The Integra Ballarat Rush saw their first loss of the season at the hands of the Frankston Blues, falling on the road this weekend.
The Blues jumped off to a great start, shooting an impressive 44% from the field and out-rebounding the Rush 25-11 heading into halftime. They also put forth stifling defensive pressure, holding Ballarat to just 21 points at 29% shooting going into the break.
Playing their third game in seven days, fatigue seemed to be a factor for Ballarat. The usual collaborative effort displayed by the Rush was nowhere to be seen Saturday night, as they struggled to get shots to fall and contain their defensive assignments. While the aggression was there, as they were able to get to the free throw line 23 times, inability to finish at the line proved detrimental.
The Rush made one final push in the last minutes of the game, going on an 11-0 run to get the score within 8, however, the Blues were able to hold on in the end, winning the contest 62-54.
Kelly Bowen and Maddie Garrick led the way for Frankston—Bowen with 20 points, Garrick with 16, and pulling in 11 rebounds apiece. Emily Fryters was also solid for the Blues, grabbing 12 rebounds.
Nya Mason led all scorers for the Rush with 14 points, pulling in six rebounds. Ashleigh Stonehouse had a big impact off the bench, scoring 11 points and also bringing in six rebounds. Captain Kristy Rinaldi led all Rush rebounders with seven.
The Rush will enjoy a two-week break, not returning to action until May 3rd against Albury-Wodonga at the MARS® MINERDOME. The GMHBA Ballarat Miners return to action following the Easter break, as they take on the Frankston Blues April 26th from 8pm.