Ballan Brumbies Basketball

June 14, 2024 BY

BOTH Ballan Brumbies Under 19 C Boys and Phoenix Commanders were expecting to be in the finals hunt, but injuries and absences have left both just outside the top four as the midseason break approaches.

As is almost custom for these teams, neither took to the floor with any reserves to speak of, meaning fatigue and foul trouble were bound to become an issue.

The Brumbies got off to the perfect start as James Prosser scored immediately off the jump ball, Robert Fisher responding for Phoenix by converting a three-point play.

Mitch Bykersma – the danger man for Phoenix – scored on a pretty drive though and a steal by Jim Gorman saw him feed a pretty pass through to James Burton to score on the break.

Brumbies star Fergus McCausland was slicing through the Phoenix defence and a friendly whistle saw him repeatedly thwarted at the hoop.

Not that fouls were not being called, though, as both teams looked to draw contact. Fisher and Prosser both picked up their third fouls with significant time to play in the first half.

Bykersma and Gorman exchanged long bombs whilst Prosser again wove through the defence for a basket as neither team could gain any real advantage.

With Sam Lillie and McCausland owing the defensive paint, Phoenix were forced to attack from the perimeter and did so successfully through Fisher, who made Ballan pay for not respecting his range with a pair of threes. McCausland was beginning to wear down the Phoenix defence, scoring on a pair of drives.

The half ended on a somewhat controversial note as Bykersma threw himself to the ground under little to no contact as time expired.

Burton was assessed the softest of fouls, though the basketball gods chose to hedge their bets, Bykersma converting one of two free throws to cut Ballan’s lead to a solitary point at the half, 23-22.

Fisher picked up his fourth foul mere seconds into the second half, limiting his aggressiveness for the remainder of the contest.

He laid off Lillie and the big Ballan centre splashed a three in his face, though Bykersma quickly responded in kind.

Much like the first half, neither side could find that all-important mini-break. A Lillie put back answered by a Bykersma pull up; a Fisher three met by a Gorman three.

Trailing 31-35, the Brumbies finally got a streak on. McCausland scored on a soaring drive and converted the free throw after getting fouled. Burton connected on the break, McCausland again converted with bodies draped all over him, making the ensuing bonus free throw, and Prosser scored on a spectacular reverse.

In the matter of a little over two minutes, Ballan had turned that four-point deficit into a six-point lead.

The Brumbies defence held their nerves, only giving up a late three to Bykersma as they held on to record a hard earned 45-41 victory, moving them to within a game of the top four.

Under 16 Boys

Ballan B 30 lost Saints Breakers 45

Ballan C 33 lost Phoenix Flames 44

Ballan E 21 lost Phoenix Slingers 25

Ballan F 30 def Phoenix Cardinals 29

Under 16 Girls

Ballan C 17 lost Wildcats 35

Under 19 Boys

Ballan C 45 def Phoenix Commanders 41

Ballan E 38 lost Phoenix Crusaders 49

Ballan F 26 lost Wildcats 41

Under 19 Girls

Ballan B 35 def Celtic Tigers 19