Bendigo Braves ended Kyneton Tigers’ season in the Country Basketball League north east competition on Saturday night.
With a grand final spot on the line, both teams started nervously and took time to settle.
The game was anyone’s at half-time, before the Braves found another level with a 28-12 third quarter turning the game in their favour.
While the Tigers won the last quarter, it was too little too late. Final scores were 77-59.
Before the game, Tigers’ coach Chris Tighe said the team needed to play well for the full 40 minutes.
He said not playing out the full game had cost them in the past when the two teams played each other, and was the case again at the weekend.
“We had seven turnovers in five minutes in the third quarter,” he said. “I think on nearly all of them, they scored on the other end.
“You can’t give up 14 points like that. Credit to Bendigo, they shot the lights out.
“We pushed defensively with purpose a little too late.”
Tighe said it was disappointing to have a third quarter fade-out after such a good first half.
He said at half-time they had plenty of confidence that they could get the job done, despite trailing by five points.
Beating the Braves was one item the Tigers really wanted to tick off their list this season, but fell short on three occasions.
“The game was ours to lose, which we did,” Tighe said.
“The second half we didn’t do ourselves any favours.”
He thought perhaps the pressure of the moment got to the side which is still very young and inexperienced.
Michelle Fletcher top-scored with 13 points, while Rebecca Van Kuyk (11 points) and Brooke Mangan (12) also scored double figures.
While disappointed with the result, Tighe said they had come so far.
It’s just the Tigers second season, having also made the semi-finals last year.
“You can look at how far the team has come and so many players have learnt different skill sets.
“I’ve tried to teach them a lot of stuff. I teach a lot of different stuff.”
He singled out 14-year-old Adrienne Cameron who he said has taken some big steps in her development.
Tighe, who is unsure if he will continue coaching, said one of the most pleasing things was that being a young group they have time to develop.
“It’ll be good for them to all be around together again next year.”
The Braves will face Wodonga Lady Wolves in the grand final. The Wolves beat the Swan Hill Lady Flyers in their semi-final, 64-56.
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