FORWARD Tim Coenraad led an impressive, high-scoring win for the Ballarat Miners last night.
Coenraad chalked up 34 points in the Ballarat Holden Miners’ 105-98 outing against Mt Gambier at the Icehouse.
The Miners scored at close to 60 per cent accuracy from the field and kept pressure on the Pioneers, who had 23 more scoring shots in the South East Australian Basketball League clash.
Kevin White was in dominant form, highlighted by 22 points including five three-pointers, and Dan Joyce also proved a handy contributor with 15 points.
Newly arrive Miners import Reggie Larry made a strong impact in a limited 13 minutes game-time with eight points and three rebounds.
Miners acting coach Grant Spencer said Larry, who arrived from the United States on Sunday, was fantastic on court but just needed time to settle into team dynamics.
"Everyone was contributing and it was hard to get Reggie on the floor," Spencer said.
"He’s got potential and will be really great. I gave him a few little things to concentrate on but it was hard to coach when he looks like he’s playing well on the floor and I had to pull him out for the flow of the team in such a tight game."
Close from the outset, Mt Gambier held a one-point lead at quarter-time and when the Miners started to find momentum in the second quarter, the Pioneers pulled back within a point of the Miners at the main break.
Miners forward and key scorer Jared Scoines was injured early in the third term with a knock to the eye and was restricted in the second half.
The Miners held a three-point lead by three-quarter time and were forced to work hard to claim the win.
"We played pretty well ... unfortunately we were getting smashed on the rebounds and it wasn’t height that was a problem, that they were taller than us, but they were out-hustling us," Spencer said. "We contained them on contested shots but were letting them slip through easy ones."
Spencer was pleased the team continued to take responsibility and work hard as individuals and as a team in the absence of head coach Guy Molloy, who is overseas coaching the Australian under-17s.
The Miners have a tough week ahead, hosting Sandringham at the Minerdome next Saturday night followed by a road trip to face top east conference team Knox.
Ballarat Rush has a bye this weekend in the SEABL women’s competition.