Just one game of VJBL action at the MARS® MINERDOME on Friday night, with the fifth-placed Under-18 Ballarat Miners taking on the powerhouse Hawthorn Magic.
The Miners got off to a rough start, giving up a layup and a steal within the first 10 seconds of action. This theme continued throughout the early going of the first quarter, as Ballarat’s offense struggled to ignite. The Magic converted two three-point plays in the opening five minutes and opened up an early lead.
A swift Miners time-out quelled Hawthorn’s momentum and saw the home squad kick-start their offense. Sam Short nailed back-to-back three pointers, and in under a minute the game was close again.
Ballarat’s zone defense proved effective in the early stages of the second quarter, clogging the paint and forcing difficult outside shots for the visitors. Short continued his prolific scoring, while Tristan Fisher also got going, quickly nailing two threes after a scoreless first period.
Down two points and carrying all the momentum forward, Ballarat looked poised to take the lead and extend it as the game progressed.
In a seemingly benign incident, Hawthorn’s coach was given a double-technical and ejected from the contest. Clearly taking exception to the call, the Magic’s leader called the remainder of the game off, leaving players and parents stunned.
Miners coach Will Blake and all players handled the delicate situation with incredible sportsmanship, as the game was awarded to Ballarat on the back of Hawthorn’s forfeit.
The Miners are on the road for their next game as they take on Sandringham on the Sabres home floor.