The Under-14 Ballarat Miners kicked off a packed VJBL Friday night at the MARS® MINERDOME, as they took down the Collingwood All Stars in a thrilling finish.
The match began slowly offensively, both teams looking well-drilled and getting quality looks but failing to convert.
The Miners proved a tough defensive unit, keeping the All Stars off the scoreboard until the 5 minute mark of the opening stanza.
The second period was much more free-flowing. Led by stellar playmaking from Riley Polkinghorne, and scoring from Jarrod Curran, Ballarat began to develop a lead.
Miners big man Matthew Johnstone impressed, establishing good post presence, scoring and finding teammates for good shots as the home squad took an eight-point buffer into the main break.
Collingwood looked to be heading towards a scoreless third term until they finally notched a basket with under two
minutes to play.
Ballarat continued dominating and got everyone involved on offense, leading to multiple players putting points up.
The Miners looked to have created an insurmountable 11-point lead heading into the fourth period.
However, led by the strong play of Peter Vamvakitis (14 Points), the All Stars began a huge resurgence in a physical
The Miners only managed three points in the last quarter, and capitalising on early momentum, the visitors drew
within one point with under a minute to play in the contest.
With an opportunity to steal victory from Ballarat, the All Stars had one final play to grasp the lead. However, a gamesaving steal from the Miners’ Jarrod Curran quickly nullified the visitors chances and netted the win for the Miners.
Matthew Johnstone notched 14 points for the Miners in the win, while Jarrod Curran was next best with 4.
The win is Ballarat’s first for the season and places them in fifth position on the ladder.
The Miners are on the road next Friday, as they are pitted against Waverley on the Falcons’ home floor.
In other results:
The Under-14 Ballarat Rush defeated Dandenong 44-37
The Under-16 Ballarat Miners took down Knox 49-36
The Under-16 Ballarat Rush lost to Dandenong 42-82
The Under-18 Ballarat Miners were victorious against Corio Bay 67-42