The Ballarat Miners sit on top of the South East Australian Basketball League ladder and are intent on remaining there ahead of two key matches over the next three days.
Miners travel to take on an Albury-Wodonga side that is knocking on the door of top four in the eastern conference, while it plays Dandenong at the Minerdome on Sunday in what will likely be a top-of-the-table clash.
Coach Eric Hayes said his side has found consistency in its basketball after showing glimpses early in the season as some new teammates found chemistry within the side.
The key now was to not become complacent in order to remain at the top.
“The guys are starting to understand what we want to do. They’ve been doing it at times throughout the season, but it’s just starting to happen more consistently,” Hayes said.
“We’re in a good position and if you want to stay in that position you’ve got to do the work.
“It’s important to not get comfortable with where you’re at and keep striving to do things a little bit better. They’re striving to get better and putting in the extra work.”
Hayes said quelling the influence of Albury-Wodonga duo Antone Robinson and Deba George would be crucial to victory.
Robinson is the competition’s leading points scorer and also tops the rebounds table. While George leads the competition for assists and has scored the seventh-most points.
“They’ve got lots of weapons, we’ve just got to make sure we’re playing solid defence and we make it as tough for them as we possibly can.”
Sam Short and Craig Moller will miss Sunday’s match due to Melbourne United commitments.
For Rush, with seven games remaining, a spot in SEABL women’s southern conference top four looks unlikely – three games off fourth-placed Hobart – but on current form, it will certainly give it a shake.
Rush had a slow, and disjointed, start to the season – playing one match in the opening month. The rest of the competition has played 17 matches, Rush sits on 15.
So while it sits second-last in the southern conference, it does have two games up its sleeve – and some red-hot form.
After losing its first eight matches, Rush has won five of its last six – beating some quality sides along the way.
It travels to face Albury-Wodonga, which has won just three games this season, on Friday. If it can continue its blistering form it will set-up a huge game against second-placed Dandenong on Sunday.