Saturday night’s 10-point victory over Diamond Valley was not the prettiest display from the Ballarat Miners, but the team did enough to secure fourth position.
In their final game of the South East Australian Basketball League regular season, Ballarat GMHBA Miners coach Nathan Cooper-Brown had been hoping his team could build momentum heading into finals.
Instead the Eagles challenged throughout, taking the lead twice in the second term and levelling scores in the third before the Miners managed to take control.
The Miners were down on key performance indicators including only taking 74 shots, a three-point shooting percentage of 13 and field goal percentage of 37, turning the ball over 19 times and below the target in assists.
“We were disappointed with that output, we should have won that game by more,” Cooper-Brown said.
“We had great looks, so if we want to make a run for a championship, knocking down those shots is vital. We have to make those shots, we have to convert… we didn’t do that and we were just lucky they decided to play a lot of their younger kids.”
The tight game meant Ballarat Youth League Miners Zac Dunmore, Liam Allison, Amos Brooks and Anthony Kuel did not get as many minutes on the court.
But, while Cooper-Brown believed his players could take their defensive effort to another level, he was pleased with the team holding Diamond Valley to just 66 points.
With Kilsyth going down in a huge upset to Albury Wodonga, the result means the Miners will now face Nunawading – which took out SEABL’s top spot – in a qualifying final on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Miners’ captain Peter Hooley has been awarded SEABL’s men’s first team selection on Sunday.