by example.

So the popular Ipswich Force recruit is the first to admit he needs to regain his best shooting form in tomorrow night's Queensland Basketball League clash with competition leaders Mackay at Booval.

Legan scored 16 points in last weekend's 101-92 defeat to Brisbane, leaving Ipswich's record at two wins and three losses.

Legan regularly contributes points in the high 20 range.

"We should be, at the worst, four and one,'' Legan, 28, said.

"Last year we started at 0 and 5 (lost first five games) and we finished it winning like nine, 10 games in a row (to make the finals).

"Even though we lost to Brisbane on Saturday, if I had a better game that game we win by 20.''

Captain Zarryon Fereti (25 points), American import Kyle Harvey (21) and Jason Ralph (15) made valuable contributions.

"I just wasn't getting my shots,'' Legan said of his disappointing performance.

"It was one of those type of nights - in and out. If those shots fall, we win.

"It's frustrating but all I've got to do is get in the gym and work on my craft and just keep going.''

Despite a tough night, Legan said Force could be encouraged knowing they are developing the style of play head coach Mick Conlon wants.

In his second season with the Force and fifth in the QBL, Houston-based Legan believes Ipswich can match unbeaten Mackay tomorrow night.

"They have a few NBL players on their team but we went up there last year and only lost by three,'' he said.

"I'm thinking, this year we will go in confident we can beat these guys at home.

"It's all about playing our style and not worrying too much about what they are doing.''

Legan said in the three games Ipswich has lost this season, "we beat ourselves''.

"We handed the game over. We didn't lose them,'' he said.

"If we control the game, we give ourselves a better chance of winning.''

Ipswich's wins this season have been over Gold Coast (121-98) and Bundaberg (97-80) showing Force have plenty of scoring options.

Before losing to Brisbane by nine points, Force also went down to Toowoomba (110-83) and Suncoast (94-82).

Exciting teammates

While he works hard on his game, Legan is keen to help Ipswich's younger players build their state league careers.

The American coaches at Ipswich Grammar School and is excited to see Force developing teenage talents like Marty Leahy and Kane Bishop.

"Marty is going to be a special player,'' Legan said.

"He wants to be better.

"The same thing with Timmy (Weigh). They take it on board.

"Kane is coming along and so is big Jah (Soloai).

"We've got to keep his head right and he's going to be something good.''

Game day

QBL tomorrow night: Ipswich Force v Mackay at Ipswich stadium, Booval. Women play at 6.30pm with the men's match at 8.30pm.



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