A bruised, battered and battling Ballarat Miners stood up in the final minutes of a showdown with rivals Bendigo to secure a vital victory and maintain a top four spot on Wednesday night.
With just two points the difference and 23 seconds left of the South East Australian Basketball League clash at Bendigo Stadium, Ballarat GMHBA Miners captain Peter Hooley hit a huge three-pointer to silence the crowd and seal the win.
The Braves could only manage three more points, despite going down with a desperate last-ditch effort, to end the battle 84-88.
It was a different story at the start of the game, with Bendigo enjoying the upper hand with an early lead as the Miners’ defence fell away late in the opening term.
But it did not take long for the Miners to rectify their deficiencies, putting together a formidable defensive effort to keep the Braves’ sharpshooters to just 10 points in the second term, while Marvin King-Davis stepped up to lead the scoring by half-time.
The game turned into a shoot-out early in the third term, with 16-17 points scored midway through the quarter before the Miners began to push out to a healthy 10-point buffer.
But the Braves’ stars came out firing in the fourth term to cut the margin and excite their home crowd.
While Hooley, Josh Fox and Sam Short all seemed to be battling injury and soreness, the Miners rallied to come out on top.