A PERFECT run at home is over after the Bendigo Bank Braves fell to a 13-point loss in Friday night’s basketball clash with Mount Gambier Pioneers.
The 85-72 defeat was a double whammy in Bendigo’s bid to finish top of the east conference.
The Braves are in a fight with Geelong Supercats for top spot.
Geelong plays at Knox Stadium on Saturday night.
The Pioneers dominated the first half of the battle in Bendigo.
Brad Hill scored 16 points and Tom Daly chipped in with 13 on the way to a 50-29 lead at the long break.
The Ben Harvey-coached Braves lifted defensive intensity and scoring in the third quarter.
The Braves won the quarter, 26-19.
Tom Garlepp played a key role in Bendigo’s fightback and went on to finish with a match-high 27 points.
Braves’ imports Ivan McFarlin, 20 points and 19 rebounds, and Jazz Ferguson, 16 points, did their utmost.
The Pioneers stars were Titus Robinson, 20 points and 16 rebounds, and Hill, 20 points.
Mount Gambier leads the south conference and showed it will be tough to beat in the play-offs.