Crucial home games for Bendigo teams

The championship credentials of the Bendigo Bank Braves and Bendigo IGA Lady Braves will be put to the test at Bendigo Stadium on Friday night.

The fourth-placed Braves (8-7) meet SEABL south conference leaders Hobart Chargers (9-3).

No south conference team has beaten the Chargers this season, with Hobart handing the Braves a 112-89 basketball lesson when the two teams met in Tasmania last month.

Lady Braves veteran Jane Chalmers.

Lady Braves veteran Jane Chalmers.

The thorn in the Braves’ side that night was former Bendigo star Tom Garlepp, who scorched the Braves for 35 points.

The Braves have improved dramatically since the Hobart match, winning five of their past six matches.

Import duo Dyami Starks and C.J Aiken are in superb form and the Braves are getting key contributions from their young local talent.

The second-placed Lady Braves (9-4) have the chance to grab a handy buffer on the fourth-placed Lady Chargers (6-5).

The top two teams in the south conference earn a double chance in the play-offs and the Lady Braves can set up their season with wins in the next fortnight.

The Lady Braves held off the Lady Chargers 75-70 in Hobart last month, with Chloe Bibby scoring a game-high 24 points.

The Lady Braves have added star point guard Kelly Wilson to their roster since that game.

The Lady Chargers recently signed star import Mikaela Ruef, but she might not be cleared to play on Friday night.

The 191cm centre plays for the Canberra Capitals in the WNBL and recently had a training stint with the Los Angeles Sparks in the WNBA.

The Lady Braves-Lady Chargers game starts at 6pm on Friday night, with the men’s game to follow at 8pm.