BALLARAT Rush has fallen four points short of Knox in tonight's South East Australian Basketball League women's south conference final.
Rush worked hard to claw back from a seven-point deficit at the final break to hold a six-point lead with three minutes to play at the State Basketball Centre.
Then Knox finished hard and fast.
Knox star Gabe Richards went to the line after the final buzzer and converted two points - an extra jab to Rush's game.
Nya Mason worked hard at the post in a thrilling duel with Richards.
Rush young guns Sophie Alexander and Abbey Wehrung added spark off the bench.
But turnovers and missed chances against a slick Knox outfit cost most.
In a rollercoaster season, Rush scraped into the south conference play-offs, helped by results falling their way, and upset Nunawading and Hobart on the road to reach the title match.
Rush coach Peter Cunningham paid tribute to the strong Ballarat fan base that followed their journey and were in full voice at the stadium.
He was proud of his player who fought hard to the end.
"We gave everything we had and hopefully that earned a fair bit of respect tonight, and that's what we're about," Cunningham said.
Knox will play new east conference champion Bendigo for the SEABL women's championship next Sunday at Dandenong.
KNOX 23 43 56 72
BALLARAT 18 42 49 56
TOP SCORES - Knox: Gabe Richards 30 points; Kelly Wilson 18 points, 10 assists; Rebecca Allen 14 points, 12 rebounds.
Ballarat: Nya Mason 17 points, six rebounds; Kristy Rinaldi 16 points, 8 rebounds; Alice Kunek 11 points; Kate Willey 10 points, 10 rebounds.