Watch Ipswich juniors in state final: Team’s great support
PREPARING for his team's state junior grand final, Force under-16 coach David Chettle praised the Ipswich Basketball Association for their valuable pre-tournament support.
The undefeated Force under-16 boys face Gladstone in Thursday's Division 2 title decider at 12.30pm in a match being livestreamed on the QT website.
Delighted with the progress of his team, Chettle said the COVID Safe Plan devised by association officials allowed his team to prepare properly for this week's Queensland Junior Championships in Brisbane.
"I know we've had the COVID crisis . . . and Ipswich Basketball have been fantastic,'' Chettle said.
"We've been able to train for the last 10 weeks.''
The junior coach said a whole new structure was set up under the COVID plan and the boys trained well under the procedures.
"And that's why we are in the final,'' Chettle said.
Chettle said Ipswich Basketball were a real benefit to his team in assisting the boys' development.
"We weren't the top eight team,'' he said. "We were nowhere near the top ranking . . . but we are undefeated.''
The Ipswich boys qualified for tomorrow's final after beating Sunshine Coast Phoenix 89-70 in this afternoon's semi-final.
That followed earlier wins over Townsville Sparks 113-56, Cairns Stingers 76-52, Red City Roar 110-58, Gold Coast Breakers 81-77 and South West Metro Pirates 89-68.
The latest match tested the Ipswich Force boys and they responded.
"In this afternoon's game, we were behind for a time. We fought back,'' Chettle said.
"We got our composure and just kept working hard.''
South West were also unbeaten before they came up against Ipswich.
"The boys have played really well,'' Chettle said.
"A lot of these boys are going to go on to bigger and better things.''
Chettle said the team's overall strength was highlighted in its pleasing spread of scorers like Walter Brockhurst, Magot Mago, Paul Andrew Riveral, Carl Redgate and Cameron Williams.
The depleted Ipswich Force Under-16 girls have also had a successful Division 2 tournament reaching this afternoon's semi-final against Sunshine Coast Phoenix before going down 68-50.
After a 77-67 loss to the Bundaberg Bears, the Force girls have beaten Cairns Corals 118-33, South West Metro Gold 102-86 and Townsville Lightning 64-61 in the quarter-final.
Like the boys, the girls team is working well together with Tiana Apelu, Georgia Betham, Anahera Duncan Semau, Jade Gregory and Liliana Mccaulay among the top point scorers.
However, some injuries left the team short-staffed and tired. The girls battle for the bronze medal tomorrow.
Look out for the final matches being livestreamed on the QT website tomorrow.