Still searching for that ever-elusive first victory, the Youth League Ballarat Miners were in action again on Sunday, taking on the powerhouse Knox Raiders at the MARS® MINERDOME.
Bolstered by the return to basketball of star Josh Grover, Ballarat looked poised to take it up to the Raiders.
From the opening tip it was clear the Miners faced an uphill battle, as Knox had their measure in size, and were supremely athletic.
Ballarat’s Daniel Skaer showed promising signs early, drilling a pull-up jumper in the lane, and orchestrating the home side’s offense well.
The Raiders’ size and athleticism proved too much to handle in the first term, as they quickly opened up a 20-point lead.
Ballarat began the second period well, with Grover controlling the game with his passing and defense, despite not having attempted a shot.
Jarrod Parsons was huge for the Miners off the bench, stepping up and knocking down his open shots.
Damon Tilley also caught fire near the end of the half, drilling two three-pointers.
Despite their offense igniting, Ballarat continued to struggle to get defensive stops, and keep Knox off the boards.
The second half saw the Miners continuing to grind, Josh Peters and Sam Byron were standouts on the defensive end, battling tirelessly for rebounds and stops.
Tilley continued to have the hot hand late in the third stanza, nailing another three. Despite this, Ballarat were looking at an 18 point deficit at the final change.
Daniel Skaer gave the home crowd something to cheer about, with a cold-blooded deep three-pointer, plus a foul midway through the fourth quarter.
With the game’s result all but official, Ballarat continued to battle until the final buzzer.
The whistle was mercifully blown and the valiant Miners’ fell short 60-76.