Ipswich Force player Kate Head runs at the Cairns defence during yesterday’s under-14 game at Booval.
Ipswich Force player Kate Head runs at the Cairns defence during yesterday’s under-14 game at Booval. Rob Williams

Force girls tipped out of semis

YOU play your heart out for your city, win four from five games and still miss the state titles semi-finals.

How cruel can sport be?

However, that's the almost unbelievable situation that confronted the Ipswich Force under-14 girls basketball team at their home stadium yesterday.

Despite impressive victories over Mackay (82-39), Logan 1 (67-57), South West Metro (71-32) and Gold Coast Seahawks (76-58) on Sunday and Monday, Ipswich was knocked out of today's Division 1 medal rounds.

Ipswich has to play off for fifth at the Ipswich stadium today.

After Ipswich's superb first two days, it all came down to yesterday morning's fifth match against Cairns.

With Ipswich top of pool A, they had to beat Cairns to ensure a semi-final spot.

Ipswich lost 68-43 to be joined by Cairns and Logan in equal first place (on nine points).

With the top three teams finishing on nine points, a mathematician was needed to split the sides.

After head-to-head games were analysed, the only way to split the sides was on overall percentage after a countback.

Cairns was propelled to top spot (155.35) ahead of Logan (145.89), leaving the young Ipswich girls stunned.

Their 133.46 percentage, although beating Logan Thunder by 10 points, was not enough to guarantee a semi-final opportunity.

"It's so disappointing," Ipswich coach Marney Lee said.

"After the game, the girls were a bit quiet. I don't think they completely understood.

"They still thought they were in the semis and we had to explain it to them.

"But that's how it (the state tournament) works."

The Ipswich girls toiled hard against the Dolphins yesterday, matching them for three quarters.

However, a tournament-ending ankle injury to consistent performer Jada Schultz in the first quarter hurt Ipswich's hopes.

Cassandra Poulain top scored with 14 points, well supported by Kate Head with 10.

"A lot of shots that we've been getting in all week just didn't drop for us and theirs did," Lee said.

"We've been playing so well."

The loss left Ipswich having to play Maroochydore yesterday afternoon. Force won 63-34 to set up today's shot at fifth place.

State league player Lee did her best to get her girls up after yesterday's incredible setback.



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