Force Files: Ipswich women rediscover winning self-belief
BEING down 27-7 at one stage in the first quarter you begin to question yourself.
The crowd is quiet, seemingly shell-shocked.
The self-doubt starts to creep up, the blame game is lurking behind a corner and the path to self-destruction looks a lot easier than the challenging hurdles to chase a victory.
It would have been easy for us to lose our cool, drop our bundle and finish the game playing mediocre basketball, just going through the paces to let Wizards walk away with a devastating win.
At half-time we were posed a question by our coaches: Do we want to finish our state league season like this, just roll over; or do we want to fight?
It's not in our team build-up to give up, so fighting back was the only answer.
And fight back we did.
We knew it was as simple as get a stop, get a score.
Our defensive intensity in the third quarter was blistering. We forced Northside to make mistakes, take bad options and we punished them for doing so.
Spurred on from our tenacious defence, our shots started to drop.
It was different from the first half where it was as if we were wishing the ball to go through the hoop.
In the second half, the determination on the faces of the Force girls was evident. The ball was going through the hoop.
By the end of the third quarter, we were down by three. It was only a matter of seconds before we were in front and in control of the game.
And the crowd were back. With their resounding support, and our never-say-die attitude we closed out the game to win by six points.
I said last week that the key to getting the win against the Wizards was for the Force to play with desire, tenacity, determination and heart. That the team who wanted it more would be victorious.
After a slow start, we did just that, earning ourselves a spot in the semi-finals and setting up a David versus Goliath-style battle against the ever-powerful Gladstone side.
IPSWICH'S next opponents Gladstone are the favourites to win the semi-final on Saturday night.
They are a team featuring New Zealand national players and two American imports, with the added benefit of playing in front of their boisterous home crowd.
It's not surprising they are being backed to win. But don't write the Force off just yet.
Having lost US college recruit Meg Essex, Kate Head will fill the void. The exciting teenager will be suiting up in her first road trip with the QBL Force.
We will also have our loyal group of Force fans making the long drive up on Saturday morning to support the team, including my mum and dad who are long-time supporters and volunteers of Ipswich Basketball (and now official babysitters of Ryder who is also making the trip to Gladstone).
We like to be the underdogs.
We have proven what we can do as a team when we play tenacious defence and stay positive.
The Force women are out to stage an upset and knock Gladstone off the winner's block.