ALBURY-Wodonga Lady Bandits coach James Ballinger says it’s time his struggling team “laid it on the line” against the Ballarat Rush tomorrow night.
Riding a seven-game losing streak and with the Queen’s Birthday bye week approaching, the Border club is in desperate need of a competitive performance, having been dismantled 91-55 by the Knox Raiders last week.
Ballinger said his charges could make what has been a bleak season that much better with a win over the Rush (5-6), who sit sixth in the East conference, having lost four of their past five games.
“It’s an incredibly big week for the team,” Ballinger said.
“We’ve shown improvement in patches but we simply have to be better.
“It’s time to lay it all out on the line.
“We should’ve won at Ballarat and we need to come out firing for this.
“I don’t know that it’s season-defining but it’s so much better if we can go into the bye week with a win.
“But if we have a poor loss, it just makes it that much harder, you’ve got two weeks to dwell on that.”
The Lady Bandits suffered a nail-biting 84-81 road loss to the Rush in round six, with former import Nya Mason one of the Ballarat standouts with 18 points and seven boards.
In addition, Ballarat was without leading scorer Stephanie Cumming, who previously torched the Border club with a 36-point explosion while playing for Frankston last year.
“We’ll look to double Nya in the post and then challenge them to beat us from the outside on contested jumpers,” Ballinger said.
“We need to be wary of Cumming and we simply have to be accountable all the time.
“We only lost by three the last time we played Ballarat, a few bad decisions cost us.
“I think we’ve got a blueprint to beat them but there’s no doubt it will be tough.
“If we stick to our gameplan I think we’ve got a real chance.”
Tip-off at the Lauren Jackson Sports Centre is 6pm with the men’s game against Ballarat to follow at 8pm.