Force overpowers basketball rivals
IN her third season with the Force state league team, Meg Essex looks more confident representing Ipswich this season.
The fact coach Brad George is giving her more court time is reinforcing her growing status in the side.
The 18-year-old from Marburg feels she's completed her apprenticeship and is ready to step up.
"I'm starting (matches) this year, which is good,'' she said.
Her 26 minute stint in Saturday night's 77-63 victory over Brisbane was the most she's played for Force at senior level.
Essex contributed another valuable 12 points in the Auchenflower game, a week after scoring 15 against Suncoast.
The regional product is delighted to be getting more opportunities, having played in all five state league games so far.
"He (George) is really pushing me to get on to those rebounds, being aggressive around the basket and all that,'' she said.
Force were pushed by Brisbane before responding superbly in their latest Queensland Basketball League match.
After trailing 46-33 at halftime, Force lifted its intensity scoring 26 points while holding the home side to just six.
"The first half was pretty scrappy,'' Essex said.
"We had to work hard in the second half to get it back.''
Heading to Newberry College in the United States after the 2015 state league season, Essex said the Force combination was progressing well.
"We're a new team, we've got lots of new faces,'' she said.
"I think we've bonded really well and come together as a team really well.''
Essex said American Chelsie Schweers was exciting to play alongside. Schweers led the comeback on Saturday night with 30 points.
"She has good energy and all that,'' the Australian under-19 representative said.
South Australian newcomer Bree Farley is also settling in well, scoring 17 points against Brisbane.
"She's a great player. She's really smart and she's patient with the ball,'' Essex said.
The win was Ipswich's fourth from five games this season, keeping Force in the top three zone.
However, the Ipswich men suffered back-to-back losses in going down 101-92 to Brisbane.
While Zarryon Fereti, Kylie Harvey, James Legan and Jason Ralph all made scoring contributions, Force trailed at every change being unable to match Brisbane's firepower.
The Ipswich Force men prepare for Friday night's home match against Mackay with a two win, three-loss record.
QBL men: Brisbane 101 d Ipswich Force 92 (Zarryon Fereti 25, Kyle Harvey 21, James Legan 16).
QBL women: Ipswich Force 77 (Chelsie Schweers 30, Bree Farley 17, Meg Essex 12) def Brisbane 63.
Next Ipswich matches: Friday (6.30pm and 8.30pm) - v Mackay at Ipswich stadium.