Proper warm-up essential on home court
BASKETBALL: Playing two home games to launch a new state league season can be a positive and a negative.
The positive is it gives the home team a chance to settle more smoothly into a new season. The negative is that it can create early pressure.
For the Ipswich Force women, winning their first game at Llewellyn Stadium was a positive on both fronts.
Challenged by the Cairns Dolphins in front of an Ipswich crowd keen for first-up success, the Force women delivered an encouraging 74-67 victory.
Preparing for tomorrow's next QBL Women's clash against Logan, Force head coach Brad George had plenty to be pleased with.
"Just being able to handle the run,'' George said.
"They kept coming at us multiple times and we were able to see them off.
"I was really happy with the effort.''
American import Amanda "AJ'' Johnson impressed in her first full game in four years.
George is confident she'll get better as the season progresses.
Captain Bree Farley showed her class under pressure, managing a niggling pre-season injury.
Energetic duo Rachel Mate and Georgia Williams stepped up when needed. Mate was player of the match, being equal top scorer with AJ on 21 points during her 37 minutes on the court.
Teenager Kate Head led the charge of the young brigade, securing the most minutes (38) on court.
"She did a wonderful job,'' George said.
Although she didn't shoot as well as she would have liked, Head got to experience toughing out an important win.
After surviving the Cairns challenge, George expects Logan to provide another stern test having players with national league quality.
"They have got a very good core group with experience. They'll play hard,'' George said.
As for lining up at noon on a Sunday, George was keen to ensure his players warmed up properly.
"They have to be ready to go. It will be different (playing in the middle of the day),'' he said.