An undermanned Youth League Ballarat Miners squad faced a talented Waverley Falcons lineup on Sunday afternoon at the MARS® MINERDOME.
Seven players took to the floor for the Miners, as they faced an unenviable tough task against the powerhouse Falcons. Despite this, the game began well for Ballarat, with star guard Brady Neill getting to the basket and finishing difficult layups early.
However lacking the inside presence of Sam Byron, Ballarat struggled to rip down rebounds on both ends.
The game got very physical and not many foul calls were going in favour of the home side. A swift 10-0 run for the Falcons forced a timeout and a regroup for the Miners.
Sean Massey closed out the first period with good scoring of his own, despite undoubtedly sore legs due to SEABL commitments the previous night.
Ballarat still faced a double-digit deficit as the second quarter got underway, however they never looked out of it as Waverley couldn’t establish an insurmountable lead.
The senior players in Neill and Massey carried the load for Ballarat in the first half, tallying 13 and 12 points respectively as the Miners carried a nine-point deficit into the main break.
Waverley came out of the gates in the third very aggressive. Numerous dubious foul calls going against the Miners saw the momentum quickly shift towards the visitors and their lead began to grow.
A rough end to the third term saw the Falcons’ lead balloon to 22 as they looked to have the game on ice.
A 7-0 run for Waverley to start the fourth put the result beyond doubt as things got out of control for Ballarat.
Josh Peters and Josh Mallett both fouled out late in the final stanza, while Kelsey Gannon left the game with a suspected broken finger. This left Ballarat one player short for the last few seconds of the contest.
The final buzzer sounded and the Miners were taken down 89-61.
A well-rounded offensive effort for the visitors saw four players in double figures. While Brady Neill was the shining light for Ballarat in defeat, tallying 22 points and 14 rebounds. Sean Massey also notched 16 points.