By Kasey Cornwell
The Ballarat Rush got another home win under their belt, beating the Hobart Lady Chargers, 80 – 69.
Joy Burke was outstanding with 19 points and 15 boards. The consistent Abby Wehrung was tremendous on 15 points and 6 assists, and Ashleigh Spencer scored well on 12 points. Hobart were dependent upon Chelsie Schweers on 24 points and Eliza Chilcott with 18 points.
From the start of the game it was evident that Hobart could score easily around the arc, and were quick to take the small lead. Kristy Rinaldi came out firing and quickly made 6 points when she took the court at the 6 minute mark. But the Rush went into the first break with a 3 point lead over Hobart, 21 – 24.
Ashleigh Spencer and Kasey Burton starred in the second quarter, their ability to play defense and convert offensively was key to the Rush limiting Hobart’s lead. Lydia Brooks took the court for the first time at the 4 minute point, and was quick to make her mark and kept the side in touch by 3 with a long range shot.
At the main break the Rush trailed Hobart by one point, 37 – 38. Scoring was shared well, with Kasey Burton, Kristy Rinaldi and Ashleigh Spencer all with 8 points.
The third term saw Joy Burke receive her 3rd personal foul, shortly after taking the lead from Hobart with a sleek lay-up. Kerryn Harrington was awesome in the third, providing great passes in the offence and physicality in defence. To enter the final break , Joy Burke delighted the crowd by blocking Kylie McCauley’s shot and teaming up with Abby Wehrung to score the final points for the quarter.
Joy Burke continued to be phenomenal in the final term and the scoring was shared well between all players. Ballarat were able to maintain their lead to end the game with an 11 point win, 80 – 69.
Coach Dave Flint knows that despite the slow start against Hobart, and allowing their top players to score, he was impressed in how his team regrouped and played some great team defence.
Flint was full of praise for his team and how they utilised the favourable match-ups, and thinks the Rush did a good job with tall Joy Burke tonight, despite sitting out for a fair bit of the first half with fouls. Dave was impressed with Burke’s rebounding and the amount of times her teammates went to her.
The Rush play Dandenong on Sunday, and Dave Flint hopes his side takes confidence into that game from their win Saturday night, he understands that the opponent is probably the best team in the competition and it will be a good test for his side. Flint knows that his team cannot afford to have a slow start, like they had on Saturday night. They will certainly need to bring their best game with them in order to challenge the Rangers.