SHARP LINE-UP: Ipswich Grammar School’s talent-rich open basketball team preparing for the GPS competition starting next month.
SHARP LINE-UP: Ipswich Grammar School’s talent-rich open basketball team preparing for the GPS competition starting next month. Claudia Baxter

Youthful IGS basketball side full of GPS promise

IN his seventh year as Ipswich Grammar School head coach, Michael Wellings has seen some talented basketballers come through the program.

While having one of the youngest squads in years, he's confident IGS will suit up this season with impoved depth.

IGS came agonisingly close to winning last year's GPS title, maintaining its consistent record of top three finishes in recent seasons.

Wth IGS having last won the title in 1996, Wellings is building a competitive team with plenty of promise for the 2013 GPS season starting next month.

"This year I've only got three seniors in my whole squad,'' the former Ipswich Force state league player/coach said.

"The team dynamic is very different.

"This year I've still got some really talented kids. I've got 10, 11 kids who can really play.

"I would expect to give everyone a run this year but certainly next year we'll probably start favourites for the title.''

With former IGS captain and current state league player Jason Ralph as his second assistant coach, Wellings is preparing the team for the annual Churchie Big 8 Invitational from July 1-4.

IGS won the eight-team competition last year.

"It's perfect,'' Wellings said of the timing of the invitational.

Ipswich Grammar's first GPS game is on July 27 after a first-round bye.

Wellings has organised a bye weekend game against Gold Coast school Hillcrest to maintain the team's build-up, which started in March.

The full IGS squad is: Matineng Leahy (captain), Kane Bishop (vice captain), Alec Godinet, Lauchlan Campbell, Verle Williams, Trav Waters, Matthew Roettler, Brody Baeumler, Brennan Cross, Jaden Donnelly, Jack Pope, Allan Huen, Joel Berry, Ben Kemp and Hayden Tompkins.

Michael Murray is assistant coach for the third season.

Maggie Chay is manager for the seventh year.

Year 11 student Leahy is the team's starting shooting guard in his third year in the program. The new IGS captain was recently added to the National Performance Program featuring only 12 boys statewide.

Bishop is a small forward, also in year 11, in his second year in the IGS program. He recently competed for the Queensland Emerging team at the national titles.

Leahy and Bishop are current Ipswich Force QBL squad players.

The other squad members have a range of representative and D-League honours.



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