A power failure caused a dramatic end to the Bendigo Lady Braves’ basketball season-opener at Bendigo Stadium last night and delayed the start of the men’s match against Knox.
With 4.30 to play in the second quarter – and with the Lady Braves leading Knox Raiders 36-25 – the Bendigo Stadium showcourt was plunged into darkness.
That was at 6.34pm, and it was almost an hour-and-a-half later that power was restored.
However, in that time the SEABL cancelled the Lady Braves’ game – which is now likely to be rescheduled.
The Lady Braves, who had Bendigo Spirit import Kelsey Griffin in the side, led 21-20 at the first change after jumping out of the blocks to a 16-9 lead.
Knox, without Spirit stars Kelly Wilson and Gabe Richards, should have led at quarter time, but shot just 5-13 from the charity stripe.
A 10-2 run to start the second quarter put the Lady Braves in control before the lights went out, with Lauren King already racking-up 10 points on her Bendigo return.
After 30 minutes in the dark the crowd of several hundred was evacuated, with the Stadium’s back-up lights set to fail after 90 minutes.
The league originally gave until 8pm for the power to be restored before it cancelled the men’s game.
Luckily, the league agreed to delay an announcement until 8.25pm and at 8.01pm the lights came back on.
When the game did tip off, new Braves import Jazz Ferguson lit up the court.
In his battle with Knox’s CJ Massingale, Ferguson scored 12 first quarter points, while handing-off two assists and grabbing a couple of boards to put on a show for those fans who stuck around through the power failure.
After leading 5-0, the Braves surrendered the lead in a 16-7 run by the Massingale-led Knox.
Massingale hit 10 points – and dished-out two assists – to help the Raiders to a 25-24 advantage at the first change.
Braves’ import Ivan McFarlin hauled in six boards to go with his three points for the term.
The second quarter belonged to Massingale, team-mate John Philip and Knox, which led 51-41 at the long break.
Massingale sunk 12 points to have 22, four rebounds and three assists at the half, while Philip also hit 12 for the term to have 17 and six boards.
Ferguson was held to two points, McFarlin battled hard to have 11 points and as many rebounds at the break, while co-captain Chris Hogan had seven points.
The Braves fought back brilliantly in the third quarter.
The Ben Harvey-coached Bendigo outscored the Raiders, 24-11, as Ferguson, 10 points, and McFarlin, who finished the quarter on 18 points and 17 rebounds led the way.
Massingale was held to just two points in term three as Bendigo led 65-62 going into the final quarter.
Defences were on top in a hard-fought fourth term.
Bendigo added 12 points and more importantly, kept Knox to just 11 on the way to a 77-73 victory.
A superb match by Ferguson included 26 points, four rebounds and three assists.
McFarlin marked his return to the Braves by scoring 20 points and winning 18 rebounds.
Hogan and Taylor Bell finished on 10 points.
Best for Knox were Massingale, 26 points, four rebounds and four assists, and Philip, 22 points, 12 rebounds.
The Lady Braves and Braves play in Geelong tonight.