Spirit fights for win

WNBL's ladder leaders chalk up 13th consecutive victory

THE Bendigo Bank Spirit showed superb fighting qualities to beat Dandenong Rangers in Friday night's basketball clash.

A parochical home crowd had plenty to worry about as the Rangers raced to an 11-point lead by quarter-time at Bendigo Stadium.

Dandenong led 46-40 by half-time and had the answers for most of the third term.

Three-pointers by Sara Blicavs and Chelsea Aubry and another two by Gabe Richards put Spirit within five at a quarter to play.

A Kristi Harrower three-pointer on the first shot of the fourth term would be the catalyst to an incredible run by Bendigo.

A Griffin two-pointer put Bendigo in front, but Dandenong replied through Jenna O'Hea and Natalie Novosel.

Spirit then went on a 10-nil run in which Griffin (4), Richards (4) and Kelly Wilson (2) worked through or over Dandenong's defence.

At the final buzzer, Bendigo led 79-72.

Spirit coach Bernie Harrower praised the team's fight and Dandenong's play.

"This was such a tough game. It was played in a finals-type atmosphere and was a fantastic contest," Harrower said.

"Our defence down the stretch was excellent."

Richards and Elyse Penaluna scored 15 points each, and Griffin chipped in with 14.

Penaluna earned the coaches award, and Griffin was the Spirit's MVP. 

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