Ballarat Rush continued its resurgence with a gritty win over Albury-Wodonga in the South East Australian Basketball League in Albury on Friday night.
Skoda Rush dug deep to resist a late charge by the Lady Bandits 72-68.
The GMHBA Miners could not produce the same resolve though in the doubleheader, being swamped by the Bandits to lose 104-93 and in doing so loosening their grip on top spot in the men’s south conference.
Rush was pushed to the limit.
Trying to break a five-game losing streak, the Lady Bandits came from eights points down with 31 seconds remaining in the game to get within three with 18 seconds on the clock.
As it was all game, it was the tireless Jaterra Bonds (25 points, 11 rebounds) and ever reliable Kristy Rinaldi (19 points, 6 rebounds) who steadied the ship for Ballarat to hold on.
Rush led for almost entirely the second half, but unforced turnovers more than once almost brought it undone after getting out an eight-point led in the third term and 10 in the last.
Rush now has six wins from 16 games for the season – five of those its past six outings.
Inspired by Peter Hooley (39 points), the Miners looked in total control with an eight-point lead early in the last quarter.
The Bandits then changed the complexion of the game with a 16-2 run in a dominant last term performance.
Ballarat and Dandenong meet in a doubleheader at the Minerdome on Sunday, with the Rush tip-off at noon and Miners getting underway at 2pm.
Ballarat and Dandenong, which faces Frankston on Saturday night, are vying for top position in the men’s south conference.