Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Force Stuns in Crash-Landing; Ipswich Men Surrender Advantage as Townsville Underlines Experience

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Force Stuns in Crash-Landing; Ipswich Men Surrender Advantage as Townsville Underlines Experience

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL SMEATON

STATE OF PLAY

QBL men: Townsville Heat 80 (Todd Blanchfield 29, Chris Cedar 22, Steven Costanzo 11) def Ipswich Force 76 (Zarryon Fereti 19, Shaun Gleeson 15, Ryan Jefferies 15)

QBL women: Ipswich Force 78 (Emma Langford 20, Nadeen Payne 19, Courtney Taylor 17) def Townsville Heat 71 (Lisa Braunberger 19, Aroon Edgar 12, Rebecca Vaderjagt 12)

THE Ipswich Force gave up an eight-point lead in the final 60 seconds to crash to a demoralising defeat at the hands of QBL powerhouse Townsville at Ipswich Basketball Stadium yesterday.

Consecutive three-point plays by Townsville QBL and NBL player Todd Blanchfield brought the Heat within two points before the game's top scorer nailed a three-pointer with only seconds remaining to give his team the lead for the first time since early in the first quarter.

Ipswich fans were left stunned by the home team's capitulation after they had led by as much as 20 points during the first half.

The final 80-76 scoreline will be hard to swallow for coach Shane Heal who must have felt the game was within his keeping on multiple occasions before lapses in concentration allowed the visitors to stay in touch.

The four-time Olympian was seething after the match at his team's inept second half performance.

C[pounds sterling]That was terrible,C[yen] Heal said.

C[pounds sterling]Our decision making was terrible. Our organisation and leadership was terrible.

C[pounds sterling]It was all really, really disappointing.C[yen]

After starting slowly and conceding an early eight-point lead, the Force showed their best form for the season in the second quarter to take a handy 18-point lead into halftime.

Sweet long-range shooting from guards Shaun Gleeson and Zarryon Fereti and a stellar second quarter defensive effort had the Ipswich crowd on their feet. …

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