ASH STONEHOUSE made a strong impression off the bench in a breakthrough game personally and a breakthrough win for Ballarat Rush.
Stonehouse notched up a handy 15 points to help snap Integra Rush’s four-game losing streak in the South East Australian Basketball League.
She was second in scoring only to Steph Cumming (17 points) in the 11-point victory against Canberra Capitals Academy on Saturday night.
The winning feeling was short-lived for Rush.
A far sharper Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence outfit dealt Rush a 22-point loss on Sunday.
It was all BA CoE’s way in the follow-up match – the talent team had almost double the rebounds, more than double the assists and a healthier field goal conversion.
Rush young gun Abbey Wehrung answered the challenge in a 23-point game.
She lacked support. Even Steph Cumming was contained to 12 points.
BA CoE’s starting five shared the scoring load, each scoring 15 points or more with Natalie Burton top-scoring on 23.
Burton (10 rebounds) and Alicia Froling (16 rebounds) dominated the boards.
Steph Talbot, draftee to American WNBA club Phoenix Mercury, was impressive with 16 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists.
Rush put solid court-time and experience into promising youngster Kasey Burton, who was on the floor for 18 minutes.
Stonehouse also played more than 20 minutes off the bench.
The weekend’s toll has Rush ranked sixth in the east conference with a road-trip to face lowly-ranked Albury-Wodonga next week.
Rush only just scraped by the Lady Bandits by three points when they met at the MARS Minerdome earlier this month.