Coming off of a disappointing loss against the Sandringham Sabres, the GMHBA Ballarat Miners are looking to quickly bounce back with two wins in this upcoming doubleheader weekend. The Miners will travel to the State Basketball Centre to take on the Knox Raiders Saturday night from 8pm, and will return home Sunday afternoon to the MARS® MINERDOME to host the Kilsyth Cobras from 2pm.
The Miners gave the Raiders a thrashing in their first meeting, securing a 40-point win in their first round played without star import Roy Booker. Although the Raiders were playing without imports Delwan Graham and Jeffrey Jones, the Miners offence was unstoppable, shooting 51% for the game, on top of ending the game with a 64% shooting percentage in the fourth quarter to emphatically seal the deal.
The Miners were on top from the beginning, scoring 29 points and holding the Raiders to a season-low nine points in the first quarter, followed by a 31-point second quarter by the Miners where the Raiders only scored 11. Although the Raiders were able to score 30 points in the third quarter, the game was already out of reach. The Miners did not let up, eventually winning the match, 107-67.
Ken Horton had an absolute blinder for the Miners, with 40 points, 20 rebounds, five assists, four blocks, and three steals—a stat line that earned him Player of the Week honours for the round—while Nathan Sobey shot an outstanding 80% from the field to rack up 21 points, as well as a couple of massive dunks to keep the crowd entertained and his teammates motivated.
Knox struggled without the help of their imports, but were still able to have three players in double figures. Adam Doyle stepped up for the Raiders for 19 points, along with Rhys Carter with 15 points and five assists, and Leif Cope with 11 points and 15 rebounds in the contest.
Expect a very different match-up from their first meeting, as Graham and Jones will most likely be in the line-up for the Raiders this time around. Doyle and Carter have also stepped up their games since Round 13, averaging 14 and 15 points, respectively. With Graham averaging 15.3 points and 10.4 rebounds a game, and Jeffery Jones as an efficient court general, the style of play will be drastically different from that of the Raiders in Round 13.
The action begins for the Miners at 8pm at the State Basketball Centre, following the Integra Ballarat Rush taking on the Knox Lady Raiders from 6pm. Follow all of the action live at seabl.com.au/livestats.
The Miners will then return home in a quick turnaround that sees them hosting the Kilsyth Cobras in their first meeting of the season.
Centre Tim Lang leads the charge for the Cobras, with 21 points and nine rebounds a game. His physical presence in the post, as well as his ability to shoot well from the perimeter may prove troublesome for the Miners’ bigs. Similarly, Auryn McMillan is averaging a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds a game, and is also capable of shooting it from outside, with a 40% shooting percentage from behind the arc. Kyle Adnam works hard for the Cobras in the guard position, averaging 16 points and four assists each game, but will have his work cut out for him with the tough task of trying to maintain the explosive Miners guards.
The Cobras are sitting third on the South Conference ladder, and in what is a doubleheader weekend for them as well, will be eager to come out on top and try to propel themselves into the second-place position on the ladder.
The Miners will also be looking to rack up two wins this weekend, as it will be important to head into finals with the momentum of a few wins on their side. Horton and Sobey are playing their best basketball of the season for the Miners, being well and truly assisted by Anthony Fisher, Dyricus Edwards, and captain Liam Gibcus. The bench has also stepped up significantly for the Miners, as centre Chris Smith, along with young guns Ash Constable and Sean Massey have continued to prove their ability to hold their own amongst the top players in the league
An exciting match-up is in store as both teams are fighting to remain in peak form for the upcoming SEABL finals, and much is at stake for both teams in the contest. Tip-off is from 8pm at the MARS® MINERDOME, following the Integra Ballarat Rush taking on the Kilsyth Lady Cobras from 6pm.