The Integra Ballarat Rush will face a challenge this week as they take on the Bendigo Lady Braves in a rivalry match set for this Wednesday at 6:30pm.
The Lady Braves have started off the season strong as the only undefeated team in the South conference thus far. They are led by veteran guard Chantella Perera, who has been a catalyst for the club’s offence, averaging 20 points and five assists per game. Also noteworthy is the dominance of Alex Bunton for the Lady Braves, as she has been averaging 15 points at 48% shooting and pulling in 12.5 rebounds each game.
Bendigo is coming into this game after a tough win at home against Frankston, in which Perera was MVP with 31 points, six rebound, and four assists. While Bunton had a seemingly quiet scoring night against Frankston, she was able to heavily affect the game by grabbing a game-high of 11 rebounds. The combined efforts of Perera and Bunton helped the Lady Braves enjoy an 81-73 victory against the Lady Blues.
Also undefeated, the Rush too are coming into the game after a victorious weekend, beating Nunawading 83-80. The addition of Steph Cumming has proven very beneficial, as she is averaging 24.5 points at 53% shooting, seven rebounds, and five assists each game for the club. Captain Kristy Rinaldi has also been outstanding for the Rush so far this year, averaging 16.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Cumming and Rinaldi were both very instrumental in the win against Nunawading, and are looking to build upon that same form this week.
While Bendigo will prove to be a very tough opponent, Ballarat may have an edge due to the solid involvement from across the roster. Sophie Alexander has had an impressive start to the season, shooting the ball at 65% from the field to average 18 points a game, all while grabbing eight rebounds per contest. Also, Nya Mason has served as a dominant post presence for the Rush, averaging 13 points and 7.5 rebounds a game. With substantial contribution on any given night from young guards Abbey Wehrung and Bronte Clark, along with experienced forwards Ashleigh Stonehouse and Kellie Berry, the Rush have what it takes to achieve the cooperative effort needed to secure a win against the Lady Braves.
Tip-off is at 6:30pm at the MARS® MINERDOME, followed by the Miners taking on the Bendigo Braves from 8:30pm.