Ipswich Force player Daniel Robinson.
Ipswich Force player Daniel Robinson. Sarah Harvey

Force teams brace for title bid

IT WAS a weekend of mixed emotions for Ipswich basketball, with the men’s and women’s teams showing good form ahead of their state league finals.

However, the injury-hit men’s side suffered another setback with veteran player Daniel Robinson announcing his retirement.

Robinson said this season would be his last.

The shooting guard had a long and decorated career that included captaining the team the past few seasons.

“He is still more than capable of performing well at QBL level but it is becoming harder for him with increasing work commitments,” his coach Chris Clarkson said.

“He has been excellent for this team. I’ve known this would be his last season for a while now and it will be hard to replace him next year.”

On the bright side though, the Ipswich Force women will host a home semi-final on Saturday after proving there is life after Emma Langford.

The women finished top of their pool and will face the Northside Wizards at Cotton On Foundation Stadium at Booval.

Brad George’s team smashed the Maroochydore Clippers 92-53 last Saturday night in Ipswich.

It was Langford’s last match for the Force this year after she was selected in the Australian Universities team to tour China.

The versatile forward made her farewell count, top scoring with 26 points.

The women then showed they had the ability to compensate for the loss of their leading scorer, edging the South West Pirates 64-62 as Langford was packing her bags for Asia.

Centre Ezria Parsons last week said that Courtney Taylor would be the player to step up in Langford’s absence. Taylor did just that, pocketing 22 points to lead her team to victory.

Against the Clippers the night before, Taylor scored just two points as she fed Langford with crisp passes all night.

Taylor and veteran guard Amber Bartels will have to continue their increased output for the women to go all the way this year.

The Force women will be favourites to reach the semi-finals.

They should beat a Northside team that finished five places behind them on the ladder this season.

The men’s Force team will also face the Northside Wizards on Saturday.

The men’s team will travel to Brisbane for the match after they finished their season in eighth place to scrape into the playoffs.

The men won one of their two games last weekend.

On Saturday they smashed the Maroochydore Clippers 105-68 largely thanks to an on-fire Brad Williamson who scored 33 points at 64.7 per cent from the field.

Zac Compton also showed he would be a finals force with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

However, Clarkson said he was disappointed with the team’s performance on Sunday as they went down to the South West Pirates 98-83.

Clarkson said his team had its mind elsewhere.

“They were thinking about the finals and weren’t focused at all,” Clarkson said.

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