Ipswich Force basketballer and player of the week Kyle Harvey.
Ipswich Force basketballer and player of the week Kyle Harvey. Megan Low

Ipswich has best state league players

BASKETBALL: Having two Force players named QBL players of the round was a welcome boost for Ipswich.

It's been some time since Ipswich won the major weekly awards in the Queensland Basketball League men's and women's competitions at the same time.

However, American imports Kyle Harvey and Amanda "AJ'' Johnson deserved the recognition after impressive efforts against Brisbane Capitals last weekend.

AJ's contribution included 28 rebounds.

Harvey made 17 rebounds in between top scoring with 36 points.

But while pleased to see both Ipswich teams win on the same day in Brisbane, Force men's head coach Chris Riches was wisely exercising caution. He's mindful of the task ahead preparing for Sunday afternoon's games against Southern Districts.

With two more testing matches at Carina, Riches was keen to ensure the players remained grounded.

"It's been a big push this week to take the win in our stride and then refocus on what we need to do moving ahead,'' he said.

"These (tough) games keep on coming thick and fast and they need to be prepared for the next step.''

The Force men welcome back off-season recruit Joe Owens after he was rested with a sore back in last weekend's inspired 112-90 win over Brisbane.

Riches was also keen to introduce another Ipswich talent into his group.

Guard Jarrett Hepehi-Karini has returned from a tour in the US and a stint playing with South West after forging his junior basketball career with Ipswich.

Hepehi-Karini is another of the exciting young players Riches is eager to have suited up for Ipswich.

The Queensland under-20 player will fulfil a back-up role off the bench in Sunday's 3pm match at Carina.

The men's game against the Spartans follows the Force women's clash at 1pm.

After what head coach Brad George described as an ugly win last weekend, the Force women are looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.



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