Wednesday 8th July -
Ballarat Miners v Geelong Supercats
Teetering on the edge of the top four in the East Conference, Ballarat will host the ladder leading Supercats in an important mid-week showdown.
Ballarat’s uneven season continued last weekend, falling to Hobart at home by ten points. Anthony Fisher (20 points), Liam Gibcus (19) and Roy Booker (16) all contributed but they allowed the Chargers to shoot 41% while being out-rebounded by ten.
The Supercats responded to a six-point quarter-time deficit against N-W Tasmania in Round 12 to win by ten points. Eric Gaff (13 points, 14 rebounds) recorded his fifth double-double of the year while Alex Gynes (10 and 10) and Kimmani Barrett (22 and six) also starred.
When these sides met in Round 1, Booker found his shot to collect a game-high 25 points and help Ballarat win by two. If he gets hot once again, Geelong will struggle to out-score the home side but their experienced front court should be enough to carry them over the line.
Ballarat Rush v Geelong Lady Supercats
Geelong will put their five-game winning streak on the line when they visit Ballarat, whose much improved performances over the past few weeks could have the visitors nervous.
Although they sit at 3-13, the Rush has won two of their past four games and came agonisingly close to beating Hobart last round, losing by nine points in overtime. Abbey Wehrung was the star, collecting 28 points and 14 rebounds while the team assisted on 17 of their 23 made field goals.
Geelong recorded a massive win in Round 12, ending Launceston’s ten-game winning streak with a 77-71 victory. Tayla Roberts was inspirational in the paint, recording 20 points, ten boards and five blocks while Alex Duck (22 points, eight rebounds) and Anna Teague (15 and 8) were exceptional.
In their Round 1 meeting, Geelong were narrow two-point victors but Wehrung did not play. Sara Blicavs for the Lady Supercats and Olivia Thompson from the Rush will be absent this week due to World University Games commitments, forcing the teams to field different looking line-ups.
With an opportunity to snag top spot in the East Conference, Geelong should be too strong but Ballarat have renewed confidence from their performances in the past four games and could cause a few headaches for the visitors.