By Kasey Cornwell
The Ballarat Rush fell short to SEABL newcomer Sydney Uni Flames on Saturday night, 56 – 79.
Jaterra Bonds top scored for the Rush on 17 points, and Kristy Rinaldi had 12 points and 7 boards. Joy Burke made a double double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Former Rush player Shenae Greaves had 16 points and took 7 rebounds for Sydney. Tahlia Tupaea also added 15 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
The first term saw the Rush get on the board quickly, with a good spread of the scorers early, Jaterra took the lead to 6 points and forced Sydney to utlise a timeout, with 2 and a half minutes to go in the quarter, and Ballarat lead by a shot, 22 – 19 at the first break.
In the first three minutes of the second, Sydney were able to take the lead, and it wasn’t until half way through the term that Ballarat got to score, with Ash Spencer closing the gap. However, it wasn’t enough to stop Sydney getting on a scoring run, leading by 13 points late in the quarter and entering the half time break, 36 – 47.
The third term, saw the Rush’s field goal percentage slip even more, and at the three quarter time break the team was only shooting the ball at 36% as opposed to Sydney’s 58%.
Headed into the final term, 16 points behind on 49 – 65. Ballarat only contributed a further 7 points to their score and Sydney extended their lead to 23 points and unfortunately finished on 56 – 79.
The final siren saw the Rush’s field goal percentage at a disappointing 28%, Head Coach Dave Flint, said definitely shot selection was an issue there. From the 3-point line, Ballarat were 5/28 (17%) and Dave thinks he has a team that should shoot lots of threes. Flint thought his team was content with the catch and shoot from the 3 point line and not trying to create shots for other players, and that was testament to the low shooting percentage.
I think that we jumped off to a great start, with the first 7 points, said Flint. But late in the first Rush were up by 8 and then Sydney scored the last 5 points of the quarter, which was a start of a 16 to nil run. Flint said “that’s just such a huge lapse from us”.
The entire Rush squad got on the court on Saturday and Dave noted, it is nice to get them on the court, its nice to be able to give 12 a chance. However, he would like to be able to play them all when his side are up not down.
The Ballarat Rush hit the road to play Nunawading, Saturday May 13 and will return home to the MARS Minerdome to play Kilsyth at 12pm Sunday May 21.