Shooting woes and early foul trouble plagued the Integra Ballarat Rush last Saturday night in round 14 of SEABL action at the MARS® MINERDOME, causing them to fall to the Dandenong Lady Rangers, 51-74.
In a first quarter where the Rangers shot 54% from the field to the Rush shooting 30%, and a lopsided foul count that sent the Rangers to the free throw line seven times to the Rush’s zero, the Rush were on their heels from the very beginning of the match. Even though the Rush were able to up their shooting percentage to 50% for the second quarter, foul trouble persisted for the Rush, racking up another six fouls to Dandenong’s one foul for the quarter. Despite the Rush being at a size disadvantage with import Nya Mason committing four fouls and being sidelined for the remainder of the first half, the Rush were able to head into the main break only trailing the top-ranked Rangers by nine points.
Unfortunately, the Rangers came out of halftime even stronger than at the start of the game, going on a 14-2 run to begin the quarter; a run from which the Rush could not recover, unable to rely on their aggressive defence, due to the difficult situation they were facing with foul trouble. Offence was also an issue, as the Rush shot a meagre 16% from the field for the quarter. Dandenong took advantage of the Rush shortcomings, and were able to get out to a 21-point lead heading into the final quarter.
While the fourth quarter saw the Rush not give up, and display the tenacious perseverance that the club prides itself on, the Dandenong outfit proved far too strong. With the Dandenong bench scoring 30 points to the Rush’s five bench points, depth – or lack thereof – was in an important contributing factor towards getting the Rangers over the line in the end.
The Rangers were led by post players Lauren Scherf and Jacinta Kennedy, who, in just over 21 and 18 minutes, respectively, were able to put forth big numbers; Scherf with 15 points and 12 rebounds, Kennedy with 18 points.
Abbey Wehrung was top-scorer for the Rush with 15 points; however, captain Kristy Rinaldi was best on court for the home team, playing nearly the entire game with a no-quit attitude that helped her to 12 points and seven rebounds. Steph Cumming, despite being a large centre of focus for the Rangers was able to put forth 11 points and grab seven rebounds.
The Rush will use the week to bounce back and prepare for a tough doubleheader as they travel to Bendigo Stadium Friday night to take on the Bendigo Lady Braves, before returning to the MARS® MINERDOME the next night to take on the Brisbane Lady Spartans. Get around your Ballarat Rush this weekend as these upcoming games are crucial to their finals campaign and the crowd support is greatly needed and appreciated. Tip-off for both matches begins from 6pm and are followed by the GMHBA Ballarat Miners from 8pm.