Bendigo Braves finished the Country Basketball League grand finals with bitter-sweet results, both against the Maryborough Blazers.
The Braves women were able to triumph over the Blazers, while the men put up a hard-fought effort but fell short come the final buzzer.
In the women's game the Braves had a challenging start, with the scores fairly close up until the start of the third quarter when they were able to break away from the Blazers.
"We always have tough starts against the Blazers, the scores are normally pretty close at half-time," Braves' Madi Sexton said.
"We spoke at half-time about what we needed to work on and motivated each other to be able to give that extra push so we could get it done.
"There was 20 minutes left, so we gave it our all to ensure we achieve the goal that we had been working towards all season."
At the start of the third the Braves held a narrow three-point lead, 39-36.
"Once we were on court we worked on our strengths and weaknesses and what had worked for us earlier in the game which we used to our advantage," Sexton said.
The Braves kept the points flowing to the scoreboard to take a 14-point lead, 61-47 into the final quarter.
"In the fourth it was our fitness which helped us. All season we've been able to outrun teams in the final quarter, it helps us continue to push teams and make them work hard."
The Braves held a 22-point lead on the final buzzer, 82-60.
"When the last buzzer went it was a sigh of relief, but we never had any doubts in our ability," Sexton said.
"It's a great feeling to know how all of our hard work throughout the season paid off."
Sexton was named as the match MVP with an impressive 30 points.
Hayley Harrington finished with 16 points and Tahnee Cannan with 11.
Meanwhile the Braves men faced an in-form Blazers squad and were unable to secure victory.
At half-time the scores were neck-and-neck at 40 points each.
"We were toe-to-toe with them in the first half, it was a very close game," Braves' Jack White said.
"When we came back out in the third quarter, their defence was unbelievable which really helped get them over the line."
The Braves trailed closely behind for the rest of the game, but it was the Blazers who were on top on the final buzzer by 18 points, 79-61.
White said the Blazers were a very strong opponent.
"Their defensive pressure is always long and active up and down the court," he said.
"Their hustle is always through the roof."
He said it was a challenging season for the team as they played with minimum players some weeks.
"It's great for us to have progressed as far as we did as we lost players throughout the season, short some weeks and one game we only had six players."
Jake Lloyd was the team's top scorer with 20 points, followed by Tanner Rayner 19 and White with 17.
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