The Ballarat U/18 Rush proved to be too strong for Bulleen at the Mars Minerdome on Friday night, with an 11-point win. Top scorers for the Ballarat Rush included Isabel Fraser hitting 15-points, and Taylah Wynne scoring 16-points, they were both key players for the match, along with excellent defence from Laura Taylor.
Opening the first playing period the U/18 Ballarat Rush got off to a flying start, with a fast-paced, high intensity, basket for basket opening quarter, giving Ballarat the lead entering the second quarter, 14-9. Fantastic defensive pressure by both sides made it a thriller of a quarter to watch. Ballarat Rush’s Isabel Fraser hitting five points for the quarter, alongside Jess Tempany being a top scorer for the quarter.
Early in the second quarter, a combination of outstanding offence and tight defence enabled Ballarat to get a run on and build on their lead. After a few quick points in the paint, Bulleen managed to close the gap to only one point as the half time break.
The third term saw Ballarat change up their defensive strategies, strong defensive pressure by the U/18 Ballarat Rush saw Bulleen make a few errors early on in the third quarter, including 24-second shot clock violations, along with a few turn-overs. Despite this fantastic defensive pressure, Ballarat initially struggled to get the points on the board, but after getting a run on they quickly found their feet, extending their lead 39-29 concluding the third playing period.
During the fourth playing period, both Ballarat and Bulleen put on a nail-biting fight, opening the final quarter both teams were basket-for-basket. Exceptional offensive plays on both Ballarat and Bulleen’s behalf made it a thrilling quarter to watch. Although the U/18 Rush entered foul trouble for the first time during the match, sending Bulleen to the line, this didn’t deter Ballarat from making a strong fight to the finish, defeating Bulleen 63-52.
Head Coach of the U/18 Ballarat Rush Girls, Lucas Bourke was very impressed with the defensive performance of his team for the entire duration of the match, Bourke added that during the fourth term Ballarat Rush initially “struggled with the zone, but found a way to break it down”. He also stated the it was great to see some “deadly shooting” on behalf of both teams. As the season begins to wrap up, and teams start to head into finals in the coming weeks, Bourke was impressed with the win, “taking the Ballarat Rush to a 4-2 lead heading into the pointy end of the season”.
Taylah Wynne, and Laura Taylor were the U/18 Ballarat Rush’s most valuable players, both displaying brilliant offensive and defensive skills for the duration of the match.
The U/18 Ballarat Rush take on Sunbury next week.