A COUPLE of late errors caused Ballarat Miners to let a road trip slip by four points.
No more than six points split the Ballarat Holden Miners from Albury-Wodonga on Saturday night, excepting a brief break out to 11 points by the Bandits early in the final term.
The result marks the Miners’ fourth loss and third by a margin of four points or less this season in the South East Australian Basketball League.
Miners coach Guy Molloy said his players would quickly regroup for their next assignment.
“It was a game that could’ve gone either way.
“It wasn’t always played the way we wanted to play,” Molloy said.
“We did a good job to get back to a basket of them in the fourth quarter, then there were a couple of ‘brain snaps’ at the end.
“We didn’t play our game plan that had been working for us.”
Jared Scoines led the charge with 14 points to half-time when the Miners trailed by two points.
Scoines finished with 19 points and Molloy praised his consistent, tough and even performance, which included six rebounds.
Shaun Bruce (18 points) and Tim Coenraad (16 points) offered support on the scoreboard and Molloy said there were phases of good play from others.
But the Bandits caused some headaches.
In their last meeting, Bandits’ import Jazzmar Ferguson unleashed six three-pointers for the season opener.
Ferguson made two from the perimetre Saturday night, but again troubled the Miners with 29 points, 14 rebounds.
He was the Bandits’ key scoring avenue.
Fellow import Mohamed Ntumba (15 points, 11 rebounds) also made an impact.
The Bandits’ effective and sharp guard rotation made play tough for the Miners to pick up a tight man-on-man game.
Molloy said his team was smashed on the board.
The Miners can take consolation in their fourth quarter fight-back when it comes to percentage calculations in the south conference.
In round one the Miners defeated the Bandits at home by 14 points and, while the Miners lost by four points away, Molloy said head-to-heads could have easily slipped in the Bandits’ favour.