Miners double sparks campaign momentum

BALLARAT Miners cast aside the demons of a disappointing start to South East Australian Basketball League season by producing a clean sweep in Canberra.

The GMHBA Miners completed a road double with a five-point win over Canberra on Saturday night.

This followed success against the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence on Friday night.

TheMiners now sit second with a 2-1 win-loss record on the men’seast conference table, which is led by the unbeaten Nunawading.

Coach Eric Hayes said the wins gave the Miners a sound base for a successful season

It took all the Miners had to keep a charging Canberra Gunners at bay though.

Ballarat led by 25 points in the second quarter and although it did not give up thelead it did get a little too close for comfort in the last 90 seconds.

Ballarat’s big three Roy Booker, Earnest Ross and Ollie Bailey were the catalysts in the win over Canberra.

Ross was huge, leading the game in points and rebounds, with 33 and 12 respectively.

Booker followed up his first game of the season on the previous night with 28 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Bailey was tireless – playing the full 40 minutes.

He shot 25 points and had nine rebounds as he covered for the loss of fellow centre Chris Smith to injury as well as others in foul trouble.

Smith damaged a calf against the CoE on Friday night and finished the weekend on crutches.

Hayes said while the extent of the injury would not be known until tests this week, he believed it look likely Smith would be sidelines for 3-4 weeks.

Hayes said Ballarat let Canberra back in the game after going away from the structure which had set up the lead.

“We allowed them to get back into it by losing sight of what had been doing well.”

Hayes said having Booker, Ross and Bailey in form offensively provided the Miners witha formidable combination, and extremely difficult for rivals to defend.

“It’s a good weapon to have.”

He said with opposing teamslikely to focus defensively on this trio, it would open up opportunities for thelikes of Ash Constable andDysonKing-Hawea, as well as Sam Short and Casey Marshall, to make their mark.

Ballarat’s next assignment is against Sandringhamat home on Saturday night.

POTENT: Earnest Ross has wasted little time making an impact for the Miners. He was instrumental in defeating Canberra, shooting 33 points and getting 12 rebounds.

DETAILSBALLARAT 27 56 84 105CANBERRA 18 45 75 100POINTS – Ballarat: E Ross 33, R Booker 28, O Bailey 25, A Constable 9, D King-Hawea 6, S Short 4REBOUNDS – Ballarat 37 (E Ross 12, O Bailey 6), Canberra 28ASSISTS – Ballarat 13 (R Booker 5), Canberra 18STEALS – Ballarat 2, Canberra 12BLOCKS – Ballarat 1, Canberra 2TURNOVERS – Ballarat 27, Canberra 9SHOOTING – field, Ballarat 35-66 (53 per cent), Canberra 39-88 (44); three-pointers, Ballarat 12-28 (42), Canberra 4-27 (14); free throws, Ballarat 23-30 (76), Canberra 18-24 (75)This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.