Coming off of two fantastic performances from Ken Horton (30 points, 17 rebounds) and Roy Booker (41 points, six assists), the Miners have the momentum heading into this weekend’s doubleheader in Tasmania. With a win against the Albury-Wodonga Bandits that was a sure boost to the team morale, the Miners are looking to use this momentum to produce the same results that saw them end their four-game losing streak.

They will have their work cut out for them, however. Hobart is also coming into the game after beating Sandringham by two, in a game where 4 of their 5 starters scored in double figures. They are led by Deba George, who received Player of the Week honours for his performance at Sandringham (40 points, six rebounds, and 17-17 from the free throw line). Averaging 26 points at 45% shooting, five rebounds, and three assists for the season, George  looks to be hitting his stride with a team in which, structurally, he fits in very well. Hobart big man Jerrah Young has also proven himself as a force to be reckoned with, as he scored 18 points and pulled down 11 boards against Sandringham. Young is averaging 14 points, 11 rebounds for the season, and will be a key focus for the Miners to shut down.

Equally as tough an opponent are the Northwest Tasmania Thunder. With a record of 6-2, the Thunder have asserted themselves into the league as a sure powerhouse. Robert Jenkins has been outstanding so far for the Thunder, averaging 24.4 points a game at 55% shooting, while also dishing out five assists per game. Jenkins is supported by Tyrone Lee; a powerful post presence that is averaging a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds each game. Coming off of a doubleheader weekend where they saw two narrow losses to Bendigo and Nunawading, Northwest Tasmania will be eager to get back into the winner’s circle this weekend.

With Booker and Horton playing some of their best basketball of the season, they are likely to receive an increase in defensive attention from the opposition. Success will come for the Miners in the ability of the rest of the team to step up, and take some of the load off of the shoulders of the Miners’ imports. A doable task, as Anthony Fisher has been very productive this season as court general for the Miners, as well as the team seeing an increase in efficiency from young guns Ash Constable and Sean Massey.

Both games will tip-off at 8pm, with the men taking on Hobart Friday evening, and Northwest Tasmania Saturday evening. Keep up with the action live, by following the SEABL Livestats at seabl.com.au.

Thank you to Thrifty Ballarat for providing all our travel needs.