National league basketballer Emma Langford (right) will this weekend play her last game this season for Ipswich.
National league basketballer Emma Langford (right) will this weekend play her last game this season for Ipswich. David Nielsen

Langford to quit Force

EMMA Langford, Ipswich Force’s most valuable player, has been forced to resign from the squad after she was selected for the Australian Universities women’s basketball team.

Langford told teammates of her selection after she starred in their 82-69 demolition of Rockhampton Rockets last Friday night.

The Australian Universities team tours China this month and Langford’s last game for the Force will be Saturday night’s match against Maroochydore.

“It’s a massive blow for us, it will be a big change,” Force women’s coach Brad George said.

“It will test our depths and we’re just going to have to step up.

“Emma has been great for us. We will need to find an extra 10 boards and 20-plus points a game.

“It will test our depth but we have the players to cover her.”

Langford scored 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds against Rockhampton.

“The girls took it really well. They were very supportive of her,” George said.

Langford said she would miss the club immensely and wanted to return next season.

“It’s disappointing to not be part of the team’s finals run,” Langford said.

“I love the club. It’s been a lot of fun for me this season with that group of girls.

“I think they can still win the title. They have the experienced players to cover for me.”

The player’s player from the Force’s win over Rockhampton was Ezria Parsons who bagged 26 buckets and 16 rebounds.

The women will need to get that performance out of Parsons every week if they are to surge through the Women’s Queensland Basketball League finals which begin in two weeks.

Parsons said losing Langford was an awful downer after the great win last Friday night.

“We were so upbeat after the win and then when she told us she couldn’t play anymore ... it was heart-breaking,” Parsons said.

“She’s been a major contributor for us all season. It’s a big loss.”

Parsons said she would have to step up in Langford’s absence.

“I have been able to relax a lot because teams always double-team her and then I would have an easier shot, but that might not happen anymore,” Parsons said.

“But if we play like we did against Rockhampton, we will be able to win games.”

Parsons nominated the team’s two fast guards as the players who will need to increase their field goal attempts to make up for Langford’s 20- plus points per game.

“Our quick guards, Amber Bartels and Coutney Taylor, will need to take more shots,” Parsons said.

The Force women play a double-header this weekend against Maroochydore at home and South West away to finish their season.

Their first opponents in the finals series have already been decided, the Northside Wizards.

George said the performance against Rockhampton was exactly what his team needed leading into the finals.

“I thought we dominated the match and the scoreboard was quite flattering to them,” he said.

State of play

Women’s state league: Ipswich Force 82 (Ezria Parsons 26 pts, 16 rbs; Emma Langford 25 pts, 9 rbs) def Rockhampton Rockets 69 (Nicole Romeo 27 pts; Louella Tomlinson 12 pts, 11 rbs) at Cotton On Foundation Stadium.



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