A FLYING start gave Ballarat Rush the buffer it needed, but true grit polished off a three-point win against Nunawading at the Minerdome on Saturday night.
Ballarat Miners found it tougher, falling 20 points short of Nunawading - after only a two-point deficit at half-time - in the club's first home game this South East Australian Basketball League season.
New Minerdome recruits gave the near-full house a taste of what they will offer this season.
Rush's Steph Cumming worked hard to bring her young teammates into play while putting up 22 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
For the Miners, a closely-checked Ken Horton pulled in 10 rebounds (8 defensive rebounds) and chalked up 23 assists.
Fellow American Roy Booker scored 23 points (5 three-pointers) and had nine assists.
Miners captain Liam Gibcus, in his first Minerdome home game, scored 20 points and was leading scorer for his team until he was fouled off almost three minutes into the final term.
It is a short turnaround for Rush and the Miners, who return to the Minerdome on Wednesday to meet arch-rival Bendigo in a mid-week double-header.
SOUTH EAST AUSTRALIAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE
BALLARAT RUSH 32 50 71 83
NUNAWADING 19 35 53 80
TOP SCORERS - Rush: Cumming 22 (1 three-pointer), Rinaldi 19 (3), Alexander 14 (2), Mason 13. Nunawading: Cole 28 (5), Zavecz 15 (1).
NUNAWADING 28 49 80 106
BALLARAT MINERS 23 47 66 86
TOP SCORERS - Nunawading: McDonald 27 (3 three-pointers), Cameron 25 (3), Conn 24. Miners: Booker 23 (5), Horton 23 (3), Gibcus 20.