’Miners still searching for first win

AIMING AHEAD: Nic Cranston looks for a way through in Saturday night’s match for the Bathurst Goldminers against the Wagga Wagga Heat. Photo: ZENIO LAPKA 070514zbball2THE Bathurst Goldminers looked competitive many times during both matches of the weekend’s double header at home, but the team still couldn’t find a way to their first win of the men’s State League season.

A late flurry of points almost got the Bathurst team a shock win over the Wagga Wagga Heat on Saturday night, but they fell short to finish 95-88 down. The team returned on Sunday, with less players on the bench, where they were humbled 82-51 by the Canberra Gunners.

The Goldminers got an early lead on the Gunners, but the visitors soon hit back to finish the first quarter up 21-13. The opening 10 minutes saw the Goldminers have more of the ball, but the Gunners were efficient with their time in offence.

At half-time the score was a low 33-17 following some inaccurate shooting from both teams.

Canberra committed more players to their full court press in the second half, but Goldminers continued to cope well with the tactic and had their best quarter of the game.

Unfortunately for the home side, the Gunners found space of their own with the ball, sinking a handful of threes to lead by 57-32 at the last break.

The fourth quarter had the highest tempo of any as both teams took more shots on impulse, resulting in a fairly even quarter up until the final whistle.

Goldminers player Matt Chapman wasn’t delivered a birthday present on the scoreboard, but he still saw plenty to be happy about from the Sunday game.

“Against today we were really short on numbers. We almost played with an entirely new team to the one that played last night. Everyone stepped up well so you’ve got to be happy,” he said.

“There was a lack of numbers, a lack of size but in saying that I don’t think the size difference bothers us that much. I think we match up really well with a lot of their bigs and a lot of our smaller guys stepped up.

“We’re just one or two bigger players off matching up with these teams consistently all the time.”

Chapman said the team produced some memorable basketball towards the end of Saturday night’s close loss, something he’d like to see more.

“We won that fourth quarter 25 to seven, which was a great effort. It’s a pity it was the reverse the quarter before, where it would have been about the same amount,” he said.

“It was the same old story for us. That third quarter always gets us, but to come back and only give seven points to Wagga was a really good effort by the boys and they should be proud.”

WAGGA WAGGA HEAT 95 defeated BATHURST GOLDMINERS 88 and CANBERRA GUNNERS 82 (Mitchell Brown 14, Evan Fowler 14, Nick Jackson 12) defeated BATHURST GOLDMINERS 51 (Lawrence Misfud 19, Matt Chapman 12, Hayden Tinkler 8, Tom Ozolins 8)

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