Force runs out of time in thriller
A TIME-OUT controversy with 24 seconds left proved decisive as the Ipswich Force women narrowly missed securing a valuable state league double.
With the score deadlocked at 75-75, Force coach Brad George hoped to secure better court position for his team's final bid for victory after a gallant fightback.
Gladstone capitalised on the referee's decision to score again.
With 1.4 seconds left, Force player Bree Farley made a last desperate shot to tie the match.
She missed, denying Force a repeat of the previous game where Brandi Brown nailed a late three-pointer to give Ipswich victory over Mackay.
It was Force's second loss of the season after beating Logan 89-68 in a physical away clash.
"It was very disappointing that we tried to advance the ball and they scored instead,'' George said, reflecting on his time-out call.
"I just thought we could advance the ball over halfway and run a set play.
"We should have won it.''
Despite the nail-biting loss, Ipswich's second half effort yesterday was commendable coming from 10 points down at halftime to narrow the gap to 61-56 at three-quarter time.
Force's big three Chelsie Schweers, Farley and Brandi Brown found their three-point range to ignite second-placed Ipswich's comeback against the team below them on the ladder.
Schweers finished with 28 points after scoring just two in the first quarter.
Farley bagged 20 and Brown contributed 16 as Force levelled at 67-67 and 73-73 before the thrilling final seconds.
With six wins from eight games, the Force women are preparing for a tough road trip north this weekend.
George is hoping for a better start and rebounding at key times.
Meanwhile, the Derek Rucker-coached Gladstone men's side added to Ipswich's recent plight in scoring a 108-89 win.
The visitors were more pumped up and physical, building an early lead they maintained unchallenged.
The former Bullets national league player had his troops ready to play despite being the end of their testing southern road trip.
The Ipswich men slumped to their sixth loss of the season after also going down 81-76 to Logan on Saturday night.
State of Play
- QBL men: Gladstone 108 def Ipswich Force 89 (James Legan 26, Kyle Harvey 18); Logan 91 d Ipswich Force 76 (James Legan 28, Zarryon Fereti 16, Kyle Harvey 11).
- QBL women: Gladstone 77 def Ipswich Force 75 (Chelsie Schweers 28, Bree Farley 20, Brandi Brown 16); Ipswich Force 89 (Chelsie Schweers 33, Bree Farley 20, Brandi Brown 16) d Logan 68.
- Next games: Force road trip to Townsville and Cairns this weekend.