Ipswich Force captain Jason Ralph.
Ipswich Force captain Jason Ralph. Franca Tigani

Positive signs as Ipswich refuse to roll over

GIVEN Ipswich were virtually written off at the start of the state league season, captain Jason Ralph has taken heart from his team's two victories.

After a third-quarter fightback, the Force men were a chance of making it three in a row at Llewellyn Stadium on Friday night.

However, Toowoomba repelled Ipswich's bid to win the latest Queensland Basketball League encounter 97-94.

That left Ipswich with two wins and three losses heading into this weekend's bye.

"You always learn more when you lose than when you win,'' Ralph said.

The Ipswich Force men were deadlocked 26-26 with Toowoomba after the first quarter before trailing 55-44 at halftime.

"We shot ourselves in the foot by allowing that to happen to us in the first half,'' he said.

Force recovered well in the third quarter to only be six points down before the thrilling final term.

While disappointed with his team's second quarter before fighting back, the first-year captain saw some positive signs.

"We didn't roll over,'' he said.

"The second half was good for us. We probably had our best third quarter of the year, which got us back into the game.''

Ipswich Force basketballer Garrett Hall
Ipswich Force basketballer Garrett Hall Megan Low

Securing a rare QBL victory over Brisbane a week earlier boosted Ipswich's confidence.

"We'll get back on track next game and keep it going,'' he said.

Ralph said having a weekend off would be beneficial to enjoy a short break and some family time after a big pre-season.

"This weekend is more about personal lives,'' he said.

"It's good for the guys to rest up.

"We're only into round five but it's good to freshen up and get ready for the rest of the season.''

Among those managing an injury is Joe Owens, who was on crutches at Friday night's game following a setback on Thursday night.

Ralph was hopeful his ankle injury would only keep the important team man out for a couple of weeks.

State of play

QBL men: Toowoomba 97 def Ipswich Force 94 (Kyle Harvey 32, Garrett Hall 23, Mitch Poulain 21) at Llewellyn Stadium.

Next match: June 9 - v Toowoomba again, in Toowoomba.



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