AN INSPIRED performance from boom recruit Ken Horton on Saturday night wasn’t enough to deliver the Ballarat Miners its first home win of the 2014 South East Australian Basketball League season.
The Miners lost the round five match 95-89 to Frankston in front of a packed crowd at the Minerdome after relinquishing a six-point three-quarter-time lead.
Horton was heroic in the loss, notching up 34 points and 14 rebounds (eight defensive) in what Miners coach David Flint said was his best performance for the club.
“He stepped up and had his best game for the club,” Flint said.
“Ken’s been good (this season) but it was nice to see him go for his shots a bit more.”
The game began with a flurry of three-pointers from both sides, with Ballarat up and about early and able to take a two-shot lead into quarter time.
From there it was a see-sawing affair, with both teams
pressing each other defensively and entering half-time at 43 apiece.
Ballarat put the Blues to the sword after the main break after a 24-point third quarter courtesy of Horton, Roy Booker and Anthony Fisher’s dominant play.
However the visitors responded strongly in the final quarter, piling on 34 points to make a mockery of the Miners’ defence.
Frankston Power forward Brandon Polk proved to be the difference between the two sides with six rebounds and 27 points – several of which were scored in the final minutes.
Booker ended the match with 20 points of his own but had little effect after half-time
while Fisher was effective at both ends of the court with nine rebounds and 14
points of his own.
Flint was left ruing a poor defensive output that yielded Frankston 23 more free throws.
“At the end of the day we have to find a way to win – I thought that we played well but we didn’t stop them late in the game,” he said.
“This week will be about defence, defence, defence because it’s a must win game for us.”
The Miners now sit fifth on the east conference ladder with a 1-4 record and will face off against Albury-Wodonga (also 1-4) at the Minerdome on Saturday.