Strong contributions in Rush split weekend: Thrifty road game report

The Integra Ballarat Rush had a win and a loss in Canberra but demonstrated their firepower with different players starring in each game.

A breakout third quarter saw the Rush outscore the Canberra Capitals Academy 23-11 to snatch a win on Saturday, 65-54, while a fresh-legged Centre of Excellence team would overrun the Rush on Sunday to hand Ballarat a 70-92 loss.

Steph Cumming was not able to connect from the three-point line despite eight attempts on Saturday, but delivered a whopping eight assists while shooting 64% from inside. Kristy Rinaldi also struggled from outside, connecting just once from six attempts, but shot 75% from inside and grabbed seven rebounds.

While these two found other ways to contribute, it was Ash Stonehouse’s 15 points and eight rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench that took the Capitals by surprise.

Facing the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence (formerly Australian Institute of Sport) on Sunday, Ballarat knew they were in for a tough one. The CoE team features two players selected in the most recent American WNBA draft, joined by several WNBL and Australian Opals players, and had not played a game since the week before.

Cumming was contained to 12 points, although her five steals are certainly redeeming, and the team was outrebounded 46-25.

Youngster Abbey Wehrung stepped up to score 23 points at 53% shooting, including a perfect 5/5 at the free throw line.

Australian Opal Nat Burton and WNBL players Alicia Froling and Steph Talbot were the stars for Coe; Burton with 23 points and 10 rebounds, Froling 15 points and 16 rebounds, and Talbot not far off a triple-double with 16 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists.

The Rush head to Albury this Saturday to take on the Albury-Wodonga Bandits before returning to the MARS® MINERDOME on Sunday June 15 to take on Sandringham.

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