Bendigo Braves men's final hopes remain alive following a two-point nail-biting win over the Knox Raiders.
As the business end of the season fast approaches, both the Braves and Raiders went into the match ready for a tight game, which was reflected in the neck-and-neck score line from start to finish.
The Raiders were first to score with a three-point shot by Simon Grant and for the remainder of the quarter it went back and forth with the teams equal at 15 apiece at the first break.
The momentum remained fairly similar in the second with the Raiders adding a further 17 points to the board, but the Braves just nudged ahead with 19 to take a two-point lead into half time, scores 32-34.
In the third quarter neither team could find room to breathe with the the Raiders adding another 23 points to the board to the Braves' 22, closing the gap to just one in Bendigo's favour, 55-56.
Come the final quarter, it was anyone's game.
Raiders' Grant made a two-point jump shot within the first 20 seconds of the quarter to lead by one, but the Braves' Chris Hogan quickly responded with a three-pointer to take back the lead by two.
The closest the Raiders could get to the Braves was with around six minutes left, with Cadarian Raines making a free-throw to see the scores level at 66 apiece.
The Braves then added a few more points to the board, but the Raiders remained hot on their heels.
The Raiders last opportunity to secure a win over the Braves came with 14 seconds left on the court in the way of a missed three-pointer by Damon Heuir, but come the final siren it was Bendigo ahead by two points, final scores 78-80.
Braves' captain Ray Turner top scored with 26 points and a 12 rebound double-double, followed by Mathiang Muo with 19 points and Deonte Burton with 12 points.
Braves men now move to a 10-9 record ahead of their must-win final regular season match against Geelong.
The Braves women's position in the finals is already secured, but that has not stopped the team from giving it their all each and every match.
The women secured a 17-point win over the Raiders in a game which saw them lead at each break, final scores 79-96.
The Braves had a four-point lead at the end of the first quarter, 20-point buffer at half time and were then 17 points ahead going into the fourth.
Becca Tobin top scored with 21 points and 22 rebounds, while Kelly Wilson and Tessa Lavey both finished on 17 points.
The double wins over the Raiders came after a mixed Friday night at home at the Bendigo Stadium where the men fell to the Albury-Wodonga Bandits by 11 points while the women triumphed by 45 points.
The Braves will hit the road next week for the last match of the regular season against the Geelong Supercats.
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