Ipswich-bred players step up with American Kyle
IPSWICH Force's Mr Reliable Kyle Harvey led the way in his team's confidence-boosting first win of this year's Queensland Basketball League.
After top scoring with 42 points in Friday night's 107-98 loss to Rockhampton, Harvey stepped up again to guide his team to victory by the same margin over Gladstone.
Harvey backed up his 33 points on Saturday night with 19 rebounds.
"Kyle was his usual self - unstoppable,'' Force head coach Chris Riches said.
"It was really a quality effort by him, especially in the first half and he just hit some massive threes later on in the game that were really, really good.''
While vice-captain Harvey continues to have a major impact, it was three other Ipswich-bred players who Riches also praised after Saturday night's fine home court win.
Mitch Poulain amassed 25 points, his highest tally since joining Ipswich's QBL program. He made 12 valuable rebounds, showing he belongs in the state league after his development in Ipswich feeder teams.
Force regular Kane Bishop played an important role closing out the game as Ipswich protected its lead.
Another former Ipswich Grammar School student Alec Godinet also impressed, after being elevated to an important role when import Jayden Ferguson had to withdraw through injury.
"The guys had to stand up to be counted and they did that,'' Riches said, particularly pleased for Godinet.
"It's a challenge and it's a big step up when you're usually coming off the bench and coming into a starting role.
"He really gave it a good shake in regards to getting that opportunity, which is what you want.
"That's the whole philosophy about why we're doing. How our association is really focusing on driving that local development and he (Godinet) is a classic example of that.
"It's great when you see that happen.''
Riches said finishing the job on Saturday night was the most pleasing aspect of the game.
"It's a good feeling to finally have that first win out of the way and now we've just got to focus on the next game at hand,'' Riches said.
The Ipswich Force men head north later this week to play Townsville and Cairns in their first road trip of the new QBL season.
State of play
QBL men: Ipswich Force 107 (Kyle Harvey 33, Mitch Poulain 25) def Gladstone 98; Rockhampton 107 def Ipswich Force 98 (Kyle Harvey 42, Jason Ralph 20).