A 16-0 start for the Ballarat Miners proved to be decisive in a hard fought 10-point win over Eltham on Saturday night, in the first of the double-header weekend of matches for the club.
The Miners fifth consecutive win takes their season win-loss record to 8-5 as they prepare for Bendigo on Sunday afternoon.
The 86-76 win over a plucky Eltham Wildcats was just enough for the Miners, but they will need to lift their game against Bendigo, a team they fell to at home earlier in the season.
William Hickey top-scored for the Miners with 21 points, including a clutch three-point bucket in the last quarter when Eltham had cut the lead to just five points.
But it was Emmett Naar's class all round, with 16 points at 66 per cent from the field and six assists that proved decisive.
Naar had 14 points to half time, despite not coming onto the court until midway through the first quarter.
The Miners will be without seven-footer Deng Acouth for the rest of the season with the centre pulling out of the game with an ankle injury and will now leave the team with family commitments.
The Miners will clash with Bendigo at 2pm on Sunday afteroon.