Monday, July 31, 2017

The Ballarat Miners have kept their hopes of top spot in the South Conference alive after sweeping Round 17 with Leon Henry starring for the club.

Only arriving in Round 12, Henry has made an immediate impact for the Miners in the front court and in wins against Frankston and N/W Tasmania, he averaged 19.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals.

Away to the Blues on Saturday night, Henry started on the bench but came out all guns blazing as he tallied nine points and five rebounds by quarter-time.

Ballarat trailed by seven but with him keeping them in the contest, they were able to reel Frankston in and move ahead by one at three-quarter time.

The Miners then put together a 22-16 final quarter to claim an important victory and move into the South Conference top-two.

Henry finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and three assists in just 24 minutes, hitting a very efficient 8-9 from the field including 2-2 from long distance.

Back at home the following night in a top-four clash with the Thunder, Henry was again impactful in the opening term with four points and six rebounds coming off the bench.

He continued to show his range, knocking down a three-pointer in the second quarter and he had another efficient night overall, shooting 9-14.

The forward then tallied a double-double by the third period with his six offensive rebounds leading the Miners to 28 second chance points but the Thunder were not going away and with eight minutes left in the game, the margin was tied.

Henry helped finally put the visitors away though, scoring another six points down the stretch to finish with 21 points, 12 rebounds and two assists as Ballarat won 98-79.

With one game remaining, the Miners can still finish anywhere between first and third as they own the head-to-head advantage over Dandenong but do not have it against third-placed Hobart.

Facing the CoE this weekend though, they will go in as heavy favourites and a win would put pressure on their two closest rivals to also succeed and take top spot away from them.

Leon Henry Round 17 Stats: 19.5 points on 17-23 shooting (74%) including 3-4 three-point shooting, 10.5 rebounds (five offensive), 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals.