After a two-week break, the Integra Ballarat Rush are back in action this Saturday against the Albury-Wodonga Lady Bandits.
The last time the Rush played was April 12 against the Frankston Blues, where they saw their first loss, 54-62, coming off of a tough stint of three games in seven days. With a much-needed rest, and sufficient time to prepare and fine-tune necessary aspects of their game, they should be returning to competition with the same determination that saw them gut out hard-fought victories against previous competitors.
Captain Kristy Rinaldi will be looked upon to refocus the playing group and ensure that the hard work from the week’s trainings will transfer into the weekend’s game. Rinaldi has been outstanding for the Rush so far, averaging 13 points a game for the Rush, and also grabbing six rebounds a game. The efforts of Steph Cumming have also been remarkable, as she is third in the league in scoring, at 22.5 points a game, on 52% shooting from the field, while also averaging five rebounds and five assists each game.
The Lady Bandits have had a less than ideal start to the season, losing by an average of 33 points each game. They have added considerable talent with the addition of import Emilee Harmon, who has been an instant impact. Shooting the ball at 54%, Harmon is averaging 17 points a game, while also hustling to grab 11 rebounds each game. Her hard work is supported by Lauren Angel, an Aussie recruit from Port Macquarie that has stepped up for the Lady Bandits to bring in 14 points and five rebounds a game.
The Rush have found success throughout the season in their ability to play as a cohesive unit, and will need to utilise that same pattern of play to obtain a win this weekend. Although Albury-Wodonga has had a horror run so far, and are in the middle of a three-game losing streak, they are a quality side with the ability to exploit Ballarat should they not be able to display the unstoppable team chemistry they’ve shown all season.
The Rush are set to tip-off at 6pm at the MARS® MINERDOME, followed by the Miners, who start at 8pm.