Tough Night at the MARS MINERDOME

Ballarat’s Miners and Rush overrun by Hobart at the Minerdome on Saturday night.

By Kasey Cornwell

The GMHBA Ballarat Miners let the Hobart Chargers take the win, with a 75 – 85 loss on Saturday night at the Minerdome.

The Miners worked hard all night, but were overshined in most elements of the game by the fluent Hobart Chargers.

Rebounds have been an issue for the Miners for some time now, Head Coach Eric Hayes conceded, its like the dirty job no one wants to do and Hayes wants the guys to get into the mindset to just go out there and grab some rebounds for the team. Hayes noted that Anthony Fisher had the heart to go get the ball and took 8 rebounds.

Hobart was able to cut through the Miners defence effectively, and Hayes and the team had discussed this prior to the game, because Hobart is known to be able to penetrate the oppositions defense quite easily. Hayes wanted the guys to be able to adjust to Hobart’s offence depending on whether they drive to the basket or take the shot from the arc. The Miners did not manage to make enough of these fine-tuned adjustments during the game, and this hurt them defensively.

Centre Liam Gibcus stepped his game up offensively tonight with 19 points and 5 rebounds, and Hayes was impressed at the variety in his game. “We wanted to use our big guys a little bit more” Hayes thought the team was great in looking at getting him the ball a bit more and giving Gibcus a few more opportunities. Because Gibcus is so strong around the basket the Miners are now looking at utilizing him a bit more offensively.

Co-captain Roy Booker played a slightly different style of game for the Miners on Saturday night, contributing 8 assists to the team along with 16 points. As the norm, Booker got double teamed for most of the night and his ability to make the good pass really assisted the Miners offensively. Hayes’ hope is that Booker’s team mates can move around a bit more and supported him a bit more within the arc.

Getting into foul trouble early, really hindered the rotations and the team structure. Hayes made special mention of Greg Thondique’s early collection of fouls, because he really means a lot to the team in terms of togetherness and structure on the court. Also because he is able to get out there and do the hard work, grab the rebound and press up the court. “Foul trouble certainly through us around a bit”.

Guard Anthony Fisher, looked smooth on the court and contributed 20 points and 3 assists alongside his 8 rebounds. Fisher noted that he and the team need to get out on the court with the mindset of doing something for the rest of the team rather than for yourself, and this is something they will take into next weeks game. Hobart beat the Miners (31 – 41) in rebounding and Fisher thought the team should be blocking out, rather than letting Hobart claim the boards. This proved to be the difference for the Miners at the final buzzer with Chargers notching up 18 second chance points to Ballarat’s 8.

The Harvey Norman Ballarat Rush suffered an overtime loss to the Hobart Lady Chargers 57 – 66. Co-captain Abbey Wehrung earned herself another double double on 28 points and 14 rebounds and Shenae Graeves contributed 10 points, 7 rebounds.

Offensively Head Coach Peter Cunningham thought his side looked really tentative and turned the tempo down early on, and into the second half implemented a half court press to slow down Hobart’s offences and play the game at a speed that suits the Rush side. Although Cunningham conceded that this may have actually decreased the player movement and the side lost aggression due to fatigue.

Ball movement was also an issue for the Rush, the side did not communicate effectively enough. Cunningham thought that the shooter did not receive the ball early enough and took the shot under pressure, when they should have had seconds up their sleeves to take the correct shot.

Defensively the Ballarat Rush’s rebounding has improved out of sight, co-captain Kristy Rinaldi notched up 10 of the teams 46 rebounds. Cunningham noted that stopping the opposition getting offensive rebounds was something that his side has worked on, as last week the side gave up 22 offensive boards compared to only 12 against Hobart.

In overtime Cunningham thought the girls did as much as they could and created enough opportunities and stopped Hobart enough, but noted getting 7 fouls to 1 in OT really hurt the Rush’s chances of taking the win.

In preparation for next week Cunningham is optimistic coming up against another strong side in Geelong and thinks that the Rush side is resilient and works hard to get the win.

Abbey Wehrung thought at times the side was a bit hesitant with shots and thought “when we should of shot we didn’t and when we shouldn’t of shot we did” and at times the girls had to force shots and she thinks this looks as though shot selection was off.

Hobart has come off a game the night before and they looked energized, Wehrung thought her side looked like the team that played the night before, flat and tired. Rebounding, Wehrung noted that they have been working on this, and since the BACoE game, the side has confidence with their rebounding skills.

Looking to Wednesday nights game Wehrung said the side will keep working on what we have, and building on the good elements from the Saturday night game.

Last time the two clubs met, the Rush were left disappointed narrowly losing to Geelong Lady Supercats 66 – 64 at the Geelong Arena and will be looking for redemption on Wednesday night.

The Ballarat Miners took the win over Geelong Supercats 87 – 89 on the back of 25 points from Roy Booker and will be looking forward to taking the win once again this Wednesday night.

Games tip off from 6:00pm this Wednesday 8 July 2015 at the Ballarat Minerdome.