By Kasey Cornwell
The GMHBA Ballarat Miners started their 2017 campaign with a disappointing 24 point loss to the Geelong Supercats, 100 – 76 at the Geelong Arena on Friday.
New Import Davon Usher was the top scorer with 30 points, Craig Moller was important with 16 points, 13 rebounds and 4 assists and Ash Constable made 10 points.
Supercat Import DeMarcus Gatlin, was hard to stop with 26 points, 8 rebounds and 5 steals and he combined nicely with Nathan Herbert who finished the game on 22 points and 6 assists.
Geelong came out swinging and started the game with a 12 – 0 run. Despite every Ballarat player putting up a shot, they just could not get on the scoreboard. However late in the first term the Miners rallied and at the first break, Pete Hooley managed to bring the margin down to 3 points.
At the start of the second term, Craig Moller gave the Miners the lead with a successful free throw. The majority of the second term was very close, and it wasn’t until a run of unsuccessful shots by the Miners that Geelong were able to extend their lead. At the main break the Miners trailed by 18, 55 – 37, and were only shooting the ball at 31%.
In the second half Ballarat improved offensively as the game went on, but Ballarat could not cut Geelong’s lead and alas finished the game with a 24-point deficit.
Head Coach Eric Hayes, thought his side had some patches where they played some really nice basketball. However then there was times where they really went away from their game plan, and became a bit individual at times, and this is something Eric and the team really did not want to do.
Geelong dictated the game style, and Eric thought that his side did not respond to the physicality of the game well, and that disappointed him and the coaching staff.
The Supercats scored 46 points in the paint, and Hayes attributed this to his team not sticking to the rules and the plan for their defense consistently. He spoke about how the team broke down a bit defensively, and individuals got out of position. Hayes noted that Geelong managed to get many 2nd and 3rd opportunities in the paint, due to missed Ballarat rebounds and he believes that this was an easy opportunity for Geelong to continue to get on the scoreboard.
Eric is hopeful that after the Ballarat Miners get back to training and continue to work on their plays to improve their consistency, he will turn that into wins.
The GMHBA Ballarat Miners return to their home court for the first time in 2017 on Thursday 6 April 2017 to take on Frankston. Get there from 6pm, to watch the Ballarat Youth League Miners, followed by your GMHBA Ballarat Miners at 8pm.