What began as a strong showing has ended up as a terrible result for the Ballarat Rush as import point guard Chanise Jenkins left their 90-73 loss to the Dandenong Rangers with an injury.
Jenkins and the Rush were competitive early in their NBL1 round three outing, trading leads with Dandenong throughout much of the first half.
Early in the second quarter Jenkins fell to the ground following a screen and had to be helped off the court by Rush coach Eric Hayes.
Hayes said the team has heard no word on the severity of the injury as of yet.
"We're not really sure what happened," he said.
"She ran into a screen, we think she might of banged knees... she'll go to the physio and get some tests done this week."
From that point on, the Rangers were able to maintain their lead for the rest of the game before eventually winning by 17 points.
It was a rough game for many of Ballarat's stars with foul trouble playing a large factor in the loss. Starters Joy Burke, Olivia Hackman and Laura Taylor all played limited minutes due to fouling out.
Hayes said he was disappointing with some of the 'tough' calls the Rush received.
"We needed to adjust to the officiating, when they're calling it really close we need play accordingly."
Relying heavily on their bench, 17-year-old Georgia Amoore top scored for the Rush, registering 15 points in her 30 minutes of play.
Amoore's performance pleased Hayes who expects her to play a large role for the team across the season.
"She's a really dynamic player," he said.
"She's difficult to stop, especially off the dribble."
Playing the majority of the point guard minutes following the Jenkins injury, Amoore struggled protecting the ball, turning the ball over seven times.
Hayes said that was partly his fault for leaving her in the game without rest for long spells.
"When you have the responsibility to score and facilitate like Georgia did you're bound to make some mistakes... my rotations didn't help, I think a lot of those turnovers came purely from fatigue."
Saturday's loss marks Ballarat's third loss in as many games. Hayes is confident his team can continue building and get positive results going forward.
"Each game we've gotten better and better, I don't even think it will be about finding better form, it's more about capitalising on the great play we've showcased so far."
The Rush will have a week off over the Easter break before returning to take on the Knox Raiders on the road on Saturday, 27 April.
BALLARAT RUSH - 23,16,19,15: 73
DANDENONG - 26,23,18,23: 90
SCORERS: RUSH - Amoore 15, Hackman 13 (1), Constable 11 (3), Burke 9 (1), Cochrane 9, Jenkins 7 (1), Blower 5, Taylor 2, Mckenzie 2. RANGERS - Clydesdale 28 (4), Planeta 27, Giliam 13 (1), Lopes 9, Anstey 4, Fadljevic 3 (1), Puli 2, Stothard 2, Morgan 2.
REBOUNDS - Rush 41, Rangers 35
ASSISTS - Rush 20, Rangers 15
STEALS - Rush 12, Rangers 6
BLOCKS - Rush 1, Rangers 3
TURNOVERS - Rush 19, Rangers 10
FOULS - Rush 24, Rangers 15