TIGHTER defensive work was called for and the Ballarat Miners delivered to claim a four-point win in Brisbane.
The result breaks a three-game losing streak for the Miners and deals Brisbane its first loss at home this South East Australian Basketball League season.
Ballarat Holden Miners acting coach Grant Spencer said his team matched up well against an undersized Spartans, which was missing an injured import, but had to remain wary the whole match.
The Spartans have knocked off major teams on their home court, including a 20-point win against heavyweight Nunawading last week, and players like Scott Kenny could be lethal from the perimetre if given the chance.
“It was close all game but we were able to do something different – and that’s to control the tempo of the game and maintain scoreboard pressure,” Spencer said.
The Miners maintained an emphasis on import Tim Coenraad having plenty of the ball and Coenraad had a strong game with 21 points, 10 rebounds.
Spencer said the Miners effectively did everything right in the first half before the second half became a shootout, in which neither team shot at a particularly high percentage.
A 10-point lead early in the fourth quarter was soon whittled back by the Spartans and the Miners replied by going to the foul line and polishing off accurately to keep a buffer.
The Miners missed 13 lay-ups for the match and a chance to completely blow the game apart but Spencer said it was important to focus on getting the win and getting the job done.
Miners captain Ryan Barnes spearheaded his team’s defence in his trademark ruthless style.
Coenraad and Scoines (15 points, nine rebounds) dominated at both ends of the court while Spencer was impressed with the solid efforts of guards Dan Joyce and Shaun Bruce, who ensured the Miners dictated the pace.
Spencer said it was great to finally get a win on the board after making good progress and being so close the past couple of weeks.
Miners head coach Guy Molloy will be back at the helm for next weekend’s double-header with the Miners set to meet Mt Gambier at the Minerdome on Saturday night and a road trip to Sandringham on Sunday afternoon.