Ballarat Rush produces huge SEABL upset with defensive effort

EXCITED: Ballarat Rush's Claire Constable, Taylah Wynne and Molly Mathews cheer on their teammates from the sidelines to a stunning victory. Pictures: Dylan Burns

EXCITED: Ballarat Rush's Claire Constable, Taylah Wynne and Molly Mathews cheer on their teammates from the sidelines to a stunning victory. Pictures: Dylan Burns

After going down by a single point in overtime to Canberra on Friday night, then catching a flight before dawn on Saturday, Ballarat Rush had every excuse when faced with a top three team in Nunawading on Saturday night.

But, despite the exceptional circumstances caused by a rescheduled game, Ballarat Skoda Rush produced one of its best defensive efforts at the Minerdome to secure a fifth South East Australian Basketball League victory.

Not only did Rush bounce back in a huge upset, the team did so convincingly, 80-62, despite the Spectres firing up in the second half.

With the players focused on defensive pressure and aggression at training, Ballarat Rush coach Eric Hayes was pleased to see his team finally rewarded for effort.

“Our defence was awesome and just the way we played together and fought for each other,” he said.

“Those are some of the things we have been talking about – just working hard and working together and believing in ourselves.”

Rush’s Joy Burke stepped up in the second term, igniting the team and establishing a confidence-boosting lead. She ended the game with a double-double of 22 points and 19 rebounds. 

But Kristy Rinaldi and Amy Griffin led the defensive effort, while Courtney Walker and Ashleigh Spencer were also strong. Lydia Brooks suffered a back spasm early in the second quarter and did not return to the court.

DETAILS

BALLARAT 20 38 59 80

NUNAWADING 16 25 46 62

POINTS - Rush: Bao 22 (1 three-pointer), Walker 18, Rinaldi 16 (4), Spencer 8 (1), Constable 6 (2), Griffin 5 (1), Wynne 3 (1), Mathews 2. Nunawading: Whittle 22 (2), Chilcott 14, Glennie 12, Panousis 9 (1), Zavecz 5.

REBOUNDS - Rush 43, Nunawading 40

ASSISTS - Rush 21, Nunawading 10

STEALS  - Rush 9, Nunawading 9

BLOCKS - Rush 2, Nunawading 1

TURNOVERS - Rush 21, Nunawading 15

FOULS - Rush 16, Nunawading 16

SHOOTING - field goals, Rush 30/58 (51.7%), Nunawading, 21/70 (30%); three-pointers, Rush 10/18 (55.6%), Nunawading 3/20 (15%); free throws, Rush 10/19 (52.6%), Nunawading 17/21 (81%).