Basketball: Miners move to top of conference ladder

Ballarat Miners have clinched top spot on the south conference ladder from Hobart Chargers after two strong wins in South East Australian Basketball League competition. 

IMPACT: Craig Moller was best on court, but was well supported by his teammates in the game against Hobart on Saturday. Pictures: Dylan Burns

IMPACT: Craig Moller was best on court, but was well supported by his teammates in the game against Hobart on Saturday. Pictures: Dylan Burns

A firing Ballarat GMHBA Miners outfit defeated the Chargers by five points at the Mars Minerdome on Saturday, then went one better with a six-point victory over Sandringham in Melbourne on Sunday. 

It was a close battle between the Miners and Hobart in the top of the table clash on Saturday, with the Miners managing to keep their noses out in front at every change but the first.

Craig Moller top scored, making a double double of 26 points and 10 rebounds, but was helped by strong performances across the court.

Miners coach Eric Hayes said one of the key differences between the match and the Miners’ previous encounter with Hobart was getting off to a solid start.

“We just wanted to make sure we set a tempo today and then we maintained the tempo that we wanted to play – and we did a really good job of that,” he said.

One of the most pleasing aspects of the game for Hayes was the team effort. 

“Obviously, there was a patch there where Craig was very good offensively, blocked some shots, just extra hustle,” Hayes said.

“Davon hit some nice baskets early on, Ash had some nice drives to the basket, Pete had some nice drives – a lot of guys came in and did some great things.”

Hayes said the team still needed to tighten its defence, which had broken down in parts of the game.

While offensively, the players needed to work on taking the ball from one side of the court to the other, to shift the defence and make it easier to score.

In the game against Sandringham, Moller was again dominant with 22 points and 14 rebounds, while Davon Usher collected 21 points, and Peter Hooley made a double double of 18 points and 11 rebounds. 

DETAILS

MINERS 19 44 58 81

HOBART 20 41 56 76

POINTS – Miners: Moller 26 (1 three-pointer), Usher 15 (3), Hooley 13 (1), King-Davis 10 (2), Constable 10 (2), Short 5 (1), McCallum 2. Hobart: Heyer 22 (4), Muo 15 (2), Whitehead 13, Thomas 10, Masunda 7 (1), Radcliffe 7 (1), Gehrich 2

REBOUNDS – Miners 47 (Moller 10, Short 8), Hobart 32 

ASSISTS – Miners 15 (Hooley 6), Hobart 18

STEALS – Miners 8, Hobart 10

BLOCKS – Miners 3, Hobart 4

TURNOVERS – Miners 20, Hobart 12 

SHOOTING – field goals, Miners 30/68 (44.1%), Hobart 30/71 (42.3%); three-pointers, Miners 10/21 (47.6%), Hobart 8/29 (27.6%); free throws, Miners 11/15 (73.3%), Hobart 8/13 (61.5%)

MINERS 29 50 74 92 

SANDRINGHAM 20 36 65 86

POINTS – Miners: Moller 22, Usher 21 (4), Hooley 18 (3), Short 11 (2), King-Davis 8, McCallum 7, Fisher 3 (1), Constable 2. Sandringham: Evans 28 (4), O’Day 25, Crosswell 16, Hadziomerovic 8, Batish 6 (2), MacDonald 3 (1). 

REBOUNDS – Miners 48 (Moller 14, Hooley 11), Sandringham 34

ASSISTS – Miners 18, Sandringham 18

STEALS – Miners 1, Sandringham 6

BLOCKS – Miners 1, Sandringham 8

TURNOVERS – Miners 11, Sandringham 4

SHOOTING – field goals, Miners 31/73 (42%), Sandringham 37/77 (48%); three-pointers, Miners 10/20 (50%), Sandringham 7/24 (29%); free throws, Miners 20/25 (80%), Sandringham 5/9 (55%).