Ipswich Force basketballer Soana Lucet.
Ipswich Force basketballer Soana Lucet. Rob Williams

Soana steering Force women into playoff challenge

FRENCH-born Soana Lucet provided a welcome boost for the Ipswich Force side the minute she arrived from overseas.

However, she's become more valuable with each week she suits up for Force in this year's state league competition.

Her 38 point contribution in this afternoon's latest win was Lucet's highest since joining the Force in May.

With Ipswich on target to host a home quarter-final next month, the 29-year-old forward will be a pivotal performer at the business end of the season.

"She's an awesome player,'' Force head coach Brad George said after today's 96-76 win over South West Metro at Mt Gravatt.

"Week in, week out what we've got from her. She plays well and she's a good leader for some of the younger kids..''

Lucet made 19 rebounds to complete her decisive performance.

However, after Ipswich only led by seven points at quarter-time, George was pleased to see captain Bree Farley (19 points) and the dependable Shyla Heal (17) make important contributions.

Rising players Kate Heal and Kate Head also worked hard off the bench during their combined 30 minute stint on court.

Heal snared 11 rebounds returning from a two-week absence due to university commitments.

"We started a little bit slow, as per usual, then got in the swing of things,'' George said.

After a frustrating 14 point third quarter, Force charged ahead in the last period.

In this afternoon's men's game, Ipswich Force were unable to match South West, losing 96-77.

Force hotshot and captain James Legan was restricted to 20 points.

Both Force teams return to Booval on Saturday night for their final home games of the season before the Queensland Basketball League playoffs.

Ipswich hosts the Sunshine Coast Phoenix Clippers in matches at 5pm and 7pm at Ipswich stadium.

State of play

QBL men: South West Metro 96 def Ipswich Force 77 (James Legan 20, James Kuon 14).

QBL women: Ipswich Force 96 (Soana Lucet 38, Bree Farley 19, Shyla Heal 17) def South West Metro 76.

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