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.
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.