BALLARAT Rush recruit Steph Cumming and her Townsville team fell nine points short of glory in the Women’s National Basketball League grand final.
Bendigo produced a blistering start and an equally sizzling finish to secure back-to-back WNBL titles with the 94-83 win in Bendigo yesterday.
Cumming had 14 points, four rebounds in the clash, with teammate Suzy Batkovic, the three-time league most valuable player, and Mia Newley leading the Townsville offence.
Leading by just one goal at the final change, minor premier Bendigo scored the first nine points of the final term to send the home crowd into raptures.
The Spirit lost only two games all season and ensured that if it was veteran guard Kristi Harrower’s final game, it was an appropriate swan song for the four-time Olympic medallist.
Cumming, an Australian representative player, will tie up her Townsville duties before joining Rush at the Minerdome.
Rush will open its South East Australian Basketball League season in a Brisbane road trip on March 29.