The Integra Ballarat Rush are looking to pull off one of their largest upsets of the season this weekend as they take on conference-leader Dandenong Rangers Saturday night from 6pm at the MARS® MINERDOME, in what SEABL has acknowledged as the Game of the Week.
In their first meeting, the Rush was dealt their worst loss at that point of the season, falling to the Rangers 67-86. Despite starting off strong, a second quarter where Ballarat shot a woeful 15% from the field and only scored five points to Dandenong’s 28 was ultimately the reason for their downfall. The Rush were also coming off a shattering loss the night before to a tough Frankston team in a contest that went down to the wire, and may have played a role in their inability to find the resolve to compete after getting themselves into a second quarter hole.
Take no credit away from Dandenong, though. As an extraordinary team that has only lost two games for the season, taken commanding wins over formidable opponents, and has a depth on their bench unmatched by other teams in the league, they have more than earned their top spot in the conference. Amelia Todhunter and Lauren Scherf lead the Dandenong charge, with Todhunter averaging 13 points, five rebounds, and 2.5 assists a game, and Scherf averaging 14 points and 8.4 rebounds each game. Todhunter and Scherf receive considerable help from the rest of the team as well, with considerable points being scored from various starters and bench players alike.
The Rush are more determined than ever to secure a spot in playoffs and getting over the line against a strong Dandenong outfit will surely benefit their drive to make it into the postseason. Steph Cumming has finally received recognition for her outstanding efforts on the court, earning Player of the Week honours for last week’s remarkable performances at Nunawading (34 points, five assists) and against Knox (20 points, seven rebounds, five assists), and will be looking to improve upon that form in this week’s must-win match-up. Young gun Abbey Wehrung continues to be valuable to the Rush, averaging 12.4 points a game, along with four rebounds, and two assists. Captain Kristy Rinaldi’s sharp-shooting and instrumental leadership, as well as import Nya Mason asserting her dominance as a strong presence inside the paint will also be crucial in aiding the Rush towards a massive win this weekend. Ballarat bench players will have to step up as well, in order to combat the productivity of the Dandenong bench.
In what is a very important game for the Rush, the support from the fans is greatly needed and even more so appreciated. Get on in and cheer your Ballarat Rush to victory from 6pm at the MARS® MINERDOME followed by the GMHBA Ballarat Miners from 8pm.