By Kasey Cornwell
The Ballarat Miners returned to the winner’s list with a 31 point win over the Melbourne Tigers at the Minderdome on Sunday, 118 – 87.
Ollie Bailey contributed 42 points to the Miners 118, with co-captain Ash Constable assisting with a solid 21 points. Ballarat’s big James Hunter had 11 boards with 21 points.
The Melbourne Tiger’s Ari Stewart was impressive with 37 points and veteran Daryl Corletto contributed 19 points.
However, the Miners just were too strong in the end, claiming their 10th win for the season.
The Miners burst out of the blocks in the first, with a strong intensity and high pressure on the defensive end. The scores remained close throughout the first, with the teams tied on 30 a piece at the first break.
The second term saw Ollie Bailey work really well under the basket to add to his 12 points from the first term. Sam Short and Ash Constable combined really well on the offensive end to orchestrate some great team basketball. The Miners had a 13 point lead heading into the second half, 66 – 53.
The Miners looked smooth in the third, combining well to extend their lead further, and went into the fourth with a 31 point lead.
Ballarat looked composed in the last term, and played some exciting basketball. They maintained their 31 point lead until the final buzzer. Earnest Ross ended the game with 18 points, 6 rebounds and assists and Craig Moller was hardworking with 8 points, 12 boards.
Head Coach Eric Hayes was full of praise for his team after the 31 point win. A real team effort on the court today, and he was happy that offensively the team could get the ball to the best positioned player on the court. He was pleased at how well his team played together.
The Miners utlised their size against the Melbourne Tigers on Sunday, and this was evident in the rebound count (47 – 25) and the points in the paint (66-28), Hayes asked his team to exploit their size and utilise their bigs. Hayes noted that the tall guys did a great job and everyone else worked well off them.
Ash Constable played a phenomenal game, and Coach Hayes was really happy with his performance, and was proud to see Ash’s hard work pay off. He thought that Ash looked comfortable out the court, and was leading the team exceptionally.
Young Sam Short, is getting a bit more court time of late, and Eric Hayes is happy that he can entrust some more responsibility upon him. He does a great job, and Hayes is proud of the game Short has been playing.
A welcome win at this stage of the season, Hayes is now looking toward re-facing Mount Gambier, on Saturday August 6th. This time, at least on our home territory.
See the Ballarat GMHBA Miners take on the Mount Gambier Pioneers, Saturday 6 August at 7:00pm at the MARS Minerdome.