Kyneton Tigers fell agonisingly short of beating the Bendigo Braves for the first time on Sunday in the Country Basketball League north-west competition.
The bogey team for the Tigers the last two and a bit seasons, the Tigers pushed the Braves all the way after leading for much of the match.
The match went to overtime, with the Braves getting across the line, 66-62. The Tigers were fast out of the blocks and led 19-15 at quarter time.
They continued that in the second quarter and were able to extend the lead to eight points at half time, leading 34-26. The Braves got back into the game in the third quarter before a thrilling finish.
Both teams hit shots in the final minute, with the Braves scoring a three pointer through Olivia Noter to level the scores at 58-58 apiece right on the final siren, sending the game to overtime.
The Braves hit the last six points of the game to seal the win.
Tigers coach Adrian Adams had mixed feelings about the result.
“We had our best game for the season,” he said. “
“We played a full four quarters, before they hit a three right on the buzzer to send it into overtime.
We’ve got the talent and the potential, we’re just not getting reward for effort.”
Adams said you couldn’t question the effort of the team throughout the season, but they were let down by execution at times.
He said it was the case in the third quarter against Bendigo. “We let them back into the game,” he said. “You can’t sleep on a team like Bendigo which has good range with its shooters.
“We turn the play over too much … We kept the turnovers down until the third quarter.”
The Mangan sisters led the way for the Tigers. Rachelle and Jess Mangan scored 13 points each. Brooke Mangan chimed in with nine points.
Adams said throughout the season they’ve had a number of contributors across the board.
He said Jess Mangan and Molly Greetham were big on the boards, while Rachelle Mangan and Kasey Ward provided a spark off the bench on Sunday.
The Tigers have a bye this weekend.
The loss leaves Kyneton with just one win from their first five matches, having lost the last four.
They currently sit third, with four of the five teams in the competition to play finals.
Adams said they were hoping things got easier for them after the bye.
They play five of the next seven games at home.
“We’ve had four road games in a row,” he said.
“We’re looking forward to getting home back to the den and get the home crowd behind us.
“We’re confident that we can compete with the top teams.”
It was a tough weekend for the Kyneton Tigers men’s side. They fell 96-58 to the Braves