Tracy York sat back with pride over the weekend as she watched the replay of the Bendigo Spirit's win over the University of Canberra Capitals.
The Spirit's 94-90 upset victory over the Capitals in Bendigo on Friday night was the club's best win in York's short reign as coach.
Playing without any imports against the WNBL reigning champions is a recipe for disaster, but the Spirit dug deep to get the points in front of an appreciative home crowd.
"Full credit to the girls. We were down two imports against a team that we'd lost to twice previously this season...it was a fantastic win,'' York said.
"I've watched the replay a couple of times and in the last quarter we came up with some crucial plays.
"We executed well and hit five or six free throws to finish the game. It could have gone either way...but the girls stuck with it and finished it off."
After going nine games without a win, Friday night was the Spirit's second-straight victory.
While Shyla Heal (24 points and eight rebounds) was a clear game MVP, the win was built around a team effort.
"Beating Townsville in a close game was good, but to back up and beat a team that is so loaded with Australian and international talent was great for the team,'' York said.
"Everyone played their role. Shyla (Heal) was awesome, Carly was great, Gabe came off the bench and got us some big rebounds after being injured the week before, Kelly (Wilson) made a big steal in the final quarter, Demi Skinner was in the right place at the right time and Abbey Wehrung, even though she got fouled out, gave us some great minutes.
The Spirit's nine-game losing streak through the middle of the season put paid to their play-off hopes, but it didn't take anything away from the team's drive to improve.
"Two of those games we weren't in, but the rest of them we were in the game for certain parts,'' York said.
"It's difficult to look at the ladder because in the first 15 games I think we played the top four teams 11 times.
"We've stuck with our process. We still train hard and work on areas of our game that need improvement.
"We're finally being rewarded for staying strong."
The Spirit's next game is away to Perth next Sunday.
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